8 Best Freelance Communities for Developers to Earn Full Time
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Remote work is all the rage now, as people carry out work activities from their homes instead of the usual offices. The software industry has been a primary beneficiary of the remote work boom because developers can conveniently work from any location at any time.
There’s unprecedented demand for developers in our world, so employers have danced to the tune and needs of developers. Many developers need not stress. There are freelance communities where they can easily apply for work and get them. Because of this, there’s always work to be done. We want to show you the best freelance communities for developers to make money full-time. They include;
Toptal is a freelance platform connecting global businesses with developers and other highly skilled workers such as financial experts and product managers. Many multinational companies have signed up on the platform looking for developers to fulfill their business needs. It is a perfect spot to get high-paying programming work if you meet the hiring criteria.
According to Glassdoor, Toptal freelancers earn between $50,355 and $234,368 yearly. That’s a good amount no matter your location in the world. The key to making as much as possible on Toptal is knowing how to negotiate. Toptal has more high-paying gigs than comparable freelance platforms, so the better you can negotiate, the better you can get paid.
Hired.com is a job search marketplace serving technology professionals. Because of its focus on tech jobs, it’s an ideal platform for developers to get jobs and earn the most money they can. Hired.com operates similarly to Toptal. You create a profile and let companies apply to hire you with salary details upfront. Your profile allows you to showcase your portfolio and previous work experience to attract employers. Currently, over 10,000 companies use Hired to hire developers, so you’re in good hands with the company.
However, Hired isn’t available in all regions of the world. It’s mainly focused on North America and Europe. Nonetheless, developers in these regions can take advantage of it to get high-paying jobs. The key here is knowing how to market yourself to prospective employers. Remember that you’re competing against many similarly skilled people, so learn to differentiate yourself in that sea of talent.
3. Amazon’s Alexa Skills
Alexa Skills isn’t your typical freelance platform to apply for jobs and get paid. Instead, it’s a marketplace for developers to create “skills,” that is, features for Amazon Alexa smart speakers and get paid when customers use them. Amazon Alexa is the world’s most popular smart speaker, with a 20% market share as of 2020, according to Statista. The millions of people with Alexa smart speakers can download “skills” from a marketplace hosted by Amazon.
Any developer with the right talents can create skills for Alexa devices and offer them for a fee on the marketplace. The most common ways are to offer premium single-payment features or content or enable a monthly subscription for your skill. Earning money this way is usually more challenging because you have to know what skills users demand. It is more like entrepreneurship than a traditional job.
If you can identify a clear market need and act on it, building Alexa skills is ideal for making money as a developer. Aside from selling Alexa skills directly to customers, Amazon also has a rewards program for developers whose skills are used heavily by customers. The company doles out a specific sum of money depending on the number of minutes used each month, total new customers, returning customers, and many other applicable factors.
4. Minecraft Marketplace
You may know Minecraft as the massively popular sandbox game owned by Microsoft. With over 140 million active players as of August 2021, it’s one of the top ten games globally. But, do you know that you can make significant money developing content and addons for Minecraft? There’s an official Minecraft Marketplace where players can buy specific addons and content for their gaming experience. The addons can be skin packs, texture packs, mini-games, and physical environments. Other developers make the addons, earning money each time another player buys their creations.
If you’re familiar with Minecraft development, you could develop content for the game and earn significant money. It isn’t easy to do, though. You have to ensure you develop good addons that players would love, as many people end up creating stuff that no one wants. If you know your stuff, you can position yourself for success. For example, you could create an environment mimicking a popular real-world location, e.g., Hawaii or New York, and let players experience it. You could also develop an in-game mini-game such as tennis or puzzles that players would like.
According to ZipRecruiter, Minecraft developers in the US make an average of $61,721 a year. The highest median is $141,000 and the lowest $14,500 annually.
Roblox is another gaming platform similar to Minecraft where you can make money developing addons and features for other players. The difference is that Minecraft is a self-contained game where players create the environment by manipulating blocks, while Roblox is a system giving you access to other games. In other words, Roblox is more of a platform than a game.
Because it’s a platform, the opportunities to make money on Roblox are even better. There is outsized demand for in-game content from the 40 million+ daily active players that use Roblox. You can create your games within the platform that other players will pay in-game currency for. The common ways of monetizing Roblox games include creating game passes and selling virtual gear.
Roblox Studio is the engine provided by Roblox to create games and content. It makes development easier by giving you the background and framework to work with. If you play your cards right, you can make a significant amount of money as a Roblox developer. According to Glassdoor, Roblox developer annual salaries are typically around $26,000 – $104,000.
Roblox said it paid out over $500,000 to developers in 2021. There are over 300,000 developers on the platform with monetized games.
6. MQL5.com Freelance
With its 7 000 000 unique visitors per month, MQL5.com is one of the most popular algo trading communities. There is the MQL5.com Marketplace, where you can buy and use automated trading apps built by others. Instead of manually trading, you can simply buy an automated trading app built by someone else and follow their strategy. The apps are made by freelance developers just like you. If you’re well-versed in finance, in addition to coding, you can build automated trading apps other traders can buy. The price for such apps can run into a few hundred dollars, so there’s a lucrative opportunity in it.
You may also have your custom trading strategy but lack the development skills to execute it through an automated app. MQL5.com got your back with the Freelance part of the community. You can place orders for professional developers and have them build the automated trading app you want.
The platform’s parent company, MetaQuotes, often rewards developers who have made significant contributions with plaques and recognition in addition to the money they make from customers.
Gigster is a specialized freelance platform for developers, product managers, and designers. It matches developers with employers seeking to fulfill their business needs.
Gigster isn’t a typical freelance platform. While most platforms let you work individually with clients, Gigster pairs you with a team of developers or product managers and designers before matching you with clients. This way, it’s like a traditional workplace project but runs remotely. You’ll have to know how to be a good team player to succeed on Gigster.
If you meet Gigster’s hiring criteria, the company can pair you with high-paying development jobs across the globe. It’s a development agency that sources jobs from global clients and hands them over to developers within a team. Hence, there’s an endless amount of jobs available on the platform. Just ensure that you work competently and have a good rapport with your team, and you’ll be fine.
Upstack is a platform dedicated to hiring remote developers. Many global tech companies use it to fulfill development work, for example, Squarespace and InVision. Upstack matches employers with a worldwide pool of remote developers seeking employment. If you meet their hiring standards, you can join the platform and get paired with these employers. Note that you’ll undergo an 8-point interview process assessing your tech, communication, and personality skills before getting accepted (or not).
This list may just be the tip of the iceberg. There are many other freelance communities across the web to earn money as a developer full-time. However, the eight platforms we listed here are some of the best that any developer can get.
No other industry is growing as much as the software industry. The need for developers isn’t slowing down anytime soon, and salaries are as high as ever. Why not take advantage of this boom and secure a high-paying gig?