Graphics play a very important role on the web and offline. The play a part in everything from websites to local advertising and menu:s. There are a lot of free lance graphics work out there. Unfortunately there is also a very large amount of freelancers that is competing for this work and it can be hard to get established on the market. You have to expect to get paid very little for each job when you first get started and it can be hard to gain a good enough reputation to be able to charge higher prices.
The problem is that there is a very large number of skilled graphics designers that are trying to break into the market. This allows employers to pay very low fees and still get a lot of people bidding for their projects. The large amount of people willing to do cheap work have caused employers to get used to pay low prices and many are unwilling to pay higher prices.
It is easier to make money as a content provider than it is as a graphics designer and if your main goal is to earn money then I recommend that you focus on that instead.
Graphics work can be a good option if you love doing it and do not mind getting paid very little when you get started. Do not try to make money in graphics unless you love doing it. If you do not love it then there are other better ways to make money.
There is a lot of freelance work available for graphics artist. If you visit a website such as UpWork and search for different types of graphical design you will find thousands of different assignments. It is very easy to find job. The flip side is that many assignments pay very poorly and you will compete with a lot of skilled workers from all over the world. Some of them from countries where it is a lot cheaper to live then in the united states.
It will take time before you are able to demand a higher salary and still get assignments.
Local work can often be more lucrative then online free lance work. Put together a portfolio of your work. Make sure to include examples in your portfolio that are relevant for local business. Examples that proves that you can provide them with what they need.
Once you have created a portfolio you can start going around to different small local business and offering them your services. It is a lot harder to get local work than it is to get online work. But local assignments will usually pay better and it is easier to build a god reputation in the local area then it is online.
Design and sell assets
This can be a very good way to earn money as a graphics designers as it allows you to work on whatever you want. You do not have to try to design what the customer is asking for. You can design things as you want them to be designed.
Once you have designed an asset you can put it up for sale on an asset market place such as Graphicsriver.net. These market places allow people to buy licenses to use your assets. You get paid every time they do.
This can be very profitable if you are able to design popular assets or if you upload a large amount of different assets on the market places.
Sell your photos
You can sell your photos online using different stock photo websites. The websites list photos from a large pool of photographers and people can license the images to use on websites, in promotional materials as well as in book and magazines. You get paid every time some one buys a license to use your image. How much money you get paid will vary between different stock photo sites and depending on what type of license the customer purchased. Using a small image on a website requires a different license then using it in a book and so on.