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September 21, 2014 at 2:45 pm #183770
Focus first on becoming a quality developer and after that jump in more serious gigs?
There’s nothing wrong with this. What’s wrong is a “$20 website.” That’s not a “small job,” it’s something you may-as-well-have done for free. Unless you did the whole thing (including design, coding, testing, purchasing the domain and hosting, and publishing) in under 22 minutes, it’s less than (US Federal) minimum wage.
Here, on my range of price there are tons of bad clients. They don’t provide enough information, want experts for 50$ bucks and it is really hard to choose a quality client in my position.
If you are worth anything, it’s at least minimum wage. Even an unstyled HTML document is worth more than minimum wage. To be honest, if you really can’t provide at least that level of service, then you shouldn’t be doing this for money at all.
Yes, it is true that there are lots of people who want everything for nothing. That’s their fault, not yours. Don’t enable them by taking them up on their offers.
Talk about how much time is involved in the process of design and coding. Ask your clients how awful the finished product must be if they hire someone who is only worth (their offer / hours of work). If they still decline, let them go. Say you’re sorry to hear it, but you’d be happy to speak with them again if they need your services in the future.
my main objective is to become a good developer. I know the serious money will come after that, but I’d like to build a solid reputation too.
Go practice instead. I know it feels counter-intuitive, but in most cases it really is better to get nothing than to work for not-enough. Any future business you might get from making your $50 client happy —be it future work or referrals— will come with that same price tag. Or quite possibly, less. So what’s the point of doing it? It’s a trap.
It’s easy to think “I’ll be worth more when I have more experience.” This is true. But ask anyone who has ever done business for themselves: the only way to significantly raise your rates is to drop all of your current clients and get new ones. Building a $50 reputation is not a good approach.September 21, 2014 at 3:09 pm #183777
I just completed the work for my first client. I’m feeling great! It was a simple static website, for twenty bucks but I started two weeks ago with the web development so it’s a good progress for me.
I will continue to bid for these small jobs until I had more 4-5 stars review and then I will take a shot to the pay per hour contests.
Everything that traq just said + next time let Squarespace do that job for them.September 22, 2014 at 2:47 am #183955
@traq – It makes perfectly sense. I’m feeling like an idiot. I did the site from scratch HTML and CSS and it takes 6-8 hours. I knew it’s not fair but I was thinking at my reputation “I will have 5 stars and then it is more easily to get a job’. But you are right. These kind of jobs will put me in the “cheap” category.
I’m going to make a practice routine(4-5 hours/day) and I think I will spend 30-60 minutes to choose good gigs for me.
Thanks guys for advice, you are PURE gold for me!September 22, 2014 at 3:01 am #183959
It makes perfectly sense. I’m feeling like an idiot. I did the site from scratch HTML and CSS and it takes 6-8 hours.
There’s no reason you should feel that way. This is new for you so of course it’s going to take you longer than someone who has established experience and practice with those subjects. However, just because you’re new to this does not mean you should be a slave to someone who doesn’t understand what it takes to complete these projects. At the same time don’t take on projects that you know you can’t fulfill. Take your time, don’t confuse yourself and create websites for yourself to practice.
If you need resources to help you or you’re struggling with something, all you have to do is just ask.September 22, 2014 at 10:26 am #184122
There’s no reason you should feel that way. This is new for you so of course it’s going to take you longer than someone who has established experience and practice with those subjects…
Absolutely. If it felt like I was pounding my point in with a hammer, I’m sorry; it’s only because this is a very common situation in the web/design industry (and therefore, a bit frustrating). Beyond the beginner thinking this way, there is a whole sub-industry dedicated to promoting the idea that “the cheapest bidder always wins” and exploiting those who fall for it. That piece-of-**** site fiverr, for example.September 22, 2014 at 10:45 am #184127
I completely agree with your points on this topic, Adrian. There is a common misconception from beginners that they must be a slave for the money to become established. By teaching them otherwise, we’re only helping the industry while sites like Fiverr continue to hurt it.September 22, 2014 at 11:27 am #184135
I bought a course from Udemy, “The complete web developer course” and it includes a pdf named “First 10k$ as a web developer” and the author suggests to bid these very small gigs(I excluded all >50$ projects in my filter :)) ).
Of course, your point makes more sense than his. With these ridiculous low rates I teach the clients that web design is a child play and also I label myself as a cheap. Nobody likes cheap.
A new question guys:
I’m watching the old videos from CSS-tricks(2007-2008) because I think the history will help me in the future. Is it true or I should watch more recent vids from 2012-2013?September 22, 2014 at 12:49 pm #184147
Start with what interests you. Chris’ videos follow trends to a certain extent, and he also learns new ways of doing stuff on occasion. Combined with the fact that the web itself changes/develops quickly, there’s not necessarily any advantage to going chronologically.September 22, 2014 at 8:26 pm #184174
Are you struggling in any area of HTML and CSS?September 23, 2014 at 2:48 pm #184393
@chrisburton – Do you focus on one thing(like responsive websites) and grow your skill to a good level on it or you see some new techniques and put them in your arsenal?
I’m asking because I read an article today and the author said is better to pick a niche and personalize your offer for it(like tech start-ups websites, mobile websites etc).September 23, 2014 at 5:40 pm #184403
Great question. To get into those areas you need fundamental knowledge and understanding of the basics. Because technology and hardware is changing so rapidly, responsive design really helps websites adapt to that. It is leading to become a standard practice for everyone to implement. So, do I think you would be entirely successful in a business model which primarily focuses on that? I highly doubt it but that should be something you already incorporate into websites you’re building.September 23, 2014 at 5:53 pm #184404AlenParticipant
@gsg, specialization comes later. Once you have full grasp on variety of things, like Chris mentioned, fundamentals. IMO, you should be broadening your experimentation with things, since trying things out will narrow your focus to things that you like and enjoy doing. That inner genius is waiting to be realized.
Once you have somewhat of a grasp on things then you can specialize in specific area.September 23, 2014 at 6:40 pm #184405
Yes, yes, yes. Experimentation is important. If you find an area that interests you; get into it, break things, learn. Just yesterday I found out things we can do with CSS that I never thought was currently possible.September 29, 2014 at 9:26 am #184958
I just wrote an article about my impressions, things that I learnt, my mistakes and stuff from my first month as a web developer.January 1, 2015 at 1:17 pm #192023
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