Why Residual Artist Profits Are Better Than Wages


Artist residual profits are better than wagesWhich do you think is more valuable, residual profits from an online art business or wages?  Which has more security over time?

This is a tough issue.

Our culture teaches us to expect wages for our time--the person who makes ten dollars an hour wants twelve, the attorney who makes a hundred dollars an hour wants to work his or her way up to two hundred, and so on.

Whatever the level, we’re talking about wages, or linear income.  Is your income linear or residual?

Here’s how you can tell.  Just ask yourself this question:  How many times do I get paid for every hour I work?  If you answered, “Only once,” then your income is linear--you are making wages.

Salaries offer linear income.  Doctors and dentists earn linear income.  Linear income is very time dependent--typically, when you don’t show up for work, or you take a day off, your paycheck stops.

Why Artist Residual Profits Are Better

With residual income (profits), you work hard once and it unleashes a steady flow of income for months or even years.  You get paid over and over again for the same effort. For instance, if you wrote an eBook about how to paint in oils and started selling it on your artist blog, then you would create residual income or profits.

You can sell the eBook tens of thousands of times, over and over again, without any more effort on your part.

I get emails from people almost every week who have been let go by major companies. They write that they are angry because, after twenty or twenty-five years of working for security, they are now left out in the cold.

No matter how wonderful your company is, if you’re making a linear income, you are not secure; you only have the illusion of security.

Working as an employee, with no connection to the profits you help bring in, is not security.  It’s just the illusion of security.

You can work for linear income and still create residual income in other ways.  Internet marketing, visual arts, and blogging are just a few of the ways that offer artists potential residual income.

I created Smart Art Marketing Pro to help artists create a strong based of residual profits from an online art business.  You can start out very small just like I did, and with no money, and build an online art business that will generate residual income in your spare time.

Something changes when you start working for profits rather than wages.  I’ve seen the guy who’d always been too tired to go to work become motivated to stay up all night writing his first art blog posts.  Or the woman who’d felt depressed and exhausted all week spend forty energetic hours on the weekend writing her first eBook.

I’ve seen a person’s attitude, voice, and face change when he or she starts to embrace this new way of working.  The possibility of profits is empowering and releases the deepest reserves of creativity and energy.

Working for wages is limiting--the temptation is to do the very least to maintain the predictable and limited reward.

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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Svtlana Koslov

    Not sure on the specifics of the artist you’re referring to but I still like the distinction between residual income vs wages… I never liked working for wages as it’s very fleeting, yet on the other hand I’ve been having sleepless nights working on my blog to create residual income for me and future family

    1. Gary Bolyer

      Hi Svtlana,
      Thanks for your comments and input. It is challenging to create a solid base for residual income on the internet. There is a lot of trial and error, and some sleepless nights along the way. But in the long run, this is the most rewarding path, both financially and otherwise.
      Thanks again,

  2. Paula

    Thanks Gary,
    With some of my watercolors, the original has yet to sell, but the income from prints and card sales, has paid me more than the price of the painting. My ego is slightly bruised, but I appreciate the income. Now I need to write that e-book….
    Best regards,

    1. Gary Bolyer

      Hi Paula,
      It’s always good to hear from you. I think it’s great that you’re selling your prints and cards on your site. It sounds like you’re on the right track here. Your original paintings should be priced very high, $2,000.00 and up.

      Keep in touch,

      1. Paula

        Thanks Gary,
        Interesting to get your perspective on pricing. Currently my originals are from $295 to $1295. Might be time for a price increase.

  3. svetlanakoslov

    Welcome! Love your blog and niche. Feel free to “guest blog” our blog for some juicy backlinks.

  4. Simon Brushfield

    Hi Gary, Totally agree with your article. That’s why I have been very diligently working to improve the marketing of my art business over the last few years. Reading your ebook has been very helpful. Great to connect with arty like minds and I look forward to a continued successful online relationship. Thanks, Simon Brushfield

    1. Gary Bolyer

      Hi Simon,
      Good to hear from you again. Glad you are enjoying the articles, blog posts, and my ebook. Keep us posted on your successes.
      Thanks again,

      1. hillaryscottart

        Gary, this article really resonates with me. It explains why I have always fought hard to avoid being an employee. I am working hard to market my artwork to create the residual income you speak of. The excitement of knowing there is no limit to where I can go with my creative career is priceless. And thanks for validating my original art pricing at $2,000.00 and up even though I haven’t been able to sell anything yet. (I occasionally will sell a print though)

  5. littleironhorse1

    It took me six years to start making residual income from my blog. I’ve learned a lot over this time, started another blog that is has becoming an earning business. But this has come with commitment to hard work and daily effort. There is no get rich quick scheme. Nothing works like commitment to hard work.
    I certainly appreciate and agree Gary with how you differentiate between wages and residual income. A great point.

    1. Gary Bolyer

      Keep up the good work. Looks like you are right on track.

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