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A lot of graphic designers are searching for ways to earn money as a freelancer. As per a report by IBISWorld, the graphic design sector has been developing for the last 5 years, and now freelance graphic designers account for nearly 90% of the industry.

Here in this article, we will be discussing several ways to earn money as a freelance graphic designer.

As a freelancer, you have complete freedom to manage your time and work. And that can be employed to boost income. There are loads of ideas to earn money on the internet.

A few of these ways might require you to work beyond your comfort zone. However, they are excellent methods to help you sharpen your skills, improve your thinking power, choose your flaws and strengths, and use that to enhance your income supply.

Here are 5 methods to earn extra income as a freelance graphic designer. Let’s examine each of these approaches and understand why you must apply at least one of them to earn money.

A. Market Your Digital Products

1. Sell Comics and Graphic Novels Online

Comics designing is a multimillion-dollar industry. Hundreds of comic books are released every month.  And it shows that people admired this art form, and most importantly, they are willing to purchase it. 

You will get the chance to have a market share by selling digital novels and comics. And doing this will help you dodge the hurdles of a traditional publisher.  You don’t have to pay for physical stores or request people to pay shipping charges for online orders.  

2. Sell Printable Coloring Books

You can showcase your designing skills by creating coloring books. Surprisingly, in the year 2015, around 12 million adult coloring books were sold across the world. And, some sellers even make profits up to $329,000 that year. 

Now, some people state that the trend is gone, however, Forbes has claimed that it might not be completely true.

Kinds and adults still adore coloring. However, rather than purchasing it from traditional publishers, they like to buy from a small self-publisher. 

3. Sell Icons & Web Elements

Graphic and Web Design

Photo Credit – Pexels.com

With over 200 million active websites noticed online, businesses crave to stand out from the crowd. And the best way organizations can showcase their USPs is by using unique icons and custom designs that support them narrate their brand story.

Moreover, custom designs are the latest web design trends in the market. With more and more websites launching online, the requirement for custom web designs will continue to evolve. 

Consequently, selling icons and design packages online is a great approach to earn money as a graphic designer. 

4. Design your Fonts

Font style is an imperative part of a website. Especially when businesses spend extra effort on stuff such as user experience and readability.

As per the Monotype, companies selling fonts as a core product noticed an increase of 16% in sales in comparison to the previous year. 

Fonts not only play a crucial role in branding but also become an important part of UX. You can offer your innovative fonts for sale. And as a freelance graphic designer, this is the best way to earn money.

5. Sell Highlights Covers for Instagram 

Nowadays everyone understands the importance of having a great social media presence. Also, people have recognized the significance of high-quality and eye-catchy visuals to draw and engage followers.    

Facebook is still the most prominent social platform in terms of daily active users, however, Instagram is giving a tough competition to the platform. 

Instagram is a social platform where visuals matter a lot, and if you are looking for a platform to showcase your designs, then this is the best platform for you!

Apart from designing visuals for the Instagram feed, a feature that is trending right now is Instagram Highlights Covers. It’s really important for a brand or business when people visit the profile. 

So, you need to jump in on the trend as it hasn’t become too competing.

6. Sell Emojis, Stickers, and Emoticons Online

With over 60 million emojis shared on Facebook messenger every day and almost every Instagram post incorporating emojis, it’s visible that people prefer communicating through visuals.

And if people love communicating through visuals then clearly brands will utilize it to make money.  When micro-blogging websites twitter launched branded emojis in 2015, various companies instantly launched their custom emojis and logos. More than 250 organizations have already designed their customized emojis, which include brands like Chevrolet, Taco Bell, and Coca-Cola. 

Emojis have become an integral part of everyday communication. And the trend will continue to grow. Brands are looking for creative and funny emojis, emoticons, and stickers for their marketing. And that’s where your role comes into play. Design and sell emojis, stickers, and emoticons to help organizations showcase their USPs.

7. Sell Ebooks and Resume Templates

Resume Sample

While many people still prefer reading print books, Ebooks have gained popularity in the digital world. According to the data by Statista, user penetration is anticipated to reach 17.8% by 2024. Which means that ebooks are here to stay.

Ebooks can help you to sell your graphic designing knowledge and skills. You can create a complete step-by-step guide for beginners in graphic design. 

Moreover, you can also design a brilliant guide to product branding. Whichever method you prefer to sell, there is no uncertainty that your ebooks will sell like hotcakes.

However, there is a huge demand for ebook templates in the market. 

Therefore, selling pre-designed templates is an excellent idea of making passive income. Besides this, you can also sell resume templates. They are quite famous as well.

8. Sell Printable Wall Art

Recent research has shown that the global market of home decor is continually rising by approximately 20% a year. Moreover, organizations that sell custom-printed products proclaimed that posters are one of the best-selling products for them, with thousands of items of wall art sold each year.

As long as organizations and people will shift and refurbish spaces, decorating products such as posters, wall stickers, and canvases won’t leave the top-seller position. However, wall stickers and posters don’t imply that you need to print and dispatch the product to customers.  Instead, you can dodge the trouble and provide downloadable print files to the customers.

9. Sell Party Decorations Online

In the era of social media, people are emphasizing mainly on decorations. Nowadays, people are spending up to $250 on decorations for their kids’ birthday parties. Moreover, couples are spending up to $2000 to ensure their weddings seem picture-perfect.

So, It’s the perfect time to utilize this trend to make passive income. Apart from making money as a freelancer, selling party decoration materials online can also provide you limitless opportunities to prove yourself.

