My Favorite Ways To Make Money Coding In 2024

Learning to code opens doors for endless opportunities in the trendiest markets. Learn how to make money coding through various fields!

Key Takeaways

  • Coding skills can greatly enhance opportunities for high-quality gig work.
  • Numerous platforms and methods exist to get paid for coding projects.
  • Coding requires a computer, skills, portfolio, and marketing.
  • Consider freelancing, app development, and selling WordPress plugins.
  • Coding skills are among the most opportune tools you can possess to improve your chances of landing high-quality gig work.

    But it’s not as simple as learning a programming language or taking a few online courses in coding and web development.

    The key to success is planning out a solid journey to get you from where you are right now to where you can start making money coding.

    And although no two people will walk the exact same path, we’re here to guide you in the right direction. So read on to learn how to make money coding.

    Can You Get Paid to Code?

    Yes, there are countless ways to get paid to write code. Programming-related jobs have existed in a large amount since around the mid-20th century, and they’ve only increased exponentially since the turn of the millennium.

    By learning to code, you can find full-time employment, freelance work, and many other coding gigs.

    How Much Can You Make by Coding?

    The path you choose in your programming endeavors determines how much money you could potentially make. For example, here are some of the average hourly wages of those in prestigious coding careers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2022:

    • Software developers: $63.91
    • Web developers: $42.11
    • Data scientists: $55.40
    • Computer programmers: $49.42

    If you prefer freelance jobs, ZipRecruiter estimates a US national average salary of $72,620 per year.

    Smaller programming gigs often pay less and can be done as a hobby alongside your main job, as we’ll see later.

    What You’ll Need to Start Coding

    Here are some of the boxes to check before you start to earn money programming:

    • Computer: It goes without saying that you need a computer to write code on. Fortunately, most programming fields don’t require a beefy device.
    • Coding skills: Learning to code isn’t just about knowing the syntax of a language; you need to develop an algorithmic mindset and learn how to solve problems with code.
    • Coding languages: It’s useful to know basic coding skills in various languages. And while it’s easy to switch from one to the other, you should try to master one specific programming language.
    • Portfolio: Potential clients will often look at your portfolio to see what projects you’ve worked on before.
    • Marketing: Knowing how to market yourself to attract clients is key in many programming gigs.
    • Patience: Competition can be fierce in the gig economy, so learn to be patient if you don’t get the job right away and keep pursuing it.

    Where to Make Money Coding

    There’s no shortage of places and platforms that’ll pay you well for coding jobs.

    1. Online Freelancing Platforms

    Freelance work is one of the most popular ways to become self-employed, and the market is increasingly booming with opportunities for those with the necessary tech skills.

    Freelancing online is comparatively more sought-after due to flexibility.

    There are numerous websites, such as Upwork, Fiverr, and PeoplePerHour, that have thousands of freelance jobs. But you can also search on social media platforms or other recruitment sites like LinkedIn.

    How Much You Can Make

    Your earnings as a freelance developer varies based on many factors, such as your programming skills, years of coding experience, portfolio, previous reviews, and more.

    According to Upwork, freelance coding jobs pay around $60-$70 per hour. More specific fields like web development and data analysis have varying rates.

    What Makes This Option Great

    Freelancing offers the most flexibility you can find while maintaining a decent income. It allows you to work wherever you want, whenever you want.

    • Fees: Approx. 5-20% of the earnings
    • Payment Method: Bank account, PayPal, Payoneer, Visa, Discover, Mastercard, American Express, and more

    2. Mobile App Development

    Everyone has a smartphone, and they’re always willing to download apps that make their life easier or entertain them. And if your app is a hit, it can be an excellent source of passive income once you monetize it.

    Not sure what to develop? Think of current successful mobile apps and try to replicate the thought strategy behind them. There are many tedious tasks that can be automated via a mobile app, such as splitting the check or planning meals.

    How Much You Can Make

    While the most popular apps on the App Store and Play Store can make nearly six figures a day, most regular Joes only manage between nothing to a few hundred dollars per month at first.

    What Makes This Option Great

    Once you have the necessary programming languages nailed down, mobile (or web) app development comes down to creativity. You have to come up with a good idea and apply it, and if it works, then sit back and enjoy the cash flow while you think of your next big hit.

    • Fees: On the App Store, iOS takes 30% for the first year, then 15% afterward; on the Play Store, fees are 15-30%
    • Payment method: Wire transfer or electronic funds transfer

    3. Sell WordPress Plugins

    The popular site builder WordPress has a massive plugin market. And while there are countless free plugins available, site owners are willing to pay a premium price for a premium plugin.

    But you can also offer a free plugin to grow your name or brand. There are some money-making opportunities here, as potential clients can pay you to customize the plugin to fit their website’s needs.

    How Much You Can Make

    Plugins vary in cost, and it’s important to price yours fairly to yourself and your clients. But it typically ranges between $50 and $200 per year.

    What Makes This Option Great

    There’s a massive demand for WordPress plugins, especially when you consider that over 33% of the web runs on WP. As a plugin developer, you can make money coding from home and enjoy a stream of passive income if your plugins are a success.

