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28 Side Hustles For Programmers (Real-Life Examples From Reddit)

April 10, 2024

The best side hustles for programmers are:

  1. Start local lead gen biz.
  2. Become a freelance web developer
  3. Be a mobile app developer
  4. Start UI/UX designing
  5. Offer WordPress development
  6. Engage in eCommerce site development
  7. Become a game developer
  8. Start software consulting business
  9. Offer data analysis services
  10. Engage in machine learning projects

The United States has over 4.4 million individuals working as software developers, as per Go Remotely. However, the recent trends point to a rising interest in side hustles among professionals. According to Bankrate, over 39% of working Americans report taking part in side gigs. According to Stack Overflow's survey, about 75% of developers are actively seeking new job opportunities. 65% said it is because of the salary, 39% of them wish to engage with new technologies and 36% stated a pursuit of improved work-life balance. While the survey does not directly state that programmers are leaving their primary jobs for side hustles, it shows that there are struggles within their industries that may drive them to explore additional sources of income through side gigs.

In a recent CNBC Make It feature, Sal Aiello, a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for tech startups, and Monica Powers, a product designer running the strategic design and branding company Mascot, shared their real-life success story with a side hustle. Together, they developed an AI-powered research tool named DimeADozen. According to CNBC, the duo created this tool in just four days, with a startup cost of only $185. Remarkably, this side hustle generated $150,000 for them after selling it to husband-and-wife duo Felipe Arosemena and Danielle de Corneille.

This article will present 30 side hustles for programmers to generate extra income. Alongside, we will provide statistics regarding the opportunity, potential side income, and drawbacks for each side gig. This information aims to assist you in deciding what to pursue alongside your primary job. The article will also showcase practical examples of programmers on Reddit who have engaged in side hustles. Finally, we will highlight the best side gig for you, capable of generating a more predictable monthly passive income.

29 Side Hustles For Programmers

1. Local Lead Generation Business

Local lead generation is like making a special online magnet for businesses. It's about setting up websites or social media that pull in people who might buy something from a local shop or service. If you're a programmer, this is a great side job because you already know how to build these online magnets and make them work really well. Plus, you can do this work on your own time, which is great if you've got a busy schedule.

Now, for the opportunity: there's a lot of demand for this. In fact, Blogging Wizards states that 68% of local businesses are looking for someone to help them attract more customers this way. That's where the money comes in. For every website you set up that brings in customers, you can make between $500 and $3,000 every month. And the more websites you build for different businesses, the more money you can make. Once these websites are up and running, they keep working for you, bringing in a steady income while you focus on other things. It's a pretty cool way to use your programming skills to earn extra cash.

2. Freelance Web Development

Freelance web development is creating and maintaining websites for small businesses to large corporations. This involves tasks such as coding, designing user interfaces, optimizing for search engines, and ensuring website functionality across different devices and browsers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, web development employment is expected to increase by 30.3% from 2021 to 2031. Notably, BrainStation revealed that major brands like Google, Apple, IBM, Nordstrom, Costco, and Bank of America are actively seeking web developers. Additionally, these companies removed the requirement for a four-year degree that creates a broader talent pool for freelance web developers. Seize this opportunity by exploring platforms like Upwork, Toptal, or Freelancer.. Additionally, direct outreach to local businesses, startups, or nonprofits in need of web development services can find you potential clients.

Freelance web developing is a practical way for programmers to earn extra money. According to ZipRecruiter, the average hourly pay for a freelance web developer in the United States is $45.12. To boost income, consider offering additional services such as website maintenance, SEO optimization, or creating e-commerce functionality. However, Data USA reports approximately 1.2 million web developers in the US. It indicates a highly competitive market.

3. Mobile App Development

Mobile app development involves crafting software applications for smartphones and tablets. It encompasses key stages as concept creation, design, development, testing, and deployment. App development spans various platforms, including iOS (using Swift or Objective-C) and Android (using Java or Kotlin). According to eMarketer, a substantial 90% of people's mobile phone usage time is dedicated to using apps. Furthermore, reports a staggering 255 billion mobile app downloads worldwide in 2022. It shows a huge potential customer that you can cater to. Engaging in freelance projects available on platforms like Upwork or Freelancer helps you to leverage that demand. Additionally, exploring popular app stores like Apple's App Store and Google Play Store is essential for publishing and monetizing your personal projects.

