As a programmer, you’ve got countless opportunities to start a side hustle and make money online. In this guide, I’ll teach you 7+ ways to make money online using your programming skills. A quick summary of what you’ll learn is listed below:
1. Freelancing In Upwork, Fiverr And Others
I start with freelancing as its the easiest way for a programmer to start making money online. You can get new freelancing projects in 2 ways:
You may be a full stack developer, or a front end ninja, or a backend wizard. You’ve to clearly assess your programming skills before you start freelancing projects.
Once you have got a clear idea about your skills, create a profile in freelancing sites like UpWork, Freelancer, or Fiverr. You should not try to start a profile on all the freelancing sites at the same time! Start with one platform at a time, build your profile, and get projects. I’ve listed out all the best freelancing sites in the bonus content section.
2.Start A Blog
Have you heard the word passive income? Starting a blog is a great way to earn passive income from programming. The concept of ‘passive income’ is simple! You make money even while you sleep, sounds cool right?
You can earn passive income from a blog in 4 ways:
‘Passive income’ is not the only income option from a blog. You’ll get high-value freelancing projects and consulting offers through your blog.
That sounds great, right? You can make money while you sleep and you can get high ticket projects all by starting a blog. So how do you start a blog? I’ll show you how to start a blog in 3 steps.
#1 Get Your Domain Name
You need to find out a good, easy to remember, unique domain name for your blog. Ideally, your domain name should reflect your niche (programming).
For example, if you’re a PHP expert and you want to start a blog focusing on that language, a name like KillerPHP or NomadPHP sounds logical. If you don’t want to limit yourself to a specific language, choose a name like WebDevBlog or NorthCoders. I’ve seen many programmers launching a blog in their own names like David Walsh or Brad Frost.
So choosing a domain name is more about your taste and preferences. Check for the domain name availability in GoDaddy or NameCheap. Once you finalize an available domain name, register that for yourself.
#2 Pick Your Blogging Platform
You don’t need to think about any platform other than WordPress really. If you’re new to WordPress, it is a free, open-source blogging platform (and content management system) used by millions of bloggers all over the world.
You can install and setup WordPress in your web host within 10 minutes. I see that most of the popular web hosts out there offer automated 1 click installation for WordPress.
So what is the 3rd & final step in starting your blog? You gotta choose a web hosting account.
#3 Select The Best Web Hosting
When you’re just starting, you don’t need a high end web hosting solution (like a VPS hosting or Dedicated hosting). When I first started a blog, I used a shared hosting from DreamHost. Later when my blog grew traffic, I switched to a VPS from Hostgator and from there to LiquidWeb (Managed Dedicated Servers).
Now I use WPXHosting mainly (Managed WordPress Hosting solution). I would recommend you to begin with BlueHost shared hosting plan. I’ve used Bluehost for long and I know the service is excellent.
If you don’t want to spend time on learning the hosting nuances of WordPress (like bandwidth optimization, caching), you can opt for a managed WordPress hosting service like WPX Hosting.
I use the service of WPX Hosting for this blog (GoMakeBig) and our other popular blogs. I use a managed service mainly because I want to save time and don’t worry about anything related to hosting. A managed service will take care of A to Z about WordPress and the hosting environment.
3.Sell Online Courses
Have you heard about Udemy, Skillshare, Thinkific, and Teachable? All of them are online course platforms where you can create your own courses and sell them to students.
Creating online courses is a great way to make money online with your coding skills. The best part – selling online courses gives you passive income just like a blog. You create a course with one-time effort and you sell the same product (your course) to thousands of students all across the world.
So how do you create and sell online courses? You’ve two options here:
So which option is the best for you? Course marketplaces like Udemy has millions of students already in their user base. If you’re uploading a course in Udemy, you get a very high visibility and reach without much effort. You can promote your course using the popularity of platforms like Udemy, and Skillshare.
Course hosting platforms like Thinkific and Teachable helps you to create courses on your own brand name. You’re in total control of everything here, like pricing, how to market to students, how to create the course, you get the full contact details of your students and so on.
Going on your own (using Thinkific or Teachable) works best when you already have a set of audience (for example: a popular blog or a Youtube channel). You get to market your courses to the already familiar audience you have.
AfterNerd is a classic example of selling courses on his own platform. Karim uses Teachable platform to host his courses currently.
If you don’t have a blog or any existing audience, your best option would be to start with Udemy or Skillshare. When you go with marketplaces like Udemy, you’ll see some money within a few months of uploading your first course.
Later, when you have built your own audience (using a blog), you can switch to your own hosted courses (using Thinkific or Teachable).
Did you get one core idea here? Starting a blog is very important for your long term growth. If you don’t have one yet, start your blog now.
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