Lately my Graphic Designer friends are interested to know how to earn income through online with their skills and experience.

So, I study for them and write an article. Here’s a look at some of the many ways that is possible to earn as a web or graphic designer.

As a freelance graphic designer who is looking for some variety rather than day to day work, one can look for some graphic stock sites. In this article, I will be giving you a peek into some of the leading websites in this field. These sites also provide website template/theme, photographs, flash animation, vector & raster illustrations from graphic artists for sale.

1. Template/Theme Sales

If you are a good designer with a good working knowledge in web programming, you can make website template and sell online. With the growing demand of templates for Website and Blog, a graphic designer can sell template through websites like ThemeForest , Mojo Themes, Templamatic and ThemeGarden , earning part of their income from templates sales. Requirement of WordPress, joomla, drupal template is increasing day by day.



  • It is time flexible. You can work according to your own time.
  • Marketplaces like ThemeForest,  Mojo Themes and ThemeGarden  have proved that extra income as a graphic designer is one of the greatest sources.


  • As per clients requirement theme customization needs certain time.
  •  Due to lot of designers you can face hard competition in attempting to sell templates.


2. Stock Graphic Sales

You could also earn by selling stock graphics. ThemeForestGraphicRiveriStockphoto  and Shutterstock all are similar marketplace for buying or selling graphics, illustrations, icons, and vector files.


  • It is time flexible. You can work according to your own time.
  • The above sites are extra good income sources for a graphic designer.


  • Competitions among the designers are increasing at the marketplace.
  • You have to make more graphics and have to sell more of it, so that it will worth your time.


3. Stock Photo Sales

Designers who love photography can earn extra income by selling their stock photos online.

This is been done at these sites  (iStockphoto,jupiterimages and Shutterstock), or it could also be done through your own website.


  • When you are travelling somewhere at that time you can click varieties of good photos in different form and upload it at the above mentioned sites for selling.
  • It is time flexible. You can work according to your own time.


  • Competitions among each others are increasing at the marketplace.

4. Writing for Blog

If you have good writing skill you could earn online. You get paid to write a tutorial article or any design related article. Article has to be unique and high quality to get published by the site. There are many sites for which you write article and get pay for that article. Some of the sites are Tutorial9, psdTuts, gomedia, Smashingmagazine


  • It is time flexible. You can work according to your own time.
  • There are number of tutorial sites that hire freelance writer, or you could run your own tutorial site.
  • Website owners earn a very good income.


  • Full time earning possibility is very less.
  • The responsibilities of blogging can take away from your time for designing.
  • There is regular flow of new and unique content.

5. Membership Sites

Membership sites are another way to sell stock design resources. You can set up your own membership-based site to sell templates/themes or stockphoto and tutorials.


  • If you have satisfying members you’ll have a recurring source of income from your site.
  • You can provide different types of resources for your members.
  • It is time flexible. You can work according to your own time.


  • There is regular flow of new and unique content in order to retain your members.
  • In setup of your own website it will consume amount of time and expense too.


Here below are some popular website to buy, sell images, photograph, illustrations, flash animation and website templates and themes online.


Themeforest is the most popular website to buy and sell website template or theme. Basically the core competency of Themeforest is in XHTML based website templates and CMS (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal) theme. As a seller you can create an account and upload your theme / template to sell. You can earn up to 70% on every sale.

Mojotheme website is popula marketplace for buy and sell website template or theme. As a seller you can create an account and upload your unique theme / template to sell. You can also choose to sell that theme / template exclusively or non-exclusively. You can earn up to 70% on every sale as a exclusive seller.


iStockphoto is  the most popular website to buy, sell images, flash animation, stock footage and photos online. As a seller you can create an account and apply to be a contributor. Once you’re approved you’ll be able to upload your graphic works including flash animation, vector illustrations, photographs and earn a base commission of 20% on anything sold as contributor, and exclusive contributor earn up to 40%.

Vector Stock

Vector Stock is a good option for graphic designers, who are interested in only vector illustrations. This site mainly focuses on vectors illustrations. To sell your work you can sign up for an account. Once you’re a member you’ll have to upload and sell your designs.  The payout is 25%, or 30% if you supply images for Vector Stock exclusively. You can potentially earn up to 50% with their accelerated payment structure for artists who have had a high number of downloads.

Graphic Leftovers

Graphic Leftovers is a new site with the purpose of allowing designers the opportunity to sell their unused work. If you are used to doing client work, the stuff that the client doesn’t want can be sold at Graphic Leftovers. They have icons, illustrations, and even some website templates for sale. Regardless of how much you sell, you’ll earn 52% commission.


Stockxpert is similar to iStockphoto in terms of the photos and images that are available, although the selection is a bit less than iStockphoto. At Stockxpert you canearn 50% commission and you can view your stats and earnings in real time.


Shutterstock only sells photos and images by subscription, not on an individual basis. As a seller, you’ll get paid $0.25 every time one of your images is downloaded. Once you’ve got $500 in your kitty your commission will get increased to $0.30 per download. You will need to sign up to be a seller in their website.


BigStockPhoto sells images individually, and your earning range can be $0.50 to $3 per download (or more on special license downloads). In order to get into this earning program you’ll have to pass a test.


Fotolia sells photos and images individually as well as through subscriptions. You can sell your work with exclusive licenses and name your price. As a seller, you canearn up to 80% commission, with an average of 52%.


Dreamstime sells images individually. The base commission is ranges from 50% to 80% per download. Commissions here depend on exclusivity plus there are different levels according to how many of your files have been purchased. The more you sell, the more you make.


ShuttPoint is another option. Over here you can buy the disk space that your images will take ($19 – $49 per year) and you can earn 70-85%.


The above reference is totally different from Explore Job Boards over there you don’t have bid for projects. You can easily buy and sell the projects. But in Explore Job Boards you have to bid for the projects.


Explore Job boards

Explore Job Boards would help you out in many sense. There are so many design jobs website from where you can easily earn your extra income. It will also build a strong relationship with your clients which will help you out to get good job opportunities in the upcoming future.

You will get the jobs like logo design, branding design, website design and writing design related article. Over there you have to appropriate bid on projects as per your skills, experience and thorough understandings of clients wants so that you can get the job according to your choice. You can bid on projects using freelance job board sites, such as eLance, oDesk, Guru, MycroBurst and VWorker.

Categories: Article


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He is a freelance graphic designer with more than 15 years of design experience, including both print and web design.

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2 Responses so far.

  1. vinodh says:

    good article

  2. erin says:

    Great information
    thank you

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