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TAG | web design

Mar/14

14

Picking Apart the Biggest Challenges with Your Freelance Business

Owning your own business, that’s part of the American dream, isn’t it? Well, our founding fathers had no idea just how challenging being a GetACoder freelancer can be! Many freelancers feel that they are operating in the dark, with no one to offer advice or guidance. Although this isn’t entirely true, support is out there if you look for it, but let’s pick apart the biggest challenges with your freelance business that many people come across.

Although I’ve been a freelance designer for several years, I’m finding it difficult to find solid clients who are willing to pay for a job well done.

This is a common problem and there is no magic answer. Marketing will help you build a client base and there are literally hundreds of ways to find good clients. Probably the most well-known is Linkedin, but there is also Adwords, Facebook, your own local Chamber of Commerce, and SEO to name a few. Work on getting multiple streams of traffic, or leads, coming to you. Marketing may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly pays off.

My freelance business is plagued with “Lookie Loos”, those people who look, ask a lot of questions, don’t know very much so they take up a lot of time, but then they either don’t have the money for my services or they don’t have the authorization to contract my services. What can I do about them?

How frustrating this type of customer can be! However, weeding them out isn’t as hard as you think. First, consider making some type of “minimum budget estimate” (for example, 5,000 dollars minimum) on your own website, perhaps listing it right next to the contact information. You may even consider stating that you will only deal with proposals from agencies or companies and not individuals. Try setting up a pre-qualifying set of questions so you can decide over the phone, or by email, if this is just another customer with dreams or a customer with cash.

I have quite of a bit of experience but I’m new to doing freelance work. How do I get started?

Again, this is a good case for marketing. When you put yourself out there via your own website and other networking sites, such as Linkedin, you won’t need to search for customers so much as they will be searching for you. You might also put some feelers out for startup companies; they almost always are in need of web design and other freelance work. Also, don’t underestimate you need for a good reputation on social media as well. Ask some of your former employers to write a few good words about your work for you on your Facebook or GetACoder page.

What can you do when people refuse to pay you after you have done work for them?

Assuming they had no issue with the work that was done, this is a rare problem. Did you have a written contract or agreement? It’s always best to have something in writing to avoid problems such as this. Depending on the amount of money involved, if you had a contract and could verify your work, then you could either contact a collection agency or go to small claims court. Without a contract, you have nothing to stand on.

I have many interested clients and prospects but I can’t seem to get them to commit! All I get are excuses. How can I get clients to stop procrastinating?

The answer to this one is similar to the others. Market yourself better so you attract better clients, and prequalify them so you don’t waste time with non-serious prospects. Try asking them direct questions such as “What is your timeline for this project?”, and “Do you have a budget in mind for this?” Follow these guidelines and your outlook is sure to improve.

Heather Howell is a native Southern Californian. She currently resides in Washington, D.C. She devotes most of her time to rural development in Bangladesh. Having obtained a degree in from UCLA, she enjoys writing on a variety of topics that range from Infant health and International politics to fashion trends and health advice. Heather is one of several freelance writers on the GetACoder Blog team.

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Dec/13

19

Helpful Tools and Resources for Designers and Developers

Starting your freelancing career as a GetACoder designer or web developer could be quite thrilling and intimidating. Oftentimes, most of you might think that you don’t have enough skills or available tools in order to accomplish even the most basic project.

To help you with your dilemma, here’s a collection of tools and resources that could help you get your projects done.

SuperheroJS

There is an endless list of articles, tutorials and documentations about JavaScript over the Internet. Searching for something that would best match your skill level could be time consuming. Luckily, SuperheroJS is here to help you out. It offers a wide collection of JS troubleshoot, JavaScript resources, articles and videos which are suited for newbies and seasoned developers as well.

My Styles

Having the ability to change webpage style without directly affecting the actual style sheet could be possible. However, once you refresh the page, the style would be reverted back to what it looks like originally. If in case you wish to keep these changes permanently, installing an extension such as My Styles could be useful.

WP Fill

When creating a WordPress theme, you have to be sure that all the necessary elements of each post and the pages are displayed appropriately. To do this, you need a dummy text to function as the actual post. If you wish, you can create your own content for this. Or better yet, you may use WP Fill to generate the content or only the specific element that you need.

UI Faces

Nowadays, an avatar or a user photo is necessary in most sites and apps. UI Faces is an easy-to-use tool which would allow you to generate avatar photos in your design mockup. Also, you are free to set the size and the border radius of these avatars. After which, you can simply download the ones that you need.

Adobe Edge Reflow

If you think coding a responsive website via a code editor is annoying and complicated, then the Adobe Edge Reflow is definitely the best alternative for you. This is actually the same as the other Web Editors. The only thing that sets it apart is it is packed with a number of special components to help build responsive websites in an entirely different way.

Smashing Magazine

If you are interested to know more about coding, web design and mobile design, then Smashing Magazine is the right place for you. Here, you have access to a whole lot of new articles and updates regarding design and development. Plus, books, workshops and job boards are also featured here.

