There’s more than one way to make great money as a designer. If you’d like to increase your design business’ income without dramatically increasing your workload, keep reading – you’re going to enjoy today’s post.
Start and maintain a blog
My personal favorite way of increasing your passive income is to run a successful blog. Blogging isn’t easy, and if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make money, blogging definitely is not for you. But if blogging sounds like an intriguing endeavor and an exciting way to make extra money for your design business, GDB is packed full of resources for designers who want to blog.
Sell wordpress themes (or other templates)
A somewhat obvious choice, but selling wordpress themes (or other templates) is a phenomenal way to make money. It may be difficult to design a theme upfront, but it brings you continuous income for the remainder of your design career.
If you’re looking for a place to start selling your themes or templates, I can highly recommend MojoThemes.com. I’ve worked with a few marketplaces and can highly recommend Mojo Themes.
The link above is an affiliate link. If you click through, find them as helpful as I have, sign up, and buy or sell, please email me so I can personally thank you for helping my design business grow. …That brings me to my next point…
As you saw demonstrated above, affiliate work can bring you some nice passive income as a designer. Affiliate work basically allows you to help other people sell their services or product for a percentage.
In the example above, I get a percentage each time anyone who clicks my affiliate link buys or sells on Mojo Themes. I am always careful to only use affiliate programs for products or services I genuinely believe in – which is a good word of warning if you’re interested in getting into affiliate work.
Sell or Recommend Site Hosting
If you’re a web designer, an easy way to make a few extra bucks on each project is to recommend or sell web site hosting. If you don’t mind managing the hosting yourself, offer to host your clients’ web sites. If you don’t want the headache of being the hosting tech service person, you could always recommend a particular service with an affiliate link like we described.
I personally recommend Dreamhost (notice, I always recommend it with my affiliate link) to my clients because of their super-easy one-click wordpress install and excellent customer support.
This is an area of passive income I have never personally invested time into, but if you’re a photographer, it works great, I’m sure. If you’re anything like me, you have all sorts of photographs sitting on hard drives in your office – not making you any money.
Take time to sort through them, find the best ones, and sell them on photography web sites. Since I have never done this one, I am going to call out all you photography-selling designers. If you’ve made any money selling your photos, please leave a comment and let us know how you did it.
Publish an ebook
If you have a moderately-trafficked blog or web site (or have a blogger who would be interested in selling your ebook) ebooks can be a great way to make extra money on the side.
The great thing about ebook sales is that you only have to create the content once. Then the product can sell for years into the future.
A few options for ebooks include a small ebook for your clients or potential clients about what makes a web site or logo successful.
The nice thing about ebooks is that you’re not only creating passive income for yourself, but your also building credibility for your design business.
Develop an app
If you can develop an application your clients are interested in, it can bring you a steady stream of income for a significant amount of time. Building apps takes time and money, so be sure to research your idea thoroughly.
Some ideas include Chris Coyier’s (from CSS Tricks) ‘Are my sites up?’ web app. It’s a great tool for clients who want to know if everything is working correctly with their web site.
It’s a great idea because it saves Chris time, money, and hassle, and offers his clients a way to verify their web site status.
Design T-Shirts and other Apparel
There are tons of web sites that allow designers to submit T-shirt designs and then take a portion of the sales from each t-shirt sale. If you enjoy apparel design, this may be the source of passive income you have been looking for.
I’ve never personally tried this avenue of passive income, but if you have, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
One of my favorite ways to make relatively-passive income is to offer add-ons to your design services. We’ve talked before about upselling your design projects, and offering simple and additional services can really make or break your bottom line.
How do you generate passive income for your design business?
Have you found some effective ways to build your passive income as a designer? Have I left some of the best tactics out of this post? I’d love to hear your comments, ideas, and constructive criticism. And I’ll do my best to reply to as many as I can. Leave a comment on this post here.