10 Easy Ways to Make Money as a Web Designer

Louise North.
November 24, 2023

When you’re a web designer, the logical way to make money is designing websites; you can apply for a job at an agency, work in-house at a large company, or become a freelance designer selling on sites like Upwork or Fiverr.

10 Easy Ways to Make Money as a Web Designer.

The downside to making money designing websites is that it’s hyper-competitive. There’s always someone a little better than you, willing to build the same website for a little less than you.

But if you’re smart, there are plenty easy ways to make money. In some cases, you can turn a profit in a few days. All you have to do is apply your skills to create products and services that the online industry values.

1. Designing and Selling Templates

If you want to design websites but don’t want to deal with awkward clients, why not create templates and themes for CMS like WordPress and Joomla?

You can sell templates on sites like ThemeForest or Envato. The template market is much smaller than it once was now that most site builders are offering high-quality free templates, but there’s still some money to be made.

Selling templates won’t make you wealthy; templates are typically relatively cheap, but those sales mount up into an excellent passive income stream.

2. Selling Website Designs

What if you don’t have the skills to build a theme or template? No problem; you can still design a website and sell the layout as a graphic on marketplaces like GraphicRiver or Creative Market.

You won’t make as much money as you would for building a functional template, but there is much less work involved. Many customers will be delighted to buy a website design they can hire a developer to customize. You just need to ensure your designs are fully editable by saving your artwork with appropriately named layers.

3. Fixing Websites

Often, clients don’t want a whole new website. They need a feature or two added. That’s where website tuneups come in.

Fix a bug, add a graphic, perhaps add as much as a whole page; you’ll soon find you’re indispensable to a fat portfolio of clients. Once you’ve built a reputation for being reliable, you’ll get small jobs that you can turnover fast and make a regular income from.

Fixing websites is essentially a freelance gig, but the jobs are smaller, easier, and pay faster.

4. SEO Auditing

SEO is a mystery to most site owners, they just know they need it. Fortunately for you it’s the simplest job in the world.

Google actually publishes its best practices. All you need to do is create a speadsheet of points to check and you can run a high-paying SEO audit on any site in under an hour.

If setting up your own checklist seems like too much effort, there are plenty of automated tools to run checks for you. Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Moz will all run technical and content audits for you. All you need to do is copy and paste the results into a Word file, slap your logo on it, and rake in a nice fat consulting fee.

5. Web Hosting

Every site needs hosting. There’s no reason you can’t be the one to provide it.

Of course, you shouldn’t rush out and buy a server — you’d need to be an expert in server maintenance to make that work. Instead, signup for a reseller package that will allow you to sell web hosting that is managed by someone else, while you collect the fees.

Many of the top hosting companies, including HostGator, GoDaddy, InMotion, and SiteGround offer reseller hosting.

You can even white-label reseller hosting, giving your customers their own cPanel access all under your branding, without ever seeing a server.

6. Training Others

If you’ve got mad web design skills, you can bet someone out there is willing to pay to learn from you.

There are many ways to train other designers: online courses, real-world workshops, one-to-one training, blogging, or even a YouTube channel. The key is to identify how to monetize the training.

The best route to success is to focus on one area you know well and expand from there. For instance, if you’re a Shopify expert, spend your time teaching people how to set up Shopify stores; then, when you’re established, you can expand into teaching general ecommerce principles.

7. Selling Stock Photos

You’ve got a camera on your cellphone, right? Camera phones have improved so much over the last few years that they easily beat some professional equipment.

Head out, take some snaps, auto-correct them in Photoshop or Lightroom and upload them to stock sites like Adobe Stockand Shutterstock. You won’t make much money on a single image, but sales add up over time.

The key is to take lots of photos and edit out the less commercial shots later. If you live near a significant landmark people search for, so much the better. If not, try to take generic shots that can fit many different searches.

8. Selling Stock Graphics

If you’re a talented artist, you can create icons and illustrations and upload them to sites like GraphicRiver or Creative Market.

You’ll stand out and might even attract more lucrative private commissions if you have a distinctive style.

There are two tricks to succeeding in creating stock graphics: the first is to design assets well in advance — it’s Thanksgiving, so you should be preparing for Easter. The second is to create assets that are easy to edit so designers can take your products and quickly adapt them to their designs.

9. Selling Fonts

Fonts are just vector files exported in the correct format. These days, there’s a ton of affordable font design software available; some are even free and open source, like FontForge.

Designing professional fonts can be difficult, and you need to know a lot about how text works. But some designs are straightforward to create; you could easily create a font of your handwriting for instance.

There’s a lot of money in fonts, but if you want to make a fast buck, stick to fun display fonts that you can create and sell quickly.

10. Selling Websites to Flippers

Flipping websites has become an obsession, with entrepreneurs buying a bad website with potential, fixing the issues, and then selling it on for a profit.

The problem is that it’s rare to find a website with potential, that the current owner hasn’t already realized.

The best website to flip, is one you already own, so why not create it?

Head over to a site like Flippa and take a look at the sites being sold for high prices. Site owners regularly list ecommerce sites for $25,000+. All you have to do is create a similar site and list it for sale.

Louise North

Louise is a staff writer for WebdesignerDepot. She lives in Colorado, is a mom to two dogs, and when she’s not writing she likes hiking and volunteering.

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