Become a Web Developer Overnight – Well, Not Really

Since working in the technology industry, I’ve had many people tell me that they would like to get paid to develop websites. They’ve asked me numerous questions like: How do I start? Where do you find work? How much should I charge? and so on.

The truth is, there is work out there and ALOT of it. But the work that is readily available really depends on your experience.

When I first started, I was just out of college, with a handful of personal websites I had developed through a Multimedia Journalism class taught by Cindy Royal. And honestly, I wasn’t the best student or the most talented. I was married with a new baby, who breastfed while I worked on my homework. Who has the time or energy to develop award-winning websites with a baby attached to them? And since I didn’t have any real-life experience working with clients, I scrounged up some mom-and-pop type websites for really cheap. And I mean REALLY cheap. I got these jobs from my friends and relatives.

It was when I got a full-time job in the non-profit sector of the technology industry with salary and benefits I honed my skills and learned how the industry operates. When I had down time, I would train on Lynda.com. Which I highly suggest for less than $400/year you get training that would otherwise cost thousands. And lucky for me, my boss loved to send me to training seminars, and said “yes” when I suggested that I go to Photoshop World in Boston and “yes” again when I went to it in Las Vegas, sent me to SXSW every year, Knowbility’s AccessU and a plethora of others. I didn’t make much money at that first job, but the “perks” made it well worth it.

After that job (and my second child), I freelanced for a little bit, but I was antsy to get back into the workforce and see what the for-profit sector held for me. So when I got a job at an advertising and interactive agency with competitive pay, I was psyched.

Compared to my first job where my skill set grew by leaps and bounds and I exercised it at my leisure, this second job was where I put it all into practice. I was constantly under deadline for big name, big money clients. I learned fast that it is all about the client, the money and “getting it right the first time.” A huge adjustment after my “for the good of the people” job.

In fact, the first day my supervisor asked me how it was going, I said, “I didn’t realized I would be already working on a project,” considering I was still setting up my computer and getting passwords for my system. He told me, “Sink or swim!” If I had jumped into the waters of this second job before experiencing the first one, I definitely would have sunk.

That job catapulted me into becoming a true professional. I worked long hard hours. “This is not an 8-hour-a-day job,” I was told regularly. Eventually, the late nights and constant stress got to this mother-of-two (not to mention wife, cleaning crew, and all-around super-woman-extraordinaire). More tired then fearful of whether I would have enough work or not, I went back to full-time freelancing and I haven’t looked back yet.

Knowing people in the industry, has been a key factor in getting jobs. But there are a couple other tips that I can offer those first starting out.

1. Offer referral incentives to your clients, if they send you someone who signs a contract, they get 1-year of free hosting or something like that.

2. Start with the people you know, have business cards ready to hand out.

3. Go to seminars in the industry (Photoshop World, Flash Forward, SXSW, etc) – get to know people via networking to find out how they get clients.

4. Find a niche market and get to know the people in that market. (Ideas for markets listed below)

5. Avoid people who want something for nothing like the plague, try to work with people who know that starting a website will actually cost money.

6. Apply SEO to your own website. Advertise for yourself. Write articles for the industry, you never know when they will be picked up and linked to, which will increase your web ranking.

7. Subcontract with former employers.

8. Subcontract with agencies.

9. Always keep learning. The more you know…the more you know…and the more you are worth to a client.

10. Get to know other web developers and try to get a semiotic relationship going where you can hand clients off to each other.

Niche Market Suggestions

1. Wedding Industry
2. Restaurants and Nightclubs
3. Maintenance (Lawn Care/Plumbers/Auto Care)
4. Government/Non-Profit
5. Music (accomplished musicians, not just rock bands looking to make it big because they usually don’t have money anyway)
6. Children (Boutiques/Daycares)
7. Medical (Hipaa Rules Apply)
8. Home Builders/Construction
9. Lawyers
10. Death – a little morbid but as my favorite personal business finding motto goes “Birth and Death – neither are avoidable nor stopped by recession” (Funeral Parlors, Casket Makers, etc)

The Role of SEO in Web Development With JavaScript

With the ever growing and evolving nature of the internet and the different websites you find online, it is expected to come across with a number of mixed messages along the way. One of the longest debated topics when it comes to the role of search engine optimization in web development is whether or not using JavaScript is a great idea when optimizing a website for search engines.

