Last Updated on September 18, 2022
- Is there really so much scope in designing?
- What if I don’t know how to design?
- The Ultimate Sitelist for Designers looking to Earn Extra Money (By Category)
- Design-specific Job Marketplaces and Platforms (Find clients easily and directly)
- Marketplaces and Merchandising platforms (Sell your designs directly)
- Best Freelancing Websites for Designers (Earn with Design Gigs)
Most people pivot to designing, having studied or worked somewhere else. I know several people who altered their career path to get into designing. And I am all in for following your passion and doing something creative.
But in the beginning, it can be a little overwhelming. You don’t know how to look for work or earn decent money. You might also need a portfolio to showcase your work.
So I’ve found some websites where you can showcase your designs and earn a little extra money with it. Dedicated designers can even earn a full-time income from some of these websites.
Is there really so much scope in designing?
Yes, In Fact there are full-fledged jobs you can do in several organizations in graphic designing. Thanks to social media, it is a booming industry.
Just look around you and it doesn’t take much time to realize that designs and art are almost everywhere: the T-shirts you wear, the cover of your favorite books, and even the device you’re using to view this site!
Out of all the types of designing, graphic designing has particularly gained a huge market over the past decade. Better displays, processors and printers have finally enabled businesses to focus on the aesthetics and user experience of their applications and websites. Being able to design icons, logos, wallpapers and themes is, therefore, a highly valuable and marketable skill.
What if I don’t know how to design?
You don’t really need professional degrees to be able to find designing work, although having one gives you an edge over others in the market. However, you can learn the basics of designing from Youtube and Udemy quite easily.
For starters, you may want to use some user-friendly tools for designing, like Canva. However, for serious work, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop are much better tools; although it might require a learning curve in itself.
If you are interested in art and creation, you won’t find it difficult at all, and your intuition will guide you in learning quickly. Sounds vague, but this is how you know that design is for you.
The Ultimate Sitelist for Designers looking to Earn Extra Money (By Category)
There are a lot of websites and businesses looking for designers, but don’t worry! We collected the best out of them. There are several ways you can earn money from your designs, like selling them directly to customers, licensing them for printing on various merchandise or working as a freelancer.
Design-specific Job Marketplaces and Platforms (Find clients easily and directly)
These are specialized platforms and websites that connect designers with clients. You should have a portfolio that you can upload for your clients to see.
Dribbble is one of the best platforms for designers, particularly because it acts as both a social networking platform and a job board.
You can sign up with a Google account, a Twitter account or simply with your email. You would need to enter a name, username and a password. When you sign up, you become a “prospect.” You can upload your work on Dribbble, which gets labelled a “shot.”
Note that you aren’t paid for shots, however, shots help in building up your portfolio and showcasing your work, which in turn increases your chances of getting a job. Meanwhile, browse the artists, follow them, and comment on their masterpieces.
This develops your interaction with people and gets you noticed. You can apply for jobs in the jobs board, or can get hired by clients who may be looking for your work. Payments are made via PayPal.
Designers on 99Designs mainly do logo design, packing design, business card, brand guide, etc.
First, you need to create an account on 99Design by entering your email and creating a password. Once you’ve created your account, you’ll be introduced to the platform and the quality standards.
Then fill in your details, your creative journey, order of conduct and showcase your work. Then verify your identity with the help of passport/national ID/driving licence, and then add your photo. Payments are made via PayPal or Payoneer.
Kimp is a graphic design company that connects designers with clients. As a designer, you are grouped with 2 other designers to work on a project. You get paid a fixed fee for your work. The payments are made on a biweekly basis.
They offer full-time remote jobs, so it’s a great avenue if you are looking for work-from-home design jobs.
To apply on Kimp, click here. You’d need to enter your full Name, email, phone number, date of birth, country, and city.
Then they will ask questions like whether it’s your first time applying at Kimp, where you heard about Kimp, whether you’re currently employed, how soon you’d want to join, etc.
Then finally submit your resume, rate your proficiency in design skills and you’re good to go.
Coroflot is one of the largest online graphic design marketplaces in the world. It provides a reliable marketplace for graphic design, graphics, logo design, banner design, packaging design, digital marketing, merchandise design, web design, and a lot of other designing work.
They provide a great platform for all designers to generate portfolios. To get started, you need to create a Designer account on Coroflot. To create an account, you need to enter your full name and email, and then create a password.
After that, you would need to tell what you wish to do on the platform. Select your Industries, skills, principal job role, and location. Then confirm your email.
