Most web designers and web design firms have an interest in finding alternate sources of revenue in addition to providing design and development services for clients. While these other sources of income are unlikely to completely support the designer or the firm, they can be excellent complementary add-ons that are also a help to clients in addition to producing revenue. These are my suggestions for potential add-ons, feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.
Some freelance designers and a lot of design firms also offer hosting to their clients. Obviously, this can provide a nice residual income, plus it allows you to combine the design services and the hosting into a package that may be more attractive to potential clients. Re-seller hosting is a popular option in these situations because it provides the designer the opportunities without requiring as much time and investment. Re-seller hosting can still be more commitment than many designers are interested in, and in these cases affiliate programs are ideal. In the best situation, the hosting company that you use will offer an affiliate program so that you can refer a product that you genuinely believe in.
Although less profitable than hosting services, domain names will be needed by some of your clients. Becoming a reseller of domain names you can continue to offer your clients another essential service. Much like with hosting, you could also simply become an affiliate of a leading provider of domain names.
Premium Templates or Themes
More and more designers are jumping into the market of premium WordPress themes . By selling high-quality premium themes you can increase the potential earnings of your work. On the down side, you’ll also have to be willing to dedicate some time to providing support. WordPress themes aren’t the only option here. Premium HMTL/CCS and Flash templates are also fairly common.
Files and Scripts
Sites like FlashDen provide a marketplace for developers to sell their work. At FlashDen you can sell stock flash, audio, video and pixel fonts. You can create an account and upload your files. Then, every time one is sold you’ll earn a commission.
If your expertise is in the area of graphic design you can create and sell vector images at sites like Vector Stock, iStock Photo, and Stock Xpert. All of these sites, and several others, will allow you to create an account and place your images into their marketplace to be sold. You’ll earn a commission on anything that is purchased.
While many designers give away free icons to gain some exposure for their services, there is still a need from some clients for premium icons. Some designers, such as Dan Cederholm, sell packages of icons from their website.
Some full-service design firms also provide their clients with the option of paying to have content written for the site (although Vandelay Website Design is not full-service, we do offer content creation). While writing content for websites and blogs is a completely different skill than design, many designers are able to do well with this service because they have learned what types of content a website will need to serve its purpose and to attract visitors.
While the web designer does have certain responsibilities involved with building a search engine-friendly website, dedicated SEO services go well beyond this point. If you have the knowledge and the ability to produce desirable results for your clients in terms of search engine optimization, this can be a natural extension from design services. It’s not for everyone, but those who are experienced can really improve their business with SEO services.
There’s much more to having a successful web presence than building an attractive website. Design services are part of the equation, but some clients are really seeking a service that will guide them through the entire process of building a strong website that will help them to achieve their goals. With consulting services you can help clients to bridge the gap between an attractive website and an effective website.