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How to make more money from my blog, music, or art

Updated on September 6, 2014
  • Use affiliate programs on a few different websites to generate revenue.
  • Post your art in as many monetizable forms as possible and link them to each other.
  • Use as many affiliate marketing programs as are relevant to your content.

Make money through your passion

The internet has given us instant access to the entire world as a possible marketplace for our art; but getting paid specifically for our art is not the only way to make money. Using advertising affiliate programs we are able to make money online by catching the dollars dropped by marketers to reach people across the globe. I've been working for several years to setup a system that can be used to advertise your music, writing, or artwork(for sale) and make money from the advertising itself. With some dedication, passion, and practice this method can earn a noticeable income without selling a single product; and if your art sells or if your writing is popular enough and well enough maintained you can make a living without ever leaving your home! In this article we will look at a whole systems approach to growing your web presence and to using the power of our network to make your articles or art stand out in the internet today.

Brayden Davis striving to understand affiliate marketers.
Brayden Davis striving to understand affiliate marketers. | Source

Understand Affiliate Marketing

We will make money two different ways during this program: affiliate revenue, and product revenue. Affiliate revenue is money earned through marketing or other programs that are not directly related to our own work; product revenue is any money generated from the sale or commission of our own work. It is important to leverage both of these tools to make money online because for a new and unsupported artist sales and commission revenue will be spread out and less consistent than for artists working with larger more established audiences. The decision of when to stop using affiliate advertising to make money is a personal one; personally I say never stop unless it affects your audience. With no product I am making close to enough money across my affiliate programs to cut my hours in half at work and I see no reason why I would turn down the extra income just because I am making more money elsewhere.

To start making money online with any trade you need to first establish all of the affiliate accounts you will need to operate; as well as thoroughly understand how all of them work. The most well known of the affiliate programs is the Google Adsense program. Google Adsense allows registered users to post advertisements on their site or a site that they have rights to. Each click on these advertisements will earn you revenue. Google Adsense will deposit money into your confirmed bank account after you have accrued $100 in revenue.

Getting an Adsense account is not super easy. The easiest way to get one now is through another affiliate program called Webanswers. Webanswers is an affiliate marketing site where users register and post questions; those who answer questions are paid based on the quality and quantity of the answers you post. After you have answered 50 questions and you have a few answers that have been chosen as the “best answer” by those who post the question you will be able to apply for an Adsense account. It takes about a week to get everything set up, its pretty painless. It's also not a bad desensitizer, if your bored of whatever project you were doing you can actually make a decent buck.

I use Hubpages as my main method for drawing traffic and attention to content. Hubpages is an affiliate marketing system that pays you 60% of the advertising revenue generated on your articles to you. If you were referred by another user hubpages pays that user 10% of the total revenue, but you don't notice because no matter what you get 60%. In exchange for letting hubpages keep 40% of the revenue you generate through your affiliate marketing programs they will display links to your page on other similar pages, as well as getting search engines to crawl you. The extra link traffic is well worth the drop in revenue, especially if your intention is to sell a product, because these links will make it easier for people to find your product through google.

Hubpages uses three affiliate programs, Amazon, Google, and Hubpages. Hubpages earnings require you to submit some personal tax information and will pay you through paypal for posting Hubpages advertisements on your articles. Linking your Google Adsense account to your Hubpages account will post a Google Adsense advertisement on your articles. You have no say over the placement or content of these advertisements; but they will generate revenue for you each time someone clicks. The third affiliate program is the Amazon Affiliate program. If your content on Hubpages discusses or could be enhanced by discussing a product that can be found on Amazon you should use the Amazon Affiliate program to link to that product. Each time a product is shipped you are paid from Amazon.

I use Hubpages because these three affiliate programs together give us the freedom to monetize our own content in pretty much any way we need to. The user interface on Hubpages is point and click, extremely easy; and we are given significant internet coverage just for participating with Hubpages instead of another site.

The final affiliate program is the YouTube Partners program. It works similarly to the Webanswers system except that it focuses of course on videos uploaded to YouTube instead of on questions. YouTube should be leveraged for several reasons; it provides additional links back to your monetized work or art, it produces revenue on its own, and it also links users to your video from similar videos.

Now that we understand all the affiliate programs we might utilize to make money with our art, lets look at how to use these platforms to reach a larger audience for our content while making some money along the way.

Is it a better brand if its planned, or if you let it grow.

