Do you know how to create websites & blogs? Do you know web designing or graphic designing? Want to earn money working from home? If you can create websites or know web/graphic design, you can start working as a freelance Graphic Designer or Web Developer.
Don’t know how to create websites? You can still earn money creating websites if you are willing to put in a few days learning the basics of creating simple websites and blogs.
In this tutorial, we will learn how to start as a freelance web developer or freelance web designer, and earn money working from your home. As this website is focused on India, the tutorial is customized for those looking to work from home as freelance web developer in India. The basics are the same for everyone else. So, you can use the tips to start working from anywhere on the globe.
How much does a Freelance Web Developer Earn in India?
You want to work as a freelance web developer and want to know how much a freelance developer working from India earns. There cannot be one fixed amount for the income of web developers. It’s all about how much work can you source. If you are working for clients from developed countries, you can expect better income as you get paid in US dollars and clients are more accommodating in terms of payments for the work. You can find freelance web developers earning meager income if they are not good at sourcing business.
In general, an Indian freelance web developer would be earning Rs 25,000 to Rs 2,50,000 per month. One small website project can get you Rs 2,500 onwards if your client is from India. If the client is from a developed country such as the US, you can get $250-1,000 per project for standard websites. If you can find two-three US clients each month, you can easily expect Rs 50,000 onwards in monthly revenue. There are people who started out as freelance web developers and ended up founding their own companies. If you can source a good volume of work, the sky is the limit.
How to Work as Freelance Web Developer from India?
Before we start how to actually look for freelance web design and web development work in India, let us understand the basic requirements and knowledge required for this online work from India. We will then see how to find work as a freelance web designer or web developer in India. The process is fairly simple and even a total novice can start working within a week. You should be able to get your first online income as a web developer.
Step 1: Learn Skills Required for Web Developer
A web developer is required to create and maintain websites (which also includes blogs, ecommerce store, etc). For working as a freelance web developer, you must have basic knowledge and understanding of at least some of the following:
- Basic HTML & CSS
- Content Management System (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal)
- Blogging Platform (WordPress)
For working as a web developer, you need to know how to create a website. There are software tools, known as content management system or CMS, for creating and maintaining websites on the web.
Start working as a web developer in days: learn WordPress.
As WordPress is the most popular CMS on the Web, you must know how to install WordPress on a web server, and how to use WordPress to create and manage websites and blogs. If you are scared, don’t be. Simply go to WordPress Codex website and start reading. You will be competent enough to start creating and managing WordPress websites in no time. You can also go through various other WordPress learning resources available for free on the Internet.
WordPress will allow you to quickly & easily start creating and maintaining the most common types of websites on the Internet. You will be able to create stunning websites without knowing HTML/CSS or any previous exposure to web development. With use of WordPress themes and plugins, you can easily change the look of the websites and add custom features. Learn how to install WP themes and plugins in WordPress websites and blogs.
You won’t be the best web developer out there with the basic understanding of WordPress alone, but you will be adequately skilled to create the websites that your prospective clients need. That’s good enough for us to start working as a freelance web developer.
Learn how to register a domain name (via Godaddy, Net4, Namecheap), and know how to purchase web hosting (try reliable hosting providers such as Bluehost, Net4, Hostgator, etc). You can buy hosting and register domain for your client from the same provider.
Familiarise yourself how to link an existing domain to a web hosting server by changing the Name Server details, which is the IP address of the web server machine that maintains the records about the location of your website. Then learn how to use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) clients such as FileZilla. Also, learn how to use web hosing cPanel to manage files on your web server.
Learn how to create & use custom email addresses. You will need this to make your client look good with their own personal website email address, eg: email@example.com.
Once you can create basic websites using WordPress, you can then continue learning HTML & CSS via online resources such as W3schools.com. Optionally, learn how to work with other content management systems such as Joomla & Drupal. If you want, you can continue learning more web scripts such as jQuery to grow as a web developer.
Step 2: How to Find Freelance Web Development Work?
Confident enough with the process of creating and maintaining basic websites and blogs? It’s time to start working as a web developer.
Get your own website as a web design and development freelancer. Why? You will need a website to add credibility to yourself as a professional. You cannot afford to be a web developer who doesn’t have her own website. Use WordPress to create a stunning and elegant professional portfolio website.
