Passive Income Ideas for Web Designers

A great way to grow your web design business while still having time freedom is by creating a passive income stream. In this blog post I share 5 passive income ideas for creatives such as creating an online course, selling on Creative Market, and selling ebooks to make money.

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Designing websites is the perfect creative outlet, especially when you have a combination of design skills and tech skills. And being a solopreneur is awesome, except for the fact that when you stop working… your business stops making money. At a certain point, once you’ve gone from freelancer to full time web design biz owner, you may start to look into ways to have even more time freedom. While the time it takes to design and build a website will decrease a ton over time, each new project you take on still takes a minimum of so many hours. There’s really no way around it.

Obviously, life happens…

You get an engaged, woo!! But do you have time to plan a wedding and still make enough money to live life on your own terms?

You’re having a baby, OMG! But oh my, what about morning sickness? And feeling tired? Dare I say maternity leave?

You haven’t taken a true vacation since you started your business (isn’t that why you become an entrepreneur to begin with) but the thought of going away for a week terrifies you.

It really shouldn’t be like that! You have two options – hire team members to keep things running or implement a passive income stream. For the sake of this blog post, we’re chatting about different passive income streams you can implement into your web design business.

What is Passive Income?

First off, let’s chat about what passive income is because people have different ideas on what it actually means. Here’s the definition according to Investopedia:

Passive income is earnings derived from a rental property, limited partnership, or other enterprise in which a person is not actively involved. As with active income, passive income is usually taxable. However, it is often treated differently by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Portfolio income is considered passive income by some analysts, so dividends and interest would therefore be considered passive. However, the IRS does not always agree that portfolio income is passive, so it’s wise to check with a tax professional on that subject.

That’s a lot of big fancy words if you ask me but the most important is that “a person is not actively involved.” A passive income stream is something that makes a business owner money without them actually having to put effort into maintaining it.

While this is great and all, starting a passive income stream as a web designer is going to take a lot of work! It’s not something that is just going to *poof* appear out of thin air. That’s what I think is so confusing to solopreneurs about passive income. In the long run, a passive income stream can bring in revenue without you having to lift a finger. But to get that started… you have to put in the effort.

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Passive Income Ideas for Web Designers

If you’ve decided that implementing a passive income stream is right for your business, then here’s a list of the top ideas you should look into!

Templates for Sale

Tons of business owners every day buy templates or themes for anywhere between $50 – $350 dollars because they don’t have thousands of dollars to invest in a web designer. Design and selling templates or themes will not only allow you to generate money without having to spend hours and hours designing and building a custom website, but it will also introduce your business to new business owners who may need a custom website in the future.

Website templates or themes are a type of passive income that require some work to maintain them – I want to be really up front about that.

Online Course

This is the route I’ve gone – creating and enrolling students into an online course. Online courses can be a short 2 or 3 modules or they can be long, more like 6+ modules. The quality, value, and amount of content inside the course will dictate how much you can charge. For example, the courses in my new educational platform for web designer women will range from $97 – $497.

The length of your course also determines how long it will take you to put the content together, record the videos, create the workbooks, etc. You’ll also need to take into consideration that marketing content will need to be created as well as an evergreen funnel to turn it into a turn passive income stream that doesn’t require maintenance.

Guide / ebooks

Everyone loves guides and because of that, you can typically find free guides or ebooks on just about any topic. That means, if you decide to create and sell guides or ebooks as your passive income stream, you’ll need to make them really, really informative and different from anything else out there. Once you’ve created your guide, you won’t have to maintain it all which means it’s another true passive income stream.

Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio | Web Designer Resource Library


9+ resources to help you start and grow your web design business with ease (and make more money!).

Icons and Vectors

If you’re more on the creative side and find yourself doodling or playing around in Adobe Illustrator, then creating and selling icons and vectors on a platform such as Creative Market is another great passive income stream to consider. There’s no limit as to how many people purchase your icons and vectors which means over time, you could sell a $10 product to thousands and thousands of individuals without a single bit of marketing material.

Logos or Branding Boards

Another creative passive income stream is selling logos that can be edited by the purchaser to include their business name and selling branding boards. When a solopreneur first starts their freelancing journey they typically have very little money to spend. But to look like a true business owner, they need to have a logo, brand colors, and brand fonts. That’s where your passive income stream comes into play. They can purchase a logo and simply change the business name or they can purchase a branding package that includes predetermined colors and fonts.

Why You Need Passive Income

Those are 5 of the most common passive income streams for web designers. Some take more effot to set up than others and some require a bit of ongoing maintenance so it’s important you understand your capabilities and limitations.

Think about why you need or why you want a passive income stream. Is it to generate money without having to spend time doing anything? Is it because ou want to drop all your client work and start a new venture, all while still making money? Think about the reason and then determine how much set up time you want to take on as well as how much maintenance time you want to take on.

A passive income stream can be super profitable if done correctly. It’s all about the route you take, the amount of effort you put in from the start, and your end goals!


Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio | Web Designer Resource Library


9+ resources to help you start and grow your web design business with ease (and make more money!).


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