How To Make Money Online as A Web Designer
Website designing is one of the most sought after skills nowadays. It’s classed as an evergreen skill because it will always be in demand.
According to the Verisign Executive Summary there are 351.8 million TLD (Top Level Domains) domains registered. Plus 156 Million ccTLD Country Code Domains registered and a total of 23 million registered gTLD (Generic Top Level Domains) in the first quarter of 2019.
This makes a staggering total of 530 million domains registered as of 2019.
However the actual number of websites online is somewhere in the region of 1.6 to 1.9 billion.
This represents a huge opportunity for web designers everywhere. As the number of websites continues to increase so does the demand for web designers.
A lot of people get in to designing websites because they see the huge demand for websites. They think that it’ll be an easy way to make money. And they’re not wrong, it’s not too difficult to earn money as a freelance web designer and if you follow the tips in this article you’ll be earning even more!
So Read On
If you’re not qualified as a web designer/developer then more than likely you’ll get into web designing because you built a site for yourself, for a friend or relative. With modern website builders it’s easy to achieve great results with limited experience.
Most popular of these modern website builders is WordPress. Around 30% of websites online today are built with the WordPress blogging platform.
WordPress stats from 2018 are quite remarkable:
14.7% of the world’s Top 100 Websites are WP-based over 500 new sites are created daily using the free version on WordPress.org 17 new blog posts pop-up every second
There is often a lot of debate as to what is a web designer or developer is or does. This is because many of the new sites online today are template driven (with WordPress). That is where the person building the site will purchase a ready-made design for use on a website for their client.
In this article I want to discuss ways of how to make money online as a web designer / builder.
Are Web Designers in Big Demand?
So long as there are websites online then web designers are going to be needed.
New .com and .net domain name registrations totalled approximately 9.6 million at the end of the second quarter of 2018, compared to 9.2 million domain name registrations for the second quarter of 2017.
Some of these will never be used but a large majority will have a website attached at some stage in it’s lifetime.
This means there’s always going to be demand for web designers. However as technology evolves so to will the role of web designer / developer.
How Much Can You Make as a Web Designer?
Before we discuss the salary we have to define the term web designer.
This is often a catch all term which can cover a number of different web skills.
The web designer term can relate so someone who creates the visual aspect of the website pages through to developing web applications using coding languages. It can also mean social media, accessibility, user testing and user experience designers. So you can see there is a wide skill range within the term web designer.
According the Salary.com a web designers average range of pay in the United States is $65,000 to $87,000 pear year or $32 to $42 per hour. The figures would be adjusted according to skills, experience and education an can be higher than the figures quoted for the most skilled and experienced people.
Can You Make Money Online As a Freelance Web Designer?
You certainly can, but there are key differences between being employed and freelancing.
You’re working for an established business with contracts in place. You would be given a brief for a project and you get on with the job. There’s not much more to consider over and above the project in hand. Therefore your time is focused on producing the end result within the scope of brief.
Being a freelance web designer is more involved.
For a start as a freelance web designer you have to actually find the client to work for in the first place. This in itself can be a daunting task for many people. Then you must agree a fee for the work required, draw up contracts or agreements for the scope of the work.
And throughout the development of the project you have to liaise with the client. This may also include producing design revisions, mockups or demos. Finally once the work is complete and delivered the freelancer has to chase up payment off the client. This can take anything from a few days to a few months depending on the client. So as a freelance web designer you sometimes have to deal with cash flow problems.
It’s important to note, you’ll be self employed so you’ll also have to deal with your own business accounts and personal tax affairs.
But don’t let this put you off, there are some great positives to being a freelance web designer
You can work from home or anywhere with an internet connection. You can choose the hours you work and this is ideal if you have children. It allows you to be at home with your children and work when they are at school, at nursery or in bed.
This gives you amazing freedom which you could never have being employed.
So let’s get started
How To Make Money Online As A Web Designer / Developer (Freelance)
This is written assuming the web designer reading this has the basic skills to build a standard website. This could be hand coded with html and css or using WordPress with ready made themes. This is about making money as a web designer not site building.
Decide on the web services you’ll offer clients.
