Perhaps you’re a graphic designer and you’ve been working for a web development company for some time, or you’re on the job hunt. Perhaps you’re frustrated or you just want some freedom and flexibility in your life, but you’re not sure how to make a living as a graphic designer from home. Many people pursue graphic design as a career because they want the flexibility that an online job could offer. But, if you work for a brick-and-mortar web development agency, this freedom and flexibility is virtually non-existent. Graphic designers can easily find work from home. If this is what you’re after, you have several different options.

So how do you set up a graphic design business online and actually make money with it? You could attempt to start your own business. Build a web site. Market your services to local businesses as well as online prospects. Or, you could freelance. It may seem more glamorous to own your own business, but ego won’t pay the bills. In reality, it can be a lot more straightforward and a lot more profitable to get yourself set up through online freelancing sites like oDesk, Elance, and Freelancer.com. These sites bring clients to you and help you deal with the gnarly and sometimes convoluted process of getting paid. If freedom and flexibility is your goal, freelancing is definitely where it’s at.

That being said, starting your own business makes sense if you’ve already got some good clients and others who are knocking at your door. If you find a special niche, you can market your specific designs online to your target market using search engine optimization, and Pay-Per-Click advertising to get more customers. If you decide to go this route, realize that you aren’t just going to be a graphic designer, but also a business person and a sales person. As a business owner, you’ll need to make sure that you close sales, take care of the bookkeeping, payables, and receivables, and stay on track with your graphic design projects. It can be a big undertaking, but if you think you’d enjoy the challenge, you can make a good living doing this kind of work.