Here is some advice for those of you that want to build a side business by freelancing websites for others (you can learn how to build a professional website or blog in less than a couple of hours by clicking here). For your domain, you can simply make your website YourName.com or YourNameWebsiteCreationServices.com.
Because I’ve done freelancing in the past, I can give you some advice (that you obviously don’t have to take!) that will hopefully help you out, regardless of how you decide to organize your own freelancing business.
After I finished building my freelancing website, what I would do is post my services on Craigslist on a daily basis (under services: computer), first in the city I lived in and neighboring cities, and then just random cities anywhere (Craigslist limits the amount of daily postings you can make). Beyond that I simply made business cards with my web address on there and handed them out all the time saying I was happy to make anyone a website. My rate was $500 per website. Doing this would get me at least 2-3 gigs per month, and every website I built eventually got put on my own freelancing website as a sample of my work.
Here are some of the “rules” I worked into my business over time that made my life easier:
– My posts always said something along these lines:
Title: SIMPLE PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE OR BLOG FOR $500 AND I WILL TEACH YOU HOW IT WORKS
Post: “Hi, my name is Mike and I will happily make you a professional looking website or blog for $500. I make basic, yet professional looking websites that are perfect for personal projects / blogs or small businesses. I can incorporate all the basics including pages, images, links, etc., as well as anything else you might need to complete your website (Google maps, social media buttons, PayPal buttons, a contact form, etc.). There are no contacts and I’ll teach you a little about the entire creation process so you can continue to update your website on your own after the job is complete (I’ll leave you with all your login information written down and emailed, as well as tutorial videos that might come in handy later on when you want to make adjustments). Also, you can always contact me free of charge after the job is complete. Please message me with what you have in mind and we can work something out; I can your have website complete for you in less than a week.”
People generally responded more to listings written like this instead listings written in a more formal manner (I tested a lot of different types of listings).
– I would only take relatively simple gigs (personal or small business websites) where the client was pretty easy going and would be happy with the website if it was professional and did its job (not too many specifics). This was acceptable to do because $500 is relatively cheap compared to web design firms that charge several thousands of dollars.
– The $500 was for the work done (it did not include the domain and hosting). I would explain that the costs associated with building a website were about $15 / year for the domain and about $15 / month for hosting.
– I would meet with clients at a public location with WiFi like Starbucks (assuming they lived in my city or nearby). Otherwise, Skype worked just fine.
– I charged clients half up front and half when the job was complete (they were usually comfortable with this and I used PayPal to charge them).
– I would sign clients up with their own domain and hosting accounts using their own information (so that once the job was complete, they were on their own and completely independent).
– Once their website was finished, I would show them how to use the backend of WordPress, how to make their own updates, etc. Then I would write down all their information in an email (usernames and passwords, etc.) and send it to them. I would also include links to my video lessons 1.2, 1.3, and 1.4 so that they’d have refresher video lessons available on how to make updates to their website, use it, etc. This pretty much meant they would become entirely self sufficient and I’d (for the most part) never hear from them again. 😀
Hope this helps!