Passive Income Ideas for Programmers
Earning $1,000 to $100,000 per month as a programmer, but requires effort, time, and maybe money to turn active to passive income.
Passive income is not something that doesn’t require effort at all. It requires a lot of effort now with little upfront reward, but the value it brings to you increases over time in the long run.
If you are looking for a “do nothing” type of passive income, this is not suitable for you.
It might seem to be an active income at first because it needs efforts to generate income, but after it stabilizes and starts to gain traction, all you need to do is maintain it once in a while and earn money while sleeping for the rest of the time.
Build once and get paid for life.
Does it sound passive enough for you?
How do you determine if the ideas are a potential passive income? Is by asking yourself a question:
Can I still make money using this idea when I am sleeping?
If the answer is yes, this is the correct passive income. It might need some effort to start and maintain, but the point is to make it minimal and spend less of your time on it.
1) Become an investor in other tech companies
Many articles didn’t mention this at all. Investing is the most passive income to generate as a programmer.
For this idea to work, you need some initial capital first. Take a look at Atlassian corporation, the share price is six years uptrend, and the same goes for their revenue which is growing at a 35 percent five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Programmers are undoubtedly familiar with names and terminologies like Jira, Scrum, Sprint, Agile, and Trello. The largest company providing the SaaS for team collaboration is Atlassian. A programmer has advantages in understanding the in-depth value Atlassian corporation provides.
Since you are a programmer, make use of what you know. Take a look at the tech companies in the world on what they do; is their app or software easily replicable, the technology behind it, check their GitHub, try their software, check their subscription model, complexity, etc.
With your expertise, you might evaluate the future of the company better. For example:
- If you use Palantir software, you might understand the noble technology behind it, how it works programmatically, and gauge how much value it will provide the world.
- Or you are driving a Tesla electric vehicle, and you know that software-powered electric vehicle is “the future,” with seamless remote patches that could improve car performance and extends mileage.
- Unity Technologies, the cross-platform game engine, with more than half of the game in the world built on it. They cover everything from mobile games metaverse to construction and medical. Read more about why the Unity engine is one of the future programming languages you should learn.
- Or using platforms like Google Ads, you know how complicated a search engine can be and how they monopolize 93 percent of the global search ads market.
After your money is doubled, take out the initial capital, let the rest run forever and find the following tech companies you are interested in. The power of compounding might turn your $1000 to $1 million.
2) Blockchain proof-of-stake (PoS) staking, lending, and NFT
Programmers can earn passive income through blockchain PoS staking, lending, and NFT.
PoS staking is a process where investors put some of their capital at risk by locking it up for various periods. They are rewarded with more cryptocurrency units if their units are used to validate transactions on the blockchain. The token that is available for staking like:
- Ethereum 2.0
- Solana, etc.
Lending is an act where an investor loans cryptocurrency to another person or group of people to expect that they will be paid back with interest in the future. It allows you to earn money passively by lending out your crypto holdings — typically via smart contracts. Take a look at platforms like:
3) Create and publish a mobile app and run AdMobs on it or sell the premium version of it
Make sure the app you looking to build has lesser moving parts.
The meaning of “lesser moving parts” is less dependent on the different types of user roles, integrations, and third-party services.
I have talked to some app programmers making $4000 to $6000 making holiday calendar apps in Malaysia. They only update the apps once every quarter to ensure they are updated, fix crashes, or add new features to attract more users.
It doesn’t need to be a huge app like Facebook, TikTok, or Airbnb.
4) Chrome app and sell the premium version
Chrome apps are one of the more straightforward to maintain development compared to a mobile app. If you don’t have time, buy something from the market and modify it.
I have seen helpful Chrome extensions for programmers, writers, and readers. Some examples of Chrome extensions:
- Video downloader
- AI content generator
- Dark theme to protect reader’s eyes
- Secret bookmark
- Socket tester
- Software testing tools
5) Be a content creator — Blogging, Forum, and YouTube
You will probably have stereotypes thinking that no one will ever read your writing or watch your video. You will never know. I felt the same at the beginning before I started writing. But, you need to understand that the knowledge, tricks, or guide you shared might be simple and easy, but it might be helpful to someone else in the world.
Blogging, forums (Quora/Reddit), and YouTube are considered passive in the long run because the content you create stays on the internet forever. It can help an unlimited number of people with no expiry date.
Remember that the higher the value you provide, the higher your compensation. For example, if you help 100,000 programmers create their first mobile app, even if they pay you $10, you will still get paid $1 million.
100,000 users x $10 = $1,000,000
Annoying question for new YouTubers or new bloggers be like:
- How much money can I make through blogging?
- How much money can I make by posting videos on YouTube?
My suggestion is not to prioritize making money in your content creation journey but to set your primary goal to help more programmers worldwide, and it is better that way.
“The more people you serve, the richer you become.” — Robert Kiyosaki
And also, read about how to find content ideas like a pro to kickstart your blogging, forum, and YouTube journey:
6) Sell your code and scripts on sites like Envato
If you have a standalone project, web design, app icon set, and plugin, you can sell them on:
Let these platforms market your projects to those needed while you are sleeping.
I have bought many projects from Envato, like:
- WordPress templates for websites
- HTML website design
- Backend codes on a chat application
- On-demand service solutions, and many more.
Programmers do buy such projects for reference and learning purposes.
7) Teach someone else while you are sleeping
So you can teach someone while you are sleeping. The 2020s is an “infopreneur” era where an entrepreneur is almost outdated. Do you manage to see ads on Facebook and Instagram about something you are eager to learn more about?
Example of infopreneur niche:
- Python programming
- Roblox programming
- Setup blockchain smart contract
- Create mobile app
- Stock investment
- Property investment
- Forex investment
These people have something to share and teach. They package up the lesson as an online boot camp class and sell the tips and tricks to everyone.
I know that the investment guru earns more selling information about investment than doing the investment themselves. In the same case, the programmers I know earn more selling courses about programming than coding themselves.
Therefore, you can repackage valuable technical skills like setting up a Woocommerce mobile app, creating a chatbot for sales, creating blockchain smart contracts, and selling the info to people who need it.
Conclusion – Passive Income for Programmers
There are plenty of ways to turn active income into passive income in the long run for a programmer. It might take years to set up your side hustle before it qualifies to become one of your passive income.