Freelance website design: a great way to start your own business!

Freelance website design: a great way to start your own business

Freelance website design: a great way to start your own business!

Today, I’m going to share with you why I think offering website creation services can be a great way to start your own business and escape the rat race.

Disclaimer : this article contains affiliate links

Today I want to share why I believe starting your own website creation service can be the foot in the door to becoming an entrepreneur.

Sure when we think about online entrepreneurship, the first thing that comes to mind is startups, affiliate marketing, dropshipping, funnels, apps, systems and all the magic words that we’re being fed all day long. And they’re a great way to make money but it can take time before you actually make your first dollar.

So one way to make the transition from a 9-to-5 employee to being your own boss is to start freelancing by offering your services in exchange for money.

Now, a word of caution here: freelancing is not easy and you’re probably going to work way more hours at the beginning than you did in your job, so it’s not for everybody but if you’re determined to change your life and your situation I honestly believe this is one of the most straightforward ways to get started without wasting a lot of time, plus it can be a lot of fun and your entry to the free world.

Now in a future post, we’ll see how you can actually hire freelancers to do the production work for you, but in this video, we’ll discuss the scenario where you are a one person company, and you need to be able to deliver websites to your clients with minimal outside help.


The Digital Age

We live in a day and age when it’s never been easier to start freelancing!

A few years ago, rolling on your own was a little more scary and complicated, especially if you did not have a lot of money upfront.

But nowadays you can get started for a fraction of the cost, and if you work in the web design / development industry, all you need is a decent computer and some apps to make it happen. And sure you’re in better shoes if you have a good budget under your belt, but with all the free software available, you can get started for a few hundred dollars. But a word about free tools later in this video.

Now think for a second about what our grand-parents and their parents had to go through. No internet, no cheap Facebook ads, no social media, and yet some of them managed to get it working so which excuse do we have today?
Competition? Of course competition is tough because nowadays everyone starts “their agency”, but the truth is, how many of those offer real quality? How many of your “competitors” are ready to do what it takes to offer outstanding value, keep up with current trends and offer websites that are pleasing visually, well crafted technically and most of all that are conversion optimized? If you start seeing things that way, you will notice that your “competition” will shrink considerably.


Build Up Your Skills

Now of course, that means that you must be good at what you do, but what if you’re just average?

Well… get better at it!

There is no excuse today with the ton of training you can get from the comfort of your chair, whether free on YouTube or premium on Udemy, or similar platforms.

And that’s why I started this post by saying that it can be a good transition from employee to entrepreneur because there is a lesson to be learned here: you need to outwork your competition. You need to constantly seek how you can become better at what you do, so that the day you hire your first employees you’ll be able to pass on that mentality and make it a core pillar of your company, because if you, the business owner, if YOU are not motivated enough to make your business better day by day, do you honestly think that someone who comes working for you, to make YOU richer, will be motivated?

So if you want to start selling website creation services, the first step in my opinion is to make sure you deliver quality and for that you need to practice a lot as an ongoing learning.

What I advise is that you start browsing the web, and bookmarking websites that stand out from the rest, and then try to replicate those for practicing purposes (not for real websites) so that you can get better at it.

Now giving a one-size-fits-all advice is complicated because I don’t know how good you are at creating websites, how long you’ve been doing that, or whether you are more of a developer, more of a designer, or a mix of both, and so on.

What I can tell you though is that in my opinion, if you want to start freelancing by selling website creation services, even though we have fantastic tools that I recommend and will talk about later in this video, you should in my opinion at the very least learn html and css.

And I’m saying that because more and more I come across individuals that offer website creation services but when you dig deeper, you find out that they only know how to use tools that will help them build websites, but they have no knowledge of how HTML and CSS work and that, in my opinion is not ideal because if you don’t know how it works, how will you troubleshoot it? How will you get creative beyond what the tools offer you?

HTML and CSS is very simple and can be learned very fast.

Now I don’t believe in too much theory: for me the best way to learn is to create a project, so you could start creating a simple HTML/CSS project. In my opinion that’s the very minimum you should do. It will tremendously help you in your website creation service business.

Later, if you’re up for it, go back to your HTML/CSS project and learn how you can use a language like PHP and a database to make it dynamic. You don’t have to do it, it’s just that in my opinion it really helps into understanding how things work.
You can do the same thing for javascript (which I suck at by the way). The idea here is just to grasp the concepts, understand the logic, and be familiar with troubleshooting and searching for the correct info for implementation in your projects.

If you don’t have money, you can learn most of that on YouTube for free.

Also, there are some websites out there that give you free basic training.

The only downside in my opinion is that the information is scattered all around, and not everybody is good at teaching so you will need to do a lot of digging up to find resources that will match your current level and needs. But it’s free!


What about the best tools for the job?

Now if you do have some money to learn but in a more logical and incremental way, then I strongly recommend Team TreeHouse.

I’ve personally used that service a few years ago, and really loved the experience because it helps you build up skills incrementally, at your pace and it let’s you track the progress. 

And cherry on the cake, it’s ridiculously cheap in my opinion at 25$/month

Think about it, if you are committed enough, I believe that in 6 months or less for those who are really motivated, you could build up your skills to a level that would allow to up your game and start your freelancing business. 

