Wix is another tool that web designers can use to build out simple client websites and for some client websites, using Wix just makes sense.
When it comes to building websites for clients most devs will turn to CMS giant WordPress but there are other less complicated web-builders out there like Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly, etc. that generally let you create websites easily at the cost of versatility. And that’s not altogether a bad thing, depending on what the client’s needs are.
And from these sites that offer simplicity and ease have risen freelancers in their own right. “If you look at Wix today or shopify…even though they’re much easier to use than, let’s say building from scratch: using a template or something, it’s still something that many small business owners don’t want to tackle. …In terms of freelance work, I call it becoming a web professional. A web professional is not necessarily somebody who is a developer (although they could be), …[It’s] somebody who knows how to put up websites, knows the different options; knows how to build from scratch, …you understand when those types of builders make sense, …hosting options, …domain names …this is what a web professional brings to the table.”
Don’t call Wix and the other builders a niche – I’ve been here for years, rockin’ my peers, puttin’ others in fear…okay seriously though, “…because it’s such a huge demand, this type of freelancer is gonna make a lot of money because there’s so many small businesses out there who are positioned on the web in some form or another and they don’t have all this knowledge, they don’t understand the differences between these different platforms and they’re probably not aware of most of these platforms…”
So should you consider using Wix, shopify, etc when choosing how to service client(s) demands over WordPress? “So your job as a consultant/web professional is to direct them in the right direction. Shopify, Wix, SquareSpace, etc. they’re not competition, they’re not taking away from web design and development, they are just tools in your toolbox. …Go in there first [and] talk to your client: see what their needs are and then you as a web professional can determine whether or not the Wix platform can support that.” As previously mentioned, “the thing about these web builders… they’re typically limited: the simplification comes at the cost of flexibility. …When you simplify you usually remove options that you have on the table. So you have to determine whether you need those options or not; maybe you don’t/maybe you do…”. Hey, we never said it was gonna be easy…
The VLOG goes into a way better explanation, you should check it out. And maybe while you’re at it <shameless promo> check out the really cool and thoughtfully put together courses that we offer. Whether is freelancing, or learning web development, you’ll be taking advantage of almost 3 decades of experience in all these subjects AND if you click here, you can take advantage of a super deal! We’ve teamed up with InMotion hosting for a really amazing offer where they essentially pay for you to take my course and learn how to become a web developer. Links to all these offers are below as well. -Enjoy!
WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world and they just released a new major update.
With over 30% of the world’s websites running on WordPress and something akin to 80% of small businesses, it’s safe to say that this content management system (CMS) is a pretty big deal. Which also makes it a huge opportunity for freelancers to become ‘WordPress professionals’ – someone who provides services on the site to those businesses.
WordPress recently released version 5.2, named “Jaco” in honor of renowned and revolutionary jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius, and it’s available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. For those of you not familiar with the CMS giant – TaDa! – and for those of you that just wanna check it out for yourself –Abracadabra!– but we’ll be looking at a couple key/cool updates. Full disclosure, we use WordPress…why? “Because dealing with the headaches of creating your own CMS or your own sites…”, it’s just easier with WordPress.
–PHP Error Detection: You’ll be able to fix fatal errors – like the white screen of death – without requiring ‘developer time’. Also, if your plug-ins and themes go haywire, there’s a recovery mode that you can enter into.
–Accessibility Updates: If you’re using a screen reader of other accessibility technologies, there’s a more seamless integration and more “contextual awareness and keyboard navigation flow”.
–Heads up: *If you are running an old version of PHP (less than 5.6.20), update your PHP before installing 5.2.
Of course, please check out the link above for a list of all things new and shiny, not to mention the VLOG for a more robust pass at this new version. On a side note click here for a really cool offer. We’ve teamed up with InMotion hosting and they’re essentially going to pay for you to take my course and learn how to become a web developer. Links to the offer and my courses are down below. -Enjoy!
OR ‘how did I get started as a web developer?’ OR ‘you kids today don’t know how good you’ve got it…’
Gather round the fire again, younglings, it’s story time. Some of you have been asking how I got my start as a web developer…well now, I reckon I can’t remember that far back (and every time I try, I see quick flashes of people with pitchforks and dragons: greedy and terrible), but I’ll try fer ya…!
It was the 1990’s…’94 to be exact and I had no idea what a website was. In fact, I wasn’t even working anywhere near computers…I did have my own business but you’ll have to checkout the VLOG to find out what is was (mostly cuz I forget…).
You can stick around to the end of the VLOG or click here for a really cool offer. We’ve teamed up with InMotion hosting for a really amazing offer where they essentially pay for you to take my course and learn how to become a web developer. Links to the offer and my courses are down below, but this is a really great opportunity and who knows, maybe one day you’ll be telling the story of how YOU got your start. -Enjoy!
Selling online is really the future of selling; no question. So, is getting into a niche eCommerce business the way to go?
