9 Lessons Learned From Being A Freelance Web Developer

Businesses that hire freelancers can gain access to a flexible and skilled workforce without taking on additional full-time costs. Freelancers who work from home also benefit, getting to pick their clients and set their own schedules.

Of course, as with anything in life, there are downsides as well. Sometimes it’s hard to find good clients or even to find enough clients at all. Working from home might sound great in theory but can get lonely after a while (especially for people who live alone). The key is to know what you’re getting into before you begin the hunt for your first client so let’s talk about it!

Freelancing is a lot of fun for me, but I’ve learned a few lessons along the way that I’d like to share with you. If you’re thinking of becoming a freelance web developer or if you already are one, this article will help refine your skillset and find some creative ways to improve your business!

10 Lessons Learned as a Freelance Web Developer
Freelancing can be challenging, but also rewarding
Finding your niche and specializing can help you stand out
Networking and building relationships is key to finding clients
Effective time management is essential for success
Setting fair and competitive rates is important
Building a strong brand and marketing yourself effectively can help you grow your business
Learning from others’ experiences can provide valuable insights and lessons for your own freelance career

Experience Is A Tough Teacher Because It Gives The Test First And The Lesson Later

Have you ever heard the saying, “Experience is a tough teacher because she gives the test first and the lesson later”?

It’s true. There’s nothing like making your own mistakes to teach you what not to do next time. It’s also why I think learning from mentors is so important. They can share their experience and give you shortcuts that will save you from having to learn everything the hard way.

The lessons I’m about to share are things I had to learn on my own through trial and error, but maybe by sharing them with you, they’ll help make your journey as a freelance web developer easier than mine was!

Learning web programming can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out our article on 10 things I wish I’d done earlier when I began web programming to learn some valuable tips and shortcuts that can save you time and frustration.

You Can Get A Lot Done In 30 Minutes

If you’re a freelancer, then you know that your time is valuable. You probably wish there were more hours in the day to get everything done, but that’s not going to happen. You have 24 hours a day and 7 days a week just like everyone else, but with some careful planning and discipline, you can maximize your time and accomplish so much more than you thought possible.

One way to do this is by setting small goals for yourself in 30-minute increments. If you can accomplish just one task within 30 minutes (even if it’s something that normally takes two or three times longer), then at the end of one business day (8 hours) you will have accomplished 4 tasks. 

Now consider what happens if you work from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm instead of 8:00 am until 4:00 pm you now have an extra hour in which to get things done! Multiply those 16 tasks per week by four weeks, and suddenly 64 items on your list don’t look so intimidating anymore!

Your reward for all this hard work? Freedom from stress and feeling genuinely productive at the end of the week and who doesn’t want that?

No One Cares About Your Personal Problems

“There’s no shortage of media outlets that claim to understand the modern woman. Take, for instance, Woman’s Day, which recently published a cover story titled “How To Be Successful and Still Be a Mother.” The article takes pains to emphasize that being both successful and a mother can be done if only you follow their steps. Apparently, the idea is that if you can just get your shit together e.g., work hard enough, pull together the right people around you, be as ruthless as possible in your business dealings you might actually have it all!

I’m going to assume that what this means is that we’re supposed to act like robots and not have any human emotions whatsoever. In fact, I’m willing to bet there are entire books devoted just to creating an online persona “thick-skinned” enough that no one ever sees or identifies with our insecurities (and then using those same insecurities to sabotage our ideas). 

If this was an actual strategy for success instead of an ad for bullshit perfectionism disguised as self-improvement (which also happens to be bullshit), wouldn’t it make more sense to talk about working even harder spending less time pouting at how easy everything else seems? It would also make more sense not to mention how companies like Facebook are built on the backs of human relationships the very thing we’re told we should sacrifice so the gender pay gap won’t hurt us.

Freelancing as a web developer can be challenging, especially when you’re just starting out. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of things I wish someone had told me when I first started freelancing. Learn from my experiences and avoid some common pitfalls along the way.

It’s Good To Have Insecurity, It Keeps You Hungry

It’s good to have insecurity. It keeps you hungry. You learn new things, try new ideas, and constantly improve yourself when you are insecure about your skills.

If you are too confident, you might become complacent. Insecurity can motivate you to do better. If a client doesn’t like your work or tells you that their neighbor could do the same for half the price, don’t get mad at them learn from it! Some clients will be rude, but some will be reasonable enough to point out where they think something needs improvement, and this is a good way to learn what areas of your work might need improving on as well as learn how to deal with difficult clients in a professional manner.

