What are the recommended methods for a solo developer? Which method of the following would you recommend?
ebook in a niche technical topic
SaaS product that solves a niche issue
mobile or web based game
1. Create a course or ebook plus screencasts. Charge a lot (e.g., $199 for the highest tier that includes everything in a bundle). Typical income range: $2K - $100K.
2. Create an ebook. Charge a lot (e.g., $49). Typical income range: $2K - $50K.
3. Write a book for a high-royalty publisher (e.g., PragPub). Typical income range: $10K-100K.
4. Create a SaaS product that solves a consumer or business problem in a given niche. Typical income range: $0 - $1M per year (mostly the $0 end though).
5. Create a mobile game. Typical income range: $5 - $100K (the majority below $10K).
6. Create a blog and leverage affiliate commissions and ads. Typical income range: $5 - $1,000 per month.
7. Create a template or plugin for a popular platform (e.g., WordPress). Typical income range: $100 - $100K a year.
All require work. Some will be more passive than others after your initial outlay of work (3 being the most passive).
How good are you at marketing? Because for software we have Market > Marketing > Design > Code.
My suggestion is to go for 1, 2, 3, or 4. Four is the most challenging among these 4 options and the least likely to succeed. But if it does, there isn't much of a cap in terms of how much money it can make.
Plus you get to hone your development and business skills further. Not to mention that you get to pick your own stack so you can experiment with new languages, frameworks, and technologies of your choosing if that floats your boat.
In general, I would recommend spending your spare time doing what excites you the most. Does the idea of a web side project excite you more than writing a book? If so, go for that.
My other suggestion is to create many micro-launches. Create small projects. Many of them. Stuff that you can launch in 1-3 months. See what sticks. Kill what doesn't. You'll end up with multiple revenue streams. $500/mo quasi-passive income here and there adds up quickly.
You'll end up spending ~2-3 full time months creating each course. Then you need to market it (or use a platform but then you don't build up a customer list of your own that you can use later), and on top of that you need to support all of your students by answering questions (not as bad as you would think but it's something you need to do constantly).
Then in 6+ months when the tech you've created your course on gets updated you have to go back and re-record your course to keep it relevant. There are some tricks to minimize this burden depending on what tech you're creating content for, but I would say as a whole expect to re-record the entire course every year. By this point you'll end up re-planning the entire course, so it's not a simple thing.
This doesn't mean it's a bad idea, but don't get the idea that you just create the course in a few tough weeks and then sit back on a beach while you sell dozens of copies a day for years on end.
On top of that, passive income suggests that you make it and then collect money with no work for ... 1+ years? Games generally make all their income in the first 1-4 weeks and so are unlikely to turn into passive income
Games are also such a flooded market and user expectations are high, but because the top 5 earn millions, small devs keep playing that lottery hoping to win.
I get the impression that the Atlassian products (like Jira) make a good platform for paid plugins, because the companies using them are already in the mindset where they pay for solutions. At least we at $work use Jira with several paid plugins.
Here’s a couple of examples we wrote up: Atlassian Marketplace developer Wittified, a successful solo dev business, acquired recently by AppFire https://www.atlassian.com/customers/wittified. Atlassian customer Twilio, who use several add-ons from such developers and they talk about how it really makes their Atlassian products more valuable https://www.atlassian.com/customers/twilio-case-study.
There’s Bob Swift Software, a long-standing solo independent developer who started with us years ago and who has tens of thousands of customers, also acquired by AppFire. Theres’s our Marketplace developer eazyBI, a reporting tool started as a side-project by one person and now a profitable company with 7 employees. There’s even agile planning features now part of JIRA Software itself, which started as an add-on known as Greenhopper from an independent developer that we ourselves acquired some years ago. And these are just some of the smaller, solo and indie devs. The larger business that emerged on our platform are something to behold (one recently just took a $31M VC round!).
