web design

A Step by Step Guide for People Looking to Become a Freelance Web Designer

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web designThe stupendous growth of Internet has created a plethora of jobs, and the best part is, most of these jobs are doable from home, so we have seen a significant increase in the number of full time freelancers earning more than decent income while working from homes.

Every day, we see hundreds of different websites getting launched, and each new website brings more work for the freelancers. An average website will require work from at least three to four types of professionals, namely web designer/developer, content writer, and an SEO professional. If you are to choose any of these careers, you will surely be getting more than enough opportunities in near future, given that you are willing to do the needful.

Following is a step by step guide for those who are looking to choose web designing as a fulltime career.

Step One – Aptitude

  • Like any other job, web designing also requires a certain aptitude or mindset. You can learn the basics, and you can create reasonably good looking websites with Photoshop but having such run-of-the-mill skill-set is not going to take you very far.
  • You need to be at home with everything about colors, for instance the color combinations, contrast, color theory, different colors for different moods, the importance of white space in web designs, and the likes.
  • In the same way, you need to have the eye and imagination to come up with stellar “designs”. You should also be able to play with figures and images inventively.
  • Remember that even as a designer, you will have to learn a fair bit of coding like HTML or CSS. So, you should be ready for a steep learning curve because in the world of freelancing, your job is never secure.

Step Two – Learning

  • I know many professional designers or developers who’ve learnt the “art” solely with the help of online tutorials and manuals, and there’s no reason why you cannot do the same. The best part is most of these tutorials and lessons are available for free. Following are just some resources that you can use. For example w3schools.com, developphp.com, teamtreehouse.com, webdesign.tutsplus.com, etc.
  • But that’s just the tip of iceberg; there are literally hundreds of wonderful resources with all sorts of illustrations and videos to help you comprehend the ins and outs of web designing. While self-learning, you are bound to have some problems or queries; luckily you will get many forums and communities where veteran designers and other professionals will be more than happy to help you out.
  • Be realistic during your learning phase, start from the basics and take your time. Once you’ve picked up a tutorial, languages, or a program to become skilled at, don’t move to another one unless you have digested all the information comprehensively.
  • Don’t stop at just reading the tutorials, or going through some videos, practicing is the key to self-learning. For practicing, you should install a local server or purchase a domain name along with a cheap hosting package to hone your skills.

Step Three – Finding Work

  • No matter how skilled you are, getting your first few projects is going to be an uphill battle, because you don’t have some sample work or portfolio to boast. So, you shouldn’t mind accepting some projects at minimal rates just to get something on your portfolio. For quick response, you should try bidding at unrealistically low rate at freelance jobs portals like odesk.com or elance.com.
  • Many small businesses are looking to get a presence at World Wide Web but they don’t know from where they should be starting. Don’t rely solely on the job openings posted on web; use some inexpensive advertising mediums to reach out to local businesses like referrals, business cards, SMS marketing, etc.
  • Once you have got some projects that you can claim, you are ready to launch your own website and ideally a blog. Optimize it for the localized keywords instead of the generic ones. In addition to that, you need to be active on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.

About the Author:

Saba Mushtaq is a web designer writing for treehouse, an online resource offering html5 tutorial, JavaScript tutorial, and invaluable tips related to web designing or development.

 

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