8 Great Business ideas to Make Money as a Designer

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Some designers would argue that looking for a side gig or two is not always about making the biggest amount of money but rather finding another outlet that allows the flow of your creativity.

Of course, it is always nice to make some extra money as well, but it is second to having a new challenge to look forward to and the experience one gains. If you have some free time on your hands and would like to put that to good use, here are some great ideas to explore your horizons as a designer.

Design Themes

If you have been in the business for a long time, you should be aware that there are quite a few designers who are making a pretty penny designing themes for various platforms. WordPress is one of the best examples but your skills should not be limited to only that.

For instance, e-commerce platforms are also popping up every now and then, despite the fact that the market is pretty competitive. As new platforms and new software, like SaleSource, continue to appear, the demand for designers who can take care of the visual side of things will also be high.

Dropshipping and Print on Demand

Print of demand

Image source: Unsplash.com

You could make a pretty penny by starting a print on demand store. E-Commerce grows at a very rapid speed and there is still plenty of room for those who have fresh and unique ideas.

Even if you have little to no experience, it is still quite easy to get started thanks to ecommerce dropshipping software which is available for a very reasonable price. And since the majority of the entire process is more or less automated, you will get to focus entirely on the designing part of the work.

Think of this as selling your art, something that you have created yourself from scratch. And if you are lucky, the exposure from such a venture will bring you so many different work opportunities that you will not know what to do.

Teaching (web design/social media)

Teaching is always a good option, especially these days when you get to share your experience with the whole world. Online courses have become so popular recently, and graphic design is certainly one of the biggest niches for online education.

Now as for what you are going to teach. Well, it depends entirely on your skills. Perhaps you are great at website design and can reveal the details of what makes it so appealing as well as how a good UI should be. Or maybe you have been working with social media posts? That is another very interesting topic.

Writing a Book


Image source: Unsplash.com

You might be thinking that graphic design is all about visuals, but there is certainly some theory involved in it as well. If you are writing a book, you have a plethora of different topics to cover.

The best part about it is that you do not have to deal with publishers and other problems that get in the way of getting your book available to others. Everyone can publish an e-book with the help of Amazon’s self-publishing.


There are a lot of opportunities for freelancers. You could find various jobs on websites like Fiverr or UpWork. More websites are available as well, but these two have the biggest number of active users.

Being a freelancer has a lot of advantages. You get to choose how much you want to work and decline offers that are not interesting. Finally, establishing yourself on either of the freelancing platforms and building a profile will go a long way the next time you are looking for a more serious and long-term job.


It might be similar to writing a book, but blogging is much wider and gives you more room to do various things. Instead of sticking to just words, you could include infographics or other visuals in the content. And growing a blog is a great experience in itself.

Video Tutorials


Image source: Unsplash.com

Starting a video tutorial series is perfect if you can come up with enough content and have a plan. YouTube is the obvious platforms and you can build your channel to a point where people will crowdfund you on a platform like Patreon.

Streaming Live

More and more artists are starting to stream on Twitch TV where they are interacting with the audience while entertaining the viewers with designing something at the same time. Donations, subscriptions, ads, sponsorship deals. If you have an outgoing personality, Twitch TV could be the perfect thing for you.

As you see, there are more than a fair share of different methods for designers who are looking to make more money and experience something new. Try more than one and you are bound to get better at what you do.

Posted by Jason Bayless