As the person at Atlassian who helped manage and grow this developer platform, I’m really proud of what the developers around us in our ecosystem have built - both their products and their businesses. The successful growth of sales and customers they’ve made in a few short years is extraordinary to watch and to be a small part of. If anything this post I wrote in 2013 is more true now than ever http://blogs.atlassian.com/2013/04/the-future-is-bright-for-.... If you’re interested in talking with some of these developers in our ecosystem, let me know and I’ll get you introduced.
If I want to get started again, where would you suggest me to look? I believe one should start with basic JIRA knowledge to understand the fundamental of the software/system/service before they continue to tackle the API (I believe most people, except Managers, use JIRA as told without knowing some fundamental idea behind it).
1. Start here https://developer.atlassian.com/jiradev/getting-started/gett...
2. Install the SDK (it has some pre-reqs) and build Hello World https://developer.atlassian.com/docs/getting-started/set-up-...
3. Bone up on Plugins2 a bit more https://developer.atlassian.com/jiradev/jira-platform/buildi...
4. API Reference https://developer.atlassian.com/jiradev/jira-apis (I recommend the REST APIs + Webhooks wherever possible).
I'm really keen to talk with you about your experience going through that - there's a lot of history and we're aware we need to clean up the journey.
_* If you were developing for JIRA Cloud you'd be using Atlassian Connect.
Like there's no one JIRA API via REST or something?
Thanks for the reply and the links. Really appreciate it!
I built a WordPress plugin, and definitely struggle with people expecting everything for free.
Part of what we're trying to do for our devs is grow it steadily year by year, and small developers are able to grow along with us (often faster as they first gain new customers). You may not know this but there's more than 60,000 organizations with anywhere from 10 to thousands of users in our customer base. There's a whole lot more startups with 1 to 9 folks too. They've collectively bought a few hundred thousand licenses of our ecosystem developers products so far since we launched.
I'd also counter that we're fairly open about what you can build. We work hard to have supported, public, documented APIs and patterns, but within that you can pretty much build anything you want. Candidly you probably don't want to build something directly in competition with Atlassian but there's lot of value to add around what we do. Last thing we released publicly on this was a while ago - I'm working on another release because our devs are much further along at this point but here you go https://techcrunch.com/2015/12/15/atlassians-marketplace-for...
Niche was key for this to work.
Which product are you selling?
Launched a few niche blogs which are monetized through Adsense, Amazon affiliate and a bunch of other networks. Had spent time in keyword research, content production and some SEO / marketing. Now I revisit the sites every few months for updates.
#1 and #2 always fancy me and I may write ebook or create course on Python, something that I am taking up these days.
For example, if you serve 10,000 page impressions per month with average CPC of $0.50 and a CTR of 3%, your monthly earning could be $150.
That's a very dangerous advice. Games are cultural products, not technical. You need to understand programming, game design, UI design, art direction, and marketing at once. Plus it's a hit-driven industry.
I'd say the majority is below $10 (ten) in revenue. $5-100k is nowhere near "typical income range" for independent game development.
I read the side project/passive income posts and have built projects that have failed because there is no market
Yes, but have you tried to optimize for code size, clarity and speed of creating features rather than just technical completeness. As a single dev there is an incredible amount of corner cutting you can do which you can polish away once the product gains traction. You can hack stuff together just as long you know how it's supposed to be properly built and how you get there from the rapid prototype.
With a team of 4 people it's very easy for no one dev to have a complete mental model, which leads to nobody truly understanding the weak points underneath.
Either you do quick hack because you want to play. Or you design nice stuff because you have to do something exceptional.
If you want passive income, you need to get out of that mentality. After work is still work, except you are the employer.
I am wondering if it is easier to launch in a proven market and get a small portion of the pie rather than create a new idea that might end up not working out.
Its a paradox of I can build anything, so why cant I build something that makes money
Hosting is really the biggest up-front expense, especially if you expect to have large spikes in traffic (SaaS around events or seasonal things) that you need to try to plan for.
 Meaning a large cash outlay to a person. You can get away with generic privacy, TOS, etc.