    • Fees: WordPress doesn’t take fees if you sell on its plugin marketplace—may vary on third-party marketplaces
    • Payment method: Bank transfer, PayPal, Payoneer, and more, depending on where you sell

    4. Start a Programming Blog

    If you have adequate coding skills and an itch for technical writing, you can combine both hobbies and start your blog.

    In that blog, you can talk about various aspects of programming. For instance, machine learning and artificial intelligence are so far trendy in 2023, and bloggers are raking in cash as they educate people on them and express their expert opinions.

    You can also use your blog to teach others new programming languages or write code in general. Just make sure to brush up on your marketing skills.

    If you’re not sure where to start, check out our guide on how to start a blog.

    How Much You Can Make

    There are numerous ways to make money as a blogger. Displaying ads is the age-old method, and it pays about 1-25 cents per page view, on average.

    You can also sponsor other brands or review products and make money as an affiliate marketer. Those can expect to make around $30,000-$50,000 per year, according to Ahrefs.

    What Makes This Option Great

    Blogging lets you share your thoughts with the world and earn money while doing it. There’s a lot of flexibility in being able to write about topics that interest you when you feel like it. And as you build a community, you’ll enjoy interacting with like-minded people during your work.

    Blogging is also a popular way to generate income if you opt to display ads.

    • Fees: It can cost hundreds of dollars to build a blog website and about $20-60 per month to host it
    • Payment method: Flexible

    5. Coding Competitions

    Online coding challenges and competitions are a frequent hobby among experienced coders who want to improve or entry-level coders looking to learn the ropes of a new programming language. But did you know it can be a money-making venture?

    Many popular websites reward valuable skills with money. For example, HackerRank frequently hosts live competitions, contests, and hackathons with prizes for the best-placed programmers.

    Other competitive websites where you can make money programming include HackerEarth, TopCoder, and CodeChef.

    How Much You Can Make

    Competitive coding is more of a side job since the money is inconsistent, and you can’t always guarantee to place well in every competition. On average, best-placed individuals can expect a few hundred dollars, though more important events have bigger prize pools.

    What Makes This Option Great

    Coding competitions aren’t work but rather a kind of game where your coding skills are the controller. Participating in them is a fun hobby among many programmers, and if you find yourself in that bracket, why not go for the big prize while you’re at it?

    • Fees: Typically none, though some competitions may require an entry fee
    • Payment method: PayPal, occasionally bank transfers, and other methods, depending on the platform

    6. Sell Online Coding Courses

    Instead of directly working on projects, you can also share your programming skills and knowledge with eager learners and make money on the go.

    There are many free available sources on YouTube (we’ll get to that later), but many learners are ready to pay top dollar for a premium course.

    If you have the teaching skills, can offer a unique insight on learning to code online, and can market yourself well, consider selling on a course-sharing website like Udemy or Udacity. Alternatively, you can also sell on your website and cut the middleman.

    How Much You Can Make

    Paid online courses on Udemy typically go from $10 to $100+ for more extensive topics. You’ll find that the most popular course websites have similar prices.

    On Udacity, it works differently as you have to apply to become an instructor and get paid according to your current skill and expertise levels. According to Glassdoor, it’s about $49,000-$87,000 per year (as of April 2023).

    What Makes This Option Great

    Flexibility is the biggest advantage of selling online courses on platforms like Udemy. You have to spend a chunk of your time planning the courses and recording them. But once you publish the courses, and assuming you marketed yourself well, the money comes in steadily.

    • Fees: Fees vary greatly from one platform to another
    • Payment method: Bank transfer, PayPal, Payoneer, and more

    7. Start a YouTube Channel

    Most people have fantasized about starting a YouTube channel at some point. We often hear about the quick riches of successful YouTubers as they rake in ad money while doing something they’re passionate about. And while it’s not that simple, you can give it a shot by sharing your knowledge in the form of online programming tutorials.

    Everyone wants free tutorials, and the already-high demand increases as more people are interested in software development, learning different programming languages, building the coder’s mindset, and other code-related endeavors.

    The catch with starting on YouTube is that your video tutorials have to stand out from the rest, and the competition is hard at first.

    How Much You Can Make

    YouTube revenue depends on your channel size. But on average, small to medium YouTubers make around 5-15 cents per view.

    What Makes This Option Great

    Publishing your knowledge on YouTube has similar benefits to selling online courses, except there’s a much bigger market, and you have more control over what you want to do with your channel.

    • Fees: YouTube takes 45% of ad revenue
    • Payment method: Bank transfers are common, though more options may be available depending on your location

    8. Join a Bug Bounty Program

    Many companies offer a bug bounty program, where anyone can search for bugs and exploits on their services and report it to them for a small prize.

    This is more of a side hustle than a main source of income, and many bug bounty hunters work a full-time developer job alongside it. But if you enjoy ethical hacking, then consider this option.

    How Much You Can Make

    Smaller companies offer around $50 to $500 for finding bugs, while large ones and mega corporations can pay thousands of dollars if you find a high-risk bug.

