- Raluca Rusu
Robert Kiyosaki once said that “When you are young, work to learn, not to earn”. This is the thought you should always start with. This does not mean you won’t earn anything in the beginning, rather you’ll probably earn less money than expected. But this is relative, because, not gonna lie, for me how much I earned this past two months is more than what I ever expected.
What did I do?
Because of the whole pandemic I had a lot of free time, and I spend it at home learning how to code full-stack web apps. I knew how to make a basic website, but nothing too advanced, and I wanted so bad to learn everything about building such things.
After I spend quite some time just improving and reinforcing my skills by learning, and creating projects of my own, I found some projects, got hired, and worked for different clients doing web development and design. I coded some interesting websites and web apps, while also interacting with the clients, so I could bring to life what they wanted.
The hardest part wasn’t the coding, even though I came across some weird bugs. The hardest part is having your client cooperating with you and giving you constant feedback. For example, if you have to make a presentation website or maybe an admin panel - these things involve getting a bunch of pieces of information from your client, making sure it’s easy and they understand how to use what you’re creating or telling them what problems they may encounter and how to get past them, so you need to find clients that are genuinely interested in what they want you to make and will be involved.
The rest is an easy game if your skills are strong, if you’re open-minded, proactive, and easy to connect with, and if you’re ready to spend a lot of your free time doing this especially if you’re young like I am - I’m telling you there are a lot of things you have to give up on because taking on paid projects and any kind of project for that matter it’s a responsibility and not an easy way to make money, rather an easy way to start your carrier as a programmer or as a freelancer - so take your time to think if you are willing to do this.
Now the facts you’re dying for
I’ve worked on 6 projects that involved full-stack web development and 4 projects that involved graphic design, on some of them I’ve worked with other programmers, but on most of them, I’ve worked alone. The money I earned per project is variant going from 35(highest). Totally, in two months, I made about 2500$ give or take.
How can you start making money like I did?
1. Build up skills
Learn and code as much as possible to feel able to take on projects on your own. If someone hires you to make an app you need to know you’re prepared to build it. I’m not saying you need to know everything about coding apps or to be the best programmer out there, you just need to feel like no matter the bug, problem, or whatever you encounter - you can solve it. John Brunner once said, “You don’t have to know everything. You simply need to know where to find it when necessary.”. To achieve this I recommend you create some projects of your own because they’re fun and because you not only improve your skills, but you’ll also search and find, alone, places with solutions to fix the problems you encounter. Also, I launched one of my projects on Product Hunt and it was a big success, an online newspaper wrote about me and the product, got twitted by Product Hunt, got over 300 upvotes on Product Hunt, and currently, over 1.7k people visited it, so you never know what you could build.
2. Create a resumé or a personal website
You need at least one - so potential clients can see who you are, what you’ve worked on, or what you know, before hiring you for their project. Make sure you highlight what you know and those personal projects I talked about before - they’re really important!
3. Find projects
There are a lot of platforms like Upwork, Toptal, Freelancer, or even Instagram, Reddit, or Facebook(I actually took a project from this last one) where you can find people or people can find you - you connect and get hired and work on their awesome projects. That’s one way I took projects. Another one was by having friends in the same field - if they take on some project and don’t want to work alone they’ll ask you if you want to join and the other way around. But still it can be difficult at first and it requires a lot of discipline and effort to find clients and projects. Don’t feel down if you don’t get any projects in the beginning, keep on going.
4. Do not stop!
Some projects will be so hard you’ll feel like there’s no way you can do it. That’s something you’ll always feel especially when working alone on projects - you burn out. But keep yourself motivated with this thought - if I was capable of taking this project, I am also capable of finishing this project.
5. Redo 3 and 4, and why not improve 1 and 2
There is one last thing I want to tell you that is relevant if you want to make money from your passion: Consistency is key. No matter what you start - pursue it, stick with it. Most things won’t work overnight. It is hard work, you have to invest time and energy. 99% give up too early. Be among the 1% that are successful!