Blog - Self-Made Web Designer

Start My Journey

CONTACT

Blog

About

Blog

read more...

If you haven’t figured it out by now you will soon enough. Some people will be really, really bad freelance web design clients. The kind that will make you want to quit freelancing altogether. You have to make sure you do what you can to avoid nightmare clients. You know the kind that doesn’t get […]

7 Things Really Bad Freelance Web Design Clients Say

Read More...

That’s my son. Dean. A chip off the ole block. At least, I think he is. He’s only 4 weeks old as I write this. He could turn out to be a jerk. Fingers crossed 🤞🏼 I’M KIDDING! He’s awesome. I love my son…a lot. But, having him after a 7 year stretch from my […]

The Busy Dad’s Simple Guide to Learning Web Design

Read More...

Have you ever taken a personality test? I have. I love them. On the Meyer’s Brigg’s test I’m an ENFJ. My Enneagram is an 8 with a wing 7. My top five strengths in Clifton’s Strength’s finders are Restorative Ideation Empathy Competition Command While these tests can be helpful when it comes to self-awareness or […]

The One Thing You Need to Be a Successful Web Designer

read more...

Pricing is scary as a freelance web designer. Ask for too much and you run the risk of losing the project. Price too little and you might get taken advantage of by a client and miss out on some serious “dough.” 💸 Before we dive too deep let’s talk about some principles Time-Driven vs. Value-Driven […]

A Simple How To Pricing Guide For Freelance Web Designers

Read More...

As a freelance web designer, it’s easy to go from feast to famine. One month you’ve got more work than you can handle and the next month you literally have nothing. Zero, zilch…it’s depressing. You get to the point where you’d be willing to do just about anything tech-related for just about any amount of […]

52 Places to Find Freelance Web Design Projects Online

Read More...

There are tons of ways to make extra money online these days. You don’t have to go too far before you hear how someone sits around all day just clicking links on a website and earns $100k per year. Not buying it. While there are a lot of fake folks out there trying to sell […]

How to Make Extra Money Online Building Websites

read more...

I was on vacation with my fiance. We had just gotten engaged actually. We were out in California at a conference I was apart of. In case you didn’t know, this was my life before web design. The conference went great and we were on our way back to Arizona. We stopped at the outlet […]

How To Start A Freelance Web Design Project The Right Way

Read More...

“I need you to make my website more modern.” I hear that all the time as a freelance web designer. The problem is the phrase “modern web design” is pretty elusive. It’s elusive in the sense that it’s always changing. If you’re not careful your go-to moves for making your web design more modern becomes […]

7 Simple Ways to Make Your Web Design More Modern

Read More...

Let’s be real. Project management for web designers can be a bit of a sore spot. A lot of us are super creative but lacking a bit when it comes to keeping track of the details. Is that just me? Anyone else relate? 👋🏼 When I first started I quickly learned that being a good […]

6 Amazing Project Management Tools for Web Designers

read more...

I talk to so many people all the time who are convinced they are unable to be more creative as a web developer. Most of the time when we see someone that really excels in a creative area we say things like: “What a gift!” or “I wish I had half of their talent!” I […]

How to Be More Creative as a Web Developer

Read More...

I have a confession to make. I haven’t always had a great Job Success Score on Upwork. In fact, there was a season that my Job Success Score got all the way down to 78%. In Upwork world that’s the equivalent of a huge sign that says, “Worst Freelancer Ever. Do Not Hire.” But, despite […]

How to Recover from a Bad Job Success Score on Upwork

Read More...

The holidays are such a fun time. It’s everyone’s chance to tear away from work, spend time with people you love and in general take a break. Unless you’ve got a side hustle. Then you’re left wondering how to get the most out of the holidays while still keeping up with your side hustle. For […]

How to Get the Most out of the Holidays with a Side Hustle

read more...

The holiday season can be a mixed bag. Especially if your the kind that tries to find the absolute perfect gift for the people in your life. Let’s be real. Some people are pretty tough to buy for. A web designer whether newbie or seasoned professional is one of those that are tough to peg. […]

The Best Holiday Gift Guide for Your Web Designer

Read More...