    What Makes This Option Great

    Bug bounty hunting is a hobby that many people, especially those who enjoy hacking, do for fun. And through these programs, you can get paid to do it.

    • Fees: None
    • Payment method: Various

    9. Get a Standard Job With a Company

    Lastly, you can resort to regular employment for a steady full-time income. Check the companies hiring in your area and see if you match their requirements, then go through the regular recruitment process.

    Alternatively, you can work remote jobs for a company, as many are looking for developers but realize that they don’t need to be at the office every day.

    You can also consider working part-time or as an independent contractor.

    How Much You Can Make

    Programmer salaries vary based on a lot of factors, but they can go anywhere from $25,000 to $250,000 a year for most people.

    What Makes This Option Great

    What sets regular employment apart from most forms of independent work is that your income will be steady. You don’t need to worry about finding clients next month and other logistical matters.

    • Fees: None
    • Payment method: Bank transfer, Payoneer, check, and others

    Why You Should Consider Coding as a Side Hustle

    If you don’t know how to code or even know one programming language, starting this journey can sound overbearing. But what makes it worth it in the end? Here are just four benefits:

    • Flexibility: There are countless opportunities for online coding jobs and gigs that’ll allow you to work whenever, wherever.
    • Security: Coding isn’t going anywhere. Even with the advent of AI, humans still write better code.
    • Wealth: It’s no secret that programming jobs can be financially lucrative, especially as you gain more experience.
    • Versatility: Although you can’t be a jack of all trades, it’s relatively easy to switch between multiple languages or programming fields.

    Problems With Coding for Money

    Naturally, not everyone will find the promised riches through coding. Whether it’s the lifestyle, difficulty of the job, or else, here are some reasons why you might not want this field:

    • Difficulty: Programming can be outright difficult, and many people don’t manage to nail it down to a high enough level to start competing.
    • Competition: Competition is often fierce for programming jobs and gigs.
    • Stress: A programming work environment is traditionally fast-paced and will require you to react quickly to problems that may arise suddenly.
    • Adaptability: Technology advances quickly, so if you want to maintain your work as a programmer, you’ll need to constantly learn new tech.

    How to Get Paid to Code: Step-By-Step Instructions

    Here’s a general guideline on how to start your coding journey as a beginner.

    Step 1: Learn to Code

    Learning to code is the foundation of this journey. You don’t need to specialize in anything yet. Instead, focus on building a programmer’s mentality, joining a coding community, and being familiar with the industry.

    Step 2: Find Your Niche

    Once you’ve learned the ropes and read about the various fields, consider which one suits your wants and stick with it. And don’t worry about permanency, as it’s relatively easy to switch your specialty later on.

    Step 3: Build Your Brand

    Learn how to make yourself stand out from the rest of the competition because that’s key to finding more opportunities as a programmer. Build an impressive CV and make sure to complete some projects (paid or as a hobby) to complement it.

    Step 4: Reach Out

    Finally, when you’re ready, start reaching out to potential employers, clients, or other platforms and media who are willing to pay you to write code.

    Things to Consider When Coding for Money

    Before rushing to start your programming course or opting for paid resources, consider these factors that might affect your lifestyle:

    1. Learning Takes Time and Effort

    Learning to code online by yourself is a viable option for many people, but not everyone. Others may need to sign up for a boot camp or explore high-quality paid resources to develop their programming skills.

    And while you can master the basics in a relatively short time, it gets much harder when you specialize in a field and language.

    2. Understand the Different Fields

    Programming is a vast ocean with many fields, some of which are similar and others are different. Do some research on the fields that interest you and see what you need to learn for each.

    For example, artificial intelligence and machine learning are popular and require sharp Python skills, while a front-end developer needs to master his HTML and CSS skills alongside JavaScript.

    3. You Don’t Need a College Degree, But…

    It can definitely make your resume shine up a bit. For many clients and potential employers, a degree is secondary to other important qualifications, such as having the required skills, experience, and portfolio. But if two candidates have matching accolades, a degree can set them apart.

    4. Competing With Poorer Countries

    The market for code gigs is rife with clients who look at the programmer’s rate before anything else, so you might find yourself competing with people from poorer countries who are willing to take on massive projects for bargain prices.

    Don’t let this discourage you, though, as there are still many clients who favor quality over price.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is Learning to Code Hard?

    Learning to code isn’t difficult, but it can be intimidating if you’re not used to thinking like a machine and the syntax of the language you’re learning.

    Does Coding Require Math Skills?

    Some programming fields, like artificial intelligence and game development, require extensive math knowledge. But for most of them, you’ll be fine with basic arithmetic and some computer math.

    Similar Ways to Get Paid

    If coding isn’t your thing, consider some of these other gigs:

    Wrapping Up

    Learning to code opens new doors for opportunities, and it’s a guaranteed future since programming is here to stay.

    Even if you’re not interested in standard 5-9 employment, you can consider one of the gigs in this post, which can help you create a smooth income stream or supplement your current salary.

    Did you find this guide helpful? Let us know in the comments. And share this with your friends interested in making money coding!

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