5 Unique Ways to Earn Money From GitHub


There is probably no developer in the world who doesn't know about GitHub. But many probably don’t know that it’s possible to earn some extra money from GitHub.

Don’t think of it as the primary income source. Instead, take it as a side hustle. However, many developers earn very handsome money from GitHub. It depends on some factors.

  • Quality of your repositories
  • Traffic
  • Stars
  • Activities

GitHub Sponsors

Type: Passive income mostly

Earning: The opportunity is endless. You can earn based on how much sponsors are funding you. Here is a story where a developer makes $100k/year from sponsors alone.


GitHub sponsor is a real thing. You can get sponsors for your project, especially if your project is used by companies doing well. You can earn for any repositories.

Now the question is why companies would fund you. It’s mainly for one reason:

If any reputable companies use your project, they might want to support you because they need its updates regularly. Most of the time, it’s costlier for them to build that thing from scratch than support you.

So, if a company uses your repository, try contacting them.

You also should put your contact details like email to the README so that if anyone is interested in your repository, they can contact you. This is the most common way to find your funding. It can be a SaaS project of yours.

You can earn from any individual developer or anyone who appreciates your work, not only the companies. Though you have to apply for the GitHub Sponsor program before being able to enable it — but make sure you are adding value to the developers otherwise, to increase the chances of getting a sponsor for your project.

The guy who made $100k in a year has given some advice:

  1. Make good and useful stuff.
  2. Build an audience where you can tell about your works.
  3. Charge an impactful and fair amount.
  4. Don’t be afraid to talk about your sponsorship or how much you make.
  5. Don’t feel guilty about making a lot of money. You can do good while earning money.

Know more at Github sponsors

Open Issues or Bounties

Type: Active income (Takes 1 hour to 30 days or more)

Earning: Developers are earning unbelievable amounts of money from bounties. Here you can find the leaderboard of top earners of Gitcoin. A developer earned almost 2 million USD ($1,886846) last year by solving issues.


We all have probably seen Keanu Reeves’s John Wick movies. We noticed that after killing a member of the secret underground world of assassins in a venue where murder is forbidden, there’s a $14 million bounty on Wick’s head.

Every killer was desperate to kill him. There are bounties for developers too. Of course, not for squashing people, but bugs and issues.

You can find some open-source projects or repositories that are paying to solve issues. One of the popular sites for finding this kind of bounties is GitCoin. You can find many listed issues here with potential pay for completing it.

There are some complex issues, and they are paying $3000-$10,000 or more for solving them. But you have some excellent coding skills and the mentality to solve problems. This is a little challenging because you have to get familiar with other’s projects first and contribute before others.

You also have to have a very good understanding of working on an open-source project in GitHub. This is an important skill regardless if you want to work on bounties or not.

You can always find new bounties here that are offering good money. I have seen several $2k and $10k worths of bounties today.

Only through Gitcoin, $34.1M has been funded in open source projects. Right now there are 311,668 active developers are there.

GitHub Marketplace

Type: Active income, in the beginning, passive income after a period

Earning: It depends on how many developers are using/buying your tools from the marketplace. According to the developer, Abi Noda’s blog, he developed a tool named pull reminder that generated from $0 per month to $4k per month within six months. This tool helps development teams stay on top of pull requests and improve their code review process.


If you have developed any tools that are useful or productive for developers, then you can earn by selling those tools in the GitHub marketplace.

You might generate some organic customers here. If your products are good, I hope you will get a lot of traction by word-of-mouth. But you have to put a lot of effort into selling your tools. So you have to have both the technical and business knowledge to earn in this way.

You better get a good business partner who can market and sell your tools. In the early days, you might have to put in a lot of effort, but you might not need to put in much time later for the technical part.

Software developers will get 95% of their earnings, and GitHub will keep 5%. Thanks to them because earlier they used to take 25% instead of 5%.

Know more at GitHub Marketplace

Finding Bugs in GitHub

Type: Active income

Earning: Up to $30,000 per bug according to GitHub Security ( might take one day to one month)


Like many popular sites, GitHub also offers a handsome amount of money to find bugs or security loopholes in GitHub. The program is led by the Github security team and is called GitHub Security Bug Bounty.

According to GitHub Security, the program gives up to $30,000 for finding critical bugs in the system to the researchers and developers. All you have to do is hunt the details of the bugs and report them to GitHub.

Github also maintains a leaderboard to encourage all the bug hunters.

Check out more information here: GitHub Security.

GitHub Campus Experts

Type: Active income, mainly for students and teachers.

Earning: Sponsorship money depends on the events and program size with a lot of perks and goodies.


This opportunity is mainly for students. Campus Experts are student leaders that strive to build diverse and inclusive spaces to learn skills, share their experiences, and build projects together.

To become a Campus Expert, you must apply to the Campus Expert program. Log in with your GitHub account to get access to the application form.

If you are a student, beyond money, you will learn a lot, and get a chance to be a part of an active global community. This could add a huge value to your resume later.

You can find the application form here.

The tasks are mainly to motivate students about open-source projects. You have to arrange events or workshops on open source projects.

More: GitHub Campus experts