Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: How can I make money when I am bored?
46 points by erkanerol on June 14, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 37 comments
I am bored now. I am looking for work to do. I already have a full-time job but sometimes I want to do something different and make money. I don't want a regular part-time job. I don't want to waste my time by searching for freelance jobs. I don't want to earn so much. I want to be able to make some money by writing code whenever I want. Is there a way?

I've thought about this too.

The websites where you bid to work on stuff (freelance.com for example) are a race to the bottom - you're always going to be competing with people who are prepared to work for $5 an hour (... and customers who now expect that is how much a developer's time is worth). This might be fine where you live however - I don't know.

Side projects are a possibility, but I feel that getting paying customers is too much of a hassle for dip-in/dip-out stuff like this ... you've got to actually build something people want to pay for in the first place (no easy task!) then handle support, billing, marketing etc. Too much like trying to bootstrap your own startup and not so much a I-wanna-code-for-some-easy-money-when-I-feel-like-it kinda thing.

I've had some success with websites + AdSense in the past. It can take a while to take-off, but once it does it can earn a nice little bit on the side. It is not really coding though.

I've been mulling over-ideas. A few stick out:

- become a private tutor. Do a few hours a week teaching kids how to code in their homes.

- youtube channel specialising in coding tutorials or demos etc. Build up a series of playlists about certain subjects, take suggestions, patreon-based "extra value" etc and of course ads revenue share from youtube. Move around in various "hot" techs - Unity, Vue.js etc - something beginner friendly. Could also be a really interesting learning experience at the same time.

- writing freeware stuff (think Nirsoft style stuff) and accepting donations/patreon.

Good luck

https://www.bountysource.com/ lists tasks. I seem to remember there was a platform that had even shorter tasks (something somebody can solve in 1-2h).

I would recommend building/maintaining a side project, and monetizing that. Even if it's something as simple as a personal tech blog that has basic AdSense.

AdSense sucks on a small scale :(

If you're in a situation where you're not feeling fulfilled at your day job, then you might want to look for a day job that gives you more of a challenges on a technical level and probably pays more for the bigger challenge. Just an idea.

Feeling unfulfilled is often a result of what happens outside your job. Finding another job is bad advice because it’s myopic and doesn’t actually solve the problem. Don’t go home and spend more time on a computer, watching Netflix, playing games, etc. Go outside. Take a hike. Go for a walk. Go down to a park or lake and read a physical book that has nothing to do with technology or science. Play with your dog/cat. Just find something to give your brain a rest from the same monotonous routine you get yourself stuck into. You will be more fulfilled at work and at life in general.

I dont recommend doing this remotely, but if you live in (or have family that would do it with you in an affordable location where they live) a place where real estate investing is profitable/affordable it could be worth the time.

I moved to the Bay Area but where I grew up, most of my family lives there still and the real estate is cheap there (Upstate NY). I started buying properties last year while my family does the day-to-day management that requires physical presence.

Its been a great way to learn something in a new industry that is not related to work, and has given me a more business-minded perspective (being a business owner and landlord) which helps me take on a slightly more ownership-mentality at my day job.

Curious. Whereabouts in Upstate NY? Albany? Schenectady? Buffalo? Catskill?

Did you research anything related to local area (ex: schools, major corp like G.E. used to be in Schenectady etc) that would ensure steady occupancy?

> I started buying properties

Guessing atleast a couple, if not more... so how do you get loans for investment multiple investment properties?

AFAIK Bank demand higher downpayment ( atleast 30% or more) and also have higher interest rates.

Ive been buying near the greater Syracuse area.

I have a couple now, and so far I've been lucky to get financing from family members. The plan is to refinance the loans with the bank after the first year or two and re-use the money for new purchases.

When we run out of private money we'll go to the banks. We've applied already for the houses we've gotten because we didnt know we would be able to secure private money. I saw downpayment amounts varying from 20-25% for personal loans and 25-30% for business loans (if you're buying with an LLC).

With the interest rates the banks charge its still doable in our area, the private money interest rates are higher in at least one case and both are 15yrs (vs the 30yr we would want to go for with the bank).

Iirc you can get up to 10 personal mortgages in your name before needing to resort to small business loans, so if you're just starting off, you've got room to grow.

