Nowadays, the idea of earning money on the side is becoming more and more popular. This may be due to the current economic situation or the increased prices that put financial pressure on households.
Either way, what better way to earn money on the side than using a well-known platform that everyone is more or less familiar with?
In this article, we’ll introduce you to the 8 best alternatives to make money with Photoshop, and I bet you’ll be surprised at how diverse they’re! Surely, there must be something for everyone!
What Are the Pros And Cons Of Making Money With Photoshop?
I’ve been using Photoshop for a few years now and have personally tested all the alternatives presented in this article. In doing so, I’ve found that there are many advantages to making money with Photoshop, but I’ve also faced some challenges.
Starting with the pros, the main advantage is that the pay grows exponentially with your skills. The more you master and refine the software, the more money you’ll make and the less competition you will face. Also, prior work experience isn’t necessarily required for this side gig, because the most important thing is experience with the software itself.
So if you’ve never worked in this field before, but have a lot of experience with Photoshop, you could find work and charge a respectable fee for each project and earn money right from the beginning.
There are also many advantages specifically for beginners. One advantage is the huge supply of paid and free information about Photoshop. Therefore, a beginner dedicated to learning can master the platform in just a few weeks.
The last advantage is the fact that there is such a wide variety of different jobs and side hustles that can be done exclusively with Photoshop that it’s impossible to get bored or not find something that is to your liking!
However, the biggest drawback is the fact that the market is very competitive. In the beginning, it might be difficult to find that first job or charge higher prices. But over time, you can certainly gain momentum; it just requires more patience and dedication.
Another drawback is that Adobe Photoshop is a subscription-based service, meaning its users must pay a monthly fee to keep using the platform. Photoshop costs $20.99 per month, which could be a significant entry barrier for inexperienced users worried about losing too much money before gaining traction as business owners.
Here Are 8 Ways Of Making Money With Photoshop
As I said before, there are a lot of ways to make money with Photoshop. And after having tried most of them, let me tell you which are the best options in 2023!
1. Edit And Restore Photos
Editing and restoring photos is one of the side hustles I love the most because it requires a closer working relationship with the client. You have to talk to them and understand how they want to change the photo and then deliver excellent results.
There is nothing more annoying than a beautiful family photo where a bystander in the background is doing the strangest things. That’s why the satisfaction (and pay!) tends to be a little higher with this activity than with other methods.
Also, this is a side hustle that can be started with relatively little experience with Adobe Photoshop, since most edits or restorations require minimal skill and effort to be completed.
However, it’s also important to note that it can be difficult for beginners to command a higher hourly rate, but over time the average hourly rate for a Photoshop expert can rise to over $50.
2. Create A Video Course
The second side hustle I tried was creating video tutorials. Even though this side hustle wasn’t really my thing, because of the time it takes to create video tutorials, plus the time to bring in the sales, this alternative offers unlimited earning potential.
Nowadays, there are many platforms where you can promote and list your video courses, such as Udemy, where the top sellers have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The biggest drawback is that it takes both skill and time to list a video course. But if you have both or the ability to hire someone with both, you are certainly in for a treat. This is one of the few methods on this list that you can use to make money passively, so the initial investment is definitely worth it.
My personal recommendation for this side hustle is to focus on a specific niche. There are many “ultimate” guides to Photoshop, but if you find an untapped niche, you’ll have little competition.
3. Create And Sell Stock Photos
If customer relations aren’t your strong suit, creating and selling images could be a viable path. This side hustle has a much higher earning potential than simply editing or restoring photos. But it also requires more time and expertise to do successfully.
To create stock photos, you can either create graphics or icons that depict a general theme and can be used in a PowerPoint presentation, for example. Or you can take photos with a camera and retouch and enhance them in Photoshop.
Even though this side hustle does not generate passive income, it has the potential to earn more than a few dollars a month, as many websites will even pay more than $120 per image if the subject is in high demand.
Additionally, if you do not want to work as a freelancer, there are plenty of websites and online businesses looking for a designer to create original stock images for them. In those cases, the salary is usually fixed and substantially higher than what someone can earn while freelancing.
4. Start A Website Design Business
The fourth side hustle on this list appeals primarily to graphic designers who have a keen eye for detail. This idea is about starting a small business that specializes in on-demand website design and optimization.
