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Are you a freelance graphic designer in need of some extra dough? Maybe you just like designing logos or websites for fun in your spare time?  If so, it’s possible to earn a little extra cash with web-based crowdsourcing design contests.

So, what exactly is crowdsourcing? Simply put, it’s the concept of outsourcing a task to a group of people to come up with solutions.  For example, let’s say the client is a website and needs a new logo. Through one of these online crowdsourcing design websites, the client becomes the contest holder and posts the requirements of the project, such as a description of what kind of logo he needs and a deadline. The client also decides on the amount of money that is to be awarded.

Designers participate in the contest by designing logos based on what the client wants and submitting their entries for review. Then, the client looks for the best logo to use, chooses a winner, and that designer is awarded the prize money.

Remember, with all these crowdsourcing models, it’s a contest and the competition is usually fierce, especially for the top-dollar projects. While no professional experience is needed, you should at least know your way around Photoshop or another graphics editing program in order to produce appealing and competitive designs to the clients. Check out An Idiot’s Guide to Photoshop An Idiot's Guide To Photoshop - 1 [PDF Guide] An Idiot's Guide To Photoshop - 1 [PDF Guide] Read More for some help.

Here’s 3 crowdsourcing design contest websites to make money with crowdsourcing.

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99designs

crowdsourcing design websites99designs is one of the most popular design competition marketplaces on the Web. As one of its designers, there’s always hundreds of available projects for you to choose from. Some of the design categories include logos, webpages, print, WordPress themes A Beginner's Guide To Building Your Own Wordpress Theme A Beginner's Guide To Building Your Own Wordpress Theme Read More , Twitter backgrounds A Bunch of Easy Ways to Spice Up Your Twitter Page A Bunch of Easy Ways to Spice Up Your Twitter Page Read More , stationery, t-shirts, and more.

Once you’ve decided on a contest to participate in, just read the design brief. It has everything you need to know about what the client is looking for, including an overview, the brand name, target audience, requirements, and payment methods of the cash prize for the winner.

crowdsourcing design websites

After you’ve created your design, hit the submit a design button to upload a screenshot or thumbnail for the client to review.

crowdSPRING

crowdsourcing design websitesWith pretty much the same concept as 99designs, crowdSPRING is another design marketplace. Project categories are divided into four categories: graphic design (logo, clothing, stationery, etc.), web design, industrial design (packaging, product design), and photography (custom photos, retouching).

crowdsourcing and methods

As a creator, simply find a project you can take on, read the brief for all the details, and you’ll be awarded the contest’s cash prize if your design is chosen.

DesignCrowd

crowdsourcing and methodsDesignCrowd is yet another marketplace that offers various contests for designers to take a stab at. Design jobs include logos, web, brochures, posters, flyers, illustrations, stationery, business cards, and t-shirts.

crowdsourcing and methods

Same rules apply here. Read the open brief and submit your designs for review. Some clients do offer a base payment for just participating in the contest. This guarantees designers at least some money for their work even if they don’t win. However, participation payments are usually very limited and are not even offered at all.

As for what it takes to win any of these crowdsourcing contests? First and foremost, always listen to what the client wants. After all, he does make the final decision. Pay close attention to his design description and feedback to your work. It’s also a good idea to submit different designs to get a feel of which ones the client really likes and revise the best ones to his liking. Other than that, be creative, persistent, and your hard work may pay off.

What do you think about crowdsourcing design contests? Business owners, have you given any of these marketplaces a try? Designers, have you made any money working with these sites? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit : Anirudh Koul

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