Now that we have given you a number of resources, feel free to use them in some of your tasks. Make your clients happy and be proud of what you have accomplished. Also, try to experiment and learn a few things everyday and you’ll be on your way to success in no time. Mind you, self education and perseverance is the key to a successful freelancing career.

Kathlyn Angeles is a freelance writer based in the Philippines. With her budding career as a writer, she has written many articles and web content for a number of clients from all over the world. Travel articles, SEO and web content are among her expertise. Also, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Kathlyn is one of the several freelance writers on the GetACoder Blog Team.

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Aug/13

14

Art Vs. Web Design: Do They Go Hand in Hand?

Whether it is web design or art both are creative works and the persons who do it must have creative senses. A common question that is asked quite often regarding this issue is “Do art and web design go hand in hand? Does a person need to be an artist to be a web designer?” Well, I am going to express my own view here in this post which may not be equally accepted by all but still I believe what I believe and here it is.

Art and Web Design:

Though both art and web design are creations of creative minds, there are some fundamental differences between them. For me, art is a form of personal expression where the artist has no obligation and framework to follow. But, web design is a creation for which the designer must follow some obligations, pre-defined frameworks, structures and given ideas. An artist doesn’t care about what a viewer’s reaction will be but a web designer must consider the issue of user experience as success of a web designer depends mostly on positive user experience with the website. So, web designers are skilled and trained persons responsible for interactive and accessible web designs whereas artists are self-motivated persons who do art to express the moods and inner thoughts without limiting themselves in the issues of accessibility, interactivity and consistency.

Do You Need to be an Artist to be a web Designer?

If you ask me this question I would like to answer – ‘NO’. Web designing is a creative task and if you are an artist then it’s a big plus for you to be a web designer but this doesn’t mean that being an artist is mandatory to be a good web designer. To be a good web designer the ability you should develop is to grab new ideas from others designs. But never copy others creations. When you are taking ideas from a single source, you are copying but when you are taking ideas from number of sources and integrating them in one design, you are researching and your design is considered unique and creative. So, being ‘creative’ and being ‘artistic’ are two different issues for a web designer. There are numerous web designers working on GetACoder who are not artistic but creative and successful as well.

Harun Tanvir is a freelance content writer and blogger from Bangladesh. He started his writing career as a blogger 2 years ago and has published many articles, papers and reports over the years. Currently he has been doing BBA on a major of International Bussiness from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Harun is one of several freelance writers on the GetACoder Blog team.

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Dec/10

13

5 Jobs that You can Start Today

There are many opportunities for consultant of all varieties. Whether your specialty is marketing or insurance, freelance workers are in high demand all over the internet. There are a few jobs that you could start immediately with very little outside help.

Consulting

With today’s stiff and competitive economic environment where the unemployed worker seems more the norm then the exception, consulting can be not only a very viable source of income, but an extremely lucrative option. If you have acquired enough experience in a specific area, you may be qualified to become a consultant in that niche.

Of course advertising your services in a magazine targeting your niche could be a very expensive venture. If you are considering a consulting position you may want to find a site that can help you to build this career.

Desktop Publishing

This is not freelance writing nor is it freelance web design. This involves doing things that are normally targeted to marketing and advertising for companies. However, you cannot start a lucrative desktop publishing freelance career without having a few needed types of software and a computer that is new enough to handle running these programs smoothly.

  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Quark
  • PageMaker
  • Adobes Design Programs

These programs can cost a pretty penny so if they are not already programs you own you may want to consider investing in them before you advertise services of a desktop publisher. Additionally there is also freeware that can handle some of the tasks that the above costly programs do.

  • Open Office
  • Avery Design Pro
  • Inkscape

Some of the things a freelance desktop publisher may be asked to create are:

  • Professional letterheads
  • Business cards
  • Invoicing and Purchase order designs
  • Posters
  • Banners
  • Newsletters

Freelance Writing

Although you do need to have good English skills as well as knowledge of how to properly punctuate and write on topic, a freelance writer position is one you can start fairly easily and quickly. Once you are signed up on GetACoder it is as easy as bidding on jobs that are ones you are sure you can handle. Be careful to not overextend yourself in this area. If you do not consider research time in each of your projects you may find yourself quickly falling behind.

Web Page Design

Although this type of freelance work will require you to have some experience in some basic programming such as HTML, CSS, Java or even PHP scripting. The designer will also need to have extensive knowledge in graphic designing programs as well such as Photoshop, Paintshop or other forms of web graphics building software.

Virtual Customer Service

As long as you have a phone and some customer service skills there are a load of clients out there looking forsomeone to handle incoming calls to their business to handle a wide variety of products or services. Although these jobs will likely not pay what they would if you were doing them full time in a workplace, they do pay fairly well for a job you can do in your pajamas or while you care for your newborn baby.

While there are many other jobs that you could literally start today from your own home, most all of them will still require some preparation, skills and knowledge of the industry you work for. The good thing about clients in these types of jobs is that they are aware that you may not know all it takes to do their job and this makes them almost always willing to take the time to train someone to help them, sometimes the freelancer will even receive training pay.

