Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

How to Make Money Selling Software [9 Options for 2024]

This post may contain affiliate links - which means we may receive compensation from purchases made through links on this site. Learn more ›

Want to know how to make money selling software? It’s perfectly understandable, considering how we’re in the middle of an AI revolution.

Selling software can be a lucrative business if you have the right mindset. 

We’ll explain how you can make money from software, what you need, and more. We also reveal several places to do it and the steps you can take to start.

Can You Make Money Selling Software?

Yes, you can make money selling software online. Every year use several business models to make a living from one-time and recurrent software sales.

And there are numerous online marketplaces that let you sell software programs in exchange for a cut of the proceeds.

However, there’s no guarantee you’ll make a living selling a software product. Your success will depend on the amount of work you put in and the marketing techniques you use.

Also, this side hustle requires skills and resources (financial) to get off the ground.

How Much Can You Make Selling Software?

There’s no set amount you can make from selling a software product. Your creation can pull in hundreds to millions of dollars in software sales each month.

Several factors, like the type of software you build, the demand for it, and the business model you adopt, will determine what you can earn.

What You’ll Need to Sell Software

Here are some of the items needed to sell software online or in physical stores:

  • Programming skills or a software developer: Before you can sell software, you’ll need to build it. You can either do it yourself (if you have programming skills) or hire a software developer.
  • A development platform: All software runs on operating systems like Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Steam, Nintendo, Sony, etc.
  • A marketplace or website: Once you’ve built your product, you’ll need to decide where to sell it. Your options are to build a proprietary website or sell on an existing platform.
  • A marketing strategy:  All the effort you put in will be for naught if no one knows your software business exists. You need to strategize how you’ll get the word out, drive website traffic to your software, and whether you should employ a sales team.

Please note that the above list isn’t exhaustive. Creating and selling software involves many moving parts, tools, and technologies.

Therefore, take the above as a high-level overview of the requirements to make money from a software program.

1. iOS App Store

a screenshot of the apple app store homepage

There’s no escaping Apple’s iOS App Store if you plan to create software products for iPhones and iPads.

The App Store is home to millions of apps and iOS games, and a similar number of prospective customers visit it every day to find new software.

From productivity apps to games, the App Store has them all, making it an excellent destination for your Apple-product-focused software.

How Much Can You Make?

The amount you can earn depends on factors like your app’s price and whether it’s a hit with your potential customers.

For example, if you price your app at $3.99, you’ll get $2.793 per download after Apple takes its fee.

If 100 people from your target audience download it every month, you’ll earn $279.3 a month.

What Makes This Option Great?

Apple’s app store enjoys massive amounts of traffic. Build a hit software product, and you can potentially make thousands in passive income each month.

  • Typical Fees/Commission: Apple takes a 30% commission for all online sales made through its app store.
  • Typical Payment Methods: Apple will pay your earnings via direct deposit or electronic funds transfer into your bank account.

2. Amazon

screenshot of the Amazon homepage

Amazon is better known as a marketplace where you can buy or sell a physical product.

However, as the largest eCommerce store in the world, it earns its “everything store” moniker by letting people sell digital products too.

You can sell Android apps and games on the Amazon app store. And aside from apps, you can also sell PC software, PC games, Alexa skills, and in-app products through Amazon.

Learn more about becoming an Amazon seller.

How Much Can You Make?

You can make anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars monthly. It depends on factors like demand, whether you used a good marketing strategy, etc.

What Makes This Option Great?

Selling your app on Amazon exposes it to a worldwide audience. 

  • Typical Fees/Commission: Amazon has a revenue-sharing model that varies depending on the software type sold. Typically, the company takes a 30% cut of the product’s list price, paying the developer a 70% royalty.
  • Typical Payment Methods: Amazon pays its app store developers electronically. In some cases, the company will pay via check. The method used depends on the developer’s region.

3. Gumroad

a screenshot of the gumroad homepage

Gumroad is an eCommerce platform for digital products and services. You can sell a diverse range of digital products, including books, games, and software.

The website is free to join, and you pay after making sales. And it also has a “university” where you can learn skills to build a profitable eCommerce business online. 

