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How to start freelancing

Thread title: How to start freelancing
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07-19-2007, 11:03 PM
#1
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  Old  How to start freelancing

1. Choose a skill
Different people are good at different things, I am an expert programmer but cant design for the life of me. The only way to find what you are good at is to give both an equal chance.

2. Starting:
If you are a programmer, start with learning HTML, HTML is your basics, you wont be able to do anything if you dont know HTML. When you learn HTML you need to start a scripting language, I would recommend PHP since its easy, widely supported and there are tons of resources for it. When you learn one well (and I mean really well), move on to something else. JavaScript/AJAX are valuable skills.

If you are a designer you will have to wait till I get a paragraph from someone who knows design.

3. Choose hosting
No matter what you do, you will have to have hosting. What should you pay? Can you afford the good hosting? Ask yourself this, can you afford to have a problem with you server and spend almost a week trying to find a knowledgeable tech. Can you afford downtime during projects? You get what you pay for, I pay $20 a month for 3 domains, one gig space and 60 transfer. For this seemingly steep price, the techs respond to tickets in 15min (this includes admins) and there is zero downtime, it works right the first time. My last host (does it matter? All budget hosts are the same) took 8 hours per response, the issue could take days. For a full article on this, read my article on how to choose a host.

4. Build a portfolio
People wont go with you at a good price till you get a portfolio and recommendations. Do some smallish open source scripts for your portfolio, this will give clients a good look at how you code. For recommendations, do cheaper work, when you have both you can start working at a full price. And remember,
NEVER WORK FOR FREE!!!

5. Find your price
If you are going to be renting an office or have many costs of business, read Julian's article on pricing. If you are not, find a fee you are happy with and work at that. What do you value your time at? Thats a question only you can answer.

07-19-2007, 11:21 PM
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  Old

Very nice article and very helpfull. I have a question though, do you have any good refrences on where I can start to learn PHP?

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07-19-2007, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Purge View Post
Very nice article and very helpfull. I have a question though, do you have any good refrences on where I can start to learn PHP?
Yes, PHP 5 in Easy Steps is a great book

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07-19-2007, 11:28 PM
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php.net
For easy tutorials, good-tutorials and pixel2life


Good luck Purge.

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07-20-2007, 12:26 AM
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I blogged on this very topic a few days ago and have some additional tips freelancers might find helpful:

http://www.freelancelocaltech.com/blog/archives/13

If I have time tonight I also plan to blog specifically on #5; if I don't, it'll happen this weekend.

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07-20-2007, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by amf View Post
I blogged on this very topic a few days ago and have some additional tips freelancers might find helpful:

http://www.freelancelocaltech.com/blog/archives/13

If I have time tonight I also plan to blog specifically on #5; if I don't, it'll happen this weekend.
Thats more to start a web design business.

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07-20-2007, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Village Idiot View Post
Thats more to start a web design business.
Really? Since I don't have a freelance web design business (I'm a code junky), I didn't think my point of view was going to get slanted that way. I tried to be freelance job neutral, since FreelanceLocalTech is trying to grab people from all tech freelance backgrounds. I thought the piece would apply to someone who's a freelance plumber pretty much the same.

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07-20-2007, 12:50 AM
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I have a question though, it is offtopic but about starting a web design business. I am planning on getting a .com but not making it into a business. The services would be from my portfolio. Would it be un-original to have a url like the first letter of my first name and then my last name as a .com?

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07-20-2007, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Purge View Post
I have a question though, it is offtopic but about starting a web design business. I am planning on getting a .com but not making it into a business. The services would be from my portfolio. Would it be un-original to have a url like the first letter of my first name and then my last name as a .com?
If that's how you want to be known, then do it. When I first started, my company name was "AMF Enterprises" (using my initials). When I finally got around to incorporating for liability reasons, I picked CustomBytes, since that was more descriptive of what I did and was a helpful way for people to remember my company (since few can pronounce my last name anyway).

I'm confused by the way you started your question, though. You ask "about starting a web design business", but then say you aren't making it into a business...?

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07-20-2007, 01:51 AM
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Sorry about the cofusion. :P

I want to make it into a business but I have no where near the experience nor time to start a business nor have enough clients to start one. As of now, I am probably just going to have the services that I offer listed in my Portfolio as I planned and not expand to a business just yet. As for the .com I was planning on making it the first initial of my first name and my last name at the end. So Spollard.com or somthing like that.

And one question about getting Clients.

Currently, I am looking for clients because I offer coding services. But I am a new coder around here and I don't have many works to show to them before they use one of my services. Would me coding my portfolio be enough to start off as an example of my coding to get some clients and post their work as an example in my folio?

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