The Best Ways to Make Money with Photoshop
I’m sure that at some point, we’ve all considered the possibilities of a creative freelancing career or a job from home- making money whilst pursuing a passion. In fact, whilst making money online can be a slow and stressful process, the potential rewards that you can gain from it can entirely outweigh the drawbacks of the job.
Yet what stops most people from attempting to make money with Adobe Photoshop (click for a free 7 days trial) is the fear that they won’t generate a steady income. But let’s take Passive Owl as an example. He managed to earn almost $5000 for 5 minutes’ worth of work through Print On-Demand Services.
That’s just one of the many examples of how patience can pay off when it comes to generating a passive income. Small amounts of money add up, and you never know where one simple design could take you.
This article will outline Eight Proven Ways to Make Money with Photoshop and their potential earnings. That would allow you to take the first step on your journey towards a creatively generated, steady passive income.
So let’s make a start!
How can you use Photoshop for a career?
If you’re reading this, you’re probably experienced with Photoshop and you’re thinking about making it your daily job.
You surely know as well that Photoshop is a powerful tool that is used in many different areas. From the movie industry to the small coffee shop using it to create a nice-looking menu, Photoshop became a reference in graphic design over the years.
That is why it offers so many different career possibilities. If you’re looking for a way to use photoshop for your career, you need to know what you like to do with this tool and in which domain you’re good at. Otherwise, you’ll either get bored and fed up quickly with your job because you don’t like it or, you won’t get any contract because you’re not good enough.
Therefore, we made a list of 7 ways to make money with Photoshop to give you a rough idea of the different possibilities. We also briefly explain to you how you can generate an income and how much you can expect for each of them.
If you want to discover more jobs that are related to Photoshop, I recommend you this big article by Zippia that lists 50 different ideas.
1 – Selling Your Editing Skills
One way you can make money from Adobe Photoshop (click for a free 7 days trial) is to use your skills to answer job assignments put on sites by clients. Set up a profile, make sure that it looks professional, displays a relevant description of you as an artist, and start applying to assignments.
Freelancing on these sites, like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, and Guru can be difficult at first. There can be high competition for jobs, and you need to build some reputation across the platform to be a competitive applicant for a client’s assignments.
However, there are ways to build a reputation whilst avoiding these high levels of competition when you first start. For instance, begin with applying to jobs with smaller pay, below $50. After about 10-15 jobs of this level, you should have still earned a considerable amount of money and will have a portfolio to start applying to bigger jobs with.
For the sites in which you decide on the price, start by offering your skills for lower prices and gradually increase them as you become more reputable.
Another good way to build a good reputation is by always surpassing the client’s expectations, no matter how important the order is. Hopefully, this will see you with great client reviews, which works wonders for your reputation as a freelancer on the site. Furthermore, satisfied customers will come back and even refer you to other potential customers.
Note that it is a good idea to pick a specific skill to focus on, for example, image restoration or movie poster creation. As you will be up against smaller competition levels, it will be clearer to potential clients what your skillset is. It is important to choose a field you’re comfortable with to have the best results over a smaller amount of time.
Fiverr, a popular freelancing site, recently named Graphic Design as one of the most lucrative side-hustles on the platform, with services selling for $100 to $3000. Many users of the site are earning six-figure incomes. Whilst this takes patience, it can be done with hard work and dedication.
2 – Creating Tutorials
Perhaps an even more popular way to make money from tutorials is creating and monetising a YouTube channel. For example, Patreon, a crowdfunding site, can be integrated with your YouTube account, and can allow you to earn money from viewers who become your patrons.
Brand partnerships are another way in which you can monetise your YouTube account, but bear in mind that these are normally opportunities that are offered to more popular users. So, make sure to build a substantial audience before you approach brands and ask for partnerships.
Skillshare is also a great platform to sell premium online classes to people looking for improving their photoshop skills.
An example of a YouTube user that is generating money from tutorials is Piximperfect. With an estimated net worth of $417,000, he earns around $6,500 monthly from his videos on the site.
In terms of Patreon, the highest paid creators on the site are earning upwards of $50,000 a month, but it’s more common for users to earn around $300 monthly.
3 – Creating Presets and Actions
If, however, you do not have a direct audience readily available, it is still possible to make money from your presets through digital marketplaces like the following:
CreativeMarket – an advantage of this site is that you can set your own prices, and you keep 70% of each sale made. As a popular platform, it provides you with the ability to develop a strong income from the selling of your presets and actions.
- Filtergrade – with this site, which has around 100,000 members, you earn up to 70% of the money made from each sale. A good thing about this site is that it is specific to presets and actions, meaning that a high percentage of site visitors will be interested in what you are selling.
The average user of Filtergrade earns over $400 each month from their presets. On CreativeMarket, there are many users earning over $1000 every month, and some who have generated over $500,000 from selling on the site.
4 – Earn Money by Creating and Selling Fonts
Much like selling presets and actions, selling your fonts can seem, at first, an intimidating and difficult process. With a large audience already generated, making sales can be easy, whilst selling products without a direct audience can be a lot harder.
But selling fonts, even without a direct audience, can still be done, and can allow you to earn a significant passive income, with hard work and dedication. You can sell your fonts via either a foundry (a publisher or vendor) or a reseller.
