I am a Web developer with skills in PHP and MySql with a 4yrs experience. I am based in London. I just don’t want to keep working with little to show for it. I really want to take the advantage of the internet. Please sir, tell me what to do.
– Olamide, London, UK.
The above was a message I received from a reader of this blog, earlier this month. This post is an attempt to answer his question and educate similar people who are in his shoes.
Olamide, by your message, I assume you are a freelance web developer. It appears you simply get a few jobs directly from individuals and small businesses. While it is not wrong to be a freelance web developer, I dare say it is the lowest point of the ladder. Most web developers started as freelancers and many have moved on to greater heights. I would offer suggestions that should be very beneficial to your cause.
Whether you choose to stay as a freelance web developer or decide to move to another level, you need to sharpen your skills and increase your knowledge. You need to constantly stay at the very edge of the latest developments in PHP, CSS, MySQL & other closely-related web technologies. You should subsribe to credible web design/developer magazines and websites. This ensures that your skills are always relevant to the industry and you are never out of business. Aside staying updated, you need to broaden your skills. This ensures that you can handle just about anything thrown your way, using the LAMP combination. 4 years is a long time on the Internet and I assume you have much experience. Add more knowledge and you should be able to charge respectable coding fees per hour. Your skill is a huge factor in determining how much you earn from coding.
Should you decide to get hired by a web design studio (there are thousands of them in the UK), you should consider some certification as a documented proof of your skills. Even as a freelancer, certification can boost your activities. CIW comes recommended. The Certified Internet Web Professional (CIW) education program was created by a community Web designers and developers in the late 1990s. The company that currently owns CIW, Certification Partners, offers books, on-line learning and high-stakes exams. Visit the official CIW website for full details.
A personal website
Any web designer/developer worth his/her salt would have a personal website. It is an invaluable tool that boosts your credibility. The personal website not only proves that you have some skills, but should contain a portfolio of the websites you have worked on in the past and present. There could be no better proof of what you can do, than a list of what you have done in the past or what you are working on presently. Should you want to stay as a freelancer, you can include some testimonials from satisfied clients. If getting hired is your aim, then always include your personal website in your CV and application letters.
Remember that your personal website would be speaking for you on the Internet. Therefore, you have to make sure it is very professional and contains no errors.
Deciding to stay self-employed or not is a personal decision. Either way, there are merits and demerits from being hired by a web design studio. When you are hired, you are guaranteed a steady work flow and by extension, steady pay all things being equal. You are exposed to standard industry practices and can have a richer experience as time goes by.
Freedom can be sweet
Staying a freelancer is not a bad idea in itself. There are leading web developers today who do not work under the cover of a company. Being a freelancer however, should not translate into mediocre work. You need to be honest and very professional in your work, even as a freelancer.
There are several websites that serve as vehicle for advertising freelance web developers. Enlist yourself on the best of freelance web developer directories. I recommend the following: freelancer.co.uk, webdesigners123.com, project4hire.com, elance.com & getafreelancer.com
As always, comments and even more ideas about this post are welcome.
Thanks for sharing this useful information.
Great post,I will have a look at your other posts and add your blog to my favorites.
This is helpful. Thanks.
Thanks for the hint. All of these I’ve been working on and now I am certain that I am on the right track.
This has been really helpful.
Very good article. I think it touched on a deciding factor – getting hired or going freelance.
I’ve been a freelancer for about 7 months now. I have around 2 years experience in html/css and 8 months experience in php/mysql.
I tend to use rentacoder (top 3000 coder on site), and I could earn $400 if I knuckled down, but even that’s hard. So many people are looking for slave labor, it’s no good working with individuals. You need to work with businesses, people who require native english speakers and see it as the norm to pay $15/h (or more) instead of $8 (or less).
This is where getting hired can help. If you live in a developed country, earning $400/wk as a HIRED web developer with a position within a company is no problem.- it;s finding the actual job that’s the hard part.
Also, a BIG suggestion – forget earning money with experience in html/css ONLY. There’s no market. 90% of what I earn is through php, and I only have 8 months experience with that.
I guess your success depends on a lot of things, in the mean time, make sure you’re working to enjoy life and not just pay the bills.
Iam always proud of you Dave. Know it now that you are my internet inspiration. Keep it up!
Thanks for your kind words Adama.
I was looking for something like this..now I finally have an aim/goal…and freelancer is an amazing thing 🙂
Thx dude 🙂
Although there are loads of different was to make money online, selling normal everyday products online has made me the most. If anyone here wants to learn how to do it for free, please visit netsalestrainer.com for 60 video tutorials.
[…] Self-Managed option is ideal for developers, sys-admins and/or organizations that have the in-house skills to effectively manage a server while […]