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The $200 Challenge

florinpop17 profile image Florin Pop Originally published at ・4 min read

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Some of you might know, last week I created a challenge for myself together with my wife: I had to make $200 πŸ’° in 4 days using my programming skills.

I started by having 0 projects / 0 clients, so I had to find some gigs to finish this challenge, and I had to do it quickly. πŸ˜…

The first thing I did was to post on Social Media (Facebook and Twitter) that I’m participating in this challenge and it turned out to be the best thing I did as people started to contact me right away.

Also, many cheered me along the way, which gave me the required motivation and will power to keep going. If you are one of them, Thank you! πŸ™

The warm-up

Besides getting some new gigs, I was thinking of makings some extra $ from:

  • my blog via Ads
  • my Patreon page
  • writing articles for publications (this was my "secret" weapon as it was supposed to pay more than $200 per article, but I haven't used it 😜)

Note: below you'll find some name abbreviations as I didn't want to use the client's real name - privacy is important, right? πŸ˜‰

Day 1

I spent most of my time setting up some ads on my blog. If you ask me now, I'll say that it was a little bit of a "time waster" as I ran into some bugs and I ended up spending more time working on this on Day 2 also... πŸ‘Ž

Although, on the long term it turned out to be a good investment, it didn't bring in so much $ for the challenge.

I also got contacted by 4 people on Day 1 - RC, ID, CG and MI.

RC was quite helpful. He just wanted to help me finish this challenge and he asked me if I could send him a copy of my Timeline but with his data in it.

ID wanted a copy of a WordPress website. It was a little too complex and the requirements weren't quite clear so I decided to let this gig pass. Sorry!

CG wanted a presentation website. She asked for my quote and later on told me that she found someone cheaper. Good job! πŸ˜ƒ

MI wanted some customization on top of a Google Form. I took this project, but unfortunately I needed more than 4 days to finish it so I was pass the Challenge deadline.

At the end of the Day 1 I made a total of: $0.

Day 2

Spent more time on those ads, but I finally made them work. Yey!

And also... New clients! πŸ‘

CG contacted me to help him fix a Chrome Extension. It was a pretty nice gig and I ended up making $75 for it.

Another client, TM wanted me to look over his website as he was getting ready for some interviews. We discussed for a while and he gave me $20 for the time spent.

I also got contacted by a company to write an article for them, but I didn't manage to do it within the 4 days.

At the end of the Day 2 I made a total of: $95.

Day 3

I do not work on Saturdays as it is the Sabbath, so no extra money were made in Day 3.

Day 4

I finished the project for RC (from Day 1), and made another $20.

I spent most of this day looking on Upwork for some extra gigs, and finally at the end of the day I got a client, JH. He needed some help with a project built with ReactJS. The project was quite easy so I quoted $30 / hour. Ended up working 1.5 hours on this project in Day 4, making a total of $45.

Also, the ads I've been working on made around $8 in these 4 days.

At the end of the Day 4 I made a total of: $168.

Day 5

I know... 4 days were over and I haven't accomplished my challenge, but... there is a but πŸ˜ƒ. Considering that I haven't worked on Day 3, I decided to give myself one more day (a total of 4 working days). Sounds fair, right? 😏

If it doesn't, well... it's my challenge and I can change the rules. πŸ˜†


I had some extra work to do on the ReactJS project for JH. Worked 2.33 hours on the project (2 hours and 20 minutes) and made a total of: $70.

So I did it! I made $238 in 4 working days with no prior planning.



I met new people, made new friends, worked on new fun projects - overall it was an awesome experience! I love challenges, and this challenge was exactly what I needed to get back in business after almost a month of vacation.