A common concern when first dipping your toes into the world of a web design career is being good at the interview. I get it. Interviews are intimidating. And, truthfully, they’re just a weird social concept. Imagine a group of people coming to you and saying, “We might want you to be your friend but […]

How to Be a Web Design Interview Rock Star

Read More...

Ever reach a plateau? You know what I mean. That place you get after you’ve been working hard at something and what once was excitement about learning a new thing becomes frustration with how long it’s taking. It feels like you’ve reached your limit BUT believe me you haven’t. I’ve hit a number of roadblocks […]

How To Overcome Those Stubborn Web Design Roadblocks

read more...

It wasn’t long ago that Upwork didn’t charge for connects. You got a certain amount each month just for being on the platform and if you wanted to you could buy more. Not any more. Those days are long gone. And, listen, there’s a lot that’s been said about how wrong Upwork is for doing […]

How to Make a Winning Bid on Upwork

Read More...

One of my favorite quotes is from Richard Branson founder of the Virgin Group. He says: “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” This was my philosophy when I first got started as a web designer […]

How to Fake it Till You Make it as a Web Designer

Read More...

A lot of what I talk about here has to do with practical advice on web design and freelancing. But after having talked to so many of you, I’m realizing that being a successful web designer has to do with much more than facts and knowledge.  In a lot of ways if we don’t include […]

A Web Designer’s Journey with Mental Illness

read more...

I’d like to tell you an all to common story about an average web designer and their client. Our first scene begins with the initial conversation. And ACTION! Client: “I’ve got a really short timeline. Can you get this done quickly?” Web Designer: “Well, it won’t be easy. I’ll have to push some other things […]

How to Get Paid On Time as a Freelance Web Designer

Read More...

The landscape of the workplace has changed drastically. That’s probably a huge understatement, right? And, it hasn’t just been within the past decade. We’re talking about within the past 3 years. It’s not just businesses that are driving the change but the EMPLOYEES as well. People are wanting more freedom and no longer anticipate being […]

How To Win as a Web Designer in the Gig Economy

Read More...

I love web design. Like, would do it in my free time if no one paid me, love it. Honestly, I love design in general. I remember being a little boy taking bike rides with my mom. Every once in a while we’d stop at a house and she would say, “Christopher, if you could […]

6 Awesome Web Design Trends to Look for in 2020

read more...

I hear it almost once a week now. Someone looked at getting into web design but decided there wasn’t much of a future in it. Why? Because of all the dang drag & drop website builders. Pretty soon all you’ll have to do is fill out a little survey and out pops an award-winning website […]

Have Website Builders Killed Web Design Careers?

Read More...

I was pretty much a full-time musician for about 13 years. To be fair, I was the worship leader of a church. Which is probably a lot different than what you’d think of in the usual sense of a “full-time musician.” But, that’s the easiest way I know how to describe what I did. Here’s […]

How I Changed Careers at 36 to Web Design

Read More...

I hear it pretty consistently. “Upwork is a race to the bottom. The only people that go on there bid so low I can’t compete with them.” Let me set the record straight. Upwork isn’t a race to the bottom. It’s a platform that you can make really good money IF you’re a good web […]

Why Upwork isn’t a Race to the Bottom

read more...

When I first began my journey as a web designer I had never heard of UX. To be fair, I was pretty secluded from all things tech careers. For the good part of my 20’s I spent the majority of my free time recording music with my band. I knew tons about audio interfaces, DAWs, […]

What Does it Mean to Be a UX Designer?

Read More...

I love what’s happening in education. Okay, to be fair, there’s a lot I don’t love: I don’t love how high tuition is getting, and I don’t love how many people end up with ridiculously high student loans. Myself included! But, I do love how people are catching on to the fact that you don’t […]

5 of the Best Part-Time, Online Web Design Bootcamps

Read More...

That first client is always one of the toughest. To be more realistic the first 5 clients are always the toughest. When I first started it was slow going. I think that’s true of anyone trying to break through in any kind of industry. It’s a vicious cycle. Clients give jobs to web designers with […]

How To Get Your First Web Design Client

read more...

Pricing is one of the biggest sources of anxiety for web designers. There have been so many times in my 5 years of freelancing that I came to the end of a project only to realize I had way underbid. And, I’m not talking about scope creep where the client keeps adding features we hadn’t […]

Web Designers. How to be Confident with What You Charge

Read More...