Set goals for yourself I’m talking about real goals here! Don’t just say “I want more money or I want a better job” without having an actual plan on how to achieve these things because they won’t happen if

Take Small Increments Of Time For Personal Development

One of the major hurdles to overcome as a freelancer is a constant effort to remain relevant in a constantly changing industry. I found that by constantly striving to learn something new, I was able to grow my skills in the areas that are most important for the work that I do. Learning doesn’t have to be boring and it’s actually quite fun when you find sources of learning that interest you.

If you are new to freelancing or even if you’re not, try finding some time every day for personal development. It can be as little as 15 minutes but even small increments add up over time. The first thing is to find a learning method that fits your lifestyle – there are many ways to learn, from reading blogs and books, watching videos on YouTube and sites like Pluralsight, and listening to podcasts while driving or doing other things. You could also try attending conferences and meet-ups (this may be difficult right now due to Covid).

The next step is setting aside some time each day for learning – this could be during your daily commute (once they resume) or while eating breakfast/lunch/dinner or before going to bed at night (perhaps set a reminder on your phone). Try challenging yourself by setting an attainable goal of one thing learned every day! Finally, don’t forget to share what you have learned with others – talk about it with your friends and family, post about it on social media (I like Twitter), write about it on Medium, etc., so that others too can benefit from the knowledge you gain!

If you’re interested in becoming a freelance web developer but aren’t sure where to start, our step-by-step guide can help. From building your skills to finding clients, we’ll walk you through the process of launching your own successful freelance business.

Run Your Own Race

Do you know what’s better than being productive? Being productive and feeling motivated. If that sounds like a good time to you, then congratulations: you are your own best productivity hack! In a world where most people have the same advice for getting things done (wake up early, get organized, and prioritize), it can be hard to know how to follow those tips when everyone seems to have their own version of them.

Some people work better in the afternoon or need more sleep to feel energized. Others might prefer scheduling out their tasks on a calendar instead of writing them down in a list. And still, others may just not be into being productive at all. It’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong way of getting things done and if there were, the internet would be full of articles telling us how to do it correctly (and we wouldn’t be telling you this instead).

Be A Genuine Person, Not A Pretender

You might be thinking, “But I’m already a genuine person!” But are you really? Genuineness is about being honest with others, as well as yourself. Genuineness is about making connections with people and treating them with respect. Genuineness is about listening to other people’s problems and helping them solve their issues. 

Genuineness is about providing value to others and doing the right thing when no one’s looking. If you’re not doing these things for the sake of improving your work or the lives of your fellow coworkers, you’re probably just trying to gain something out of it.

Whether it’s in your relationships with clients or coworkers, always be genuine at all times. People can sense when you’re being fake. And if they do find out that you’re not such a nice person, after all, they’ll definitely tell others not to work with someone like you again!

Starting out as a new web developer freelancer can be challenging, but it’s important to avoid some common mistakes that can hinder your progress. Check out our article on 9 mistakes new web developer freelancers make and how to avoid them for some valuable insights and tips on how to succeed in this competitive field.

Seek Clarity And Deal With Uncertainty

I’m a software developer, and while I once dreamed of creating my own company and hiring my friends to work with me, I eventually decided that it’s better to focus on just doing a decent job at developing websites. But I’ve found that as much as anything else in life, the process of being a freelance developer has taught me a thing or two about clarity and uncertainty.

Clarity is an accurate description of what we do in our jobs: we develop software for clients who want our help with projects. We don’t have the final say over how their websites are built; it’s up to the client to determine how his site will work if it will even work at all. 

That’s not such a bad thing when we’re talking about websites that already exist; there will always be some things you (or your clients) aren’t happy with, so getting those issues fixed before launching helps everyone involved feel more confident about the site’s function afterward.

On the other hand, uncertainty is like an annoying mosquito buzzing around outside your window during summer vacation: when you can hear it but can’t quite see it yet, you know something isn’t right – but all you can do is wait to figure out what exactly is going on until whatever is causing that feeling goes away. 

Uncertainty isn’t just something we have to deal with when developing software; it comes up in other areas of life too. Let’s take another look at our hypothetical example above regarding web development: if someone hasn’t been able to fix their website because they’d rather hire people who know a lot more than they do than accept any assistance they offer, then they might be feeling uncertain about themselves as developers. So much so that they’d rather start off without clear direction from others than accept help from them anyway? That’s uncertainty!

