Practical ideas for making money with software
Not everyone who can code software gets rich quickly, if at all. But additional money can be generated by coding software as passive income from side projects or independent distribution of mobile apps etc.
Software coders typically work for business entities developing in-house applications. Some coders contract out software creation projects as independent software developers. Much like freelance writers, however, not all software coders work for large software development operations. Many coders, especially those who write open source software, are unable to demand top-notch payment for their coding skills.
Sure, talented freelance coders can focus on writing the next big killer app. In such cases, the creator of the software may sell the product directly. But just like freelancers in any industry or business, selling your product in enough volume to get rich quick is a dream that often falls flat.
Instead of rolling out commercial and paid products and hoping for big profits, software coders can produce projects as freeware or open source while making money. Even if they have other work, coders can develop and earn money on their own projects without becoming a salesperson. Monetary rewards can flow rather than flood their bank accounts. But earning extra income as a software code writer is definitely a better outcome than doing it as a hobby.
Coders are in high demand these days. The key is how to monetize your software creations. You can do this even if you are giving away your code for free.
You can volunteer your services to create a stable cash flow regardless of the cost of your full-time job. Getting started as a freelance coder can also offer the freedom to shape your own career path.
Software monetization strategies
An effective way to start making money on software is to launch a micro-SaaS offering by starting a software-as-a-service business, either on your own or with a small team of fellow coders. Tyler Tringas explains everything you need to know about this specialized slice of entrepreneurship in his âStarting a Profitable SaaS Businessâ eBook.
For example, you can create an iOS or Android app. With a product in hand that you have created yourself, you can access Google Play and the Apple App Store. These are two of the largest app markets with 2.7 million and 1.8 million apps available, respectively.
According to Sensor Tower, global app revenue grew 32% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2020 to over $ 29 billion. Global spending on apps approached $ 65 billion in the first half of 2021. This represents an increase of more than 24% year-on-year.
A second approach is to monetize one or more open source projects that you create. Developers make money from successful open source projects. Of course, you may need to redouble your marketing efforts to publicize the existence of the software.
Monetizing your software doesn’t have to be too complicated. Use similar approaches for content producers who post their videos on their own YouTube channels. YouTubers generate revenue from referrals and high channel views for their how-to videos and other topics that they upload to the platform.
Another great method to generate income is to put donation buttons on your website. This is a strategy that a growing number of Linux distribution developers are using. Clever, discreet methods like a “Buy Me Coffee” button give people a way to support you through donations or tips. Another option is GitHub sponsors. GitHub offers several levels of sponsorship that define the amounts and benefits of monthly payments.
Also consider what is traditionally called a freemium pricing model for your software. Offer a basic free version of your coding project. Then give satisfied users the option to purchase a pro version with more and better features. This approach can cover markets ranging from useful personal applications, which run on computers, to mobile applications and productivity applications for users in SMEs and businesses.
Why not adapt a monetization tool used with success by bloggers and newsletter writers: paid advertising? Earn money by posting ads on your project site. The more constant finger traffic you have to your software project’s site, the more money you can charge advertisers. Do some research on the Internet to come up with a list of advertising agencies to contact. These agencies can do all of the work for you.
Wonders of the Web
Take advantage of the growing popularity of web browser extensions. You are undoubtedly in trouble with using web browsers which could be “fixed” with a browser extension. So write the code for this new convenience or productivity tool that makes the browser more efficient.
You can monetize browser extensions using the same three options applied to SaaS monetization. Evaluates one-time charges for users to access your app. Or charge for a subscription that collects a recurring fee from users, monthly or annually. Perhaps the most fluid approach is to rely on users’ in-app payments after installing your extension for free, and then paying for additional features while in use.
A related strategy is to think beyond the web application. Computer users jump the web to access their favorite services or digital stores. Instead of building browser extensions, focus on developing shopping or e-commerce related apps for digital marketplaces like Shopify.
Yes, build a Shopify app, a stand-alone web app that adds more functionality to an online store using Shopify APIs. To find out what issues Shopify merchants need to solve, check out the Facebook groups and forums where merchants hang out.
When your app is ready, sell it through the Shopify App Store. It is configured with a built-in billing API. It makes your monetization convenient and reliable.
Another way to make money from your coding skills is to tap into the needs of Amazon’s Alexa smart speaker universe. Submission of Alexa skills focuses on performing voice commands. You won’t need to code user interfaces and visual designs.
Instead, focus only on Amazon developer tools and Alexa APIs. Or create SDKs for Node.js, Python, and Java. Amazon even offers tutorials as a starting point.
Amazon makes it easy to monetize your coding skills. You can use in-app purchases as shown above. Only here the process is called skill buying. You offer paid features to existing users who interact with your skill. A better bet is to participate in the Alexa Developer Rewards program. See all the details here.
The online advertising method generates income by linking paid advertisements to keyword clicks in your software content. You highlight certain words that relate to an ad that a business is paying you to display. When a user hovers over words – for example in comments on the About page, app management pages, etc. – all in the content of your software, a box appears with advertisements related to that word.
Another approach is to place paid advertisements on your program’s main screen or display them when the app user moves from one screen to another. Or you can change this approach by placing ads elsewhere in your app.
For example, make the ad appear while your program loads or before launching. You can even place an advertising banner in the app interface.
Be careful not to abuse the use of announcements or overt calls for donations. Ads that appear randomly on device screens can be the kiss of death. Potential users of your software may have little patience for improper ad placement. Especially when done excessively in a game or other software, users can be ruthless.
Their surefire remedy for this type of advertising in the software is to uninstall it. Yet when advertisements and fundraising are minimally orchestrated, this type of monetization is a popular approach in mobile apps and desktop software.
Provide your users with a reliable and useful mobile app, browser extension, or website plugin. If you don’t overdo the money arguments included, most users won’t want to give up on creating your software. As an additional monetization offer them a one-time upgrade to an ad-free version.