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5 Ways to Make Extra Money as a Poet

If you enjoy writing poetry, chances are you’d like to use your skill as a writer to earn extra cash. Whether you’re a hobbyist who writes poetry in your free time, a creative writing student, or an aspiring professional poet, here are some ways to make extra money as a poet.


Start a poetry-print small business


Turn your poems into physical art pieces by starting a poetry-print small business. Create an Etsy account where your work is easily accessible to potential customers or consider selling poetry prints at local art markets. Whether you print your poems on high-quality paper to be used as wall decor, tote bags, or even mugs, this is a creative way to add to your income. Or, if printing on physical products isn’t financially feasible for you, sell digital options. Also, consider taking your creativity a step further by incorporating illustrations or photos into your poetry prints. 


If you have a poetry Instagram account, market your prints there by linking your Etsy shop in your bio and in stories. You might even want to partner with a fellow creative business owner by holding a collaborative Instagram giveaway to increase your sales. 


Create a poetry-themed podcast with a Patreon option


If you’ve been wanting to start a poetry podcast, now’s the time! Podcasts are a great way to create content that interests you, build an audience, and connect with poets. Whether you use this as a platform to showcase your spoken word talents, provide writing tips, or interview guests in the poetry space, as you grow, you can also make some extra cash by selling merch and offering a Patreon option with additional content for listeners. 


Write poetry at events or pop-ups


If you’re a fast, improvisational writer, consider writing poetry for patrons at local events or pop-ups. Whether you do a pop-up at a coffee shop or bookstore in your area, secure a booth at an arts festival, or are hired for an intimate gathering, freelance writing like this is a relatively low-cost way to start a small poetry business. Simply purchase a typewriter—preferably from the Tortured Poets Department—and some paper, and you’re ready to write customizable poems that customers will appreciate!


Submit your work to literary journals and magazines


See your work in print by submitting poems to literary journals and magazines that pay writers. If you’re just starting to submit your poetry to publications, consider researching independent journals or magazines. Although these publications might pay less than larger ones, consistently submitting your work and being published can help you build both your confidence and your portfolio, which could help you eventually be published in well-known, wide-reaching journals and magazines that might pay more. 


Market and sell your poetry collection


If you’ve written a poetry collection and you’re eager for your work to connect with readers, consider marketing and selling your book to earn extra cash. If you’d rather not sell physical copies yet, why not create an ebook that you can sell through Amazon, for example? Once your collection is ready to be purchased, market it through social media by creating content on Instagram, for example. 


While considering these options, think about choosing one or more that work with your personality, schedule, and budget.