Freelancing is always an interesting profession. Its flow of work is best referred as ‘fast and famine’, meaning that people can experience extended periods of no work followed by periods of complete overload. With the economies are still struggling with crisis and hardship, the freelancing community of all fields is taking a big hit and many even need to give up their businesses altogether. Fortunately, there are many things freelance Web designers can do to earn money from many related areas.
As a Web designer, your skill set lends itself quite well to other design fields. You likely know how to use design applications, which is a big hurdle for others. And because you also have a strong grasp in design theory, this should be a good start to begin your career in printing business.
In many ways print design is easier than Web design, so making a jump to the printing business can be much easier than you think. However it doesn’t mean that web designers can immediately run off and start creating print catalogue if they never have taken a printing project before.
Regardless of its apparent simplicity, printing can still be daunting task, especially if you aren’t used to many quirks it has. For starters, web designers need to educate themselves on latest developments in printing business. You need to be fully knowledgeable of common substrates, colors, inks and processes used, as well as cost components of various printing supplies and parts. Of course, it is possible for web designers to slate by without learning about the business; however they are more likely to make mistakes and incur unnecessary costs.
Print design also involves large graphic files, for example instead of creating 72dpi RGB files, you need to deal with far bigger 300dpi CMYK files. If your computer can handle Web images just fine, make sure it can also handle large, more detailed files. For Web designers, a transition to CMYK files is often interesting as they also need to take into account factors such as fluorescents, spot colors and others. Colors produced on printed materials are often less vibrant and duller than what you see on the monitor screen; consequently you need to compensate for differences in results.
One favorable effects of print design as an additional source of income is closely related to what you always do as a Web designer and you don’t need to start from scratch. If your current clients also have physical business, it might not be too difficult to convince them to employ your service for creating large, business cards, brochures, direct mail campaigns, flyers and other printing projects.
The printing industry allows businesses to obtain effective marketing tools and it will never die off no matter how much the Internet complements or substitutes common advertising methods. It means, there is a steady stream of potential income that is waiting to be tapped into.
Web designers with strong portfolio often earn respect as knowledgeable professionals in their field. This may open up the door that they may never have even suspected to exist. They would be astonished at how many organizations and businesses from all sizes are willing to pay so much just to obtain professional opinions from Web designers. Consulting can take many forms, for example businesses with an in-house design team may want a second opinion from an outside firm. The work of a design consultant involves measuring the effectiveness of current designs.
Opportunities may arise from businesses that are undergoing major Web site construction or redesign. Often, they need other professionals to look at their current design and determine what it’s going to take in terms of budget, man hours and technologies. There are many cases where people need the brain of professional designer. Remember that you’re a person with specific skills and knowledge not possessed by many purple. Your skill set is more valuable and useful than merely for using design tools like Photoshop.
Suffice to say, the Web design industry is growing rapidly and sometimes to the point of saturation. What this means for designers like you is that you can find tons of Web design sites that really need professional opinions.
To get started, create a blog that showcase your design and writing skills. Write anything useful and relevant to the Web design community. At first, you shouldn’t worry too much with incoming traffic, just create some sample articles that your future clients may appreciate. After having a dozen of interesting articles under your belt, you should start sending emails to popular Web design websites. Kindly introduce yourself, tell them you like their site and you want to help out, and don’t forget to provide a link to your blog. As long as you are a solid Web designer and writer, after sending emails to about fifteen Web design blogs, you may start to receive more writing opportunities than you can handle.
This could be a field that you are fairly new to. Any Web designer can set up a web hosting service, the logic for choosing this career path is quite simple: As a web designer you are in a good position to influence your clients where they should host the website.
Of course, you shouldn’t force your clients into registering to your website reseller service, but you can present it as an optional service. If your clients take it, you may earn residual income for as long as you can provide satisfactory service. The idea of a recurring income is very interesting. Instead of being paid once for your Web design service, simply by taking a one-time effort, you can receive monthly free while providing only a minimal service.
It is a rather touchy subject for many Web designers. A typical fear among designers is the fact that they could put skilled designer out of work. If a company can purchase a good looking theme for $15 why would they pay a hard working designer $1500 to build one?
The problem is, this could be just a simple complaint against those who can come up with a valid alternative that’s arguably better than employing the service of a professional Web designer. As much as people would love to insist otherwise, not everyone needs a 100 percent custom-built design.
For website owners, hiring a Web designer to modify a pre-built theme is often a smart decision than building a design from the scratch. And, if you’ve created the theme, who could do it better than yourself? When publishing a theme, make sure you include a few versions that have been modified based on fictitious companies. Some potential clients might be interested with how customizable your themes are and ask you to do it for them.
Selling premium themes is also a good step toward a steady stream of residual income. You don’t need to engage in annoying customer service process and respond to numerous requests for fixes. The downside is that, you’ll find plenty of competition in this field, but after you release dozens of attractive and professional-looking themes, you can expect at least a few hundreds of dollars each month in residual income.
You shouldn’t settle with small paychecks during low seasons. If you are not working as much as you’d like, it is the right to seek alternative source of income. This article is by no means a complete guide and because each Web designer has unique skill set, they may have different alternative career opportunities.
About: Raja Writes on SEO, Blogging, Web Design, Web Hosting and few other Topics. He regularly writes on Dedicated Hosting Reviews at WebHostingReview.info