Now if you think that sounds too good to be true, here is a link for a trial offer so that you can try it for free and see for yourself! This is an affiliate link, which means that if you click on my link and do end up subscribing to their service, I will get a commission but I want to make clear that:

  • I only recommend TeamTreeHouse because I’ve used it myself and it has tremendously helped me
  • it doesn’t cost you anything extra, you pay exactly the same price, but I do get a commission, which in turns helps me keeping on producing free content

Now, I’m recommending TeamTreeHouse to learn the basic concepts, not for you to create websites from scratch each and every time you land a customer. That would be overkill and time-consuming in my opinion, not to mention hardly manageable for your customers.

Luckily we have great tools, which I will speak about deeply in dedicated videos, but nowadays I mainly work with two combos :

— the Divi theme and it’s Divi page builder
— the Astra Pro theme with the Elementor Pro theme builder

I’m recommending these because these two combos are such game changers, that I wish I’d had a few years ago when I started, and I love it!

And this comes from someone who has had to craft many websites manually or with bloated WordPress themes, so that’s why I fell in love with both Divi and Elementor.

Now you will find a lot of die-hard fans in each camp, but personally I love both and use them in different situations.

Also, the fact that these two have been in constant competition lately is beneficial for us, because they bring more and more features and they’re pushing the limits week after week.

Nowadays I find myself using both for different scenarios, and sometimes I even use both combos on the same website!

Divi offers a lifetime plan, which in my opinion is a steal, so I would highly recommend you get if you’re serious about offering website creation services, whereas Elementor does not have a lifetime plan unfortunately but is worth every penny because at the time of recording this video it has a big advantage over Divi: the fact the it is not only a page builder but also a theme builder, which means that you can alter the look of your headers & footers, archive pages, 404 pages, woo commerce pages and much more with a ton of granular options, and that’s a dream come true!

Now Elegant Themes, the company behind Divi have already announced that they will offer the same features in the future so keep watching out for that.

Another big difference between Divi and Elementor is that Divi is both a WordPress theme & a page builder. So you get it all in one package.

Elementor on the other hand is a page and theme builder but not a theme. And although they have created a very simple theme called hello and that you can download for free on their GitHub repository, in my opinion it lacks the bells and whistles that a theme can offer. So for that I use the Astra theme which is made by BrainStorm Force, the company that create great and well crafted WordPress plugins.

The Astra Pro theme is well coded, uses minimal requests that make your site faster, and I like the fact that you can activate or de-activate features you need or don’t need, to make your website even cleaner and faster. You can get Astra free but it lacks features like sticky header, transparent header, or the ability to have different headers for different pages of your website so if you can afford it, get the pro version for which they offer different plans.

If you really want to start creating websites as a business, I would advise you to get the agency plan while you can (either annually or even better: the lifetime plan) because on top of Astra Pro, you get access to all of their current and future premium plugins such as

  • Convert Pro which is an email opt-in & lead generation plugin
  • Schema pro for schema markup,
  • Wp portfolio to showcase your portfolio professionally,
  • UAEL: Ultimate Addons for Elementor which is a suite of premium addons for Elementor,
  • and more!

I know all of that has a cost, but honestly if you sell just one website, you will have more than made your return on investment back.

That’s why I love lifetime plans. Pay once, reap forever.

Just one website, think about it. If you want to see it for yourself, just check the affiliate link in the description of this video.

Now if you don’t have money to get started or if you are skeptical, the good news is that both Astra and Elementor come with free versions that allow you to craft great looking websites.

It’s just that some features won’t be activated but at least you can get started, and once you’ve made some money you can always get the pro versions and if you want to support my channel, you can get those through my links in this article 🙂


Free is great right? Or … Is it?

And I want to end this video on this very point: it’s okay to look for free tools, we all love free right? I know I do.

But once you’re in business you actually need to change your mentality because free is not always good.

In the case of Astra and Elementor, you can be confident that will support their free versions as long as they’re in business with their pro plans, but in case of enthusiasts that build and offer free plugins with no financial means backed up by premium products or services, I’d stay away from it, especially on your customers websites because just imagine that these plugins stop being supported (which happens all the time by the way) AND your client’s website stops working. Who will you turn to?

On top of features, support and updates is really what we pay for in Premium products & services so to wrap this up, here is my advice:

  • if you have no budget, start with free tools made by well established companies that you are confident will not disappear tomorrow, and when you can, purchase their premium version
  • if you have a budget, get one of these combos that I mentioned, or oven both if you can, and watch how your work becomes easier and faster

SO, I hope that this post encouraged you to start your own website creation services and if there are some aspects you’d like me to talk about deeper please let me know in the comments.

Now did you already start selling your website creation services and if yes, what challenges are you going through? 

If you watch the companion video and if you liked it, please give it a thumbs up, as it really helps growing the channel and if you know someone that could benefit from it please share it now.

Now if you want to brand, market and grow your business it in the Digital Age make sure you subscribe to my email newsletter so that you never miss your share of digital alchemy, tips, tools, services and case studies that can help you grow your business online.

So I hope to see you around here or on the Youtube channel, and in the meantime, do you know what time it is? I think you do, it’s time to invest in your success!


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