The world of web is of many different possibilities. Talented designers with awesome creativity and skills are going to thrive in this world. Competition is almost ignored when you have so much work out there.
While you are solely responsible for your success in any aspect of life, it is more pronounced on the internet. You get to decide not only how you will start and execute your web business, but have a really large reach while doing so.
If you are a designer with a keen sense of art, design and beauty, the web is the right place to be. With the explosion of the internet, comes the explosion of websites, content and designs. Anything unique is in high demand. I cannot stress enough on that.
With that prelude, let’s move on. Have a look at these 6 ways for a designer to make money online.
1. Sell your digital work
You can sell art and images on websites. Art like pics, images sell on a number of websites. A few of them are:
- DeviantArt. Well established, go to place for people trying to find innovative visual content
You can upload your concept art, photographs, paintings, and any visual art on Deviantart.
- Photo selling websites: Upload your photographs to image sharing sites like shutterstock, istockphoto. People love it, people buy it, and you profit
- t-shirt sites: There are a number of companies that print t-shirts on demand. You can create your own store, upload your designs and wait. You can also do a bit of marketing on social media tools. If people buy t-shirts with your designs, you earn commissions. Look up galloree.com, society6.com.
And remember, t-shirt designs are representative of the larger market that helps you sell anything and everything related to innovative designs – e.g. laptop skins, tattoo designs,, logos, icons, etc.
2. Sell your physical product
You don’t get satisfied with digital products and cheap imitations you say? Then, why not use the online market as a front for your physical products?
- Just take images of your physical products like paintings, sculptures, paper models, etc. and put them for sale. You can do it on eBay by yourself, or let Amazon handle all aspects of delivery (they pick up the item, and deliver)
- Upload images of your physical products (e.g. idols, paper models, etc.). Even the images are on high demand, people are always looking for images for their own use and will be glad to find one that fits their needs. You can do this through your own website, established sites like Pinterest, or follow any of the sites mentioned in the previous section. You can treat it as passive income, while the real cash flows in from selling the products.
- You can have your own website to sell them (talk to me if you don’t know where to start!)
3. Make money merely by your online presence, and some work
You don’t need to actively sell your digital or physical products. There are other ways too..
- Showcase your skills, and make the audience come back for more. There are websites that pay for the views, and clicks. Start with Facebook, Pinterest, and graduate to better avenues
- Have your own website. Discuss your work, help others who are getting started. Build an audience and community, get money by ads.
- Curate content. Your superhuman eyes can easily separate fluff from the real deal – why not finger pick that work and let other (lazier) people consume it? You earn money by pushing in related products that sells, ads, and more. Although you can start curating content on Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook, the real power is by starting your own website
4. Learn design in a technology world
Designing for websites need an artistic outlook on life, rather than anything else. Once you catch up with the basics, you can make a decent sum of money.
Some of the easier ways to start doing this:
- Design for websites. Each of the elements (buttons, color combinations, layouts, text fonts etc.) play a role, and everything must come together harmoniously. This is impossible for mere engineers to achieve. We need you! Start by referring to some innovative designs curated by smart people
- Design for apps/games. You can easily get started by looking the most popular apps, and put your art skills to work
5. Look out for short term freelancing work
Have a look at profiles similar to yours to know how much you can charge, and what samples you need to demonstrate.
6. Do Fiverr gigs
Fiverr is a place where you can sell anything (anything legal, of course) for five dollars. Fiverr provides you a really large audience that is looking for work to get done. You can sell art, pictures, digital products, physical products, and anything else on Fiverr.
Although the money isn’t great, it will let you know the most important thing – what does the market want? This is a good avenue to also try out on how the world looks at your work. If needed, dumb down your work and try to get on the train. This needs 6 min to get started = a min to dust off your old work + 5 min to create an account on Fiverr and create your first gig
Know of any other interesting or innovative ways? Comment, and I will change the title of this post!