5 Side Hustle Ideas for Software Developers in 2021

A side hustle is a combination between a hobby and a part-time job. It’s something you can do in your free time to generate some extra income.

Software developers usually make a comfortable income, and working in your spare time instead of relaxing may seem absurd. But still, you’re reading this article so you must be at least a little bit interested.

The truth is that the extra money is not the only benefit of having a side hustle. It can be an outlet for creative ideas and a way to learn new skills while getting paid for it. And just because you’re a software developer doesn’t mean that your side-hustle also has to be about building software.

Maybe you want to eventually turn this side-hustle into a business, or you want to retire early. Maybe you just want to have enough savings that you don’t have to stress about what would happen if you lost a job.

Whatever your reasons may be, your side-hustle shouldn’t be only about making money. You want it to be something you’re genuinely interested in, so you don’t have to drag yourself off the sofa to do it after a long day at work. As mentioned before, a side-hustle is ultimately a hobby you’ve made profitable.

Freelancing as a Software Developer

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Getting a freelance job as a software developer is the most obvious choice, and it has some advantages. They’re easy to find, and there’s a good chance you’ll find high-paying work with your resume. Plus, as you go through projects, you can keep adding them to your resume, making it even more competitive. These side-jobs also help you build skills and make new contacts which could easily lead to a better paying full-time job than the one you currently have.

On the other hand, you have to make sure this is something you really want to do because if you spend all day making software, going home to work on freelance software projects may not be the most appealing way to live your life.

Start an Affiliate Marketing Blog

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Starting a blog costs close to nothing, and it’s up to you how much time you want to put into it. There are lots of people learning to code on their own these days, so if you enjoy writing, this could be an excellent way to make some extra money with skills you already have while also helping people in the process.

Another advantage is that there’s no limit to how much money you can make from it, but you have to keep your eyes on monetizing from the beginning. Find your audience, for example, people learning how to code, and provide them with relevant content.

Then you can mix in affiliate offers, so most of the revenue you generate will be passive. That’s another advantage. It might also lead to other lucrative opportunities like publishing an e-book or course. And if things really pick up but you don’t want to quit your job to dedicate more time to your blog, you can look for a virtual assistant to help you out. An agency like Virtalent allows you to filter potential candidates so you can easily find someone that’s perfect for the job.

Create a Course

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The best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. Luckily for you, teaching software development pays very well as most technical subjects.

You can create a course and distribute it through well-established platforms like Udemy or Skillshare, and they’ll handle the marketing for you. This is a good option if you don’t already have an audience.

However, once you build a name for yourself, you may want to try other platforms like Patreon. You’ll have to do your own marketing, but you’ll get to keep more of your earning, and you’ll have more flexibility.

Start a YouTube Channel

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Maybe you don’t like to write so much and prefer to express yourself through video content. In that case, you’re in luck once again because there are a lot of people browsing YouTube for coding tutorials and advice on anything tech.

After you reach 1,000 subscribers, you can monetize your channel with YouTube. Plus, you can also earn money from sponsors and affiliate marketing.

If you’re not sure this is something you’d enjoy doing and you don’t want to spend so much money on fancy lights and cameras, know that you don’t have to. The demand for this type of content is still higher than the supply, and most YouTubers teaching software development make tutorials showing screen recodings and explain what they’re doing through audio.

You can get started, and if you like it, then you can think about investing in more equipment. You can use the camera and lights for videos where you give advice on a career in software development. Viewers prefer to see your face in those. It’s more engaging.

Build Software and Sell It

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We mentioned in our first tip that having a side-hustle as a freelance developer may feel constraining when you already work build software as a full-time job. However, instead of building software for someone else to sell, you could build it and sell it yourself. This will give you more flexibility. You could make a mobile app, SaaS, or other types of software products.

Since you work as a software developer, you already have at least most of the skills you need to build your own software. But if you want to sell it, you’ll also have to learn some business skills.
You’ll need to understand how to spot good business opportunities so you can devote your time and energy to developing software that the market wants and will sell successfully. Then you’ll need to figure out how to market your software product so you can get the most money out of it.

These are skills that most developers do not have, but if you’ve been working in IT for a while, you have at least a general understanding of the process, so you know what you need to learn.
While not everyone who makes their own software succeeds, those who do usually make it big and are set for life.