freelance web developer

Make Money Online Without Investment as a Freelance Web Developer

Methods to Make Money Online as a Freelance Web Developer

Gone are the days when people had to search for jobs through newspaper and fliers, and had to wake up early in the morning to reach their workplace on time. With the advancement of internet, there are various possible ways to make money from home by employing your best skills. I am not just talking about starting a blog and making money through AdSense, there are loads of other ways you can use to generate a handsome monthly income as a freelance web developer. This guide particularly would highlight the online money making channels and methods for web developers.

Does Freelancing as a Web Developer Pay Well?

To answer this question, you must first understand what a freelancer actually is. A freelancer is a self-employed professional who is capable of earning more than their employed competitors. Why? Because a freelancer is typically an expert in his/her field and is in charge of a single job only.

Regarding the pay rate, suggests that the established freelance web developers with more than 10 years of experience can earn anything from $55,000 to $85,000 yearly.

What Platform Should I use as a Freelancer?

The best part about freelancing is that you can earn through various online platforms and work on your own terms with no restrictions or a boss to give you commands. These platforms connect you with clients who have certain web development projects which you can select based on your expertise.

Initially, when you create an account on any of these platforms, it is difficult to attract clients, since most of them look for hiring individuals with a high profile rating. Nevertheless, once you fetch one or two projects, it gets easier to earn big. I have compiled here a list of the best freelance platforms, check them out carefully.

Started in 2010, is the largest online marketplace where freelance workers offer their services at a flat rate of $5. The concept is fairly simple; you have to sign up for a free account and create a gig describing the services you can offer. Once up, the clients can search your gig from potentially thousands of other gigs and place an order.

The starting rate of $5 sounds small, but it allows you to complete the small task quickly. If the client likes your work, they will most likely order again, giving your ‘gig’ a chance to grow and earn money as well as a higher rating. Once you achieve a better rank on Fiverr, they allow you to create gigs starting at any rate you think your services are worth of.

Fiverr cuts 20% from each successfully completed order and you can receive money through Payoneer, Bank account or PayPal.


  • User friendly interface
  • Online community with tons of help articles
  • Allows making money by selling almost any kind of digital service


  • 20% revenue cut from each order
  • Limited payout options with additional fee
  • You do not have an option to turn down certain orders, as they are placed automatically
  • Funds are held for 14 days, which is a huge time to wait for something you have worked hard to earn. is one of the oldest freelancing platforms, which is free to use. However, you can upgrade your membership to generate more revenue out of your programming projects. Freelancer working model differs significantly from Fiverr.

Here clients post project details every day and these projects are displayed at the ‘Job’ section. You can view the programming jobs suitable to your skills and bid on projects providing the relevant details. It is important to note that there would be several other bidders, so you have to make a competitive bid along with posting a cover letter that could generate interest.


  • Tons of projects posted everyday
  • Easy to use website design
  • Multiple payout options
  • Amazing customer support


  • A lot of inexperienced freelancers
  • Spam bidding is prevalent
  • Service charges apply on each step
  • Starters may require consultation

Formerly known as Odesk, Upwork is one of the best freelancing platforms for web developers and programmers. Join free, create your portfolio and set an hourly rate depending on your experience. Additionally, you can search for different web development projects and submit a proposal along with a cover letter and asking price.


  • Tons of jobs available
  • Setup your own team or a company


  • Some clients may take too long to reply after proposal submission
  • Service fee is high
  • Clients prefer those with the lowest bid is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based freelance market place started in 1998. The platform currently has over 1.5 million freelancers and is regarded as one of the best freelance websites. At, you can simply register for free, create your profile and define web development services you can offer. You can either search for jobs and submit proposals or wait for clients to contact you.


  • Website interface is simple and easy to understand
  • Low commission rate of 4.95% for every $100


  • Paid memberships enjoy higher benefits
  • Company policies usually favor the client

People Per Hour

PeoplePerHour (PPH) is a UK based company founded in 2005 with over 180,000 freelancers currently working. PPH has a ‘Hourlie’ concept which is like Fiverr, as freelancers create hourlies explaining the services they are offering, setting a specific period for completion, at a fixed price. Previously, hourlies were set at per hour basis, but now seller can set any time limit. Buyers also post their projects which you can apply for if you meet their demands. There are tens of web development projects created daily on PPH, so the chances of getting hold on one won’t be an issue if you are good at development/programming.


  • Payments are secured through Escrow and PPH Wallet system
  • Video call option for contacts
  • Beginners can find work easily


  • High commission rate
  • Interface is difficult to understand

Toptal is a new Silicon Valley based freelance platform started in 2010. It is known to accept only top 3% of the programmers and developers in the market, so to offer its clients high quality. To join Toptal, you have to go through a tough screening process after which you will be connected to potential clients. Toptal takes pride in securing some of the most popular clients including J.P.Morgan, Axel Springer AG, KDDI America, Airbnb, Zendesk, Gucci and more.


