Web Design & Dev

Passive Income for Designers – 10 Ideas to Get Income with no Further Work

Mary Jones 28 August, 2020

Working as a designer can be quite rewarding, and it is an amazing way to realize your creative potential. When we talk about designers in the contemporary era, it is not just limited to people operating in the artsy side of the business, it includes everyone from graphic designers to web designers. As fulfilling as this profession might be, one of its key issues is its uncertainty, especially for freelancers. It is a whole other struggle to look for clients and that too reasonable ones. Now, a great remedy for this is to look for passive income, which can be a nice little way to complement your main income. So we are here with some of the best and easiest passive income ideas that can aid your income, be it passive income for graphic designers or passive income for web designers, we have got you covered.

passive income for designers - tips

Upgrade Your Rejected and Unused Designs

This is probably the easiest passive income idea for designers. While dealing with your clients, you must have accumulated a lot of designs that you thought weren’t good enough or the ones which didn’t work out. Now instead of throwing away your hard work, you might want to remodel them and actually make money out of it. You don’t have to necessarily have to use them as designs themselves, but you can turn them into other forms like print or reusable stock art and sell them on crowd platforms. It’s a great way to make cash without much extra effort.

If you are feeling more adventurous, then look out for platforms that hold logo-making competitions and designing competitions and enter your original artwork in those competitions. Websites and organizations across the globe hold such competitions around the year. These are again a great platform where you can put your unused designs to use, and if they are good enough, you might make good money off them. However, before you enter your work in such competitions, ensure that the sites and platforms are credible and not scams.

Build Software

Again this might not be the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of ideas for passive income for designers, but this side hustle can be lucrative if you are ready to put in some effort. It’s okay if you don’t know about the technical know-how, just team up with someone who is an expert in that field. Research and see what some of the key marker requirements are and develop something simple that can be an effective solution to such problems. It can be quite a simple endeavor. You just need to do your research and explore various design tools, and you will be able to find means for monetization everywhere.

Use Blogging

This may appear to be a weird proposition since content writing and blogging is a different genre altogether. Now surely, it is a different field that requires a separate skillset. However, here you are not promoting something you are unaware of or don’t believe in. You will be blogging about your field of expertise. This can turn out to be a good source of passive income for designers.

blogging as passive income for designers

You can write about how to create a certain piece, a particular technique, or about design in general. If you don’t feel confident as of yet to start your own blog, you can write as a guest a blogger on sites that pay you to write blogs. However, a better idea is to have your own website and blog. This is in fact a great opportunity at passive income for web designers. They are already equipped with knowledge of web designing. They can create a great website for themselves where they can showcase their designs, write blogs that can attract traffic and traffic can get eventually transformed into leads as well.  you can allow for advertisement on your blog as well to earn some quick cash. However, one must remember that it is not an overnight process. Having a website or blog that generates significant revenue is a long-term endeavor. It won’t bring you within days. One has to build up their audience, engage with them, and keep improving and working on it so that it becomes capable of generating revenue.

Further, remember your blog or website is your asset. It is a great place to showcase your portfolio and it can be a great way to attract clients.

Teach and Share Your Expertise

Another great idea that surfaces when it comes to a passive income for designers is teaching. If you are an expert in your field and you’re ready to pass that expertise down then opt for teaching your craft. The ed-tech market is booming and there is a huge demand for people wanting to learn a new skill or touch upon their existing ones. There are multiple platforms where you can enroll yourself as a teacher and start teaching. However, if you are apprehensive about joining such ed-tech platforms because of the amount of commitment it demands, then you of course can start your endeavor. Start a YouTube channel, start putting up tutorial videos, host webinars. Let your friends and family know about your initiative, spread the word to build your audience.

sharing expertise by designers

However, this endeavor again requires some serious effort. You are taking on the responsibility of teaching somebody a skill or craft, and to be able to do that, you yourself need to work and learn constantly so that you are updated. This may not be the easiest passive income source, but it surely can be the most lucrative one if one puts in serious effort.

Make Designs Dedicated to Your Passive Income

If you are serious about making money through your side hustle dedicate a part of your time and attention to that endeavor exclusively. Focus on digital marketplaces like creative markets or design cuts and try to understand what is working and what is not. Try to decipher trends and then start doing your homework to work on designs that will sell. In today’s digital age, everything is sold online, starting from Photoshop effects to logo designs. Sometimes agencies maybe have a tight budget, and they cannot always afford a designer. They turn to these digital marketplaces to fulfill their requirement in such situations. If you are looking at ideas regarding passive income for designers and have not thought about these digital marketplaces, you are missing out on some good income-generating means.

