6 Popular Passive Income Ideas for Software Developers

Everyone dreams about generating passive income without having to work much for a living.

But creating passive income streams that can generate significant money is not easy. It’s gonna take a lot of dedication and hard work in the beginning. But it can be totally worth it in the long term.

There are so many blog writers and YouTubers who put in years of hard work to see their work paying off only after a couple of years. But it’s a powerful thing once it starts generating passive income without them having to work much.

Software development is a great skill. The skill provides abundant opportunities to make money online.

In this article, let’s discuss 6 different ways of generating passive income as a software developer:

1. Info Products

kindle ebook reading (passive income, ideas))

More and more people are creating info products like e-books, video courses, website themes, etc now which keep making money while they sleep.

The eBooks need not be a typical 300-page in-depth guide. It can be as simple as 50 pages of an actionable guide.

You can also make a simple video recording of yourself sharing knowledge on a topic that others don’t know about. People love paying on the internet for learning skills or gaining knowledge that others have.

Simple info products like these can sell for around 15$–25$ easily. If you think the quality of your product is really good, you can sell it for a lot more too.

I wrote a SaaS eBook for beginners and launched it in June 2021. I actively promoted it on my Twitter only for a month after launching it. Since then it has generated over 5 figures for me.

Nowadays I promote it only once in a while and make decent money. I’m glad I took the time and put in the effort to create this product that makes money while I sleep.

One you have an info product, you can build a landing page and use advertising to generate passive income without actively promoting it.

Info products are a great way to make a lot of money online if done right.

2. YouTube Channel

camera shooting (passive income, ideas)

If you’re a camera person and don’t mind recording yourself and posting it online, then YouTube is the way for you.

It is one of the most popular ways to make money on the Internet. You create videos once and they make you passive income for life without much effort.

But, how does one make money from YouTube?

  • Ads
  • Product reviews
  • Paid promotions
  • Affiliate marketing, etc.

But you should know that YouTube is a long-term game and takes a lot more effort than some of the other ways mentioned in this article. It’s definitely hard, but the ROI is very high.

Also, you will not start making money right away.

It takes years to build a big audience and start seeing any significant revenue.

But, don’t let this discourage you.

Some people are making hundreds of thousands of dollars every month from their YouTube channels. You cannot even imagine making this kind of money from a day job.

3. Podcasts

podcast mic (passive income, ideas)

If you’re not comfortable with recording yourself but loves talking, then podcasting is the way to go.

You can record yourself talking about a particular topic or interview other influencers in your niche or you can even interview someone who’s a subject matter expert.

You can even partner with your friend to discuss some interesting topics.

People love to hear interesting conversations. They needs something to listen to when they’re taking a walk, commuting, having some spare time, etc.

You can monetize your podcast in almost the same ways as YouTube: ads, paid promotions, affiliate marketing, etc.

4. Blogging

typing on laptop

If you’re not comfortable with both recording yourself and talking, but you love writing, then blogging is something you should explore.

Many people think blogs are old-age tools and nobody reads articles anymore. That’s far from the truth.

People still love reading articles.

You’re reading this one! Aren’t you?

But, how does one make money by writing articles? I had this question myself for a very long time.

Let’s discuss them briefly here:

  • Medium partner program: Medium pays its writers who write articles and put them behind a paywall. When Medium makes money from its paid users (who get to read premium articles) it shares the earnings with writers.
  • Paid articles: Many companies are looking for good articles to share on their blog. They pay good writers to ghostwrite for them.
  • Sponsorship: Many platforms like HashNode have sponsorship programs where readers can sponsor writers for their work.
  • Once you have good enough traffic to your blog, you can make money through paid promotions, affiliate links, etc.

Writing is a great skill to have. Writing helps to fill your knowledge gaps on a subject and get more clarity on your thoughts.

Blogs are one of the best ways to make passive income on the internet. But you need to put a lot of effort in the beginning.

Adam Enfroy is a pro blogger who started his blogging business in 2018 and he earns over $250K per month from his blog.

Of course, for the majority of people, this is not a realistic goal, but look at the opportunities for passive income generation through blogging!

5. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to start making money on the internet.

This is how I got started!

Here you basically sell someone else’s product and earn a commission for every sale you make.

The good thing about affiliate marketing is that you don’t need to be an expert in a subject and you don’t even need to have a product of your own.

You just need to know how to sell products to people.

Gumroad is really revolutionizing the affiliate marketing space.

More and more creators are creating info products and are looking for people to help them promote in exchange for an affiliate commission.

But you need to have a good audience to sell the products to. So building an audience on Twitter, Instagram or Linked In, etc is a prerequisite for affiliate marketing.

It can also be done through YouTube videos, Podcast episodes, Blog articles to make passive income on the internet.

6. Micro SaaS products

Another popular but relatively difficult way is to build micro SaaS products.

I could never imagine myself building a big startup making millions of dollars. So I always thought this was not something that I can make money from. My perspective about startups changed when I saw Pieter Level’s video on building micro SaaS products.

Basically, you build a small SaaS product that solves a very niche problem and earn tens of thousands of dollars (or a hell lot more if it goes well). These are typically created and managed by a small team. In most cases just one person.

The money that you earn from micro SaaS products depends on the complexity of the problem you’re solving and your skills in building and marketing the product.

For example one of my friends Simon Høiberg built a social media automation tool called FeedHive. I have seen the growth of the product from its development phase to the current phase where it generates over 20k USD in MRR.

If you’re a SaaS enthusiast but don’t think can build a typical startup, you should check out what micro SaaS startups are.

The main goals behind a Mirco-startup are:

  • solving a small but a real problem
  • working on products you love
  • still making a lot of money
  • freedom from working for someone else
  • staying small (typically 1–5 people)

Conclusion

Being a Software Developer is equivalent to having a superpower if not more.

It provides you with abundant opportunities to make passive income online. Making money online is not that difficult once your earn your first dollar.

Hone this skill and try to build multiple passive income streams that can make you money while you sleep.

Making money while you sleep is a great feeling.

You’re at the end of the article. Do not stop here. See which way described above suits you best, start exploring more on it and start taking action, today!


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