10 Ways To Start a Graphic Design Side Hustle.

10 ways to start graphic design side hustle

One of the lucrative skills you can have without needing to spend a dime to learn is the graphic design side hustle.

Someone like me didn’t sit down somewhere to enroll for any course before I was able to design graphics for my business.

I also have some local businesses that I design graphics for. So, this made me get more knowledgeable in the field of designing graphics.

There have been many questions roaming around the internet about how one can make a living as a graphics designer.

The reason is that many people find graphics designing to be very easy to learn and be good at.

There are tons of videos on YouTube that can teach you how to use Photoshop for your design.

Even canva is a solution for anyone that doesn’t want to spend time drawing and all other stuff.

So, that’s why many people are running to this skill as a side hustle.

But the most confusing part is how to start this business.

What if you learn it now but you don’t know where to get clients.

The good news about this skill is that every brand needs graphics either online or offline.

Most Big Brands have a specific section in their firm for graphics designers.

Because Brands need graphics all the time.

Even aside from writing caption on their social media posts.

It’s the graphics that will grab their readers’ attention into quickly grabbing what they’re about to convey.

And graphics help to 5× any project result that the company is embarking on.

So, if you’re a graphics designer. I want you to know that your service is very relevant.

graphic design side hustle
Make Money Online With Graphic Design As A Side Hustle. Credit: pixabay

Also, if you’re still thinking about whether to learn this skill or not.

You should learn it because aside from making money from designing graphics for other brands…

…you are also going to use it to build your brand and make money.

You will also save a lot of money you should have invested in hiring other people to design graphics for you.


With that been said, Let’s go deeper into the topic for today.

Here Are The Ways To Start Graphics Design As A Side Hustle.

1. Open a print-on-demand dropshipping store:

The first way to start a graphics design side hustle is by opening a print-on-demand dropshipping store.

There are several designers out there who are in the process to earn money from graphics designing.

You will see some Brands go online in search of a store that can help them print out their brand name on an item.

You can create a website and have several items that someone can use print things on.

People are out there looking for items to use as souvenirs and gifts.

People are doing birthday everyday and party every weekend.

So, if you can create a print-on-demand drop shipping website and make it easy for people to navigate and select what suits them best.

It’s for the better because making sales as a graphics designer is now you coming down from the fence that other designers are standing.

You’re making it easy for anyone to be hungry to make selections and keep their anticipation high concerning getting their designs.

Getting people into your store might require you to do some Marketing though.

You might need to run paid ads into your store for people to see what’s going on.

Or you can use any other marketing approach.

But it’s one of the best ways to start a graphics design side hustle.

This is what you can be doing even if you have a normal business because it will create an extra stream of income for you during your leisure time.


2. Register on A Freelance Website:

This is one of the popular ways that most graphic designers start their side hustle.

They learn graphics design as a skill and go on freelance websites like Freelancer.com, upwork.com, fiverr.com, and register as a freelancer.

The reason why this is a better approach is that it becomes easy for them to get clients without running ads like print-on-demand drop shipping.

The first way will need you to get people into the website because nobody knows about you.

But this way of Starting your graphics design side hustle doesn’t require you to drive people into your dashboard.

Fiverr, freelancer, or Upwork for example have thousands – if not millions of daily visitors that have known these websites.

They know that if they need anybody to execute a skilled project for them, they have to go to Fiverr or Upwork or freelancer.

So, if you display your graphic design expertise on this platform/s as a freelance person.

You will get some clients through this process without any further effort.

Although, what you have to know is that there are tons of people who are already graphics designers on this platform.

The last time I checked, there are over hundreds of graphics designer who have registered themselves as a freelancer on this website.

And hundred of them already have reviews from previous clients and ratings.

So, as a newbie – you have to work more on doing something spectacular.

You can reduce your price and perform the best work for the first few clients that you have.

So that you can start getting more people to give you works.

You can try and check some free tutorials online that teach how to do freelancing.


3. Build An Agency Website:

Another way to start a graphics design side hustle is to build an agency website.

There are tons of graphic design tools that can make things very easy for you.

You might not even need to have any prior knowledge of designing.

Also, some tools already have a done for you agency website as a bonus for purchasing the tool for a one time.

But if you have enough knowledge of graphics design already.

You can design a free website online. You can get free hosting and a free domain and build an agency website.

This will display your expertise to visitors about what work you’re doing.

It’s just like your business card where people can know more about you and your services.