The LLC is also not a total firewall. You can always raise your top by having the wrong/no insurance, but that is just making the worst outcome further negative.
I'm not saying its bad to try your own buisiness, I'm saying its silly to think your only downside is lost time. Unless you are a social pariah that no one will assist, you will have a way to risk losses and you should think about that and try to set limits that are realistic enough to stick to.
I gave up on my first.
Usually these high reputation content sites are used to drive traffic to a paid product that you own rather than selling somebody else's product. A weak example... you spend a year building a content site around React.js which you really love. You can throw ads on the site and push other people's product...but after you build up a large following of trusted users, you can release a a paid ebook/course and start advertising your React.js consulting company which will be much more lucrative.
Then you pivot to teaching people how to make money online like almost everybody does after they have one success.
I wanted to provide ballpark figures to give a general idea. Some are from personal experience, othes from friends and people I have helped, and others from general industry knowledge.
I'm thinking of self-publishing a book on a somewhat technical topic that's trending upwards at the moment, so this advice is most helpful and timely.
Courses by Brian Harvey, Dan Grossman or Gregor Kiczales are real ones, while the crap could see on youtube, like Google's Python Course, is a disappointing waste of time.
Courses by Peter Norvig on Udacity are the gold standard.
Do not over-estimate your abilities. Good tutoring is hard. Just narrating copy-pasted stuff from the internet does not count as a course.
Same goes for books. On ought to grow up and become an expert first.
You don't want to be put in a position where you have to support something that requires you to perform tasks that you don't enjoy (eg. a particular niche, writing blog content) just to make sure it brings in that extra $nK a month.
You might also face the anti-scale issue - what if you do end up getting your first 30 users, but it never really grows more than that?
You are now in a position to either believe in your product and push on it without knowing that this is as big as it will get, or, have to face the process of killing off something that 30 people now depend on in their workflow.
If you're interested in more of this stuff, I give a talk on my story of going from full time to solo product dev and have a video of available below. Quality isn't great, but the audio and content is worthwhile.
The point of passive income is that it makes you what you want with little to no work. So for example a SaaS product that doesn't require too much maintenance (a couple hours per week) netting you a few thousand $ per month. Or outside of software a physical product that you source and then sell using drop shipping so that people purchase products from you without you ever getting involved.
So the point is to get something for nothing? Money without work? Everybody wants that.
So what SaaS product requires little maintenance but nets a few thousand dollars a month? Maybe something like that exists. But creating it would have required considerable investment of time or money, which eliminates the "little to no work" part.
Likewise for selling some physical product. Tons of people are doing this on Amazon. It's not taking them much work. It's also not making them much money.
I think the OP's question just doesn't make much sense. The only reason someone asks about "passive income" is because they want money without working for it. I can think of only two ways to do that. One is to inherit it. One has no control over that. The other is to build up political influence so one can seek rents (in the economic sense.) Even this method requires some work because it requires investment in capital or influence (neither of which is easy.)
Some investors are said to get "passive income" but that's because they got some money in the first place. Plus, they use resources to get more resources. Buffett's income really can't be said to be "passive" when he spends time and talent doing research and analysis.
Yeah one can get "passive income" by putting money in a bank or in stocks or something. Good luck getting decent returns with that...which is why investors are seeking out higher rates of return...which takes work...which, guess what, is not "passive".
In short, "passive income" does not really exist. Unless someone is going to give OP money through inheritance or dumb luck or Powerball, she's going to have to get out and work for it like everyone else.
No, that's not what they're saying, and you should be generous enough to assume that,
What they're saying is that after the initial investment is done, they don't need to do lots of work. They put in the initial effort up front. After that, the income is more or less passive.
I've created multiple web apps/plugins that I wasn't really passionate about, and after the initial rush of launching something wore off my interest in the project waned. I found that when a new bug or feature request popped up, I became less and less motivated to actually fix the issue or implement that new feature.
