Among designers, most want to become freelancers for the freedom you can get from it, but few actually start freelancing because of the lack of financial security. However, it is not that hard to make a decent income as a freelancer. In this article, we will take a look at some of the actions you can take to make more money as a freelancer.

Raise your rates

If you are working 60 hours a week and still struggle to pay the bills, chances are that you are not charging enough for your work. Raising your rates is a good way to quickly earn more without working more. It also allows you to get rid of some cheap clients.

Hosting referrals

Most hosting companies have affiliate programs, and some of them will give you good money for referring new business. You can expect to receive $50 to $120 per referral depending on the web host you are working with. If you create two websites a month, that’s an extra $200 without doing any extra work.

Write about design

You can start a blog and try to make money out of it, but it would probably take too long to make decent money from selling advertising on it. However, many design blogs are always looking for freelance writers, so why not submit your articles? You can expect a payment of $50 to $150 per article, plus some backlinks to your own site.

Create and sell products

If you are creative, there are many products you can sell online. Graphic designers can express their creativity and sell t-shirts or art prints, while web designers will probably be more comfortable publishing templates, WordPress themes or plugins. There are many marketplaces out there that will give you good exposure for your designs.

Start teaching

Is there a design school in your area? Why not try to go teach there? They will probably have limited teaching positions available, but do not worry, there is still the internet. You can get paid writing tutorials or how-tos for popular blogs. Or simply give some class on online teaching programs.

Sell stock photography

If your regular design work also involves taking photos of products or places, make sure to take extra pictures that you can put for sale on stock photo websites. You will not make a fortunes that way, but the extra income can let you get other stock photos for free for your other projects.

Vector files

Don’t let the research work you did for your clients go to waste. If you did two sets of icons for a website and only one is used, you can very well sell the left-over one on a graphic files marketplace.

Other affiliate programs

Along with their website, your customers could need other web services. Many online services offer affiliate programs, so recommend those to your clients. For example, you could have them applying to a WordPress back up system, or to a newsletter service.

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About the Author

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Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic and web designer based in Fribourg, Switzerland, as well as the co-founder of We Jobshare.