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10 Ways I Make Money As A Creative in 2021 – STARTING FRESH (Income Report)

by Cole
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After being a self employed creative for the past 4+ years,

I’m finally taking everything I’ve learned and implementing a strategy to diversify my income, teach what I know and make money off the value I can give through my personal brand.

Five years in the game has allowed me to acquire a particular set of skills (liam neeson style) that give me the ability to make money a minimum of 10 different ways. In this article, I’m going to list the ways I am working towards making money AND the ways I currently make money as a creative in this capitalistic society we live in.

I initially wasn’t going to create this article or video. I was just going to create an income report after January, but I figured in this new venture of bringing value this may be helpful beforehand. And ultimately, I want my growth to be visible. For once, I want to be able to look back and say to myself, “Wow, I did that.” So here we go.

1. Design

Over the years as I promoted myself as an artist & business, I had to learn design. It made much more sense to learn the basics rather than pay a designer. Fiverr designers aren’t good enough (the cheap ones), and I had no money. So there you go. Now I actually really enjoy challenging myself with design. I can’t draw, but it makes me feel like I can 🤦🏻‍♂️😇

TIP: Use Canva to see how others design things and build your skills off of that. Canva is cool because you can see the layers created when you use a template. And of course it’s so easy to use.

Ways I Monetize Design: Logo, flyers, real estate flyers, presentations, branding packs

2. Photography

Real Estate Photography was the first big money maker for me when I started my freelance journey. I honestly had 0 experience but went to YouTube University to learn all the ins and outs. Years later I feel like I’ve truly developed the eye, and it really helps me stand out.

TIPS: Real Estate Photography has got to be one of the easiest and most profitable ways to make money in the photography world. Especially if you get into the luxury end.

Ways I Monetize Photography: Real Estate, Portraits, Creative

3. Videography

Videography for me started in the real estate world, but as I got better and better, it translated to my YouTube and CLIENTS. I honestly could continued to build my business into a full production company at the rate it was going. I just didn’t really enjoy it. Even good paying gigs. I really just love making videos for myself 😉

TIPS: Joining a networking group was probably the most influential growth factor for my videography business.

Ways I Monetize Videography: Real Estate, Vlogs, Short Films, Commercials

If you’d like to work with me in any capacity, please just shoot me an email at cole@apollosbow.com.


The first three things on this list are how I’ve made a majority (97%) of my income sense I started my business in 2016. They’ve been responsible of over $200,000 of income over the past few years. When you start from nothing, that really is amazing. But 2021 is the year I transition away from content for others and focus on creating content that provides value and in turn funds more content. Here’s what I’m thinking:

4. Medium

I’m not going to talk about about how all of these will work together like I did here. But I am planning on creating content directly for medium while also using my blog content there as well.

If you don’t know Medium, check it out here.

Much like any social platform any one piece of content has the potential to go viral here. So we will see.

5. Blog

Every time I write a blog post I am building my SEO and giving new searches / people the opportunity to see not only my latest blog but also my past work.

For now, I have launched Google Adsense on my site which allows me to be paid by Google when people click ads that are on my site. It’s pretty simple to set up, and I’ve already generate $5 from it. That’s something!

6. YouTube

I’ve watched YouTube change so many people’s lives. It’s a pretty cool thing to watch. My first step to making money with YouTube is to get monetized which takes 4,000 watch hours and have 1,000 subscribers. I’m at 300 subs so we’ve got some work to do.

Much like Google Adsense, YouTube pays creators a percentage of their ad revenue. It’s a pretty cool system that I am excited to dive into! But first, content…

7. Real Estate

There are so many ways to make money in real estate. I’ll do some more videos on this in the future. I’m hoping to leverage my skills this year to really change my financial stability for the better.

Ways to Make Money in Real Estate: Wholesaling, Flipping, Short Term Rentals, Long Term Rentals, Helping Sellers / Buyers and more!

8. Music

Music has never been a profitable venture, but I still believe it can be. In one way or another, it benefits me to create. Money from music will be coming streams & purchases.

You can stream the latest here.

9. Sponsorships

Sponsorships can come in many forms, but for me, I’m thinking they will either be around the Cole Connor Podcast or sponsoring a YouTube channel. These would ultimately be ad placements that I custom create for my channel or podcast for people who pay me to aka sponsors 🙂

I’d like build some strategic partnerships this year so we will see.

Any business inquiries: cole@apollosbow.com

10. Shop

I’ll most likely do a video on this in the future, but for now, I’d like to continue building out my shop (and paid product) collections. People seemed to like this first collection so the goal is to begin to push this more and add on to it.

You can find the “EVERY DAY” collection here.


This is meant to be an overview of how I make money as a creative and how I will continue to in 2021. If you have any specific questions please don’t hesitate to ask. I’m here to help! More to come.

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