Do you work in tech (or aspire to) and wish you could make more money? If so, read this post to find ways of making money through technology and choose an idea or two to start today!

10 Ways to Make Money Through Tech Skills

In Make Extra Money, Side Hustling, Technology, Uncategorized by Matt Kuhn2 Comments

If you’re on this site, I can only assume that you’re interested in making more money – whether on the side or as a full-time gig.

And if you already work in technology, why not use those skills to make some money?

If you don’t work in tech yet and are curious about whether it’s something you’d want to get into and how to get started, I recommend starting with this post.

Before we get started, let me just say that I don’t consider turning on a computer, making a powerpoint presentation, or using social media for personal use to be “technology skills.” At least not for the purpose of this post. 

I’m talking about skills that take months to get the basics of. These are the skills for hire, meaning that people and companies would be willing to pay you for your skills rather than just figuring it out themselves.

Do you work in tech (or aspire to) and wish you could make more money? If so, read this post to find ways of making money through technology and choose an idea or two to start today!

Now let’s get into how you can leverage your tech skills to bring home more income!


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10 Ways to Make Money Through Your Technological Skills 

1. Let’s Start At Work – Increase Your Value to Increase Your Pay

There are lots of little tips out there for getting more money from your employer. Within tech, one of the best things you can do is increase your effectiveness.

For example, you finish four projects in a month rather than the typical two. You close 10 tickets a day instead of the usual 5. I recently read an example where a web designer could switch from building websites from scratch to using a CMS or framework to build many more sites of the same quality in about the same amount of time.

You may feel like a more accomplished developer by building websites from scratch, but use the tool that’s more equipped for the job at hand.

Constantly learning more about your field of work will also do wonders for your productivity and overall value to the company. Take classes, get certifications, and do side projects that make you invaluable to your company.

It’s not just about doing more. It’s about doing more of the things that directly contribute to the revenue your company makes. By clearly showing how your efforts have increased revenue or decreased spending, you can justify a higher salary to your employer.

Look for pain points around where you work and try to solve them! If you find yourself manually running the same scripts each week, find ways to automate processes. 

If you feel your skills are currently being taken for granted, you may need to transfer to a new team or a new company altogether in order for your relative value (and thus your pay) to go up.

Get Started

  • Figure out ways to become more effective at your job. If there’s a tool that can help speed up a process, use it!
    • Don’t just assume your employer will increase your pay. Talk to him/her openly about what you feel your contributions are worth and why (show the actual impact on company revenue!).
  • Continue learning and improving your credentials (through trainings and certifications) so that you become invaluable to the company.
  • Look for pain points or repetitive tasks you can automate and make your manager aware of your plans to fix them.
  • Talk with your employer about your goals and what it would take to get a promotion/raise.
  • If needed, look for other teams or companies who might value your contributions a little more.
  • Look for remote jobs! Many companies pay based on the area they are based in rather than where you live. So if you live somewhere with a low cost of living, but work for a place in NYC or San Francisco, you can get a much higher relative pay.

2. Become a Freelance Web Designer/Web Developer

This could turn into a full-time gig or a side hustle for some extra income. 

A web designer focuses more on the aesthetics of a website and typically has Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop skills (along with basic HTML and CSS skills). They are able to create site mock-ups that focus on UX (User Experience) so that the site is user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Web Developers make a bit more money and focus on the actual coding of the site, creating the functionality behind the design. 

These are often popular freelance choices and the steps to becoming a freelance web designer or developer are similar to other freelance gigs. 

Get Started

  • For web development, choose a language/framework (NodeJS, Laravel, Django, React or Angular for front-end, etc.) to specialize in.
    • It’s important to specialize so you can get paid more for work you do. Have a niche – this includes what you’re seen as an “expert” in and who your target market is.
  • Improve your coding skills. You can use resources like CodeAcademy, but I think that the best way to learn is to just pick a language and framework and then do 15-25 tutorials online on that specific framework. You’ll learn a lot faster by actually building projects.
  • Reach out to freelancers through their portfolio sites. I’ve reached out to several and many of them have been super helpful!
  • Set up a portfolio site.
  • Work on finding clients and feel the empowerment of making money remotely through your tech skills!
    • Remember to set up separate accounts for any business you decide to start. Separate PayPal and separate checking accounts to avoid future accounting nightmares.

3. Become a Freelance [Insert Tech-Related Skill Here]

For the sake of avoiding repetition, I’m just going to say that you have a lot of options, all of which can pay pretty well. 

Whether it’s a graphic designer, image editor, SEO consultant, digital marketer, software developer, mobile app developer, computer support person, etc. – you’ll pretty much follow the same approach as #2.

Develop some basic skills in your area of choice, start spreading the word and actively finding your own clients, build up a portfolio site, and treat your freelance gig like a business. 

Although I can’t fit everything about freelancing into this post, there will be future posts which go more in depth to getting started. This post is just meant to give you some starting points based on your interests and lifestyle goals. 


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Download the highlights for later. Then read about choosing the “best” method to make money on this list. It’s a practical answer, but true nonetheless!

