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Florin Pop
Florin Pop

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at florin-pop.com

Ways to make money as a developer

Update: I wrote an eBook on Ten++ Ways to Make Money as a Developer. You can get it now by clicking here.

Below you can find a list of ways you can make money as a developer. I've wrote these items a while back and I thought that people might find it valuable so I decided to share it with you. ๐Ÿ˜„

  • The most common is to have a job at a company or work as a freelancer for multiple clients
  • Create and sell digital products (plugins, components (in React, Angular, Vue, Bootstrap, etc), themes, etc)
  • build a SAAS (Software as a Service)
  • create web, mobile and/or desktop apps where you can have ads or in-app purchases
  • Create a blog and monetize it via:
    • ads (Google Adsense, carbonads, etc)
    • sponsorships
    • become an affiliate and promote other peopleโ€™s products
    • promote your own products
    • get paid to write articles for publications
  • write and sell ebooks and/or physical books*
  • create a YouTube channel (on topics like: tutorials, developer lifestyle, tips & tricks, news in the field, etc) and monetize it via:
    • YouTube ads
    • sponsorships
    • affiliate marketing
    • promote your own products
  • create online courses and/or online programs
  • live stream (on Twitch, YouTube, etc) and monetize it via:
    • donations
    • monthly subscriptions
  • create a podcast
    • sponsorship
    • promote your own products
  • work on Open Source projects and get donations and sponsorships
  • create a Patreon page where people can support you
  • create a job board and get paid by companies to connect them with developers, designers, etc...
  • sell swag
  • sell a newsletter
  • have 1-on-1 coaching sessions
  • create a trading bot
  • participate in paid coding challenges
  • participate in bug bounty programs

Feel free to suggest anything else that should be added to the list! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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Top comments (58)

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maheshkay profile image
Mahesh K

1) I just started with open source. I mostly report bugs and issues. I don't know if I can ever reach stage where I get paid by github for open source contribution like that.

2) YouTube requires 100K subscribers for anything serious in terms of earning.

3) Podcast & Streaming not for beginners. Need to have solid experience to share for longer duration.

Many options require you to be in shoes of seller than just a developer. I am learning. I hope I get there someday :)

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florinpop17 profile image
Florin Pop

1) you donโ€™t get paid by GitHub. You get paid by other developers who are using your open source projects - but yes, you need to be pretty good at it and the project has to be popular

2) true, but you have yo start somewhere. No one started with 100k subs

3) I believe you donโ€™t need to have solid experience to start streaming. You can have a โ€œbuild/learn with meโ€ type of stream.

Yes, selling is a valuable skill, but with all of the other skills, it can be learned โ˜บ๏ธ

Good luck on your journey!

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garrett profile image
Garrett / G66 / megabyteGhost • Edited

1) I just started with open source. I mostly report bugs and issues. I don't know if I can ever reach stage where I get paid by github for open source contribution like that.

The bug bounty programs are different than reporting bugs on GitHub.

2) YouTube requires 100K subscribers for anything serious in terms of earning.

I've made money in the thousands of USD having under 100 subscribers but excellent SEO on my videos promoting a good affiliate product.

3) Podcast & Streaming not for beginners. Need to have solid experience to share for longer duration.

Gary Vaynerchuk talks a lot about sharing your journey and you can find a lot of people doing this successfully online in various industries.

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lana_miro profile image
Lana Miro

Hi Mahesh! For the Youtube, you can use not only their Creator tools for earnings, but other affiliate programs.
For example, templatemonster affiliate team has Youtube Manager, who can help you with links, ready-made videos and other stuff you need for earning.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it was helpful to know newbies experience.
Wish you good luck!

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jennrmillerdev profile image
Jen Miller

what's interesting is that you'll probably find your favorite dev influencer on Twitter doing one or more of these things to make extra money on the side :)

The thing about being a developer, is that, there are many ways of 'monetizing' your experience. It's not quick cash and whatever you do will take a lot of work, but the opportunities are there.

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florinpop17 profile image
Florin Pop

Indeed, there are a lot of opportunities but you have to put in the effort ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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nicolaerario profile image
Nicola Erario

Iโ€™ve made a trading bot as you suggested but I canโ€™t solve a bug. It shows this error: โ€œgive me the money!!!โ€

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florinpop17 profile image
Florin Pop

This is a common bug among trading bots! ๐Ÿ˜‚

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xxzozaxx profile image
Ahmed Khaled

Author: It's a feature.

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indavidjool profile image
indavidjool

Did the same thing. Mine came back with the message "...and it's gone!"

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javinpaul profile image
javinpaul • Edited

Out of all these, I think creating an online course and selling is the best option. You won't need a newsletter, a blog, a twitter handle with thousands of follower, and a Youtube channel with 100K subscribers.

It's also a one-time effort and you will keep earning. I have been suggesting this to many of my friends and readers and even blogged about it on my blog, here is the link, just in case if you are interested to know more:

Why every programmer should create an online course in 2019

It's an awesome thing to do.
All the best, keep learning, and keep EARNING :-)

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aibolik profile image
Aibol Kussain

Agree, I think this is one of the best things developers can do. And I think you don't have to be super proficient, you just need to know the subject you are teaching well and be able to explain it.

