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I'm working on a personal project (Windows desktop application) and started thinking about trying to make some money from the application (not the source). I'm not expecting to make a billion dollars but who knows right? The easiest way I see is give it out for free and allow people to donate but I'm not sure how well that works or what payment system is the easiest/best (Paypal)? If I were to sell it how would go about that? 3rd party distribution? Sell it from my own website with Paypal and verify reciepts? Build my own "store" for the application?

Essentially: What method did you use to make money from a personal project (donation, selling, other?) and how did you go about it? Tips?

Thanks for your response.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jan 25 '11 at 13:21

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i hope you had your little finger poised at side of mouth when you said 'a billion dollars'! –  Mitch Wheat Jan 25 '11 at 4:43
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted
  1. Offer the application for free download on a website.
  2. Provide a donation page with your PayPal account listed.
  3. Put some Google ads on the website.
  4. Advertise around the internet a bit.
  5. Profit.

At least that's how I would do it.

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Thanks I didn't think about putting some ads on the download page. This is a great idea as I don't want it to be a hassle to get my software. –  Daniel Jan 25 '11 at 18:47
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THis joelonsoftware link must give you a very good start http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/CamelsandRubberDuckies.html

Though it talks about serious software products many principles can be applied to hobby projects or personal projects also.

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Thanks for the input. I'll be adding this to my Google Reader. –  Daniel Jan 25 '11 at 7:14
    
No sense doing that, as Joel stopped writing blogs posts some time ago. –  TZHX Jan 25 '11 at 15:21
    
It looks like he just posted something yesterday...am I looking at the wrong blog? –  Daniel Jan 25 '11 at 18:45
    
No. You are not looking at wrong blog. It is just that he posts articles relevant to his company and website nowadays and not necessarily stuffs on software. –  ckv Jan 27 '11 at 8:39
    
Interesting article, but the point of the article is that there isn't really an answer to setting prices and has little to do with the OP's question since he is asking for practical advice. –  theChrisKent Jun 28 '11 at 14:20
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