Alternative Earning Methods for Designers Illustrators and Photographers Alternative Earning Methods for Designers Illustrators and Photographers

Alternative Earning Methods for Designers, Illustrators and Photographers

Are you a creative designer and your works are appreciated by lots of customers? Maybe you are an ingenious photographer and your photos are admirable and professional? Creative jobs always suppose seasonal earnings. However, no matter the season, you need stable income throughout the year.

For instance, such designs as WordPress themes, logos, product mockups or landing pages are best sold in Winter and Fall, and works like wedding photos are most popular in Spring and Summer when warm weather inspires people to organize weddings and spend time outside.

So when your earnings are not enough and you get fewer orders than ever, alternative methods of getting income come in handy.

Let’s see how you can earn money with your creativity in addition to your core business.

1. Video Blogs (Vlogs)

Today almost anyone can create their personal channel on YouTube or other video-sharing sites and start shooting videos for their subscribers and anyone else who watch them. If you are an expert in photography, you create awesome illustrations or perfect designs, you can create video guides and tutorials for those who want to improve their skills or learn something new.

As you know, YouTube allows you to make money based on the number of engagements per ad. If you insert an ad in your video and someone clicks it and watches it for more than 30 seconds, you get your commission. You can also get money from promoting certain products and services in your videos if your channel is popular enough and got numerous subscribers.

2. Several Photo Stocks Together

As you probably know, stock markets like Shutterstock, Fotolia, and others, allow selling the unique photos that you’ve already sold at other stock markets. Of course, these should be your personal exclusive works but you can upload them at several stocks at once.

You can sell your custom snapshots, illustrations, vectors, logos, flyers, badges, sets of illustrations, footage, and any other creative works. You get money based on customers’ subscriptions and downloads. Different types of products downloaded by customers bring different income. The more products you upload in your portfolio, the greater chances to get the bigger income you get.

3. Private Lessons

All expert designers, photographers and artists are free to share their knowledge with those who want to obtain new skills. This is almost the same thing that I’ve mentioned in chapter 1, but now you can create individual video tutorials or even a video course for a definite student who pays for your individual lessons.

You can also write a book with tuts and guides on how to become a successful photographer or illustrator. This will help talented students get the required knowledge and start practicing their skills to gain proficiency in their creative niche.

4. Freelance Websites

If you don’t get many orders from your regular customers in summer because they have a rest, and if your portfolio views have dropped during several months, you can try to look for interesting projects at freelance websites.

Working at such websites is similar to tender procedure: participants (contractors) offer their prices for completing a certain project and write them in the comments under an order submitted by the project owner. The owner chooses a contractor whose price is the most appropriate for him/her and then they agree for a deadline, details on completing a certain job, and other things required to start working.

Such websites allow business owners find contractors for their projects and, of course, obtain perfect results. They also help creatives find good part-time jobs, participate in interesting creative projects, improve their professional skills and portfolio as well as get good income.


Having talent is great, but practice is everything. Continuous improving of your skills, finding new styles, keeping up with the trends – all of this is compulsory for creatives making money with photography, design or illustration. Are there any other alternative earning methods for creatives you can offer? Please share.

Hope this post was helpful,

Melany H.