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Tips for establishing your brand and webpresence

  • Establish catch phrases that the audience will remember and associate with you.
  • Use social networks to distribute material that your audience will immediately recognize.
  • Actively engage users and ask for links and shares.
  • Ensure that everything you do is linked; articles on different platforms, videos, and social network pages.

Establishing your product, brand, and presence.

Your product, your music, craft, or writing, is the core; its the thing your passionate about and want to share with the world. Writing can be easily monetized through companies like Ebookit, crafts can be listed on Etsy and Ebay, and music can be easily listed on Amazon MP3 and the iTunes store with All of your content needs to focus on reaching out in a useful way to people who might want to purchase your product through any of these venues. For that reason whether your making a video on YouTube or an article on Hubpages you need to make sure that it points back towards your product, because that is the end goal.

Your brand is exactly HOW you reach your audience. Catch phrases, writing and speaking styles, types of images and even attitudes. For most of us independent artists our brand is who we are, and that’s easy; but pay attention as you get more of an audience. Certain phrases, and types of approaches will always stand out; if your audience grabs onto something and identifies it with you, use it as a rallying flag and don't be ashamed. Use it over and over again.

Expanding your presence on the other hand is a process that really does NOT depend on who or what you are. First off, whatever social networks your on, share your work. Each article and video you put up, throw it out there. Search engines use software called crawlers to decide what gets added and ranked where when anyone does a search. The biggest factors in determining what shows up is the number of links to the content(called back links) and the number of visitors there are to the page. The following steps will work for everyone in getting additional traffic.

Firstly, make your own back links. If an article you have posted can reference an article you have already posted, go ahead and reference it. If you can make a video tutorial for making whatever it is you make, then post up the video, link the video to the how to article, and vice verse. This way your video is making money, your article is making money, and they are both linking to each other which will increase search traffic.

Secondly, get involved in more social networks. My favorite is Stumbleupon. By making lists on Stumbleupon and interacting with other users content you will bring traffic from bored internet wanderers and people looking for independent music or crafts. Every week or so wander around Stumbleupon's site and like something similliar to your stuff, it'll help. Facebook and Twitter are great too.

The next thing you'll want to do is start using ping services on your articles. Pingler offers free services, and you can ping each of your articles every three days. For $25 a year they will ping your articles automatically every three days. Pinging your articles and videos will help increase your page rank in search engines thereby giving all of your articles more traffic.

Next you'll want to use Google Webmasters tools “Fetch as Google” function to ensure that each article is quickly listed on the Google search results.

The last and possibly most powerful tool in your arsenal will be the community of indie artists out there. Find some folks who make independent music or arts and crafts and share your how tos, make friends and guest publish, like each other's pages on stumbleupon and share each other's stuff on social networks. By making friends you will work as a group to influence more people and everyone will make more money.

Anyone who is interested in monetizing your content and getting some personal help, send me an email at I have some expertise in getting music, books, and arts and crafts on the internet market and for sale and I am willing to help anyone who has the drive to succeed. If your just getting started feel free to make me your first friend in your network, and if you've been working and want some help, or some links, get in touch with me and we'll see what we can work out. Remember, the more of us working together, the greater the odds of us all succeeding.


Using Social Networks to Build Viewership

Social media is the backbone of independent artists all over the world. There are some simple things you can do to make social media work for you! First you have to understand how most social media decides what it shows people and what it doesn't. We'll look at growing organic viewer base on Facebook for now.

Facebook viral posts are what every indie artists wants, but how to get them? Facebook decides what it shows you in your feed based on who you have commented on, liked, or shared the most. You could be best friends with someone and read everything they do, but if you never like comment or share you will never see their content; likewise you will get every post from Morgan Freeman's Voice because you like everything even though you don't really care what the creepy disembodied voice of Mr. Freeman has to say.

This means to get more coverage on social networks you need to get more participation from readers; this usually means taking advantage of a group like this one to get your content out. Every post should be formatted so that it encourages users to like, comment, and share so that each post gets maximum traffic; that's easy, make them feel responsible for it. Tell users how their actions benefit and support artists and the arts as a whole.

Of course, participating in a network with daily consistent coverage is useful for these same reasons. While daily content annoys some people, it also guarantees that stories will go out to the highest number of viewers, but content more than daily becomes spammy and many users ignore it.

