My Road to $10,000 a Month (Week 1)

MAY 2020, WEEK 1 (1 May to 8 May)

This week went better than expected. I have taken up a couple of new projects and received payment for some of my current ones. Here’s the breakdown of this week’s earnings:

Source of IncomeAmount Earned ($)
Design Projects631.59
Etsy46.76
Design by Humans10.19
Displate74.34
Total762.88

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DESIGN PROJECTS

In particular, one of my clients is a YouTuber and digital entrepreneur with quite a social media following. I made some new channel icons for him, and asked him for a shoutout on Twitter after the project was done. I’m glad I did — I gained a number of followers and actually received 2 job offers.

Received a Twitter shoutout from Nimminati for making his new channel member icons

I also finalized a project that continued for a while as the client missed my last email and didn’t realize it until a couple of weeks later. Nevertheless, that constituted the biggest chuck of my earnings this week at close to $200. I was at fault as well for not following up with him sooner. A lesson for all freelancers: always follow up with clients when they take too long to respond. If you are using Gmail, there is a nifty feature that notifies you whenever there is a communication gap of a few days.

On the same topic, I rewrote my email signature to include my social media so clients can connect with me easier through our conversations.

Rewrote my email signature on Gmail

As I’m drafting this entry, I received a response from a client that they have to put the project on hold due to the current situation. It sucks, but I try to think long term. Here’s my reply, “Ah, I totally understand. It’s unfortunate, but hopefully we will be able to resume the project once things settle down. In the meantime, take care and stay safe. My messages are always open.” Remember, a freelancer can only succeed by building strong relationships with clients.

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SOCIAL MEDIA

I have been actively posting and connecting with past clients on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and DeviantArt. The results are pretty good so far: I gained a number of followers and likes, adding to my social media presence.

Speaking of DeviantArt, I have been trying to emulate one of the Deviants called whitefoxdesigns. He has more than 4 thousand watchers and 170 thousand page views. Specializing in logo design, his commissions are always in demand even for this month. I’m currently running a special May promotion at $60 for a logo. No takers so far… I definitely need to work on building my presence there.

whitefoxdesigns, a popular DeviantArt member specializing in logo design

As for Instagram, I submitted one of my logos to one of the top curated accounts called Logo Inspirations. If it gets featured, my Instagram page will definitely see some good growth.

Logo Inspiration is a curated Instagram account for logo design

I get a lot of my clients from Reddit. As such, I have developed a weekly group of subreddits that I promote my services to, which include r/hiring, r/forhire, r/DesignJobs, and r/freelance_forhire. I also browse through them a few times a day looking for job openings.

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CATNIPS

I uploaded a new episode of my webcomic series Catnips to WEBTOON.

Add a new episode to Catnips, my webcomic series

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PET AND ANIMAL PORTRAIT SERVICES

While I’m primarily a graphic designer, I have dabbled in digital illustration in the past. In order to further diversify my client base, I have started offering pet and animal portrait services on my website.

Started offering pet and animal portraits services on my website

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PAID ADVERTISING

Paid advertising may seem like a bad idea in this current situation, but I wanted to try out Reddit Ads to see if there is any earnings potential. I ran the following ad for 4 days, and the results speak for themselves. My conclusion is that I need to learn a lot more about paid per click (PPC) advertising. Until then, I’ll be saving my advertising dollars and concentrating on social media marketing.

My results after 4 days of Reddit Ads

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PASSIVE INCOME

I uploaded a couple of new designs to Teepublic, Redbubble, Design by Humans, and Cotton Bureau. I have been making some sales from these POD sites, but Cotton Bureau was my winner last month with 12 shirts sold and $60 earned — all with no marketing whatsoever.

Displate is one of my favorite POD sites, but for metal posters. This week I exceeded the minimum payment threshold of $50 and decided to cash out. After all, you never know when a website might close down or suspend your account.

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FRAPHIC

For Fraphic, I have been going through and reediting my past articles so the writing flows better.

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That concludes the first week of my road to $10,000 a month as a freelance graphic designer (and now amateur illustrator). As you can see from my earnings breakdown, while I’m still getting some income there is still a lot of work to be done. How did you fare this week? Comment below!

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