The last 15 years I worked more or less every day at least 10 minutes with TYPO3, the Open Source Enterprise CMS. A few years back I specialized in it and now I mainly create themes and plugins, but also help to build very big projects as a Freelancer.
Back then I also had such thoughts like "how will you ever make money with free software?" How do Firefox and others make their money if it all costs nothing?
Today I have learned that if you actively participate, either as a developer or as a user and supporter, you get a much greater benefit from the software.
For some years now I have only been offering services exclusively related to TYPO3 to the public. What else I can do is not important. The only thing that counts is the professionalism you achieve through specialization. Then you can have high hourly rates and earn really good money as an expert.
This is the best part, which I underestimated in the early years.
I didn't think that you get a lot of feedback and small jobs for customization or custom features when you create a good plugin. I just did another small job for a company that wanted to extend one of my plugins.
Meanwhile, my plugins (extensions) for TYPO3 together have about 15,000 downloads and so I get regular requests.
I activated my YouTube channel about 2 weeks ago and am still testing it. Although the really good videos are still to come, the channel brings decent traffic. I have already generated the first contact after 2 weeks. In total, I achieved around 700 video views and a few new followers in 2 weeks, without any major marketing measures.
Well I've always liked writing. So now I write here and there, everywhere where it makes sense from my point of view. Also here at dev.to I am very happy with the feedback for my so far quite little work. As an expert or developer you can always attract your target audience with the right articles. A professional article shows your potential customer directly what skills you have or don't have.
Some random articles:
- 5 expert tips to run TYPO3 CMS more sustainably
- How to change Web Fonts in TYPO3 Bootstrap Package
- Complex asset management software with TYPO3
- no high license costs
- large community of developers and experts
- often higher security than paid competitors
- lower risk of development being discontinued
If you use open source, show your enthusiasm. As a developer, you can improve and extend the software, while as a user, you can support the developers. This ensures a continuous development of the software.