As a designer, you might feel that your income is limited by what you’re able to charge for your hourly rate…and how many projects you can take on in a year.
And that means that, at some point, you’re going to hit a plateau.
If you want to earn more money, you usually end up taking on more gigs and working way too hard! In many cases, that work takes place around the other important things in your life, especially if you’re working from home: taking care of your kids, running errands, and chores around the house.
It’s enough to make a person go crazy and completely burn out!
If you’re looking to maximize your income without working 100 hour weeks, you should keep in mind not only your hourly rates, but also what opportunities for passive income for designers you can utilize to ensure that you’re bringing home the maximum possible reward for your work and expertise.
In the case of designers, “passive income” doesn’t mean that you aren’t putting forth any initial effort; and even capitalizing on that income may require that some work be done on a regular basis.
On the other hand, taking advantage of the opportunities for passive income for designers can help maximize your potential earnings and add to your overall income with minimal effort on your part.
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Create Regular Passive Income Through Your Designs
Many opportunities exist for design work that will keep sending income your way long after you’ve put in the initial work. By taking advantage of sites that allow downloads of pre-created templates and materials, you can do the work once, then sit back and allow the income to add up indefinitely. For example, you can:
Design a font
There are plenty of people who are always looking for new fonts to increase their font libraries. You can make your font available for download through sites that offer single licenses to individual fonts, or sell it to a font library as part of their package.
Even with the number of fonts currently available on today’s market, there’s always call for a new, top-notch font. This is particularly viable if you can design a new font for a niche market.
Create stock graphics
There are dozens of sites scattered across the internet that allow you to upload your graphics and allow writers to use them in their own work for a small fee. While a one-time use won’t accomplish much for you, if you create a graphic that sees regular use, you’ll have a steady stream of income that continues coming your way for quite some time.
Design website templates
You’ll discover quickly that there are “stock” website templates for almost everything, and most of the individuals in any given industry will use the same stock template.
What if you could create a new one that serves more functions than the current template and offers an ease of use or other options that aren’t necessarily found in the current industry? Once you’ve broken in, that template could be a source of passive income for a long time to come.
With a growing WordPress themes marketplace there’s even a way to design website templates on existing theme frameworks, which means you can cut down on development time!
Sell products and earn passive income for designers
These could be t-shirts, coffee mugs, or mouse pads–anything that allows you to display your design skills to their utmost. Again, this is particularly beneficial if designed for a niche market.
Create a product that is a must-have for everyone in a given niche (“geek art” is particularly popular across the internet, though you can choose the specialty that most appeals to you) and watch your product fly off the shelves.
You can also become an ambassador and sell website products like PopupAlly Pro.
Check out design contests
While these might not be a guaranteed form of income, design contests accomplish several things.
First, they bring your name and your designs to an audience that might not otherwise have seen them.
Second, they allow you to experiment with your preferred mediums and designs, rather than being restricted by a client’s demands.
Finally, design contests have the potential to add a significant line to your resume, which will put you a step ahead of the crowd when potential clients come looking.
Keep in mind, however, that design contests must be of a higher quality than most of your other work. You can’t just throw something together at the last minute when you’re competing with hundreds or even thousands of other designers; you have to put forth your best effort and impress the judges so that they’ll be sure to take note of your work.
Create Passive Income While You Write
The internet is filled with opportunities for putting content in the hands of people who need it–and most of those opportunities include the possibility for you to make money out of it.
There are a number of different ways you can add to your income through writing, including:
Writing your own blog
While many people find that writing a blog is time-consuming and difficult, others discover that they can bring in a moderate monthly income simply by maintaining a professional blog. Your blog should be updated regularly to help generate traffic.
You can make a reasonable passive income through ad clicks and affiliate purchases of items that you’ve reviewed or mentioned on your blog, especially since as a designer, you have the authority to review a wide variety of products.
The trick to maintaining an active audience is to keep your blog filled with fresh material, add posts that are relevant to current trends, and stay active on social media and other sites that allow you to connect with your potential audience.
It takes time to get your blog off the ground, but the effort you put in on the front end can have incredible results over the course of several months or years.
Your blog and/or website are also among your best marketing tools for your work. As a designer, you need to have examples of your work that are readily available for the public to view so what when a potential client comes your way, you have an online portfolio already in place that they can peruse at their leisure. Blogging also helps increase your exposure and shows your comfort and familiarity with your subject field, which increases your credibility in the eyes of potential clients.
While a brand new, shiny blog might not be that impressive, remember that you’re not just doing this for short-term gains. You’re doing it for the long-term gains that will generate both passive and active income over the months and years to come.
Writing guest posts for someone else’s blog.
The amount of money you can make through guest posting depends on the sites that you’re writing for, but it’s not uncommon for blogs to offer $50 or even $100 for well-written posts in a specific field.
Guest posting also gives you the opportunity to draw attention back to your blog or to your other projects. A well-written guest post can cause an increase in the attention people are paying to your work, and that’s always a good source of new business and income.
Writing an e-book.
In the design field, where trends are constantly changing and new techniques and technology come out on a regular basis, there’s no reason not to capitalize on the opportunity to produce an e-book. This is where all of that blogging experience will really work for you: write posts relevant to the material covered in your e-book, then reference your book either within the post itself or in the “about the author” section after each post.
Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is an easy platform that will allow you to put your e-book in the hands of potential customers all across the world, then sit back and allow the royalties to come to you. Amazon handles the payouts with no effort on your part: you simply set up your Kindle Direct account and upload your book.
Find out how to create a Kindle book, format it, and submit it to the Kindle platform with advice on how to market it so you get an initial rush of sales.
Want to take it a step further and make physical copies of your book available? CreateSpace allows anyone to create the option for physical copies of a book with no up-front cost. You can design your own cover and upload it to their program or use their “cover creator” program to create a custom cover for your book, decide on the size you want to publish, and set your own pricing and availability, all without leaving the comfort of your office.
Earning Passive Income For Designers Starts With a Choice
Working as a freelance designer has a number of advantages. You love being able to work from home, set your own hours, and work on the projects that you love the most. You just need it to bring in the same income you would receive working from a design firm or other office setting.
By maximizing your passive income earnings, you can improve your regular income and create new opportunities for your design business than ever before.