,, and many others are in the business of selling freelancers information about how to make more money. I'd like to know your opinion on these services.

I had next to zero experience when I started, honestly.

I learned to code because I was in a touring band and we couldn't afford to hire someone to customize our MySpace page. After I learned that, I decided to try and build a website for us. I rebuilt that site at least a dozen times and tried new techniques each time.

Then I built a site for a friend. His parents asked me to build a site for their business. I did both for free.

Then a stranger approached me about a site and asked how much I charged.

All of this happened while I was reading everything I could get my hands on about code, and I started working on a CMS to use with clients (I later abandoned this for WordPress to avoid vendor lock-in for my clients).

I wrote a post about building a simple CMS, then a few posts about things like object-oriented programming and best practices, and suddenly I was a writer. I got the book deal based on my previous articles, and two more book deals based on my first book.

I also started going to the only code meetup in Montana: MT Programmers. I learned a lot, and then I started volunteering to present.

Nothing forces you to know your shit like teaching it to other people.

All of this led to me building an online reputation, and I started to get approached by bigger clients because of it. I landed a role solving dev problems for a few ad agencies, which was great money and cool projects (but stressful), and my existing client work had built a steady referral stream.

I can't say for sure what exactly led to my success, but I think the key components were:

  • I love learning, so I challenged myself to learn new things whenever I could by building small personal projects.

  • I would promise things to clients that I wasn't able to build... yet. Then I'd make damn sure I delivered. (I always do best when I set myself on fire.)

  • I shared as much as I could by writing tutorials and attending local meetups. By teaching, I had to ensure I really understood what I was talking about, which made me a much better programmer.

I hope any of this helps. Good luck!

TL;DR Found something I liked doing, then talked about it incessantly in public until people assumed I was an expert (which eventually made me an expert).

/r/freelance Thread Parent