What do you want to be known for?
In 100 years, what do you want the people who knew you to think of?
When you’re a kid, there’s a handful of things that you were so sure you could just be when you grew up. For some kids it might have been a fireman. Others it’s a doctor.
For a lot of kids it’s “artist”. Or writer. Something creative. There’s such a pull to do something creative in us that even when we are so young we know it would be so special to do that when we grow up.
Somewhere along the way someone tells most little kids that it’s not very sensible to want to be an artist or a writer. That that is something you can do in your free time, but you need a stable job.
Luckily there are precious few people who never listened to that advice and stuck with the dream. And they will be know for that dream in 100 years.
For the rest of us, however, we got regular jobs and kept a set of watercolors in a drawer. Or a copy of that novel in a file on our desktop. Maybe we paint on a rainy day every now and then or bang out a few pages when we can.
It doesn’t have to be like that, you know. If that creative life is what you want, you can get it without having to sacrifice earning stable income.
Why You Should Take Your Creative Business Online
Before we tackle the 10 creative online business ideas, I want to answer one question that I hear all the time.
I used to have a craft blog. And I would make things and post the tutorial on the blog. Inevitably someone would say to me, “You should sell those!”
But that idea never felt very sustainable or interesting to me. Sure I loved making a little watercolor painting, but would I want to continuously make watercolor paintings over and over again?
Instead, I loved trying new creative crafts and offering tutorials on the blog. I would earn money from affiliate sales and ad revenue and I got to have a taste of that creative life.
But, to be honest, that craft blog wasn’t really all I could have done to really make an income as a creator that would have sustained me.
There 10 creative online business ideas I’m about to tell you about are that.
10 Creative Online Business Ideas
#1 Teach Knitting (or any other craft!)
I’m going to use knitting as an example here, but this could apply for pretty much any craft that people are interested in.
If you are an expert knitter you could knit things and sell them. You could probably make a very decent living doing that, actually.
But do you know what would be an even better idea?
Teach other people that skill that you have! One of our students at Pocket Business, Nancy Queen from Noble Knits has done just that.
She started with a blog about knitting. She wrote about knitting, offered knitting patterns and eventually, she created a course that taught others how to knit.
Her blog was already making some money from ad revenue and affiliate sales, but what pushed her over the top (10k+ a month!) was when she decided to create her first knitting course.
You can learn more about Nancy in this video. She’s got a great story.
#2 Creative Membership
A great alternative to a course like Nancy’s is a creative membership.
Rather than creating one giant course on one particular topic, if you’re like me and your interests tend to be more varied, you could start a Creative Membership.
Let’s take Lia Griffith for example. I’ll give you a second to go drool over the crafts there for a minute. Don’t forget to come back here.
Now, before you get super intimidated by that site, just know that no business ever starts out like that.
The way Lia Griffith works is there is a monthly membership fee to get access to the full tutorials for those amazing crafts.
If you are a crafter, this is a no brainer. They are hands down some of the most beautiful projects you’re going to find and they are all conveniently in one place for you.
Easy, Peasy and Fun is a slightly less intimidating example. These are kids paper crafts and again there is the membership option.
What I love about the idea of creating a Membership is that you get to experiment with new types of creative mediums. Each month could be a different theme. The options are only limited by your imagination.
And, as a business person, a monthly membership means steady monthly income and that is always a good thing.
#3 Etsy Shop
I love Etsy. So much handmade goodness!
I wrote for a home decor blog for a year and let me tell you, people love to buy stuff from Etsy. There is something, as a consumer, very special about getting something that is unique and/or handmade.
It’s that creative force in us that drives us to craft fairs and bazaars and sites like Etsy. If we can’t make it ourselves, we can at least know that some other set of hands did.
So, if you are one of those people that has the love of creating wreaths, or embroidery or jewelry or about a million other artistic things, then selling those items might be an excellent option for your creative online business idea.
And what’s great about Etsy is that you don’t have to stick with physical products.
There are tons and tons of digital products that you can purchase from Etsy. Still made by an individual artist, but available digitally for you to download and print.
There is artwork, party decor, planner pages, stickers, invitations, home decor…
The digital products are great because you make them once but they can be purchased and downloaded over and over again.
#4 Sell Your Art
Remember that set of watercolors that we talked about that is in the drawer? There could be money in there, you know!
There are lots of place where you can sell your Art. Etsy is an excellent place to do it. Its economical and it’s a well trusted site.
You do have the responsibility of shipping and all of that not so fun stuff.