Since you’re doing this as a side hustle – you can hire a VA to help you manage your time and respond to clients.

Note that an agency website can be a one-page website or at most 2 pages (that’s if you like).

It’s not like a print-on-demand drop shipping site where you have to have many pages like an e-commerce store.

An Agency Website is just a one-page website that doesn’t take much time to design and manage.

It only states your graphic design skill, testimonials, and pricing for people to understand your expertise.


4. Open A YouTube Channel:

Another way you can start your graphics design as a side hustle is by helping others to learn more about graphics design.

There are tons of graphic design products/tools out there that help people to design stuff.

You can keep reviewing these products/tools for people.

Review Free tools and paid tools also – but make sure that most as free.

This way, you can get more knowledgeable.

Now, the amazing thing about this is that. Some people may want to design something.

And they will stumble on your videos and keep watching.

But they might not get it and even find it very stressful.

But because they have the money to hire someone. They can get in touch with you and beg you to please help them.

I like this method a lot because thousands of graphic designers are out there using it.

And immediately they have one of their video ranked at the top page of Google.

They start having tons of requests from people to help them design their projects.

Some people even quit their job and make graphics designing their real business when they see the benefit of this approach.

This is another method which you can use.

Because it’s a side hustle – you can do this during your leisure time just to add more income to your current income.


5. Leveraging Royalty Free Websites:

Although, I’ve not had anyone who used this method personally.

But I’ve seen tons of graphic designers that use this method to make money from the graphic designing side hustle.

Here’s how you can do it.

There are many royalty-free and “Free for commercial use” websites that design a graphic and upload them on royalty-free websites for people to download for free.

Now, this might look kinda stupid to you because you’re like how can you make money if you’re offering your designs for free.

The way these people make money from their designs is that they have a little button beside their name written “Donate“.

It means that some people will donate money for you if they like your design and it’s helpful for them.

It’s also a way to make money. Imagine when your images start getting a lot of tractions and you have people linking from their sites to your dashboard.

You will keep getting your eyes on your pictures. Also, getting clients can be easy with this.

Since your social media pages and ways to contact you are always displayed at the bottom of your name.

People can contact you to give you jobs and you will execute it for them.

This method can take a while before it starts working well.

But the result is everlasting and will keep getting clients from your previous efforts even if you stop adding your designs on these sites.

Example of royalty-free websites where people can download your designs for there personal and commercial use includes;

You can search on Google and you will get tons of them where you can upload your designs and get people to download and get clients and donations.


6. Using Friend’s Benefits:

If you have some real friends that are loyal and will support your winnings.

Not the ones that get jealous or worried when you’re succeeding.

If you have friends that are kinda like the former… You can tell them to help you repost your works.

Although, I’m not a fan of stuff like this – although it’s very cool if you’re just starting.

You don’t know… Your client might be on their contact list.

So, you can beg them to help you repost your works on their pages.

You can even offer them a benefit for reposting your works. If one reposts your work and you get clients from there.

You can give them a commission as that will motivate them the more to help you.

Note that some of your friends might have many more friends on their contact list than you.

And if you’re like dude I don’t have friends. I’m alone.

You’ve got family right. Holla your family and let them support your hustle.

If they want to enjoy your wealth when you get rich. Then, they should start supporting you now.

Don’t relent… Get up and act smart.

Some of your uncles and aunties might not have time to help you post. You can grab their phone and do it yourself.

It’s for the best Benefit.

Even though this method cannot make you rich. Trust me, it can’t.

Except by luck. But this is how most people started. We start by letting our family and friends repost our work out of love.

And we then gradually moving the ladder till we get to the level that making us bank big.


7. Using Classified Sites:

Classified websites are where the magic happens a lot also. If you’re someone ready to mint money online through graphic design.

Go on classified websites and display your expertise or service.

There are tons of goods and services on classified websites. A website like Craigslist.

Craigslist has both physical and digital products displayed on its website.

Also services. The reason why classified websites are very useful ingredients to your sales recipe is that people go there to find local services.

They go there to find someone who’s living within their locality and can help them fix a problem.

So, if you can go to this website and display your services. You will get clients that will message you the following morning.

Countless numbers of hungry buyers are roaming around these websites.

You can also checkup on other websites but I prefer to recommend Craigslist because it’s what I have tested and trusted.

Although, if you’re living in the US. You’d now have to pay only $5 to display your product or service on their website.

But some other countries are free to display products.

Just check out Craigslist and you will get tons of local clients from this website.