Benefit from Consultancy

Again, It is a source of passive income for designers who don’t need big investments. Create an online platform where clients can contact you for your service. Build a great website to create that lasting first impression, and since you are just starting out at it, make sure that your consultancy fee is reasonable. Once you have established yourself in the field and have earned some credibility for yourself as a design consultant, then you might consider revising your fees.

designers and consultancy

Sell Merch As a Great Source of Passive Income for Designers

Again this idea might seem very overwhelming as selling products and accessories is different from selling designs. Yes, sure, it is, but before you get ahead of yourself and start thinking how crazy this idea is, just sit back for a moment and try to understand what this exactly entails. Yes, you will be selling products, but the products are ultimately going to have your own design. So for example, if you decide on selling a t-shirt, you will be selling your design on that t-shirt, and that is what people are going to pay you for. You don’t have to go all out at the very beginning and start selling everything from t-shirts to wristwatches. Start as a small business. Begin with selling small items like key chains and fridge magnets.

Try out different designs. Initially, your customers are going to be just your friends and family. But fret not. If you are good enough, word will spread. The fashion and apparel industry has become very homogenized these days, where everyone ends up buying similar stuff. So if you can come up with some cool, out-of-the-box designs, people are going to love them. Once you realize that you have built a reasonable customer base for your products and there is a demand for your products, then you can go ahead and expand your business to make and sell more items.

selling products and accessories with designs

Consider Patreon

If you haven’t heard of it, then Patreon is basically a subscription-based service where you provide exclusive service to your subscribers. This a great way to earn some extra income.  Create regularly and interact with your subscribers and provide them with valuable resources so that, not only are they hooked to your service but they invite others to subscribe to your service as well. However, to maintain your subscribers, ensure you are consistent with your service.

Use Affiliate Programs as Passive Income

This idea of passive income for designers has the potential for generating income for you with very little effort.  The key here is to recommend such services to your clients which will have the potential to earn you some extra cash through affiliate pay-out.  As a designer, especially a web designer, it is a part of your job profile to recommend hosting platforms, tools to your clients. So while you are at it, why not make some money out of it.

Hypothetically let’s consider you are looking for sources of passive income for web designers. So instead of giving the option to your clients that they can choose any web hosting platform that they like you could recommend or even make it mandatory for them to sign up with that very host which has an affiliate program through which you can earn some extra cash. However, under all circumstances, always be true to your customers. So make sure that the hosting platform with which you will working and hence recommending to your clients, is good enough and it provides quality service. If you are looking for recommendations for such web hosting platforms then Bluehost and SiteGround are great platforms.

For graphic designers too, there are ways to earn some affiliate income. So if you are crazy about a certain design resource, and can’t stop recommending that your friends then consider making some money out of it. There are design resources that will pay you if you people to buy or sign up for their source. One such great platform is Abode products.

So do your research and you will be able to come up with more credible and quality sources that will help you earn a decent affiliate income.

Sell Themes

Creating and selling themes seems to be one of the most upcoming and lucrative activities that designers are diving into. This is a great source of passive income for designers.  If you are looking for platforms where you can start selling themes then theme forest might be a great option. It is the world’s biggest digital marketplace for themes. This and many other digital marketplaces are great platforms for new or experienced designers to be able to showcase and sell their themes. The best part is you don’t have to have a degree, or certification to be able to do this. If you have the expertise and creative ability then you are good to go. A lot of designers have made significant money by creating and selling themes and once you have a good number of themes out there, then you can earn money even via selling your pre-existing themes and not even create new ones for a while.

So, there you go, 10 sources of passive income for designers. Explore these sources, do your research and you will be able to crack your way to a steady source of side income.

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Tags: passive income; designer
Author: Mary Jones
Mary Jones is the co-founder and editor-in-chief at TopMyGrades, which focuses on career counselling for university students in the US, Canada, UK and Australia. Mary has conducted a series of tutorial sessions pertaining to marketing assignment help to guide students write better in University assessments. She has extensive content editing experience and has worked with MSNBC, NewsCred and Scripted in the past. She has also authored blogs on Lifehack.org, Wn.com, Medium.com, Minds.com and many more digital publications.