- FontSpring – you get to keep 70% of the money made from sales of your fonts, which is a reasonable rate. However, since this is a foundry, you agree to a contract that prevents you from selling your fonts anywhere else.
- MyFonts – on average, font owners earn around 50% of the money made from a sale. This site is a reseller, meaning that it sells fonts from a variety of foundries.
- CreativeMarket – this site is not specific to fonts but can be a useful platform from which to sell fonts, letting you keep 70% of the money made from each sale.
Whilst it is fairly difficult to earn a living selling fonts, it is definitely possible to earn substantial amounts of money on the side. Font packages tend to be sold with any price from $10 to $300. The highest earning font designers are earning six digit salaries, whilst the average income is around $200 a month.
5 – Make Money by Creating Website Themes
A client, whose website is one of the most important aspects of their marketing process, will most likely be willing to pay large amounts of money for a website theme that suits their company.
Keep in mind that coding skills are mandatory when creating website templates. The templates that you create can then be sold on a variety of platforms, such as the following:
- ThemeForest – as one of the largest sites of its kind, ThemeForest allows you to set your own prices and sell themes (typically for WordPress) to clients.
Commission rates are dependent upon your gross sales. So, the more you sell, the smaller percentage of profit they take. For example, after you have made $75,000 worth of sales, the author fee will be reduced to 12.5%.
- MojoThemes – this platform allows you to choose how you sell each individual item- exclusively or non-exclusively (in other words, whether you will only sell the product on that site, or if you will also sell it from other platforms).
If you choose to sell exclusively, you will begin with keeping 50% of the money generated from your sales. This rate increases as you generate more sales, until after $2000, at which point you will be able to keep 70%.
If however you opt for non-exclusivity, your percentage of the sale is set at a static 50%.
The website theme and template industry is one that is fast-growing, and thousands of creatives are earning $500 to $30,000 a month from selling their templates. For example, selling on ThemeForest has seen the creation of multiple millionaires.
Whilst income may be low at first, with patience and dedication you can start earning significant amounts of money from your templates and themes.
6 – Creating and Selling Designs on Print on Demand Sites
Whilst commission rates may be low, there are many advantages of selling through POD (Print on Demand) platforms. The main benefit is that in many cases the site will handle everything for you- the printing, packaging, shipping, marketing, and customer service. With all of this taken care of, you are left with more time to focus on designing new products to sell.
In addition to this, many Print on Demand platforms are very popular. For example, Redbubble receives over 10 million site visits each month. With statistics like that, you should never be short of potential customers, as long as you find a way to stand out amongst the many people that sell on the site.
If you work on marketing your products well, you can potentially make thousands of dollars in sales by selling on Print on Demand sites. Despite the fact that you only receive a few dollars per product, every small amount adds up, so there is a possibility that you could generate a significant amount of money.
7 – Selling Mock-Up Images
Another great way in which you can make money with Adobe Photoshop (click for a free 7 days trial) is by making and selling mock-up images. The demand for these is becoming increasingly high, meaning that there is lots of money to be found in the industry.
So why is the demand for these so high? Well, mock-up images are used in so many cases- from producing advertising material, to presenting a new product idea, or displaying a new software idea on a screen.
Whilst there aren’t many specific sites that are dedicated to allowing you to sell mock-up images, there are lots of more versatile platforms that are popular amongst mock-up designers.
- CreativeMarket: this online marketplace is home to over 20,000 mock-up images. For every sale you make on the site, you keep 70%.
- Etsy – this is also a site that is very popular amongst sellers of mock-up images, currently selling over 50,000 designs. A huge benefit of selling on Etsy is that they only take 5% of each sale, meaning that you can earn significant amounts of money.
POTENTIAL EARNINGS: It has been said that most designers earn around $500 – $30,000 per month through selling their mock-up images.
8 – Sell your own Images
Even though you don’t specifically use photoshop for it, selling your images on stock websites can generate an interesting side income. Nowadays, you want to differentiate yourself from the competition by creating either original content that will fit a specific niche or by creating top quality and high definition images.
Once you get your first images accepted and published, you want to keep updating new ones as often as possible. Pay attention to the keywords you chose, some have more competition than others. You want to start with themes that are more specific and therefore have less competition. Once you get a certain amount of sales and reputation, you can start producing images for larger and more searched terms.
Don’t limit yourself to just one website. Even if they propose special rates for exclusivity, it’s not worth it.
If you want more information about selling stock images, have a look at this ultimate guide Photoworkout created.
Remember that making money by selling stock images takes time. It won’t happen overnight. You want to have as many images published as possible and keep publishing new ones regularly. Your potential earnings can vary from as little as $5 a month to a crazy success like Yuri Arcurs, who earned millions of dollars thanks to stock images.
To conclude, there are so many ways in which you can make money from Photoshop, by using your skills to generate either an active or passive income whilst doing what you love.
Whilst the low income that many designers experience upon starting out can be discouraging, substantial amounts of money can be earned with perseverance, dedication, time, and hard work.
Remember that nothing happens overnight and that no matter how much you’re earning, at least you’re doing a job that you enjoy.
Captivated by the digital world and particularly attracted by everything related to creativity, Martin is an amateur photographer and digital marketer who has more than 10 years of experience with Adobe Photoshop. Check his about page here
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