This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

How to monetize your talent

The term "monetize" means to take something that you're already doing, and make money with it. Mostly it's a web term, but really it just means getting money for doing something that people are willing to pay for.

A "talent" is something that you're good at. It can be singing, or drawing, or throwing cards into a hat. We all have talents. Some of us aren't particularly talented at something, but we do it anyway. I play the piano. People have told me that I have a talent for it, but I know that I don't (I'm not pretending to be humble here, I'm pretty bad, and I know people who have a talent for piano). No one has ever offered me money to play the piano - they might offer it to make me stop!

If you have a talent, and people have ever said something like, "Dang, you're good!" it may be something that you can monetize. But the important thing is that this where you start - with your talent, not with thinking about money. If you get that backwards, your chances are slim to none for success.

Once you've determined that you have a talent that people like, you can start the process of ending giving it away for free. Speaking for myself, since I had a talent for drawing, it ended in high school when I worked on the yearbook. The following year I started my freelance Graphic Design business, which "monetized" my talents. It developed into a career in Graphic Design, and later a career teaching it.

Of course, some talents are considered to be more valuable than others. My talent to draw, and do design, was considered valuable to businesses who wanted to promote their company. If my talent had been, for example, throwing cards into a hat, I would imagine that I could have been the best in the world without attracting any attention, or money.

However, this is the age of the Internet, and YouTube. And even bizarre and obscure talents can catch the attention of an audience there. And while you should always be focusing on your talent, don't forget that people will need to be able to see it. Luckily, everyone can make videos nowadays, and uploading to YouTube is easy. If you haven't done it yet, shoot a video of your dog, and upload it, just for practice. You will find the most successful YouTubers did a lot of practice videos!

If you plan on monetizing through YouTube, be sure to select it when you upload your video. The money will be generated through ads. If you'd rather not do that, look into a site like Patreon, which will allow people to pledge money to you for your work. Of course, if you're really good, someone will discover you, and offer you the big bucks. I'm still waiting for that!

So get started, already!