I want to thank all of those who participated! πŸ™

What should I do next? Maybe a $500 in 3 days Challenge? 😝

Also, let me know if you enjoyed this challenge! Maybe you could start your own - that would be fun! πŸ˜ƒ

Discussion (16)

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johannesjo profile image
Johannes Millan

You shouldn't work for this kind of money. You're ruining the prices for all of us and yourself. ;) From your freelancer profile I can see see that you usually could have earned this money in - let's say - much less time.

darkoromanov profile image
Darko Romanov

I actually can't believe that, in the globalization era, still someone thinks that low prices can ruin a market. The market will always (hopefully) offer a wide variety of prices. Price usually determines the quality, so if you want to pay less, you know what you're going to get.

I like the idea of this challenge, I know some many employee devs with great skills who wouldn't be able to sell any kind of service.

johannesjo profile image
Johannes Millan

If people were always rational and always had complete information than this might be the case, but that's not the case.

Thread Thread
darkoromanov profile image
Darko Romanov

If you buy without informations about what you're going to buy and without asking yourself why someone is selling a website 10x times less than the average... Β―_(ツ)_/Β―

I don't think I'm the only case in the world but recently I got a commission after many months I sent my quotation. The customer said he was sorry for the delay but he asked for other quotations during those months and.... he chose me, even though my quotation was the higher.
So it may happen people "try" to make the deal of their life by buying services with a very low cost but I'm pretty sure they know it's a bet.

Thread Thread
johannesjo profile image
Johannes Millan

This might be. But you're arguing that "the price determines the quality" which is not necessarily the case and often time isn't:

The ideal circumstances under which the classic economical theory is operating just don't exist.

florinpop17 profile image
Florin Pop Author

You are right. The thing is that I was a little bit under pressure and I had to take what they offered so... πŸ˜…
But you are definitely right!

nicolalc profile image

That's really cool, especially because as a freelance developer I love new challenges and earning money from my skills!

We have a great fortune, we have one of the most dynamic job, we can just add some ads plugin or make little tasks to earn money.

I'd love to follow your example, often I take big jobs, to earn more money and work more time per month, but your idea sounds really good!

What should I do next? Maybe a $500 in 3 days Challenge? 😝

I think the next step you can reach is to earn 1/4 of your monthly revenue in about 4 days. The reason is pretty simple:

earn a quarter of a regular job salary but save 1 day per week, so 4 days per month, which is a great free time for your personal tasks.

For example, in Italy, you earn like 1200k ~ 1400k per month, so the challenge for me could be to earn like 350€ (without taxes, so they might be around 500 ~ 600€ with taxes) in 4 days!

I've reached (and exceeded by 25% ~ 35% more per week) this personal challenge like 1 year ago, and I challenge you to do the same!

Now I have the time to work and to learn, to focus on my personal tasks and to help my family and friends, or just chill ^^

I wish this idea could inspire you, if not, I've tried :D

florinpop17 profile image
Florin Pop Author

This is an interesting idea, I'll consider it, thank you! πŸ˜ƒ

Nice job on completing this challenge yourself!

lytecyde profile image
Mik Seljamaa πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ͺ

Awesome idea. I would love to replicate or try it out. Starting with total certainty that I would fail MISERABLY and get something like 10 likes for whatever I concoct as a money making scheme and 0 clients of course. I should really try it out though.

florinpop17 profile image
Florin Pop Author

Give it a go, you never know! πŸ˜ƒ

lytecyde profile image
moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

I don't think you can include things like Patreon in a "get X amount in Y time" idea, since it's generally used by people who are giving you money to get something at a later date (i.e. outside the Y days window).

florinpop17 profile image
Florin Pop Author

Well... I haven't used it in this challenge (although I wanted to), but I don't see why not.
You basically have to sell them something (eg. today) and they'll join (today) and pay (today) - so it's within the Y days window.

cecilelebleu profile image
CΓ©cile Lebleu

I might start doing this on a weekly basis. Wait, I’m already doing this on a weekly basis!

Nice article and good job showing that it is possible to make money without a β€œtraditional” job!

aumayeung profile image
John Au-Yeung • Edited

That's great.

What would you do differently if you want to turn yourself into a full time freelancer?

__junaidshah profile image

i would love to do it . but i have no prior experience on freelancer or upwork.

Any thing you would like to tell me about it?