For potential income, ZipRecruiter reveals that the average annual pay for a mobile application developer in the United States is $110,482. Offering additional services, such as app maintenance and updates, can establish you a recurring income stream. Despite the lucrative prospects, it's important to acknowledge potential challenges. As of 2022, IBISWorld reports a workforce of 310,432 people in the smartphone app developers industry in the US. It indicates a competitive landscape. Also, mastery of programming languages like Swift, Objective-C, Java, or Kotlin is crucial for success in this field.

4. UI/UX Design

UI/UX Design focuses on crafting user interfaces and experiences for digital products like websites, mobile apps, and software. This entails comprehending user needs, designing layout, visual elements, and ensuring a seamless and intuitive user’s experience. Forester's study highlights that a well-designed user interface can elevate a website's conversion rate by up to 200%, with potential conversion rates reaching 400%. Additionally, Digital Intelligence Briefing reports that 74% of visitors are likely to return to a site with good mobile UX. Programmers with UI/UX skills can tap into this opportunity by offering freelance design services on platforms like Dribbble, Behance, or Fiverr. Collaborating with web development agencies or software companies seeking UI/UX expertise on a project basis is another avenue. You can also create and sell UI templates and design assets in marketplaces such as ThemeForest or Creative Market.

Designing UI/UX designing is a great way to make additional funds. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a UI/UX designer is $93,273 per year in the United States. To boost your income, start freelance projects, template sales, and consulting services. However, The Nielsen Norman Group predicts a surge in global UX professionals to over 100 million by 2050. It signifies competition in the future. 

5. WordPress Development

WordPress Development is creating and customizing websites using the WordPress platform. This involves developing themes, plugins, and tailor-made solutions for various website functionalities. Programmers can tap into the WordPress development opportunity as 43.1% of all websites worldwide are built on WordPress, according to W3Techs. There's a growing demand for skilled WordPress developers, with 63.65 million WordPress websites as of 2024 as per DemandSage. You can offer specialized services on platforms like Upwork, Toptal, or Freelancer. Creating and selling WordPress themes or plugins on marketplaces like ThemeForest or CodeCanyon is an option for you.

This side hustle is a promising way to generate additional income. According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for a WordPress Developer in the United States is $84,542. To boost income, consider offering bundled services, such as website development along with maintenance packages. Creating premium themes or plugins for niche markets can attract high-paying clients. However, with a large pool of developers, standing out requires continuous skill improvement and effective marketing. 

6. E-commerce Site Development

E-commerce site development involves producing and managing online stores where businesses can sell products or services. This field requires a combination of web development skills, knowledge of e-commerce platforms, and an understanding of online sales strategies. According to BigCommerce, there are about 12 million to 24 million active e-commerce sites globally. It means standing out in the crowd is crucial for online stores. Hiring an e-commerce site developer is one of the top choices for businesses aiming to survive and thrive. For programmers looking for a side hustle, offering e-commerce development services through platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento is a viable option.

Helping ecommerce entrepreneurs to maintain their stores is a fulfilling way to make side income. According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for an eCommerce web developer in the United States is $86,074. To enhance your income, consider offering bundled services such as website development coupled with ongoing maintenance packages. Creating custom ecommerce themes or plugins for specific market niches can attract high-paying clients. However, the competition is real. With approximately 1.2 million web developers in the US, as reported by Data USA. It requires continuous skill enhancement and effective marketing.

7. Game Development

Game Development involves creating video games for various platforms, such as PC, consoles, and mobile devices. This field involves a combination of coding, graphic design, and storytelling, requiring proficiency in programming languages, game engines, and creative design. Game developer jobs are in demand. With a projected growth of 21% from 2018 to 2028, as reported by Zippia. According to the 2023 Essential Facts report, 65% of Americans, or equivalent to about 212.6 million weekly players, play video games. To cater to this demand, create independent (indie) games and publish them on platforms like Steam for PC games or the App Store and Google Play for mobile games. Freelance opportunities in game development tasks, including coding, graphic design, and sound design, are available on websites like Upwork or Fiverr.

