So, you’ve learned your first programming language and begun developing your skills as a programmer?
Or, maybe you already have a full-time career but want to put your blossoming programming skills to work.
Or, maybe you’ve already started but want to make some extra cash.
How do you do it?
Now, freelancing isn’t for everyone. It takes a certain mindset, some skills, and the ability to put yourself out there and face the possibility of rejection.
However, it can be a fun and lucrative way to hone their programming skills for many.
And, if you want to give freelancing a go, make sure to check out my ultimate guide to freelancing as a developer
Reason #1: Freedom
As a freelance web developer, you have more freedom and control over your life than with anything else. You get to decide when you work, what projects you do, and who you work with.
If you are looking to switch careers, freelancing on nights and weekends helps you build up your skills, learn new things, and get paid as you transition careers.
Reason #2: control
As a Freelancer, you get a lot more control over the type of work you do. Do you want to specialize in building websites that require specialized technology, specialize in a specific programming language, or become an expert at a particular skill? Freelancing allows you to do (and not do) what you want.
When you take a more “traditional” route, you don’t have the same type of control. A company requires specific skills that may (or may not) align with yours. They could hire you for one position and then re-assign you to something completely different.
A traditional company will require you to adapt to their needs, which can cause you to feel like a square peg being pushed into a round hole. However, as a freelancer, you get to pick the things you want to work on.
Reason #3: Variety
Not all freelancers are specialists. One of the things that draw a lot of freelancers is the ability to work on a lot of different types of projects. As a freelancer, you can explore, develop, and learn new things all the time. It’s the perfect way to test your skills in a lot of different things and find what you enjoy the most.
Because you get to explore a lot of things as a freelancer, you get to find the things that you like and the things that you don’t without making long-term commitments. There is always some new and exciting problem to solve, which forces you to hone your skills and become a better problem solver.
This variety of experience and problem solving will make you a better programmer throughout your career, no matter how your career develops.
Reason #4: connections
A good freelancer, who is easy to work with and gets good results for their client, becomes the “freelancer of choice” for many companies. You can even potentially work yourself into a job through freelancing.
Companies and businesses always look for good and reliable people to help them.
If you don’t have the traditional experience or education, you may not get considered for a specific job, even though you are qualified. However, once you establish a reputation with a company or organization, it’s much easier to get hired whether or not you have the “standard” education.
Potentially, the most important benefit of freelancing for a company is that YOU get to check them out before forming a long-term commitment. Freelancing gives you a peek into how the company works, how they treat their employees, and whether you want to work in that environment. This could save you immense amounts of time and frustration over taking a job with a company only to realize that it’s not a good match.
Reason #5: It’s easy
Being a freelancer is the easiest way to start your web development or programming career.
It’s quicker (and easier) to get a job as a freelancer than to get hired at a reputable company.
As a freelancer, people will pay you to develop your skills so that when (and if) you DO want to make a full-time jump into a programming-related job, you have the experience and resume to help you make the jump.
Bonus reason: It can pay very well!
Because you can set your rates and bill how you want (by the hour or by the job), freelancing can allow you to make a lot of money.
Whether you are working with a company that needs results fast and is willing to pay you what it takes to get those results quickly, or whether you are good at a particular type of project and can complete it quickly, freelancing can help you make money very quickly, if you know how to charge correctly.
If you want to get some tips or advice to start, I’ve also written this guide called best tips and advice for new freelancers that can help you start today.
Thanks for reading!