You could also start a blog and use that as a marketing tool to bring people to your Art who want to purchase it.
You can also look at something like Society6. Society6 is a site where as a consumer you can purchase items created by artists.
Artists upload their work to Society6 and then from there create wall art, mugs, pillows, tapestries and much more from their original artwork.
Artists earn a percentage of sales and can promote their work as they see fit.
If you’re selling your art then there’s probably also a pretty good chance that you could be teaching people to make their own art, by the way.
A watercolor course? Pencil drawings? Digital art? There are people out there like you who are craving a creative outlet, if they only knew how.
#5 Graphic Designer
Graphic Designers are in an excellent position to have their own creative online business.
Why you ask?
Because lots of people are starting their own online businesses who have know idea how to do graphic design nor do they care to learn how.
They need logos, social media graphics, icons, digital products and many other graphics for their business. So they are going to need a graphic designer.
Sites like Fiverr are a good way to start finding your first clients.
Online business owners are often DIY’ers at heart (they are building their own business after all) so many would probably be interested in learning how to do graphic design for their business from a seasoned graphic designer like yourself.
Kara from Simplifying DIY Design has done just that.
#6 Sell Photos
Just like online business owners need graphics for their site, they also need images.
We all know we can’t be just grabbing images from Google images to put on our site. We need to use properly licensed photographs from reputable stock image sites.
If you have good photography skills then selling photographs as stock images is an option for your creative online business.
Of course, if you have good photography skills, you could also have a future teaching other people how to take great photographs.
#7 Flip Thrift Store Finds
If you are a lover of DIY and making old not so great stuff look amazing again, then flipping thrift store finds might be a worthy creative online business idea for you.
Etsy is a great place to sell your refurbished thrift store stuff online.
DIY’s are also a great topic for a blog. There’s lots you can do with online tutorials and affiliate marketing to make money.
And, again, of course, if you have a passion and some skill for doing thrift store find makeovers, creating a course and teaching others how to do just that is a fantastic idea for a creative online business.
Food. I don’t know many things in the world that people are more passionate about than food. I mean, there’s a few, but food is right up there.
There’s a bunch of different creative online business ideas that you could do that involve food.
You could start a food blog and if food is what you really want to focus on, you should do that no matter what.
But the key is figuring out how to build a business around food that is more than just recipes.
Our student Rachel from This Crafty Home, creates meal plans and just had her first $10k month.
You could do a cooking for beginners course. You could find one particular type or method of cooking food and specialize in that.
You could teach cake decorating or how to make food as gifts.
People love food. If you can figure out a way to teach them something valuable that has to do with food, you will win.
#9 Write a Book
Author was probably on a lot of “what I want to be when I grow up” lists for little kids who loved to read.
I’m sure I’m biased, but there’s no other feeling like filling a page (or screen) up with words. Putting together sentences to form an idea or story that just wasn’t there before.
It didn’t exist until you created it.
I suppose it’s the same for an artist in front of a blank canvas.
If you have a passion for writing then you are a creator and there are a couple of different options for your very own creative online business.
You could write a book and self publish it. Amazon is full of these self published books. You’ve probably read some (I know I have).
#10 Start a Copywriting Business
Just like we talked about with Graphic Design and Photography, copywriting is a highly desireable skill in the world of online business.
Copywriting is one of those things that you probably weren’t ever taught in school and you can kind of tell when you are looking at good copy, but you’re not really entirely sure if you could replicate it yourself.
And online business owners rely very heavily on really good copywriting.
Here’s an example. Remember Rachel, who sells meal plans? Her meal plans are amazing. Top Notch. The Best.
But if she’s not a good copywriter (she is, but pretend she isn’t), she’s going to have a very hard time convincing anyone to purchase her meal plans. If she doesn’t know how to structure a good landing page and target the right emotions in her customer, they will probably not be clicking that buy now button.
But she could hire a copywriter to do that for her. If this is where your creative skill lies, in copywriting, then it is an excellent creative online business idea for you.
It’s also another example of a great skill to teach others. Copywriting helps creatives make money. If you can teach creatives how to write better copy, they will very likely be willing to give you money to learn that.
What I Really Want You To Know About the 10 Creative Online Business Ideas
You might have noticed a theme. A repititive idea that I tried to drive home over and over again.
If you want to start a creative online business, one of the most effective ways to do that is to teach other people the creative skill that you have.
People buy one thing and one thing only.
If you can improve someone’s life by teaching them to knit or write better copy or decorate cupcakes or create their own art, then that is the creative online business you should be building.
We can show you how.