It might feel strange and uncomfortable imagining yourself not knowing something (and perhaps having only vague ideas about what “something” might be) but recognizing uncertainty for what it

As a freelance web developer, I’ve learned some hard lessons along the way. That’s why I’ve shared my personal experiences in our article on what I learned the hard way. From dealing with difficult clients to managing my time effectively, I hope my insights can help other freelancers navigate this exciting but challenging career path.

Final Thought

We’ve learned that freelance work can be hard, but that it can also provide us with the opportunity to meet and work with many different people. We’ve learned not to get too lost in the details, something that can be easy when working on projects from home all day. We’ve learned never to take on too much work at once, so we don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.

And we’ve learned how important it is to maintain a good work-life balance, something we’re still trying to master. Not all of this advice will apply to everyone, and you’re free to pick and choose what resonates with your own career experience. And if you’re thinking about pursuing freelance work yourself, take heed: being a freelancer takes a lot of hard work, but it’s an exciting way to build your career and income!

Go out there and create!

Further Reading

Top 11 Lessons I’ve Learned From Freelancing by Cathy Powell: This article shares some valuable insights on how to succeed as a freelancer, from finding your niche to managing your time effectively.

15 Lessons Learned from 15 Years of Freelance Web Design by Benek Lisefski: In this article, Benek Lisefski shares his experiences and lessons learned from his 15-year career as a freelance web designer.

Lessons Every Freelancer Should Know by The Futur: This video covers some key lessons that every freelancer should know, from finding your value proposition to building your brand and marketing yourself effectively.


What is freelancing?

Freelancing is a type of self-employment where individuals offer their services to clients on a project-by-project basis, without being tied to any particular employer.

What are some common challenges that freelancers face?

Freelancers often face challenges such as finding clients, managing their time effectively, setting rates and pricing their services, and dealing with difficult clients.

How can freelancers find clients?

Freelancers can find clients through a variety of methods, such as networking, cold emailing, attending industry events, and using online job platforms.

How can freelancers manage their time effectively?

Freelancers can manage their time effectively by setting clear goals, prioritizing their work, using productivity tools and apps, and creating a schedule that works for them.

How can freelancers set their rates and pricing?

Freelancers can set their rates and pricing based on factors such as their level of experience, the complexity of the project, the client’s budget, and the industry standard rates. It’s important to research and be competitive, but also not undervalue yourself.

What Is A Freelance Web Developer?

A freelance web developer is a person who can design and code websites and apps. They usually work on their own or with a small team of contractors, doing jobs that are project-based. Some people freelancing in this field will specialize in front-end development (where they focus on the user interface), while others will be more skilled at back-end development (which involves databases and server interactions).

What Is The Difference Between An Office Job And Freelancing?

Freelance web developers typically don’t have to go into an office every day, though some projects may require it for meetings with clients or other collaborators. Freelancers can work from home if they want, which gives them the luxury of not having to commute back and forth for hours in traffic. 

It’s also possible to do similar jobs remotely without ever meeting anyone face-to-face all communication happens online through texting, emailing, phone calls, etc.. Some differences between working as an employee versus working independently as a part-time contractor include:

No regular paychecks like you would get as someone who works full time or part-time at another company; instead, there’s just what comes in when clients make payments after each project has been completed successfully. This means being able to budget carefully so that money doesn’t run out before another client can be found!

There might be different requirements depending on how long someone has been doing these types of jobs before finding themselves needing work again (e.g., experience with certain programming languages). The longer they’ve been doing it though usually makes them better at getting hired because employers know what kind of quality product they’ll receive from someone like that over somebody new to the game.

 How Do You Find Work As A Freelance Web Developer?

The best way to find work as a freelancer is to have a good reputation in the industry, coupled with a strong portfolio. Networking is key if you want to get your name out there, and you’ll want to be engaged in the development community by attending conferences and participating in events throughout the year. It’s also important to keep up with new trends so that potential clients know that you stay current with what’s being developed in the industry.

What Are The Biggest Challenges In Freelancing?

The biggest challenge I’ve seen so far is that you have to learn a lot of new things very quickly. If you’re looking to switch from a career as a full-time employee, you’ll have to learn how to manage your time, communicate with clients, and more.

What Are The Biggest Benefits Of Freelancing?

For me, the greatest benefit of freelancing is that I get to create my own schedule and work on projects I find interesting. I don’t know about you, but for me, this is a dream come true!

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