People who will give you jobs to support your graphic design side hustle.


8. Leveraging Groups and Forums:

Another way to start your graphic design side hustle is leveraging Groups and forums.

I wouldn’t say you should go to groups or forums where there are graphic designers.

You won’t get clients that way.

Here’s a way you are going to get a client with this method and I am going to teach you now.

You can join some business groups on Facebook or other social media platforms which you leverage.

You can also join some forums but make sure it’s business groups.

Groups where business people hang out.

Now, the thing about this strategy is that majority of those in these groups will be newbies.

People who are just new to business or people to are into the business but are struggling.

So, you will now offer them a free graphic design service.

You can decide to offer a free logo design for any 20 first commenters on the group.

Tell them to reply with “I want” and you will get tons of people that will want your free service.

Immediately you offer the service to these people and help them design their business logos.

You can upsell them with something else.

Something like Fliers or any other business designs.

Show them samples and make them hungry to own some.

Now, not all of them will be interested. But trust me, at least 6 or 7 of them will pay you for the upsell.

It’s a business strategy that works in any business.

Can you see? You offer a free service at first and upsell them on another design that’s even more beneficial than a mere logo.

That’s another strategy that you should go ahead and implement now because a strategy like this is what others charge high ticket courses to teach.


9. Offer Free Services:

Offering free services is also a little bit complementary to what I’ve been saying since.

But with a little bit different. This strategy doesn’t start with leveraging groups or other platforms.

It starts with your family and friends.

Start by offering free services to them if you don’t have any design you have done and collect testimonials from them.

You can see it complements the friend benefit method in number #6.

So, you can use this method and get testimonials from them. Some of them will even repost your works automatically.

They will help you bring more clients as a newbie.

Helping your family members and building their business is the first step to your success.

Even though they cannot make you rich. But it’s the first step that every expert takes before scaling high.

Also, even if it’s not your friend…walk up to a local store and offer them free graphic design services.

They won’t object to you since it’s free. You can just request their help by letting you post your poster about your service in their store.

It’s a give-and-take method. This works well for people and it’s still working.

You just have to move out of your comfort zone to make it happen.

Okay… Now, Make it happen!


10. Print Fliers and Distribute Within Locality:

Another way you can start your graphic design side hustle is to print Fliers & posters and Distribute them Within your locality.

Even though this strategy is effective, it might not be the best.

You can just add it to your arsenal for strategies. The reason is that most people that you gave the fliers to might have thrown them away before getting home.

Although, you will get some who will contact you for work after. It might not be on that day, it might be later.

Some might also take it home and part of their family members will see it.

Also, the posters that you displayed on the street walls will help you.

It’s effective but it might not give you quick results. It might take a while.

Just sacrifice your time and do it. Also, you can use the free method I said earlier in #9 to post in some local stores.

You can even use cabs to display your services. All you need for doing all these is to build awareness for your brand.

You want people to see your works and know about you.

You don’t want to sit down comfortably and be satisfied with your current head aching income.

You want to do more and get a side hustle like graphic design that can help to pay the bills.

Since we are done with the ways that you can use to start your graphic design side hustle. Let us move to the Pros And Cons Of Graphics Design As A Side Hustle.


Pros and Cons Of Graphics Design As a Side Hustle.

Here Are The Pros or Advantages.

1. Can be done during leisure:

One of the very first Advantages of graphic design is that you can do it during your leisure time.

If you have a 9-5 job that is taking your precious time. You can still have this skill and do it when back from work or before going to work.

Although, designing can be a little bit of work if you haven’t tried it.

But what you need is the idea of how a design should be. Once you already have the idea.

You are out of the fence and you can just design your graphics very easily.

So, this side hustle can be done during free time. It doesn’t take much of your time.

It’s the kind of side hustle that is small work and kinda big money.


2. Free To Start:

This skill is free to start for anybody. Most of the tools that you needed to start are free to use.

Tools like Canva & Photoshop and other editing tools are free to use.

You don’t have to pay any dime to use them. Although some of them might have an advanced version that can serve you better.

But the free versions are cool to get you ready for a start.

Also, the ways through which you can start to market your service are free. Just like I stated in the 10 ways you can start your graphic design side hustle above.

You only have to take the bold step to commence because you can start it for free.

You can later upgrade to advanced plans of your tools when you start making enough money and start having a lot of jobs.

Because by that time, work might become tedious and it will be difficult to satisfy your clients.

