Its a Hard Knock Life..For us (designers that it)
Freelancing as a designer these days is increasingly difficult, there’s a lot of competition around and a lot of freeloaders who want something for nothing, so how the heck can we as designer’s make money in this type of environment? Well the key is to be proactive and look for multiple avenues of revenue that other designer’s are failing to capitalize on. This article will illustrate 10 solid ways for Freelance Designers to earn money from doing what they love. Sit back, take a sip of that coffee on your desk and read through these pointers as they could be your lifeline when you eventually go Freelance, or if you have already taken the plunge, they could very well add some supplemental income to your monthly salary, and who doesn’t want more money right?
So onto the list, this is by no means a conclusive roundup of the only ways to make money as a Freelance Designer, but it is certainly a solid list of things that have worked for me as a freelancer, and i hope that you can use this article in a positive way to help fund your dream of becoming fully freelance.
1 Creative Marketplaces
Ever since the launch of Flashden in 2006 by founders Collis Ta’eed, Cyan Ta’eed & Jun Rung, the notion of the “creative marketplace” has exploded, with a multitude of websites aimed at allowing creative workers to upload their custom work for others to enjoy on their own personal or commercial projects. Envato i strongly believe started the movement, and their marketplaces are still to this day expanding, with Graphic River, Themeforest, Activeden & Audio Jungle being some of their most popular.
Another relatively new creative marketplace is Creative Market, they have came on to the seen within the last year and provide a similar service with new resources added daily.
2 Freelancer Websites
It seems like the most obvious one right? Get your presence out there on freelance websites, even if you have a steady stream of income from your regular clients, try out a freelancing website such as:
3 Start a Blog
One of the easiest ways you can earn some extra money during your time as a freelancer is by starting a blog. This can either be personal or commercial, but it obviously needs to be related to the field of design. Create blog posts about your recent design work, or if you have any big name clients coming up. The key thing here is to provide “value”, and something which people will want to share a million times over. Create posts which people in the design community would love to read, whether it be about a cool new Photoshop action pack or a book review. Examples of some great design blogs are below:
4 Guest Posts
Guest posting is one of the best ways to make money as a Freelance Designer, and you get paid well per guest post typically! A good example would be if you had a new technique to show people regarding CSSS3 & jQuery effects or perhaps a new photoshop effect that you want to write a tutorial about. These are perfect topics to write about and send in to a website such as Codrops, Nettuts and the plethora of design blogs out there willing to pay people for their work.
If you are passionate about your craft and feel like you could add value to a blog by providing them with content of your own, then that is a perfect opportunity for you to make some money. You get paid per post, and think about it this way. If you get £250 ($403) for a blog post, and you simply do one guest blog post per month, thats your phone bill paid for, your TV subscriptions, hosting & domain costs and even then there’s still some money left over for you to play with. So think about it that way, write some quality content and send it out to blogs, if you know what you’re talking about and you display this with passionate writing, you can earn some good money.
5 Mighty Deals Affiliate Program
MightyDeals are are a relatively new company that offer exclusive deals to web professionals and designers. You can sign up to their affiliate program here by scrolling to the bottom of the page. Here you can implement scripts to place on your site which pull through hundreds of deals for designers.
6 Start Your Own T Shirt Store
We live in an era where starting your own online business couldn’t be easier due to the amazing development in Ecommerce technology. One of the leaders in the field is Shopify
Shopify is extremely to use and you get access to hundreds if not thousands of Free Shopify Templates for use on your Business website. So if its T Shirts you’re selling then go ahead and search for T Shirt templates, and you will find plenty that match your description. Once this is done just use the great functionality that Shopify provides to upload your products, and edit your payment gateways (typically Paypal), and voila! You’re ready to start making some money. Click the image below to get started on your T Shirt Store!
7 Sell Your Own Prints
Its a classic way to make money in the design industry, but it can be a great one. If you’re a keen illustrator then why not sell prints of your work? Especially if you specialize in Wallpaper Patterns or Pure Illustrated Work that can be applied to multiple different things such as canvas prints, cups & mugs, stationary etc. Some of the websites below allow you to upload your own designs and start selling straight away & apply your designs to products.
8 Become a Youtube Partner
It might not seem like the most obvious one but it could be one of the most profitable if done correctly. Simply create videos for your craft, whether that be Photoshop/Digital Art, Photography, Arts&Crafts, Leather Making or Web Design, and give them titles that people would be interested in. Youtube generates a lot of traffic and if you have the slightest bit of personality, you can make money by signing up to become a Youtube Partner
This is not the main way i would go about making money as a designer, but it is a viable option for those who have high traffic blogs. Simply put an icon on your homepage or pages that get high amounts of traffic and label it “Send me a Donation”, if you regularly pump out great content, videos and resources, and have a loyal fanbase, then you will get regular donations. Try it out and see what works for you.
Many design blogs use BuySellAds to receive traffic to their own websites and generally its a successful method. If you have your own blog then simply sign up (if you meet their requirements of course) and allow your site to be listed in their network where thousands of potential advertisers can look you up and buy ads on your site.
Thats a wrap, folks!
I hope you enjoyed this article, the world of Freelancing can be extremely difficult, and these are some of the ways i have found to make some good money freelancing to ease the load of every day life such as bills, food, car insurance etc.