Comic Talk and General Discussion *

Making Money?
cirienphoenix at 4:34PM, July 17, 2009
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So I may be getting an apartment, but it will end up being by myself. Because of this, I may need work outside my regular job. So I have some questions for all of you:

How do you make money on the side, without getting another job (so you can stop anytime you want to)?

Do you make money from your webcomic(s)? How?

Do you sell items on etsy.com? Do you make fairly good sales from it? Like at least double what it cost you to make the item?

What else could I do to earn extra money?

I was considering freelancing as well, but the only problem with that is that the area I'm in isn't very good for freelance work as far as websites or printed materials and layouts go. (I'm a graphic designer.) So… please help?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:42AM
lba at 1:23PM, July 19, 2009
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Find a roommate if you can. That's the best way to save money on an apartment. Otherwise you can cut costs if you're willing to live near a college campus or take a step down on the neighborhood you live in.

Freelancing is something you have to do online these days. Local contacts are great and usually leads to more consistent business from the same people, but you have to get online and make new contacts elsewhere to get ahead.

Galleries are also a decent way to make some extra cash for not too much work put in once the pieces are up. The payoff is slow and unsteady, but like I said, it's not too much work so you have to balance it out. I've found galleries that host parties or places where people are drinking tend to be the places I sell more work. There aren't too many places like that, but once you find them then you've done half the work.

For making money off of a comic, you can set up a small t-shirt store with cafe press or Printfection or some similar site and just advertise the bejeebus out of it. Project Wonderful ads are also an acceptable source of income, but unless you're a large site you shouldn't expect too much. But again, effort vs rewards there. I never advertised my comic much, had a general following of about 400-500 pageviews a day and since I quit updating last August I've made about $5.

And if you're of a t-shirt loving mind, there's plenty of sites like Bohda-T and Threadless that you can submit designs you do in your spare time onto to try and get picked. It seems to take a good bit of advertising and work, but if your design is selected on Threadless it's something like a $2000 payoff.

There's some opportunities to make fonts for sale and do per-download graphics for stuff like Yourfonts and StockphotoXchange if you do the research on the sites and submit.

Most of all, it's just about getting your work out there and making sure people remember that you do that sort of work. You might be surprised how many people you know who don't remember that you're a designer and don't give your name to others who are looking for someone to do the work, just because you don't say anything about looking for contacts or talk about your work.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:29PM
lastcall at 1:31PM, July 19, 2009
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I've tried freelancing, but it didn't pan out well. Two years ago I started my own sole proprietorship (Painting Pixie Designs) and joined a local Advertising Association in order to network, but that didn't really help. I also spent money to join a Knowledge Broker that was supposed to help me find freelance jobs, but I never heard a peep from them. I spent a good bit of money and had nice business cards made, and posted them all over town, but I didn't get any response from them. …In the end I was only able to get two freelancing jobs from it all, and both jobs were from the same person, who just happened to see my work on a forum. Now I just draw for fun, and if I'm lucky, maybe someday I will get a few bucks off of it. That's being optimistic, though. ;)

I know Craigslist posts freelance art jobs, and I have responded to many of those without a single reply back. I have had more luck via the ConceptArt employment forum, but usually by the time I respond to a job, they have already picked someone.

The best luck I have had with making money on the side was doing caricatures and/or face painting at parties and events. It's not much money, especially in a small town where people don't expect to pay much, but it gets your name around. If you live in a historical kind of town, another idea would be to draw the old houses and monuments there, and sell them. The old folks love those kinds of things and will pay for them. ;) If you have the money, consider placing an ad in your local newspaper, advertising the services you do. I've never tried this, so I don't really know if it's effective.

I also tried selling prints of my drawings via ebay, but that didn't work out at all.

Concerning Iba's suggestion of merchandise, I've tried merchandise sites like Cafepress for both my webcomic and now defunct Design company, and haven't made a cent off of them. ….Except for the one time my mom bought a shirt out of sympathy. lol! But they are useful for making freebies for conventions, or making Christmas cards.

As to making money with my webcomic, I don't expect to be doing that ever, if at all. I see a lot of people asking for donations on their sites and I have to wonder why. I've witnessed one webcomic artist begging people for money and threaten that if she didn't get enough donations for that month's rent, she would stop drawing the comic. …That's just silly. I don't see a point in quitting a day job in the hopes of making money off a webcomic; it's just not possible (with the exception of maybe a couple of well-known comics, like “Penny Arcade” or "Least I Could Do). …Personally, I view a webcomic as a fun hobby, drawing practice, and an escape from my boring day job that, while boring, gives me money to pay my mortgage. …Which is, ya know, kind of important. ;)

Hope that helped! :)

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:28PM
Lonnehart at 2:02PM, July 19, 2009
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I guess if you wanted to make money off of webcomics the people you should ask for advice would be the ones who actually do make money, like the guy who draws Megatokyo (whoever that is…)

If you're a programmer you could make games for Windows instead. I got Microsoft XNA's C# language is free…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
cirienphoenix at 3:36PM, July 19, 2009
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Hmm… these were all some interesting suggestions. I think the ideas I'm really attracted to here are Cafepress shirts and the Threadless suggestion. I didn't know that Threadless did that, and it's probably worth trying. Something else I discovered in the last few days was Etsy.com. I keep wanting to buy things on it (which will come once I get a few paychecks in the next few weeks), but I also see a lot of opportunities for sales. People are making and selling crafts on there for a fair amount more than I expected (you can see their sold results!) and I've noticed that a lot of what's sold on there are things I can do for cheap and easy! Like gothic chokers!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:42AM
Polkster at 1:57PM, July 20, 2009
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I prostitute myself.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
Ironscarf at 10:02PM, July 20, 2009
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My strip makes money because it's sponsored by two advertisers: the writer was able to strike this deal because the strip relates to a specific scene and there are manufacturers who target that scene - we've had fun weaving in their products and logos in a post ironic way.

