There are really only three things you need to start making as a freelance web designer… 

And you’ll be surprised to know that ACTUAL design skills isn’t one of them

Of course, if you already have a keen eye for design you might be able to get nicer results faster, but being a freelance web designer is more about seizing an opportunity than about being the master of your skills.

In this article I’ll give you requirements list of the things you absolutely need, where you can get them and how you can become a profit earning freelance web designer nice and quickly.

#1:  Your Computer

To do design work, you’ll need to have a computer that’s relatively new model, or have it upgraded to run the latest design software.

You will need a computer with a decent processor and hard drive space

  • Minimum of 6-8GB memory (RAM)
  • Minimum of 500GB hard drive space

at least 6-8 GB of memory, and a decent-sized hard drive—at least 500 GB, because you will need to store a lot of large graphic files.

If you don’t have enough hard drive space, rather than going and buying a whole new computer – get an external hard drive and store your design work on that. Amazon has some really cheap ones you can use, here are some of the most recent recommendations from Amazon:

If you don’t have a computer that is suitable, you might want to consider financing one, or leasing one.

Many places will only require a small down payment, and if you apply yourself properly, the money you make as a freelancer will pay for the payments, and the new computer will help with your other Internet Marketing work too.

(Obviously… I’m not giving you financial advice here, do NOT message me saying you have no money left to buy food for your children – use your common sense please!)

Something like the ASUS VivoMini VC65R-G039M (pictured to the left here) will work.  

This has 1000 GB HDD & 8GB RAM. If you already have a mouse, monitor etc, you can just plug them in to this and you are good to go.  Click here if you want to have a look.

#2:  Internet Connection

You’ll need a connection of some kind, but if you haven’t got fast internet where you live (or no internet at all), there are tons of places you can go to access free wifi  – spots like your local library, community college, coffee shop or even hitting up your local Macca’s (aka. McDonalds for you people who aren’t Australian)

A thrifty idea too – to get around any paid/free options… is to use the free, often slower services for your research, postings and basic Internet use – and then once a week or as often as you need, go to a paid one with faster connection – and use that time to upload/download/sync all of your larger files.

Another option too, depending on where you are living – is a mobile hotspot dongle, the bandwidth costs can get a bit expensive with these, but if it’s your only option you’ll just need to do an extra gig or two to make it worth it. 

Obviously the faster/cheaper the better – so shop around and see how you go.

Oh, one other little ‘hack’ you might find useful when looking at choosing an Internet Service Provider – is to visit Cell Mapper and find out which tower is closest to your location.  The closer you are, the faster the speeds will be.

#3:  Software

Finally, you’ll need some good design software.

I personally love Adobe Photoshop – and now with the Creative Cloud you can get it reasonably cheaply.  For example, if you get the ‘Photographers’ license, you can get the first month trial for free – and then it’s just a little over $10 a month to keep accessing once the trial runs out. 

=> Start your Adobe Creative Cloud free trial here

BUT… if you are totally strapped for cash (or want extra money on hand to buy yourself a new shiny computer), then there are some other alternatives.

Free Photoshop Alternative 1: GIMP

This is a great substitute for Photoshop and it’s totally free.  I’ve always been a photoshop girl, so when I tried to work my way around GIMP I found it a bit restricting, but it’s a great place to start if you need to earn money FIRST and then go and grab all of the shiny tools later.

There are also quite a few video tutorials on Youtube for GIMP that will help you get similar results as you would in Photoshop.

=> Visit the GIMP website here

Free Photoshop Alternative 2: Canva

freelance-web-designerCanva uses the ‘freemium’ model of business, so you can access SOME things for free and others you’ll need to pay for.

I love Canva ’cause it’s a great place to come and get some design inspiration and access their growing database of resources

=> Visit Canva here

That’s it! That’s really all the ‘bits’ you need to get started.

Got any feedback – have you found a cheaper/better option for graphic design, to Photoshop – or have you got a nicely priced computer suggestions for other aspiring freelance web designers?  Leave your comments below!