9 Ideas for Passive Income for Designers

There’s something to be said for the art of the side hustle, especially one that doesn’t require a lot of work. Luckily, freelance designers are an inherently creative crew, and so it can actually be fun to generate new revenue streams. Plus, it’s always nice to have a cushion in case the economy falters or some other largescale crisis intervenes with one’s daily life and income. Check out these practical ideas for passive income for designers—sit back, relax, and let the Benjamins flow in.

1. Blast your blog

Blogs (and vlogs, actually) are a reliable go-to route to send cash straight from your readers’ e-payment account to your own. Niche blogs, for example those about specific types of design, are all the rage, and once you gain a following you can begin to monetize your ideas. Blogs are a steady, relatively easy idea for designers to generate passive income. You can update your blog as often or as infrequently as you desire. As with so many things, you get what you give.

2. List your space on Peerspace

Do you already have a studio where you do your design work? Maybe you have a storefront showcase in a hip city, or an out-of-the-way uniquely creative spot you’re not using at night. As a host, you can rent that spot out on Peerspace and generate passive income on an hourly basis.

For example, this mini music production studio in San Francisco is a source of passive income to the tune of $175 per hour (minus taxes and fees, of course) for a minimum of two hours per booking. That’s a lot of potential passive income!

3. Sell packaged design curricula

If you enjoy teaching topics like interior design or graphic arts, there are plenty of online marketplaces that will purchase bundles of your lessons. All you have to do is teach the initial material, design the curriculum, and package it into a useable format. You can do this for adult education or even K-12. Increasingly, “classes in a box” are reliable sources of passive income for all sorts of educators—including those inclined to design.

4. Produce YouTube videos

professional green screen studio dallas rental
Source: Peerspace

Like people in all professions, YouTube videos are a great idea for designers to generate passive income. Offer commentary on contemporary design, present lectures on the history of design, or walk audiences through your own creative process. Get influencers to endorse your channel—or, better yet, become an influencer yourself in your niche area of expertise.

5. Sling e-reads

Designers in particular can write and sell e-books on, well, design topics. The medium of electronic literature lends itself to text and accompanying images like floorplans, blueprints, and graphics. That way, you can write about how you design what you design, and maybe even sell the designs themselves. Yes, designing the books takes a significant amount of effort, but once they’re finalized, they should not need to be tweaked often, if ever. They’ll be flying off the e-shelves in no time, which is why it’s one of the most creative ideas for passive income for designers.

6. Design websites

Source: Pixabay

Whether or not a gifted coder, a designer can build sites for friends and family members. Drag-and-drop site-building platforms are as simple to use as it is to save a file as a PDF. Most come stocked with professional-looking templates, and talented designers are free to modify them at will. It takes a little practice, but soon you’ll be able to build a simple site in less than an hour. Bonus points if you can write some content or contribute some photos, but just providing the site skeleton is enough to generate an income boost.

7. Create custom logos

Designers from fashionistas to landscape architects have at least one thing in common: they have an eye for, well, design. As such, they can probably generate logos with ease, with or without the assistance of a free online graphics program. Corporations, nonprofits, and even individuals need original logos, and they take very little time to make once you get the hang of the process. Logo-making is a quick and dirty way to sling some cash into a designer’s crossbody satchel.

8. Rent out property

Hip Loft in The Heart of Baltimore rental
Source: Peerspace

It’s an adage as old as capitalism: “Real estate cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away.” If you’re a designer lucky enough to own or acquire some property in addition to where you hang your own hat, you can turn it into passive income with relative ease.

Spruce it up, make it quaint, and rent it out on a short-term basis (like hourly on Peerspace) or to a long-term tenant. A property manager can take care of the grislier bits of landlord-hood for far less than 10% of the periodic rental income. It’s the American Dream, and a fabulous way for designers to make an extra buck. (Actually, managing other folks’ property is another great source of relatively passive income for designers and laypeople alike.)

9. Invest in stock options

Some designers work for a firm—crazy, right? And some of those firms offer stock options as part of the salary. So, designers working for large and/or generous companies can earn passive income by simply doing their job. While this isn’t a choice for every creative, it’s certainly an idea for designers to generate the easiest of all passive incomes.

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