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Ways to Earn Money Online for Web Designers and Web Developers

As of late we’ve been receiving emails from people asking us for tips on how to earn money online as a web designer or web developer. As a response, I’ve written a quick list of things that web designers and web developers can start doing RIGHT NOW to earn sweet money. This post is for designers and developers of any skill level.

If you’re entirely new to web design and web development and you’re looking for resources to help you learn and become a web designer, here are some great starting points that I personally recommend:

Learn for Free

Learn for a Fee

  • TeamTreeHouse – hundreds of video tutorials about business, web design, and web development for the absolute beginner.
  • Tuts+ Premium – several courses and video tutorials about web design and web development, this is one of the most popular learning website available today.
  • Udemy – Udemy has in-depth courses for everyone, from marketing to web designing and game development. Thousands of people enroll on these classes, and many leave great reviews on the courses.

Quick Definition

Over the years the tasks between a web designer and web developer have changed, from worlds apart to just a thin veil. A web designer purely designs templates in Adobe Photoshop (or another editor) and that’s the end of it, while web developers are solely responsible for the code that is written. Right now, it is a requirement that every web designer knows how to code their web templates, this means knowing how to use HTML and CSS fluently.

Earn Money Online as a Web Designer/Graphic Designer


I am assuming that you can already create decent web designs and you already have a good understanding of HTML and CSS and Adobe Photoshop. Those three tools are crucial to becoming a successful web designer. Know how to properly use the three together and you will never find yourself unoccupied.

Before proceeding, realize that creativity can be learned, although there are people who have practiced it naturally since a young age. Do not be disheartened. If you know you can do it, you can do it. Web design gets easier if you are persistent and if you have passion..

Another important thing to understand is that, given you have a good eye for design, the only thing limiting you from becoming a web designer are the tools that you haven’t learned yet. There is no shortcut, you really need to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop, HTML, CSS, and other tools that professionals use.

What follows is a list of things beginning web designers, web developers, graphic designers, and other tech savvy people can do to earn money online.

1. Write Tutorials for Web Design Blogs (active income)


Yes, you read that right. Quite a lot of web designers and web developers are into blogging — either for their own blogs or for others. It is a lucrative sideline, writing what you know about web design and web development and getting paid for it from $50 to $150, depending on the web design blog you are writing for. In fact, there are many web designers who are also freelance writers.

To give you an idea, pays $150 per tutorial.

Note: sorry, ladies and germs, we’re not accepting guest posts at the moment!

Basic requirements:

  • Have a good knowledge of every aspect of web design, since you will be writing about it. You can write articles or tutorials, depending on the needs of the website, and depending on your expertise.
  • Great English writing skills, since you will write a lot.

How it works:

  • You either start your own blog and share your tips and techniques there and earn from advertising (which takes months before you actually earn).
  • Write for already established web design and web development blogs like

Difficulty: it’s difficult at first, since you will most likely be subject to lots of revisions (normal for first timers), but as time moves forward it will be easy enough to make thousands of dollars monthly.

I know several people who have been doing this for years now, even if they’re just students or professionals working full-time. Just take a look at and you’ll realize that every published article and tutorial we have there are from web designers, web developers or enthusiasts, who are either working full-time for a company or students wishing to increase their income.

Related links:

2. Print Designer (active income)


If you are confident enough with your design skills, you can find print design jobs on online job boards or even find work offline. Once you have familiarized yourself with how print design works, you will never have problems accomplishing tasks given to you. The only challenge you’ll find is the competition. There are thousands of print designers out there and you really need to make your mark, be unique, and get noticed.

Skills required:

  • Excellent creativity and unique style.
  • Excellent command of Adobe Photoshop or other image editing tool.

How it works:

  • Clients will send their specifications to you.
  • You design, send a couple of versions.
  • Revise chosen design until client is satisfied.

Difficulty: as long as you can design great business cards, flyers, posters, and the like, you will not find it difficult at all, although a little daunting task.

