An Artist’s Guide to Starting a Side Hustle on a Budget

Guest Post by Amy Collett from

As an artist, you’re undoubtedly passionate about what you do.
You get to create beautiful objects for others to appreciate. However, making a living while following your creative dreams isn’t always easy. If you’re strapped for cash, consider starting a side hustle, allowing you to earn money while still leaving time for artistic endeavors. This allows you to strike an ideal balance of following your dreams while maintaining a good quality of life.

Never pursued a side hustle before?
Read on for a quick guide on starting a secondary gig when you don’t have a lot of money to spare.

Photo Credit:

Select a low-investment business model

If you don’t have a lot of cash, you want to keep overhead expenses for your side hustle as low as possible.
There are many gigs you can pursue that don’t require a big upfront investment. Examples include blogging, dog walking, eBook publishing, and selling stock photos. You might also consider how you can leverage your artistic talents. For instance, you could sell crafts online.

Research the market to ensure your business idea is viable

To make sure your side hustle will actually earn you money, conduct a market research analysis. This involves scoping out the demand in the marketplace and seeing what competing products or services are available. If you’ve determined that your business idea is promising, go ahead and write a business plan. This document will help structure your side hustle, improving the odds of long-term success.

Consider setting your side hustle up as a formal business

If you’re going to start your own business as a side hustle, you should take care of some administrative basics first. ZenBusiness recommends registering your business as a formal legal entity, which can provide tax perks and help protect your personal liability. Other useful steps include registering for an employer identification number, setting up a business bank account, and selecting a “doing business as” or DBA name.

Look for opportunities locally and online

Whether you decide to set up a formal business or simply freelance to get your side gig going, you’ll have to hustle at the beginning. Leverage your local community and the internet to attract attention and get customers. You can connect with local businesses to promote your goods or services. When it comes to online opportunities, there are plenty of platforms where you can find work, like PeoplePerHour, LinkedIn, and GigSalad.

Use digital marketing to promote yourself

Digital marketing is another valuable yet low-cost tool you can use to help ensure your side hustle is a success. A strong internet presence starts with a stellar website and social media accounts that reflects your brand. The Manifest offers additional digital marketing tips for small businesses, such as leveraging email marketing and video marketing. These techniques are useful because they are also measurable, allowing you to see what works.

Expand your network to maintain your focus

As an artist, you don’t want to get lost in your side hustle and lose focus of your true passion. Networking with other creative types can help you keep your eye on your main interest. Find creatives like SunFreeStar to connect with. Sharing your passion for creativity with others who understand your mindset can be refreshing. Plus, you never know when you might be able to leverage your growing network to support your side hustle and your artistic pursuits. When you’re pursuing creative dreams, you don’t want to lose focus.

Getting a side hustle will allow you to concentrate on your artistic pursuits while supporting yourself financially.

For more content for artists, check out the Sun Free Star blog.

Amy Collett is a Personal Branding Strategist & Author of You, Exemplified: The Role of Personal Branding in Your Professional Life. Amy can be reached at

Cover Photo Credit: Burst –


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