As a designer, your job may not always totally feel your need for creativity or not be financially rewarding enough. In this case, it may be a good idea to start looking around you for ideas to change this. Having side hustles can be a great solution to the issue you are facing, and it could even become a long-term solution by becoming your main activity.

1. Teach Online Design Courses

If there was one positive side-effect of the world-craze that started in 2020, it would be the improvement of online teaching. Obviously, we don’t want in-person teaching to go away, but online learning can be amazing if done right.

As a designer, you probably have developed some more focused knowledge in a niche field of your craft. This is what you want to teach, as you will have more to bring to the table, more passion, and more in-depth knowledge of the field. You can either go the hard way and set up your own e-learning platform, or you can offer your courses on a platform like Udemy.

2. Write eBooks

Another way to share your extra knowledge is to publish it in an ebook, which is an exercise you won’t regret. Writing an ebook, even a short one, will force you to condense what you know in an easy-to-read format.

Obviously, this takes quite a lot of work, even if you know your topic well, but even if the sales don’t go up as you expect it, having written an ebook will help you to establish your authority as an expert in your field.

3. Sell Digital Products

If your design work routine looks anything like most designers’ routing, you probably have many unused designs left at the end of a project. If one of your icon design proposals has been rejected and will never be used, there is nothing that prevents you from selling it online. Do it regularly for a long time and you’ll start getting a nice passive income on top of getting your work displayed in more places. There are plenty of platforms that will also allow you to expose your designs to many people.

4. Write a Blog

Writing a blog is a long-term project and should by no means be seen as a way to make a quick buck. However, writing regularly on a blog can end up being profitable, whether it’s through affiliate marketing, advertising, or getting design jobs through your blog. Just like for ebooks writing, writing blog articles teaches you discipline, forces you to think about design more, and gives you a great opportunity to share your thoughts about your craft.

5. Start Consulting

Did you know that you could earn money by sharing advice, without actually doing any sketches or designs? It’s called consulting and it actually pays much better than actually designing. If you follow some of the first steps in this post, writing a blog or ebooks, you will have a better chance of being seen as an expert and getting gigs as a consultant.

6. Fill Surveys

Want to give back to the design community while having a low-key side hustle ($90-$180/hr) to fund your habit? Join Wynter’s research panel. Take industry surveys, be compensated every time you do it. A test takes 10-15 min. Learn more and sign up.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.