Updated: Mar 25
Being a graphic designer brings a huge opportunities in today's digital era. There are many career fields in graphic designing to choose from to make a satisfying earning, but what if you want to start a side earning stream which pays you lifetime even if you stop working on it. Well that's where marketplaces like shutterstock, adobe stock comes in. Such stock photography platforms are a huge marketplace that can be used as a passive source of income.
Many beginner designers with almost zero knowledge on selling online have doubts about what to sell, how to sell, or where to sell their vector designs. In this article I will talk about the revenue that i generated from different marketplaces that includes Freepik, Vecteezy, Shutterstock and Adobe Stock. Even though I'm a contributor of some of these vector marketplaces from a year or more but all the calculated amount is from last five-six months.
All my earnings comes from selling mockups, social media templates, illustrations, icons and logo designs with a portfolio of around 450 designs. I upload an average of 40-50 designs every month on these vector marketplaces to constantly increase the size of my portfolio. I made these designs once, and now they generate earnings to me even if I don't create any new designs.
Do want to know how to make money with selling vector art online? Where to sell vectors? How much money can you make selling vector art? If you are looking for best marketplaces for selling vectors, then this article contains the best places to sell design online. If you want to start selling vector designs online then firstly selecting a niche might work best for you.
Also Read: 10 Common Mistakes Designers Make #1
This list is my earning experience with vector selling agencies. Even though $350 doesn't sound like a lot of money, it can still motivate a beginner or professional designer to start working on a side earning stream. If you want a complete article based on my experience of selling vector designs on these marketplaces, then let me know in comments at the bottom. I will cover the process of each of these marketplace individually in my future articles.
NOTE - This list of vector selling marketplaces also include some referral links to become a contributor. If you click and sign up using my referral link then I will receive a little amount that will support my website relating work. Only sign up if you think you can contribute some quality designs to these marketplaces.
Well, Freepik is one of my favorite marketplace to sell stock photos and digital assets. Even though it's been only 6 months since I became a contributor on freepik, i personally am quite surprised with how well it outperformed those other marketplaces in generating earnings.
Freepik allow designers to sell mockup and templates of poster, business card, banner, flyer, logo, illustrations, icons etc. Designers can sell their stock photos, EPS vector files, PSD templates and PNG images.
Being a contributor on freepik, you can make somewhere around €0.06 per download or design you sold and this amount gets reset (increase or decrease depending on your performance) during the 1st of every month. Even though this average earnings sounds ridiculously low but with an average of around 20-30 files that got sold everyday on freepik, it can accumulate into a decent amount at the end of the month.
You can start a good passive stream of income as a contributor on freepik but only sign up if you are willing to provide high-quality designs. Becoming a contributor is easy on freepik and all you have to do is submit 10 of your best designs to qualify. Well freepik is strict when it comes to plagiarism, so try not to steal any design or submit it as your own if you don't want to get banned (applies for every contributor program).
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I will provide a full detail article on Freepik contributor program in recent days. So stay tuned.
Become a contributor on Freepik today - Freepik Contributor
Vecteezy is the second best earner for me next to freepik and one of the best in my personal opinion. It's a great marketplace for designers to sell their design templates and generate good money every month. From simple designs to high quality designs, you can upload and submit any kind of creative content which includes EPS vectors, PSD templates, stock footages, stock photos and PNG files.
One of the best thing that stands out to me about vecteezy is that you can make money even if you submit your designs as free. Vecteezy give contributors the freedom to provide their designs as Pro or Free license. Pro license designs are the one that generate the most income on vecteezy. But free designs have more chance of getting huge downloads and views. The minimum payout amount to withdraw money from vecteezy is $25.
Becoming a contributor on vecteezy is very easy and it usually takes around 5-6 days for them to approve your submitted designs. Once accepted, you can expect your designs to get huge sales everyday.
Become a contributor on Vecteezy today - Vecteezy Contributor
If you ask any experienced designer who actually sell their vector designs online, then I can guarantee you that shutterstock and adobe stock would be on top of their list. Why's that? Well these marketplaces don't throw pennies at us designers. You can make as low as $0.10 per design or an average of $100 depending on the license your file got sold.
The highest amount i ever got from a single design sold is $11.52 and that actually came from shutterstock. Shutterstock has the potential to turn even your small portfolio into a monthly source of income regularly.
