FREELANCING / MAY. 19, 2014
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How To Make Money As A Freelance Web Developer

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For millennials today, working with computers and the Internet could be considered a dream come true. Whether it’s designing websites, producing programming code or getting involved in cryptography, the world of computers is a realm of unlimited possibilities for technology aficionados, and a great career path for many.

The technology field continues to grow and expand and businesses and innovative ideas are flourishing to new and unprecedented heights. From bitcoin to social media, from app creation to infographic production, professional web developers have tremendous markets to tap into and offer their skills.

Each expert web developer can either work for a company or freelance their expertise. However, since many millennials are refusing to live the sometimes monotonous 9-to-5 lifestyle, it’s safe to say that a significant amount of today’s youth is turning to the freelance industry to make a decent living and work as their own boss with their own set of hours and schedules.

If you’re interested in transitioning into a career of freelance web development and you’re unsure where to begin then here are some tips and steps to take on becoming a professional freelancer:

Website/Portfolio

Akin to any other specialized freelance field, it’s crucial to have a professional website designed and a portfolio ready for potential clients to peruse. With so much competition out there, this is important to maintain – why would a potential prospect choose you when 250 listings already have their websites, contact information, samples and pricing plans already in place?

Your website should consist of a detailed list of services offered, an in-depth list of prices and plenty of up to date contact information.

Freelance Accounts

There are numerous freelance websites out there that can connect you with potential customers. Elance, oDeskRentACoder and Freelancer are just some of the websites that you can access. Be sure to develop a detailed account profile, competitive pricing and great proposal and remember remain active on these outlets.

Discipline

Depending on your skillset and the difficulty level of the assignment, a project can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of weeks. This is where discipline enters: being able to work independently for hours at a time is a skill that freelancers must have if they want to succeed in this business. Since web development, design and coding can be tedious and repetitive; having an immense level of discipline will make or break you.

Marketing

If you’re a competent web designer than you don’t necessarily need to hire the services of your competitors – this means you can design your own business logo and website. Of course, you’ll need to market your services, but rather than doling out $100 for Google Ads and banner advertisements it would be prudent to preserve a focus on social media marketing, sending out (free) press releases, the power of testimonials and word-of-mouth.

Billing & Payment

This is where freelancers often make dire mistakes. Instead of having a professional and detailed invoice ready, they just send an email informing the client that the project is done and to now send a specified amount. An invoice with client information, pricing details and possible business account numbers is the better option to move forward with.

Offering a couple of payment options is also good to have. If you’re a part-time freelancer then PayPal would suffice. However, if you’re a seasoned veteran with years of experience then there should be a wide variety of other payment selections, such as bitcoin, Visa and business checks (applicable if you’re working locally).

Market Research

Did you know that a substantial percentage of small businesses do not have a website? It’s surprising, but it also offers a window of opportunity. It’s likely that businesses in your vicinity do not maintain a webpage so this could be your chance to contact them personally and offer your web development services.

Are you a freelance web developer? Let us know how your business is going in the comment section.

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