There are many aspects to the web design field therefore it’s important to list out and decide on what services you will offer. You may be tempted to list everything you know. If you’re just starting out I suggest you limit your offers to 3 – 4 services.
By offering too many services you’ll make your marketing plans to get new clients much more difficult than it need be. You should stay focused on a core product then use the other services as add-ons or upsells.
What Services You Can Offer
Here’s a list of web services you can offer as a freelance web designer.
- Project Management
- Web Design
- Template Design
- Web Development
- Responsive Websites
- Web Apps
- Ecommerce Websites
- Native Apps Android and iPhone
- Sales Funnels
- Landing Pages
- Email Template Designs
- On Page Search Engine Optimisation
- Website Makeovers
Create Your Own Website To Showcase Your Talent
You’ll want to include an about section to introduce yourself to potential clients.
Don’t write an essay but try to make it personal along with your technical abilities. Give a little background about your likes and dislikes, what you do in your spare time. Make sure the reader knows there’s a human behind the screen.
Add an area for samples of your work.
Again if you’re starting out and you don’t have any work, then design some templates and put those on show instead. 4 – 6 items should be enough at the beginning, you can always add to it at a later date.
Here’s some Builderall Website Examples
Make sure you detail all the services you offer.
If possible add a CTA (call to action) linked to a contact form to each of your service offering. Create a detailed description of each service on a separate page.
Most importantly add all your contact details.
Everyone has their preferred method of contact so make sure you list the following contact methods:
Create All Your Social Media Pages
As a freelance web designer many clients will come from word of mouth and recommendations.
Social media is ideal to get yourself known and to showcase your work to an audience for free. There’s nothing better than free marketing!
These are the essential social media platforms to be on.
- Facebook – Create a business page.
- Twitter – Great for sharing industry news.
- Instagram – Show the real you and showcase the designs.
- Pinterest – Create boards for web designs in different industries.
- LinkedIn – Complete your business profile, add all known business contacts.
If you’re a member of any other social networks make sure you add your business profile if possible.
Use Sales Funnels On Your Website
You could start by offering free designs.
Then upsell them to to build the website.
There are many parts to the business and design is just one part. Don’t be tempted to lump everything together and do all in packages. If you sell an all in package then there’s nothing more to sell to the client. You’ll de-value your service by having all in one deals, don’t do it.
It’s important to remember when learning how to make money online as a web designer that it’s a business and you’re doing it to make money.
Use Email Marketing
As part of your sales funnel you should setup an email marketing campaign. Offer visitors to your website a free offer to join your subscriber list. You could offer a simple report like “The top 10 best designed websites in 2019” and deliver it as a PDF in an email.
It’s a simple yet effective way to build your subscriber list. Once on the list you can send regular emails with tips and tricks to improve existing websites. This will encourage them to enquire about your services.
Builderall has an email autoresponder built into their platform and is included in the Builderall Business Plan. The autoresponder is called Mailingboss and delivers email as effectively as all the big names for a fraction of the price.
Consider Affiliate Marketing
Yes, as a freelance web designer you’re in the perfect position to offer other people’s services.
For example, web hosting. All your clients will require a web host for their site. You can easily recommend a company to go with. If you currently use a host and you are happy with their service, then recommend them you your clients. Hosting companies offer generous payments for referring customers. It’s not unheard of to earn $200 – $300 per customer depending on the plan they choose.
First sign up as an affiliate with the host. The Builderall Affiliate Program is highly recommended. Then get your affiliate links and include one in your newsletter and add a banner to your website in the side bar. There’s a number of different services you can recommend and earn an affiliate income.
Consider affiliate marketing for the following services, your clients may need them so you may as well benefit for the introduction. Seek some of these out and sign up to their affiliate programs.
- Email Auto-responders
- Online magazine creators
- SEO services
- Google Ads
- Facebook Ads
- General Marketing
- Copy Writing
Depending on your skills and time available you may consider doing some of these services yourself as an add-on.
Which Host Do I Recommend?
I recommend different hosts depending on the clients needs.
For a freelance web designers or developers I recommend Builderall Hosting & Marketing Platform.