Even though I became a contributor on shutterstock a few years ago, I haven't uploaded any content on it until May 2022. I started working and submitting my vector designs on shutterstock regularly from last 3 months. With around 450 vector designs I uploaded at shutterstock, i made around $60.58 in last 6 months. The minimum payout amount you can withdraw on shutterstock is $35 which generally gets paid to contributors automatically during the 7th of any month.
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All the work that sell is depend on the tags we use while submitting our designs. Once a design starts showing on the first page for a keyword, it won't take long for it to trend and get 100 of downloads in upcoming days. One of my smartphone mockup design is trending for tags like 'phone, mobile, smart, vector'. In last two months, that single vector design has made over $18.77 with 90 downloads.
Become a contributor on Shutterstock today - Shutterstock Contributor
Adobe stock is one of the best marketplace to sell vector designs, stock images and stock footages. Why's that? Well, adobe stock generate relatively higher revenue per design sold when compared to those other three marketplaces. The only thing that puts adobe stock to the number 4th on this list is that there are quite less sales when compared to the above sites.
With a portfolio of around 300 high-quality vectors you can expect around 7-8 sales of your designs monthly. Sometimes there are 2-3 sales in a single day, and sometimes there are no sales at all for weeks. Aside from that, the earnings per download is pretty satisfying in my opinion. My designs on adobe stock gets sold for an average of around $0.7 to $1.
Another best thing about adobe stock that I want to share is their assets nomination program in which a contributor can submit their eligible vector designs to their free collection for 1 year. In this program, adobe stock pays their contributors $5 per asset if their designs got selected for the free collection. That means if 20 of your designs got selected to their program, then you will get a sum of $100 instantly in your balance.
The process to become a contributor on adobe stock is actually quite easy. Just sign-up as a contributor today and start uploading your EPS vector files. It generally takes around 5 days for a batch of design to get approved on adobe stock and the minimum payout amount to withdraw is $25.
Become a contributor on Adobe Stock today - Adobe Stock Contributor
Tips to increase your vector design sales
1. Make at least one design per day:
The more designs your portfolio have, the higher the chance to get more sales. No matter what kind of design niche you select, try to make at least one design everyday. For some designers quality matters more than quantity but if you can balance things out, then you can expect your portfolio to grow by 30 designs per month. And if you can handle to create around 10 designs per day (typically difficult if you work on quality work) then you can expect your portfolio to grow with a rate of 300 designs per month.
2. Be a unique designer:
There are already a number of big players in the designing market and you can't ignore the fact that giving a tough competition to these pre-dominant designers won't be that easy. These designers have their portfolio with over thousands of high quality designs and you can't expect your new designs to get sold that easily.
In order to compete with them is to create something out of the box, unique. Now, Pick a niche, learn in-depth about it and immerse yourself to master it.
3. Follow trends regularly:
Trends come and go. Some lasts for a week, some for a month. Topics related to Covid-19, Ukraine-Russian war, Queen Elizabeth II are some of the major trends we saw last year. If you can follow these trends and create posters, t-shirt and illustration designs related to it, then the chance of getting your files getting sold will be very high.
Well, holidays and festivals are also comes under trends and their window is quite short. Designs related to holidays like Christmas, Diwali, Eid, New year, Halloween, Juneteenth, Thanksgiving etc. has a higher chance to bring a huge amount of sale during the season. If you follow these trends and upload some designs prior to the holiday date, then you can expect those designs to attract a ridiculous number of customers and bring sales.
4. Diversify your portfolio:
Be it your portfolio in stock market or stock photography, diversification of assets works best for everyone. If you are skilled enough to create icon designs, as well as logos, backgrounds and other stuff, then you can expect sales from any of these niche. But if you only work on a single niche like background and one day there is less demand for such designs, then definitely your sales are going down drastically.
So it's better to work on making designs based on several niche and diversify your portfolio making mockups, templates, icons, logos, posters, flyers, etc.
5. Submit designs to various marketplaces:
Most of the marketplaces allows contributors to submit their designs as a non-exclusive license. That means you can earn from the same design without any issue even if you upload it to various other marketplaces. You create a vector design once and submit it to 10 other marketplaces without any issue. The more marketplaces you sell on, the more your design circulates and bring revenue.
You can diversify your portfolio and also upload them to other vector selling marketplaces such as creative fabrica, master bundles, template monster, depositphotos, 123rf, dreamstime and alamy.