35 Passive Income Ideas for
Developers [All Types]
Developers are in higher demand than they have ever been, and there have never been so many opportunities to make passive income as a developer. Many companies are looking for your skills, but if you’re looking for a life free from a set schedule, clocking in, clocking out, and supporting someone else’s dreams, then passive income is the way to go.
How can you make passive income as a developer? No matter what language you know, or are learning, there are many different types of making passive income as a developer. Some passive income ideas for developers including creating and selling chatbots, assets, tools, API bridges, animations, functions, themes, widgets, apps, plugins, bots, and software.
Development is extremely broad, so you have many options to generate income. Here are 34 passive income ideas for developers of all types. Whether you are offering your services to support the backend or frontend of an application, providing a tutorial on how to create mobile applications, or creating lead generating chatbots, you can create passive income streams.
- Passive income for web developers
- Passive income for app developers
- Passive income for game developers
- Passive income for java developers
Web Developers (Front, Back, Full Stack)
2. Developing and Selling API Bridges (SAAS)
3. Membership Sites
People love exclusivity. It makes them feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. Membership sites are created by offering special perks to an audience on a website. Many plugins exist to do this in WordPress for example, creating a gate that only allows subscribers to access premium or exclusive content. According to SmartBlogger, some membership sites make $100,000 or more annually. Perhaps you could develop full-time. This developer was making $2,000 per day when his membership sites launched, and he still rakes in $800/month in residual income. Learn more about how to create a membership site for passive income in our guide below.
We are not talking about blogging for blogging – talking about your day or whatever. We are specifically talking about passive income blogs. There are millions of people looking to become developers. Their specializations are as diverse as anyone else’s, and they are looking for coding blogs to find information. With as little as one blog post a week that answers specific questions, you can provide programming knowledge that passionate and aspiring developers would love to read. As long as you provide useful and practical knowledge that answer real world questions, you can generate income from ad revenue, affiliate income, eBook sales or other. If you want to maximize your profits and take your blog to the next level, add some members-only content. Learn how to make a profitable niche blog in our guide below.
5. Selling Animations / Effects / Functions
6. Advertising on Your Client’s Websites
7. Reselling Web Hosting
8. Leasing Dedicated Servers
9. Building and Selling Web Applications (SaaS)
10. Finding Security Flaws and Hacks
11. Flipping Niche Sites
One awesome way to make passive income online as a web developer is by flipping niche sites. There is a vast market for niche sites and it’s become very easy to purchase, improve and resell them. If you have any skills in blogging, content creation (for passive income specifically) and SEO, you can easily get into this niche market. From fly fishing to knitting, you can purchase niche sites for an affordable price, spruce them up, add some content, and sell them for higher than you purchased them for. You can also boost the monthly revenue they are making and enjoy the passive income until you decide to sell. Learn more about how to improve your niche site from Rick & Jim on Project 24.
12. eCommerce & Drop Shipping
eCommerce is an excellent opportunity for web developers to make passive income online. However, your choice of platform is very important. WooCommerce requires a lot of maintenance and can crash a WordPress site. Shopify is expensive ongoing. And forget creating a custom solution, it’s not the 1990’s anymore. Ecwid eCommerce is an amazing tool to create an online store quickly and easily. Ecwid integrates any CMS including WordPress, and allows you to drop ship or use print on demand services like Printful. Most drop shipping companies will produce your products, package them, ship them, and handle returns. This makes things very passive! Ecwid also allows you to push your products to Amazon, eBay, Facebook and Instagram. Learn more in our eCommerce guide below.
13. Creating and Selling Web Themes
14. Creating and Selling WordPress Plugins
15. Creating and Selling Widgets
Widgets come in many forms, some of which need a lot of coding and some of which don’t. There is a huge market for custom widgets, as people want increased functionality on their blogs and websites.If you have limited time, you can find reusable open source code online, tweak it, and create custom widgets for many users. You can outsource part of the work on sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com.
16. Flipping Domain Names
Domain flipping consists in buying domain names, parking them and then selling them later on at a higher price. Many people are making thousands of dollars by simply registering domain names for less than 10 dollars and then selling them to business or individuals. We love NameCheap to purchase domain names because of their excellent interface and support. You can sign up to sites that notify you when specific domain names have expired or are no longer in use. You can buy these domains and offer them to customers who need them. Many companies decide on a business name and then find that the domain name is not available. They will pay top dollar prices to have access to the exact name they want, especially if it’s a .com. Learn more in our domain flipping guide below.
Here are some ways app developers can make passive income. Check out our passive income ideas and guides for app developers below.
17. Creating a Game App
18. Creating an App Compiling Data from Pros
Here are some ways game developers can make passive income. Check out our passive income ideas and guides for game developers below.
