Passive Income As A Developer: HOW? ($2000/Month Or More!)

Written By John Sonmez

A lot of developers dream about earning money and increasing their overall income. While there are a lot of alternatives nowadays for complementing your income, passive income is definitely the one that still gets the spotlight.

Passive income could be defined as ” income resulting from cash flow received on a regular basis, requiring minimal to no effort by the recipient to maintain it.”

While there are a lot of different ways to make passive income, as a developer you have some exclusive ways.

Wanna know how to make passive income as a developer?

Watch this video and find out!

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Transcript Of The Video

John Sonmez: 

Hey, what's up? John Sonmez here from I'm going to answer a question today about how can I make passive income as a programmer, as a software developer? What's my favorite kind of income? Passive income. Passive income is my favorite kind of income. There's no income better than passive income.

Robert asked this question. He says, “Hi John, I'm a big fan of your Real Estate videos and you encouraged me to start investing in rent units.” What does Robert say? He says, “Notwithstanding the fact that programmers have a reasonably high salary compared to other profession, it is not nearly enough to invest in rent units at least once a year as you did.” It is enough, but it depends on what your goals are. “You did alright with the PluralSight courses,” I did more than alright, “But what other ways are there to make a passive income?”

Okay, so first of all let's talk about like if you just did the rental. Actually, before I even get into this I want to give you a reference and link from a buddy of mine, I interviewed him on this channel, MJ DiMarco has a great book called The Millionaire Fastlane. You need to read this book. You really need to read this book. I'm serious. You need to read this book. Everyone needs to read this book. He debunks some of the stuff about especially compound, the power of compound interest. I hate compound interest. It's ridiculous. It's a great concept, but so many people bank on it and it takes so long. It takes so long.

So first of all, even if you just did the real estate that is enough. Here's a simple plan for generating passive income and becoming wealthy, real simple plan. You've got to start young though. Let's say you're 20 and you buy a house every year, one house, everyone can do this if you're a software developer. You've got to scrunch and save and put down the down payment, but you could do it. You might buy somewhere in the Midwest where the houses are cheap. You buy one house every year and you rent that house out.

In 15 years, so let's say you're 20. In 15 years you'll be 35. In 15 years you take the first house that you bought that you've had for 15 years and you sell it. Now, true or false, it's going to worth at least double what you paid for it in 15 years? True. Do the math. Do the numbers. Look back at the housing prices from 15 years ago. Almost always—it's almost guaranteed that it's going to at least double. It might even triple. It probably would be a 1.5 is probably what you're expecting there. You're going to get a pretty good amount of money, enough to live off of for sure.

Then the next year what do you—then what do you do that year? You buy another house, you keep buying a house because you take some of that money. Let's say you bought a house originally right now for $100,000. I'm just going to use round numbers to make it easy. Then 15 years from now let's say it's worth $200,000. So, you take the $100,000 that you've got and you take 20 out of it or 10 out of it and you buy another house and then you take the rest of it and you live off of that. You keep on rolling this forward and keep on buying houses. That's a guaranteed way. You're going to have guaranteed income, it might not be a huge amount of income, but you're going to have guaranteed income for the rest of your life just by doing that, just by buying one house a year. It will take 15 years.

If you really want to make sure that you make enough money, wait until you're 40 and hold on to the house for 20 years. If you really, really want to make sure you could do it 30 years, but it's as guaranteed way that you're going to become wealthy and you're going to retire. You're going to be able to make—there's no way that this plan doesn't—I'm not going to say there's no, but there's practically no way that this fails.

I want to say that just so you know that this is a possibility, but it does take some time. that's not necessarily the only way to make passive income. That's what this question was, what other ways are there to make passive income? There's about a million. When I was first trying to figure this out, I read a book a while—a long time ago, that first got me this way of thinking called Rich Dad Poor Dad. I know some of you don't like Rich Dad Poor Dad, I don't care if you like it or not. It's a fuckin' good book because it changes your mindset. If you ever read the book it's really good. I don't care what Robert Kiyosaki did to make his money or what, or if he's a hypocrite or not, he's got good ideas in the book and it will change your mindset.