In terms of potential side income, ZipRecruiter reports that the average annual pay for a game developer in the United States is $108,471. However, IBISWorld revealed that there are 268,698 people employed in the video games industry in the US as of 2023. This high employment rate indicates a competitive landscape. It makes it challenging for individual developers to stand out. 

8. Software Consulting

Software consulting refers to providing expert advice and solutions on various aspects of software development, including system architecture, technology stack selection, code optimization, and problem-solving for businesses or individuals. In 2020, computer programming and software development emerged as top choices for enhancing employment opportunities, with nearly one in 20 adults undertaking coding or software development training, according to research by Red Hat. Programmers can leverage this demand by offering consulting services through platforms like Toptal or These platforms connect businesses seeking specialized knowledge and guidance for their software projects with skilled programmers. 

According to ZipRecruiter, the average hourly pay for a software consultant in the United States is $92.41. You can maximize your income by offering package deals for comprehensive consulting services. Creating informational products, such as e-books or online courses, can provide an additional income stream. However, take note of the competition. According to Zippia, there are over 157,184 software consultants currently employed in the United States. 

9. Data Analysis Services

Data analysis services involve examining and understanding intricate data sets to assist businesses in making informed decisions, spotting trends, and resolving issues. This side hustle demands proficiency in data manipulation, statistical analysis, and knowledge of tools like Python, R, SQL, and data visualization software. According to NewVantage Partners, 91.9% of organizations found tangible value in their data and analytics investments in 2023. To tap into the demand, explore freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, or Kaggle. You can directly approach companies or use professional networks like LinkedIn. The field provides ample opportunities, as evidenced because 91.9% of organizations reported measurable value from data and analytics investments in 2023, according to NewVantage Partners.

For income potential, Glassdoor estimates the total pay for a Data Analyst at $82,203 per year in the United States, with an average annual salary of $76,905. To maximize income, programmers should focus on sectors like e-commerce, healthcare, or finance, where data analysis is pivotal. However, there is stiff competition in the field. With over 93,471 data analysts currently employed in the United States, as per Zippia. You may face challenges in securing projects and establishing yourself amidst this significant number of professionals. 

10. Machine Learning Projects

Engaging in machine learning projects involves crafting algorithms and statistical models, enabling computers to perform tasks without explicit instructions. This requires proficiency in programming, mathematics, and a deep understanding of machine learning frameworks and tools. Machine learning engineers are in high demand that recognized as the fifth most sought-after job in 2023, according to Michiel Klompen on LinkedIn. Programmers can leverage this demand by offering machine learning services on platforms like Toptal, Upwork, or Kaggle. Industries such as finance, healthcare, and technology are actively seeking machine learning expertise. Programmers can also collaborate with startups or smaller companies lacking in-house expertise, or create and sell machine learning models or datasets on platforms like Algorithmia or DataRobot.

Glassdoor reports an average salary of $151,748 per year for Machine Learning Engineers in the United States. To boost income, programmers should specialize in high-demand areas within machine learning, stay updated on emerging trends, and actively market their skills on relevant platforms. Despite the high demand, machine learning projects face a substantial failure rate, around 85% according to IIoT World. Factors contributing to this include inadequate data quality, a shortage of skilled personnel, unrealistic expectations, and challenges in integrating machine learning into existing workflows. 

11. Artificial Intelligence Development

Artificial Intelligence (AI) development refers to the creation of systems and algorithms that empower machines to perform tasks typically requiring human intelligence, such as speech recognition and decision-making. This field demands skills in programming, machine learning, neural networks, and a deep understanding of specific AI frameworks. There is a significant opportunity for programmers in AI development. According to the IBM Global AI Adoption Index 2022, 35% of companies have implemented AI in their business, while 42% actively explore AI technology. Programmers with expertise in AI can leverage platforms like Toptal, Upwork, or Kaggle, where businesses and startups often seek AI specialists for innovative solutions. Tech startups, especially in fintech, healthcare, or robotics, frequently require AI expertise to enhance their products or services.

