Earning $500 /mo On The Side As A Developer

Make money as a developer
by Kyle Prinsloo | October 28, 2022

Millions of people lost their jobs due to COVID and the recession. When job security is out of the question, side incomes become a necessity and no longer a luxury.

For many of us, building a side income is no longer about improving our lifestyle. It’s about surviving.

Luckily for us, developers, demand for our talent has increased because more businesses are going digital.

That means more business owners need websites, apps, and digital marketing services.

It’s a great opportunity to earn a decent side income, and even turn it into a full-time income.

Here’s how to do it:

Look for Clients in the e-Commerce Industry

It’s no surprise that more people are turning to online shopping and delivery services to get their basic needs met.

The reality is, for many families worldwide, online shopping, grocery, and apparel will replace store and mall visits until a vaccine is available.

Now is the perfect time for existing businesses to create more experience-driven mobile apps and websites and for new businesses to aggressively build an online presence.

Let’s look at what you can do in more detail:

Connect with e-commerce business owners

Look for new e-commerce stores and find out where they commonly struggle when it comes to building their stores and generating sales.

One good place to find them is on Facebook groups for e-commerce business owners.

A quick search of “e-commerce business owners” returned the following results:

Once you join a group, give value to the members by answering their questions, offering help where you can, and giving genuine feedback.

Once you’ve been an active member for a while, you can then start sending direct messages to members who seem to be having difficulties that you can help with.

Probably the best way to approach clients would be through Outreach.

I talk about how to do that and more, in this 8-minute video:

youtube.com/watch?v=rnU89dodKFM

If you want to learn more tips for looking for potential clients, here’s a great in-depth resource we’ve written on it: How to Get Clients as a Freelance Developer: The Complete Guide.

Get Monthly Retainers

I like retainers because it avoids the “valley-income” (up-and-down) and provides a more stable income.

What kinds of projects demand a monthly retainer?

* Website SEO – This is a long-term project and needs at least 6 months or more to see results
* Website Maintenance – Maintaining fast loading speed, ensuring security, analyzing website statistics, updating a website, backup services
* Social Media Management – Posting, responding to messages, social media campaigns
* Blogging/Content Writing – You can outsource this to a freelance writer so you won’t have to do any writing yourself. Make sure to explain to your client the benefits of blogging for their business.
* Email Marketing – These can be email marketing campaigns you manage for an e-commerce website as an example.
* AdWords/PPC – Any PPC-related ad spend you can set up and manage.

If you charge $300 /mo for basic SEO and Content Writing, you only need to close at least two clients and you’ll already surpass the $500 mark.

There are many more kinds of services you can offer depending on the needs of your clients. Understand the specific needs of your clients, and from there see where you can offer help.

Want to know how much to charge for your services? I wrote a detailed guide on this topic.

Learn More Skills

Expanding your skillset lets you offer more services that can complement your main service.

For me, the best service that can complement web development is digital marketing.

Clients want websites because they want to bring in more leads and close more sales. But for their website to perform well, they first have to bring in traffic.

Digital marketing services can help bring in a steady stream of traffic to your clients’ websites. Digital marketing is a broad area of practice, but it mainly involves the following:

* Content marketing
* Social media marketing
* Email marketing
* Paid advertising
* Search engine marketing

You can read more about how you can market your client’s website here: 12 Actionable Tips to Market Your Client’s Website.

Build a Passive Source of Income

Having a passive source of income is always a good idea because you will be earning money while you sleep. It’s a good cushion for challenging times like when you get sick and can’t work.

When we hear of passive income, blogging and affiliate marketing are the first to come to mind (and they are both great income streams).

Blogging – you can write for other established blogs for $$$ or you can write your own blog and get advertisements or sponsored articles on your blog.

Affiliate Marketing – this is simply the process of promoting a product or service and if someone buys the product or service you promote, you will receive a commission (usually between 10-50% of the value) for each successful sale.

But there are more sources of passive income including the following:

* Sell information products like e-books or audio/video course
* Build your own app – You can earn money through app sales and/or adverts.
* Invest in dividend stocks – This is a proven way to earn passive income, but you have to study it well before making any investments to avoid costly mistakes.
* Flip websites – This is only a semi-passive source of income, but I’m including it here because it can be very lucrative. It involves buying domain names for cheap, parking them, and then selling them later on at a higher price. It’s pretty much like online real estate selling. Granted, it’s not as easy as it used to be, but there are many people who do this full-time because the income can be lucrative.

Keep in mind that no passive income will make you rich overnight. Most forms of passive income require an initial investment and a lot of time and strategy to set up. But you will eventually reap the benefits if you do things right.

Wrapping up

This was a very brief article on how to earn $500 on the side each month.
There’s a lot to take in, and there are so many options available, but I hope this helped shed some light on the process for some of you.

Until next time,
Kyle Prinsloo

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