What Should I Learn If I Want to be a Freelance Developer?

What Should I Learn If I Want to be a Freelance Developer

First of all there are several kinds of web developers in the industry; however, not every kind can opt out to become a freelancer. Careerlancer recommends to relatively new candidates, looking for freelance development opportunities, to start with learning Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress or Ecommerce platforms like Magento or Shopify.

Okay, here’s why you should start with CMS

  • Freelance opportunities for WordPress and Magento Developers are vast and well paid.
  • Learning and mastering Magento or WordPress development is much easier and less time consuming than learning web app development frameworks like Ruby on Rails, Express and Angular, for example.

A custom build web application using RoR, Angular, Python etc. usually takes more than one person and lots of time. In most companies, a team or an entire department is generally delegated to work on these kinds of projects. Plus, web application projects are so large at times that they can take close to few months to build it, test it and run it accurately on client server.

Yes, we have many freelancers, or more specifically consultants, who are solo web app developers; but most of them have more than 5 years of experience in the industry.

What Should You Learn as A Newbie?

If the world of coding is relatively new and you have already decided to go on to become a freelance developer, you can start by learning:

  1. HTML
  2. CSS

When we say HTML and CSS, we are trying to be more specific in saying that these languages are quite basic and may not be approved in interviews. However, you can fine-tune your skills by beginning with these two. In fact, you can try building websites and web apps for yourself or friends, just to enhance your skill.

  1. Moving on, as you gradually go ahead to enhance your skills, try mastering in one of the content management systems we spoke about earlier in the blog. Examples include WordPress, Magento, Joomla, Drupal etc.
  1. WordPress is one of the leading and most demanding Content Management System frameworks, followed by Magento. So, we definitely suggest you this. However, if you choose to go with Magento or WordPress, you will have to study PHP development as well.PHP is a server side scripting language and is classified as a backend language. It is especially used in creating highly responsive webpages, where user interaction is a paramount parameter.
  1. Finally, you will be on the advantages’ side if you brush your knowledge or acquire bit of an expertise on Java Script/jQuery.

Don’t get too much worked-up. Learning these skills is prettymuch easy and affordable. In fact when you are at it, you will eventually study corresponding technologies such as command line, FTP, text editors as well.

Where Can You Find Your First Few Assignments?

Demand for freelancers is now everywhere. Finding job is not a difficult task anymore, if you have the right skill in place. However, you have to put an effort. Here are few classified places where you can find your first freelance developer gig:

  • Craiglist – In here you search job listings by using keywords, find jobs on both national and international market and very simple job application methods.
  • Upwork – Upwork is one of the trending yet newly formed international freelance job platform. The site has unique messaging and time- tracking system which lets easy collaboration between hiring managers and freelancers.
  • WordPress Jobs – This site is totally and completely dedicated to the WordPress developers, so it might be very useful to you. This site is hosted by WordPress.org itself and jobs usually range from full time, freelance to project based. Job categories include development, design, plugin development, app development, logo and more.
  • Indeed – Indeed is the largest job site around the world with more than a million job results for freelancers. It is also a keyword and location based job search forum.
  • Startupers – This is an awesome site to find start-up openings. Although, job types range from marketing to fashion styling, developers and engineers will find more job options here. To search jobs you don’t need an account.
  • FlexJobs –FlexJobs is meant for freelancing and remote job listing only. You will find your kind of jobs at varying levels – from junior to executive. Although, there is a free version, the premium version will save you lot of job search time with their special screening option.

How to Sell Services as a Freelance Developer?

Although selling is something not a lot of people are comfortable doing, as a freelance developer you have to embrace the idea to become successful. We have broken down your selling service into three parts:

  1. Your introduction with a potential client
  2. Creating and giving out a proposal
  3. Deal closure

The initial meeting is the most important communication you will have with your employer. It is done mostly over the phone. Here, don’t just rant about your skills; rather ask questions about client’s requirements and business. Based on the information, find the loop holes and problem areas you need focusing on.

The second part is making a deal. In the proposal stage you have to source out best possible solution to fix the problem of the client. Stuffs the website shouldfeature,things that should go on the home page, the kind of photographs needed, number of pages, any featured page etc. are few such solutions you can propose.

Finally, when you are trying to close the deal, you have to provide viable explanation as how your proposal will help the client grow in his business. When you are at it, it is important that you speak from a perspective of a problem solver and not of a web developer. You have to speak in a language the client understands. Don’t sell out your technical expertise and talk about software. Rather give solutions to client’s problems using your skills, technology and software.