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Earning a Passive Income without any Investment

Updated on August 20, 2017

Different ways to earn on the internet

What many people search for these days is income to supplement a small pension, or for a stay-at-home housewife who would like an income for herself to supplement that of her husband, or for people who have been retrenched or lost their jobs and are looking for other ways to earn. Many writers try to become freelancearticle writers, or they have published a book or ebook, but it's not easy toearn through book sales.

There are many other ways to earn on the internet, but in this article I want to address the opportunities that are there for people who have creative skills on computers, laptops or even tablets and cell phones; people with graphics experience, artists, illustrators or photographers

Be your own Boss by Working from Home.

Whatever your skill, if you don't feel at home in a business suit, or you want to be with your small family, or you are wheelchair bound, but you want to do what you love. Investigate what free image programs there are available.

The best of all about having a Print on Demand business is that when you take a break from work, your sales will go on. You do not have to worry about dealing with customers, shipping or payments, or even returns. It’s all done for you. All you need to do on some P.O.D sites is to set up your % commission.

What is Print on Demand?


What is Print on Demand?

Imagine starting your own clothing line, fashion brand or T-shirt business, to name a few options.

  1. Where your customer places an order through your own store.
  2. Where the process and orders are handled without your help
  3. Where your designs are printed on products without you doing anything.
  4. Where they pack and ship the order straight to your customer all over the world.
  5. Where the customer's payments are handled and you as the artist of the design on the products get paid by the end of the month!

Yes.It's as easy as that! Leaving the logistics of getting your product to your customer in their hands will give you time to develop your brand and to create new products and designs to attract new customers

Selling graphic designs on line.

Most people do not want to pay out any money before starting their own business. All they are willing to spare is time.

Through this article I will sharehow building an online business that does not cost anything is possible. All people need is a laptop or a workstation, a connection to the internet and a PayPal account. (some platforms pay only to a recognized bank account)

Most Print on Demand websites allow you to upload a high resolution image of your work free of charge. These art works can then be sold in a variety of formats {on canvas, as cards or prints etc.}for example.
Print-on-demand is brilliant for giving you an extra income stream from your original work. It is also great for photographers by allowing them to sell a wide range of images without having to print individually

Selling Graphics Online


Selling on Print on Demand websites around the world

Readers who already know about what is required in terms of the print quality of any design or photo they own can skip some of my information, but all the Print on demand sites mentioned here, all go to great lengths to educate new designers after they sign up.

For instance, Redbubble,Society6 and Zazzle sell awesome products that are all designed by independent artists.

Most P.O.D websites have a Help button on how to get started. Topics like intellectual property, how to upload and the size of the image including the DPI quality preference will be mentioned.

Most P.O.D website have forums and to follow them can be a great help to any designer.

On line Galleries

Online galleries generally work as a middleman between the artist and the purchaser. Artists are generally responsible for uploading their artwork and the gallery charges a commission on the sale. These sites are directed at professional artists who might offer exclusivity on how many prints they will sell. Some are anby-invitation-only gallery online, and are very selective regarding member inclusions. I will not add any more information on these sites.

How to get Paid?

They are a lot of Print on Demand websites. One can get very overwhelmed by the opportunities that are out there. They aremostly are situated in the USA, so it all depends where the designer calls home.

For example,living in South Africa does have some drawbacks when it comes to payments, and to order one’s own design on a product can be costly due to the shipping involved. So far as I know there are no P.O.D websites in South Africa that offer designers the opportunity to sell their designs on the products they produce. At least not at the time of writing this article.

Several P.O.D websites do pay directly to a PayPal amount, but in 2014 that was not the case for people who live in South Africa. I was fortunate that I already had a PayPal account since 2001, but all I could do with the money earned was spending it on line. I could not convert it into our currency.

(That changed and today I can bring in any earnings into my FNB bank account.)

There are literally hundreds and hundreds of places that you can sell art or showcase your work online. However, there is also a vast difference in the quality of the offering of many art related sites.

Free downloadable programs


Make a living through your own creativity

Not everyone has the cash to spend buying the most expensive graphic design software, particularly when starting a new business or embarking on a new career in design, but there are FREE programs available.

You CAN survive and thrive through your creativity. I'm talking about people who love to work and play with Free downloadableprograms such as:

  1. Gimpshop - is a Free Photoshop Alternative.
  2. Gravit Designer is a full-featured vector design app suitable for all manner of jobs.
  3. Vectr is a free editor for creating 2D vector graphics.
  4. Inkscape - focuses on the SVG format as its primary file format. This highly capable editor has a very good SVG integration, supporting many of the more advanced features
  5. Platform:PC - If you're on PC and need a decent set of image editing tools without Photoshop's price tag, it's perfect for typical photo editing tasks such as fixing contrast, lighting and saturation, but it'll also stretch to more advanced techniques.

