Top 5 Passive Income Streams for Designers

Designers can make plenty of money on lucrative contracts. But on slow days you might wish you had some passive income sources to line your pockets. In this blog, we’ll talk about 5 of the best passive income streams. These are a fantastic time investment – spend some time setting them up now, and start gaining more profit while you’re doing your regular work!

#1: Sell Templates on FilterGrade

You can make passive income on this very website that you’re already on! Here on FilterGrade we have a flourishing marketplace of templates, filters, LUTs, presets, backgrounds, and more. This means we have opportunities for video editors, photo editors, and of course graphic designers. Designers that sell their products on FilterGrade tend to sell textures, overlays, and backgrounds that purchasers can use in their own designs. If you want to get even more advanced, you can sell your Photoshop actions as well. Adding your products to popular marketplaces like FilterGrade is a great way to generate truly passive income.

You can read our complete guide on how to list your products on FilterGrade, here.

#2: Create an Online Course

Creating a live course is great because you can interact with the people in your class. But if you want to passively generate income, then you should create a course, or a series of courses, that anyone can purchase and take at any time. We’ve written previously about Skillshare, which is one of many places where you can upload your course and start making money. There are many facets of design that you can create a course about. So don’t be afraid to create more than one! Online courses are a wonderful way to generate passive income while also providing valuable information to up-and-coming designers.

#3: Turn Rejected Ideas into Products

You spent valuable time creating designs for clients only to have them rejected. If possible, you should try to recycle these ideas! You can always use them again for future clients, but the ideas may not always fit. What you can certainly do is combine this tip with tip #1. You can sell your rejected designs as templates. In addition to templates, you can also sell them as stock images, or use them as examples for an educational blog or video.

#4: Build in Upsells to Your Design Services

An easy way to make more money is to offer easy upsells for your design services. This can range from offering logos in a wider variety of formats, to providing a usage guide with the logo, to a retainer to keep you on call. Basically, if you’re able to offer any additional services beyond the initial design, you should charge for it. Not all of this is 100% passive, but it’s certainly money that you might be missing out on. If you offer more than just design services, you can get even more creative with your upsells. For example, if you provide website construction services, you can become an affiliate for your favorite hosting services and recommend them when you’re assisting clients.

#5: Build an Audience and Create Content

Creating an educational blog or YouTube channel can be a lot of work, especially if you want to build up a dedicated audience. However, if you have something unique to say, you can start making money from ads on your website or YouTube channel. Additionally, you can use affiliate links like we mentioned early to get money from referring readers to products. If you market your products well, you can use your content as a sales platform. And lastly, once you get big enough you may get sponsorships. These can be cash sponsorships in order to promote a brand, or you may just get free products for review.

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