3 Best Ways to Make Money from Coding and Programming in 2023

How To Make Money From Coding

Are you interested in learning how to make money from coding?

Below, you’ll find out the various ways you can monetize your coding skills. From getting a job as a web developer to creating and selling WordPress plugins and themes, this article covers it all.

You’ll learn the pros and cons of each option and tips on how to get started. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced coder, this article has something if you’re looking to turn your passion for coding into a profitable career.

1. Get a Job as a Web Developer

As a  web developer, your main job is to create and maintain websites and applications. You’ll do this using HTML, CSS, and programming languages such as JavaScript. Web developers also have to work with other departments like web design, graphic design, and so on.

Web Development

They may also be required to handle other things like SEO, monitoring web traffic, improving website performance, and handling problems in order to limit downtime.

Types of Web Developer Jobs

There are many different types of web developer jobs.

Front End Developer

A front-end web developer works on the client (or visitor) side by building and maintaining the parts of the website or application you can see. This is ultimately what allows users to interact with the website or application.

You still require a decent amount of coding skills for this job as it is different from what a web designer does.

Back End Developer

A back-end developer specializes in building and maintaining the server side of a web application. As a back-end developer, you oversee data storage, security, and performance.

Backend Developer

You’ll often need to know programming languages such as PHP, Python, Ruby, or Java and use frameworks like Django, Rails, or Spring to build web applications. This work is typically not visible to the end user, but it is essential for the overall functionality and performance of the web application.

Full Stack Developer

A full-stack web developer can perform the functions of both a front and back-end web developer. This means they manage both the client and server sides of websites and applications.

WordPress Developer

WordPress developers are also mostly full-stack developers who specialize in building websites using WordPress creation tools. They are trained to use WordPress plugins and themes and work to make WordPress websites user-friendly and more functional.

Sell Plugins and Themes

WordPress is exceptionally well-known, and many people choose to build their sites using it. According to an article published by ManaFerra, there were 835 million WordPress websites in 2022. This means that there is a huge need for various plugins and themes.

Wordpress.org Homepage

WordPress developers can also work on their own plugins and themes and sell them to WP users.

Testing WP Software and Making Improvements

WordPress developers can also use their skills to test WP software and make improvements. This could be testing functionality, scalability, performance, etc. The ultimate goal is to optimize various software used by WordPress users.

The Pros and Cons Of Being A Web Developer

Pros
  • It’s simple to get started and there are plenty of learning resources
  • You don’t need a physical product, and you get to monetize your skills
  • This business model offers high-profit margins
Cons
  • It takes a lot of work to ensure you deliver a high-quality service or products for clients.

Next Steps

To find out where to start, it’s a good idea to research what others are doing right now. Look for popular coding courses on Udemy, for example. Or check which YouTube channels offering coding tutorials are doing really well.

udemy


2. Develop Games or Apps

Another way to make money coding is to become a game or app developer. This requires an understanding of C++ since this is the most commonly used programming language in game design.

Video game developers are responsible for both designing and developing games. This includes games for PC, consoles like Playstation or Xbox, and mobile applications. They generally get ideas from the design team and then code the base engine based on these designs.

Another type of coding field to go into is app development. Apps frequently use Java as the main programming language, so it’s a good idea to gain knowledge and experience in this.

App Development

This type of work often entails creating mobile apps. You could also create your own apps and make money by selling them.

The Pros and Cons

Pros
  • You can pursue freelance jobs or be your own boss
  • Game or app development is good for those who want to get more creative
  • This gives you an exciting way to earn money programming
  • You can earn really well
Cons
  • You need a high skillset
  • You need to have sound coding skills and experience
  • If you work a full-time job, you’ll mostly be designing other people’s ideas

How to Get Started

  1. Get qualified. Game developers are often required to have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or a related field. That’s because this job requires lots of technical skills.
  2. Develop solid coding skills. Even with a degree, it’s good to ensure you understand the coding you’ve learned well. This may involve brushing up on your Math skills which are really important when coding for games.
  3. Develop software engineering skills. When it comes to creating games or apps, you may need to know how to use various coding languages and technologies including C, C#, C++, Java, Python, Lua, and MySQL.
  4. Explore your creative skills. In smaller companies, you may need to come up with ideas or storylines as a game or app developer. It’s a good idea to focus on your creative side and get extra experience in graphics, storytelling, etc.
  5. Build a portfolio. Whether you’re a freelance app developer sourcing potential clients or you’re looking to land a full-time job as a game developer, having a portfolio is essential. You can design your own game apps to do this.
    Read this guide to get more information on how to make a game developer portfolio. 
  6. Get an entry-level game developer job. Not only is this a great way to earn a full-time income, but it also gives you access to the job market. This allows you to gain experience and build your professional network.

