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6 Creative Ways to Boost Your Side Income as a Designer

Start a side project, or teach a paid class.

The ability to pursue side projects and income streams is one of the many perks of being a designer.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to producing an extra source of income, and many of the options rarely require any initial financing to get underway.

In this article we are going to look at some simple ideas to boost your side income as a designer. Many of the options are quick and easy to implement or set up, and allow you to work towards building an extra revenue stream for your skills.

1. Sell your services via a marketplace

Services such as Envato Studio allow you to sell your services easily to potential clients. While this can be a great solution for a full-time occupation, it can also have a great deal of merit as a side route.

With Envato Market, you can quickly toggle your services on and off whenever you like, and provide services anywhere from logo design, to mobile user interface design.

2. Learn a complimentary skill

Image: startupstockphotos.com

Learning a complimentary skill can open up a host of new opportunities and income streams. Tuts+ and Treehouse are excellent tutoring resources which cover a wide range of design skills. They allow you to add-to and improve your skills, allowing you to take on new types of work and potentially produce goods for sale in another complimentary area such as icon design or t-shirt printing.

3. Sell your digital goods

It is now so easy to sell your digital goods. Marketplaces such as Creative Market and Envato Market allow you to set up an online profile and market your goods across the world.

There are an incredibly diverse range of categories on these sites to cover all specialisations. The benefits over a self-hosted store include the instant worldwide audience you have access to, and the free initial setup.

Image: dribbble

There are also a range of more specific marketplaces to sell your digital goods. Icon Finder is one example, where you can sell individual icons and icon packs with ease, enabling you to open up the possibility of creating a passive income stream.

4. Teach a paid class

Image: Unsplash

A fairly recent development is the ability to become a freelance online teacher. Sites such as Skillshare allow you to start a paid class, sharing your expertise with students while creating an income and building your following.

The average earnings on Skillshare are $3,000 a year, with top teachers making over $40,000 a year. Teachable is a similar site which hosts over 7,500 instructors.

5. Publish an e-book

E-books can prove to be exceptionally popular when written to a high standard and providing information that can prove useful to others. If you feel you have a wealth of knowledge to share on a particular area or subject of design, writing and launching an e-book could be a great way to boost your side income and further establish your name and brand at the same time.

It has minimal startup costs unlike a physical book, and a whole host of services now allow you to self-publish for free, eliminating any publisher fees or logistical costs.

6. Launch a side project

A side project can be anything. From a clothing brand, to a website sharing free resources, the possibilities are infinite. Think about how you can implement your existing skills and apply them to launch a side project.

It is great for personal development and will help you learn a whole host of new skills along the way. With the right research and application, there’s a high chance you will be able to monetize it at some point.

Looking for an easy way to manage your creative project, from proposal to payment? Envato Elements now comes with business productivity services from AND CO, along with thousands of graphics, templates and more.


About the Author Ben Bate

I'm Ben, a Product Designer from the United Kingdom. You can visit my website or follow me on Dribbble.