What products do you want to sell?

Some designers only focus on designing for T-shirts, while some are more focused on promoting art on canvas or a poster, pillows and duvets and other interior products besides electronic covers for cell phones and laptop bags.

Do you want to sell T-shirts worldwide? Do you want to sell other products and not just T-shirts? Do you care about the payment method for your commission? Once you have a clear idea of what you are looking for in a marketplace, you can create your own Print on Demand Sites Directory.


Promoting your work

Promoting your work

For customers to find your design on products, anyartist needs to spend a great deal of time marketing. This goes for any online business, and being active on several social media is a must. There are many P.O.D groups on Facebook and Google+ to name only two, and to join them is free.

Online competition is fierce, so unless you already have a following and promote your own art outside of the web site you have, you will not sell much at the beginning. It can take several years for sales to come in on regular bases, unless your artwork is already well known or is unique.

Having your own Website or Blog

A free standing website can be a lot of work to set up with hardly any viewers at the beginning. It’s always better to create your personal gallery with Wordpress and or Google+. It’s for Free, unless you want to start branding your work by paying for a domain name that is yours only. That might cost a small fee paid on a yearly basis. Some artists have created blogs for specific products like T-shirts, anything for the home, event products for weddings...etc. The opportunities are endless.


How do these website make a profit?

They do this from the sales of many products through the thousands of shops every artist has created without having to do the marketing. How? Because thousands of designers will be marketing their own online shop under their banner.That is how.

I do hope that I have inspired people to start their own online business through this article

Nadine May


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    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 7 days ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for letting me know that you found my article informative. I hope to inspire others to be online entrepreneurs.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 9 days ago from Philippines

      Hi Nadine May, this is such a wonderful article. It will definitely help a lot people who are gifted in the arts to make income from their talents.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 12 days ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Hi, DDE Glad, you stopped by to read my article.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 12 days ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Tamara I am glad this article gave you the information you needed in order to earn from being creative with images. My first love and intent is to inspire people. Using their fullest potential in whatever way.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I am glad to have stopped by here. Your title certainly got my attention.

    • profile image

      Tamara Moore 2 weeks ago


      Thank you! When I saw the title of this post, I knew I needed to check it out. I am glad I did! I appreciate this information very much!



    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 weeks ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Flourish I,m so glad that I included the alternatives to the expensive Photoshop program. I hoped to have inspired people to explore this alternative way to earn.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 weeks ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      I'm glad you have found some useful tips

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 weeks ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you larry

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA

      This was inspiring, and I especially appreciated the alternatives to expensive Photoshop. Thanks for sharing your experience. You have some of the most stunning images I've seen.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very useful article, Nadine. Thanks for sharing all the tips and suggestions.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 4 weeks ago from Oklahoma

      Great tips!

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 4 weeks ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Many thanks, Blossom for reading my post.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 4 weeks ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      With passive income, I mean that graphics that were created years ago can still sell while we might be on holiday. Building up a large range of products with different designs offered online gives the designer income opportunities the whole year around.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 4 weeks ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      I'm so glad you agree Billy that we can earn a passive income on line, especially with something we love to do. Article writing one one way.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 weeks ago from Victoria, Australia

      Love your helpful, encouraging article. Thank you for all those useful ideas.

    • profile image

      Charles 4 weeks ago

      Hi Nadine, I really enjoyed your reading your article however the title "passive income" is little misrepresented I guess. Working from home and being your own boss is what "Freelaning/Freelance" is about. The term passive is more related to subscription business model like starting a web hosting service or any other subscription business which involves recurring payment.

      Please correct me if I'm wrong

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes, yes, and yes! Seven years ago I declared myself to be a writer; now I pay almost all of our bills through writing. It can be done!

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 4 weeks ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Hi, Eric. Thanks for your comment. I was about to close down for the evening when I saw that you liked my 'cool article'.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      This was very cool. Some day I will make the leap. Today I am happy with my 3-400 parishioners weekly.

      I am bookmarking this to revisit and follow.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 4 weeks ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for reading my article.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 4 weeks ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for reading my post on this topic Sally. During the last view months, several online friends asked me to write an article on my P.O.D experiences, but instead many people ( especially in SA ) still do not know how Print on Demand opportunities really work, apart from the book printing industry. So this was the result.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 weeks ago from Norfolk

      I opened a Zazzle store a few years back but quite honestly have not done enough on it to reap much in the way of benefits. I have used most of my creativity on HubPages where the benefits have far outweighed what I have achieved on Zazzle:) However, I am always interested in new ways to earn income without having to pay out any money so this was an interesting read, thank you.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 4 weeks ago from Norfolk, England

      That was really interesting to read Nadine. There are so many ways to make money online these days.