Side hustles for graphic designers that won’t get you fired

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Want to earn more money without getting fired?

Here’s 9 great side hustles for graphic designers.

  1. Sell printables on Etsy
  2. Selling your custom designs as prints on Etsy
  3. Design colouring books for sale on Amazon KDP
  4. Start a YouTube tutorial channel
  5. Sell your designs on Design Cuts or Creative Market
  6. Teach graphic design courses
  7. Start a design graphic blog
  8. Become an affiliate marketer
  9. Sell your designs on Amazon Merch
side hustles for graphic designers

As a graphic designer, if you want to start a side hustle the easiest and most common thing for you to do would be to start freelancing on the side. For many this is a great opportunity and it can lead to greater things such as new jobs, starting your own business or even upskilling as you learn new talents.

Moonlighting on the side is often against your employment contract, so definitely tread lightly and 100% do not work for your day job clients. That’s a sure fire way to get fired.

However, as a graphic designer with skill and ambition the world is your oyster. Digital designs span borders effortlessly and can be resold time and time again. As it goes, side hustles for graphic designers is one of easiest to get moving on. So let’s have a look at the side hustles you could start.

1. Sell printables on Etsy

Selling printables on Etsy and other similar sites is a huge business. Design your print once, sell it many times over.

Are you interested in travel? Design posters around your favourite destinations? Like music? Design prints of your favourite band. You may even try to reimagine some famous prints and put your own mark on the designs.

The price of the designs may be lower than printed posters, but selling a digital product takes the headache of shipping away and also opens up your Etsy store to a worldwide audience.

2. Selling your custom designs as prints on Etsy

I have one client who is selling 200-300 prints a week on Etsy. At £15 each, she is making well over £3000 each week. This client capitalised on a retro design theme and created a series of posters for bands in the 70s and 80s.

Following the success of these prints, my client has branched out into wedding stationery, tote bags and a range of other items designed in her signature style.

3. Design colouring books for sale on Amazon Kindle Desktop Publish (KDP)

You probably know this already, but Amazon was set up as an online bookstore. What you might not know is that Amazon KDP is the world’s largest self-publishing platform. As a writer or designer, this opens a raft of opportunities for presenting our products to a world-wide audience.

Colouring books aren’t the only books a designer could sell on Amazon KDP. You could design a journal, crossword books or if you feel like writing a little, technical guides to the adobe creative cloud or Figma could be popular. Or if you want to go really niche, Berlin Type Foundries 1999-2021.

Amazon KDP is easy to navigate for those less technical publishers, but for graphic designers its an absolute breeze.

How to sell through Amazon KDP

  1. Set up an account at KDP.amazon.com
  2. Create your colouring book using one of the print templates
  3. Upload the cover
  4. Upload the inners (they call it a manuscript)
  5. Fill in your product details
  6. Hit publish
  7. Watch the ££££ roll in

4. Start a YouTube tutorial channel

Everyone with a copy of photoshop thinks they’re a graphic designer. But once they hit the wall with a task, what do they do? Check for a YouTube tutorial.

If you’ve got mad photoshop skills or are great at breaking complex design tasks into smaller chunks, a YouTube channel could be your perfect side hustle.

It can take time to create a following, but once your channel grows, this can become a great way to boost your reputation in the industry and your income.

5. Sell your designs on Design Cuts or Creative Market

Hands up if you use templates, fonts, custom brushes, psd mock-ups or stock illustrations. Keep your hand raised if you buy these from a high quality digital assets site like Design Cuts or Creative Market?

Now flip this on its head. What if you sold your creations or unused assets to others. Is this the ultimate side hustle for graphic designers? You betcha! Be the creator you were born to be. Not a consumer.

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6. Teach graphic design courses

Graphic designers are some of the best storytellers. You bring imagination to life through the use of vectors and bitmap images and help clients communicate effectively to their audience.

Taking these skills and being able to vocalise them for new and aspiring designers, will help you teach passionately about your subject.

Graphic design skills are one of the most sought after talents and teaching courses online is the perfect side hustle for graphic designers. There are over 10,000 graphic design courses available on Udemy alone across every major and minor discipline.

Create a course plan, break it down into smaller sections. Record, edit and upload!

7. Start a graphic design blog

Starting a graphic design blog is an awesome way to build an audience for your work, to sell designs and to create opportunities for future projects. It’s one of the easiest ways to start a side hustle business as a designer. You can do it anytime and anywhere.

Be authentic, natural and post content that will add value to your audience.

If you want to supercharge your blog’s success, it pays to upskill and learn new talents such as email marketing and SEO. These will not only help you become more employable, but will help you grow your blog faster than the competition.

8. Become an affiliate marketer

Affiliate marketing is simply helping other companies like Adobe or Amazon sell their products or services online — and getting paid a commission to do so. Once you have built an audience, sharing the tools and systems you use can become a very attractive side hustle for graphic designers without costing their audience a penny.

9. Sell your designs on Amazon Merch

For graphic designers looking to start a side hustle, Amazon Merch is the king of them all. Create your bespoke and unique designs. Upload them to https://merch.amazon.com/ and Amazon will handle the printing and fulfilment of a host of items including t-shirts, tote bags, phone covers and more.

It can take time to level up your Amazon Merch account, but with each new design, your opportunity for passive income grows exponentially.

Level up your side hustles

Some side hustles for graphic designers work best when built in tandem. Build a Youtube channel? Share your affiliate links or Merch products in your content. Continuously building and adding to your own personal portfolio is a fantastic way to increase your income both within and outside your current employment.

Let us know in the comments below if you’ve any other side hustle ideas for graphic designers. Also don’t forget to check out our social channels. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for regular updates and unique content.

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