Hi! You’ve landed on this post because you’re thinking about getting started with freelance web development and are looking for ways to get the ball rolling. That’s great! We’ve developed a list that should be helpful, but since every freelancer is different, we want you to know that this is by no means a complete list.
Also, some of these take more time than others, and some are more suited to people who have been freelancing for years rather than people just getting started.
So here’s what we recommend: read through our list and think about which options would work best for you right now. Then pick one or two things to focus on. The more you do, the better off you’ll be, so don’t feel like you have to only do one thing! If nothing else, take a look at the last few items on the list. They’re all free and don’t take much time or effort, so they’re worth checking out even if you decide to focus your energy elsewhere. Ok! Let’s get into it.
1. Wrap Your Head Around The Concept Of Client-Based Work
Freelance work is very different from the traditional employment model, and it will change your day-to-day life in many ways. If you accept a freelance gig, you’ll have to find your own work, manage clients directly, and handle the administrative side of freelancing all while working on your own schedule.
You’ll likely be part of multiple teams at once and collaborate remotely with coworkers. It’s also important to have contracts in place before starting any project. Knowing this information ahead of time can help you prepare for the realities of freelance web development.
2. Get A Website Going
The next step you should take is to get a website up and running. Your potential clients are going to want evidence that you can do what you say, so it’s important to have a website where you can showcase your previous work, explain the services you offer and include a contact form so people can reach out.
There are great tools like WordPress or Squarespace that can help with this; just make sure your site is clear, easy to read, and has all the most important information front and center. You might even ask a friend who isn’t familiar with web development to browse your site before making it live—they’ll probably notice if anything is unclear or not easily navigable.
Having an online presence is the best way for people to track down information about your business; keep in mind that if they’re on mobile devices rather than desktop computers (which most of us are), then it’s important for your website to be responsive (i.e., mobile-friendly).
3. Get Some Basic Business Skills Down (Like Accounting And Taxes)
You might be thinking, “What do I care about taxes?” But it’s important to understand how they work. One of the most attractive things about freelancing is being your own boss and making your own hours. The downside is you don’t have a 9-to-5 job that automatically pays for things like taxes or retirement funds.
You need to think about that stuff yourself because no one else will. It’s in your best interest to get familiar with the basics of accounting and tax law so that you can make informed decisions as you begin to freelance. Remember, it’s up to you (not an employer) to pay quarterly estimated taxes on income earned from self-employment. Depending on where you live, there may or may not be additional state taxes on top of federal taxes for self-employed people as well.
You also need to consider deductions when planning what percentage of each payment goes toward taxes. For example, if you’re meeting a client at Starbucks once a week, those lattes are technically business expenses and fully deductible! Other examples include software subscriptions like Adobe Creative Cloud the list goes on and on!
4. Build A Portfolio Of Websites You’ve Done For Yourself Or For Others
As a freelance web developer, your portfolio is one of the most important things you can have. This shows potential clients what you have built so they can see if your skills match their needs. You can use GitHub or other websites such as CodePen and jsFiddle to show off the code you’ve written.
Provide links to any sites you have actually built for yourself or for others. If you haven’t built any sites yet, build some! Put them on GitHub and showcase your best work by writing good descriptions that include images and snippets of code that highlight certain features.
5. Build Up Your Network With Other Freelancers, Employers, And Clients So You Can Get Referrals And Extra Work
It’s important to market yourself and expand your network once you have experience with freelancing. Some things you can do to find more work include:
Use online forums, social media, and other professional contacts to let them know that you’re available for hire.
LinkedIn is a good website to use for networking and expanding contacts. You can also join in on conversations in forums like Stack Overflow and Quora to showcase your expertise.
Participate in professional development workshops, conferences, meetups or volunteer opportunities. These events are a great way to learn new skills as well as expand your network of contacts who might be interested in hiring you or referring others to you.
Participate in online communities and contribute to open source projects as a way of demonstrating your abilities and getting your name out there as an expert developer. GitHub is a popular site where programmers share code and collaborate on software projects together (and it’s free!).
Join professional organizations like Women Who Code or the AIGA – these are great ways of connecting with people who may be able to help you get started on freelance web design work.
6. Get Some Certifications To Show That You’re Good At What You Do
Certifications are a great way to show off your skills, and there’s a lot of them out there! They’re not necessary for getting clients, but they can help you to stand out from the crowd. There are tons of companies offering certifications, such as Udemy and Udacity.
7. Don’t Be Afraid To Give It A Shot And Work On Some Small Projects Just To Get Experience Working With Clients
We all make mistakes and I’ve made plenty, but the one that stands out most is not giving freelance web development a shot. After all, if you don’t go for it, you never know what could have been.
Just like starting anything new, it takes time to get experience. That’s why I recommend working on small projects to build up your portfolio and work with clients. You can learn a lot from small projects: how to deal with clients, how to manage your workflow, setting deadlines and meeting them, etc.
Experience is the best teacher and once you start working with clients you’ll gain valuable experience that will help you in the future while working on larger projects.
8. Go Out There And Find Places Where You Can Use Your New Skills As A Freelancer
Once you’ve learned the skills necessary to complete your first freelance web development project, it’s time to start looking for places where you can put those skills to use and earn some money. Some of my favorite places to look are freelance marketplaces such as Upwork, Guru, Freelancer, and Toptal. These are great places because they give you access to thousands of potential clients that need a wide variety of services.
