Do you love your coding job and wish you could make more out of your career? You can likely work more hours and make more money. 45% of working Americans (70 million people) report having a side “gig.” But as a coder, you are especially well situated to increase your income by working more after-hours.
In the case of coding jobs or just jobs where coding plays a large role, you’ve already acquired all the skills you need to find coding side hustles. Many businesses don’t want to hire any more full-time employees and have instead gone online to seek contractors or freelancers.
In some cases, you will need to expand your skillset. In any case, you’ll need to learn how to find part-time gigs to make the extra money. But it’s best to start with what you have.
Apply Relevant Skills
What languages do you code with at work?
What kinds of products do you work on?
How can these skills be applied to startups and other companies?
Landing ideal side gigs won’t be the same as getting a job. In some ways, it will be easier.
Your starting point should be to list out each individual skill you bring to the table. Also, if you have references from previous jobs, or if you can get one from your boss, do it.
Reaching out to companies for coding side hustles will require a CV or resume, but it will also require a more brief and direct explanation of what you have to offer. One great way to handle this is with clearly defined packaging. Selling services packaged as products is a simple and scalable method to make more money.
If you understand web design, for example, list a series of related services you could offer. For example:
- Package A could be a single page for a company website.
- Package B could be a complete site with an about us page and a few product/service pages
- Package C could be far more comprehensive
- Package D could include app development on top of what you would offer in all the other packages
Tiered systems can work well if you want to build a scalable system to make more money after you’re done with your day job.
Learn To Navigate The Freelance World
Navigating the freelance world is tedious. But it does open far more opportunities to you if you love your work and want to maximize your income. If you’re even more ambitious, many of the skills you’ll learn doing so will help you a lot if you try to scale your work into a small business.
If you have experience or currently work full-time, you will be an attractive option to many businesses looking for freelancers. But you may also encounter alternatives, such as agencies. If you’re dealing with agencies connecting you with clients who need your particular skills, you may have less room for negotiating. The rates agencies will offer you will depend on what they charge their customers and the quality of what they normally offer.
You can also try to reach out to companies on your own, without the help of an intermediary. But doing that is different than sending your resume to apply for a full-time job.
First, you can reach out to businesses directly through email. While it may sound tedious, you can expedite the process by using an email template. While it’s very difficult, you could also try calling them with an amendable script prepared. Again, this is hard, but it’s also exciting and may open the door to new possibilities. These same skills can be used if you decide to scale your coding “side hustle” and hire other contractors and employees.
There are countless job boards for skills of all kinds. These job boards are specifically for people looking for help with a project. Or, they may be looking for a freelancer they can work with on an as-needed basis.
Job boards can come in the form of a website made exclusively for people to post jobs and for applicants to apply to them. You can also find job boards on larger sites. Examples can include forums or pages on social media that exclusively serve that purpose.
There is no guaranteed success with job boards, but they tend to host a lot of high-value offers, especially for coders.
Freelance sites differ from job boards. Freelance sites like Fiverr and Upwork do offer a similar infrastructure, however.
The main difference freelance platforms offer is that they don’t normally specialize in one area. So, you can apply for positions on these sites, but there are also as many opportunities in other fields, such as graphic design, writing, and even legal services.
Like job boards, freelance site postings vary greatly in quality. Because they are less specific than most job boards, the opportunities for meaningful income are a bit more sparse. But with the right positioning, freelance sites can be very rewarding for skilled professionals.
Moving Forward & Scaling
You don’t need to focus on just one method for finding extra gigs to expand your income. You can and probably should focus on at least two avenues.
It’s important to always test what works and what doesn’t. Try split (A/B) testing different offers. Also, measure your success on different platforms. This is especially important when you’re just getting started.
Normally, progress will come slowly as you optimize your performance and make adjustments. That’s fine, so don’t give up. You would be a rare case if everything came to you easily.
Lastly, as you improve, you can even consider the bigger picture. There are always possibilities in the labor market for coding professionals. If everything works out well and you love your job, why not start your own agency?