Seven Super Ways to Turn Programming Prowess into Passive Income

A wealthy person is simply someone who has learned how to make money when they’re not working. — Robert Kiyosaki

As a programmer, it’s true you possess some skills which are in serious demand. Let’s face it…your next-door neighbour probably doesn’t have the first idea how to build an app that lets people hunt and capture imaginary creatures, or spend their spare time instructing others in the finer points of F# (unless of course he or she happens to be a developer too). That being said, as a programmer, you are probably able to make ends meet plus a bit extra every now and then. But what about when you’re not working? Why not turn your down time into the extra dough you need to take that little weekend getaway? To help you get started, we’ve decided to share seven of our favourite ways to make programming pay just a little more.

1. Create a Killer Mobile App

Some are such an essential part of our lives that it seems like we couldn’t possibly survive without them. Fortunately for the people who design them, our digital-dependence is a virtual goldmine. Remember these three words: solve, improve, entertain… The best (and best-selling) apps are the best because they make themselves indispensable; they solve problems that no one seems to have bothered to take on yet, improve upon apps we already use, or give us something to do while we would rather be doing something else. In short, they apps make our everyday lives easier and more enjoyable. When it comes to creating them, we think of it as the 21st Century equivalent of trying to build a better mousetrap.

2. Become a Blogger

“Yeah right…how am I supposed to make money doing that?” you might ask. While it may seem like there are already five billion bloggers out there, what sets the good ones apart is how they go about it. Above all else, bloggers that earn take every opportunity have an immense online social presence. Sites liked LinkedIn are to them what a ripcord is to a parachutist; life simply can’t go on without them. You might be surprised to see how many people would pay to tap into your vast reserve of programming know-how in order to give their skills a boost? Oh….and if you happen to specialize in a specific language or languages, be sure to keep that to the forefront so people know what you are great at right from the get go. (Seriously…who wouldn’t want to learn loads of useful stuff from the Prince of Python, or Duke of Perl?) Which leads us to our third top tip…

3. Create Great Tutorials

There’s no two ways around it-the EdTech industry is booming, so there couldn’t be a better time to get on board. One great way to do it is to start selling your own programming tutorials. Whether catering to beginners, or helping established programmers increase their productivity, there is always someone out there who is eager to learn the things you know. If you suffer from an overabundance of personality, or artistic ability?-use it to your advantage by making your tutorials especially memorable. Bring in a few extra bucks by adding advertising to the mix. YouTube your primary platform?-open an AdSense account, link it to your YouTube account, and cash in on various companies videos and banner ads. As with blogging, lots of online social activity will give your tutorials’ voyage to virulence a big boost.

4. Engineer Tasks on Endorsse

If you love the idea of earning stress-free income, but have never tried Endorsse, you’ll soon be saying “why the heck didn’t I think of that before?” This super-useful open marketplace allows you to create challenging tasks for up-and-coming programmers; often related to mobile app development, web front end development, and back end developer skills. The idea is to help soon-to-be and recent grads gain real-world experience they might not get in the classroom setting, and gain the expert endorsements they’ll need to get noticed by potential employers. After a candidate completes your task, simply assess their solution, submit an in-depth review of their work, and get paid (between $60-$200/task). The awesome thing is that while you only need to design a task once, it can be used over and over!

You can also create useful tutorials, step-by-step guides, sample projects, or practical opportunities for candidates to practice their coding on the Endorsse official blog. By doing a great job you’ll build your reputation, advertise your expertise, and bring in even more dough. Endorsse sweetens the deal with free links back to your website, blogs, and books, and by promoting your articles in their newsletters and on their social channels. While Endorsse offers a great way to earn passive income, your knowledge and contributions also serve a higher purpose; they’ll have an invaluable impact on the growth of the developer community.

5. Coach on Codementor

Another open marketplace, Codementor allows people find answers to their problems in over 800 categories ranging from debugging to big data. With Codementor, users simply post a problem or request, and receive expert, 1-on-1 help right away. Prices to utilize the platform start at $10 per 15-minute session; a bargain for those in need of urgent design help, or with programming problems that could prevent them from getting a project shipped on time. You can help learners master languages more quickly with face-to-face session so they don’t have to shell out all their money on expensive developer boot camps; or make money prepping job-seekers for upcoming interviews.

6. Author an Programming Ebook

While some people see peddling self-written programming books as a hard way to make some extra cash, it doesn’t have to be. The secret lies in solid content that offers real value to consumers. Ebooks do especially well when they cover an in-demand niches that few people have found time to fill, or fill in the gaps between existing sources of information. With its encouraging motto “Publish Early, Publish Often,” Leanpub is a powerful platform that lets authors publish both completed books and books-in-progress. As soon as you publish your landing page, you can immediately start using your social network to drum up support for your writing project. Feel free to publish, edit, and update as often as you like. Meanwhile, your landing page will be hard-at-work gathering email addresses and valuable feedback from interested parties. With a royalty rate of between 85 and 90 percent, kudos to Leanpub for being far more generous to its authors than many other publishers.

7. Feel Free to Freelance

Although some folks might cringe at the thought of freelance work, it’s a tried-and-true moneymaking method for people with spare time and saleable skills. What could be better than choosing the jobs you want… when you want? To help break into the scene, we suggest signing up with a site specializing in connecting clients with eager engineers. Not surprisingly, one of the most popular sites is simply called Freelancer; a platform where small businesses can find computing specialists for affordable prices. Created by engineers, Toptal is another well-known and widely-used source for finding freelance programming talent. Post your profile and qualifications with these sites and others like them so potential clients can see them, while you get proactive by browsing thousands of recent job postings. While it can take a bit of time to get in the game, don’t get discouraged. Before long, you’ll land that first gig and the extra green you earn will have you coming back for more.

Other Things that Might Help

Of course there are also other ways to get your name out there so you can grab job opportunities when they come along. Be sure to contribute to open source communities such as Github and Stack Overflow than can help you connect with other coders and showcase your skills to a wider audience. Local developer conferences as well as those further afield, are also an excellent way to get your name circulating, build a broader network, expose yourself to new ideas, and gain new sources of inspiration.

As amped up as you are to get on with grabbing new opportunities, remember to keep your personal health and well-being in mind as well. After all, you want your body to be a temple…not an amusement park! Sitting all day…day after day…can take its toll in the form of poor circulation, blood clots, organ damage, back problems, and other nasty things. Be sure to get away from your computer at regular intervals. Take a walk, go to the gym, do some laps at the pool…even things as simple as stretching and taking the stairs can help. Why, someone even came up with synchronized chair dancing, if that floats your boat. (Hey don’t laugh, I’m serious. You can watch it here.)

This article was originally posted on here.