Before you start offering your service as a professional web development freelancer, take up a real web development work on a trial basis. Ask your family, friends and acquaintances if you could offer them a FREE website development. Let them pay for the cost of web hosting and domain only. Complete the work and rejoice.
Once you have created a real live website for a third-party, you are ready to take a real, paid assignment for web development as a freelancer. How to find work as a freelance web developer or web designer in India?
As a freelance web developer, you have basically two types of sources for finding work:
- Online websites, forums & groups
- Offline networking & advertising
How to find freelance web development work online? Almost every web developer looks for online sources of finding freelance web development assignments.
Freelancing websites such as Upwork & Freelancer are the most popular platform among freelancers looking for work. On these platforms, people post their web development & web design work/jobs. As a freelancer, you express your interest in taking up the work through bidding. The employer then looks through the bids and the profile of the freelancer, and hires the one that meets their requirements in terms of price and quality. It is a difficult task for a total newbie to get awarded freelance web development assignments on such freelancing websites.
Fiverr is another online platform to find low-paying web development tasks. Here service providers publish their work gigs for potential clients to find them. You can start by offering WordPress installation service, WordPress blog set-up and optimmization service, and other similar gigs here. Check out the gigs of other freelancers in the relevant categories to learn what types of gigs are in highest demand and with maximum buyers. Publish your own gig on the similar lines. Make sure that your gig post looks good and offers good value to potential buyers.
Facebook groups are another avenue to find work online. There are several web design and development groups related to India (and other countries). Join such groups and stay active. People often post their web development work requirements here. Respond to these group postings and see if you can impress a potential client.
As you will realise soon, the online space is crowded and highly competitive. You, as a newbie web developer, might not be able to win any client here. What is the right option for you as a beginner freelance web developer? Search for clients offline, in the real world around you.
Start looking for freelance web development projects by letting all your friends and acquaintances know that you have started working as a freelancer offering web development services. Ask for references.
In addition, you should also reach out to potential customers in your local market.
One of the ways would be to post your service in local online classifieds directories such as JustDial, IndiaMart, Olx and Quikr. All of these have free options, which you should use extensively to find local customers.
Advertise in your local market using handbills.
Get your web development business some hand-out brochures. Create an elegant single-page brochure with the details and pricing of your web development service. Get some copies (100 copies should be a good start) of the brochure printed using a cheap printing service in your neighbourhood. You can use Black & White prints without having to go for expensive colour prints. Alternatively, you can get professional printers to design and print your brochure. Make sure that you keep distributing these handbills to your target customer base. You can visit and hand the brochure personally. Alternatively, slide the brochures under the doors while the business enterprises are closed (early morning should be fine).
Try approaching professionals and businesses in your neighbourhood and city. Let them know the advantages of having a business website, and ask them if they would like to get one. Some potential clients are architects, dress boutiques, salons, photographers, doctors, lawyers and other professionals. You can offer your service as a free trial in the beginning to build trust.
How to find Local Businesses & Professionals for Your Web Development Business?
Don’t know how to find local businesses and professionals in your city in India? Here’s a simple trick to find a whole lot of potential clients for web development assignments.
The trick is to use local listings website where businesses and professionals advertise.
In India, one of the popular business listings website is IndiaMart. If you are in the US or other countries, you can use Craigslist and other relevant websites. Visit the local page for your city and look for the professionals and businesses that do not show any website on their listings page. Get their contact details and approach them via email, phone calls and SMS text messages.
Offer free trials to win new clients for your web development service. Advertise your service as “FREE WEBSITE FOR YOUR BUSINESS” using handbills, newspaper insertions, classifieds in local newspapers, etc.
If you have trouble finding clients willing to pay, offer them a free trial website on your own web hosting space. Ideally, you should ask them to pay for a nominal cost of registering a domain name, which will cost you just Rs 100-250 when using a new account to register the domain using discount coupons with registrars such as Godaddy. If not, you can just create a demo website on your own subdomain or folder. You can ask them to register a domain name and pay for the hosting & web development service only after they find the website good & useful.
That’s all you need to know to start working as a freelance web developer. In the beginning, it is going to be a challenge to land your first web development assignment. Keep working hard without getting disappointed by poor response. Make sure that you knock at least 1,000 doors with your web development service. If you don’t leave midway, you should have found a few paid web development assignments. Once you have established yourself, you will find it much easy to land new web development work. Most of them will be references from your existing clients.
Best of luck!