6 ways to create multiple income streams as a web designer

7 min read
Salena Poussard

Think about this for a minute: Amazon used to only sell books. If you’d like to experience more top-line growth in your firm, it’s high time you follow the lead of the world’s largest internet-based company and create multiple income streams.

As a web designer, you’re in luck! There are a number of revenue-generating services that your existing clients desperately need.

6 income streams for web designers

Here are six ideas to set your entrepreneurship wheels in motion:

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

It’s no longer a matter of educating your customers on the importance of SEO. At this point, every website owner comes to understand that at least some SEO is necessary for their online success.

What they might not understand is exactly how it works. When presenting this new service to clients, there are a couple of things you should avoid:

Overwhelming them

SEO and marketing aren’t their areas of expertise — that’s why they need you. Going into too much detail will only complicate an already complex subject.

Playing the magician

While you certainly don’t want to overwhelm them, being too vague will quickly raise red flags.

Don’t keep your methods a mystery — give a straightforward overview of what kind of approach you plan to take as well as milestones the client can expect.

If you aren’t confident in your own grasp of SEO, brush up with courses online. You could spend an eternity pouring over free articles and resources across the web (just remember that not all are created equal — stick with credible sources like Moz).

Another option is to partner with an experienced SEO strategist to make a bit of profit without the headache of tackling it yourself.

2. Social media marketing

Whether it’s scheduling social posts and responding to comments or segmenting audiences and designing targeted ads, social media marketing is a great tool to expand your multiple income streams.

This provides you with an excellent response to remarks like, “My website doesn’t have any traffic,” and, “nobody is reading my blogs.” Well, with a little skilled SEO and social media marketing, their website will finally reach the target audiences they aim to convert.

3. Content writing

I think most web designers will know exactly why content writing is on this list. How many of your projects have veered off course as a direct result of the content bottleneck?

Offer content writing as a service, and you’ll never wait for client content again.

The client painstakingly checks off each point on your project timeline — that is, until you reach the content collection stage.

After a long delay, you finally receive bits and pieces of text from an old brochure along with pages of duplicate content.

Cringing, you port this content into your beautiful web design and instantly miss the lorem ipsum.

Pro tip: Do both yourself and the client a favour, offer content writing as an add-on service to web design.

4. Ongoing support & development (care plans)

Ongoing support and ongoing maintenance can serve as the solution for a number of website problems faced by the client.

For example, the client wants:

  • To make regular website edits, but doesn’t know how
  • Information on the way users interact with their website
  • A web design that never grows outdated
  • To keep plugins and securityup to date.
  • Conversion optimization based on data and A/B testing.

Consider your audience and their unique needs to identify support and maintenance services you can offer.

Monthly maintenance packages (aka “website care plans”) are popular with small businesses, while conversion optimization appeals to clients with larger budgets.

5. Offer your own web hosting

Offering web hosting pairs very nicely with ongoing support & development.

It’s good for you because it creates a sustainable source of recurring revenue. It’s good for your clients because you’ll serve as their one-stop service provider.

You don’t need to be a sysadmin expert or full-stack web developer, either. Reseller hosting plans and partner programs will let you “white label” hosting from another provider.

Your clients will see your business as their single point of contact, but you’ll have a dedicated team backing you.

You’ll also have more control over your client’s website setup and back-end server configuration.

Depending on the reseller program you join, you may also be able to provide more services beyond just web hosting.

For example, GoDaddy Reseller programme members can also offer domain registration, SSL certificates and other white-labelled GoDaddy products to their clients.

6. WordPress themes & customization

So your custom web designs aren’t selling like hotcakes? Maybe it’s the price point.

Now I’m certainly not suggesting you slash prices and devalue your services, but it might be worth your while to add a more cost-efficient alternative.

Offering ready-made website templates at a lower price point than custom web design will allow you to earn the business of audiences on a tight budget.

Your strategy might not even be to make money on the templates themselves. Just getting your foot in the door and establishing a relationship with new clients is worth offering less expensive services.

Perhaps a couple hundred is the max they’ll drop on a new web design, but maybe they’re willing to commit to a monthly fee for ongoing maintenance.

As they grow, they will have more resources to invest back into their business (and hopefully those multiple income sources you’ve been working on).

Let’s not forget a necessity for any business using WordPress themes: customization.

Unless they want to risk landing the same website as every Tom, Dick and Harry, they’ll need a few adjustments.

For those who are unable to tackle adjustments themselves, customization would make for a great add-on service to their theme purchase.

Before you dive into creating multiple income streams…

As with any investment in business, there are risks.

Even if you’ve managed to establish multiple income streams without spending money, you’re spending your time, which is ultimately of greater value.

Start by asking yourself a few simple questions:

  • What kind of website problems do my customers frequently run into?
  • Which services do my competitors offer in addition to web design?
  • What does keyword researchreveal about the services I’m considering?

After you feel that you’ve zeroed in on the service(s) you’d like to offer, run it by peers, friends, family and customers, and pay close attention to their feedback.

Wait until you are certain before communicating the change to your audience. Nothing cries “unstable” like a business that announces new ventures on a whim.

In conclusion

Can you imagine if Amazon had stuck with book sales? By creating multiple income streams, Amazon has grown leaps and bounds above the competition.

Nowadays, retail sales, let alone books, can hardly take credit for Amazon’s success. Much of the company’s profit comes from Amazon Web Services, their cloud computing platform.

Creating multiple income streams is a win for all businesses, not just retail giants like Amazon.

There’s no telling what kind of doors this will open for your web design business!

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