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How to Make Money Online as a Software Developer

How to Make Money Online as a Software Developer

Ask anyone who’s made any type of real money online how easy it is to earn a living from software, and you’ll hear all sorts of answers from all sorts of experiences. On one end of the spectrum, people will claim it’s as simple as coding a program and then uploading it to a few popular software libraries. On the other end, people say it’s next to impossible and that the market is already saturated.

One thing is clear no matter what end of the spectrum you’re on, and that is making money online as a software developer is definitely doable. Success depends on a number of things ranging from the software’s quality and timeliness to networking opportunities and sufficient funding. Here are a few recommendations that can help anyone at any stage of promotion.

Follow Traditional Methods

Just because a strategy is tried and true, it doesn’t mean it’s no longer applicable. So devote a week to uploading your software to each significant online software library. You’ll want to keep a database of the sites that accept your submission so that you can visit them later and record the number of downloads that your software receives. That’s important for establishing a download-to-sales conversion ratio.

You’ll also want to check out the promotional opportunities at these sites since many of them offer low-cost alternatives to AdWords and other similar advertising institutions.

Sell the Software with Different Capabilities

One question that developers always ask is, “How should I price my software?” They fear a low price will make their software look cheap and unworthy, while a high price won’t be affordable and cut out a significant portion of the market. That’s why some developers offer a single software product in differentiated versions.

A version containing the minimum amount of features, for example, is typically priced very low, while a version with the maximum amount of features is priced high. Between those two versions is a version containing an average number of features, and it’s priced somewhere between the low-feature version and the high-feature version.

Each version may even have its own label such as “Bronze” for the minimal version, “Gold” for the extensive version, and “Silver” for the version between those two. The idea here is to create a product that customers from every economic level can buy.

Sell Explicit Functions While Keeping the Main Program Free

You’ll see this strategy commonly applied to open source software, where the main software product is freely available and its add-ons are sold individually. Through this strategy, you can gain a huge audience with the freebie and then make an income with additional functions and/or features appended as external plug-ins or data-packs.

You can even charge for support. Support isn’t an add-on or plug-in, however, it is an external component of software that can generate income via documentation in either electronic or book format, phone consultation, and more.

Make it a Web-Enabled, Subscription-Based Product

If you’re familiar with SaaS, or Software as a Service, then you’re familiar with subscription-based software. Subscription-based software charges for access to certain features or data. Microsoft’s latest Office software, Office 360, is an example, although access is granted to the entire suite rather than specific parts of the suite.

One major factor underlying SaaS’s success is its platform. SaaS is web-based software, ultimately granting any device that accesses the web the same access to its core functions. This access is important because it widens the market while other types of software are exclusive to the platforms they were built for (Windows, Mac, iPad, etc.) According to a Gartner Group estimate, SaaS sales reached into the billions just four years ago, so this isn’t a strategy to dismiss.

Conclusion

If you’re struggling with selling software online, then maybe one of the strategies above will help. Making money online can be hard no matter what you’re selling, however, if you take the time to devise a plan as diligently as you wrote your software, you’re sure to enjoy financial successful sooner or later.

Photo Credit: Duckung 

HTML: The Beginning

HTML: The Beginning

HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, C++, and Ruby are only a select few of the seemingly endless languages used for coding in today’s world. If you have never had experience with it before, it is a daunting task to determine where to start and how to begin. My path began with HTML, the basis of all coding languages that followed. If you are truly interested in learning, start with a firm understanding of this base language, and you will be able to balance the other languages successfully. Initially, it may look like jargon, but like all languages, it takes practice and repetition to truly understand.

HyperText Markup Language, or HTML, was written and developed in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee. Since then, there have been numerous variations on the language, but the idea remains, essentially, the same. It is a markup language that utilizes tags to describe document content with the document being a webpage. It is both a powerful and simplistic language that can define the look of a site. (more…)