19. Selling Your Tools
20. Selling Your Assets
Here are some ways Java developers can make passive income. Check out our passive income ideas and guides for Java developers below.
21. Helping A Niche You Are Passionate About
22. Creating and Selling After Effects Plugins
23. Creating Bots
24. Creating and Selling 3D-Printing Patterns
3D-printing has hit the scene and skyrocketed. Companies and business owners are looking for templates to use for their 3D printers. Creating 3D printing patterns may take some special skills and software, but these skills are not too hard to learn. To increase your passive income, you can buy multiple software licenses and outsource the work, offer many variations of the same pattern, and provide customization options. Make it as easy as possible for the end user with no dev skills to customize their print, and you will be successful. Learn more about 3D printing in our guide.
25. Selling Your Software
Here are some ways Crypto developers can make passive income. Check out our passive income ideas and guides for Crypto developers below.
Are you looking for ways to make passive income from cryptocurrency? The upfront costs, time, energy can be enormous for crypt mining, but they are worth it. Mining the blockchain, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero, or Ethereum requires expensive and powerful equipment like ASICs and GPU rigs. These will allow you to mine quickly, which will ensure you make a profit. Other costs are tied to cooling your equipment, which can increase your electricity bill. As there are many upfront costs for crypto mining, the field is not saturated. With dedication and a willingness to take invest in your future, you can become a highly-paid crypto miner. This can be a great way to make passive income as a developer.
28. Crypto Lending
If you have already amassed lots of Bitcoin, Ether, or some other crypto, then you can join the centuries-old process of lending. As Bitcoin allows you to be your ‘own bank’, you can lend Bitcoin or other crypto with little or no interference from banks. Many companies can help you successfully lend your crypto, including peer-to-peer lending communities. Excellent lending platforms for earning passive income include Celsius Network, INLOCK, and BlockFi.
29. Bitcoin Arbitraging
30. Trading Bots
Here are some ways software developers can make passive income. Check out our passive income ideas and guides for software developers below.
31. Automating QA (Quality Assurance)
32. Selling Software
Ideas for Any Developers
No matter your dev skills or your favourite coding language, here are some ways developers can make passive income. Check out our passive income ideas and guides for developers in general below.
34. Affiliate Marketing
If you use software that you love and would like to promote to others, than affiliate marketing may be for you. Have a look at your favourite tools and see if they offer affiliate programs. Sign up and promote the software on your blog or YouTube channel by talking about the benefits and why you love it. Of course, the most popular platform for affiliate marketing is Amazon. When you sign up as an affiliate, Amazon will send you a referral link you can use to refer products from the platform. When your readers click on this link and buy anything from Amazon, you receive a commission on the sale. While there are incentives to recommend expensive products, it is important not to link to products you haven’t used, even if you can make more money. Link to relevant programming tools, software, or books you like and used, so you maintain trust with your readers. The commissions you will receive from these affiliates depend on the product and can vary a lot, but affiliate marketing is an excellent way to make passive income. Learn more in our affiliate marketing guide.
We added this one based on an assumption, but most devs do like gaming 😉 Twitch and YouTube offer excellent avenues to create passive income from gaming. Many people are eager to watch others game to learn from them. You can maximize these platforms by providing development tips on the creation of this game, even if you did not create the game yourself. These expert tips can boost the amount of money people are willing to spend to watch you play games. You can give them insight into the structure, design, and possible coding practices behind AAA games, indie games, or your own games. Learn more in our passive income gaming guide below where a YouTuber explains how they left their 9-5 job to make a full time income gaming on YouTube!
Is Bitcoin arbitraging legal? Bitcoin arbitraging is legal, and is similar to buying and reselling any other items. You can maximize your chances of success with Bitcoin arbitraging by arbitraging between exchanges and arbitraging within an exchange. When you arbitrage within an exchange, you can avoid repeat withdrawal fees.
Do I need to create a website to make a passive income? No, you don’t need to create a website to create passive income, but a website can provide a space for you to sell your products, services or affiliate products. A website gives you a great deal of credibility on the internet and may result in more business. You can define your offers and grow your potential customer list.
Do I have to be an experienced developer to make a passive income? No, you do not have to be an experienced developer to make passive income. Creating passive income requires work, focus, persistence, and the desire to satisfy a real need. As you become a more experienced programmer, you can develop ways to create passive income streams by selling your assets, apps or software.
There are many opportunities to make a passive income as a developer. Whether you are a software developer, crypto developer, web developer, game developer, or skilled in another programming discipline, there are companies and people in need of your skills. Want to learn other ways to make money? Click below to access our massive list of passive income ideas for beginners.