For example, it could be about creating banners or images for a homepage, designing the images for the business’ ads, creating website themes, or redesigning a blog page.
However, when I tried this graphic design business, instead of structuring the business as an on-demand graphic design service, I structured it as a platform where business clients can buy website templates, graphics, images, and fonts.
This way, I had the opportunity to earn passive income from this business while pursuing other side hustles.
5. Write Photoshop Tutorials
Another good alternative way to use your Photoshop skills is by writing tutorials. Even though this side hustle requires a lot of experience and knowledge about the platform, it can be a very profitable means to earn passive income.
The two main ways to get paid for writing Photoshop tutorials are either starting your own website or writing guest posts on others’ websites. Since both methods have their pros and cons, there is no right or wrong choice. It all depends on your personal preferences.
Personally, I chose to write guest posts because I get paid much faster and guest post opportunities are easy to find on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. However, by doing so, I’ve limited my potential compensation to around $50-75 per article, depending on the length.
Although it may take you a year to make money from ads and some SEO skills are required, starting your own Photoshop website could be a much more profitable option, as it can also be used as a platform to sell fonts, graphic design services, sell photoshop art, website themes and more.
6. Start A Logo Design Business
The sixth way to make money with Photoshop is to start a logo design business. When I used to work with Photoshop to earn a little money on the side, it was definitely my favorite thing to do.
What I liked about it was that the main requirement to be profitable with it is not even great design skills, but that you’re creative and original. With this side hustle, you get to let your creativity run wild while trying to come up with an eye-catching logo that potential customers can remember.
With online businesses and other small activities popping up in recent years, competition is getting tougher. Therefore, one of the most important qualities that these businesses want to achieve is brand awareness and brand loyalty.
Since a great logo is an important building block towards these goals, customers are willing to pay a lot of money for a great logo. The average price for a logo on a freelancing platform like Upwork is over $50, but it usually goes up as you gain more experience.
7. Start A Print On Demand Business
The print-on-demand business became extremely popular a few years ago due to its extremely low startup costs and unlimited earning potential.
Today, print-on-demand services face much more competition, but that doesn’t mean they’re no longer a good way to earn passive income. Thanks to Photoshop, it’s possible to differentiate your offering by either creating unique designs that aren’t offered by other print-on-demand companies, or by allowing your customers to demand a special design that you’ll have to create based on their description and then printing it.
Of course, this new method requires more Photoshop skills and more time than the original method. But the end result should be a well-established business that is able to generate consistent and substantial profits, rather than a gimmick.
For example, Printify’s statistics show that the average monthly income of the 10% of sellers on the platform is between $7,500 and $10,000. Even though we have to acknowledge that these results are extraordinary and very hard to achieve, there’s nothing stopping you from earning at least $1,000 per month in passive income.
8. Design Business Cards
The last idea on the list is designing a business card design. I don’t know if you’re a fan of the movie American Psycho, but I must confess that I pursued this business idea just because of it. I guess it’s only a matter of time before I open my videotape business then!
All kidding aside, I didn’t realize how much demand there was for this niche until I tried it out for myself. And the best part is that most business cards are very minimalistic, so you usually don’t need professional Photoshop experience to design them and start making money.
When designing a business card, the most important thing is to find the best materials and the right font. Therefore, if you really want to spice up your business, thanks to Photoshop, you should offer the possibility to use a custom “one-off” font on each business card.
Also, besides business cards, you could offer other types of custom cards for birthdays or other special occasions.
Besides, designing business cards is definitely a profitable activity. The price for designing is up to $300 on Fiverr. But if it’s done professionally by a business, the prices for a design range from $800 to $1,500.
In summary, Photoshop is such a versatile platform with which to launch many activities. The possibilities range from individual, one-off projects to on-demand passive income methods that can earn you well over $1,000 per month.
For example, if you love working with a client and creating custom projects, it might be a good idea to start a business card activity or work as a graphic designer for an online store.
On the other hand, if you prefer to stay impersonal, you could start making money selling stock images or fonts.
Either way, with enough dedication and Photoshop skills, it’s possible to cut through the competition like a hot knife through butter, so you can make a considerable amount of money with this amazing program.