In the big picture, some activity is eventually required, it's just a matter of time - books fall from favour, patents are superceded, even banks can go, well, bankrupt. So it's a question of degree, and of how much return.
Of your suggestions, SaaS requires a lot of ongoing work. Most books and games have hit or fad-like popularity - so a low chance of on-going income after you are done.
Your "niche" idea is the best of the three - but it's completely dependent on finding a niche that is under-served, and will continue to be under-serves. That way, the income can continue for as long as the technical niche exists (it eventually will be superceded, and perhaps the surrounding ecosystem also swept away). The downside is you generally can't make much money this way - but you didn't ask for that, so it's fine. Remember the saying "you won't get rich writing books".
So the tricky bit is choosing the niche with these market characteristics AND that is personally easy/interesting/attractive to you and not to others.
BTW: I wrote a couple of chapters for a book, got a decent advance on royalties, and IIRC about $4 royalities after that (most books don't "eat out their advance"). This was on a technical topic, but not really niche.
A word on passive income: I succeeded in this with a software product... but discovered that my life became about invoices, negotiating license terms and international taxation law. I was so much happier actively developing!
Since you'll end up doing something, I now think active income has a lot going for it! [Of course, you're only requesting some passive income, so this may not occur.]
The other two requires a lot of marketing and business development more than programming. The HN posts about side projects make it look like it's as easy as `git push heroku master` and 'post on HN', but it's not. The successful ones are outliers rather than the norm. Don't get me wrong, you'll also learn a lot while writing your own game/SaaS. Finishing a game/SaaS on its own is a big achievement no matter how small, but you did ask for a "Best passive income method".
I think writing a technical book could be very enjoyable for me. I'm good at explaining technical stuff, or so I'm told.
But I have absolutely no idea with the profile above what I could possibly write a book about that adds to the state of the art. "Wafer Database Schema Design For Dummies"?
0 income. Not the best business plan eh?
currently the book is on github and gitbooks, so I doubt if anyone would pay for the pdf :-)
The premium version of Gumroad is $10 per month, and reduces the cut they take.
There's leanpub too, though I don't know if you can upload an already made pdf. Worth checking out though.
Started making a book on leanpub.
Books ought to be written by experts and talents. Just think of the likes of SICP, OnLisp, AIMA or PAIP compared to some Java for Dummies crap.
I wouldn't even start about fiction and guys like Nabokov, Wilde or Orwell.
Especially GUI guides are ratcher simplistic, you don't want to draw just triangles and squares on the screen. There are no really good resources for Direct3D or OpenGL, WGL, SDL etc. It's like learning architecture by looking at bricks and not at finished buildings. This is also the reason why people recommend working on open-source projects, because this is where the real thing happens. But I would say it's an intimidating experience. There should be something in the middle.
(And it would be nice if there was a mentoring site where you could pick a language, pick your level, and be mached either with a person/team to work on something together or with a mentor who could just guide you twice a month. Say, you pay 100 bucks for registration, the website owner gets $10, and the mentor $90. Even if you get just a couple of "students" it's still a safier bet than much more risky SaaS/e-book business. And how to start it - make a web site about one language that is your stronges and focus on that. If you get others interested in mentoring, check their stack and then expand the offering. If you have 10 deals a month, there will be 100 passive bucks more to your name. Has anyone tried that? And to get the initial traction combine it with some publishing, blog, some language-specific, industry-informed (not necessary programing related, but project-management, team integration, tasks division, feedback, code reviewing) problems that would prove your expertise.
PS: One difficult project you could explore is business process modelling - there are a couple of different notation standards, such as BPMN. The project would be to create one program (like Bizagi) in which you can design processes but in different notations, smoothly (that's the most difficult) convert between them, and then integrate with industry class software such as Appian, IBM BPM, Amodit, SharePoint, Alfresco etc. It's a million dollar project, but f* hard to solve.
An exception (maybe not all books, but the few I've read) are the In Action series from manning. They tend to write a full fledged application slowly throughout the book with clear and simple writing.