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4. Consult Or Mentor In Areas of Expertise

Consulting is something you can do for a company or for your own side business. The pay is pretty high as people are coming to you as the “expert” on a particular subject. That said, you should probably know what you’re talking about before trying to become one.

With my AWS experience, I could potentially help smaller companies transition their networks from on-premise to the cloud. Although it’s not something I’d be comfortable doing for another few years or so, it’s an example of how you can use your experiences to open other doors.

If you are extremely talented in SEO, people and companies will gladly pay you to help them up their online-presence game. If you’ve become a gifted programmer, you could mentor other programmers through sites like Codementor.

There are so many ways to leverage your tech skills, it’s just a matter of picking one that fits your personality and going with it!

Get Started

  • Choose your consulting niche – what would you feel comfortable helping others in?
  • Find others who consult in the field you’d like to start in. What is their consulting process?
  • Create your own website or find one like Codementor that provides a client base for you.
  • If you’re doing this as a solopreneur, it’s a form of freelancing and the steps would be pretty similar.

5. Write/Podcast/Make Videos About Technology

I don’t know how many times I’ve run into a technical issue or just wanted to learn more about a certain subject and then found the perfect blog post or video on my exact problem. If you’re in tech yourself, I’m positive you’ve gone through similar experiences.

If you’ve got the experience, why not spend some of your free time sharing your knowledge with others? Whether this be for a book you write, a blog you start, a podcast you create, or a YouTube channel – you can make a difference while bringing in some income.

I’m sure you’ll also learn a thing or two along the way like I have with my blog.

With a blog, you can make money through ads, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and courses (see #6). I can only assume that it’s the same for podcasts and YouTube.

These ideas can take a little while to gain an audience, but they can be a fun way to connect with others. I personally find that I learn a lot more by sharing content than I do consuming it all the time.  And many people have become very profitable through these mediums.

You could also create content for others!

Many people and companies with blogs don’t have the expertise or time to write for themselves, so they’ll hire experts like you to write the articles. And where there is a need, there are people willing to pay. Just look on Upwork for jobs people are hiring for.

Please don’t be under the delusion that this is an easy way to make money. It’s not. But if you find other benefits in creating content (like learning, networking, doing good for others), you might just make some money along the way!

Get Started

  • Choose the medium you’d like to get started with.
  • Take just one step toward starting. If it’s a blog, choose a domain name and set up your website with a hosting provider like Bluehost. If it’s a podcast, get yourself a nice microphone and editing software. And if it’s a YouTube channel, create an account and look at other YouTubers for examples of how to do your videos. 
    • If you’re itching to become an author, then get started writing your book!
    • If you choose to write for other people, set up an account with a company like Upwork or create your own portfolio site for freelance tech-writing.
  • Being in tech, you know the key to success is in the Google Search.

6. Create Courses to Help Others Become Successful

Like with consulting, mentoring, and content producing, you can use your experience to teach others how to reach your level of success.

The great thing about online courses is that it creates a form of passive income for yourself. So you do work once, and then make money from it over and over (with minor upgrades to keep up with the times, of course).

For example, Brad Traversy has created an impressive collection of courses and guides for web development. Many of them are free, although he gets ad revenue from the free ones. 

Over at Skillcrush, they sell courses that teach you the tech skills you need to get the exact job and salary you want. Troy Hunt is another example, with lots of cyber security courses over at Pluralsight

You can also teach people how to pass their certifications. I don’t normally like to spend money when I don’t have to, but I gladly paid for CISSP course material to make sure I passed the $600 exam on my first try. Same with CompTIA exams.

Ryan Kroonenburg created his own site (A Cloud Guru) where he has helped many individuals pass their AWS certification exams.

The course doesn’t even need to be anything fancy! The Advanced Beginner Challenge is an email “course” that helps people get their first programming jobs starting from zero experience.

If you have tech experience, why not create your own courses that teach subjects in a way you wish you had when starting out? 

Getting Started

  • Figure out the skills you’ve developed that could help someone. Even if you’ve only been in the business for a year, you have knowledge that can help someone get to your level much quicker than if they tried to do it alone.
  • Check out sites like Pluralsight, Udemy, or Lynda to start selling courses on theses pre-established platforms.
  • If you’d rather manage the courses yourself, you could use a platform like Teachable or a special plugin to do this.

7. Build Things and Sell Them

If you’re looking for passive income, courses aren’t your only option. Technology lets us build things from nothing. 

If you’re a web developer, you could create and sell WordPress themes and plugins on sites like ThemeForest. You do the work once and then get paid for it multiple times, making minor changes to it over time to keep it up-to-date with newer technologies.

If you’re more of a graphic designer, you could sell your own fonts and graphics on established platforms like Etsy. My wife likes to make custom cards with the graphic skills she’s gained from being an Interior Designer.

I’ve already mentioned selling books that help with a specific problem like passing a certification exam or learning a skill.

For the mobile app developers, you can create useful apps and put them up on your respective app stores for people to buy.

