Can Coding Be a Side Hustle?

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The past decade has brought a profound shift in the world of labor. There’s the rise of the gig economy and the tendency of workers to choose irregular employment with more flexibility over traditional 9-to-5 jobs. Part of the reason for this is that those traditional jobs no longer pay as well as they used to and often come with fewer (or no) benefits. 

Within this changing landscape, people are increasingly opting to become their own bosses and work side hustles to make ends meet.

The rise of the gig economy has coincided with the rise of the tech industry. From Silicon Valley to New Delhi, from Shenzhen to Melbourne, the number of people trained in computer coding and programming is increasing every day.

If you’re a coder, you may find a wide range of traditional, full-time jobs available. But what if that’s not your style? Is coding a good side job?

The good news is that coding doesn’t have to be your full-time job. If you know how to code, you can absolutely turn it into a fun, lucrative side hustle.

In this article, I’ll explore a few options for how coding can be a side hustle.

TL;DR: Coding as a side hustle?

There are plenty of ways to turn your coding knowledge into a profitable, fulfilling side gig. These include:

  1. Working as a freelance coder
  2. Teaching coding to others
  3. Starting a coding blog
  4. Starting a coding-related YouTube channel
  5. Getting hired as a part-time coder for a company or group

5 Ways to Turn Coding Into a Side Hustle in 2022

In a recent survey of 1,000 Americans, researchers found that a full 93% of them had a side hustle in addition to their full-time or part-time job. For better or for worse, the gig economy is here to stay.

If you’re thinking about turning coding into your side gig, here are the five best options for you.

1. Work as a Freelancer

work as a freelancer

If you’re looking for a good side hustle as a coder, the most obvious choice is to sell your skills as a freelancer.

In addition to earning extra cash, working as a freelance coder has the added benefit of helping you develop your coding abilities, learn new skills, and build an impressive portfolio of your work to show to other clients or potential employers.

Unsurprisingly, the explosion of the gig economy has also created an explosion of freelancing websites such as Fiverr, Upwork, Toptal, and Freelancer. 

You can create a profile on these platforms to showcase your credentials and relevant work experience and get connected almost instantly with thousands of potential clients.

Once you’ve created a profile for yourself, you can also scroll through job postings and apply to anything that matches your skillset. Popular options include:

  • Web developing
  • Mobile app development
  • WordPress coding
  • eCommerce website optimization
  • Bot development

If you have a lot of experience in the field and/or impressive qualifications, you can apply to be a freelancer on Toptal. 

toptal

Unlike other freelance marketplaces, Toptal has a rigorous vetting process that includes an interview and a skills test. The company brags that it only hires “the top 3% of talent” in every field, and it can take up to a month to be accepted. 

As such, Toptal isn’t a good fit for beginners or anyone just getting started in the coding field.

However, if you have the qualifications to be accepted, freelancers on Toptal are essentially guaranteed to get hired and can charge a higher hourly fee.

A freelance web developer can expect to earn anywhere between $25-$80 an hour, depending on their level of experience and the difficulty of the project.

That’s a pretty decent salary, considering that you’ll also have the flexibility and freedom to work from home (or anywhere with a strong internet connection) and to set your own hours.

2. Teach Coding

You’ve put in the effort to learn how to code, so why not make some extra cash from your hard-won knowledge?

Working with other aspiring programmers as a tutor or mentor is a great way to make contacts in the field and continue to develop your own skillset — as they say, teachers are also lifelong learners.

To start a side hustle as a coding tutor, it’s a good idea to first take an honest look at your own abilities. 

If you don’t feel confident in a particular area of coding or programming, it’s best to be clear that you can’t offer mentorship in that area.

On the other hand, choosing a niche that you’re confident with and advertising yourself as a tutor in that area is a great way to ensure that your students will be satisfied with the education they’re getting from you.

In short, be specific when marketing your skills (for example, make it clear that you teach Python and basic HTML/CSS web development).

This is another coding side hustle that can be done from the comfort of your own home, since you can market your tutoring services on a freelancing platform and use a video app like Zoom to conduct your lessons.

3. Create a Blog

create a blog

A less conventional (but arguably more fun) way to make a side hustle out of your coding knowledge is to start a blog dedicated to all things computer programming.

It may seem surprising, but popular bloggers can earn thousands of dollars a month just from monetizing their blogs with ad placement, affiliate links, brand partnerships, and merch sales.

In addition to being potentially profitable, starting a blog and producing informative, relevant content for your audience is a great way to deepen your knowledge of the vast world of computer programming – not to mention it’s just plain fun.

It’s also an excellent way to connect with other coders and web developers in the field and broaden your network, as well as attract potential clients (if you’re interested in freelance coding, that is).

Although this can be a time-consuming side hustle, in the end, what you’re doing is making money from writing about a topic that interests you, and who doesn’t want to get paid to talk about what they love?

4. Start a YouTube Channel

start youtube channel

Just like starting a blog or a website, starting a YouTube channel is another potentially lucrative way to turn your knowledge of coding into a side hustle.

There are tons of great YouTube channels out there that are devoted to topics ranging from beginner coding to cybersecurity, and the competition for views can be fierce. 

As such, just like with a blog or a website, it’s best to start by creating content related to a specific niche that you’re an expert in.

Some content creators will film themselves discussing various topics or areas related to coding, whereas others will post step-by-step demonstrations using a screen-recording tool.

Having a specific niche helps your audience find you – and don’t worry, you can always expand your scope later.

Although there are a few different ways to earn money as a YouTube content producer, many content creators monetize their channels by joining the YouTube Partner Program and getting ads placed in their videos.

But before you get too excited, it’s important to note that YouTube has strict requirements for views and engagement that you have to meet before you can be accepted to the program.

In other words, if you’re looking to make some quick cash, then starting a YouTube channel isn’t the way to do it.

However, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, creating coding-related content on YouTube can turn into a rewarding, fun, and profitable side hustle.

5. Look for Part-Time Jobs

look for part time jobs

Yes, a part-time job can be a side hustle, too – just as long as the hours are flexible and allow you to more or less set your own schedule!

There are tons of companies and organizations out there that need a little web development or programming work done, but not enough to justify needing a full-time employee.

To fit their needs, they’ll generally search for part-time coders to contract with.

Plus, as companies increasingly allow their employees to work from home, you may be able to find a remote coding job that you can turn into your side hustle.

Check out employment sites like Indeed or Glassdoor, where you can set your job search specifications to “part-time” and “remote.”

When you find a job that looks interesting, make sure your resume and/or CV are polished and up-to-date, and don’t hesitate to apply quickly!

There are a lot of coders out there, and competition for good, part-time gigs can be fierce.

Summary: Can You Do Coding as a Side Job?

Maybe a traditional, 9-to-5 job isn’t the right fit for your lifestyle. Or maybe you already have a full-time job in a different field and are looking to develop your skills and portfolio as a coder.

Whatever your reasons, there are plenty of ways that you can turn your coding skills into a side job, from freelancing to tutoring to producing written or video content.

It’s also important to note that coding isn’t the only option out there. It’s a great skill to have in your toolbox, but there are a ton of other side hustle possibilities that you should explore before making a decision.

And hey, who says you have to choose only one of these? If you have the time and the willpower, the sky’s the limit.

References

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