Profitable Non-Web Projects - what else can you do to make money?

Profitable Non-Web Projects

Profitable Hobbies © by Liz Henry

So, you’re in the web development business, can you have profitable non-web projects?.  I have.   While my bread and butter has always been web application development on the .net platform  over the years around  30% of my income has come from non-web projects.  There are a substantial number of profitable non-web projects out there, if done in the right amount.  Here are my top three profitable non-web projects:


The web hosting industry has created a wide variety of tools that help you resell your services to your clients.  You just set up a reseller account with the end host, create the account yourself and then bill the client whatever you like.


  1. You get to customize your clients web hosting to play to your strengths
  2. You get to charge a premium for the minor chore of setting up the account.
  3. Clients appreciate an expert setting up their hosting instead of doing it themselves.
  4. Recurring revenue is nice, especially since you don’t have to do anything after you set up the hosting
  5. You always have a reason to contact clients.


  1. You become their tech support for anything computer related
  2. You also become their internet security officer
  3. You have to bill them, and do collections, people dislike paying their hosting bills for some reason
  4. Server problems become your problem, and you have to drop everything until you fix it


If you can build a website, you can figure out other software, and train the less adept at how to use it.  People love being trained in how to use their content management system (for one example)


  1. Lots of close contact with your clients
  2. You are saving them them confusion and frustration, so they will happily pay you a high rate (You do need to charge a high rate, training never lasts for that long)
  3. Your presentation skills will improve a hundredfold


  1. Lots of close contact with your clients
  2. Intellectually draining
  3. You cannot scale your training time

Text Manipulation and One-off Data Processing

Established companies accumulate a mountain of text files and files of obscure types.  Long time employees will always have ideas on what they could do if only some of their old data were in their current system.  Most of them will have spent a couple hours trying to migrate the data manually only to do the math and conclude that if they did it would take them 100 years.

Enter your programming skills.  I have written inefficient, ugly command line programs that loop through text files from 1989, fixed casing problems, found a match in a dbase file from 1993, and inserted the combined record in a modern database.  It took three days to run, but the client was thrilled.


  1. Ecstatic clients
  2. As they have nothing to compare the new program to, people are happy with whatever you give them
  3. The coding is interesting


  1. You will never have the opportunity to reuse what you learn
  2. The projects are difficult to estimate
There you have it – those are some of the profitable non-web projects I’ve done as  a web developer.

Editor’s Note

This blog post originally appeared on the Profit Awareness Blog – as that app is up for sale, it has been consolidated into the main Digital Tool Factory blog.


Written By Steve French


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