Builderall has been created with online businesses in mind right from the outset.
They have fully integrated systems for building sites, creating sales funnels, email marketing selling products, social media and much more. There’s no need to signup with different services and cobble them together, Builderall does everything.
And what’s even better is their affiliate program is perfect for web designers.
Because you’ll be recommending clients on a regular basis their leveraged affiliate system works in your favor by using a 4 tier system. That means if one of your clients uses Builderall then they recommend someone else you will earn a commission too. In addition they offer bonus payments after x number of signups. It’s amazing.
If you recommended a large number of clients you could end up earning more through Builderall commissions that you would designing the sites.
On average most businesses have a website host for 3 years. That’s 3 years of monthly commissions from Builderall for each client recommended.
Let’s face it if you’re using Builderall for your own website, email, social and marketing then you’re perfectly placed to recommend it without hesitation.
They have a One Dollar 30 Days Trial try it, you’ll be amazed and the number of free tools that are included.
Use Paid Advertising
Paid advertising usually scares most beginners. But there really isn’t anything to worry about.
The top 3 paid advertising platforms are Google, Facebook and Bing. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses.
- Google Adwords – This is by far the biggest search and network advertiser. You can get huge volumes of traffic from Google but the downside is that it can cost a lot of money. This is generally because first time users don’t set up their accounts, keywords and bidding correctly. The number one thing you should do if you are new to Google Adwords is to set a limit on your spending, that way you can control your costs. Then you can experiment with keywords and so on.
- Bing Ads – Microsoft Advertising – They don’t have the same size search as Google but they have an extremely large advertising network of 10’s of thousands of sites to advertise on. Some people say the conversion rates or better than Google but I’ve not experienced that yet. In that respect they are about the same. Again first timers should set a spending limit.
- Facebook Ads – Facebook has a huge audience and has great potential. The 2 things most struggle with is targeting and conversions. If you target someone just because they like a page that doesn’t mean they will buy. Also people don’t go on Facebook looking for products so you have to be creative and have exceptional offers to get people interested. Having said that if you learn the platform, just as you should do with the others the rewards can be life changing and dramatic.
- Instagram Influencers – This is a lifestyle platform which uses influencers to promote products on your behalf. It’s difficult to create a demand for business products with the lifestyle aspects of Instagram. It’s similar to Facebook and as a web-designer you’d have to use your design skills and get creative to build up your own profile.
- LinkedIn – Being business focused Linkedin houses most of your potential big spending customers. One of the biggest complaints I hear is the price in comparison to other platforms. That being said your targets on Linkedin are generally worth more to you as a customer. It’s currently boasting over 500 million users so there’s a huge audience.
Marketing Through Business Networking Groups
Small businesses are often encouraged to join local business networks. This is a great idea and can be a great source of referrals. As a freelance web designer you’ll have plenty to talk about at the meet ups.
Offering free advice at this stage pays off later down the road.
I know not everyone wants to speak in public but if you can do this then arrange to do a talk or presentation within the group. These tend to be very popular and can generate clients as a result.
Try to stick with going to regular meetings, new members will continue to join thus always presenting another opportunity to close another deal for the next website build.
Join The Top 10 Freelance Platforms
Freelancer platforms are where non professionals go to request people, usually experts or professionals in a particular field to undertake various tasks in exchange for money. It allows companies and individuals to find clients by offering themselves for hire. And they also allow companies and individuals to find experts to work on their behalf. So it’s a win win for both parties.
Top 10 Freelancer Platforms
- Fiverr – No technical skills required to join
- Upwork – Largest selection of jobs
- Freelancer.com – Bid on projects quickly and easily
- Envato Studio – Great for design skills
- PeoplePerHour – Buyers must place a deposit before the expert starts work
- TopTal – Always seeking top talent
- Guru.com – Pay by the job or by the hour
- DesignCrowd – For the designers mainly
- Nexxt – Top Talent Seekers
- DesignContest – Ideal for the designers
So by now I hope you’ve learned a little on how to make money online as a web designer.
If you can think of anything else, add it to the comments below and I’ll consider adding it to the article.