Although there are free website building software services online, you can still make money building websites.
I was a freelance web developer for many years and no matter how easy and convenient free website building software is, people will still require help, have questions, and want features on their website that they cannot figure out.
People will pay for convenience and when it comes to building a website, many are willing to pay for your skills and services versus attempting to do it themselves.
You can easily cash in on this by offering your services to build websites. The best part is that you do not need to be an expert.
What Are The Skills You Need To Make Money Building Websites?
You do not need to have years of web development experience to make money building websites.
In fact, if you are pretty well versed with using WordPress, you can probably land your first client within a week.
Most people need a basic website with a blog and WordPress can do both. Install a premium WordPress theme, set up the basic pages, paste in your client’s content and the job is 90% complete.
The bare minimum skills you would need to build websites include:
- PHP (optional but helps)
- Basic image editing (Photoshop)
You can even make money by hosting your client’s websites. Many commercial web hosting providers offer a reseller package.
Reseller packages enable you to host unlimited websites. If your clients do not have web hosting, you can offer to host their website and invoice them monthly or have them pay yearly.
Another way to retain clients is by offering them a maintenance package. Some clients do not want to spend the time to update their websites even for simple content updates.
They will be willing to pay a monthly fee to have you take care of any website updates for them.
What About Free Website Builders Like Wix and Squarespace?
The free website building software definitely has its place. There are plenty of people that use them and are satisfied with the ease of use.
They can launch their own websites without any outside help. You may wonder how you can compete with these free services.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that building their website with these services puts them at risk of losing their website.
You can easily sell a client on a self-hosted WordPress website because they actually own their website and never have to worry about another service closing or canceling their account.
Another upsell is having the option to add various plugins for added features. Having a self-hosted WordPress website offers much more flexibility in terms of design and features.
Specialize in Building Online Stores
Another way to boost your income with building websites is by specializing in building eCommerce websites.
This isn’t as difficult as it may sound. All that you have to do is familiarize yourself with a shopping cart platform such as Shopify.
Yes, people can create their own Shopify stores but just like the free website builders, many people do not want to deal with having to do it themselves.
They do not want to spend the time learning how Shopify works and they do not want to have to spend the time importing their products.
I know because I’ve had people ask me to do this for them. It is all about convenience and you can make extra money by doing what many people are too lazy to do.
How To Make Money as a Freelance Web Developer
The key to earning income as a freelance web developer is to have a constant stream of clients.
It isn’t as difficult as you may think. There is likely someone within the circle of people that you know that needs a website or knows someone who does.
I received all of my freelance clients by word of mouth. I’ve even struck up conversations at get-togethers.
When someone asks what I do for a living and find out I can build a website, they either ask for my information for themselves or for someone they know.
Invoicing and Getting Paid
There are plenty of bookkeeping services online such as FreshBooks that help you to keep track of your billing and invoicing.
Be sure to be upfront with your clients on how much your services will be. You can bill by the hour or charge a flat fee. You can also charge for any extra time beyond what was agreed upon.
It is a good idea to keep track of your time. Otherwise, you can easily end up doing work and not be compensated properly for it.
The Pros and Cons of Freelance Web
If you want to make money building websites, it is wise to go into it understanding some of the pros and cons. I did it for years and it was enough for me to burn out on it.
Some people enjoy the work and the freedom that comes with it. I’ll dive into some of the pros and cons from my own personal experience.
The Pros of Building Websites for Clients
- You can pick and choose who you work with
- You can set your own prices
- You can set your own hours
- You have creative freedom
- You can work part-time or full-time
The Cons of Building Websites for Clients
- Your income can fluctuate month to month
- Some clients may not pay on time (or ever)
- You do not have company benefits (health insurance, etc.)
- It’s easy to slack off
- You’ll constantly need to find new clients
Personally, I did not like freelance web developing all that much. I worked for one web agency for many years. I became a freelance web developer to break free from having a boss.
However, I still experienced the same stresses on my own as I did in a job. What made it harder was that I wore all the hats: sales, project manager, and accounting.
The freedom was nice but I ended up working longer hours and even working on the weekends. I was glad when I stopped taking on freelance work.
I did go back to web developing for a company but after my third year of working there, the entire web team was laid off.
Instead of finding another web job, I decided to use the opportunity to pursue my dream of becoming an affiliate marketer.
My Closing Thoughts On Making Money Building Websites
If you want to make money building websites, there is still plenty of opportunities to do so.
Regardless of the free and easy software builders available online, there are still those that prefer to outsource the work to someone else.
It is important to keep in mind that you will still need to hustle in terms of finding new clients on a regular basis.
My preferred method of making money is with affiliate marketing. You can literally make money while you sleep. Building websites for others is still trading your hours for dollars.
Affiliate marketing can offer true lifestyle freedom. There is a learning curve but anyone can do it. I followed a step-by-step course that made it simple.