How I earned a modest but very real $1,200 on the web last year.

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The web is full of scams, schemes, touts and con-artists all trying to get you to invest in some hair brained bound-to-fail get rich quick endeavour , we’ve all see the sites with the hugely overplayed use of stock photography and the typical browser-crashing video usually on auto play as soon as you load the page, yes we’ve all seen them, and most probably we’ve all even been tempted by the pictures of people’s sky-rocketing bank accounts big fat cheques, to get involved.

So how did i actually earn a very modest $1,200 on the web last year? I’m not talking about paid work as a Freelance Web Designer as such, nor am I talking about creating a blog and selling it for a profit. This method is so much simpler, and truly a very real option for anyone with a knowledge of photoshop and a bit of design flair, and the best part about this is that it’s recurring, once you’ve put the work into it, it will continue to send you a modest, but steady flow of income each month, and as every freelancer knows, it’s often these steady modest monthly pay checks which ensure the bills are paid.

Ok, so I’ll stop beating around the bush, you may already be aware of and maybe even have a portfolio on stock graphics websites. Website’s like iStock etc are all well and good, but it’s hard to get on them as a seller in the first place, and the Stock Photography Market is saturated – it’s hard to find your niche. About 12 months ago I found Graphic River, a website designed to help designers sell high quality stock graphics to consumers. Graphic River is one of the many Envato marketplaces and has grown exponentially in the past few years. The site plays home to some 50,000 stock graphics growing every day.

Web Buttons Stock Graphic
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My First accepted file on Graphic River

So 12 months ago, I set about creating my first piece of stock photography, a simple set of buttons in a few different colours and took me a few hours to design. The first time I uploaded it, it was rejected by Graphic River staff, who made some comments for how the item could be improved. I made the relevant changes and re-uploaded the item, and sure enough a few days later I had my very first item on Graphic River, priced at $3.00. As an exclusive seller (meaning i do not offer my items anywhere else for sale on the internet) i am entitled to 50% commission on all of the items I sell, so as the sales of my first item began to rack up, I watched the $1.50’s start collecting on in my account balance. Just 1 or 2 sales per week at first, so i left it to see how it built up. A week or two later I logged back in to see my account balance had surpassed the $20.00 mark , still modest but not bad considering I’ve done nothing, and I’ve put more work into creating adsense sites that have returned only a few pence per month!

I continued creating items at a rate of 1 or 2 per month and submitting them to Graphic River, around 50% of the items i submitted were rejected, though some were later accepted following some design changes and tweaks. 12 months later i have a graphic design portfolio of 27 items and have racked some 850 item sales, with my items priced between $3.00 and $18.00. I now make a steady stream of between $150.00 and $200.00 per month. Not bad for somthing i do in my spare time, and next month if I’m too busy to create a new item, that money still arrives, and the one after and the one after that.

You’re not going to make thousands of pounds over night with this, but you might well earn a little extra over time without putting in too much effort.

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Danai Smith
Danai Smith
11 years ago

That’s a great idea for web designers to earn some more money.. Thanks for sharing!

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