The online crowd is divided – some people firmly believe that Java should not be used at all, while others think that using JavaScript is essential and contributes a lot to the overall success of a website. If you are one of the many who is considering whether to use JavaScript on your website or not, this article will help you clear your head and let you see both the good side and the bad side of using Java and how it relates to search engine marketing.

One of the main reasons why a lot of website developers and web designers are big on JavaScript is its being simple and providing a lot of options for the website owner – Java is a relatively simple programming language that will let you create several web effects that is impossible for traditional HTML to do. On top of that, using Java in a website also provides a great solution to the common problem of code bloat.

Code bloat is a situation where the size of an HTML file used for a certain web page reaches its threshold, usually the limits set by the different search engines. When your website or even just a single web page on your website goes beyond the specified limits of codes, you will be penalized with a lower ranking in the results pages which is not good news.

On the other side of the fence however, a lot of web developers also think that applying Java will only harm your rankings simply because it makes it harder for the search engine web spiders to crawl on your website for indexing. Search engine crawlers already have a lot of ground to cover these days and crawling through overwhelming volumes of JavaScript codes makes it very hard for them to find what they are looking for.

Search engine crawlers look for keywords and relevant text and information in your website before it gets indexed and ranked, and if you have lots of JavaScript embedded within your website the crawlers will have a hard time figuring out if your website is relevant or not, thus harming your SEO strategy.

All things considered, using Java will not make or break your SEO strategy. As long as you have your online marketing strategy all planned out, you will not have a hard time deciding whether to use JavaScript or not.

Few Free Tips About Your Website That Your Web Developer Hasn’t Told You

Originally this article was prepared by me for the members of US MTV portal. But as I started to go deeper and deeper – I have decided to publish it here.

A dear slave of the mystical sounds of Music:)

I am a web designer and website developer with more than 8 years experience and would like to share few free tips about your websites that your web developer hasn’t told you.

It doesn’t matter how much money you have invested in the development of your website (some people could even retire for those amounts). If it doesn’t show in the 1st page of Google when people are looking for you – you have wasted your money, time and energy.

For example, I personally know a guy who invested 50k euros in his dream business, but didn’t succeed just because his website wasn’t found in the 1st pages of search engines (he went bankrupt after some time without getting any clients and almost no visitors in his website).

Statistics (for an average keyword) – #5 place in Google gives you approx. 6000 unique visitors a month, and #1 place (don’t think so high though) gives more than 50000 unique visitors a month the same time as # 54 will give you max 2 visitors a day (and i am not saying they even will be unique ones).

The only thing you can do – find a reliable company (and I am meaning RELIABLE company not some guys you know) who will do search engine optimisation for you, but:

  1. make a contract – what they promise (ranking in the 1st page of Google after your keywords, quality backlinks, time period etc.)
  2. do not pay more than 30% upfront – before the job is done. If they refuse – there are 100-s of good SEO firms out there who will accept these terms. Show them the money (30%) and they will agree;)
  3. write down all the information the SEO firm has requested and provide it as soon as possible.
  4. When You make a contract with SEO firm – do not agree for monthly payments – you should go only for 1 fixed payment for this particular job – they should get you in the 1st page of Google (do not forget the main reason you went to them – as they will try to sell more services to you as all the businesses do).
  5. And say to them – You want the work to be dome MANUALLY (very important point as using different systems can and will do the opposite). Remember – bad seo firms and especially IT students do not work manually (and they will try to pursue you that that is the best and cheapest way for a top place in Google – don’t go for it).

It may sound harsh, but remember – the reality is that 97% of all the websites (good or bad) are not functional, just because they are not having any visitors. And that is the fault of website owners – if you see something is not as good as planned – change the service provider or loose the money and your future possibilities.

This is never about the thing how nice or smart seems the website developer – it is always about your site – it has to bring you more fans and make you money…

Hopefully this will help You,

Helmuts from Maidstone, Kent, UK

p.s. if you have any questions about this matter – feel free to ask me and I will try to answer

p.p.s. please comment and rate this article as this will let it be more visible among EzineArticles as well. Thank You.