Regarding potential income, ZipRecruiter states that the average annual pay for an AI developer in the United States is $129,348. You can boost your income by actively participating in high-demand projects, continuously updating skills, and networking within the AI community. Additionally, creating and selling AI-based tools on platforms like GitHub or taking part in open-source AI projects can provide extra income and professional recognition. However, you may face challenges such as high competition in the field.  Additionally, keeping up with the ever-changing landscape of AI can be demanding.

12. IoT Solutions

IoT (Internet of Things) solutions involve creating interconnected devices that communicate and exchange data with each other and the internet. This spans from smart home devices to industrial machines. It requires expertise in sensor integration, network communication, and software for device control and data processing. Statista reveals that more than half (57%) of North American and European organizations currently incorporate IoT within their operations. You can leverage this demand by offering IoT development services on platforms like Upwork or Freelancer. Targeting specific industries such as home automation, agriculture, or healthcare, which are increasingly adopting IoT technologies, also presents another avenue for programmers.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average hourly pay for an IoT developer in the United States is $52.84. It shows a decent side income you can make. To maximize income, actively seek high-demand IoT projects, continuously update their skills to match industry trends, and consider specializing in niche areas. However, you may face challenges in IoT development, including heightened competition in a rapidly evolving field, the need for constant skill updates, and uncertainties in project timelines. 

13. Blockchain Developer

Blockchain development entails creating and managing blockchain technology. Essential skills in cryptography, smart contracts, and familiarity with blockchain platforms like Ethereum or Hyperledger are crucial in this field. As per KIMO.AI on LinkedIn, blockchain is among the fastest-growing skill sets, offering Blockchain Developers wages that are 50-100% higher than traditional developer salaries. Programmers can seize this opportunity by showcasing their expertise on freelance platforms like Toptal or Upwork, where the demand for blockchain proficiency is on the rise.

Becoming a blockchain developer is a nice way to have an additional source of income. According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for a blockchain developer in the United States is $111,845. However, the Developer Report notes that the US has over 23,000 monthly active developers in the blockchain space, with a projected increase to 1 million by 2030. This surge in competition poses a challenge for programmers entering the field. It emphasizes the importance of continuous skill enhancement, networking, and strategic positioning to stand out in the crowded blockchain development landscape.

14. Cybersecurity Services

Cybersecurity services involve safeguarding systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks, data breaches, and other cyber threats. Proficiency in network security, ethical hacking, encryption, and vulnerability assessment is important in this field. According to CyberSeek, there are over 660,000 open roles in cybersecurity in the US, with nearly 1,130,000 professionals already employed in the industry. It proves huge job growth in the future for you. Freelance platforms like Upwork or Freelancer cater to the increasing demand for security assessments, penetration testing, and securing digital assets.

To give you an idea, the entry-level cyber security analysts earn an average salary of $73,454, as reported by Glassdoor. It proves the potential side income you can make is decent. However, Statista reports that the number of cybersecurity professionals in the United States was estimated to be over 1.3 million in 2023. The increasing number of professionals poses a challenge in terms of competition. 

15. DevOps Consulting

DevOps consulting is a set of practices that combines software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops) to shorten the systems development life cycle and ensure continuous delivery with high software quality. Proficiency in automation tools, continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD), cloud services, and monitoring is essential in this field. As reported by the Harvard Business Review, 77% of organizations currently rely on DevOps to deploy software, with 563 out of 654 respondents considering it crucial to develop and release new software quickly. Programmers can tap into this demand by offering DevOps consulting services to businesses seeking to enhance their software development and deployment processes. Freelance platforms such as Toptal or Upwork are excellent avenues to find opportunities as there is a growing demand for expertise in implementing DevOps practices.

With regards to the potential income you can make, ZipRecruiter stated the average hourly pay for a DevOps consultant in the United States is $57.75. It shows huge potential to diversify your income. While the demand for DevOps skills is high, programmers entering the consulting arena may face challenges such as intense competition in the field. The need for continuous learning and adapting to evolving technologies, tools, and methodologies can be demanding. 

16. API Development

API (Application Programming Interface) development involves creating interfaces that enable different software applications to communicate and interact. Proficiency in programming, understanding web services, and expertise in API protocols like REST or GraphQL are essential in this field. As per a survey by MuleSoft, 84% of businesses use APIs. To start, freelance platforms such as Upwork or Toptal are excellent avenues for finding opportunities. Additionally, programmers can create and sell API-related tools, frameworks, or documentation aids on platforms like GitHub or marketplaces such as ProgrammableWeb.

