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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    62
    Member #
    4758
    For a while I did webdesign as a hobby. I have had some schooling. Now I would like to start doing webdesign for work. My main concern is finding work. Is there enough work out there for someone who knows HTML, CSS, a tiny bit of Java and enough PHP to edit and add to existing PHP based content managament systems? Images are no problem either. I cannot do anything fancy but I can do some nice work. I use Linux so all of my software is free.

    That is just a side question, I guess. My main question is: Where do you get most of your work from? Your own site, word-of-mouth, local advertisement?

    I live in a small town in northern MN now and do not want to get into this unless I could get enough work. Many of the businesses here could benefit from having a website because it is a tourist town. So there is a little bit of business that could be found here.

    My goal is to do freelance work, not to start a large business. I simply want to sustain my wife and I. One idea I had was to build a website for myself, with all of my info on it. Then build a few templates for Wordpress or other content management system software and put them out there for people to use for free, with the hope that people would use them or like them and visit my website. That my bring in a couple people here and there. But I would need to do this almost full time.

    Any suggestions?
    - flipjargendy

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  3. #2
    Senior Member aeroweb99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Port Huron, Michigan
    Posts
    1,037
    Member #
    16468
    Liked
    1 times
    These times are tough, obviously. Yes, step one is to design your own site. You can put some templates in there or concept sites but people will want to see live sites to kinda prove that you can do web design from start to finish. So your own site is going to be important as far as getting business.

    Another great way is to join business groups. As you build relationships with other biz owners you will pick up work there too. Chamber of commerce is always a good group to start with, then you will find others from that group. I can't say enough good things about groups as far as networking yourself goes.

    You can also find some really terrible designed sites from some businesses in your area and send them a business letter and sell yourself.

    Advertising is not the greatest way to push web design in my experience. You would need to spend a lot of money to get repetitive ads and get your name known, then eventually work might come in from there.

    Referrals are nice too. If you make nice effective websites, then word will travel a bit.

    I don't know if you can earn a living in these times as a start up, that would be tough.

  4. #3
    jj1
    jj1 is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    319
    Member #
    17546
    I have similar skills to yourself and work in my spare time on web design. It's something I enjoy, it provides a bit of extra money and I hope to build up the business but it does not pay the mortgage.
    I started by doing my own website with some "website designs" (ie not live websites) in my portfolio, then a couple of websites for charity (free) and then a website for a friend (reduced price). I then also taught myself SEO so I could get my own and my clients' sites high in Google.
    Check the prices of the other web designers in your area - this will give you a guide as to how much you can charge.
    I personally just get the - odd - enquiry through my own website - we were getting more before the recession even thought we were then lower down in Google.
    I know a web designer I once knew found that cold calling businesses in person was a useful source of leads.
    Good luck.


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