  • Getting jobs is easier once approved
  • Chance of working with famous and international companies
  • Secured Payments


  • Tough screening process
  • Not recommended for beginners

Other famous freelance platforms to consider:


Participating in Online Contests

Besides bidding for projects, another way to earn money online as a web developer is to participate in online contests. You can find loads of such platforms allowing you to take part and earn prize money. In addition, these contests are perfect for you to find out where you stand comparative to your competition in the market. Winning these contests also improves your chances to secure a web development job easily.

Here are some of the websites that host online contests for web developers:


Topcoder is the largest online competition platform for developers and programmers. The competitions are sponsored by some of the industry’s biggest names including Microsoft and NSA. The competitions are hosted fortnightly in various categories and the cash prize can be up to $500,000.

Google Code Jam

Google Code Jam is administered and financed by Google itself. The competition is held once a year and the participants are given a set of algorithmic problems to be solved by any preferred programming language within a given amount of time. The prize money for the 2017 Google Code Jam competition is $15,000.

Code Chef

CodeChef is an Indian based non-profit online programming competition platform, which hosts several competitions and contests for programmers worldwide. You can polish you skills as well as participate in monthly tournaments.

Other famous online competition platforms include:

  • Programming Challenges
  • CodingBat
  • Codeforces
  • Facebook Puzzles
  • HTML5Contest

Online Game Development

According to a research, Android and iOS users spend 32% of their time playing games. This indicates game development can be a good earning choice for programmers. You can earn through downloads as well as from advertisements. To motivate you a little further, do you know Temple Run made over $1 million in revenue?

Here are some of the platforms where you can sell your games:

  • (an ebay company)
  • Fupa (gives you a great opportunity to sell your games online)
  • USell

Earn by Selling Video Tutorials and eBook

If you are very good in web development, why not teach others and make money? Just create video tutorials or write an eBook. Here are some famous websites which allow you to sell your video tutorials and eBooks.


Udemy is the largest online learning platform where some trainers are earning more than $500,000 per year. Why don’t you try selling your video tutorial or guide about web programming? The standard price starts from $20, but you can offer discounts to attract buyers.

Envato Tuts

At Envato Tuts, you can either teach a course through screencasts, slides, optional on­-camera video or by creating a tutorial to help the students learn a specific skill. Envato Tuts constantly looks for new writers, and they are currently paying about $200 per article to their regular writers.

Upload videos on YouTube or Dailymotion

Both YouTube and Dailymotion allow you to monetize your channel and earn through advertisements. According to Fox Business, you can even raise your income to six figures on YouTube.

You can also develop or market/ sell ready-made themes on multiple online channels. Below are some renowned platforms where you can sell themes and templates.

Theme Forest

At ThemeForest, you can publish anything from HTML templates, Joomla templates, WordPress themes, Photoshop templates and Flash templates. The selling price for each depends on whether the item is exclusive to ThemeForest or not. If the theme you are selling is only published on ThemeForest, you will earn up to 50% or more on every sale. If the theme is also published elsewhere, you will earn 25% from a sale. Before start selling on ThemeForest, you have to complete a quiz.


Templatic allows selling various items including HTML and CSS markups, WordPress, Joomla and Drupal templates, and skins for phpBB, Google Blogger etc. The registration is free and you can earn up to 60% from each sale.

Buy Stock Design (Fantero)

Buy Stock Design (Fantero) permits you to register as an author and sell HTML, Joomla WordPress and PSD templates, starting from $5. You can earn from 50% to 75% on every sale.

Mojo Themes

Mojo Themes works in the similar way as Theme Forest. For every exclusive item you sell, you can earn up to 50%. Mojo Themes marketplace allows you to sell themes and templates that can be used on CMS and e-Commerce platforms.

Other design platforms you can try are:

  • Site Point
  • Talk Freelance
  • Wrap Bootstrap

App development is another lucrative way to make thousands of dollars just by sitting at home. There are a number of platforms, which allows you to sell apps online such as:


Codecanyon is an app marketplace letting you publish your work and set the price depending on the quality of the item. Initially, you could make 50% from each sale, but it would increase with time.

Chupa Mobiles

Templatic allows selling various items including HTML and CSS markups, WordPress, Joomla and Drupal templates, and skins for phpBB, Google Blogger etc. The registration is free and you can earn up to 60% from each sale.

Sell My App

At SellMyApp, you can sell source code for Android and iOS applications and earn up to 70% commission as a starter. The experienced sellers earn up to 90% for each sale.


Codester allows you to sell ready-to-use PHP scripts, apps, templates, themes, plugins, graphics and more.

Other famous platforms include:

  • Flippa
  • Apptopia


I have covered a number of different ways and various platforms you can use to kick start your career as a freelance web developer. The job can be tough initially, but as you progress, it gets better and better. The best part is of course, you can set your working hours and rates yourself and won’t have to report to anyone ever.