Author Topic: Freelance Web Design  (Read 1675 times)

Vicster

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Freelance Web Design
« on: March 20, 2017, 05:06:41 AM »
Hello

I've worked in the past as a web designer / developer and am thinking of returning to it full time.

I do a few sites for friends and family at too low a rate in my spare time and I was just wondering how people manage to get good paying freelance work.

I have looked at freelancing sites where you can browse jobs but the amount offered on those seems to be crazily low...and other designers are offering super low quotes.  Where do people find their best freelance jobs come from?

Thanks in advance
Vicky

SeattleCPA

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Re: Freelance Web Design
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 06:21:16 AM »
Hello

I've worked in the past as a web designer / developer and am thinking of returning to it full time.

I do a few sites for friends and family at too low a rate in my spare time and I was just wondering how people manage to get good paying freelance work.

I have looked at freelancing sites where you can browse jobs but the amount offered on those seems to be crazily low...and other designers are offering super low quotes.  Where do people find their best freelance jobs come from?

Thanks in advance
Vicky

I make this comment as a buyer of freelance web design services: I think if you do stuff at the simpler end of the spectrum, you end up competing with the fiverr crowd... and many of those folks are in emerging market economies where wages and freelancer rates are really low by developed economy standards.

My thought , therefore, would be you need to move up the complexity continuum and then use your (obviously excellent) language skills and understanding of your local economy to do this work. The fiverr crowd can't easily compete with you using low rates for this work.

BTW you're probably not interested, but just to give you a couple of web projects I have on my to-do list but which I wouldn't ever outsource to a fiverr vendor... First, I need to make my www.scorporationsexplained.com site mobile friendly... Second, I need to set up an email newsletter for my blog (URL in sig). I've worked enough with fiverr gigs to know that both projects require a higher priced solution.

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bullcitybro

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Re: Freelance Web Design
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 07:50:16 AM »
Specialize!

If you're providing cheap generic websites, you're going to attract the kind of person that:
1) Has no idea what web development should cost
2) Has no money anyway, so you can't convince them that your higher prices will drive return since they need immediate cash flow.

On the other hand (speaking from experience) you could try to tap the enterprise market, where marketing managers throw thousands of dollars at each landing page once they find reliable vendors that can stay on brand, can negotiate the IT/regulatory red tape, and can accept the 90 day payment terms.

webguy

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Re: Freelance Web Design
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 08:16:35 AM »
I used the freelance as a web designer/developer and found the best paying work was hiring myself out as a developer to agencies or designers who needed help with overflow work. There are quite a few agencies who design inhouse (to keep the quality high and consistent) and then outsource development or need additional help during busy periods.

I also teamed up with a few good designers who needed development help. Most people tend to enjoy either design or development more than the other. I enjoyed development (mainly as it's less subjective and client's tastes can be unpredictable) and so I found some good designers who didn't want to develop and when they had projects I would do the development part. Google some in your area and meet up or have a quick call to get to know them and see if they would be interested in working together. It can result in a win-win situation.

Both of these approaches save you the trouble of having to actually find good projects yourself.

VeggieGirl

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Re: Freelance Web Design
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 01:43:16 PM »
I used the freelance as a web designer/developer and found the best paying work was hiring myself out as a developer to agencies or designers who needed help with overflow work. There are quite a few agencies who design inhouse (to keep the quality high and consistent) and then outsource development or need additional help during busy periods.

I also teamed up with a few good designers who needed development help. Most people tend to enjoy either design or development more than the other. I enjoyed development (mainly as it's less subjective and client's tastes can be unpredictable) and so I found some good designers who didn't want to develop and when they had projects I would do the development part. Google some in your area and meet up or have a quick call to get to know them and see if they would be interested in working together. It can result in a win-win situation.

Both of these approaches save you the trouble of having to actually find good projects yourself.

I second this approach. Another option is referrals from having done a good job on your past projects.

VeggieGirl

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Re: Freelance Web Design
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2017, 01:47:18 PM »

I make this comment as a buyer of freelance web design services: I think if you do stuff at the simpler end of the spectrum, you end up competing with the fiverr crowd... and many of those folks are in emerging market economies where wages and freelancer rates are really low by developed economy standards.

My thought , therefore, would be you need to move up the complexity continuum and then use your (obviously excellent) language skills and understanding of your local economy to do this work. The fiverr crowd can't easily compete with you using low rates for this work.

BTW you're probably not interested, but just to give you a couple of web projects I have on my to-do list but which I wouldn't ever outsource to a fiverr vendor... First, I need to make my www.scorporationsexplained.com site mobile friendly... Second, I need to set up an email newsletter for my blog (URL in sig). I've worked enough with fiverr gigs to know that both projects require a higher priced solution.

I took a quick look at your site and blog. How about just moving over the site to a wordpress platform (or similar) and use a mobile friendly theme? And I think there's also email newsletter plugins that you can install yourself for the blog.

SeattleCPA

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Re: Freelance Web Design
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2017, 02:19:40 PM »

I make this comment as a buyer of freelance web design services: I think if you do stuff at the simpler end of the spectrum, you end up competing with the fiverr crowd... and many of those folks are in emerging market economies where wages and freelancer rates are really low by developed economy standards.

My thought , therefore, would be you need to move up the complexity continuum and then use your (obviously excellent) language skills and understanding of your local economy to do this work. The fiverr crowd can't easily compete with you using low rates for this work.

