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9 Ways Graphic Designers Can Use Their Skills to Make Extra Money

Discover 3 reliable ways for graphic designers to make more money, including adding to their skill set and selling unused files.

By Dana Kilroy ・2 min read
ShortStack Tips & Tricks

Graphic designers can have a tough time finding gratifying work on freelance sites. Too often, you end up working for pennies and compromising the integrity of your brand. Thankfully, freelance sites are not the only way to go about growing a design business.

Here are 3 reliable ways graphic designers can make more money (download the PDF for the other 6):

1. Add to your skill set

Sometimes you have to spend money to earn money, and that's certainly the case in design, where you need to invest in tools to get the most out of the skills you already have.If you know Photoshop and a little bit of CSS and HTML, you're a triple threat! Take advantage of your skills and invest in a third-party design platform that's packaged for resale, like ShortStack. Online tools like ShortStack allow designers to save time designing and, more important, broaden their service offerings. In addition to websites, logos, and posters you can use this tool to create custom Facebook apps, social contests, opt-in landing pages and more.

2. Cash in on unused files

Not everything you design will be loved by your clients. Instead of letting those unused designs go to waste, cash in on them by selling your files on marketplace design sites.

As an example, Graphic Leftovers is a website where graphic designers can sell logos, icons, illustrations and more. Or there's ThemeForest is a popular marketplace for designers who have web design templates to sell.

Before you sell any of your work on the web, of course, it's vital to double-check the files you're selling are not under the rights of any of your current or past clients.

3. Give away free stuff

Now that you've started blogging, here's one really effective way to drive traffic back to your site: Give away free and, of course, beautifully branded downloadable resources like templates, themes and graphics.

Popular blogger and designer Bri Emery of DesignLoveFest has a segment on her blog called 'Dress Your Tech' where she shares beautiful downloadable desktop and mobile wallpapers.

Because people love to share awesome free stuff, this segment has created great brand exposure for DesignLoveFest. It has also opened up a lot of collaboration opportunities as Emery will often team up with another designer or artist for a Dress your Tech post.

Get more tips

Beyond these ideas, there are lots more ways freelance graphic and web designers can earn more cash. This blog post is a sneak peek at one of our latest PDF resources.

Get Instant Access to our Exclusive PDF, "9 Ways Freelance Graphic and Web Designers Can Make More Money and Attract Better Clients"

You already have the skills you need to take your freelance design business to the next level. Now's the time to do what designers do best - get creative!

About the author

By Dana Kilroy ・2 min read
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Dana Sullivan Kilroy is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience delivering compelling content. Her work has appeared in national, award-winning publications and sites, including: The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Fast Company, Inc.

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