If you are starting off and live in the town you will be investing in, I highly read up on house hacking, which there are a few articles on the topic at biggerpockets.com (this was a great source of info when I was starting off, I recommend most of their books too).

edit: Also note that downpayment requirements vary by location, and if banks offer it, its much better to go for their portfolio of loans if they offer fixed rates (unfortunately, all the banks in my area only offer ARM loans) because the closing costs are lower (portfolio loans are not sold to the big banks, so the closing cost fees are not dictated by them).

Excellent! Thank you so much for the detailed response. I'm also living in Bay Area (San Francisco), used to live in Upstate many eons ago...

Sorry, I missed the question about research.

We didn't do much research in the way of occupancy. Because its remote Im limited to the towns around us that is convenient for my family to visit. We played with the idea of getting an apartment building from another distant relative that owned one, but weren't ready for hiring the staff that came along with it (and the cost since it had a restriction to low-income housing for the next 6 years, which made it hard to make a profit off it to start. We may revisit when we have a better base to cover potential short-termlosses).

Generally from what we saw with no new housing being built in our town we knew we would be able to get someone to rent it to at least break-even. Our second option was to partner with an organization that helps subsidize low-income housing, since some offer partnerships that involve fixing things that their tenants break and helping cover costs for repairs.

step 1: Look at the top most upvoted products on ph: https://www.producthunt.com/e/50-most-upvoted-products

mostly curated lists and color tools. Make one of these, make it well designed.

step 2: market. Get on ph/reddit/hn for an initial user spike. If you're lucky a blog or two will link to you as a part of their "40 design/dev tools for june" listicles.

3: profit! With decent traffic carbon or adsense can net $xxx a month.

You say you want something different, how strongly do you feel it needs to be code?

If you are inclined to not just fill your wallet but also your time, consider picking up a non-work hobby that you can charge for?

Things like 2d and 3d digital art or music have a commission scenes where, if you put yourself out there, you can make some money.

Art might not be your thing. Maybe it's yoga or woodworking. And it might take a few years (for me, three years of practicing digital 2d art to start taking commissions), but you get to expand beyond what you do for 8 hours already.

If such a thing existed, so many of us would do it that it would stop being worth your time.

You're asking for easy money. That doesn't exist in a free market society.

"If such a thing existed, so many of us would do it that it would stop being worth your time."


But early on, though, before everybody and their brother found out about it, it could be lucrative.

It'd still require effort. Effort well directed will never be a supply problem.

Checkout IndieHackers [1] for other people making/trying to make revenue from side projects

[1] https://www.indiehackers.com/

Being bored is necessary to relieve ourselves of cognitive load accrued throughout the day. I would urge you against chasing making money and just to enjoy the leisure, read a book or go for a walk.

Not developer rates by any stretch, but you could checkout mTurk https://www.mturk.com/

Mechanical turk might meet your requirements. Not coding but boring and low pay.

Take a look at Lionbridge or Leapforce. You rate and give feedback on search results. 10 hour minimum per week though.

Flipping items on eBay?

I looked into this but shipping seems to eat way too much on each transaction.

There are plenty of very specific items that can be flipped on eBay for solid profits, you need to find the niche though. And then deal with the substantial fraud you will experience.

With ebay + PayPal fees, they take about 20% now.


Amazon Mturk. Illegally selling runescape gold. Selling pretty much anything digital.

Scripting mturk violates the ToS

Start your own mturk knockoff that permits or even encourages scripting and automation.

Makes sense, but that's kind of sad... would be a fun game to try to build AIs for things that people think they can't while using light enough compute resources to make it worthwhile for the pennies you make from most mturk activities.

I'd even opt-out of taking the money for the entertainment value.

Do you care? You will only get noticed if your script actually fails and does bad work, and even then, worst case scenario you just get your account banned, no big loss.

You'd have to make sure that account is not tied to anything else you care about, such as your Amazon Prime membership or AWS or Kindle or ...

Also you'd have to go over a VPN to mask your IP address. And, when signing up for Mechanical Turk, you need to give a bunch of real info if you ever hope to extract payment.

I mean, it's unethical. Especially if you're labeling data for medical research or somthing.

Whether a human or a machine (or a machine that claims to be a human) is doing it, there should be oversight and double or triple checking if the result is used for anything sensitive.

I'd say it's unethical to put the outcome of medical research into the hands of unknown Mechanical Turk workers without any oversight.

"I think cars should be handmade because humans don't make errors"

There is a reason they arnt using a model themselves

Why does Amazon care as long as the work gets done? You'd think people scripting would be a feature.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact