Becoming a freelance web developer is an appealing route to take for people seeking work-life balance by becoming your own boss. Furthermore, you can have the freedom of choosing your working hours, clients, and rate of pay while making an impact in this fast-paced industry.
As an independent contractor, however, your focus shouldn’t only be on the creative side of things. You’re also running a business so you need to think about how you can earn morin a smart way.
If you’re looking for ways to double your income as a freelance web designer then you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’ll be going through some useful tips on how you can earn extra as a service provider. Let’s get started!
A freelance web developer is a self-employed coder who creates websites for different clients. This means they can set their own price, work on as many projects as they want, and even choose the kinds of clients they want to work with.
The responsibilities of a freelance web developer don’t differ from that of an in-house developer. This includes but is not limited to:
To become a successful freelance web developer, you need to have a combination of technical skills, soft skills, and business skills. This makes you a well-rounded service provider who cannot only create top-notch websites and applications but also work well with clients and other coders while maintaining your business. These skills will significantly add value to your service and affect your income as a freelancer:
Today, understanding responsive design is a non-negotiable for web designers. People use different screen sizes and different devices to view web content so it’s important to design websites that are compatible with both desktops and mobile devices
As a developer, it’s important to make sure that your websites and applications are doing what they’re supposed to. Should any errors arise, you should also know how to debug your web pages.
Even if you specialize in front-end development and you have no intention of being a full-stack developer, it’s still important to have an understanding of back-end development.
As a freelance web developer, you’ll most likely work with other back-end web developers or even take on back-end tasks once in a while. So you need to have fundamental knowledge on servers, APIs, SQL, databases, and cybersecurity.
While some clients will work with freelance writers for their web copy, some web pages, landing pages, and even pieces of software need micro-content. A good grasp of grammar and persuasive writing will help you come up with effective web pages.
SEO isn’t just about content, it’s about the functionality of a website as well. There are ranking signals that fall to the hands of web developers including ensuring the mobile-friendliness of a website, using an easy-to-navigate design, maintaining loading speeds, and incorporating a sitemap.
Having an analytical mind is crucial for web developers. On one hand, you’ll need to be able to analyze potential issues in your code to ensure that your website or software is functional. On the other hand, you’ll need to have a keen understanding of your clients and their needs so you can create a website that is up to par with their expectations.
While being a freelance web developer often means you can work on your own, good social skills are still important to have. You’ll need to have active listening skills to understand what your client needs. You’ll also need great communication skills, both oral and written, to express what you have in mind clearly. This lessens the chances of misunderstanding happening down the line.
One of your biggest assets as a freelancer is having an impeccable work ethic. You need a good sense of reliability, dedication, productivity, cooperation, character, integrity, sense of responsibility, emphasis on quality, discipline, teamwork, professionalism, respectfulness, and determination in order to keep a good reputation and having a steady stream of clients.
As a freelance web developer, you’re not only a creative service provider but also a business owner. In order to secure a steady stream of income, you need to do what business owners do: market your services, build an impeccable brand, set the right price, build your network, and learn to negotiate with clients
Ultimately, your income will depend on two things: 1) how much your charge and 2) the number of clients you currently have. Other factors can also affect how much you earn including your location, your experience, and the quality of your work.
If you’re early in your freelancing career, you’ll likely encounter smaller projects that pay between $12 $30 per hour. This is good if you’re just building your portfolio.
As you gain more experience, you can follow the hourly rate of intermediate web developers and charge $60 per hour. If you’re a professional-level developer, you can end up charging upwards of $85 per hour.
Apart from hourly rates, you can also set a flat rate for projects. You can consider using a tiered pricing model where the number of value-added services to a package is positively correlated to the price.
As a freelance web designer, it’s important to have actionable strategies that will allow you to generate more income. Here are ten ways you can make more money as you code your way to success:
While having a diverse set of technical skills is important, becoming an expert in one niche adds more value to your brand. May clients will value you for your proficiency since you can accomplish tasks with extreme efficiency. As a specialist, you can also charge a higher premium while targeting a specific market segment.
Joining a freelancer marketplace like FreeUp lets you promote your skills to potential clients. There’s plenty of inbound leads you can get from platforms like this one because business owners flock here specifically to look for freelance talent. This way, you can focus on what you do best instead of chasing for clients.
If you’re still early in your freelancing career, not a lot of people will know who you are and potential clients won’t know if they should trust you. This is a normal part of pursuing a freelancing career.
The first few months and even years of working as a freelancer are a great opportunity to put together your portfolio and build up a roster of clients who trust the quality of your work. Don’t be disheartened if this takes a while. Remember that this career is a marathon and not a sprint.
Referrals are your best asset in the gig economy. Leads that you get from satisfied clients and other professionals you’ve met along the way are easier to convert into paying customers. The projects you get from preferred leads mean there’s less competition so you can secure them much easier.
Maintaining a strong business relationship with your clients is a great way to generate repeat business. When you deliver high-quality work every single time, they’re likely to think of you on their next project.
It’s also helpful to keep a direct line of communication with your clients. Give them a way to connect with you easily should they need your services again.
Over time, your clients will come to trust your choices especially when it comes to the technology used in their websites or applications. You can leverage this and turn it into an income generator by joining affiliate programs.
Affiliate or partner programs let you refer certain products or services to your clients and in turn, your partner brand will give you a form of commission. This way, you can give your clients better services by giving them recommendations which, in turn, help them become the best in their industry.
Brands like WordPress, Shopify, Optin Master, and even Shutterstock are known for their high-paying programs. So if you already use these tools, you can apply as an affiliate.
Apart from selling your services as a web developer, you can also leverage your skills and expertise and turn it into an online course that people can pay a premium for.
Useful widgets, themes, plugins, and even ready-made code are something people are willing to pay for. Some people may not be ready to take the more expensive route of hiring a web developer to ramp up their website but that doesn’t mean they can’t turn to you for help. By creating and selling digital assets on marketplaces like Gumroad, you can capture this market segment.
An important thing to remember, however, is that just like any product, you need to market these so people know that your products exist.
If you like building stuff then this option is for you. Making an app that people find useful or entertaining is a great way to earn extra dollars. You can build a wide range of apps including games, productivity tools, education apps, as well as health and wellness apps.
You can use a freemium model where your app is free to download but it comes with advertisements. Alternatively, you can use a premium model where people will have to pay upfront to download and use your app.
Building a SaaS or Software as a Service is another great way to increase your income as a web developer. If you have a software idea that can solve a major pain point, then you can try your hand at building it
Since this is a cloud computing model, people don’t have to install your product on their computers. Instead, it is delivered to customers via the Internet on a subscription basis.
Unlike building apps or digital assets, however, building a SaaS takes more time and may incur additional hosting costs. Not only do you need full-stack development knowledge but you need to dedicate a sizeable chunk of your time into building it.
The upside is that if it is built well, market it right, and sell at the right price, it can give you substantial rewards in terms of additional income.
Taking the freelancer route presents big earning opportunities for web developers. But apart from your usual projects, there are many ways to leverage your skills and knowledge to double your income. We hope the tips above can help you increase your income over the long term.
Don’t forget to check back with our blog for more freelance tips to help you in your journey.
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