How Much Can You Make?

You can make up to thousands of dollars every month on Gumroad. 

What Makes This Option Great?

Gumroad has the lowest commissions on this list. And the platform provides several resources that help you to monetize and promote your software frictionlessly.

  • Typical Fees/Commission: Gumroad takes a 10% cut of every sale.
  • Typical Payment Methods: Gumroad pays via direct deposit and PayPal. The way you’re paid will depend on your country of residence.

4. Creative Market

a screenshot of the creativemarket homepage

Creative Market is a marketplace for creators. People browse the site to find assets they can use in their content, like fonts, templates, graphics, and WordPress themes.

While Creative Market isn’t the place you’d launch a complicated software program, you can develop and sell Shopify and WordPress themes on the platform.

How Much Can You Make?

It depends on what you sell. For example, you can price a bundle of webinar slides at $30. If you sell 100 copies a month, you could earn $3,000 (gross).

What Makes This Option Great?

This marketplace is an excellent option for new software developers who want to practice their skills.

  • Typical Fees/Commission: Creative Market takes 50% of the revenue you earn from selling your assets under a standard license.
  • Typical Payment Methods: Creative Market pays through PayPal, wire transfer, ACH, or e-check.

5. eBay

screenshot of the ebay homepage

Like Amazon, eBay got its start selling physical products. However, the site has come a long way since its online auction beginnings.

Not only can you sell packaged software products, but eBay also allows you to sell digital software. 

As for what you can sell, almost any type of software is fair game. For example, you can sell a forex indicator, delivering the software to your customer via eBay messages.

Are you a beginner? Learn how to sell on eBay here.

How Much Can You Make?

Your earning potential depends on your product’s price and the demand for it. You can sell your proprietary software products for $45 a pop or brand-name software at the retail price.

What Makes This Option Great?

eBay is a straightforward platform that enjoys high amounts of traffic. Therefore, you can get your software in front of millions of potential customers.

  • Typical Fees/Commission: eBay charges a 12.5% final value fee and an insertion fee when you list more than 250 products. Also, international fees amounting to 1.55% apply when you sell to customers that reside outside of your geographical location.
  • Typical Payment Methods: eBay pays into a checking account. If you live outside of the US, you can receive payments via Payoneer.

6. Theme Forest/Envato Marketplace

a screenshot of the themeforest homepage

Theme Forest (now part of the Envato Marketplace) is the destination for website themes, templates, and products for content management systems (CMS) like WordPress.

As a skilled web designer, you can start a web design business by uploading and selling your designs on the platform.

Developers can also create and sell plugins for WooCommerce, WordPress, Elementor, and more.

How Much Can You Make?

It depends on your price. Products sell for as low as $5 on Theme Forest and as high as $100 or more. Factors like demand can determine how much your products pull in every month.

What Makes This Option Great?

Theme Forest is an excellent marketplace for anyone who wants to specialize in web design software.

  • Typical Fees/Commission: Theme Forest has a fixed buyer fee for each product type. You can think of the fee as a base amount on top of which you put your profit. For example, CMS themes have a $10 fixed buyer fee for a regular license. So if you sell your CSM theme for $50, Theme Forest takes $10 from the listed amount.
  • Typical Payment Methods: Theme Forest will pay your earnings through Swift transfers, PayPal, and Payoneer.

7. WordPress

a screenshot of the Wordpress homepage

WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system, powering millions of websites on the web.

The platform has a marketplace where users can buy WordPress themes and plugins to start a blog.

If you’re skilled at web development, you can upload free software products to WordPress’s marketplace and use the exposure to promote paid software on your website.

How Much Can You Make?

You won’t make money directly from WordPress. However, you can make thousands of dollars if you funnel the free traffic to your personal site.

What Makes This Option Great?

Almost everyone looking to start a blog hears about WordPress. If you get the online marketing aspect right, you could have buyers for years to come.

  • Typical Fees/Commission: There aren’t any fees or commissions associated with developing for the WordPress marketplace.
  • Typical Payment Methods: WordPress doesn’t pay developers.