Now, you’re free to upload your work on the platform, which will build up your portfolio. You can then go to the Jobs section and easily apply for designing jobs.
Marketplaces and Merchandising platforms (Sell your designs directly)
If you have worked as a designer for some time, chances are that you have several designs just taking up space on your hard-drive. Maybe rejected iterations from clients, or just designs you made for practice.
You can upload them to these marketplaces that sell your designs to people by licensing them or slapping it on a mug or t-shirt. Upload your designs on these websites and let the magic happen:
Designers on Envato are called Envato authors. Envato authors can earn either by uploading their work on Envato Market, or by licensing their digital assets on Envato Elements. Anyone can sign up for Envato Market and start uploading designs, while Envato Elements is an invite only program. Designs uploaded on Envato Market need to be bought or downloaded by customers for you to receive any compensation, while designs uploaded on Envato Elements are all licensed to customers with a subscription and you get a fixed price per month as a compensation. Payments are via PayPal, SWIFT, and Payoneer. The minimum threshold for PayPal and Payoneer is $50, while using SWIFT requires a minimum account balance of $500. Moreover, payments via SWIFT can be made only for work uploaded on Envato Market.
Etsy is one of the most popular platforms for buying creative goods. While it is most famous for physical goods, a lot of people don’t know that they sell digital art as well.
Designers can sell various kinds of design templates, calendar designs, notebook and drawing book designs, etc. on Etsy. You just need to have some ideas ready.
Head over to Etsy and search for digital downloads on their marketplace to get some inspiration.
Merch by Amazon
How can we forget Amazon when it comes to selling something. They have this “Merch by Amazon” program where you can upload your artwork, and set a price for it. They take care of the printing and shipping and give you a commission on the sale.
Infact, this model is followed by almost all merchandising platforms. You just need to make sure to upload your designs on all of them.
Out of the dozens of similar merchandising platforms, I have seen the most amount of success stories of Redbubble. Some people earn as much as 50$ every day from it, passively.
Uploading a lot of designs is a sure-fire way to earn a decent income from it. There are a lot of discussions and success stories about it on Reddit as well.
Teespring (now only “Spring”)
Teespring was a quite popular platform that initially only printed on T-Shirts. Now they sell everything caps and bags to phone covers. So they have rebranded themselves as “Spring”, dropping the Tee.
The Website remains the same and they have a large customer base that you can tap into.
Spreadshirt claims to have over 100K+ daily visitors, which makes it an attractive platform to showcase your designs. They also allow you to open your own personalized store to sell your designs, giving you more control in the process.
Design by Humans
They also let you open your own “store” where you can sell your designs. I have heard it worked for a lot of designers and you should definitely give it a shot.
They produce, fulfill and ship your products while you retain the rights of your work. A great way to earn a little cash from your designs.
They have a print-on-demand model as well, but mostly cater to businesses and influencers. They take care of the printing, but don’t actively promote your designs.
They can let you integrate their services in your eCommerce website, or sell directly to your customers/audience as well.
This one’s a bit difficult, as they only offer integration with your pre-existing store. They just handle the printing and shipping part. It’s just a way for you to offer custom printed products if you already have a store in place.
Best Freelancing Websites for Designers (Earn with Design Gigs)
Freelancing on these platforms is a bit tricky, but very lucrative if you get it right. You basically start as a beginner, but as you complete projects and get a good rating, you can get more work than you can handle!
To succeed in these platforms, you need to follow this simple 3 step guide:
- Offer your services at a low rate in the beginning, and get a lot of clients. Clients are more willing to buy cheaper services.
- Get some good reviews, ratings and testimonials to attract better paying clients. Raise your rates as you move along.
- Finally, move to lesser but higher-paying clients where you can get consistent work.
Here are some of the most popular freelancing platforms for designers:
Fiverr has the least barrier-to-entry of all the freelancing platforms, which makes it a popular choice. It also makes it a bit crowded. You can post upto 5 gigs, so you need to be specific in the service you offer.
You can even work on the simplest gigs and earn money from Fiverr, such as logo design or social media post/banner design.
Upwork is more professional in its approach, but offers better pay and more serious opportunities.
Toptal seems to have a lot of jobs in the design categories, and their clientele prefers outsourcing their design work more.
They offer both freelancing and remote job opportunities.
As the name suggests, a freelancing platform. It has a lot of opportunities in all industries including designing.
Get hired as a freelancer on a per hour basis. A great way to exchange your time for money.
Guru is another popular freelancing platform with opportunities for a variety of industries, including design.