Next Steps

Learning to code and getting experience in the field are the first steps. Once you’ve gotten to a place where you can develop a game or app, you can pursue opportunities to make money.

Make Money Coding

A good platform to find work as a game developer is Gamasutra Jobs. You can check it out here.


3. Start Freelancing as a Programmer

This is a great way to earn money online. Freelance programmers are much more flexible than the previous coding jobs we mentioned. That’s because you can do various tasks like writing website code, coding for software, mobile apps, or any application.

Programmers in general, maintain, debug and troubleshoot software to keep it running smoothly. As a freelancer, you’ll need a sound understanding of various coding languages because the work is so varied.

Freelancers work with different clients, and each may require you to use different programming languages and platforms.

The Pros and Cons

Pros
  • There are many freelance programming gigs available
  • Flexibility in the jobs you choose
  • You can have your own business
  • Options to work remotely
Cons
  • The hours can be really long
  • Your first few jobs may not pay well
  • You need to understand a broader range of coding languages and website development platforms.
  • You have to source potential clients

How to Get Started

  1. Get Qualified. A bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field can be handy. It is also recommended that you take coding courses to expand your skills.
  2. Choose a niche. There are so many types of programming jobs that you may not know which ones to apply for. It’s a good idea to explore the various available niches and narrow your interest to a few similar ones.
  3. Get experience by building a portfolio. Once you have the skills and have chosen a niche, it’s essential to put into practice what you’ve learned.

The best way to do this is to create a few pieces to add to a portfolio. This is what you can use to show your work to potential clients.

  1. Create your own website. As a freelancer, having your own website is a good way to showcase your skills and market your brand. In fact, some clients will request this.
  2. Market yourself. Being a freelancer is having your own business. The work won’t fall on your lap, you need to market yourself and your brand.
  3. Set up portfolios and profiles on freelancing platforms. This may be one of the best ways to get jobs as a freelancer who is just starting out. We’ll list some of the best sites to find freelancing gigs below.

Best Sites to Find Online Freelance Coding Gigs

Legiit.com

Legit

Legiit.com is a comprehensive freelance marketplace platform for businesses, agencies, and many other areas. It also offers payment protection for freelancers and helps to ensure legitimate clients.

Upwork

Upwork Homepage

Upwork is one of the top platforms for freelancers to connect with clients. It gives you access to a job board to search for jobs in line with your skills. It also allows you to create a profile and portfolio.

UpStack

Upstack

This freelancer job platform is particularly for web developers and programmers. Upstack boasts longer-term projects and remote jobs in various programming fields, including WordPress developer jobs.

Fiverr

Fiverr Homepage

Fiverr as a platform offers clients various services from web development to content creation, so there are lots of job opportunities for programmers on this site. They also ensure secure and paying clients.

Freelancer.com

Freelancer Homepage

Freelancer.com is another popular platform where freelancing programmers can find stable and consistent work. It helps to connect you with potential clients.

This platform is also unique in that it allows you to enter contests, increasing your chances of having clients find you.

LinkedIn

Linkedin

LinkedIn is one of the top networking platforms for freelancers. It allows you to connect with top companies and has a job board feature to search for tons of freelance programming gigs.

The benefit is these jobs are highly reputable. It also allows you to add references and a portfolio.


Get Paid to Learn Coding And Gain Experience:

There are additional ways to both earn money and gain experience in coding. This is recommended as it opens up future career opportunities. Here are 3 platforms that frequently share competitions in coding.

GeeksforGeeks

GeeksForGeeks

This computer science portal hosts events that allow students to earn cash. These coding events, like the GSC Triple Threat Coding, have been known to pay out large sums of money to winners. Coding competitions offer a great way to earn extra money while studying or starting off.

You can check out their website here.

CodeChef

This platform also hosts coding contests you can enter, including practice coding contests to help you gain experience and prepare for upcoming contests. They also offer multiple contests every month that allows you to win prizes.

You can view upcoming and past contests on their website.

HackerEarth

HackerEarth

HackerEarth offers hackathons, programming challenges, and coding competitions. The main focus of this site is competitive programming and hiring challenges. It’s a great place to get equipped to work in some of the most competitive coding industries.

You can check out their challenges and competitions here.

Google’s Coding Competitions

Google also offers various coding competitions as a way for you to earn money and gain experience. These include algorithm puzzles, programming, engineering problems, and more. Not all of them have cash prizes, but they are a good way to deepen your expertise.

Find out more about their competitions and challenges here.

TopCoder

TopCoder is a platform for competitive programming and computer science education. It offers a variety of programming contests, including Single Round Matches (SRMs), marathons, and tournaments.

TopCoder

It also has a Challenge platform for companies to post problems for the TopCoder community to solve. You can view all of their upcoming challenges here.


