I'd consider myself a pretty experienced developer with diverse skills. I want to create some passive income streams using my abilities.
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.