React for Fun and Profit

React is a fun little library for User Interfaces. You can use it for web, or mobile development. It’s fun because it’s very developer-friendly. You write your code in the same place without having to switch between HTML and JavaScript files.

I’ve heard many times people complaining about React’s favorite syntax JSX. I found it great, after I spent a few hours learning and coding with it. Contrary to what people unfamiliar with React think, JSX is not HTML in JavaScript. JSX is just an XML-like syntax which produces JavaScript. There’s not HTML involved at this step. When you develop with React, you write JavaScript objects. Later React automagically transforms those object into rendered HTML.

Also, React is very fast due to its virtual DOM and smart diffing algorithm. And React’s component approach to architecture allows for great development scalability. Just ask Facebook, Twitter, Slack and other companies with large web apps.

Furthermore, you can use React with React Native to create native iOS and Android apps. These apps can share the same code. It’s not the same as the so called hybrid or HTML5 apps. The latter are websites trapped into a headless browser in a mobile app. The former is a real native app which uses JavaScript interface for it’s UIs and logic.

Hey, you can even use live reloading when developing apps with React Native. Pure joy! The feature native mobile developers can only dream of! “React is fun, but show me the money”— you can yell. Fair enough.

Many people think that it’s hard or even impossible to make money selling informational products to software engineers, web developers and other IT professionals. Bull shit. Let me show you what I did with React-related products alone in 2015.

First of all, I launched a Kickstarter campaign to test out the waters. I wanted to get the validation if I should spend time on creating an online course on React… and learning React along the way.. You see, most people have this belief that you need to know a certain topic really well before you can teach it. That’s a myth which allows people like me ship products faster. I learn and then quickly teach what I learn. The benefit is that I didn’t get a chance to forget or be distracted, which frankly happens more often than I wish it did.

React Course Kickstarter - 200% over the goal

React Course Kickstarter – 200% over the goal

The React course Kickstarter campaign was a success. The target was a mere $2,997. I raised 2x of that. That was $6,632 with 462 backers to be exact. Not bad for something I don’t have yet, and on the topic I don’t know yet. This campaign confirmed that there’s a huge demand for React. So I learned React, created slides and examples for the course. Then I recorded the course. 3 hours of screencasts. Nothing special. At the moment, the course is on Udemy. It has good reviews, and continues to bring me passive income every month.

React course on Udemy has good reviews

React course on Udemy has good reviews

At the same time, I pitched Manning Publishing, and they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I started working on the React Quickly book after I finished my online course. The book is in MEAP (Manning Early Access Program) now. You can buy it now and you’ll get updates as the chapters go through the editing and reviews. By the way, Manning is running a promotion on MEAP at the moment. Use code “dotd122815au” between Dec 28 and Dec 30 to get 50% off at https://www.manning.com/books/react-quickly.

I wrote all 10 chapters already, but the reviews take time. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, because the more eyes you got on the book the better the quality. (As an author of several books, self-published and published with the publisher, I know there would always be typos.)

React Indie Bundle

React Indie Bundle

Another opportunity to make money off of React came in the form of the React Indie Bundle. Five authors and I packaged our books and courses and sold them over a week starting on Cyber Monday. Overall, 4 ebooks and 19 hours of videos. We made over $31,200 in just a week. That’s for 6 of us. Not a bad holiday bonus for a few hours of work! ;-) Here’s the full report on the bundle.

One of the authors of the React Indie Bundle, made $50,000 in books and courses in 2015. Not all of them are about React, but it’s still a good validation that you can make profits in this niche. This is his report.

React Indie Bundle Sales

React Indie Bundle Sales

So if you ever wanted to create some extra income or you just have this desire to share with others, this is the best time to publish a book or a course. If you need a little guidance, I wrote a book on how to write book and another book on what to do after you’ve written a book (spoiler alert: create online courses). As you can see from my experience, React—or any other great up-coming technology—can be fun and profitable at the same time. Make 2016 you best year ever, and don’t let some naysayers and myths prevent you from creating something amazing.

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Best Regards,
Azat Mardan
Microsoft MVP | Book and Course Author | Software Engineering Leader
Azat Mardan avatar
https://www.linkedin.com/in/azatm
To contact Azat, the main author of this blog, submit the contact form or schedule a call at clarity.fm/azat and we can go over your bugs, questions and career.

[Sidenote]

Reading blog posts is good, but watching video courses is even better because they are more engaging.

A lot of developers complained that there is a lack of affordable quality video material on Node. It's distracting to watch to YouTube videos and insane to pay $500 for a Node video course!

Go check out Node University which has FREE video courses on Node: node.university.

[End of sidenote]

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