How to Make Money as a Freelance Software Developer

Do you have experience programming? Are you looking to boost your income potential? This guide will teach you how to become a successful freelance software developer. From landing clients, building a website and creating a portfolio, to negotiating rates and charging for your work, this book covers all the essentials of how to run your own freelance software business.

Millions of people get paid to write great software, but they don’t do it in a vacuum. You need to be well connected with clients, contractors and colleagues. Software development is a team sport. You’re competing on the basis of what you deliver and how you deliver it. Our guide helps you understand the industry of freelance programming, and explains how to find clients, perform cost-effective market research, craft proposal documents and estimate projects. We show you tips from experienced developers on how to conduct technical interviews and source talent for your teams. With more than 200 up-to-date resources, we provide the inside scoop on everything from writing proposals to pricing negotiations to client relationships.


For many programmers, saving money is just good enough.

It is a very simple thing to do. You get your salary deposited to your bank account. You spend some of it and you save the rest.

As long as you spend less than what you earn, your net worth will gradually increase over time.

The issue is that leaving cash in your bank account is not ideal because idle cash doesn’t bring any returns.

And because of inflation, this essentially means that you are in fact losing money.

If you want to build your wealth, all indicators show that you have to invest your money.

If you just started your programming career right out of college, you probably don’t know a lot about stock market investing.

Here is a beginner’s guide that will teach you everything you need to learn about stock market investing.

Just to be clear I am not talking about day-trading and spending all your free time buying and selling stocks! That is a job in itself and you will not have the time or the energy to do that.

What you should do instead is focus on long-term investing.

By that, I mean to invest your savings in good companies and let your portfolio grow slowly over time.

You can invest in ETFs, mutual funds, or individual stocks of good businesses using any of the available online brokers.

It used to be the case that you would pay fees to online brokers whenever you buy or sell stocks but these days are long gone :).

If your online broker is still charging you transaction fees, it is time to change your broker.

One important thing though is that you always need to be on top of all your investments, your 401ks, Roth IRAs, RSUs, and stocks that you invest in yourself.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is one of the easiest ways to make money on the internet. But without an audience or a social media following it can be difficult.

Here you basically earn a commission by selling someone else’s product to people through your unique link. The thing I love about affiliate marketing is that you don’t need to have a product of your own. You can sell the already proven and loved products & make a commission.

Companies like Gumroad are really revolutionising the creator economy with more and more people creating info products every single day. You can find these creators on social media channels like Twitter, Instagram etc. You can DM them and ask them if they’re open to add you as an affiliate for their products. Once they add you, you get a unique link which you can then share with your audience and make sales.

But It’s not as simple as it sounds. There are challenges with this business, just like with any other. To sell products to more people you need to have a good online presence, basically a list of people who follow you, trust you and want to buy products from you.

Building an online presence is a slow process and takes time. You need to consistently provide value for free for a long period of time to build a significant follower base. I have been growing my Twitter presence from the past 10 months. I had around 150 followers when I started. At the time of writing this articles I have 17.1k followers on my Twitter account.

I have made around 2.6k USD on Gumroad from the past 8 months, mainly promoting products on Twitter.

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Right now I’m trying to scale this income by applying new strategies. Let’s see where it takes me in the next couple of months.

Create a Video Course

At this point in time, there are actually more positions for skillful programmers than there are people to fill those positions.

With that in mind, it is easy to conclude that programming is in incredibly high demand right now, and will be for years to come.

With that much demand, not only can you make money through programming but also you can make money teaching programming.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of people in the world who want to learn what you already know.

And if you are a talented teacher, this could be an excellent side income for you.

You can literally teach programming to anyone in the world. It’s is a HUGE market.

Platforms like Udemy make it super easy to create your courses and make money from them. All you need to do is create a high-quality course.

They will take care of the marketing and everything else.


Blogging is another great way to make money on the internet. Many people think that blogs are dead and nobody reads articles anymore in a world where YouTube is famous. But that’s not the case at all.

People do read articles and you can still try blogging if you’re not comfortable with talking in front of a camera.

There are many ways to make money through blogging.

  • Medium partner program
  • Freelance writer
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Paid articles etc

Medium partner program is one of the popular platforms for beginners to start making money. Of course you will earn less in the beginning. But if you are consistent you can make a lot of money in the long run. Some of the top writers on Medium make more than 25k USD per month on Medium partner program. In fact the money you make per view is more than you make on YouTube!

You can see how Shelby was able to make money from Medium Partner Program without any prior experience in these videos:

I’ve started writing articles on Medium and have made very little money so far. But this is still the beginning & I’m happy with the way things are going. Here are my earning for the month of April 2021 so far.

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Becoming a freelance software developer is an effective way to earn extra income and potentially have a more flexible schedule while doing something you love. Learn how to begin freelancing as a software developer and make money online.


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