Everyone like’s a little bit of extra money. Whether or not you need it, it is always good to have in the case of an emergency. In the modern world it is much easier for designers to make money than you may think. Some of these ideas might take longer than others, but with some creativity, perseverance, and a bit of motivation it won’t be hard for you to earn a solid amount of extra cash as a designer.
In this post we share a whole list of unique ways for designers to make extra money. From simple things like selling stock photos or stock graphics, to creating an entire website, we share some pretty hefty tips to help you get started on your pursuit to making some extra money.
Selling Stock Graphics & Themes
Selling stock graphics is one of the best ways to earn cash on the side, especially if you are really busy. Crack a pot of coffee on the weekend, work well into the night, and voila you can have a mini store open and ready for business. With sites like creativemarket and the envato marketplace it is extremely easy to earn some cash selling templates. Here are some ideas to get you inspired on what items you can submit.
- Sell HTML, WordPress, or E-commerce Themes.
- Sell icons or other design resources.
- Sell code snippets or plugins.
- Sell textures or brushes.
Writing & Sharing Your Knowledge
Writing is the perfect way to express your opinion, share some advice, and learn a new thing or two. When writing as a designer, there are so many different avenues you can take. Even a beginner can write about design and/or development. In fact, it is a good idea to do so. You can learn more, and you will learn faster. Here are a few ways you can write to earn a bit of extra money.
- Write for a blog or design website.
- Write an e-book or hard copy book.
- Write tutorials or tips for other designers.
- Start a design magazine or inspiration source.
Helping Other Businesses
This tip should really be for designers with a bit of experience, however if you are still quite new it may be good to do this as an exercise to work on your skills. Helping other businesses with design consulting is a great way to make some extra cash. Consulting is basically providing expert advice to a business or person who may be less experienced in certain topics. In the case of designers this could involve many different things, here are a few examples.
- Consult a business about it’s marketing design materials.
- Consult other designers and help them improve their design work.
- Become a UI & UX consultant.
- Help small businesses improve their websites or design work.
This works best if you have a large audience such as a blog or email list, but anyone can partake in it. Affiliate promotion is the act of promoting products with a unique affiliate link that you promote with. The great thing is, a ton of design marketplaces and hosting providers offer you to promote or resell their products for a share in the profit. Here are a few great marketplaces that allow it.
- Have a design, developer, photography, or musical audience? Try the Envato Marketplace Affiliate Program, it is amazing.
- Like sharing design resources? Try the Designmodo Affiliate Program.
Start A Job Board
You probably will need a website or forum with significant traffic in the design community to do this. Basically a job board is a place where companies can pay to submit jobs for designers and developers to apply to. This is the perfect thing you can easily set up on your website or blog that is relatively simple to run. Take a look at these inspiring job boards to see how the pros do it.
Design Physical Products
For those of you who have experience with print design or clothing design this is a great way to make some cash. Designers can make money by designing t-shirts or sweatshirts. Or you can make a poster or design phone cases. Check out these sites where you can sell your physical product designs.
- Threadless - Clothing, t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc.
- Etsy – Arts & Crafts, clothing, jewelry, and more.
- Society6 - Posters, phone cases, other print works.
Conclusion & End Notes
Designers have to do what they do best in order to earn some extra cash: get creative. All of the examples above are excellent ways to get started, but these are not the only ways. There are so many different things a designer can do. Simply expanding your skill-set can open many new doors for you as a designer looking for more money. Feel free to share some ways you earned money in the comments below.
Also now that you have some basic knowledge of how to earn side cash, check out these tips for improving your portfolio so that you can also earn some more freelancing!
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