For financial aspects, the average hourly pay for an API developer in the United States is $59.89, as per ZipRecruiter. However, Nordic APIs reports that there are 19.1 million API developers worldwide. The significant number of professionals in the field implies intense competition.

17. Open Source Contribution

Open source contribution involves actively participating in the development and improvement of publicly available software, where the source code is open for use, modification, and distribution. It necessitates a strong understanding of coding, collaboration tools like Git, and often entails working with communities focused on specific programming languages or technologies. As revealed by the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, 63.9% of developers contribute to open-source software. Moreover, the North Bridge & Black Duck Future of Open Source Study highlights that 78% of companies run operations on open source. You can engage in open source by contributing to projects hosted on platforms like GitHub or GitLab. This allows you to work on a diverse range of projects, from small libraries to large-scale software systems. Companies like Red Hat, IBM, or Canonical often seek contributors with proven skills in specific open source projects.

Recognition gained through open source contributions can attract employers that lead to opportunities for you as open source developers. According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for an open source developer in the United States is $113,515. While open source contributions offer various opportunities, programmers may face challenges such as increased competition and the need for consistent and meaningful contributions to stand out. Additionally, managing time between open source contributions and other professional commitments can be demanding for you.

18. Educational Content Creation

Educational content creation is the process of developing instructional materials that teach programming and related technological skills. These materials encompass written tutorials, blog posts, video courses, and interactive learning modules. It demands a profound understanding of programming concepts, the ability to simplify complex ideas, and often proficiency in content creation tools. As per a January 2022 survey commissioned by KX, a global provider for real-time analytics and data management software, 45% of U.S. students mentioned that they can currently code or are learning at least one coding language. Additionally, 35% believe that coding is a core life skill. These statistics highlight a huge potential audience for you. To start, create and sell educational content on popular platforms like Udemy, Coursera, or Pluralsight. Alternatively, contributing programming tutorials or articles to platforms such as Medium,, or Stack Overflow's blog can generate income through direct payments or ad revenue.

According to HubSpot, the average salary for content creators in 2022 is $44,192 per year. Programmers can enhance their income in educational content creation by focusing on niche topics, creating engaging and high-quality content, and actively marketing their courses or tutorials. However, The Influencer Marketing Factory reports that there are already 207 million creators. It consists of 45 million professional creators and 162 million amateurs. In this crowded space, programmers entering educational content creation may face challenges in standing out and gaining recognition. 

19. Technical Blogging

Technical Blogging is the creation and sharing of articles or blog posts focused on programming, technology trends, tutorials, or personal experiences in the tech field. It demands not just programming skills but also your ability to convey complex ideas effectively to a broad audience. As revealed by Pluralsight, 52% of technologists find it crucial to acquire new technology skills for their current roles and future job prospects. It highlights a substantial potential audience for your blog.

In terms of financial gains, Authority Hacker reports that the average tech website makes $7,418 per month. It showcases the lucrative nature of tech blogging as a side hustle for programmers. To maximize your earning potential, you can employ strategies like leveraging affiliate marketing, creating premium content, or collaborating with tech companies for sponsored posts. However, standing out and building a dedicated audience can be a formidable task. According to Growth Badger, there are over 600 million active blogs on the internet. 

20. Online Tutoring

Online tutoring for programmers involves teaching programming and related technical skills to students or professionals through online platforms like Coursera, Udemy, or even Zoom. This involves sharing expertise in specific programming languages, software development, data science, or any other tech-related subjects. In today's tech-driven world, the opportunity for programmers to venture into online tutoring is significant. The 2023 report on the O'Reilly learning platform highlights a 35% year-over-year growth in the interest in coding practices. This surge shows that software developers are keen on enhancing their programming skills. As a programmer, you can capitalize on this by offering your tutoring services to those eager to learn programming. Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and specialized tutoring websites such as Chegg Tutors and provide avenues for programmers to share their knowledge. Additionally, creating a personal tutoring website or offering private lessons through social media platforms like LinkedIn can expand your reach.

