Don't Let Letting Go Keep You From Making a Lot of Money

By Alex Jones


I took a little break from the world of website development - about a decade - and now that I'm back in it, a lot has changed. In some sense I'm relearning everything so I wanted to write some things out for those of you that may just be starting out in or returning to website development. Despite how confusing things might seem, be diligent and keep working and learning. If you haven't been introduced, I'd like to introduce you to the world of outsourcing and hiring freelancers.

The first thing you'll need to begin to grasp is design. Unless you're a graphic designer already, this is a world all its own. I've never been good at it so I let those that are have it. I only know one or two designers personally but I'm connected to hundreds of them through freelance websites like Guru.com and Odesk.com. There you'll find professional website designers mixed in with legitimate freelancers for hire. The sites lay out the hiring procedure and it's very simple. The hardest thing about hiring someone is letting go and trusting a stranger. Once you do it a few times, it will get easier.

You might have to go back and forth with a designer to get exactly what you want but once you do you'll usually get a Photoshop file (a PSD) that you can then send to the "coders". Who I call "coders" are a group of web gurus that know how to make a design into a website. With outsourcing you can find coders to build a site on any content management system - like WordPress - or technology and usually in half the time it would take you. To build a site in a CMS they usually charge about twice what they would to code straight HTML / CSS.

There are plenty of CMS's out there with free and inexpensive templates but don't be fooled into thinking that they don't require any work to setup on your part. Working with templates can be very time-intensive. If you want to do a quick, cheap website that needs limited customization, a template is the way to go. But if you need a custom design, it's best to go with a freelancer or two to create it. You can charge more for a custom design so you can afford to outsource.

Either way you'll still need some basic knowledge of HTML/CSS because inevitably you'll need to make some changes. In the same way, you'll probably need to edited the content if you outsource it. Developing content - that is, text - is tough. Many times clients expect you to read their minds. It's always best to let them give you at least a rough framework for content. But with that framework you can hire someone to actually create it at about $40 a page depending on the volume.

Though you could pay someone to launch the site, it's really worth your time to do it. It's so easy. Most of my clients think there's some kind of magic that happens to get a site launched. When in actuality its as simple as dragging and dropping files. Setting up a domain and hosting is easier than setting up a Facebook page, but it can be scary the first time you do it.

Consider two scenarios. Imagine you have a client that is going to pay $5,000 for a website. If you did the site yourself, it would take you 50 hours and about a month from your first client meeting to launch. You'd make $100 an hour - not bad. That would include a variety of administrative tasks on your part and also actually developing the site.

Now imagine that same situation - $5,000 site with the same general timeframe. Realistically you're going to spend about 15 hours in administrative tasks - meetings, emails, domain registration, client training, editing, and hiring freelancers. You'll spend about $1000 in freelancing - design, coding, and content. But you'll make $4000 for your 15 hours of administration! That's about $267 an hour and you have an extra 35 hours to spend however you want - that's very good!




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