After I read that book I couldn't figure out how to make passive income. The only thing I could come up with besides real estate was gumball machines. So, guess what I did? I bought a bunch of gumball machines. Actually, if you look at—in my book, in Soft Skills: A Software Developer's Life Manual, I'll link to that here, go check that out. Go buy a copy of the book. I have a photo of me standing—filling gumball machines. I'll tell you, there's nothing more fun in life than going through Costco and filling a whole shopping cart full of fuckin' candy. That is the most wonderful experience anyone could have in life, because I had to fill up like 16 candy machines, gumball machines, various candy machines with candy. It was a wonderful sublime experience.

Anyway, that worked. I did generate some passive income. Now what I would recommend, I would have done it differently today, but a coin operated business is one way to make passive income. Now, today, I could tell you a million ways to do it. I'll just toss out some ideas here.

One of them that I'm working on right now that I was just telling someone about and maybe I'm blowing the secret on this is make a whole bunch of Amazon books. Make Kindle books. Make one a week or one a month—one a month, one a month. Just pick a book, a topic, 10, 20,000 words pump it out, write it out, sell it for 99 cents or $1.99 and you keep on doing that and in 12 months you'll have 12 books. If you did one a month I guarantee you'll generate some passive income, probably a couple of grand a month at the end of a year, maybe even more. If you did 100 books, imagine where you'd be. The same thing with audio books, another thing here.

A lot of my passive income from a while came from the blog, from Simple Programmer. How do we generate passive income—”passive income” at Simple Programmer? No income is truly passive, but as close as possible, the blog, right? You have a blog. You write blog posts for it. It continues to generate traffic for years if you’ve got good SEO content in there, especially if you've got Evergreen content and you have ads on there or you sell a product on there that automatically generates revenue. It's basically passive, if you think about it, because yes, I'm doing these videos and stuff, but if I stop doing the videos and I stopped doing blogposts I would continue to generate money for probably a few years because I've created that engine.

Another thing that you could do is you can buy rights to things. There was an auction site that I was thinking about, auctioning off my PluralSight courses and they sell rights to music. You can buy rights to music or film. A lot of artists they—I don't know about you, but a lot of famous people they tend to want to spend more money than they have, so what do they do? They sell the rights to their music or to their movies. You can get a share on that every time that it plays on the radio. That's an investment that you could make.

There's a ton of ways to do this. You've got to think outside the box. What kind of thing can you buy or can you create that's going to keep on generating you money. Books are a good one, resources, anything that's going to be evergreen. Anywhere you can use someone else's marketplace to sell something, apps in the app store is an example. Some SAAS businesses. I know a guy—I was just talking to this guy, he built an app that is a typing test. It just tells you how many words per minute you type and he's making $5000 a month on ads on that site. He doesn't work on it. He just made it once. It's a crappy site, I think, I haven’t even seen it, but he said it was a crappy site and he's just making money from this. It's passive income because you came up with something and through the power of the internet, an SEO, people are finding it and they continue to find it everyday and they continue to give him money based on the ads. There's another guy I know that created a calendar site, a scheduling site, and he doesn't work on the site. He just built it one time, he made a couple of changes to it and he's making several thousand dollars a month.

You've got to come up with something—you've just got to start thinking and brain storming. There's a ton of ways to do this that are possible. Some of them are more passive than other ways, but if you really sit down and you think about how can you create a renewing resource, something like that, there's a ton of ways to do that. Think about any business—every time you see something, when you look around, I see a Pepsi machine here. Obviously, someone's making some kind of passive income off of that. Parking lots here, I see parking lots where they charge you to park. Especially outside night clubs, they charge a higher price in the evening. That's passive income. Someone's making passive income off of that.

Rental properties, obviously, we talked about already. How about the storage unit places where they store your stuff. People pay for storage units. There's a ton of ways. Everything that you see around you, someone's making some kind of passive income off of these things. A lot of the—if you don't see someone actually selling something and it's something that you have to pay for, it's passive income essentially.

There's a lot of models for it and you can take those models and you can apply them to different places, to the internet and you've just got to think about this. You've just got to start getting in the mindset of thinking about how can you do these things. Most people think it's impossible so they'll say don't even try, but I definitely recommend—like I said, I've given you a lot of resources here. The book Rich Dad Poor Dad, if you haven't read that already it will sort of change your mindset. Heck, the worst case you could start a gumball business like me, or maybe a coin operated arcade, something like that, something where you don't have to be there and you still make money.

All right, that's all I got for you today. If you have a question for me you can always email me at Make sure you click the Subscribe button below. Click the bell, like I say in every video, so that you don't miss any videos. I'll talk to you next time. Take care.