When it comes to potential side income, ZipRecruiter reports that the average hourly pay for an Online Tutor in the United States is $18.80. For programmers looking to make a decent income through online tutoring, this statistic indicates a viable source. To maximize earnings, programmers can consider offering specialized courses, participating in high-demand programming languages like JavaScript and Python, or providing personalized coaching sessions. These strategies can not only boost income but also establish your reputation as an expert tutor. However, it's crucial to acknowledge the intense competition. According to Zippia, there are over 33,204 online tutors currently employed in the United States. 

21. Coding Bootcamp Instruction

Engaging in Coding Bootcamp Instruction means teaching in intensive, short-term training programs focused on practical coding skills and technology. The opportunity in this side hustle is substantial, as per the 2023 State of the Bootcamp Market Report. The student body served by American coding bootcamps experienced a 3.23% growth from 2021 (56,917 graduates) to 2022 (58,756 graduates). In the same period, 115,673 people graduated from a bootcamp, constituting 39.53% of all graduates since the inception of coding bootcamps. This surge signifies a robust and increasing interest in coding education that creates a valuable chance for you to contribute as instructors. To tap into this opportunity, programmers can apply to instruct at various coding bootcamps, including established ones like General Assembly and Flatiron School, or explore newer platforms like Nucamp and Microverse.

In terms of potential side income, FindModelsLab reports that salaries of coding bootcamp business owners in the US can range from $60,000 to $300,000 per year. These figures indicate a lucrative prospect. To enhance your income, consider diversifying your services by offering specialized modules, or creating supplementary learning materials. Partnering with multiple boot camps or even starting their own coding bootcamp can further expand your earning potential. Despite the promising aspects, you may face the challenge of standing out and securing teaching positions because of the competition.

22. Sell Codes On CodeCanyon

Selling codes involves creating and listing script codes on CodeCanyon. CodeCanyon is a part of Envato digital marketplace. It serves as a platform housing many plugins, code snippets, and scripts tailored for Bootstrap, Javascript, PHP, WordPress, and HTML5. CodeCanyon offers a significant opportunity for you because of its expansive customer base. It has 7.8 million members that comprise both buyers and sellers. This creates a diverse market for digital products.

In terms of potential inside income, Freemius highlighted that income from selling scripts on CodeCanyon varies widely. While a small percentage of products exceed the $1 million sales mark, the majority sell fewer than 1,000 licenses. Despite the profitability, programmers may face challenges on CodeCanyon. High competition can make it difficult for new products to gain visibility. Additionally, the unpredictable nature of sales means that consistent income is not guaranteed.

23. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing involves promoting products or services and earning a commission for each sale or lead generated through their referral. This side hustle combines marketing skills with the ability to leverage digital platforms effectively. The opportunity in affiliate marketing is substantial, with a study by Rakuten/Forrester Research revealing that 8 out of every 10 brands (80%) use affiliate marketing programs. For programmers, this side hustle involves creating websites, blogs, or software tools that integrate affiliate links from networks like Amazon Associates, ClickBank, or Commission Junction. By using your programming skills, you can optimize these platforms for search engines, enhance user experience, and implement tracking tools to monitor affiliate performance. 

In terms of how much money you can make, Glassdoor reports that the average salary of an affiliate marketer is $59,060 per year. To maximize your earnings, join multiple affiliate programs, stay informed about market trends, and diversify the types of products or services you promote. However, one notable disadvantage of this side hustle is the time and effort required before seeing substantial results. Affiliate Marketing often demands patience as building a reliable audience and gaining trust takes time. 

24. Podcasting On Tech Topics

Podcasting on tech topics is the creation and hosting of audio content centered on various technology subjects. It includes software development, emerging tech trends, industry news, or personal experiences in the tech field. For programmers, the opportunity in Podcasting on Tech Topics is significant, with 74% of podcast listeners tuning in to learn new things, as reported by Statista. You can initiate your own podcasts using platforms like Anchor, Podbean, or Libsyn for hosting and distribution. By leveraging your technical expertise, you can discuss a diverse range of topics appealing to tech enthusiasts, fellow programmers, or beginners interested in the field.