3. Sell Stock Web Templates (passive income)


While beginners may find it hard to land a web design project, there are a lot of ways you can leverage your skills, even without prior real-life experience. I am talking about designing web templates and selling them online. I personally know three people who are yet to be commissioned for a web design project, yet they are already earning money online by selling their products on ThemeForest. The good thing about this is that they get to see if they really have what it takes to be a web designer. It is also a great way to build up a portfolio.

Skills required:

  • Excellent command of Adobe Photoshop or other image editing tool.
  • Great understanding of design principles, how to use colors, and other necessary stuff for a great design.

How it works:

  • You design a web template or web elements.
  • List your products in marketplaces like Themeforest.
  • If they get accepted, then all you need to do is sit back and wait for people to buy your products.
  • Or you can market yourself and your products to increase the chances of people buying your stuff.

Difficulty: if you believe that you’re a great designer, then this career path will be easy for you. If you’re a beginner, but is great with designing/conceptualizing, all you need to do is learn how to use web design tools and things will flow naturally for you.

Web and graphic design is not easy, it takes a lot of skill and experience to pull off a great design. When I say experience, I mean hours upon hours spent practicing and refining your designs. Just like driving, you don’t get to drive like a professional in just one day, or play basketball after reading a book about it. You need to practice, practice, and practice.

4. Sell Stock Graphics (passive income)


Similar to selling web templates, only you’ll mostly design logos, icons, and web elements. Icons that can be used for web and mobile interfaces, web elements that other designers can use for their designs, and logos that other designers can manipulate for their own.

Skills required:

  • Knowledge of icon and logo design.
  • Must be proficient with Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop or similar software.

How it works:

  • You design a set of icons or other stock graphics for websites and mobile applications.
  • Profit.

Difficulty: similar to selling web templates.

The thing about focusing on selling stock graphics is that you need to have hundreds of them to actually see your profit increase. It’s not enough that you have only 50 icons or 100 elements, it’s an ongoing process of creating sets that can help other designers, more specifically UI designers, to expedite their design process. Mind you, you will mostly design small and minimal things, which is not always simple to do.

5. Bundle Web Design and Web Hosting (passive income)


Looking for a web hosting service? We recommend Bluehost!

You can start your own web hosting services, where you rent servers from an already existing and credible company, host your clients’ websites on your servers for a monthly fee and bundle it with free maintenance.

This is called reseller hosting, and it’s one of the best forms of passive income for web designers and web developers. Of course, this is more advanced stuff, just one of the paths you can take if you start with website maintenance.

Basic requirements:

  • You will need to have a good understanding of how web hosting services work, how to set up a website, how to navigate through the control panel. Most reseller packages have free tutorials that can get your web hosting service running in just a couple of hours.
  • Great web design skills, enough to design an entire website from scratch and make it work.

How it works:

  • First set up your web hosting service, which can take some time if you’ve never done it before.
  • Once your web hosting is properly configured, you will need to find clients.
  • Once you have clients, you will then design for them and host their websites on your own hosting company for a monthly fee.

Difficulty: intermediate. Setting up your web hosting service takes a lot of time and learning, but once you’ve set it all up, everything will run smoothly. The only thing you need to do then is to actively find clients that you can design for.

Alternatively, if you are a web developer and you don’t have enough time to design, you can find a web designer to partner with. If you’re a web designer, but you’re only confident with your design skills but not your coding skills, you can partner with a web developer as well. Two heads are better than one!

In fact, I highly recommend doing this. Not only do you open yourself to the wonders of web design, you are also safeguarding your income. Hosting your clients’ websites means receiving monthly payments. It’s one of those rare instances that allow you to turn paying clients into a source of passive income.

Earn Money Online as a Web Developer

With the following items, I am assuming that you are already familiar with how web developers work, what tools they use, and that you can already consider yourself as a beginner in the field of web development.

If you’re totally new to web development but you want to be one, here are some resources and tutorials that you can read in order to start becoming a web developer.

1. Website Handyman (active income)


An on-call web developer to fix a website’s problem, upgrade or develop extra features, and just be a website’s resident web developer. This can be a lucrative job if you have the skills already.

