How To Start Earning Money As An Independent Web Developer (Basic & Plus)

Rad Devon
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In this video course, I will teach you how to find the best niche for you as a new or aspiring freelance web developer.

When I graduated from coding bootcamp a few years ago, I was confident that my skills would be valuable to an employer. Unfortunately, none of my prospective employers shared my confidence. I submitted several applications before realizing no one was going to hire me because I had no experience.

My bank account was looking grim, so I had to find another way. I picked up my first freelance gig and realized I could build a career on this. Gigs were hard to come by though, and I wasn’t sure where to look besides Upwork and reddit, but those gigs were mostly of low quality.

Around the same time, I started hanging out at an organization that supported startups in my hometown at that time called the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center. I showed up pretty much every time the doors were open, and the people there came to know me and what I do.

Through these new relationships, I started getting work. The gigs paid well, and I realized I enjoyed working with small tech startups. I learned more about the problems startups faced which made me much more credible when talking to them. When people in this community needed a web developer, they automatically thought of me. I had stumbled into my niche.

The methods most people try to get their first jobs just don’t work. 😖

You might…

  • lean on your bootcamp’s or school’s career placement department. Good luck since they already have your money.
  • keep shotgunning resumes to every company that’s hiring junior developers. If you have enough money in the bank and enough fortitude to handle rejection after rejection, you’ll probably make it… eventually.
  • try shopping for freelance gigs on platforms like Upwork and Fivver. The "race to the bottom" pricing on these platforms will make your new career unsustainable.

At some point while you're trying these strategies that don't work, someone will come along and convince you to work for them for free, promising to give you exposure and to act as a reference the next time you apply. Most of the time, these benefits never come or don't produce the results you'd want.

The solution is to take control of your web development career and stop waiting for someone else to take a chance on you. 🥺

Once you have figured out your niche, you can pave your own path into web development as a freelancer. You’re no longer dependent on everyone else to take a chance on you. You can start getting the experience you would need for a full-time gig while also having tons of freedom and getting paid for it.

That takes care of the problem of getting your first job, but becoming a self-sufficient freelancer solves problems you didn’t even know you had.

When one of your clients ultimately comes around asking you to work for them full time (and they will if you do good work), you are in a position of power in the negotiation. You don’t have to take the first offer for fear nothing else will come your way. You can ask for exactly what you want. If they don't want to give it to you, you can just keep running your freelance business instead.

Don't let the boss make bad decisions that impact you 🤬

Be the boss, so you can make the decisions that build the career you want.

  • Did you end up with a bad client? Fire them and find new ones. Try doing that with your prickly new engineering lead at Amazon. The great part is that you can define "bad" however you want. Maybe it's clients who don't respond quickly when you have questions, clients who operate in industries you find problematic, or clients that expect fast turnaround. Maybe it's all of the above.
  • Don’t want to be on-call or work weekends? OK, cool. Either charge enough for those services that you’re happy to do them or simply don’t offer them. Since you're going to have to deal with the consequences of those decisions, you should get to make the call.

As a freelancer, you have the power to control who you work with and the way you work. As a freelancer with a niche, you have the number one tool to find all the clients you need to make your business prosper.

Let’s talk about the course. 📺

Work through the exercises in this video course. At the end, you’ll have your freelance web development niche along with a list of places you can go to talk to businesses in your niche.

Why You Should Care

Selecting the right niche starts with a strategy that gets you past common roadblocks.

  • Start building trust. You'll have an endless supply of great clients so that you never have to take on bad ones just to make ends meet.
  • Find the best niche for you so that you can get paid. Stop looking for the one and only perfect niche so that you can start getting paid now!
  • Know which niches to avoid so that you're always getting paid what you're worth.
  • Build a web development career that pays the salary you set, lets you work for the clients you choose, and ensures you won’t ever have to worry about being laid off.

Here’s what you’ll do in the course:

1. Build a list of potential niches

2. Select your niche

3. Find where the good clients hang out (even during COVID-19!)

4. Learn how to find an irresistible offer for your ideal clients and market it to them

5. Build trust with prospects

6. Grow a list of now or future prospects

Check out a sample video!

What’s Included

  • 21 videos divided into 6 sections (corresponding to the outline above) to help you understand the benefits and select a web development niche so that you can reach profitability quickly without having to watch hours of videos. Videos include English captions.
  • Basic + Pricing- A freelance contract template with annotated example contract. With this contract, you'll be ready to start every project professionally and with a clear expectation of the responsibilities of both you and your client.
  • Basic + Pricing- A bonus copy of my book Freelance Web Development Pricing so you'll have the paths to both find your perfect clients and set your perfect price.

FAQs 🤔

What if I’ve never done web development professionally? Isn’t freelancing only for super experts?

No way! In a world where even junior job descriptions demand 3-5 years of experience, freelancing is the best way for new developers to start their careers. This course is specifically designed to help new developers go pro by finding a freelance niche.

Can this course help me if I’m just starting to learn web development?

If you can build and deploy a project on your own, yes. If you’re not that far along yet, this course probably won’t help you at this point. Don’t wait until you feel ready (because you never will), but make sure you at least know enough to ship something, whether that’s a static site, a simple web app, or a WordPress blog.

Why is this course so short? The courses on Udemy have hundreds of hours of video!

This course is short because I took the time to make it as short as I could. That’s right. I spent my time making sure this course has only what you need rather than trying to inflate the number of hours of video in the course. I do this because your time is valuable, and you’re not here to watch videos. You’re here to go pro as a web developer. This course will get you there without wasting your time.

Can't I just learn all this on my own without the course?

You can, but you'll have a few additional challenges:

  • Sorting through the ridiculous number of resources on the internet to find what's legit and what isn't
  • Finding the sources that present the information in a way that makes sense to you
  • Going through a few iterations of trial and error before you land on a system that works for you

It can be done… it's just harder. Making it harder increases the risk you'll quit before you can make it work.

How are the videos delivered?

You can download copies of the videos to keep, or you can stream them and watch them in your browser.

Are the videos captioned?

Yes, full English captions are provided for all videos in the course.

What if I don’t like the course?

You can request a full refund within 14 days.

I want this!

A video course that will teach you how to find the best niche as a new or aspiring freelance web developer so that you can start earning money! 💰

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