How to Get Paid to Create Greetings Cards
Many of us could do with finding a way to supplement our household income at the moment and given our already hectic lives, the chances are that these ‘extra’ jobs would have to be tasks we could undertake at home, with a flexible weekly commitment that wasn’t dependent on us working certain hours.
One way to achieve this goal is to start thinking ‘outside the box’ - in other words, to broaden our perspectives and consider ideas which might previously have seemed a little crazy (if we had even considered them at all). One such suggestion is to think about whether you could get paid to create greetings cards - either by writing poems or messages or by coming up with the illustrations. Perhaps you could even do both? If this sounds like something that you’d be interested in doing, hopefully this article will provide a little more information about how you could get going.
Are there any particular skills required to create greetings cards?
If you wish to create greetings cards, the skills that are required will vary according to whether you are writing text or drawing (painting, collaging, etc.) the pictures.
If you are hoping to write text - including poetry - for greetings cards then you will need a solid grasp of written English and be able to communicate your meaning clearly and accurately when writing. Of particular importance is the need to be concise, as there is obviously a limit to how many characters a card can take while still leaving room for pictures and for the handwritten messages that people write inside. A knowledge of linguistic features such as alliteration will also be useful in order to be able to create short, snappy and memorable greetings. You will need to bear in mind the audience for your style of card at all times - there will be occasions for which humour and dry wit is necessary, but a card for grandparents to send to celebrate the event of their grandchild’s Christening, for example, would call for something quite different.
If you are hoping to create images for greetings cards then you will need to be confident that you are able to reach a high standard in your chosen medium. If you are going to send photographs, you cannot simply take them using your mobile phone and hope for the best. If you are going to develop illustrations you cannot simply scribble something on the back of an envelope and then be surprised when your submission is rejected. Take some time to play around and work out where your artistic talent lies, as you’ll be most successful if you work with your strengths rather than try and emulate someone else’s style.
How to get started
Get out there and visit as many greetings cards retailers as you possibly can. They are sold in an incredibly wide range of outlets, from service stations to gift shops to libraries to supermarkets. Once you start viewing the different ranges that are already out there, you’ll get a feel for where your own work would sit. You might find that you identify most with mainstream humorous cards. Your cards might sit better within a certain art gallery. Either way, knowing where you’re most likely to be successful is key.
Once you’ve identified where to pitch your work, you can go about trying to contact the greetings cards companies that currently commission that sort of card and enquiring about how to submit your cards to them. Please take note of whether the companies you are contacting accept unsolicited submissions, as not all of them will. Check out these sites for general information about how to create greetings cards and how to get in touch with companies that might buy your ideas.
Greeting Card Association - this is the association for the greetings card trade and has a lot of useful information.
Kate Harper’s blog - greeting card trends, gift design news and tutorials for professional writers and artists.
Stay abreast of the huge number of festivals that people take part in and don’t just limit your greeting cards to those which you yourself celebrate. Take the time to find out whether any of these festivals usually involve the giving and receiving of greetings cards and if they do, consider whether you could design an appropriate card. Widening your scope could be the key to you being employed as a freelance greetings card creator or not.
Other things to bear in mind
Once you start submitting your ideas, ensure that you keep track of them. State very clearly that your words and images are copyright, as it would be awful to get a rejection letter and then see your ideas be copied by someone else.
Make sure you have a PayPal account because once you start earning this may be the method via which you will receive your payments.
Think about how you could diversify. It is now possible to send e-greetings online (through websites such as this and this) and you might find that if you’re confident creating images digitally then you could submit your work to some of their suppliers. You could even record voice messages and and music to go with your cards! Whatever you end up doing, hopefully it’ll earn you some extra income and be a bit of fun as well.