Also, if you want/can, shoot me an email at brunomtsousa (at) that_google_email_domain.com I've worked with some BPM solutions and thinking/designing a solution I think could be cool for SMEs. Not easy to find folks that know much about the topic and would love to exchange thoughts!
did they self-publish or went with some known publisher? what kind of money can you make on ebooks?
My former boss self-published a book on Leanpub. For the "known publisher", I'm a little acquainted with the author of "Docker High Performance" (Packt).
For the leanpub one, it was organically easy to get the word out through local meetups and clients. Packt reached out to the "Docker High Performance" guy, he reviewed a few books for them then they emailed him.
> What kind money can you make on ebooks?
For the people I mentioned, I can't say. But if you do get a good book out with a good following you can hit Nathan Barry's numbers:
This is probably quite ordinary advice but as someone who hasn't done that much marketing before -- I am still blown away by how effective search engine advertising is. I feel like with just Adsense I could make virtually any website profitable as long as it was cleanly designed and the margins were high enough. After that, its really just rinse and repeat. Maybe throw in some promotion on a few other channels and you've got yourself a solid business.
Advertising is practically modern day alchemy.
So if you can find a niche, and improve the UI/UX on existing apps, then there is definitely scope to make some "passive" income on the App Store. I put passive in quotes as anything you do will require upfront time and effort and also some ongoing support/updates.
In my case I spent a few months (evenings/weekends) building the app and now spend a few hours each month either responding to support emails or fixing bugs/releasing small updates.
Don't underestimate time for sales and marketing; whatever you decide to do will require some form of promotion/marketing and getting the message out there that you have built something. I regularly update a Twitter account for the app as well as maintain a website showcasing the product.
Good luck in whatever you do.
[edit to mention sales/marketing].
+60% of all app downloads are through app store search. You need to be extremely diligent in optimising your keywords for both App Store and Google Play. Products like sensor tower give you great tools to research high traffic/low difficulty keywords. Then it's a matter of trial and error.
Better search results equals more downloads, more downloads equals high ranking, high ranking equals more visibility. People are not going out of their way to view app 'landing pages' I can tell you that.
There's nothing passive about them, and you have to do them.
(If someone builds a passive income project and no one hears about it, does it even exist?)
Key point right here. I have a couple of "apps" that I built purely for my own need and want, they are also being sold but I don't have any issues with keeping them updated because I use them myself probably more than anyone else.
Because of this, I feel they are passive, even though I've spent many many hours on them.
The gold was used as a replacement, because I'm not from US, and it worked well for Russia, giving average yearly 48,9% compared to 24,4%, 31,5%, 28,1% for stocks, bonds and gold for 1997-2009 period.
Some ideas I've had are:
* Website templates (i.e WordPress). Downside: Will require constant maintenance to stay up to date with latest versions, bug free, and, secure
* Apps. Downside: Very competitive field
* Very NICHE apps.
This last point, is what I think would be really useful. For example, there's a sync for Fitbit / Apple Health. The guy who made it, has made two different apps, one for each direction, and they both cost $7 each. If you want to sync FROM Fitbit to Apple Health, that's $7. The other direction? Another $7. This app does it well and because it's such a niche thing - only for Fitbit and Android users who want their data into Apple Health or from Apple Health, it seems to work.
The problem here is finding these niche areas where there's a void to fill - these apps are so simple because it's basically just 2 UI controls (to/from date, and a button) and then two API calls.
I'm now trying to think of these things whenever I end up in a situation where I felt "damn, other people must want this too, why is there no simple app that does this?"
SPRINT PLANNING BEGINS NEXT WEEK
You will have like 3 installs per month. I made niche website that used 7 people in it's peak, now only 1~2.
You also could aggregate content from reddit subs into a site, or clone ThisIsWhyImBroke.com -- but automate it via scraper/etc... and focus your effort more on marketing using social media. In that case make money off affiliate commissions.