The most important thing to remember about social networking, you can't make it all about you. You have to share other people's content and causes in order to make them know you care about the group. When other people feel like you care, like they belong in a circle with you, they are more likely to share YOUR content as well. Do you like our content? Do you love our content? SHARE the love!

Do you make something like music or a craft that your more comfortable selling now?

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Tips for selling music online

  • Use cdbaby to get yourself listed and solid digitally and physically.
  • Use youtube un-monetized to gather a viewer base.
  • Write an article series linking to your youtube videos
  • Ask viewers on youtube to watch future videos, like, subscribe, and share, as well as link them back to your article series.
  • Monetize your youtube videos after you have a solid viewer base.
  • Make videos in threes, a song, a how to video of the song, and a making of the video or song.

How do I sell my music online?

Making money off your music is probably the easiest of all the arts to profiteer from, thanks mostly to amazon and Youtube. Take care to make sure all of your content links back up each other, that will keep your affiliate revenue up. Lets take a look at how to maximize your product revenue with your music.

The first thing you want to do to sell your music online is pretty obvious, get your music sold online. Check out cdbaby for that; they will help you post your music on amazon, itunes, and their own website. CDBaby has about a million options for physical CD distribution and digital pushes and they work with everyone 13 and older. Get in contact with them first and get your music listed; after that we can get to work promoting your music to get physical sales. Prices to get started are less than 15 dollars for a single, and less than 50 for an album(plus purchase of a UPC, which is also pretty cheap from cdbaby.

Once you have your music listed on amazon, get yourself a youtube channel(with adsense linked, of course), and post a video of you and or your group performing the original song, and link to the buy it now on amazon. At the end of the video leave a personal message asking users to subscribe, like, and share the video. Now here's the kicker. DO NOT MONETIZE THESE VIDEOS YET!!!! People are more likely to share things without adds, and people are more likely to put up with adds on things with more views. Wait until your channel has subscribers and your videos have some views before you click that monetize button.

Another important youtube tip. When videos play as adds you are paid per view, that means pretty much every view is some extra pennies. At the end of your original song, post a link to a tutorial on how to play it or a portion of it, as well as a making of video. This doesn't sound like much money until you realize those videos will stay up FOREVER! Getting a possible 100+ views daily. That means one song might be able with little effort to push you to three dollars a day, without even a single sale. Consider that many indie music videos are up to 100,000 views, and you can see how those pennies ad up. Each view also increases your search engine rank and the odds of getting listed on the coveted suggested video tab.

The next step is to run a website or article series. Hubpages works great for this because they allow affiliate marketing. Every week or so release an article about the making of a song, or a gig you did; or if you don't have anything else release an article about how your promoting your music! Link the video of a song or a tutorial in your article, and ask your viewers to check it out. Likewise in your video link to your relevant articles and again, ask viewers to go visit the site.

Remember, traffic is money. Always actively encourage your viewers or readers to like, share, subscribe, follow, and check out your other content. And ALWAYS post links to the material you own that people can buy.

Technical tips for getting more hits. Fiverr drip feeders work magic on youtube videos. Generally for five bucks you can get thousands of decently PR ranked social network back links pointed at your video. Those links will make your videos show up WAY more often in the suggested videos sidebar of user's youtube accounts. People who regularly take advantage of drip feeds have reported consistent adsense revenue on their channels of 100 dollars daily, without product sales. After your channel is up and running and you have content, try adding a drip feed and watch the traffic over a month; if it improves noticeably then you can see the difference it makes to your bottom line; and most importantly, don't forget that because your a savvy salesman an increase in traffic in one of your monetized channels will result in an increase in traffic to all of them. Never forget to link your articles, websites, youtube channels, and online product sales all together in one tight nit network to maximize your total chance for revenue.


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    • jarodlakin profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      Im slowly building a network of indie artists, if anyone is interested in learning how we can help each other feel free to email me at . Join us to help make independent artists really independent.

    • manlalakbay88 profile image


      4 years ago from Taguig City, Philippines

      I think what you wrote and share here is very useful and informative. I have to personally check out all the sites you've mentioned on this hub. I hope I can build and earn money from all my online businesses. :)

    • Alphadogg16 profile image

      Kevin W 

      4 years ago from Texas

      This was a very interesting, well written and informative hub jarodlakin. I'm actually checking out ebookit as I'm writing this. I did not see a referral link on your hub. Great information. Voted up on your hub.


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