One thing that I am a huge proponent of is trying not to rely too much on one stream of income for your family. Why not instead create multiple streams of income, whereby if one of them dries up, you’ll still have several others that you can depend on?
PT over at PTMoney.com is launching a great e-book today that will look at a variety of ways that you can make extra money for your family. It’s a great resource that you should check out. As a part of that offering he asked me to write about something that I do to make money on the side, graphic design. I heartily agreed. Before we get into that, however, go to PT’s site, and download the e-book – you just may find some great ways to make some extra income! (look for small “download” link in the right corner until Friday. Download it without giving an email until then!)
Make Extra Money By Designing Logos
Are you a graphic designer or do you have some artistic talents that you know others are looking for? Why not make some extra money for your bottom line by designing logos or other graphics for people’s websites, for their newsletters or for other print applications?
Doing web graphics obviously isn’t for everyone. It will help you quite a bit if you’ve got some background in graphic design or if you’re relatively proficient in design tools like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Indesign, Adobe Illustrator or other similar products. You don’t necessarily have to have a degree in graphic arts, as long as you’re able to put together eye pleasing designs that others will love and will pay for. I am completely self taught when it comes to design, but I think I’ve done quite well and am able to make a nice side income from doing design.
So how do you get started designing logos for others? Can you just put together a website and hope that the business will start rolling in? Unfortunately it will take a little bit more work than that. (Note: the steps below can work for doing a variety of service oriented businesses online, not just design)
- Network: To get my logo design business started I first started networking with people that I know on the internet that would have a need for design work. That means bloggers, IT developers who put together websites for others and a variety of people I’ve met through social media.
- Get the Buzz Going: Next I designed a few logos for free or for extremely cheap rates. A few of these logos for were for high visibility bloggers who in turn trumpeted my design services on their sites.
- Put together a portfolio: Once I had built up a small portfolio and a bit of a buzz I launched a WordPress portfolio site for my design work, showing examples of my logos. Now people were able to see examples of my work.
- Make it easy for people to buy and use your services: I also put up an logo purchase page where people could order different logo and design packages, and pay for them directly through PayPal. I put up questionnaires on the site so people could tell me exactly what they were looking for. The website was setup to make the process of ordering a logo and giving design instructions as easy and hands off as possible. That way, I could spend more time doing the important work of design. Of course I did still have to to do the work of promotion for the site through networking, through writing of design related blog posts to bring in search visitors and through setting up a referral program.
Customer Service Is Key
Now that I’ve been doing design work for a while word of mouth does the best job of bringing in new work. When you’re doing your design work for your customers (or other service), remember that customer service is key. Make sure to maintain good communication, keep your turn around times as short as possible, and remember that the customer is always right. If you do those things, you’ll be on your way towards having a nice secondary source of income.
Have your own ideas for ways to make extra income for your family? Tell us about it in the comments! Want to share your own post about how to make some extra money, click on the “contribute” link at the top of the page, and send us your post!
Michelle Traudt says
I own a Professional Organizing business, but am currently working towards a certificate in Christian Counseling. While I’m in transition I am continuing to take organizing jobs to help pay the bills. This is something anyone who loves to organize can do. It’s very simple to get started. If you love to organize your own home, or your friends’ homes…then you can get paid to help people get organized. People need help with their files, offices, closets, etc. I help people realize they do not need so much “stuff” and I encourage them to go through their belongings, and sell the valuable things on craigslist or in consignment stores. Everyone can use less clutter and more cash!
Peter Anderson says
Sounds like a show that my wife loves to watch called “Clean House” where they help people de-clutterfy their homes. If you ever want to write a post about your “side job”, let me know. I’ll be happy to host it!
It’s great you have the skill to do some side work like this. Did you self teach yourself graphic design or you have learned it years ago?
Peter Anderson says
I taught myself how to use Photoshop and some other design tools at my day job. I’ve practiced it and gotten quite a bit better at it over the past few years. I don’t have any formal training, but really, having actual experience is where it’s at I think. As long as you get some training on the basics – which is easy to find online – and you have a good eye for it, you can do it too.
Credit Card Chaser says
A lot of the stuff you can learn on your own just by reading the various online tutorials (I like NetTuts.com).
PT Money says
Loved this post, Pete. It was neat to see how it all goes down behind the scenes. Thanks for offering it up in the book.
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Sid Burgess says
I know you are going to hear this, but with what time? :)
I would love to but full-time work and full-time school + family w/2 kids. :)
Wife is giving Amazon books a try. We bought a moving truck full of books and so far have at least broke even and haven’t even begun to tap into all the book.
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Peter Anderson says
So true, free time is the one thing I’m short of. :) I find i just have to prioritize, charge enough that I still get work, but that’s enough that not everyone comes knocking down my door.
I’ve got a friend who sells books on Amazon on the side. He bought a scanner, and has a program that will show the resale value for a book on amazon. So he’ll spend an hour at the used book store, scanning books and buying books cheap that he can resell for a profit on Amazon. At one point he pulled down 1k/month doing this. Sounds like it’s getting harder to make a profit doing this but still possible.
Credit Card Chaser says
This really is a great idea for anyone that has a little bit of an artistic bent. Even if one doesn’t have any formal training it is pretty straightforward to learn what you need to know online.