Starting your freelance career as a web developer
Web development is one of the most demanded freelance jobs since the majority of people looking to build their websites just need a one-time job. This means they only require the service one time for the development of the site. And when there’s a web project there’s a chance for developer freelancers. There are many ways you can get a freelance job as a web developer but one of the best methods is by using Upwork. Upwork is a US freelance platform that allows clients looking for someone to complete their projects to post their jobs, and freelancers to bid for them. Upwork is one of the highest-traffic freelance platforms with more than 145 thousand active users (as of 2022).
The advantages of working as a freelance web developer
Being a freelance web developer has multiple advantages over working as part of a company. Here are some of the reasons why:
Choose your projects
When working as a freelance web developer you can choose the type of projects you want to work on. Then you can search for works related to those types. You have the freedom to specialize in a specific niche related to web development. For example, eCommerce websites.
You can choose the coding language you want to use in your projects. You won’t be forced to use a language for all of your projects so you are free to use the one that you are more comfortable with.
You definitely will have more time to extend your development knowledge by working independently. This is as long as you manage your time properly. For example, if you wanted to learn a new framework, you could schedule taking a training course during the mornings and working as a freelancer during afternoons.
Set your hourly rate
Contrary to working as an employee, by working as a freelance web developer, you can set the hourly rate you consider fair for your work. Although this is a great advantage consider that if you are a beginner it’ll be more difficult for you to set a high hourly rate. Consider starting with a low rate and then as your reputation increases, you’ll be able to increase it as well.
Is Upwork a good place to get web development jobs?
You can find hundreds of new web development projects on Upwork every day. Upwork is perhaps the best platform to work as a web developer freelancer since its way of handling the relationship freelancer-client fits perfectly with the way a developer would normally work. This since it allows web developers to work on an hourly basis. It has a time tracker tool that guarantees the payment for the projects and ensures the client that the freelancer is working on it. When the job has been successfully completed the platform releases the funds and the freelancer gets paid.
How to get your first web development job on Upwork
In order to get your first job as a web developer on the platform, there are some recommendations you should follow.
1.- Search for the ones with bigger chances
If you are a beginner, don’t bid for big projects since they probably will be requiring freelancers with better profile qualifications. This means they’ll be looking for freelancers with many positive reviews and with minimum earnings. It’s better to start off with small projects related to your specific field.
2.- Get certified
Becoming certified in your skills is a great way of showing clients that you are a qualified web developer, especially when you have an empty-reviews profile. Moreover, if the certification comes from a respected certifier. You’ll be able to compete with developers with more freelance experience but with fewer or no certifications.
3.- Write an outstanding proposal
The proposal will be the first contact that you have with the potential client. Also, consider that the person searching for the freelancer probably won’t have much time to read them. For this reason, is important that you write a short but convincing cover letter that gives you more chances to get hired.
If you are unsure about how to write a short but yet convincing cover letter feel free to use the following template. Edit the sentences in bold so they are more adapted to you:
Hello first name of the client,
My name is your name, a web developer with write here years experience experience in write here a short summary of your experience in web development. I’m highly skilled in language and coding separated by “/”.
Top 3 details/achievements of my career as a web developer:
🧠 First short relevant aspect about your career as a web developer. Don’t include information already on your profile. You can include a link to a skill certificate. Also, try to include information relevant to the job post.
⚡ Second short relevant aspect about your career as a web developer. Don’t include information already on your profile. You can include a link to a skill certificate. Also, try to include information relevant to the job post.
🏅 Third short relevant aspect about your career as a web developer. Don’t include information already on your profile. You can include a link to a skill certificate. Also, try to include information relevant to the job post.
Regarding your project, include here a brief idea of how you are planning to work on the project. Include the languages/frameworks you are planning to use. You can also include a recommendation for completing the project more efficiently.
If you are interested don’t hesitate to request an interview and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
The top 5 requested web development jobs on Upwork
There are hundreds of jobs related to web development posted on Upwork every day. We have compiled the top 5 requested subjects and the average payment so you know better if Upwork can be a good place to start your freelancer career as a web developer.
Although WordPress is not the favorite for some web developers, is still one the most used CMS. There are many WordPress projects for web developers such as theme development, plugin development, eCommerce, and API integration.
Average hourly rate: $15-$40
Avg. Project Length:: Less than 1 month
Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms on the market. And is well known that sooner or later, users will require the services of a web developer for it. The most popular jobs for Shopify include customization, plugins development, third-party integrations, and migrations.
Average hourly rate: $20-$50
Avg. Project Length:: Less than 1 month
3.- Website support
Websites always are going to be vulnerable to issues and errors. From minor bug fixing to hacked websites, there are hundreds of projects of people that need some help with their websites. Many of them look for support on a long-term basis so expect jobs of more than 6 months.
Average hourly rate: $20-$50
Avg. Project Length:: More than 6 months
Laravel is one of the best frameworks for web development and there are many projects related such as eCommerce development, chatbots, and ongoing support. Since developers are a must when having a website built on Laravel, there are hundreds of clients searching for Laravel experts for long-term contracts.
Average hourly rate: $20-$60
Avg. Project Length:: 1-6 months
There are thousands of projects related to cryptocurrency. Many of them related to the development of the website (frontend and backend). Although these projects can be more complex and some of the clients look for specialized developers, the payments tend to be higher.
Average hourly rate: $40-$100
Avg. Project Length:: 1-more than 6 months
Get advice from the experts
If you really want to make your way through Upwork, you can consider getting some help from a true professional. Ross Jenkins, our CEO and founder, offers his guidance to help you succeed on Upwork. He’s expert-vetted and one of the top digital marketers on the platform. By requesting a training session with him, you will get guidance on many topics, from becoming top-rated through launching your agency and getting big clients for it. If you are interested, click on the following button and fill in the form, so Ross can arrange a personal call with you.