It’s not a secret that coders and software engineers have very decent salaries and can live a life full of comfort just working for a company. However, some of them have enough free time to explore alternative ways to increase their income to get some extra cash.
Maybe you are thinking of an early retirement, or have sufficient enough money to notd worry about losing your job. Either way, you can find lot of opportunities out there to add to your income maintaining your current full-time job. So let’s review some of them.
Investing some money
Saving money is great, but investing is better. Rather than deposit your earnings in a bank account and try to spend less than you earn, you can move your money and put it to work for you. Idle cash doesn’t bring returns, and you will always be at risk to lose it due to inflation.
On the other hand, if you invest your money wisely your wealth will grow. In stock market investing, the key is, of course, the “wisely” word, but you don’t need to be a Wall Street wizard to makeprofits.
We are not talking about day-trading or buying and selling stocks all the time, since that is a full time job by itself. But you can focus on long-term investing in good, solid companies. You won’t get rich over a¡ night, but your money will work for you and eventually will pile up over time.
Good choices to invest are mutual funds, ETFs, or individual stocks using an online broker. Nowadays many of them will not charge fees; and if you are on top of your Roth IRAs, RSUs, 401ks and stocks that you invest in you will see your money grow.
Start a Programming Blog by yourself
This is a great opportunity to get some extra income and to gain prestige in the programming community. As a side-income source, it could give you around 2k extra per month easily if you put some time and effort into it.
There is a saying that you won’t master something until you are able to teach it, and it is true in my experience. A blog will also serve you to build a strong personal brand, which will open lots of career opportunities, job positions and occasional freelance coding tasks that will be translated into more income for you.
It is a win-win situation: as you teach others, you will become a better programmer yourself and get money in the process. How? Well, you can get benefits from:
- Advertisements: put ads on your blog and make money from your web traffic. For instance, putting Google ads on your site will give you a share of the revenue each time a reader click on the ad. But Adsense is not your only option: there are lots of other premium ad agencies you can work with.
You will need to have lots of readers to monetize only with ads, since your income will be directly proportional to the number of readers.
- Becoming an Affiliate: if you manage to build an affiliate system by selling other people’s products, you can make good money from it. For instance, you can sell Amazon products on your blog using a referral link that you put on your blog. If a customer buys something through your referral link, you get a commission.
Of course, due to your blog being about programming, you need to suggest related products like software or programming books. I suggest you keep in mind not to recommend either expensive products or products you have never used yourself. Only put a good word in for things you actually use, to gain the trust of your followers.
Remember: mutual trust is worth more than a few bucks. Only recommend good, valuable products that you know and trust.
- Selling your own stuff: If you sell your own products on your blog, you will get more money. But you will need to dedicate more time and effort to the task. However, once you prepare your product and set the blog in motion, it will sell it passively for you.
Just be sure that your products align with your viewers and are valuable to computer scientists and coders. For instances, a book about coding and software engineering should be perfect for your blog.
I am not saying that selling is going to be easy. You will need to learn and apply lots of online marketing techniques to promote your products. But at the same time, acquiring those skills will be a future advantage in your career as a software engineer, as well as at a personal level.
Use Fiverr or Upwork (or both)
This is a very easy method to get some extra income. Fiverr is one of the largest online marketplaces that hire freelancers.
Starting at five dollars, it provides services such as programming, marketing, design, business, writing, video, music, translation and more. So if you want to use your coding skills or other talent that you want to exploit, Fiverr can provide you gigs to make a few bucks with easy.
The platform can be also helpful in your daily work: you can outsource a task that you don’t want to do, and then use the available time to do something else.
Similar to Fiverr, Upwork is another way you may use your coding skills to make quick cash. It helps clients from everywhere to hire the skills they are looking, and coding is one of the most in-demand.
Start an Ecommerce business
E-commerce or selling products online is a great way to make money, and as the present times has demonstrated, the future. Since every day the regular shops are going out of business, why not grab a slice and make your own e-commerce shop?
Nowadays finding products and setting an online store is incredibly easy and can be done in a matter of a few hours, but the real challenge is to do an effective marketing campaign and sell your products. Then, you need to decide how to find your target audience, to select a competitive niche and to organize your traffic to make real profits. In order words, you need to be creative and to establish a good selling strategy to do things better than your competition.
Start a YouTube Channel
You can take advantage of the personal interaction that YouTube provides, if you have a friendly and attractive personality. Anyway, software engineers needs to improve their ability to speak in public, and a video channel is a great way to start and get feedback from your audience.
Even when the potential income is not your goal (and it can be substantial), polishing your communication skills will be good for you and your career. It could be more profitable and effective than starting a blog, since the YouTube channel allows you to make stronger relationship with the audience at a deeper level. Even better, have both.
In addition to the YouTube monetization, you can also get profits from ads, affiliate links and selling your products.
Make a Video Course
Remember that in the end you are a great software engineer. Since programming is in high demand nowadays, and you are an expert on the subject, you can get profits not only programming but teaching others to code.
Take into account that out there are thousands of people all over the world eager to learn what you know. So if you have teaching skills, you might earn a good bit extra since you will be targeting a huge market.
There are lots of platforms that you may use to create a course and monetize it. All you need is to create an excellent course: the platform will take care of the marketing and so on.
Build Software and sell it
After all, that is what you do best. So nothing can stop you if you want to spend some of your time and talent to create great software and start selling it, either on your web page, your blog or through a third party.
The idea is simple. Rather than writing code for someone else, do it for your own project and sell it later. Of course, you will need a good eye for business and help from other professionals to complete fully functional software. But if it helps other people or the market lacks and need it, you will see the money pile up.
Anyway, leading a project at full cycle will provide you with skills that the average coder does not have. Even if you apply in the future for a position as team manager, you can take advantage from that experience… even if your software doesn’t have the success that you expect.
I am not going to lie: chances of making ground breaking software are slim. But if you make a phone app, an SAAS service or downloadable software and succeed, you can make really good money from it.
So there are lots of opportunities to make some extra cash as a programmer. Consider your interests and skills and try it out.