Practical ideas for making money with software


Not everyone who knows how to program software gets rich quick, if at all. But additional money can be generated through software coding as passive income from side projects or the independent distribution of mobile apps and more.

Software coders typically work for commercial companies that develop in-house applications. Some programmers hire software creation projects as independent software developers. However, similar to freelance writers, all software coders do not work on large software development operations. Many programmers, especially those who write open source software, are unable to get premium pay for their programming skills.

Of course, talented independent programmers can focus on writing the next great killer application. In such cases, the software manufacturer can sell the product directly. But just like freelancers in any industry or trade, selling your product with enough volume to get rich quick is a dream that often fails.

Instead of launching commercially marketed and paid products and hoping for big profits, software programmers can produce projects as freeware or open source and still make money. Even if they have another job, programmers can develop and earn their own projects without going commercial. The monetary rewards can trickle rather than flood into their bank accounts. But making extra income as a software code writer is certainly a better outcome than doing it as a hobby.

Coders are currently in great demand. The key is knowing how to monetize your software creations. You can do the same if you distribute your code for free.

You can offer your services for steady cash flow no matter what your full-time job costs. Branching out as a freelance programmer can also give you the opportunity to design your own career path.

Software Monetization Strategies

An effective way to make money off of software is to start a micro SaaS offering by building a software-as-a-service business either on your own or with a small team of other programmers. Tyler Tringas provides everything you need to know about this particular piece of entrepreneurship in his e-book, Bootstrapping a Profitable SaaS Business.

For example, you can create an iOS or Android app. With a homemade product in hand, you can access Google Play and Apple’s App Store. These are two of the largest app marketplaces with 2.7 million and 1.8 million apps available, respectively.

According to Sensor tower, global app sales rose 32 percent year over year to more than $ 29 billion in the third quarter of 2020. Global spending on apps reached nearly $ 65 billion in the first half of 2021. That was more than 24 percent more than in a year-on-year comparison.

A second approach is to monetize one or more open source projects you’ve created. Developers earn money with successful open source projects. Of course, you may have to double up your marketing to get the word out about the existence of the software.

Monetizing your software doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Use similar approaches for content producers showing their videos on their own YouTube channels. YouTubers generate income through sponsorship and high channel views for their instructional and other themed videos that they upload to the platform.

Another great way to generate income is by placing donation buttons on your website. This is a strategy that more and more Linux distro developers are using. Clever, cautious methods such as a “Buy Me a Coffee” button offer people the opportunity to support you with donations or tips. Another option is GitHub sponsors. GitHub offers several tiers of sponsorship that set monthly payment amounts and benefits.

Also consider a so-called freemium pricing model for your software. Offer a free basic version of your coding project. Then give happy users the option to purchase a Pro version with more and better features. This approach can span markets from personal helpful applications that run on computers to mobile applications and productivity applications for SMB and business users.

Why not adapt a monetization tool that bloggers and newsletter writers use successfully – paid advertising? Make money by showing ads on your project’s website. The more constant finger traffic you have when visiting your software project’s website, the more money you can bill advertisers. Do some internet research to come up with a list of advertising agencies that you can contact. These agencies can do all of the legwork for you.

World Wide Web Wonders

Take advantage of the growing popularity of web browser extensions. Undoubtedly, you have some annoyances about using web browsers that could be “corrected” with a browser extension. So write the code for this newly discovered convenience or productivity tool that makes the browser more efficient.

Extensions are small software programs that are written in HTML, CSS or JavaScript and that adapt the surfing experience. They enable browser functions and behavior that are tailored to individual needs or preferences.

You can monetize browser extensions using the same three options that apply to SaaS monetization. Charges a one-time fee for users to get access to your app. Or bill for a subscription that charges users a monthly or yearly recurring fee. Perhaps the most fluid approach is to rely on in-app payments from users after they install your extension for free, and then pay for additional features while using it.

A related strategy is to think beyond the web app. Computer users are jumping across the internet to access preferred services or digital businesses. Instead of building browser extensions, focus on developing shopping or ecommerce related apps for digital marketplaces like Shopify.

Yes, create a Shopify app, a standalone web application that uses the Shopify APIs to add functionality to an online store. To find out what problems Shopify merchants need to solve, visit Facebook groups and forums where merchants hang out.

When your app is ready, sell it through the Shopify App Store. It comes with a built-in billing API. This makes your monetization convenient and reliable.

Another way to make money from your coding skills is to leverage the demands of Amazon’s cloud-based Alexa smart speaker universe. Submitting Alexa skills focuses on performing voice commands. There is no need to program user interfaces and visual designs.

Instead, just focus on Amazons Alexa development tools and 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 described above. Only here is the process referred to as in-skill purchasing. They offer paid features to existing users who interact with your skill. A better bet is to join the Alexa Developer Rewards program. Show all details here.

Inline advertising

The inline advertising method provides revenue by linking paid ads to clicks on keywords in your software’s content. They highlight certain words related to an ad that a company is paying you to display. When a user rolls over the words – for example, in page comments, app instruction pages, and so on – all within the content of your software, a box will appear with ads related to that word.

Another approach is to place paid advertisements on the main screen of your program or display them when the user of the application switches from one screen to another. You can also change this approach by placing ads elsewhere in your application.

For example, let the display appear while your program is loading or before it starts. You can even place a banner ad within the application’s user interface.

Go gently

Be careful not to advertise too much or make open calls for donations. Ads randomly popping up on device screens can be the death knell. Potential users of your software may have little patience with abusive ad placement. Especially when this is done excessively in a game or other software, users can be unforgiving.

Your surefire cure for this type of advertising in software is to uninstall it. However, with minimal orchestration of ads and donation nudges, this type of monetization is a popular approach in mobile apps and in desktop software.

Provide your users with a reliable and useful mobile app, browser extension or website plugin. If you don’t overdo the cash pitches included, most users will not want to give up your software creation. Offer them a one-time upgrade to an ad-free version as additional monetization.

About Willie Ash

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