Niches historically have their highs and lows, depending on subject matter. A niche band that your buddy introduced you to might be music to your ears, but perhaps that band isn’t making a lot of money at shows because only a hand full of people who really appreciate what they do turn out…
On the other hand, finding a niche in eCommerce that you can fill would be a good thing. “Niche is the key to success, because if it’s not niche then you’re going to be competing with a lot of big players (possibly), meaning bigger companies or you’re just gonna have a lot of competition.” This is gonna be a shameless plug, but we go into this in better detail in our ‘Complete Entrepreneur’ course that we offer (link below).
“…If you want to get into business go into niche or you go into an industry where there’s just a huge amount of demand that the demand outstrips the supply.” One of the reasons we recommend finding a niche on the web to fill, whether it be eCommerce, WordPress, etc. is that you don’t necessarily have to go to school to be able to jump in. We’re talk about 3-5 years of schooling here… for example, you don’t have to get a data science degree, or a software engineering degree. You can simply take a course…like the ones we offer…nudge, nudge, wink, wink… and be able to jump right in, get your experience, grow your reputation and make your living.
VLOG your face off and check out more in-depth reasons to find a niche market to go into and stick around til the end (or just jump to the end), to see Montreal in the winter…just in case you’ve had enough of this wonderful July heat and forgot about what comes next… -Enjoy!
Starting a business can be very exciting and it can also be very challenging. “You gotta figure out what the business model is going to be, …figure out what product or service you’re going to sell and how you’re going to deliver that product or service in an efficient manner so that you can make money.”
We’re going to give to the short version here but for the most robust version we recommend you check out our entrepreneur course, you won’t regret it. We cover everything from different business types to generating new ideas for businesses, etc, etc.
But that being said, let’s jump into it: Skillz that killz: No matter where or how you learn to code, it’s going to be one of your most important skills; almost like a superpower. Businesses need online presence and they more than likely are “going to be dependent on sort type of software.” See where we’re going with this? Even if you run a travel site, someone going to have to program your search engine and SEO (search engine optimization).
Keep an [eagle] eye out: You may hate your job, but guess what? You’ve probably been there for so long that you know all the ins and outs and what’s lacking and what needs improvement. You could develop an app or a technology that improves how that industry operates and suddenly you’re not working there anymore and now they’re one of your clients. Find your niche, learn everything you can about it and how you can improve it.
Hitting a wall is okay: If every business succeeded right out of the gate, then I guess everyone would be millionaires that had businesses and we’d all be…okay, I don’t know where I’m going with this but the point is it’s okay to hit walls or have little spills and make mistakes. “I believe that if you follow certain basic principles in business and you’re persistent and you manage your finances well; you manage your psychology well, it’s inevitable you will be successful. But you have to expect there’s going to be some work in the beginning…”.
The VLOG goes into a nice little car-chat about some of the ins-and-outs of your business venture but again, check out the link below to our outstanding and experience-based ‘complete entrepreneur’. It’s definitely worth your time.
What kind of highly complex and crazy work will you be doing? The answer may surprise you…
So what is the most common web developer job that is going to be out there in 2019? Are you gonna be building the next FACEBOOK from NODEjs or the next WordPress.com with PHP? The short answer is…maybe, but probably not…
“The most likely situation is you’re going to be working with small to medium sized businesses. Web developers will be building wordpress-based sites with custom mini apps, perhaps. You might be modifying shopify sites and deploying those for people.” Not as glamorous as you thought, is it? Well, it’s the truth…
Think of your standard web developer “…like a GP in the medical [professional]. You got medical doctors that are general practitioners, they don’t specialize in brain surgery, which would be kind of the equivalent of a NODEjs master or a PHP-Laravel master. The most common doctor out there is the GP (general practitioner): someone who takes care of most people’s medical needs. That is what a web professional is, you might do a Paypal integration, another day you might do a WordPress theme customizer…this is where a lot of the professional web-based jobs are gonna be.”
Don’t get us wrong, there’ going to be plenty of work building highly complex apps from scratch, “… but at the end of the day for every advanced app that’s built with NODEjs, there’s going to be five hundred, maybe thousands of jobs where you’re going to modify and build up a WordPress-based site, or work on a Shopify site for somebody.”
The VLOG really does this subject justice, including an answer to the common question of money. Specifically why does the NODEjs master make as much as the common web developer who’s just modifying Shopify or WordPress, etc. and it’s a good answer. -Enjoy!
We received an email from someone recently who hasn’t worked in the field for about 10 years now. They have a computer science degree and are wondering about our courses and what they need to get themselves seen in today’s market…
The advice in this VLOG is good for both people returning to the fold and for those just starting out, but I’m going to cherry-pick a few good starters to <hopefully> whet your appetite…
– “In the last ten years the big change in the web development field has been front-side development: HTML5, CSS3, etc. and how people work with front-side frameworks a lot more than they did 10 years ago…”
-Freelance work or not, you should have some sort of website up and running. Designer or code-monkey, get something that “legitimizes your profession”.