8. Android App Store

a screenshot of the Android App Store homepage

Google’s Android App Store is the place to be if you plan to sell mobile apps for Android devices. Millions of users browse the Google Play Store in search of new applications to install on their phones.

You can jump into this massive software market by selling games, productivity apps, and entertainment applications. For another side hustle, also be on the lookout for Android apps that pay you.

How Much Can You Make?

You can earn a handful to hundreds of dollars every month selling Android apps. Determining factors for success include demand, your marketing plan, and accurate market research.

What Makes This Option Great?

Like the iOS store, the Android store enjoys high daily traffic. You could get your software in front of millions of customers.

  • Typical Fees/Commission: Google takes a 15% cut of all sales proceeds earned by developers who bring in $1 million or less a year. If you earn over one million dollars, Google takes 30%. 
  • Typical Payment Methods: Google pays its developers via electronic funds transfer or wire transfer.

9. A Personal Store

You can sell your software through a personal store. In this case, you’ll use your web development skills to build a website to sell your product.

SaaS companies use this method to sell enterprise software, productivity software, and so on. You can also use your store to advertise your services as a software developer.

You’ll need a future-proof marketing plan for this option, as you don’t benefit from the inherent traffic existing marketplaces provide.

How Much Can You Make?

The sky’s the limit with this monetization option. Unlike marketplaces, you’re not limited to selling your software.

You can sell merchandise related to it (for games), add-ons, etc. And if you run a subscription mode, you can make hundreds to thousands of dollars in revenue each month.

What Makes This Option Great?

Owning your store lets you keep all the profits. And you aren’t subject to the whims and caprices of a third-party marketplace.

  • Typical Fees/Commission: You’ll pay domain name renewal and hosting fees amounting to less than $150 each year.
  • Typical Payment Methods: You can offer your customers multiple ways to pay you, including through PayPal or credit card payments you receive in your bank account.

Why You Should Consider Selling Software As a Side Hustle

There are several compelling reasons to make money selling software, including:

  • Earn passive income: Selling software is an excellent way to earn passive income. Once you do the initial work and upload the software, you can earn money for years to come.
  • Multiple monetization methods: You can sell your software in multiple ways, including as a monthly or yearly subscription or a one-time download. 
  • Build skills: Aside from honing your design and software development skills, you’ll learn about the marketing and sales process, SEO, and other skills.
  • Personal satisfaction: You can get satisfaction knowing that hundreds of people find what you’ve created useful.

Problems With Selling Software for Money

Earning money by selling software may not be for you because:

  • It’s time-consuming: This side hustle isn’t the quickest way to earn money. You may spend weeks, if not months designing, planning, and building an app.
  • It’s expensive: if you’re dead-set on earning in this way but don’t have programming skills, you’ll need to hire someone who does. And freelance software developers don’t come cheap.
  • It’s competitive: It can be hard to stand out. There are hundreds of developers on marketplaces competing for the top page for specific software product searches.
  • It isn’t 100% passive: Depending on what you build, you may occasionally have to deal with customer service issues.

How To Make Money Selling Software: Step-By-Step Instructions

Here’s how you can make money selling software in a couple of steps:

Step 1: Decide on What You’re Going to Build

Your first order of business is deciding what you’re going to build. Will you build a game? A mobile, desktop, or web application?
What will your software do, and who’ll find it useful? You’ll need to answer the above questions and more.

Step 2: Choose Your Infrastructure

Once you’re clear on what you want to build, the next step is to choose your infrastructure.
You decide on factors like the programming languages you’ll use to code it, the web architecture you’ll need to deploy it, and so on.

Step 3: Select a Sales Channel

After deciding on your infrastructure, you’ll need to select a medium for sales. Your options are selling the software on an existing marketplace or on your website.

Step 4: Assemble a Team

Depending on your software’s complexity, you may need to bring in outside help. You can hire freelance designers, developers, and other personnel online.

Step 5: Build Your Software

With a team in place (or not), it’s time to build your software. This step may take weeks or months to complete. You’ll also need to do multiple tests to ensure you catch bugs before deploying it.

