If you’re new to cosplay and uncertain how far the hobby can go, you might be wondering, do cosplayers get paid? The answer to this isn’t easy though. Some cosplayers do indeed get paid but there are others who don’t. It really depends on what you do in order to get paid. Money doesn’t just fall into a cosplayer’s lap because they put on a costume. They work hard to create a presence online and products to sell. Or others network hard to get hired.

While we’ve answered the question of do cosplayers get paid, we need to dig a little deeper. That’s why I’m going to answer how do cosplayers make money.

How Do Cosplayers Make Money?

Cosplayers have two ways of getting paid for their work. Either via active or passive income. We’re going to dive deeper into how cosplayers make money by breaking your options up into those two categories.

How Do Cosplayers Passively Make Money?

If hearing the term passive is leaving you confused, allow me to explain it. A passive income typically requires you make or set up something once and then revenue can be generated from it passively without you having to actively work on or fulfill sales. This can be very desirable for cosplayers if you’re still busy working a full time job or have too many cons to attend.

  • Digital products – Things like cosplay patterns, digital content, ebooks or any other item that can be listed on a store and downloaded by the purchaser is considered a digital product. These are a great way to make money as a cosplayer since you just have to upload your digital product to your store and then let people buy and download. The work behind these are very minimal after your product is created. Products like cosplay patterns can be sold on a variety of platforms like Ko-Fi or your own created storefront.
  • Blogs – While there is work in writing up blog posts, running ads or putting affiliate links into them can then go on to generate a great source of passive income. Amazon also makes it very easy to create affiliate links for a variety of products cosplayers use.
  • Merch – With sites that let you upload your design and take care of product fulfillment for you, merch is another great option for passive income as cosplayers. Such platforms include RedBubble, Amazon, Bonfire, TeeSpring and more.

How Do Cosplayers Actively Make Money?

Active revenue requires you make, fulfill or appear in order to get paid. These can require far more work and energy overall.

  • Content – Platforms like YouTube let creators monetize their content. This however requires you actively create new content to keep generating revenue.
  • Brand deals – If you get popular with cosplay on social media, brands may approach you asking for you to collaborate with them in exchange for payment. This can include crafting a cosplay for them to promote an upcoming film or game or promoting their products. These are sometimes one off brand deals or can be long term ambassador programs. Overall they will get you paid but require you actively create for it.
  • Conventions – Cons will pay cosplayers to appear or do further work at the show. These are great opportunities to get paid and even do some networking while on the expo floor.
  • Commissions or handmade products – Making cosplays to sell or taking commissions is another common way cosplayers get paid. However this requires a lot of work since you have to be available to create parts of or even full cosplays.

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: there may be a few links in this post that are affiliate links. Clicking these links or making purchases through these links can help support myself and this blog.