I talk to people almost every day now who tell me they’d love to learn web design they just don’t have enough time! I get it. Life is busy. BUT….(you knew it was coming) You probably have more time than you think you do. I remember the season of life when I didn’t have any […]

How to Learn Web Design in Your Free Time

Read More...

My wife and I were married almost two years ago as I write this. With our marriage came love, joy, excitement and about $30k of debt. And, listen, neither of us are big spenders. In fact, we’re the opposite. We can make pennies last beyond what seems earthly possible. For instance, my favorite meal is […]

How I Got Out of Debt with a Web Design Side Hustle

read more...

Ahh, the timeless tale of finding freelance web design clients. It’s a tale as old as time, really. And with that tale comes a certain amount of beauty and a certain amount of beastliness. (Catch the Disney reference? Sorry, I’ve got 3 daughters) Whether you’re just starting out with a web design business or you’ve […]

10 Ways To Find Freelance Web Design Clients

Read More...

I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of success on Upwork. In fact, a few years back when Upwork decided to go public I was a featured freelancer in their Time Square ad campaign. To be clear I’m not a branding guru or logo designer. I’m a web designer BUT who cares! My face was […]

How to Make a Winning Upwork Profile

Read More...

I’ve spent a lot of my time going through online courses to learn Web Design. If you haven’t noticed, I like online courses. You can do them anywhere at your own pace. But, I’ve been through some bad ones. There are platforms that set you up for success and platforms that are really just in […]

The Best 5 Sites You’ll Love Learning Web Design From

read more...

The world of web design freelancing is filled with amazing clients. I’ve had quite a few. But, at the same time, I’ve had a few nightmare clients that were unpleasable, unresponsive or plain un…… When you’re first getting started it’s tough to see the warning signs. But, over the years I’ve found a few ways […]

How to Sniff Out Nightmare Clients

Read More...

It finally dawned on me. My wife of 10 years, 3 kids and over a year of her battling mental illness was done. She left me. Life as I knew it was over. Then came the realization that I had not only lost my wife but I had lost a tremendous amount of income.  You […]

My Story. From Heartbreak to Financial Breakthrough

Read More...

It’s tough to know how much to charge someone. Especially when you’re first getting started. Charge too much and you run the risk of getting passed up. Charge too little and well, you know…you won’t make as much. And, that really sucks. When I began Self-Made Web Designer I couldn’t keep up with all the […]

You’re Underpricing Your Web Design Services

read more...

“You’ll never make real money on Upwork. People only go there for cheap, poor quality work.” Those are the things I was told when I first started building a portfolio on Upwork. And, here we are now I’ve made over $70,000 from Upwork alone. Oh, and don’t forget about all the projects that came as […]

How to Double Your Income with Upwork

Read More...

Tiny portfolios. We all start with them. And, they kind of suck. If only they were as cool as Tiny Homes. *Sigh* Here is the conundrum: Clients are looking for web designers with a proven portfolio before they hire them. But, how do you add to your portfolio if no one wants to hire you?! […]

How to Wow Your Clients Even With a Tiny Portfolio

Read More...

Don’t get a degree to be a web developer. Are those fighting words? Good. I hope I can help as many people as possible avoid debt, wasted time and a 4+ year pause in experience in pursuit of a degree they don’t need to be successful. I’m sorry if you got a degree in computer […]

Your Web Degree is Dead to Me

read more...

The one objection I hear most often about starting a web design business is the fear of not being able to deliver what you promised to clients or majorly screwing up on something important. Let me put your mind at ease with 6 simple words: “You are going to screw up.” It’s inevitable. It’s going […]

My First Big Failure as a Web Designer

Read More...

I’ve often wondered why more people don’t jump into web design freelancing or any freelancing at all for that matter! This time in history is arguably the easiest it has ever been to make money.  Never before have you been able to learn whatever you want from anywhere you want. Never before have you been […]

How To Overcome Fear and Just Get Started

Thank you for subscribing!

It's not a pipe dream to want a better career and a better salary. There's never been a better opportunity to become a web designer and make that dream a reality.

This 4 EMAIL COURSE will walk you step by step through the process.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO SETTLE