Joy Lynskey is a married mother of two sons. Joy’s career has included a wide variety of employment which has given her great knowledge on a large amount of subject matter. Joy has been a freelance writer since October 2001 and regularly writes for strict write sites such as Associated Content, Ezine Articles, Bright Hub and Suite 101. Additionally Joy is a published author in the field of  Psychology. Joy is one of several freelance writers on the GetACoder Blog team.

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Aug/10

9

What is SEO Content?

Search Engine Optimization or SEO, is a commonly used marketing technique that can be implemented into a web pages actual coded content as well as utilized in content creation for blogs, press releases and other styles of freelance or creative writing. This technique is used to help increase the amount of traffic to a website. This technique can also determine the quality of traffic you can receive. Having great SEO strategies is essentially the same having free marketing opportunities.

Who Needs to Use SEO?

Two types of work that require the use of SEO strategies are web design and freelance writing. For a web designer the importance is stressed in the creation of the web site and the coding required to utilize all SEO capabilities within the coding of the site. This may include the need to include the title tags, description tags as well as keyword tags for each page.

However, often freelance writers can be required to supply in the very least the tagging themselves, to which the web designer would simply need to copy paste the freelance writers article into the web page, copy the relevant tagging and upload. This process would create an entire page devoted to the article written as opposed to blog sites that are normally outside of the domain of the site that needs content created.

I am a Freelance Writer and My Client Has Asked Me to Write in SEO Format. What Does This Mean?

This means the client is likely asking you to optimize the keywords they have provided you for the article they want you to write. Normal requirements for SEO articles will include a main keyword possibly with a desired keyword percentage based on the length of an article and can include secondary or even a list of keywords with their own percentage requirements as well.

A basic SEO article will include the keyword or keyword phrase in the title of the article, in the first sentence or paragraph of the article, two or three times in the body, and once in the last sentence or paragraph of the article. Also always remember to be careful about not placing too many keywords or keyword phrases into one article.

Just as the point in SEO is to gain more attention for your content, search engines will register too many keywords on a page and consider this keyword stuffing and bad practice. Pages with keywords too often on a page can actually be penalized by a search engine or web crawler.

Additionally, always remember that GetACoder has email systems to allow you to ask your client to be more specific with SEO requirement details if needed.

Using SEO Without Destroying the Integrity of the Article

Aside from being penalized by a search engine keyword stuffing also can destroy the integrity of an article. Always remember when using keywords provided to you that the main goal should be to provide a good informative article that will be helpful to anyone looking up information on the topic of your keywords.

Additionally, some clients may ask you to write work that is outside of the guidelines you may have learned in writing SEO articles or blogs. Although depending on the relationship between you and your client they may take well to helpful suggestions that can prevent their work from being penalized, but they also may not have intentions of placing the information anywhere it would be penalized, or perhaps not even online at all. So always take that into consideration as well in order to keep the best working relationships with your clients intact.

Joy Lynskey is a married mother of two sons. Joy’s career has included a wide variety of employment which has given her great knowledge on a large amount of subject matter. Joy has been a freelance writer since October 2001 and regularly writes for strict write sites such as Associated Content, Ezine Articles, Bright Hub and Suite 101. Additionally Joy is a published author in the field of  Psychology. Joy is one of several freelance writers on the GetACoder Blog team

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Jun/10

15

Variety of Freelance Options for You

If you want to go the freelancing way, you have several choices. There is not just one area in which you can specialize. The world of freelancing has many paths and choosing the right path depends upon your preferences.

The very first thing that you need to do is to sign up at GetACoder. I have seen many websites that con people out of their money by not paying them for their work. Thankfully, GetACoder is very secure, as they have a security mechanism to make sure that there is no deception.

Once you register at the website, you will see a lot of options for freelancing. I will discuss some major options that are getting famous these days.

1. Programming: If you have got brains and the right programming skills, this option is right for you. There are various programming languages, and you need to make sure that you excel in the language asked by the client.

2. Web design and development: With the evolving trends, Internet has become an indispensable entity in our lives. More and more people are setting up their virtual real estate, and thus they require people who can design and develop their websites. This can be a very lucrative career for you.

3. Writing: It is pretty simple. As the name implies, you have to write articles or blog posts for online publication. Though it does not require programming skills, writing engaging articles is an art, and if you are a good writer, you can earn well.

4. Gaming: Do you have the creativity as well as the brains to develop a game? The gaming market is hot and high. If you can develop games, you can earn a lot of cash.

5. Legal: There are many people who are looking for legal assistance. If you are a lawyer, you can expand your business beyond the limits of your office.

6. Testing and QA: Much like coding, testing and QA are also an important part of software development, and you can provide your services if you have the keen eye.

7. SEO/SEM: SEO services are on the rise these days. If you know just how to market your client’s website to make them rank high on search engines, you have got yourself a good deal.

There are many other options for you to choose from. You just need to know where you fit, and just start earning money.

A very talented writer, Stacy Craig has a writing experience of many years. She is currently working as the senior editor at Raw Nuke, and has written content for many websites and blogs worldwide. She is working in affiliation with many companies, and her work has received much admiration from several clients. Stacy is one of several freelance writers on the GetACoder Blog team.

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