6 ways to make money as a web developer

Money onlineAre you a professional web developer? Or a beginner in this industry? Are you looking for some extra cash? Or for a money that will make you living? If you have answered "yes" to any of above questions (mostly it would be really hard to say "no" to all) this article should be helpful for you.

Below I will cover most of possible ways to make money online from web development. I am sure there might be more but in most cases it would fit to one of below categories. So let's start the list.

1. Become a freelancer

This looks most obvious. If you have skills to create web sites, make scripts, web design or templates. It would be most easy to offer your service to others. If you are prepared to work hard for your clients and get paid for your time this may be good way to make money. More work you get, more money you earn. There may be much more written about freelancing but it is a subject for a separate post.

Problems: You need to find people who need your services.

Possible solution: There is a lot of websites you may search for a job. One of the biggest and most know may be "GetAFreelancer" (their new name is "Freelancer"). It is a website where people post jobs for freelancers and you may "bid" like on ebay for a job.

Limit: Only limit may be your time. Mostly you will be paid for job you did. Very often on per hour basis. More you work - more you earn. But someday you won't be able to work more...

2. Release free script/template (or any other free stuff)

At the begging it sound a little silly. Give something for free to make money? But how? When you release free stuff you get a few things. First may be donations. If people really like things you give them for free. They will want to give you something back. For you the best would be money. So don't forget to ask about it and place a buttons to make it extremely easy for anyone who will decide to do it. It is just a few lines of code from PayPal to place a button like this (if you like my post donations are welcome...):

Another thing is that a lot of people may want you to customize or install your scripts/templates on their website. You are first person they will ask as you know your product very well and they know it!

But that is not all! You will get an extra bonus for giving away a freebies. If you will have a website you will get a lot of traffic. If you get traffic it would be easy to make more money with two following points ("Affiliate programs / Pay per click / Selling Ads" & "Selling your own product").

Problems: Usually if your free products won't get very very popular you won't get enough donations to make a living from it.

Possible solution: Use it with next two described points ("Affiliate programs / Pay per click / Selling Ads" & "Selling your own product").

Limit: As they say the sky is the limit. You may produce and give away more & more free stuff and people will come back not only for new things but you will still get a lot of hits from search engines to your old stuff.

3. Affiliate programs / Pay per click / Selling Ads

You really can make a living from online advertisement. But in all kind of these programs you will need some space to put your ads or link codes. So you will need to make your own website and get some traffic. As described before great way to get traffic is to give to your visitors something for free. It may be some scripts, templates, cliparts or useful information. Another way may be playing with SEO or buying some traffic. When you get a visitors you may put your links and start earning affiliate commission or sell any kind of ads.

Problems: It sound easy to do. Unfortunately it is really hard to get traffic to your newly created website and even harder to find affiliate programs that convert well.

Possible solutions: Work hard. Read blogs of people that succeed in this industry and learn from them!

Limit: Again only the sky is the limit. More successful your websites are more money you may earn.

4. Sell your own product

Selling your own product may be similar to affiliate programs marketing. But there are a few really big differences.

  • You get 100% of money from sold product
  • You have to make a product by yourself (script, template, ebook... whatever)
  • You need to take care about payment processing, customer support etc.

Generally you will earn much more on selling your own products that on any affiliate program (you need product that people will want to buy!). And there is much more work involved. But it really may be worth of it.

Problems: You are responsible for your product. Customer support. You need to invest a lot of time and/or money to lunch your own product.

Possible solutions: Outsource creating of your product to some freelancer. Good place to look may be (yes... again...) "GetAFreeLancer" website. But you will still need the money on startup.

Limit: If you have a good product you need to advertise it and then... the sky may be the limit... or you budget for running the ads...

5. Learn web site flipping

This may be really a huge money maker. There may be two ways to earn on website flipping:

  • Make websites and sell them for hard cash
  • Buy website - work on them a little - and sell them for even more hard cash

You may believe me or not but it really works. There is a huge market for people that are looking for ready websites that will make them money. One of the best places to start may be a portal called "Flippa". It works like an ebay but for buying & selling websites. This topic really deserves to be more described and it will be in one of my future posts.

Problems: Not all websites sell well. You need to find a niche and make a really good websites to find clients. Moreover when you buy a website you may be very easily cheated by the seller. You really need to know what are you doing...

Possible solutions: Before you start watch listings on "Flippa" and learn what really sells & why. Learn to check people you are going to buy a website from.

Limit: You need to invest some money to start in this business. You will need things like domain (I recommend namecheap cheap domains) and hosting (cheap and reliable hosting at Site 5) . And you may not be sure that you will get the money back.

6. Get a full time job

If none of the above sound for you as a good idea to make money you still may go to (or stay at your current) full time job since 8-16. Some people think it is the best way to make a living... But I would not be so sure.

Problems: No time for your family, crazy boss, no any kind of freedom.

Possible solutions: Leave your job and try to make your own online business (or make a business in your free time if you have any left and then leave your job).

Limit: No matter how much you work and earn for your boss you get same money...


There are thousands of ways to make money online... And thousands of ways to use your web developer skills to do it. I thinks I have covered most of these and I hope I gave you some new ideas. Most of independent web developers do not limit themselves to one of this ways as most of these points are really connected (stronger or weaker) with others. So what is your way to make money online...? You are welcome to leave a comment with your ideas.

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