You need to focus specifically on:

  • Party themes such as superheroes, disco, tea party, etc.
  • Style (e.g. retro, minimal, the 20’s).
  • Type of party (e.g. birthdays, weddings, bachelorette party).
  • Age Group (e.g. adults, teenagers, toddlers).

There is no restriction on your creativity and earning prospects.

10. GIFs

Animated images have become one of the top trends in the market. From 

From narrating stories to showing emotions, now GIFs are accepted by almost everyone and everywhere in the digital world.

With the arrival of GIFs stories on Instagram, several brands on the platform considered them as a new way to enhance brand awareness. Consequently, they began sharing customized GIFs for everyone.

Presently,  organizations are searching for GIFs to buy and for communication purposes. Therefore, if you love producing moving graphics, this is the perfect time to sell your GIFs and start earning money with it.

11. Curated Templates Program

A great way to build your portfolio while making passive income could be joining a curated template program. It’s a program presented by website builders like Zyro, for creating website templates for the platform.

All you have to do is register, get approved, design a template with the builder’s easy-to-use drag and drop tools, and upload it. Once your template is approved and live, you’ll be earning revenue from it.

With a gig like this you won’t only earn, but expand your portfolio with big-name website builder brands, and get a chance to improve on your user experience and web design skills. By the way, you don’t need any coding knowledge.

B. Offer Courses and Services

12. Freelance on Upwork

Time Management Tips for Freelancers

Freelancing could be the best option for you if you have a diverse set of graphic designing skills. And to find graphic designing related work, Upwork could be a great source for you.

With plenty of jobs related to each skill, Upwork is one of the best freelancing platforms. After creating your account, you can easily search graphic designing jobs through its search function. 

It’s really simple to find a suitable freelancing job through Upwork.

Freelancing might not be a dependable option to earn a steady income, but it’s the perfect way to gain some positive feedback and build your reputation. 

13. Business Branding

Business branding has gained huge popularity in recent years. As business owners and startups are looking for skilled designers that help them to build a strong visual identity.

From creating Logo design to business cards, designing significant elements for a new brand is one of the best ways to use your skills and earn money. You will not only have a remarkable portfolio, but it will also ensure excellent future opportunities. 

Moreover, business branding can offer you emotional rewards as well, particularly if a brand becomes popular globally—a lot of people will appreciate your artworks and aspirants will start getting inspiration from you. 

14. Offer Graphic Designing Classes

If you are not into selling designs or freelancing, then online tutoring might be the best option for you. The growing demand for online courses is a sign that people are interested in acquiring skills from the comfort of their homes. 

Initially, aspirants have to manage their routine to join a local course near to their societies. However, with the arrival of online tutoring, the exertion of people to manage time and learning simultaneously has ended. 

So, if you are a skilled graphic designer with outstanding designing skills, you can sell courses online through platforms like Udemy and Skillshare. 

15. Sell Merchandise

Presently, selling merchandising has become one of the quickest ways to earn money. Possibly the main purpose relies on how assuring the prospect seems to an entrepreneur. 

However, not all companies will end up putting their own merchandise on sale, most of them have considered it at some point. 

According to the recent stats by Statista, clothing, and accessories based online retail businesses are predicted to produce revenue of $194.4 billion by the year 2024.

In fact, the growth in dropshipping has shown that selling merchandise has never been easier. Presently you can actually begin an e-commerce shop, upload print files, and create anything you wish to sell.

Here are a few ideas:

  • T-shirts.
  • Sweatshirts.
  • Mugs.
  • Tote Bags.
  • Jackets.
  • Tank tops.
  • Leggings.
  • Stickers.
  • Accessories.
  • Pillows.

16. Wedding Stationery

graphic designing wedding stationery

Besides merchandise, You can go local and showcase your designing skills by selling wedding stationery. The possibility of getting success is quite high in this business. as long as marriages happen, there will be a huge demand for superbly designed wedding invitations.

The business is relatively cost-effective and it can be run part-time till it becomes profitable.

If you have decided to choose a traditional brick and mortar way, you can either take the help of local print shops or start creating hand-painted cards. 

You need to ensure that you have a website and portfolio where your people can order products and pay for the designs.

17. Start a Monetized Blog

Blogging is one of the most used means to earn money online. It’s super easy to start your blog- all you need is a domain name, hosting, a platform, and a theme. 

As a graphic designer, you can start your graphic design Blogs. Through this blog, you can share your personal experience, graphic designing tips, and inspirations for designs. 

However, consistency along with high-quality content is the only key to achieve success with blogging.  Moreover, if you are aware of the SEO practices and monetize your blog, then your blog content will be viewed and shared by a lot of people. High-quality content will ultimately result in a loyal audience for several years to come.

Along with SEO, you need to connect your blog with multiple social media platforms. For example, a famous Facebook page can boost your followers. 

Furthermore, You can also sell graphic design-related products or services through your blog. 

18. Create a YouTube Channel

If you are camera-friendly and know how to interact with your audience then creating a Youtube channel could be the best option for you as a graphic designer. 

If you wish to build a channel and expand your subscribers’ list, Youtube is undoubtedly the most suitable option to try. Presently, thousands of creators are earning a great income through this platform. 

Here are a few ideas you can try out:

  • Vlogs regarding your experience as a graphic designer.
  • Logo creator tools reviews.
  • Album cover maker tools reviews.
  • Art supplies reviews.
  • Designing videos.
  • Graphic design tutorials.
  • t-shirt design tutorials.
Written By
Henny Kel is a graphic, web designer and blogger with over 6 years of experience, and he currently works as a Digital marketing strategist & Brand Consultant at Designhill. He is very passionate about anything related to design and spends copious amounts of time hidden behind a book or a screen and reading about design.

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