So, that’s how it is.


3. It’s A Remote Skill:

Graphic design is a remote skill that doesn’t need any physical investment.

You don’t have to rent a store or incur any overhead expenses before you can start graphic design as a side hustle.

Graphic design is remote and done online and even most of your clients will come from online.

People who have not seen you before but know that you exist.

If you’re even doing freelancing, your clients will come from people all over the world.

So, designing graphics doesn’t need any physical commitment except your dedication.

You just have to do what it takes to commit to this business as a side hustle.

can one make a living with graphic design
Graphic Design As An Extra Source or Income. Credit: pixabay

4. Doesn’t need years of learning:

Unlike other skills that still require years of learning and hard stressing.

Graphic designing is far from that. You don’t need years of learning before you can become an expert in graphic design.

Just like I stated earlier, I didn’t sit down with any coach or enroll for any course before I was able to design.

I only started playing with apps like Canva, Inshots, Photoshop, and the rest and I started designing.

When I realized that some aspects want to become a little bit technical and difficult.

I go to YouTube and I learn it within few minutes and I become very good.

So, you can just download the apps and start playing with them and you will become very good at it.

You don’t need to have years of experience or work before you can become a professional graphic designer and before you can start working for people.


5. High Market Need:

Just like I stated at the beginning of this guide.

Graphic design is needed in every company in the whole world.

The fact that the internet marketing business is now evolving and going higher.

The need for graphics will be going higher also. So, if you have this skill.

You should know that you are hot in the market and millions of people are going to freelance websites every month to look for graphic designers.

All you have to do is display your service and let them find you.

You have to show yourself because this skill is very lucrative.

Aside from the pros or advantages which we already discussed so far.

Graphic design side hustle also has some Cons and disadvantages which you have to be careful about before you can Succeed in the business.

That’s why we have to look into it and get you to be ready for any obstacle that can tackle you along the way.

Cons or Disadvantages.

1. Very competitive:

The first is that this side hustle is very competitive. Before you know it… There are millions of graphic designers out there.

There are even some who know about it but don’t even take it as a business.

Now, does this mean that there is no bright future for you with this skill?

No! That’s not what I am implying.

What I am implying is that you have to find a strategy and look for confirm ways to get clients.

Because if you sit down with one strategy thinking that you will keep getting clients.

It won’t work that way because some people within you are also graphic designers.

So, you reading this article is the best privilege you have over others because you can leverage 5 of the ways I stated above to get clients from several ways.

So,.while others are relying on freelancing… You already have classified sites added to your arsenal.

It’s just a way to scale even if the market is competitive.

This way, you won’t feel the competitiveness. But you will use competitiveness as a step to success.


2. Getting Less Relevant As A Skill:

Oh yes, just like I stated earlier in this article.

There are many tools out there that are simplifying works for people.

Tools like canva already have ready-made templates that even a novice can just tap on and edit into their needs.

So this is not good news for graphic designers because their work is gradually turning irrelevant.

So, small businesses now have the means to create their designs without hiring.

But does this affect you?

Well, it will in a bit.

But the good news is that not every business has time to create designs.

Even though some know a tool like Canva exists. They still prefer to hire graphic designers because they don’t have the time to design.

So, it’s will never quench no matter the number of tools out there.

And because you have to move ahead of others in your marketing approach.

You don’t have to panic because your clients will find you and contact you for help.


3. Can Hardly Help On Long Term:

Well, I only see a graphic design to be a side hustle.

Can you make it a real business? Maybe Yes. But most of the people who do have other businesses they combine.

I wouldn’t advise you to make it a business because it can hardly make you create a family.

Well, if it does for you and you’re reading this guide. You can let us know in the comment box below.

But I haven’t seen anyone who became a millionaire from designing graphics for people.

Except if you create an application that can also help people design graphics.

But to become a millionaire in designing graphics for people. I haven’t.

So, it’s not a long-term goal. It’s just better as a side hustle.


As you can see, we have discussed the ways you can start your graphic design side hustle as a business.

You can leverage these ways and see a quick turnaround.

The processes stated are free methods and so you don’t have to spend money before you can make this a side hustle.

You only have to devote your leisure time to make it big in this industry.

If you enjoy this guide and you feel impacted after reading it.

Kindly tap the share icon and share it with your friends.

Because we rise by lifting others… So, share it with them and let them also gain the impact.

If you have any questions or contributions regarding this guide.

Kindly drop them in the comment box below.



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