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How to Make Money Online as a Graphic Designer. Even if you have no experience.
You may think you need to go to a fancy art school in order to make any money as a graphic designer, but I’m here to tell you, it’s not true. Speaking from my own personal experience, there are multiples ways to make money online as a graphic designer with little to no experience.
I started my graphic design career with next to no experience, just an info tech class in high school well over a decade ago where we went over the basics of the Adobe Suite program. Nonetheless, even with so little experience, in under a year, I managed to create sustainable passive income from my designs and continue to build my monthly revenue each month.
Check out my Zazzle Income Report here, where I show you how I made over $5,000 USD in a single month with one of my graphic design businesses.
However, I want to be clear, in that year of uploading my designs and building my online business I used that time to learn everything I could about graphic design, get familiar with the platform, and grow. It didn’t happen overnight, it took time and effort.
Here are the ways that I make money online with graphic design and a few more ways that I see potential for other designers with different skill sets than me.
Print on Demand
I love print on demand. It’s a great way to get started with graphic design and you don’t need a lot of experience as you learn as you go.
I’ve talked a lot about running a print on demand business here. It’s how I first started making money online and I can’t speak highly enough about it. There are multiple ways to start a print on demand business, whether through an already established marketplace, or by setting up your own shop. I go into detail about starting a print on demand company in this post here, how to make money with print on demand.
Another way how to earn money online as a graphic designer is to sell printables. Printables can be anything from wall art to journal interiors to invitations of greeting cards. Anything that someone would purchase and then print on their own.
I sell printables on Etsy and though I am still new and building up my shop, I see huge potential in the market for it. If you want to try selling printables (or anything) on Etsy, you can use this link to get your first 40 listings for free (otherwise they cost 20 cents per listing.)
You can also sell printables through your own website, or if they are educational you could sell them through Amazon Ignite.
The only overhead with selling printables is the listing fees if you choose Etsy or the cost of running your own website and driving traffic to it.
Creating your own clip art to sell is another profitable option for how to make money online as a graphic designer. You can sell your clip art on Etsy or your own website, much like the printables. Or you could go to much more inches down marketplaces such as Creative Fabrica, Creative Market, or the Hungry JPEG to name a few.
There’s little to no overhead with selling clip art, making it a great entry-level pursuit for anyone just starting out in their graphic design career.
Similar to selling clip art a lot of people purchase seamless patterns or background images through sites like Etsy, Creative Fabrica, Creative Market, The Hungry JPEG, etc.
There’s potential to make money online with your graphic art in this field as well.
You may be wondering who would be buying clip art or pattern designs, think about the other artists out there putting designs on products. Maybe their skill is more geared towards typography and they need clip art to go with it or background art to put behind a quote.
If you create fonts you might be in luck! Creating fonts to sell on those same sites you would sell clip art on can be a profitable niche. I personally don’t have experience in creating my own fonts, but I do know how frustrating it can be when I can’t find the right font, and I would pay for the perfect one.
Low Content Books
Getting started selling low content books on Amazon KDP, IngramSpark, or Book Baby is another entry-level to make money online through graphic design.
If you haven’t heard of Amazon KDP before it stands for Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. You create low content books and upload them on the KDP platform to sell on Amazon. This is another great way to get started with graphic design and designing low content book interiors is as easy as you want it to be.
There are endless types of low content books that you can create like planners, puzzle books, or even coloring books. But the simple lined and dot grid journals are great ways to get started and get familiar with the platform.
Other Ways to Make Money Online with Graphic Design
A few other ways that you can make money online with graphic design:
- Create stock images, graphic art, or templates for Canva
- Sell social media templates (think Instagram posts or Pinterest)
- Sell stencil templates
- Create a design course (do you excel in one type art or software)
These are just a couple more ideas to look into to make money as a self employed graphic designer.
If you are just starting out in your graphic design journey, check out my article listing essential tools for graphic design here, where I discuss plenty of free and paid softwares and tools to use to jump-start your graphic design career.