How do digital artists make money?


As an artist and entrepreneur I wanted find a way I could be making money with digital art and digital products; earning a passive income from my art. I researched ways I could make money from my existing artworks without having to make and sell original works each and every single time.

The problem was there were a lot of guides on earning a passive income with Digital Products but not a single one was geared towards artists.

So what are Digital Products?

Digital products are any product that you can produce electronically and sell a copy of it, over and over without actually having to make a physical version of it.

Think eBooks, online courses, guides, downloadable files etc.

Digital products are the easiest way to making money with digital art online.

Selling digital art online is usually the cornerstone to earning a passive income online, outside of print on demand services and direct marketing which does not usually apply to art based products.

I will also included digital versions of artworks such as digital prints that you have created such as scanned files or even digitally created artworks that can be printed off by a customer after they receive a digital file after making payment.

Can I make digital products?

Digital products are quite popular in the education space and also with marketers selling their knowledge and making a great income from it.

As artists we tend to think that people only want to buy our original works but that simply is not true.

We have a deep body of knowledge that many new artists and art lovers would love to know but don’t know who or how to ask.

We can sell in depth guides on how to perform a specific task or art hack. We can also sell digital art and digital copies of our artworks.

Digital Products are great for passive income

When we don’t sell digital copies of our artworks in different formats ready to be printed or we don’t write guides on how to produce artworks or we don’t think beyond selling original artworks then we are leaving a lot of money on the table.

I don’t know about you but I don’t subscribe to the romantic idea of the starving artist so I am hoping to be making money with digital art and original art plus for as long as I can – that’s where digital products can help.

Digital products for artists are quite easy to make, sell and deliver. They just require some up-font work.

When you utilize the services of 3rd party suppliers to create and ship your physical products, all you need to do is ensure you have everything set up and ready to go which satisfies my criteria for the “make money while you sleep” i.e. Passive income.

But I don’t know how to make or sell Digital Products!

In this guide, I will walk you through each step providing for each digital product idea, an explanation of:

  • What each Digital Product to sell online is
  • How to create the digital products to sell online
  • How to deliver the digital product to your art buying customers
  • How much to charge (rough guide)

Don’t be afraid to try at least one product idea and then add another as you get more comfortable. Some people do quite well focusing on just a few digital products.

The great thing about making money with digital art products online, is that these are mostly set and forget type products. You will only need to create them once and just manage the sale, not the production.

Before you start…

Before you start developing your art digital products, there are a few important things you need to know that will apply to all your digital products

  • What tools or app do I need to create a digital products?
  • How do I take an order for a digital product?
  • How do I take a payment for a digital product I just sold?
  • How do I deliver the digital product after I have received a payment?

How do I take a payment for a digital product?

The main thing you need to be able to do when making money with digital art is to actually be able to take the money you just made.

To do this you can use a variety of methods to process a payment and it depends on how you made the sale in the first place.

When you sell your digital products using Redbubble, eBay or Etsy you will see that these platforms already have a payment processing gateway built in and they will process all credit card payments for you.

They tend to either use a third party payment company such as Paypal to take the payment and store your funds for you or they do it directly.

Either way, you will need to have a bank account to allow them to transfer money to you.

Never leave your actual money inside these platforms. While they are safe they tend to have rules that could lock you out of your money if you fall foul of their policies.

Therefore, once you make $100 or more, transfer it to your account where it is safe.

Keep in mind that they may take a percentage of your earnings as a fee. Each one is different so you will need to do your research when deciding who to go with.

If you are using Shopify, Squarespace or Woocommerce then each will also allow you to link a payment gateway to allow you to take secure transactions using credit cards.

Here is a list of the payment gateways for the most common eCommerce platforms, you will find all of them take the usual types of payments from companies such as Stripe, Square, Paypal etc