You also could write a course for everything to do with Wordpress --from setting up a domain to finding a host, etc---and promote your own hosting service in the book -- signup as a reseller for hosting services and start a small hosting business. Too many clients is obviously a drain on time/resources to provide support but 100-1000 clients could bring in 3k per month and take roughly 9-10 hours per week to support, and you can even hire someone to help with that on a part-time basis. If you only do support via ticket you'll save time as well. -- This was actually my plan, but I've been working too hard at my day-job to focus much energy on this.
I was into web hosting business for sometime but had to wind up due to increasing demands by the customers.
Like it. Let me share my story.
Six months ago i read articles how Buffer, Drip and ConvertKit started and got an inspiration to do a SaaS project.
I love reading and trying to hack the process using different tools and projects. Some of them worked, some not, but no one gave me back.
The question was: to make a reading habit? And i found an answer: bite-sized reading — 5-10 minutes a day.
— i bought a domain (https://bookcelerator.com/summary) for $12;
— hire a freelancer to craft summaries of books a want to read ($35/summary, $70 total): «Zero to one» and «Hooked»;
— created accounts on Mailchimp and Paddle (payment provider);
— and launched an automation.
It took me 10 days to read summaries by myself, broken down into 5-minute daily emails. Then i realized i really like the process and it helps me with my reading habit. I posted a link and my story to Facebook and Twitter and got first 4 clients from my network. Now Bookcelerator is $200 MRR in two months, has 5 summaries to read (i will post 3 more on every weekend).
The problem is i don't know how to grow to $1k to quit my job and make it the full-time project.
I think you can learn a lot from seeing their sites (none are gorgeous). I’d also consider PPC to acquire customers, but perhaps you could have an alternative pricing model (per book, per month, per year, audio versions of the summaries.)
You could always offer a handful of “life-time accounts” to try and bump the short-term revenue enough that you can flesh out your library more (I feel like that might be a limiting factor for customer acquisition).
Feel free to reach out to me on twitter if you’d like to continue the conversation @ckluis.
Have you thought about trying to up sell the entire book at the end of each summary? (Might get a few amazon.com clicks with each summary.)
Do you know your churn rate and the lifetime value of each customer? I imagine it's too early, but once you have a good estimate you will know exactly what you can spend on adsense to drive more PPC traffic.
If you feel like you can make something useful start working on it, day, night, whenever, wherever. You only have so much time outside of work hours so make them count. I have a few apps, most just 'exist' but one of them is now earning $12K/month.
I work extremely hard on ASO and invest my own money into marketing through normal channels (facebook/adwords).
I quit my job so I can just focus on my apps now. Im my own boss, I can push out updates fast and I manage my own support. Finally moving out of the city now to the coast, to a place much quieter with great views. People might say i'm lucky but I don't. I had an idea and I built it well, i'll never say its luck.
I have an old account at Zazzle.com where I throw up funny sayings and designs from time to time (I'm not a designer).
It nets about $100/year from royalties and is completely passive.
I've met other people who make 10x that (they are designers).
My stuff lives in the Zazzle store. Just like in all the other marketplaces.
For certain items to do optimize the keywords and headlines to make them a little "click-baitish" :-)
All said, I've been thinking of making a script to auto-tweet and post to certain places, but that takes real work.
Though of course market demand is also key in creating a successful ebook or SaaS product. Of the ideas that you have for ebooks, SaaS products, and games, which has the biggest unmet market demand?
If you want mostly passive, you can move the entire application, document, and payment flow online (no paper, no mail, no deposits at the bank). You just need to find a couple good contractors/handypersons. This is my approach.
If you want purely passive, hire a property manager. But they will take 5-10% of your rent and sometimes a fee for new listings/leases. This is also best if you aren't in proximity to your rental.
Obviously, paying cash is best but if you can put enough down, you can make it work as long as mortgage+taxes+expenses < rent (I'm simplifying, I know). Also depends on how long interest rates stay this low.
