How to Make Money as a Developer

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Software is a skill that not everyone has and it’s useful. Therefore, it’s a skill that’s worth money.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some ways that we can make money as a developer using our skills.


We can write about what we know as a developer to share our knowledge on sites like Medium.

Medium has a partner program that gives us money if we write and someone reads our stuff if we join it.

Also, we can write to other people’s blogs. Some blogs pay for guest posts. They can be found online by finding keywords like ‘write for us’ or ‘pad guest posts’.

They’re also ones that don’t advertise that they’re accepting guest posts. In that case, we can inquire about them or waiting for them to reach us.

We shouldn’t overlook sites that don’t pay for posts but have lots of reads. Sites like have lots of readers and some of them will want our help if they find us.

They don’t pay, but they may give us opportunities.

App Development

We can make web apps and mobile apps to make money. For mobile apps, iOS has great potential to make money either with ads or as a paid app.

For web apps, people will pay if the app we make if of any use to them.

However, we shouldn’t go all-in on making apps and spend all our time coding. Instead, we should build a quick prototype to gauge the interest of our potential users before doing anything.

This way, we can build many of them and find one that sticks. Then we can double down on that one instead of wasting our time and taxing our brain on something that no one wants to pay for.


Freelancing means we’re offering our programming skills on a per-project basis to people that are near where we live or online.

We can do that one website like Upwork or, or we can reach out to people in meetups or small business so that we can have more personal interaction.

To find remote opportunities, we should have a big online presence so that we’re promoting ourselves and being visible to others around the world.

This is probably a better bet than competing on bids on freelancing websites.

Also, reaching out to local businesses is a great idea to make some extra money. They often have software related issues that they want to help with.

For example, many small businesses don’t have money or time to maintain their website and we can help them with that.

Also, they may have custom systems like e-commerce or project management that they may need help fixing.

If we get some happy clients under our belt then they’ll refer us to more clients.

So we should do what we’re good at like making websites and offer our service to them.

It comes with a lot of benefits like being flexible with time and also works wherever we want.

However, it does come with lots of risks like projects being canceled or the client doesn’t want us anymore.

Then we have to go find ourselves more clients again. Each client is more like our bosses in regular jobs so that’s another downside.

Theme and Plugins for Content Management Systems

Content Management Systems (CMSs) don’t come with lots of functionality out of the box. This is why the themes and plugins market is thriving for popular CMSs like WordPress.

Therefore, it’s a great opportunity for us to step in and develop great looking themes and useful plugins that people can add easily to their CMS installations.

The only thing bad here is that the most popular CMSs are all written in plain PHP so that working with that isn’t the most pleasant experience for developers.

People need many things like donation buttons, responsive themes, analytics, automatic backups and much more.


There’re lots of ways for developers to make money. Writing can pay dividends since not everyone can share their knowledge.

Also, we can write software for other people like small businesses and clients online to make some money.

Finally, we can also write themes and plugins for popular content management systems like WordPress.

By John Au-Yeung

Web developer specializing in React, Vue, and front end development.

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