Passive Income Ideas For Developers

Reading time ~10 minutes

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This Series is a part of 30 Days of Learning.

Passive income for developers

Author’s journey and his stories in building Passive Income Online as a Developer. He has divided his journey into 3 main parts as below :

  • Video Production

  • Independent Consultant

  • Miscellaneous

Here are the notes from the course that I took and thoroughly enjoyed.

Video Production

Whatever you learn you can create a video tutorial for them. This is the author’s approach


  • Make courses on the technology you like.
  • Don’t aim for perfection.
  • Don’t invest much in technology for video production. Good enough is fine.
  • Author has horrible first courses.
  • Consistency is the key. Enjoy the process.
  • Have incremental progress.
  • 23 courses and 57k ARR.
  • Invest in this at weekends and early mornings.
  • Find what are you good at not what you are passionate about.
  • Great source if you are a good teacher.
  • Need a lot of patience.

LinkedIn Learning

  • LinkedIn flies you to their place to record the videos, all born by LinkedIn. Recording in the soundproof room.
  • 200 dollar MRR + 1000 USD one time.
  • You can share licenses to LinkedIn.

Plural Sight

  • Estimated 30k ARR for a course.
  • Author was not eligible for this platform but he gave insights.


  • Mainly has UI/UX, photoshop based courses, less market for programming courses.
  • Income is based on watch time.
  • Author has non-existent income on skillshare mainly due to the type of medium.

Independent Consultant

You can work as an independent consultant for different projects


Mostly based on US markets.

Hourly billing

  • Billing depends on the type of role you have and the project you are working on.
  • When you grow up to a higher role even 150 USD per hour is a very high amount to charge on average. Hence, hourly pricing punishes you as you gain experience.
  • With an hourly rate, you avoid tools and try the longer routes.

Fixed Pricing

  • Pricing for the individual components
  • Add contingency to the project. In case things go haywire.
  • Scope creep: the client will start requesting many features on the components.
  • Get concrete requirements for what we are building. (Ex: the app will run only in portrait mode).
  • Get a legal agreement.
  • Keep in mind you have to give multiple revisions. 2-3 revisions. If mote you can charge an hourly rate.

Value pricing

  • Depends on what kind of value you can provide to the company.
  • You go to the company providing some value. You convince the customers.
  • Need to create a solid plan and pitch.
  • Doesn’t really work with startups. As the value is not clearly defined.
  • Book recommendation - Hourly billing is nuts.
  • Author shares his experience on different websites and company.
  • Create an LLC. So they cannot come after your personal stuff.
  • Use legal zoom website or any other services to file for LLC.
  • Other stuff is specific to the USA.
  • Be careful about the agreement, write and share the agreement beforehand. Many websites can help you to create agreements. (
  • These websites provide many templates for your tasks and name.
  • Ask for some money upfront and rest on a certain date. Don’t tie it to a milestone.
  • Keep the client at ease even after the project is completed. Positive approach. Solve bugs for free if it is a part of the feature.
  • Don’t take the out of bounds requests.


  • There are a lot of things to consider.
  • Author uses online tools for his taxation (similar to
  • Not much important as all info is based on US markets


Other avenues for passive income for developers. Authors perspective


  • You can monetize your channel if the subscriber count is more than 1k.
  • You need to publish 2-3 videos per week.
  • Add promos for own course and redirect to Udemy funnel.
  • Author adds ads and links to his courses and affiliates.
  • Tags are important for video.
  • 112 USD per month for the author.
  • Consistency is key.
  • It can work as a working resume. The author got the job as the CTO at a company was watching his video.
  • Paid videos and join options are there in the video.

Microsoft exam writer

  • If you are a good writer you can publish content for companies.
  • You can easily get a task to write content as developers for developers.
  • You can also create a questions bank for the certification exam.
  • You can also get paid to take and evaluate the exam.
  • You get paid really well. But you need to have a portfolio of work and expertise on the subject.

App store

  • Author had ARR 7k USD.
  • There is a lot of competition
  • You need to provide continuous updates to the app.
  • Goldrush is still not over on AppStore.
  • In-app purchases are the current state of the art way of earning.

Authoring articles for Publication

  • You write a long article for the magazine.
  • Author has experience of writing articels in CODE/MSDN magazines. You need to have experience and a portfolio for the technology.
  • Payment depends on the length of the article. Mostly 400 - 500 USD per article.


  • Medium partner program. Readers have to pay to read your articles.
  • Author as 150 articles. Average 14 USD MRR for these articles.
  • For consistent income, you need to write consistently.


  • Author has written 2 books.
  • You can use gumroad and Amazon publishing for self-publishing.
  • Put some free content out so they are comfortable
  • Author’s Total revenue 5k USD.
  • You can also write physical books. The only catch is you need to have a public persona, speaking engagements and articles around the topic.
  • You get a 2k USD advance on average for books then royalty.

Speaking Engagements

  • The company pay for all the travel and hotel allowances and not normally pay for speaking.
  • It helps in creating a public persona and help share knowledge.


  • Envato (parent company) helps you get money for your code or actual product or fully functional apps.
  • CodeCayon, theme forest is another such website.
  • You can also create music and sell it on the audio jungle.


  • You can add Adsense to your website and earn some money using Adsense.
  • Adsense is enabled by default on YouTube


  • Mostly for UI/UX folks.
  • Not for programming as there is global competition.
  • If you form a good relationship with clients you can get more income on the side.


  • You need to give a lot of things for free and then give the advance stuff for your patron.
  • Patreon provide recurring revenue. You can also add different tiers. This is a great way to make a following.

Online paid meeting

  • Need to do a lot of free events before people recognise you and then you Host paid events and know the worth of the value you are providing.
  • Zoom has an option for paid event hoisting.

Auther concludes by reiterating that whatever works for him may not work you others and one has to find his path in this journey. Only you know what you are good at. Note : Please take the course if you want to know different ways to have passive income streams. I also suggest you read the book $100 Startup buy Chris Guillebeau .

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