I'm surprised!
Lots of developers don't know that you can make money with Open Source Software.

I've met people making a living just by contributing to projects on GitHub.

Let me tell you how.

How to make money with Open Source:
A thread (not only) for developers ↓
Open Source is a huge market, and there are lots of methods to monetize your contributions
- Bug hunting programs
- Support
- Associated Content
- Double Licensing
- Donations
- SaaS

All of them are effective methods to build a good side revenue as a developer.

{ 1 / 20 }
Bug Hunting Programs

Also known as Bug Bounty is a way of earning money by
- Finding errors and reporting them.
- Solving Errors and submitting a pull request.

There are huge companies out there ready to pay you real money to find and solve bugs in their products.

{ 2 / 20 }
Get paid by Google, Mozilla, and Apache

Those companies have bug hunting programs with rewards of up to $150k (Android) for those able to find and solve a bug in their Open Source Software (OSS)

Those are not the only ones willing to pay for your bug hunting skills

{ 3 / 20 }
How to find bug hunting programs:

Every medium and big company that's hosting Open Source Software (OSS) will have a bug-hunting program.

Luckily some platforms are listing all of them in a single place:

{ 4 / 20 }
Provide Premium Support

This is one of the most mainstream ways of making money with Open Source Softwares.

Sell support for OSS products:
- Code and bug fixing
- New and extra features
- Docs
- Training

Sell all the commodities that the free OSS is not providing.

{ 5 / 20 }
Why selling support?

Open Source Projects maintainers do not always have the time to provide the necessary support to users.

This is where you come in: you can charge others for the help they need and aren’t getting it for free from the original author.

{ 6 / 20 }
Always check the Open Source Software's license

Before making any changes to the original OSS codebase though, make sure the license supports such activities.

Otherwise, limit your support to everything that doesn't modify the author's original source code.

{ 7 / 20 }
Sell associated content:

Think about WordPress Plugins as the perfect example of monetizing content associated with Open Source Software.

Not all OSS have things like plugins though. Luckily there are other types of content you might want to create and monetize.

{ 8 / 20 }
Creating content related to Open Source Projects:

You might want to:
- Write and Sell books about a project/product -> a guide or docs.
- Create a video course and host it on platforms such as Udemy or YouTube.
- Write sponsored guest posts about the product.

{ 9 / 20 }
Make money Double Licensing

If you see your OSS is getting lots of traction, consider the idea of creating two different licenses:
- A free one for Open source projects
- A paid one for commercial projects

So that anyone can choose the most appropriate license.

{ 10 / 20 }

While not typically used by large for-profit companies, some individual developers make pretty good money by taking donations for their open-source work.

The downside to this model is that it’s really hard to build predictable, sustainable income from it

{ 11 / 20 }
How to receive donations:

To receive donations or embed donations forms, you can use platforms such as:
- Buy me a coffee
- Patreon
- GitHub

Keep in mind that simply contributing to OSS won't bring any donation, to do so you need to create an audience.

{ 12 / 20 }
Create an audience to get donations:

Donations are more about connecting with users than just making your open-source products available to them

If you want your users to support you, they also need to understand the importance of doing so.

As always, bring value.
{ 13 / 20 }
Software as a Service (OpenSaaS)

This is my favorite method to monetize Open Source efforts but is also the most time-consuming.

Use the OpenSaaS business model and generate predictable revenues using subscriptions.

Let's see how, very briefly.

{ 14 / 20 }
Create an OpenSaaS:

If you have a fully-fledged application, the OpenSaaS model might be the answer.

The SaaS model is a popular way to license software running in the cloud, using subscription plans.
Users only need a browser to access the application.

{ 15 / 20 }
With an OpenSaaS model, the software is purchased via subscriptions, which can offer varying levels of service.

For example, you might offer technical support, software customization, and training as package options. WordPress is an example of OpenSaaS products.

{ 16 / 20 }
WordPress - OpenSaaS

WordPress effectively functions as a free SaaS product: it’s an open platform, and it offers subscription plans with extra features like unlimited storage and automatic backups.

Even if it's an open-source project it has an ARR of $132 million

{ 17 / 20 }.
Why OpenSaaS?

SaaS solutions with a free codebase reduce development costs and eliminate the need to build redundant functionality.

Additionally, the energetic OSS community will readily promote quality open source products.

It requires experience though.

{ 18 / 20 }
How to make money as a developer?
Of course, Open Source is not the only answer.

If you want to learn how to make money as a developer, read:
"Ten++ Ways to Make Money as a Developer" by @florinpop1705.

Start monetizing your skills now: gumroad.com/a/669160563/Sk…

{ 19/20 }

You can make money out of Open Source Project but:
- Make some side revenue is easy
- Making a living out of that requires above-average time and effort

Why should you try? You will get the hang of working with large codebases and PRs. That's invaluable.

{ 20/20 }
Thank you for reading!

I'm Vitto 👋
Helping developers monetizing their skills

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