However, I wouldn't say that newsletter, blog and twitter with thousands of followers is not needed. Although, it is optional, I believe they can give a good boost to your course, in terms of marketing.

And yes, in your post you said it is easy to create a course. I partially agree, in terms of technology and equipment, you don't really need to much investment, however, in terms of effort, I would say it is a huge effort. I started recording one course a year ago, but did not finish :) Now I started outlining another course and strongly decided to finish whatever it takes me to finish it :)

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javinpaul profile image
javinpaul

I agree, its a huge effort for the first course but once you do it, you will create a lot more.

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z4knight profile image
Z4Knight

Yes๏ผIn China,many developers have already to create online course to make money.

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helena_wz profile image
Lena Timofeeva

Great list!
I think, many developers underestimate what they're capable of.
Maybe it will inspire someone, I know a guy, self-taught developer, who is literally a one-man company, developing and successfully selling software for musicians since he was 23 (voxengo.com/about-voxengo).

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ahmedmkamal profile image
Ahmed Kamal • Edited

You know what? I'm going to create a todo list with all the options that you mentioned and I'll work on them one at a time, also, I'll bookmark your post to get back to it after a couple of months and share my experience and results with you ๐Ÿ™‚

Update
Here are the options that I've picked, I removed the job/freelancing options as I do freelancing already, and a couple of other options that I'm not interested in ๐Ÿ™ƒ

  • Create and sell digital products (plugins, components (in React, Angular, Vue, Bootstrap, etc), themes, etc)
  • Build a SAAS (Software as a Service)
  • Create web, mobile and/or desktop apps where you can have ads, in-app purchases or sell it
  • Create a blog and monetize it
  • Write and sell ebooks and/or physical books*
  • Create a YouTube channel (on topics like tutorials, developer lifestyle, tips & tricks, news in the field, etc) and monetize it
  • Create online courses and/or online programs
  • Live stream (on Twitch, YouTube, etc) and monetize it
  • Create a podcast
  • Work on Open Source projects and get donations and sponsorships
  • Create a Patreon page where people can support you
  • Create a job board and get paid by companies to connect them with developers, designers, etc...
  • Have 1-on-1 coaching sessions
  • Create a trading bot
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nprimak profile image
Nadya Primak

I've begun blogging a couple months ago and I'm enjoying it but I feel like its going to take a long time to see any real monetary benefit from it. At least so far my numbers are pretty low and I've been blogging consistently each month and sharing across social media channels, using google analytics, search console, etc.

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urbanisierung profile image
Adam Urban

Nice post! But how many do you know who really make money with their own trading bot? ;)

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florinpop17 profile image
Florin Pop

I know a guy ๐Ÿ˜œ

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desolosubhumus profile image
Desolo Sub Humus ๐ŸŒŽ๐ŸŒ

Well, to be fair, people who have analysed trading bots have something different to say. As it turns out, the vast majority of people using trading bots lose money, while a tiny handful who tweak their trading bots constantly actually make money.

There are also a growing number of places where trading bots are banned, esp. areas where someone has made money off trading. As it turns out, the people making money with trading bots often run multiple bots on multiple servers, with a few running entire facilities, which has led to excessive energy consumption. A trading bot facility in a small town can double or triple the power consumption of that town (apparently it's not just small towns anymore, according to the article I just found), and it's not the facility paying for it all; it's the residents. Higher power bills, higher taxes, and the extra pollution created by creating all that extra power has actually tanked more than one small town's economic stability.

On the surface, it sounds great, making money by doing basically nothing, but in truth it's more likely you'll lose money, and if by some miracle you do start making money, you'll probably be contributing to the decline of the economic and physical health of your community.

cnbc.com/2019/03/22/majority-of-bi...
vice.com/en_us/article/7xgzpy/cryp...
vice.com/en_us/article/zma4w3/quad...

Don't misunderstand; the idea of easy money is tempting (I'd considered it myself, once), but the reality is a sordid mess.

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kirajw profile image
KiraJW • Edited

Thank you for a great article, I am very interested in this topic! I want to get a job online and I learned a lot of new information thanks to you. Well, I would really like to become a developer, because I realized that they get a good salary. But the problem is that I don't have time to study, so I think I should find another way to make money. To be honest, I have another option that I found on the Internet. And I think retail arbitrage is what I need. Here is more information about this yourmoneygeek.com/retail-arbitrage/. If you have some tips on this topic, please share them.

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antdke profile image
Anthony Dikรฉ

Nice and straightforward ๐Ÿ‘ Thanks for respecting our attention spans haha

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iuriimednikov profile image
Yuri Mednikov

Hi, great post - such post desires to be bookmarked!

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urbanisierung profile image
Adam Urban

nice!

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devfromchiapas profile image
Axel Espinosa

Jajaja that was a cool one haha

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pixeline profile image
Alexandre Plennevaux

You forgot to mention "hack websites to get user accounts and sell the data on the dark web".

Oh! you meant "legal" ways ?

;-)

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lnaie profile image
Lucian Naie

if you want to have a no life ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

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jconley507 profile image
John

It's still life. Just life "on the run" lol

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swak profile image
swak

These are my goals as well.

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