Additional Tips for Getting Started

Regardless of the coding jobs you’re interested in, there are general steps that anyone can take to ensure success in a highly competitive job market.

Build a Portfolio

As we’ve mentioned a few times, building a portfolio to showcase your work is a crucial part of your success. There are different ways to do this. One of the most effective ways is to build your own website.

Portfolio

This is a great way to prove your skills in coding. You can also work on independent pieces and display them using portfolio tools on various platforms, like Upwork.

This is beneficial if you want to freelance. If you’re looking to go the technical content creator route, you can create your own content to share with prospective clients and employers.

When it comes to your portfolio, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure any coding samples actually work
  • Don’t add too many samples
  • Make sure your samples are niche-specific
  • Share any examples of work you’ve already done (with permission)

Build References

Future clients and employers want references. If you’re just starting out, you could get references from a mentor or lecturer at your university. Then work on adding to them as you gain more work experience.

References

This is also one of the reasons why networking is so important. It helps to connect you with experts in the field who could be great references. And it opens up more work opportunities for you.

Be Honest and Direct

When starting, people don’t expect you to know everything. There’s nothing worse than promising certain skills and then failing to deliver.

Be honest about your skillset and make it known that you’re willing to learn.

Being open and direct with future clients or employers helps eliminate miscommunication or unrealistic expectations.

Choose One Platform and Stick With It

Setting yourself up on too many platforms can end up being time-consuming. It’s best to choose one and spend time familiarizing yourself with it.

Choose One Platform and Stick With It

This way, you can make the most of their features. And, you will end up with a really strong profile as opposed to 4 weaker ones.

That said, it’s highly recommended that if you have more than one profile, make sure they’re all in sync and up-to-date.

Don’t Take on Big Projects at First

You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew. Make sure you get enough experience to know which areas you’re strong in and confident with. Start with smaller, easier projects and work your way up to larger ones as your skills improve.

It is also good to do a few jobs in different niches to get a feel for which one you feel the best working in.

Keep Your Bids Low in the Beginning

You’re not likely to land many jobs or clients if your rate is too high for the amount of experience that you have.

At this stage, you need to be realistic about what you can do. As you gain more experience and become confident in more complex tasks, then you can start upping your rates.

According to Salary.com [1], the average hourly rate for an entry-level programmer is about $41 per hour.

Salary.com salary for programmer

And, according to Upwork, the median hourly rate for a freelance web developer is around $20 per hour. However, an entry-level web developer in a corporate setting may pay more than this.

Don’t Give Up

The longest path to becoming a web developer is around 4 years. This includes getting a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. You then need to spend time gaining experience. This could take an additional year.

According to studywebdevelopment.com[2], if you’re keen on freelancing as a web developer, it could take you up to 6 months to start being successful. And according to careerkarma.com[3], it can take between 6 to 20 weeks to land a job as a full-stack developer.

Remember that these are just rough guidelines, and it could happen much faster or take longer. The key is to keep trying, be consistent and focus on expanding your skills in the meantime.

The benefit of jobs in coding is that there’s always something for you to learn.

You can take advantage of the quiet time by sharing skills. Teaching is a great way to learn. Creating your own online coding courses is a great way to monetize your existing knowledge. This could end up bringing additional income.


FAQs

Can I earn money from coding?

There are many ways to earn money from coding. You can enter various coding competitions or expand your web developer or programmer skills. This will also allow you to get noticed helping you make money as a freelancer, get employed, or start your own business.

What Can You Learn?

Do coders make good money?

Coding allows you to make an income of around $73,473 per year. This amount can increase significantly if you choose to specialize.

How much does a junior front-end developer make?

The average salary for an entry-level front-end developer is about $50,000–$70,000 per year. This increases to around $102,682 per year for more experienced front-end developers.

How much does a junior backend developer make?

The average annual salary of a junior back-end web developer is between $50,000 to $70,000.

How much does a junior mobile application developer make?

An entry-level mobile application developer can make up to around $80,000 per year.

App Developer

How to Make Money Coding: Key Takeaways

When making money in coding, the best-earning potential comes from specializing.

Web developers, software engineers, game and app developers, and programmers all have the potential to earn close to or more than $100,000 per year, with most of them averaging around $80,000 per year.

Getting to this point requires practice and skill development. It is also good to specialize in skills that are in demand.

But, don’t forget the importance of building your portfolio to showcase your expertise and networking. These can go a long way when it comes to opening up career opportunities.

Matt-Author-Img

Article by

Matt Diggity

Matt is the founder of Diggity Marketing, LeadSpring, The Search Initiative, The Affiliate Lab, and the Chiang Mai SEO Conference. He actually does SEO too.

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