If you know any topics in this list , you could easily make much more with a well defined course
I might need to give this a go. If my past 15 years are any indicator, a SAS course wouldn't need much updating :)
1. Exporting image assets from Photoshop, <$100 in 6 months, >1 year of work on and off
2. Optical adjustments in Sketch, <$1000 in 2 months, ~1 week of work
3. Exporting ICNS/ICO from Sketch, <$50 in 1 month, ~1 week of work
I once increased the price of an iPhone app I had built from $2,99 to $4,99 and I lost exactly 0 sales due to that. Revenue just doubled (an extra few thousand dollars per month). I bet you $10 your revenue will increase significantly!
Don't know if the same approach would work today with falling ads revenue, but having something that is completely free to use has the advantage that there is no customer support and no stress.
- Look for a famous template
- Rewrite it in bootstrap
- Get it approved
Here was my experience writing a template last year:
It won't get you much passive income, if the topic is very niche. If it is more popular, there's bigger competition, so you have to be lucky.
I wrote a technical book (ebook + paperback) in veeery niche technical topic (and it's the only book on this topic on the market), got one-time moderate paycheck from the publisher and that was it. If the book gets me any passive income it will be just a few buck a month, not earlier than in 2-3 years (when the book will be obsolete anyway...)
What I earned was invaluable experience and some insight into how I work and how I can improve it, but that's it.
Throw me a bone, brogrammers, and add my sudoku widget to your site so it counts as a link to Google.
But when it comes to starting my own thing, I just get stuck - unsure what to start at. I used to blog based on unique problems, and have pretty much given up on it as its not that passively-rewarding unless one likes doing keyword based blogs. It does help getting more work which I don't want as of now.
Are there any good resources or plans available I can follow from people who have already done this?
And when you have it, how long could it be sold, until the technical thing is outdated?
A SaaS must be updated from time to time, bugs must be fixed ....
A mobile web based game is much work too.
A 100% passive income is really hard to find. Do something you like and try to sell parts of it (ebook, blog, saas, game, whatever).
There also seems to be a healthy market for game assets (3D models, textures, etc.) and multiple stores you can sell them in.
In regards to tutorials I have noticed many people using Patreon. Some seem to be making a decent passive income.
If you're a solo developer you likely have the flexibility to get kicked out of your house when you have a guest.
My #1 advice: Learn more about the stock market. Read blogs about ETFs and how to invest passive.
Here is a good blog: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/
He actually puts his money in betterment.com which is another strategy that works.
How comfortable are you with marketing? I truly believe being able to market a product effectively is where the game is. Evident in the Rdio and Spotify case study.
I think a subscription based SaaS or community powered product would work best with your skills. However this requires a lot of work, however it would definitely pay off in the long run.
In the end, think about problems that are evident in your life and just try solve those. You'll go along way with passion.
When he started on Upwork, he earned maybe less than $5 an hour for his work. Last time I talked with him, he completed lots of projects and he managed to increase his rate to $25 an hour. I think in the future he'll be able to ask even more from his clients, since his customers are generally happy with his work and keep giving him more work.
Of course, in many places in the work $25 an hour is still very little money and it takes a lot of effort to get there. But if one can manage to move to another country, it could be worthwhile. Certainly in Thailand one can easily live from $25 an hour, even when only working a few hours a day.
It's the kind of thing I'd be doing as a hobby anyway, but I get paid for it.
Hint: avoid the freelancer sites and instead hang out on developer/hobby code sites. You'll soon see that there are a fair number of people asking for help and are willing to pay, but most of the experienced developers just make fun of them. That's your opportunity! It's amazing how much money you can make by just being nice.
Depending on where you are you can get 5% - 15% ROI/year, and if you pay someone else to manage it, it'll be very little work.
Compared to creating something from scratch and selling it, this is much more likely to pay off, and most likely requires less work up front.
Managing real property takes considerable time, expense, and expertise. Things break and need to be fixed. Marketing must be done for vacancies. Most significantly, tenants are risky. Some will destroy your property. Some will be late with the rent. Some will not pay rent at all, requiring eviction--a time-consuming judicial process.