Skills required:

  • You should have a good knowledge of how web hosting works.
  • PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript – seriously, if you want to become a web developer you should know these four at least on a basic level.

How it works:

It depends on the employer, but most likely it’s either of the two:

  1. Resident web developer – you will be responsible for adding features, upgrades, and maintaining the entire website, or network of websites.
  2. Per-project developer – you will most likely be involved in projects that take days or weeks to accomplish, and you will solely focus on one task at a time.

Difficulty: if you have a good understanding of the skills above, and if you can couple it with some programming languages, it will be easy. Problems only occur once in a while, and mostly clients will seek for your help when they need to update something on the website’s content or design.

Website maintenance is, ironically, very low maintenance once you have settled everything. Most likely, your clients will only ask for updates once in a while, and one of your tasks will be to make sure that every plugin or module running the site is up to date.

The skills required for this job depend on your target clients. For beginners, it is much easier if you focus on websites that are mostly static, where you will only be asked to update content, update the design, and fix some smaller issues without having to use JavaScript and PHP.

This is a very good career path, it has a lot of branches that you can tap into as you gain skill and experience.

2. PSD to HTML/CSS Coder (active income)


This may fall under web design, but I’m placing it here, since there are more web developers who are knowledgeable enough with advanced HTML/CSS and other relevant stuff. Basically, you will convert PSD templates into working websites.

Skills required:

  • Good knowledge of Adobe Photoshop
  • Good working knowledge of HTML and CSS

How it works:

  • Basically, you will accept orders from web designers and convert their PSD templates into a working website.

Difficulty: a single-page template, with moderate design and elements, will probably take six hours to convert, given that you know HTML and CSS and that you’re a beginner. It’s time consuming, especially if you’re new to it, but it’s a fun job and the pay is great.

This can be a precursor to becoming a WordPress theme developer if you want to be a one-man-army.

3. WordPress Theme Developer (passive income)


WordPress is everywhere, in fact themes have been one of the most profitable markets for the past several years now and won’t be stopping anytime soon.

Can a beginning web developer do it? Sure, as long as you’re persistent enough to learn new things!

Skills required:

  • HTML and CSS
  • PHP – you will need to know PHP in order to develop your own WordPress themes. This will also prove important once you start studying WordPress.
  • WordPress – if you’re already familiar with HTML, CSS, and PHP then it will only take around a week to get yourself familiar with WordPress.
  • Good design skills

How it works:

  • Design a great web template.
  • Convert it into a working HTML and CSS website.
  • Convert it into a WordPress theme.
  • Sell your theme online.

Difficulty: not really for beginners, but I highly suggest following this path in the future. If you have your eyes already set upon web development, and have a basic understanding of PHP, then I believe it will only take about two weeks of learning WordPress to finally create your very own theme.

What did you expect? You’ll need to design the theme that you will convert into a WordPress theme.

There’s a workaround here, though, and I’ve mentioned it before. You can partner up with a web designer and have him/her do the designing and you can focus on the development.

4. Sell Code Scripts and Snippets (passive income)


If you’re fond of writing codes for calendars, image sliders, polls, and other add-ons for a website, you’ll have a lot of fun selling code scripts and snippets.

Take CodeCanyon user corsonr as an example. He has a total of 13 items for sale on CodeCanyon and over 500 sales since he started. Today he has earned around $6,500 just from those codes he has written.

It might not be that much for our readers in North America, but it sure is a lot on other nations. Besides, it’s a great source of passive income.

Skills required:

  • Knowledgeable in at least two languages: JavaScript or PHP
  • HTML and CSS

How it works:

  • You will code specific functionalities for either WordPress (and another CMS’s) or one that can easily be use on any website.
  • It can be a calendar, a simple search function, a slider, a responsive pricing table, almost anything.

Difficulty: you will need to be proficient in coding, enough to code a whole new function.

Tell Us What You Think!

What do you think about this post? I hope you learned something new!

What will you do next? Start a freelancing career or start your own business?

Don’t forget to share your tips on how to earn money online as a web designer or web developer!

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