First and foremost, I think of graphic/web design as a calling and a dream job. I put a lot of time and effort into developing my skills so while this may look like a post where you may write it completely off as “selling out” or “in it for the money” trust me it’s not. Also if you’re looking to become a millionaire I would suggest going back to school for business management or a route in finance because, while you can make a very comfortable living working a design job and/or freelancing you sure won’t become rich beyond your wildest fantasy. Now that’s out of the way, let’s be honest with ourselves. You need to eat, you need to pay for a place to live and all of the conveniences of our modern life so you need to make money providing design skills to an employer or a client. That said, many make the mistake that this is the only way you can actually make money in graphic/web design. Working for someone whether it be for a traditional 9-5 or a freelance client is one of two ways to make a living. Working for a client or employer is ACTIVE income. Active income is where you put the hours in and get paid for the job once. Passive income is where the saying “Making money in your sleep” comes from and with the growth of internet e-commerce, there are now plenty of platforms to buy and sell assets. Shutterstock, Graphic River, iStock, Adobe Stock, Evanto Market, etc… are a few stores that come to mind that you can develop and distribute through. If you have a big enough following set up an e-commerce store on your website and sell it yourself that way if you choose.

To make passive income as a graphic designer you can develop graphics, templates for websites or mobile apps, shoot photography, etc… the idea here is to come up with great quality assets that have enough longevity with the current trends up front and then sell them to other designers or design savvy business owners. The concept is simple, the more streams of revenue (i.e. assets you have for sale) the more passive income you’ll be able to pull in. You might even get to a point where you’re making enough money to make it your main gig if your that driven as an individual. So, design quality assets that provide value to the customer and then find your niche market and promote it to them. The key here is to keep yourself updated and current. If you get to the point where what you’re creating is better than you’d consider selling on a stock site, set it aside and once you have a big enough following sell it as your own piece of art.

Basically speaking, we are all talented designers to one degree or the next so why not try and make a few dollars extra to live our lives the best way possible. The above video is from Roberto Blake who was one of the top hits on YouTube when I searched the terms “passive income graphic design.” While this is the first video I’ve seen from him, I can tell you that I’ll be watching more of his videos because he comes off as an authority in this space and gave some really crucial advice when it came to making some extra loot in between freelance clients. All in all, a solid video and definitely a different take on a tutorial rather than how to do this or that in photoshop. Got additional ways to make passive income as a designer? Post them in the comments below and let’s get a conversation going!

–Aa

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