Starting your own podcast is a promising venture to make additional income. ZipRecruiter states that the average annual pay for a podcast in the United States is $75,498. To enhance your income, you can consider collaborating with industry experts as guests, participating in affiliate marketing for relevant products or services, and exploring exclusive content offerings for premium subscribers. However, the competition is tight. According to Demand Sage, there are over 5 million podcasts with over 70 million episodes between them. The podcasting space is saturated that makes it challenging for programmers to stand out. 

25. YouTube Tech Channel

Running a YouTube tech channel is the creation of video content centered on technology topics. It includes programming tutorials, software reviews, tech news analysis, project walkthroughs, and educational content about various tech subjects. This side hustle presents a valuable opportunity for you. According to Pew Research Center, 50% of U.S. adults using YouTube find the platform crucial in figuring out unfamiliar tasks, including coding and programming. You can harness your expertise to produce engaging and informative content on YouTube by targeting audiences interested in technology and programming. Monetization avenues include YouTube's Partner Program that allows ad revenue sharing, along with potential income from sponsorships with tech companies. Additionally, affiliate marketing for tech products, and offering exclusive content through YouTube memberships or Patreon is another option.

With regards to profitability, ZipRecruiter states that the average annual pay for a YouTube channel in the United States is $68,714. It shows a decent potential for additional income sources. However, there is competition on YouTube. As pointed out by Wyzowl, there are more than 114 million active YouTube channels. The sheer volume of channels makes it challenging for you to gain a huge audience and stand out. 

26. Become An Appointment Setter

An appointment setter schedules and managing appointments on behalf of the company, creating a bridge between potential clients and the sales team. According to Zippia, the projected job growth rate for appointment setters is 6% from 2018 to 2028, with about 32,900 new jobs expected over the next decade. This creates an enormous opportunity for you. Programmers can leverage this demand by honing their communication skills and adapting to the developing landscape of sales and client engagement. Erika Kulpina, a 23-year-old community manager and appointment setter. She exemplifies the potential in this field and leading a team that generated over $17 million in sales.

You can earn money by becoming an appointment setter. ZipRecruiter reports that the average hourly pay for an appointment setter in the United States is $24.26. For programmers looking to maximize their earnings, efficient time management and effective communication is the key. However, Zippia's estimate shows that there are currently over 17,965 appointment setters employed in the US. The high number of individuals in this role may cause increased competition. It requires programmers to stand out by showcasing their unique skills and value proposition to potential clients.

27. Start A Social Media Marketing Agency

Starting a social media marketing agency involves providing services to businesses looking to enhance their online presence. This includes managing social media accounts, creating content, and implementing marketing strategies. The opportunity in this side hustle is huge. According to Search Engine Journal, 68% of marketing agencies discover new clients through social media. Moreover, a report by SproutSocial reveals that 80% of business executives are eager to increase their investment in social media marketing. It emphasizes the growing demand for expertise in this field. Programmers can take advantage of this opportunity by leveraging their technical skills to offer specialized services. You can develop tools and applications that enhance social media marketing efforts and provide unique solutions to businesses aiming to establish a robust online presence.

Starting a social media marketing agency is a great way to make extra money. Agency Analytics reports that social media marketing agencies can earn between $1,500 and $25,000 per month for a single client. To boost income, offer additional services such as data analytics, automation tools, or custom integrations tailored to the specific needs of your clients. However, Hootsuite's study indicates that 50% of social media marketing agencies fail within the first year and only 10% survive beyond five years. 

28. Sell Printables on Etsy

Selling printables on Etsy involves creating digital designs using platforms like Canva and offering them for sale in the Etsy marketplace. According to Statista, Etsy is a popular eCommerce platform that hosts around 92 million active buyers. It makes it a thriving marketplace for various goods. It presents an opportunity for you to leverage your design skills and tap into a vast consumer base. Platforms like Canva provide user-friendly interfaces that enable programmers to craft engaging designs without extensive graphic design expertise. 

You can make a good extra income by selling printables. According to Rachel Jiminez, an Etsy seller, she earns a substantial $9,500 per month by selling printables she creates on Canva. For programmers, this income potential underscores the lucrative nature of the Etsy marketplace. However, Etsy's popularity has led to a significant number of sellers. Accordingly, it reaches 7.3 million active sellers by 2022.This intense competition may pose a challenge for programmers entering the space that requires strategic marketing and unique offerings to stand out amidst the crowd.

