It's taken me a while to write up some of the ways to make money online that I've actually had success with. There are so many sites promising much and delivering little - I didn't want to share anything that I hadn't already tried and tested (and made real money from) myself.
Graphic design is a creatively rewarding and enjoyable way to make a living. Yes, it can be soul destroying (I defy any designer not to relate to at least one of the stories about Clients From Hell) but it's a career path that offers so many diverse disciplines, all there to be mastered.
One thing that's universally true is that you can't expect to become rich as a graphic designer. OK, OK, there are a few exceptions. There are a lot of famous designers and a few rich ones (rich and famous don't necessarily go hand-in-hand). But for the average Joe, it's not a case of putting up with a job you hate to make piles of cash - it's more about putting up with not making piles of cash in order to do a job you love.
The main reason that graphic designers tend not to make vast sums of money is that almost every piece of work they create for a client is (more or less) unique and (generally) bespoke. You sell one thing and then move on to creating and selling another.
Having said that, there are plenty of ways of putting your graphic design chops and computer savvy to good use that will help to supplement your income. How do I know this? Well, as the headline suggests, I've been doing exactly that for years. Some of the things I've tried have brought in a dribble of pocket money, and a couple have brought in a significant additional income.
If you look into this for yourself, you'll find that some ways to make money online will draw on your experience as a graphic designer (such as T-Shirt sales through Cafepress) and some will make the most of your computer know-how and writing ability (such as Photoshop cutouts or affiliate marketing website creation using SBI). Some of these result in a trickle of money - and a very few in a flood of residual income.
There's no question in my mind that the best way to make money online is to create or sell the same digital product over and over again. Once created, there are no costs involved in recreating it. It can be downloaded, so there aren't any shipping or admin costs - and it can be sold an unlimited number of times - in perpetuity.
So what would this digital product be? Well, it could be an e-book, a piece of music, a photo, a video, an application, a WordPress plugin, access to a members only website or pretty much anything else you can imagine.
And the best bit is that you don't have to have created it in order to make money from it. As an affiliate marketer, you can sell someone else's product and get a commission for the sale.
The short list below demonstrates different ways to make extra cash - but they all have one unifying factor - once you've set them up and created your products (or set up an account through which to sell others), they're fun to monitor and exciting to watch as you track their progress - but you have to put the work in first.