BTW you're probably not interested, but just to give you a couple of web projects I have on my to-do list but which I wouldn't ever outsource to a fiverr vendor... First, I need to make my www.scorporationsexplained.com site mobile friendly... Second, I need to set up an email newsletter for my blog (URL in sig). I've worked enough with fiverr gigs to know that both projects require a higher priced solution.

I took a quick look at your site and blog. How about just moving over the site to a wordpress platform (or similar) and use a mobile friendly theme? And I think there's also email newsletter plugins that you can install yourself for the blog.

VeggieGirl,

Good ideas... Thanks!

BTW, we would migrate the site to wordpress... but we took that route with another informational site we had, www.llcsexplained.com, and the migration just killed the traffic. (The "s corporations" site gets maybe 12,000 unique visitors a month and the "LLCs" site gets basically zero.) So I'm gunshy about the SEO impact of moving to wordpress versus the benefits of mobile friendly with wordpress.

Regarding an email newsletter plugin, you're right I'm sure that it would be very easy for someone who knows the lay of the land and the "right" plugin... I just don't. Yikes.
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neo von retorch

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Re: Freelance Web Design
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2017, 02:42:23 PM »
VeggieGirl,

Good ideas... Thanks!

BTW, we would migrate the site to wordpress... but we took that route with another informational site we had, www.llcsexplained.com, and the migration just killed the traffic. (The "s corporations" site gets maybe 12,000 unique visitors a month and the "LLCs" site gets basically zero.) So I'm gunshy about the SEO impact of moving to wordpress versus the benefits of mobile friendly with wordpress.

Regarding an email newsletter plugin, you're right I'm sure that it would be very easy for someone who knows the lay of the land and the "right" plugin... I just don't. Yikes.

When you migrated to WordPress, did you change URLs or make any other notable changes that may have affected SEO?

VeggieGirl

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Re: Freelance Web Design
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2017, 04:39:43 PM »
I was thinking the same thing, did any of the urls change when you made the move to the other site?

I take a trial and error approach to plugins, if it doesn't work out, just un-install it. If I find a good email newsletter plugin, I'll let you know.

SeattleCPA

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Re: Freelance Web Design
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2017, 01:41:43 PM »
The way we used WordPress, all of the URLs changed.

We attempted to use redirects in a manner described as appropriate by SEO bloggers at the time. (I think we did it right.)

But we still got killed.

Regarding the newsletter plugin, let me know. We have really good traffic at our blog but don't have any way to continue a relationship with readers. So people are "in and out"...

I think a newsletter would be really powerful way to arithmetically grow your visitors.
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VeggieGirl

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Re: Freelance Web Design
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2017, 10:37:12 PM »
The way we used WordPress, all of the URLs changed.

We attempted to use redirects in a manner described as appropriate by SEO bloggers at the time. (I think we did it right.)

But we still got killed.

Regarding the newsletter plugin, let me know. We have really good traffic at our blog but don't have any way to continue a relationship with readers. So people are "in and out"...

I think a newsletter would be really powerful way to arithmetically grow your visitors.

Yup, that'll do it, what a huge bummer. Maybe it just takes awhile for the redirects to be crawled?

I've heard that about newsletters as long as they're sent out consistently. I've signed up for a few blog newsletters only to never hear from them again after the first few times.

dannymurphy

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Re: Freelance Web Design
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2017, 07:59:05 AM »
Specialize!

If you're providing cheap generic websites, you're going to attract the kind of person that:
1) Has no idea what web development should cost
2) Has no money anyway, so you can't convince them that your higher prices will drive return since they need immediate cash flow.

On the other hand (speaking from experience) you could try to tap the enterprise market, where marketing managers throw thousands of dollars at each landing page once they find reliable vendors that can stay on brand, can negotiate the IT/regulatory red tape, and can accept the 90 day payment terms.

I totally agree with this. There are so many cheap ways to get generic web content but businesses are willing to pay for things that make them uniquely stand out.
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LiseE

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Re: Freelance Web Design
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2017, 03:42:28 PM »
Quote
There are quite a few agencies who design inhouse (to keep the quality high and consistent) and then outsource development or need additional help during busy periods.

Quote
I also teamed up with a few good designers who needed development help.

Where would I find these agencies and designers who need development help?  I'm also a web developer and would like to leave the corporate rat race and do this on my own but don't know where to find the work.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Freelance Web Design
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2017, 01:27:10 PM »
I thought this was a good article on the topic: How to start freelancing and get clients , let me know if you agree.

TL;DR: You don't get hired for your technical skills, but rather for the business value you can add. You need to hustle, network, and talk to people.
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tadcaster2014

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Re: Freelance Web Design
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2017, 07:53:24 AM »
what do you guys think of https://www.upwork.com/

CanuckExpat

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Re: Freelance Web Design
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2017, 07:58:25 AM »
what do you guys think of https://www.upwork.com/

It's interesting and I browse out of curiosity, but I haven't taken much initiative on hunting for particular jobs. I think for a lot of people it won't be worth the time/trouble. The rates are a bit too low for the projects, and it seems a lot of the clients are "cheap", which may not be what you want to deal with professionally :)
For alternate point of view: https://ditchingthedailygrind.com/2016/11/16/upwork-fucking-awesome/
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