As a freelance designer, relying on new clients for revenue can be tough. What many freelance designers aren’t aware of is the fact that they can generate a passive income and still stay in the design industry. Creating passive income is something that they can work on during their downtime when there aren’t any projects available. Usually, creating additional revenue streams can take away valuable time from your design career, but here are some of the most efficient ways to earn a passive income.
1. Sell WordPress Themes, CMS Templates and Graphics
Many designers are doing well selling WordPress themes and other templates on design marketplace sites. There is always a constant stream of businesses looking to get a website design and developed without the total cost hiring a designer. That’s why themes and CMS templates are in demand. Depending on the quality, features and customization options, these themes can sell for anywhere from $20 to $100. There are also multiple marketplaces to sell your theme on.
But you don’t have to stop at just WordPress themes and CMS templates. You can design everything from stock photos, vectors, icons, to fonts and sell them on graphic design marketplaces. Visit these marketplaces and find out what kinds of designs are selling well. Many marketplaces will let you know about the most popular designs, so you can design the type graphics that are in trend.
2. Promote Products and Services as a Reseller or Affiliate
One of the most logical ways to build an income as a freelance designer is to become a web hosting reseller. Many web hosting companies have reseller programs that allow you to sell their hosting services. You can set your price and sell hosting services under your company name. To get involved, you only have to pay the hosting company a monthly fee to stay on as a reseller.
Alternatively, you can sell as an affiliate. As an affiliate, you’ll earn a flat amount for every customer you refer. But unlike the reseller program, you will not make any passive earnings. You have to consider which option to go with as customers stay on with the same hosting company for years. You also have to deal with the fact that customers that only stay on for a few months. At the end of the day, if your goal is generate passive income, the reseller program is typically the way to go.
And of course, there are many other products and services that you can promote as an affiliate. This can range from digital marketing courses, SAAS memberships, software suites, to business services. Think about the products and services that would be relevant to your clients. Then, sign up under the major affiliate networks like CJ, Amazon, and 2Checkout (tech affiliate network) to find the right offers to promote.
3. Partner with Other Designers
As you build your career as a designer, you’ll realize the number of clients and projects you have to turn down because you don’t have the qualifications. Rather than looking at these projects as simply opportunities you can’t jump on, why not partner with other designers? You’ll be able to either earn a finder’s fee, create a revenue split deal or sell the leads.
For example, let’s say you have a client that you’re working with to build an eCommerce store. The client is also looking to develop and design an app, but you don’t have the skills to help him out. All you have to do is find another designer to take on the project. You can either pass the client on to the designer in return for a finder’s fee or work with the designer in the background.
If you plan on doing such deals, make sure that you work with a business lawyer to protect yourself from the joint venture. For example, ensure you have a clause preventing the designer from stealing the client behind your back. Make sure you state clearly the revenue split or finder’s fee and set a non-competing agreement to ensure that your partner cannot offer the same services as you for future work.
4. Create a Blog and Monetize It
Blogging is a great way to get your name out there as a designer and help you generate passive income. By blogging regularly, you can start to bring in traffic and generate leads from your site through proper content creation and marketing. But the truly great thing about blogging is that your traffic can be monetized in many different ways.
First, you actually have a platform for marketing your hosting services as a reseller and your affiliate products. Second, you can monetize it with advertising programs where you get paid for either displaying ads or getting the ads you display clicked. Next, you can look for sponsors to purchase ad space on your blog. Finally, you can offer consulting services. Not everyone will need a designer for the project. Adding consulting services will target site owners or other designers that just need some advice and expertise.
5. Create Your Information Product
Last but not least, you can create your information product. You can create products to help other designers, like a course that teaches them a new design style or information on how to get started in the web design business. You can also create products that help other website owners. This can be anything from social media training to SEO optimization. There are marketplaces like Udemy and Clickbank that you can use to sell and promote digital information products.
To sum up, freelance designers can earn passive income in many different ways. It’s just about putting in the time and work to set yourself up for success. It would be best if you made it a priority to build a passive income. Passive revenue streams can be invaluable to designers as it can help support their incomes when there’s been a lack of projects and clients.