HOW TO: make a passive income as a designer

Categories Articles, How To

Interested in earning money while you sleep? When you work as a designer, you typically work in a salaried position or as a freelancer where you charge by the hour or project. While this is great, and helps you have a continuous and steady income, you might want to consider looking into ways to generate a passive income. When you turn the services you’re currently doing into products, you’re not limited to charging for every hour that you work, and you can instead sell those products and make money while you sleep.

There are many ways designers can generate a passive income, and today we’re bringing you some of the easiest and best ways to help you earn money while you sleep.

1. Write an E-Book or Tutorial

Do you know one aspect of design very well or are you an expert in your field? Consider writing an E-book or downloadable tutorial and listing it for sale. Once you’ve taken the time to write the book, all you have to do is list it online and then work on promotion! If you’re already a blogger or writer you can draw upon some of your existing work to help you fuel the fire and get your writing off the ground quickly.

Tips for E-Book Writing:

  • Come up with an idea, or look back on what you’ve already written.

  • Answer the following questions: what is the goal of this book? What advice and information will this book provide? How will this book make people’s lives easier?

  • Create an outline or roadmap to help you write the different sections of the book.

  • Write… this one is actually simple, just start writing. It’s better to have more words and ideas than to have less, you can always cut down and edit out the best parts for a well crafted book.

  • Edit, review, and edit again.

  • Don’t stop everything you’re doing to write your E-book, keep going on with your daily life and work.

Looking for More Information and Help on Writing Your First E-Book? Check out these resources:

Place to Sell Your E-Book Online:

2. Turn Services Into Products

When you’re in the business of offering services as a designer, the only ways to make more money are by adding more clients and working longer hours, or charging more. If you choose to add more clients, you may run out of time, burn yourself out, and not be able to dedicate enough time to all your clients. If you end up charging more, that hurts your clients and you may end up losing them.

Do you do a lot of logo work? Design website templates for clients? Why not create easy to modify templates that your clients can adjust themselves? Create anything from logos to fonts to WordPress themes to Photoshop brushes and sell them online at sites like Creative Market. Before you know it you’ll be making money while you eat lunch and take a nap.

Interested in creating products to sell online and generate thousands of dollars in passive income? Check out these resources:

Suggested Products to Sell Online

  • UI Kits

  • Photoshop Brushes and Actions

  • Fonts

  • Graphics

  • Illustrations

  • Templates – Resumes, Posters, Flyers, Invitations

  • WordPress Themes

  • Web Templates

3. Write a Blog

Writing a blog can be an incredibly valuable asset to your professional and personal arsenal. Not only can you showcase your design work and help people find you, but you can also gain a pretty significant income if you market yourself right and you get a lot of traffic to your site. As a designer, you probably have had a lot of experience working on a variety of projects. Writing a blog is a way for you to help others learn what you already know.

When your blog reaches a point where there is a lot of incoming traffic or you compile a large newsletter, you can sell ad space and generate more income…you may even get a few more clients!

Interested in generating a passive income by blogging? Check out these resources for more help and information:

Ready to Get Started Bloggin? Here are some tools you’ll need:

4. Sell Designed Goods

Are you an artist, painter or an illustrator? If so, why not sell your creative side projects online?  If you’ve painted something, designed a t-shirt, or made something cool, there are a variety of outlets that let you sell items you’ve already made online. It just takes a few steps and then you’re ready to go.

Zazzle: Zazzle lets you sell designs for thousands of products including mugs, hats, t-shirts, posters, and paper goods through their online marketplace. You can easily generate a good passive income after designing something simple!

Society6: Here you can set the prices for your art prints when you start selling. You can sell iPhone cases and skins, throw pillows, T-shirts, and stretched canvases.

These are just some of the ways that designers can make a passive income, and we would love to hear any other suggestions that you may have. We hope that you find this article useful and informative, let us know any tips you have for earning a passive income as a designer.

header image courtesy of frf_kmeron

Catalin is the founder of Mostash – a social marketing boutique – and he’s always happy to share his passion for graphic design & social media.

  • great resources! thanks for the ideas!