– Our courses (links at the bottom) teach the basics, it’s true, but we also teach how to build “simple but real-world projects”, that way you can launch right into it. So in other words, “you won’t be building facebook (yet), but definitely the beginnings of facebook.”
-As a freelancer PHP is a good way to go because a lot of small businesses use PHP, but you’ll also get a well rounded education on the “fundamentals”, so you can use whatever you need to get the work done efficiently and quickly.
There’s sooo much more that is touched on in the VLOG and you would really be doing yourself a favor to check it out. In the meantime, check out the links below to the courses we offer. Whether you’re the new kid on the block, curious about freelancing or a grizzled old veteran who just wants to sharpen their skills, we have something for everyone.
Alright, shameless self-promotion time!! We offer a kick-ass course in FREELANCING. It’s super informative and affordable.
Now before we go any further, let’s talk about the difference between freelancer and contractors: Contractor: Typically brought into an organization and you have a particular task that’s assigned to you/ have to show up at specific time. It’s usually pretty structured/you are an employee without any benefits. Freelance: Also have no benefits but maximum flexibility in terms of your work hours. Essentially you chose when and how you’re going to work.
Now the nature of freelance and why it’s so alluring is that generally speaking you don’t have to be anywhere at any one specific time. You have the freedom to plan your day according to what the demands are: for example you can go meet a client and you can decide what tools you are going to use for the job they have, and generally speaking it’s up to you when you do it and how you do it… So let’s say you work 30 hours a week (guess) at a full-time brick and mortar job, you can easily budget out another 10-15 hours in that week for your freelance job (whatever that may be).
The hard part, of course, will be managing your time when you’re starting out and really being disciplined enough to do that freelancing job after a tough day at work, but maybe someone’s been through that experience already and is just dying to share it with you!
Check out the rest of this vid for some more insight into the subject plus a tight little drum intro in the beginning, AND a winter wonderland walk that culminates in a peek into my past dating life…
How to get Clients to Produce Content for their Websites?
Clients, man… Can’t live with ’em, can’t make a living without them, amirite?
On your travels out there as a freelancer, you’re going to come across times when clients aren’t are late with, or aren’t delivering the content you need to work with. Maybe you find yourself doing what should be their responsibility or job, just to move things along so you can get to completing YOUR job on time. What can we do?
First off -SHAMELESS PLUG- we tackle this in our “Freelancer Course”; links at the bottom.
Second, essentially, you’re going to need to specify a lot this in your contract. Yeah, I know it’s more work for you to write this out, but it’ll save you so much grief in the long run. For example, something like ‘after the second draft has received approval, I will then need pictures, written content, etc. going forward’ if the content is to be delivered in whatever time you specified (ex: 30 days), work will be halted until ‘content’ has been received, etc.
Third, “gentle reminders” and emails. Clients sometimes forget things, they’ve got stuff going on too… so you email them with a “gentle reminder” (and seriously, be gentle. Use phrases like “at your leisure”, “when you have a second”, etc.), letting them know that you need ‘X’ material to continue. Also, we really do recommend you email them. That way there is a time-stamped copy of the request so they cannot come to you later saying that you were late on the project or anything else. You simply (and calmly) call up the email and show them that you attempted to get the material…
Lastly, unfortunately, this is “par for the course”, meaning that it happens and it’s totally normal if not expected. Have some other projects going on so that when one stalls, you simply refocus your effort the next. Now, fair warning: This does involve time management and juggling, so don’t bite off more than you can chew, especially if more than one of these projects has the capability to suddenly demand all of your attention at the same time…
Check out the video where we into more detail and check out our “freelancer course” link at the bottom so you can benefit from our mistakes experiences in the past, when dealing with client expectations. At the end of the day, it’s best that everyone knows where they stand and what expected of them. Enjoy!
A basic business lesson…be very careful about who and what binding business relationships you establish.
The general idea I want to get across is: don’t get into unnecessary deals with third party companies. Really think hard about what the “partner” brings to the table for you to want to “partner up” with them.
Now, specifically I want to talk about…
MCN: multi-channel network: A company that claims to help “grow” your channel (YouTube, in this case…), by taking control of your channel for x number of years, where generally all the income is funneled to the MCN, and after the “number of years” the income is returned, minus the MCN’s cut and generally you have no idea what the MCN has done, did or was planning on doing or the “help” they provided was ambiguous, uncertain or (in your best Unicorn voice), highly dubious. In my opinion it’s predatory. Also, see rent-seekers.
Generally the stuff they offer is stuff that sounds like you need their help getting but when you think about it, you don’t. Example: free access for using stock footage (you can get that yourself for about 20$ a month which is way less than their fee).
In the video we’ll link to some YouTube content creators that got hosed real bad (if you haven’t already heard) as an example. Plus some of the experiences we had in the past. Enjoy!