I also recommend looking for local companies in your area that might be interested in having a website built. This is another good way to find your first projects because they will probably be more willing to work with someone who doesn’t have much experience as long as you live close by. By meeting with them in person, they will get the opportunity to meet and trust you before they decide whether or not they want hire you!
9. You Can Make Money As A Freelance Web Developer
It’s not easy to get started as a freelance web developer, but the rewards are definitely worth it once you’ve reached the top. That being said, the journey is full of its ups and downs, so make sure to approach it with an open mind and remember that you’ll have a long way to go before you can call yourself one of the best. Good luck!
People Also Ask
What Is The Best Way To Get Into Freelance Web Development?
I’ve been in the freelance world for over 7 months now and based on my own experience and what I’ve learned from other successful freelancers, I believe there are a few main ways to get started.
Can You Start Freelancing By Yourself?
This can be a great option for experienced web developers who want to build their own business. By working solo, you won’t have to worry about splitting work or profits with a partner. Plus, if you already have clients you can start right away! Just make sure you have enough time to take care of every aspect of your business from planning your taxes to dealing with client correspondence all by yourself.
You Can Join An Existing Company As A Freelancer?
If you don’t want the responsibility of starting your own business, joining an existing company as a freelancer might be the right choice for you! There are plenty of opportunities out there—you just need to find them!
As long as they’re willing to pay your rate and let you work remotely, this could be an excellent opportunity for growth. You can partner up with someone else who is also interested in freelance web development.
How Do I Get Started Freelancing?
There are a few things you should do before you get started.
1. Make sure you have a good idea of what you want to do as a freelancer, and why you want to do it.
2. Create a portfolio of your work that showcases your best work and shows why clients will want to hire you.
3. Create a list of clients that would be good for your skillset, and get in touch with them about opportunities with their companies.
4. Work on some small projects for your own business that can be used in your portfolio when seeking out clients.
What Is The Best Way For Me To Become Successful In Freelance Web Development?
There are really two parts to this question, and they both require knowledge of your target market.
First, you have to know who your target market is. Who are the people/businesses that need freelance web developers? And what type of work do they need to be done? You can’t be afraid to ask questions and get honest feedback. This will help you build a better network. Once you have the answer to these questions, you may find that it’s time to expand your skillset or learn more about new technologies. That’s okay! It’s part of the process of growth.
The second part of this question is knowing what it takes to be successful. This will vary from person to person, but there are some things that are true for everyone:
– Dedicate yourself to learning as much as possible about the industry (and all aspects of freelancing).
– Be prepared for hard work and long hours. Nothing good comes easy!
– Keep track of your progress so you can see how much you’ve learned and grown. If you’re not tracking it, how will you know if you’re improving?
Can I Get Started With No Experience?
Yes! Although it helps to have some, it is not necessary. As long as you have an aptitude for learning (and the internet) and can pick up new skills quickly, there’s no reason why you can’t be successful.
Should I Start Taking On Clients Before I Feel 100% Ready?
This is a tricky one as there’s no right answer. If you’ve never had any experience, take on your first client once you’re comfortable that everything will go smoothly and you’re confident in your ability to deliver what they’re asking for.
If you have some experience but still want to learn more, find clients who are willing to work with someone who’s still learning the ropes in exchange for cheaper prices or faster delivery times (or both!).
How Can I Find Freelance Web Development Projects?
There are many different ways to do this. You can reach out to friends/family/acquaintances, or use online job boards like Upwork or Toptal.
What Is A Freecodecamp Certificate Worth?
They are valuable in that they showcase the work you’ve done and the skills you’ve acquired through our curriculum. However, employers may be more interested in your portfolio than in your certificates—so don’t forget to build a strong portfolio.
What Are The Benefits Of Freelancing?
You can set your own schedule and take on as many clients as you want. You’ll be able to deliver exactly what each client needs when they need it.
Where Do I Find Clients?
Once you have a few projects under your belt, you can start posting on job boards and marketplaces to find new clients. Consider tapping into your network too!
How Much Should I Charge?
This is one of the most important questions for any freelancer to answer. If you’re just starting out, or have very little experience, consider offering a lower rate until you’ve built a solid portfolio. You can always raise your rates once you’re more comfortable with what you can deliver.
What Does A Client Want?
A client wants a website or an app. They might have specific needs, but they likely don’t know how to make those needs into reality. That’s where you come in! You can help them figure out what they need, and then you can build that website or app for them. How cool is that?
What Are Some Ways I Can Make Money Doing Freelance Web Development?
There are many different ways you can make money as a freelance web developer. One of the most popular is to sell websites to clients who want to use them to sell products or services. Another way is to offer maintenance services and updates for sites that already exist. Finally, you can work on building your own website and selling a service or product through it.
I’ve Been Thinking About Getting Started With Freelance Web Development. What Do You Recommend?
A lot of people get started with freelance web development by learning how to code, but there are other ways as well. For example, if you have experience in graphic design and know how to use Photoshop or Illustrator, then creating logos and designing websites might be something worth considering.
You’re not going to be able to compete with professional coders overnight, but these skills will help you stand out among other freelancers who don’t have any design experience at all.