29. Online Transcription

Online transcription involves converting audio or video files into written documents, typically from the comfort of your home. The opportunity in online transcription for programmers is noteworthy. According to Type Whizz, audio transcription has become a thriving industry in 2023. It is fueled by the increasing demand for accessibility, SEO, and research purposes. By utilizing your coding knowledge, you can explore or develop tools that streamline transcription tasks. This aligns with the growing demand for accuracy and speed in the transcription industry.

In terms of potential income, according to the Transcription Certification Institute, a transcriptionist's salary typically ranges from $19.02 per hour, while advanced transcriptionists can earn between $25 to $30 per hour.. By dedicating 2.5 hours per day for 24 days a month, you can easily earn an average of $1141.2 monthly. However, a notable disadvantage for programmers in this side hustle is the need to keep up with the latest technology. Staying ahead of the field requires staying updated on transcription tools and software. 


However, if you're in different profession like teaching and looking for an additional source of income, check my ultimate list of side hustles for teachers

Real-Life Examples Of Programmers Who Have Side Hustle On Reddit

There are few real-life examples from Reddit who share their programming side hustle stories. Schrik, a Reddit user, shared his experience of building and selling JavaScript on CodeCanyon. When faced with increased restrictions on CodeCanyon, he opted to sell directly on his website. What began as a side gig eventually turned into a full-time pursuit.

Moreover, two Reddit users found a profitable side hustle as assistant coding instructors for a bootcamp. The first one is teaching less than 10 hours a week and earning a supplemental income. While Reddit user MrPicklePop mentioned that he earned $11,200 for assisting in an online coding bootcamp, investing only an hour or two per week over a 10-month course. These stories show that programmers can really do side gig while doing their main job.

What Are The Most In Demand Side Hustles For Programmers?

The most in-demand side hustles for programmers are freelance web development and mobile app development. The demand is high, backed by many programmers in these fields, and it keeps growing. According to Razorpay, there are over 1.5 million freelance web developers globally. For mobile app developers, as of 2019, there were 26.4 million developers worldwide, with around 6 million focusing on Android and 2.8 million on iOS. These stats show the strong demand for these side hustles, making them top choices for programmers looking to freelance. 

What Are The Best Side Hustles For Programmers Using Python?

The best side hustle for programmers using Python is web development. Python is a powerful and versatile programming language. According to Statista, Python web frameworks account for 48.07% as of 2022, solidifying its position among the top programming languages. It has surpassed traditional languages like PHP, Java, C#, and C++. Web development with Python is in high demand. Many companies use Python for building websites and applications. According to BrainStation, Python is used by Intel, IBM, NASA, Pixar, Netflix, Facebook, JP Morgan Chase, and Spotify.

Conclusion: What Is The Best Side Hustle For Programmers?

Without a doubt, the best side hustle for programmers is local lead generation because of the low upfront cost, less competition, and high ROI. Local lead gen biz involves crafting websites as your digital assets, at an affordable starting price of just $500. The beauty of it lies in the fact that each website you create, rank in search engines and rent to local businesses can generate you a monthly income ranging from $500 to $2000. You are a digital landlord. The business owner becomes your tenant that occupies your site. The beauty of it all is that you can start making money in as little as a few weeks to six months, unlike the long timeline of 2-3 years needed for a tech blog to attract traffic consistently.

Let's talk about competition. In the vast ocean of 1.5 million freelance web developers in the US and 26.4 million app developers worldwide, local lead generation stands out. Why? Because your competition narrows down to 10-15 local companies in your specific niche. The sweet spot is that you're operating in local cities and towns where competition is significantly less fierce. But what truly sets local lead generation apart is the remarkable Return on Investment (ROI). Your profit margins soar to an impressive 95% since you're dealing with free traffic, and there's no cost of goods. You're selling valuable information as leads, not physical products.


Speaking from personal experience, local lead generation has enabled me to enjoy a passive income of $52K/month. For programmers seeking a side gig with the potential to become a full-time job, local lead gen biz is the best option.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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