Someone here suggested hiring someone to manage it, so it doesn't take much time. The only problem is that the manager will also soak up most of your returns.
There is nothing easy about making money in real property. Some do it, but it's because they invest significant time and expertise. After that, guess what...the income isn't so "passive" anymore!
- Not everyone wants to lock themselves into long term mortgages, renting keeps their future options open
- Getting a deposit together for some is tricky
- Risk-adverse attitudes to getting mortgages after 2008
- Outside the US and the English speaking world, renting is quite popular, perhaps the default option, e.g. continental Europe. Therefore the demand is quite high for renting and lower for buying
The real question is, why aren't banks and hedge funds moving into this area, using their clout to access cheap financing and then buying attractive properties en mass and renting them out. This would take advantage of the current low interest rate environment.
- The banks earn interest on these mortgages.
- The landlords foot the first $deposit of losses on a bad choice.
- The banks don't have to pay legal fees or stamp duty during the transaction.
- The banks don't have to hire scouts to find suitable properties, or management fees to run them.
I'd say they're probably doing quite well out of it.
BTL has been a good deal for the last few years, but it's getting squeezed now by tax changes. It looks like a sure thing but it really isn't, because profitability is very dependent on:
1. Tenant quality. One bad tenant can wipe out a few months of income.
2. Tax changes. The trend in the UK is clearly not in favour of landlords.
3. Interest rate changes. A good chunk of BTL property is overleveraged, and a change of a couple of percent will make it unprofitable. This seems unlikely now, but I think it's quite possible after Brexit a few years from now.
4. Legal changes, including rent controls and tenancy terms. We haven't had much of this in the UK, but it could happen with a different government.
5. Expenses. Insurance and replacement can take a gross rate of 5% down to a net rate of much less.
Some of these are UK-specific. But it seems likely that AirBnB is a better bet for property in a good location.
Yes, that was implicitly part of my question :)
The higher the yield, the greater the risk. In a traditionally safe real estate market like London yields are very low - 3-5%, where interest rates (on buy-to-let mortgages) are about 3-4% - you're not making much money assuming you'll also be paying at least 1% in management fees. Most landlords just about cover their mortgage interest with rental income, hoping for price appreciation.
If you look at places just outside London, you can get higher yields of 8-10%. North of England or south of Spain or some less popular areas of US you can get 15-20%, but that comes with substantially higher risk of a crash in real estate prices. When in 2007 some areas of US dropped 50%, imagine how many years it would take to earn back 100% in rental income?
You can buy a number of REITs that do this already, and have much cheaper financing than you have access to, and pay 15% dividends:
Or you can just sell PUT options. In all cases you're getting yield for taking on risk (exposure to volatility in asset prices).
Of the option you listed, creating a SaaS that is in responsive web design for a niche B2B business need is a great bet for the first business. As long as you can have the discipline to shut up and listen to the paying customers needs first instead of taking stabs in the dark.
From what I do understand is I can create passwords using this, and write anonymous messages. 1, why wouldn't I use a simpler password generator in a password storing app. 2, why wouldnt I just post on a forum with an anonymous account.
In addition to this, the gui is not obvious and does not flow well.
I'd suggest personally investigating these points further, for learning purposes. Then each time you come up with a new idea, Google the crap out of it and see if anyone else has made anything similar, or if you could do it better. Both of these points could have essays around them! This will drastically help you assess your market before putting in a lot of time to build something.
I've been in your position a number of times.
Technical book - sounds like it might get out of date quickly so perhaps also not passive
This gets asked a lot on hn you might benefit going through the search.
In some countries you can get a central apartment for $35k, and a normal wage is $600 per month. If you manage to rent it out on AirBnB for $6-700 per weekend or so (what I paid for an AirBnB in one such country last week with 5 people in a large central apartment), you could make nice profits.
Even renting it out to someone over long term would be profitable; lower profit (potentially) but less risk (definitely)