Getting Started

  • Figure out what products have been and can be created based on your specific technical skills. Look on sites like Etsy, ThemeForest, and even Amazon to see what’s already out there and how successful those items have been.
  • Do you already create apps or themes for your personal use? If so, why not make them available to more people while getting paid for it?
  • Specialize in one thing. Jumping around might be fun, but you need to become known as the expert in your area. This will only come with consistency and quality.

8. Start a Business Around Your Inventions

For those of you who are truly ambitious, start a business around a product or service you’re able to provide! This could be a SAAS (software as a service), a web app, a service like website maintenance or software development, a service agency, or an actual hardware invention.

I realize that many of the ideas I’ve already shared can be implemented as a business, but I want to differentiate between just creating a product and creating a business around the product or service.

For example, anyone can put an app on a mobile app store. If you’re starting a business though, you’ll want to be solving a specific pain point with that app.

You’ll want to do user testing, get feedback from people who fit your target market, work on your brand, etc. – until you have validated your idea and built up a trusting client-base. 

The great thing about working in technology is that you’ve probably run into some pain points yourself. It’s easy to gloss over them and find a “workaround,” but it can be much more profitable to discover the root causes and fix them not only for yourself, but for others as well.

The other great thing about working in tech is that you can lead the creation of the base product yourself. Just like Mark Zuckerberg with Facebook and Jeff Bezos with Amazon, you have the technical knowledge to lead the projects rather than trusting someone else to do it for you.

Although this may seem like a big commitment, there are ways to automate parts of your business so that a majority of it runs passively.

Getting Started

  • As you go throughout your week or month, make a list of the pain points you run into that others might run into as well. What product or service can you create to ease the pain for others?
  • Listen to podcasts that provide tips, advice, and motivation for starting a business. One of my favorites is Nick Loper’s “Side Hustle Show,” where he has successful guests share their own paths to success. Many of these have become successful through technology businesses.
  • Validate your ideas before investing too much money into the business. 

9. Get Into the Website Market 

If you’ve got design, SEO, and/or marketing skills, you may want to consider this option. Many people understand that real estate properties can be bought, fixed up, and sold for a higher price, or “flipped.” Websites can be “flipped” as well.

Many websites on the Internet have some traffic, but are very poorly designed and weren’t designed to make money. Others have money-making potential, but have poor SEO. There are several ways to make money from buying a website. In this case, you could potentially buy a website, fix it up a little, add some SEO optimization, and a method of monetizing the site. 

You could then either sell it for a profit or keep it as it generates income for you (or funnels traffic to another income-generating source you have). 

Buying and holding isn’t a bad idea, especially if you’re able to really increase the value that the site offers. Typically it takes time for a website to really go up in value anyway.

Like real estate or stocks, this is an investment. Make sure you understand the risks and area before jumping into anything you could regret later.

Getting Started

  • There are sites that are built for finding websites for sale (like Flippa), but you probably won’t find the best deals here. Instead, do a Google search for sites in a field you feel comfortable with and start looking after the first several pages of results. You want a site that’s had consistent posts for some time, but that the owner doesn’t seem to put too much further thought into.
    • Through research and practice, you’ll begin to be able to spot good opportunities just like in any other area of investing.

10. Become An Expert Witness

I decided to add this one to the list because I remembered an “expert witness” who came to my college one year and spoke highly of his experiences. He would help in cases involving cyber crimes due to his expertise in network engineering. 

As you might guess, some cases involving computers can be a little heavy, but you don’t have to accept cases you don’t feel comfortable with.

Becoming an expert witness is a great way to earn money while promoting societal justice. You’ll be paid for the time you spend studying case material that your lawyer gives you, as well as the time spent testifying.

Getting Started

  • You can choose to work for yourself or sign up with an expert witness agency. It seems like an average rate for non-medical expert witnesses is about $250 an hour.

GET STARTED

As technical individuals it’s easy for us to get caught up in the details. At the end of the day though, it’s less important what you decide to do and more about just getting started in something.


FREE BONUS: POST HIGHLIGHTS + CHOOSING THE “BEST” HUSTLE!

Download the highlights for later. Then read about choosing the “best” method to make money on this list. It’s a practical answer, but true nonetheless!

YES, PLEASE!

You’ll learn the most by picking an idea and just going for it. You’re allowed to change your mind later on! Take some chances. Figure out where demand is heading. Is blockchain programming where people are willing to pay the most? Do you have a passion for cloud technologies?

However, money isn’t as important (in my opinion) as doing something you love. What matters most is that the money-making method you choose resonates with your personality and lifestyle goals. That’s the only way you’ll have the motivation to make this a long-term action. Now choose a method and get to work!

 

What do you think of these ways to make money through tech skills? Are there any ideas I haven’t mentioned that you’ve found profitable? Have you decided on moving forward with any of these ideas?

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Comments

  1. There are so many opportunities to make money these days and no shortage of jobs in tech with a little bit of training and drive. I think you put out a great list and it’ll be interesting to see how tech continues to move in the future 🙂

  2. Terrific list and I think it mostly applies outside of tech as well. What I really like is that all the points also provide a side benefit like learning more, developing other skills etc. So you can earn money AND become more valuable at the same time.

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