lessons learnt as freelancer

5 Lessons learnt from being a freelancer web developer

I had been doing Freelance Web Development for almost 3 Years now. What started as my passion for Search Engine Optimisation, quickly turned into my part time career.  To be upfront I am not an SEO expert, I am more of WordPress Web Developer. SEO is just my passion and interest.

  1. Freelancing is competitive

Let me be honest, freelance web development is competitive. And its take some time and effort to establish yourself in the market. Getting the first good decent client will take some time. Patience is the key.

Like you when you want to buy something, you do a research, browse around shops and then match everything and get the best deal that suits you the most. Same goes with any probable client, they do get in touch with few developer before finally selecting the ideal match for them.

So its very critical when submitting a quote, a detailed description of why you are charging any XXXX amount of money is to be presented. It’s often misinterpreted that the client choses cheaper option, which is quiet untrue. As mentioned, every client choose best option within their budget. So its very important to let client know about your services and fee.

  1. Freelancing can help you excel

To be a good freelancer you need to know about fair few skills. Keeping up to date with latest trends is quiet critical. If you are good with research and finding good resources, learning new trade in business won’t be hard.

I had a privilege to learn about new skills as well as get better in other areas of web development. I am more like a full stack web developer, someone who can design and code as well as do some fair bit of skills around Server and SEO too.

How I keep myself updated to all new things. My main source are following blogs such as Tuts+, Smashing Magazine, Laracasts etc. I do read lot of SEO blogs too.

  1. Selecting a Niche is quiet important

It’s always good to select a specific niche of your services. It might be rather complex if you target many areas and might end up losing rather than gaining.

It’s very important you know your skills sets or areas of interest that you can go quickly. Not to disappoint you, I know few developers that are good in many areas of development. But based on my personal experiences it’s a good idea to target few core areas that you are good at.

My main core strength is wordpress development and I pitch myself as wordpress web developer who can design and do fair bit of On Page SEO Optimisation which is working quiet well for me.

  1. Ball Park or Hourly Rate

It took me a while to decide whether I should go for ball park rates or hourly rates.

I used to do work on hourly rate too. Something like fixing issues and errors left by other developer. I learnt hard way that jobs like this might not be feasible or good idea in long run.

First of all, fixing somebody’s work took way longer then expected. Secondly, different coders have different way of solving problem. In order to fix other’s work it took bit of investigating and looking around. And also, it didn’t fit in my development strategy. I tend to focus on website optimised for speed and seo, and most of the time the tasks I took over barely fit in my development philosophy.

  1. SEO is interesting and you can do it yourself too

As stated one of the reason I started my freelancing website was that I wanted to learn bit of SEO and I was quiet passionate about it.

At the point of writing I have ranked my site WP Guru is really doing well. And I am really happy about it. I have to admit I do had some guidance from some of my colleagues doing SEO but I did acquire some knowledge by reading.

My advice if you are keen on SEO, start with the google’s starter guide on SEO. Trust me if you read it carefully and try best practices for SEO, you are on track to be an SEO. The more time you spent, the better SEO you will be.

It’s also good to set up yourself some targets. I had always set up some target every year. And most of the time I had been able to hit those targets else at least get better what I love doing, that is web development. This year I had set up a goal to get myself better with an amazing PHP Framework called Laravel. So how am I going to get better at it? I had done bit of research and already subscribe to an awesome site called Laracasts and few other blogs.

Why am I saying this? Just to let you know if you plan properly, there is a good chance you can end up getting the result you are looking for.


About Author

I am Robin - WordPress Developer based in Sydney. I work as Digital Developer. I do some projects now and then, and love blogging about WordPress and Web Design.