Step 6: Deploy and Market Your Software

Once you have a finished product, release it into the wild. Then market it while monitoring your marketing budget.

Things to Consider When Selling Software for Money

The following are key considerations to keep in mind when selling software for money:

1. Your Skills 

Software development isn’t easy, and it takes time to become a software engineer. It requires knowledge of several programming languages and web technologies.

In addition, you need to have an eye for design when building the software’s user interface.

These skills take months to learn. If you don’t have that time, you’ll have to hire someone with the skills to build what you want.

2. Your Target Audience

You’ll also need to consider your audience when creating software. Knowledge of factors like their pain points, demographics, and tastes will help you create something that resonates with them.

In addition, when you know who will benefit from using your software, you’ll have an easy time selling it to them.

3. Available Time

Software development is a time investment. You can spend months trying to solve a problem or plan a product.

If you have other commitments (like a full-time job), you’ll need to carve out time out of your schedule to work on your software on the side. 

4. Platform Rules

If you release software on an existing marketplace, you’ll be subject to their policies. Consider reading your chosen platform’s requirements to learn what is acceptable on the platform.

The last thing you want is to spend months developing a software program that gets rejected due to a lack of adherence to the platform’s best practices.

5. Copyright Issues

When marketing your software on a personal site, you’ll need to use image assets. If you source them from the web, make sure they’re royalty-free.

Using other creators’ images will raise copyright infringement issues you’re better off not dealing with.

6. Minimum Viable Product

Don’t be precious with your software. Deploy it the moment you have a product that works. You can improve on it for the duration of its life cycle.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Make Money From My Software?

After creating your software, you can sell it as a one-time subscription product or use the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. And you can also monetize your software through adverts or adopt a freemium model that requires a paid subscription to unlock its full features.

What Software Can I Make to Sell?

You can make any type of software, including games, web and mobile applications, and enterprise software. Several software categories are aimed at project managers, inventory management, digital marketing, artificial intelligence, and so on.

What’s the Most Popular Business Model for Selling Software?

Most software companies use the software-as-a-service business model. This model lets the company earn recurring revenue from monthly subscription payments.

Similar Ways to Get Paid

If you don’t think you can commit the time required to sell software for money, here are excellent alternative side hustles:

  • Get Paid to Play Games: Rather than build games for money, consider playing them instead. There are websites that’ll pay you to play games.
  • Make Money Website Testing: Don’t have design skills but know the kind of user experience a website should provide? You can earn money testing websites from several sites.
  • Get Paid to Test Products: Maybe you’d rather handle physical goods rather than digital ones. Some companies will pay you to test their products.

Wrapping Up

There’s good money to be made from selling software. If you can get over the time investment, it can be a financially and emotionally rewarding way to get extra cash. 

If you enjoyed the article, please share it with friends and family. And let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Leave a Comment

FRH Article Default
  • Get Paid To

How to Get Paid to Move to Tulsa In 2023

August 9, 2023
10 min read
FRH Article Default
  • Get Paid To

How to Get Paid To Move to Montana in (2024)

August 9, 2023
13 min read
FRH Article Default
  • Get Paid To

How to Get Paid to Move to New Zealand in (2024)

August 9, 2023
13 min read

Explore More within Gigworker

Other App-Based Gigs
Get to work faster with jobs in the gig worker industry.
post explore

Browse Our Gig Headquarters

The gig economy is booming, and thanks to COVID-19, more people than ever are getting involved. But what is this new sharing economy and how does it work?

Important Gig Economy #Fundamentals to Understand

gigworker logo icon
What is the Gig Economy?

Side Hustle Ideas

Get inspired with our list of 750+ side hustles. Sort by category, rating, and other custom taxonomies.

Browse Side Hustles

Gig Companies

Browse our complete list of gig economy companies, and the gigs they’re hiring for.

Browse Gig Companies

Helpful Content

Read thousands of informative posts, written specifically to help you excel in your favorite gigs.

VIP Membership

Unlock access to VIP-only benefits like content, downloadable, and resources – all ad-free.