So yeah, I prostitute myself!
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:02PM
kyupol at 3:31AM, July 21, 2009
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How do you make money on the side, without getting another job (so you can stop anytime you want to)?

- get a SKILL. Skills such as being a handyman, automechanic, drawing (this is more of the logo design stuff), playing a musical instrument, being a psychic healer, martial artist, etc. Teach that stuff to others or do it as a sidejob.
Or if you have good looks (or even average looks as long as you're physically fit), work at some strip club or “massage parlor” or work independently. I've known a few girls who do that and they pretty much live like queens (you gotta choose though between money or your soul).

- Start up a local political activist group. Trust me, the demand for this is VERY HIGH particularly in the causes of freedom and liberty. Then raise some funds but just be sure to actually show the people that the money is headed to a good cause.

Otherwise, just go find a job at slavema… er… Walmart!!! or Mcslave… err… Mcdonalds!!! *cough*

Do you make money from your webcomic(s)? How?
- I make pocket change at the most. How? Go to a convention, advertise, advertise, advertise, plug, plug, and more plug. Even in a casual conversation, try to throw something like “Hey, do you know that I'm also a comic writer… blablabla”. That usually picks people's interest.



NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:26PM
Polkster at 1:12PM, July 21, 2009
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Mentioning to people that I draw comics doesn't exactly build “interest”… more like “anti-cred”.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
Lonnehart at 1:30PM, July 21, 2009
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kyupol
work at some strip club or “massage parlor”

….

You should only resort to this if you're into that sort of thing…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
cirienphoenix at 4:42PM, July 21, 2009
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kyupol
“drawing (this is more of the logo design stuff)”

My current job is as a graphic designer for a small town newspaper. Even after getting a bachelor's in graphic design, that's what I just got stuck with. So when I mentioned freelancing, that's the angle I'm coming from is making promotional pieces for people. The problem is that the current market is pretty shitty around here. :P
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:42AM
Polkster at 9:10PM, July 21, 2009
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You could find some office job that doesn't require much more than a bachelor's in anything.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
cirienphoenix at 9:37PM, July 21, 2009
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Polkster
You could find some office job that doesn't require much more than a bachelor's in anything.

I have an office job… it's just so boring. :( I know, I'm whiny, but having had freedom for work and class at college has set me up wanting something very different from the job I'm at. :P
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:42AM
Hakoshen at 10:36AM, July 22, 2009
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If by freelancing you mean the same thing I think of when people sell comissions, then I haven't got any ideas for you. In that vein, all I can suggest is put a sort of informal portfolio out somewhere and don't charge ridiculous prices (I'm not paying $50 for a sketch, but some people apparently do).

As Kyupol suggested, get a skill/trade. Anything you can fix, someone will break.
God needed the Devil, the Beatles needed the Rolling Stones, Hakoshen needs me.
I'm the enemy he requires to define him.
Soon or later, he'll bring me back to life again for another epic encounter of shouting about power levels and grimacing.
-Harkovast
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:41PM
kyupol at 2:18PM, July 22, 2009
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I forgot to add these:

- How about driving?
You know, offer to drive people to the airport or old people to the grocery or wherever they wanna go? Driving is a risky job though.

- Or try searching the “gigs” section in craigslist. There's always somebody who needs help mowing the lawn or walking the dog or helping them move or cleaning the house or babysit or anything.
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:26PM
Polkster at 2:21PM, July 22, 2009
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Well you said you have a graphic design degree, what about working for some relatively independent web design firm?
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
cirienphoenix at 9:33PM, July 22, 2009
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Polkster
Well you said you have a graphic design degree, what about working for some relatively independent web design firm?

Actually, maybe I will see if I kind find something like that. That's actually a very attractive option. I am fond of web design. :D Perhaps I shall look into that and see if there's a way I could do that leisurely in my spare time. In fact, I think I'm going to ask a really cool old boss of mine if he actually wants a website for his tiny little business. :D
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:42AM
lba at 1:29PM, July 23, 2009
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Dunno why I didn't think of it before, but have you checked your college's job boards? A lot of schools will allow recent grads to continue using the job boards for a certain period of time to help them find work.

A lot of local community colleges just post a list of all the opportunities they have. All you have to do is go to the job office and ask for the info on them. Half the time they don't even ask if you're a current student, so if you're not too morally inclined about competing with community college students they're available. But I'm only suggesting that if things get desperate for you.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:29PM
Polkster at 3:47PM, July 23, 2009
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Polkster saves the day again.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM

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