Like a lot of you, I spend too much time on Twitter. So I tend to conflate the real world with the world as it is on Twitter.
If the Twitter discourse was to be believed, the only route to monetize your no-code skills is through building an app. One that charges recurring revenue with steady, predictable growth and a weekly graph showing that off.
Setting aside the fact that I don’t believe that no-code apps as is are sufficiently abstracted to build saas apps, I definitely do think this is a possible route. It is however one that optimizes for variance—a few winners with a disproportionate amount of apps that never take off.
This discourse also obscures the fact that there are a lot of folks monetizing their no-code skills in other ways that I think deserve some attention. So here’s a list of ways to monetize your no-code knowledge that doesn’t involve building an app (I’ll talk about that next week!):
There’s a lot of demand for user generated software talent! Often though, they’re not explicitly searching for “no-code”. No-code or user generated software isn’t a concept that most businesses have heard of or think they need. Instead, they’ll search for experts of a specific tool “Zapier expert”. Luckily most tools offer an expert directory
where users can find knowledgeable freelancers. Note however that signing up to these directories is the first but definitely not the final step in getting business. Just like on Uber Eats/Yelp, getting great reviews and referrals matter: the first name that shows up in any directory gets the most business. Otherwise, there are also no-code specific directories like makerpad
or No code pros
and many others.
Getting started on any tool is difficult. You have to learn the tool, then set it up for your usecase. A way to shortcut that is by starting out with a template. Airtable has the universe
, Webflow has templates
, Parabola has recipes
. These are win wins for no-code tools: existing skilled users get to show off (and in some cases, monetize) their talent and new users get faster time to value. This provides a terrain for experts to bolster their profile while monetizing that expertise. Now note that the fact that there is no payment options for templates built-in does not mean you can’t monetize them! You can easily use a gumroad
or anything else (you’re a pro here, you should know how to set this up!) to monetize the workflows/front-end/zaps you’ve build.
Work in a company that uses no-code tools
I’ve written before about the rise of no-code operators
. However, it’s not that prevalent just yet so you won’t find many jobs with the words user generated software in the title. That said, look for work in the expertise you have—marketing, operations etc—and ask folks what their stack is! Is it google sheets? If so, is moving off of that stack important? What is their philosophy with regards to building versus buying software? Those all feel like great questions that you can pull up when the interviewer inevitably asks you “Any questions about the position?”
There are many routes monetizing your knowledge of user generated software. Don’t let Twitter make you feel like it’s entrepreneurship or bust. Up to you to decide which one is right for you.