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5 Ways To Make Money as a Developer Without a Job

Establish Different Streams of Making Money as a Developer


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samuel martins

3 years ago | 5 min read

In this piece, I am going to be sharing five ways that you can make money as a developer without a job. Now, this is important because I know a lot of developers out there are not able to get a job right now. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to use your programming ability to make money on the side.

The five methods I am going to address are the same ones I have tried before. You can try these different ways alongside your day job. Sometimes they may end up making you more money than your actual job.

1. Freelancing

Freelancing is such a great opportunity to take whatever skill set that you have and be able to get paid to use those skills. It does not matter what you are good at. If you are good at one specific thing, there is probably someone willing to pay for it.

When I first decided to go the freelancing route, I opened different accounts from different platforms. I thought that the more account I have, the better my chance of getting projects will increase. So, I applied to Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, Toptal engineering, PPH, guru, you name it.

I was not successful for a while until I got a client from Upwork from which all my other clients came. I came to notice that it does not matter how good you are to freelance. You do not have to be a pro at the different web development stacks or even at mobile development.

All you have to do is to learn how better market yourself.

If you are beginning and have low rates, you might even get more clients because people want the lower price for what you can do. I am not asking you to sell yourself short.

Do not be afraid to start small. You can build a website for $20k for a company, or you can make a little program for $20. It does not matter what skill you have.

As long as you can market that skill correctly, you will be able to get clients and be able to make money. With online platforms like Upwork, you need to gauge yourself and your prices so that you will be able to land clients.

2. Tutoring

Tutoring is popular for most developers. Some may choose to do this through instructional videos on YouTube or creating courses online for websites like Udemy, Udacity and Skillshare.

If you are a developer who enjoys interacting with people, you may do well in personal or online tutoring. The best part about this is that you can charge different rates depending on the clients.

If you are a teenager in school, you can start offering classes to your classmates. Age is not a limiting factor.

You can also sign up on websites like Coursera and Chegg where you can help people with their homework while also tutoring them.

If you get better at it and have a good enough online presence, it can be a great way of earning a living. You can even change your rates as you grow.

I would highly recommend you at least consider because it is a great one way to use and still improve your programming skills. I tried this before and made some cash then I stopped because I did not have enough time to handle Upwork projects at the same time.

3. Sharing knowledge online

Sharing knowledge is one thing anyone can do in any capacity. It could be through a YouTube video, an article, a tweet, anything.

There are a lot of opportunities out there for such. I have not tried this yet, but I have written a lot of programming articles other the years under a friend who had hired me as one of his writers. You can even decide to create a blogging site and work your way up.

I am not saying that you’re going to make a lot of money by hosting ads on your blog or hosting ads on your YouTube channel because it takes a lot of time to get people to follow you.

It is a slower route to take, but the money accumulates over time. When you share online, there is a high chance of being discovered by a potential client, a recruiter or a prospective student.

4. Start a business

Starting a business is by far the most difficult to do. Tech stories about the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Sergey Brin have given rise to a lot of startups in silicon valley and also worldwide.

It may sound like a cliché, but you can do the same. I know building a product, or a service that you can sell is not an easy thing to do, but it is worth the time and effort.

Most of the companies in tech started because one person or a small group of people decided to build something that would sell. Look at a lot of the apps you use today. A good number started because someone wanted to create something better and more efficient.

The great thing with programming is that, once you start, you are automatically an entrepreneur. You can build whatever you want and go ahead and sell it.

You can make a simple app on the app store, and make good money from it. Now, is that going to happen? Probably not, but if you have a good idea or you have something that you want to build, go ahead and build it. You already have the time. You have nothing to lose.

5. Provide tech solutions to local businesses

This involves going to some local business, and try to pitch your tech ideas to them. They probably don’t know how to set up a website, or they probably wouldn’t even go out and seek that assistance.

The trick is to identify a problem, pitch a solution, then charge something that makes sense.

Make them see that they will make their money back from the solution that you’re pitching to them, or save money. I have had friends with small businesses. I noticed that most of them did not have websites, so I pitched the idea to them. I can attest to this because most of them are still my clients today.

After all, I maintain their websites for a fee.

These methods are not for everybody. Maybe none of these will work for you, and maybe one or two will work for someone else. I believe that taking that step to find out which works for you is worth it. Building a freelance empire has never been easy. It commands a lot of sweat.

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samuel martins

I am a full-stack web developer. I love sharing my knowledge of web development technologies and programming in general.


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