Blog - Self-Made Web Designer

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Don’t want to read nearly 2,000 words about how to be more creative as a web developer? I got you. Here’s a podcast: 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 […]

How to Be More Creative as a Web Developer

Abstract Painting to symbolize how to be more creative as a web developer

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There is not a freelancer alive that doesn’t struggle with insecurity. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been freelancing or how good you are. Everyone feels like an imposter. This week I talked with Michael who is having doubts about approaching clients. He’s struggling because he feels like there are a lot of web designers […]

How to Overcome Your Insecurities and Be Confident as a Freelancer

A depressed woman looking through a window to symbolize overcoming insecurities as a freelancer

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Don’t want to read over 1,000 words about how to avoid nightmare clients? I got you. Here’s a podcast: 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 […]

How to Sniff Out Nightmare Clients

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Don’t want to read over 1,000 words about how to get freelance web design clients when you’re just getting started? No worries I got you. Here’s a podcast. It’s hard to know how to get freelance clients when you’re first getting started. In your gut you know there’s a lot of opportunities out there. But, […]

5 Ways to Get Freelance Clients When You’re Just Getting Started

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Don’t want to read thousands of words on how to overcome freelancing fears? I got you. Here’s a podcast Want to know the one thing I’ve found holds most people back from getting started as a freelancer? It’s not a lack of ability. It’s not even a lack of opportunity. Plain and simple, most people […]

5 Common Fears People Have About Freelancing and How to Overcome Them

A woman with her hands on her face in fear to symbolize the fears freelancers face and how to get over them

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A lot of salaried employees are starting to buck the norm and learning how to become a digital nomad. The truth is a lot of people spend their entire lives devoting most of their energy to their careers. But, something has happened recently. Many are starting to ask, “Why am I adjusting my lifestyle for […]

How to Become a Digital Nomad with the Projects You Win on Upwork

A plane window view to symbolize how to become a digital nomad

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Typography in Web Design is often something web designers think about last when they’re working on a project. The checklist often goes something like this: Good images? Check ✅ Nice visual balance? Got it ✅ Appealing Color Palette? Done ✅ Typography? Oh yeah…I need to think about that 😂 But, text and typography often take […]

Typography in Web Design: What You Need to Know

The letter A in different font styles to symbolize typography in web design

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It’s tough to make a career change no matter what season of life you’re in. But, it gets even tougher the older you get. For 13 years I was a worship pastor for a large church. I had no desire to switch up what I was doing. Then my wife of 10 years walked out […]

How to Break Into a Web Development Career After 30

Old man on a computer to symbolize how to break into a web development career after 30

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Building a side hustle into a million-dollar company is kind of the dream, right? It’s fun to daydream about what life would look like if you had multiple employees, office space OR EVEN an entire HR department.  Okay, maybe you don’t dream about HR departments but all of us dream about having outrageous success.  Well, […]

How to Grow Your Side Hustle to a Million Dollar Agency

Escalators taking a woman up to symbolize how to grow your side hustle to a million dollar agency

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I’m a coach for my 8 year old’s soccer team. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also excruciating at the same time. During their games I’m forced to stand on the sideline while I watch them make really simple mistakes that are super easy to fix and would end up making a HUGE difference […]

9 Common Mistakes Freelancers Make on Upwork When Trying to Win Projects

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It’s inevitable. You will one day be faced with a list of objections from a potential client as a freelancer. And, the way I see it is you’ve got a few options when that happens: Act defensive and turn them off from working with you altogether Throw your hands ups and not even try Figure […]

How to Overcome Client Objections as a Freelancer and Win More Projects

Meeper from the Muppets and robot toy fighting to symbolize handing client objections

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There’s not much that strikes more fear into the hearts of freelance web designers than the need for having good web design contracts. I’ve known web designers who wouldn’t even get started freelancing because they were so afraid of getting sued. OR, they feared messing up a contract in such a way that they end […]

What You Need to Know About Web Design Contracts from an Actual Attorney

a judge's gavel to symbolize the importance of web design contracts

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Don’t want to read almost 3,000 words about making a winning Upwork profile. I got you. Here’s a podcast! A good Upwork profile is absolutely essential to attracting and landing clients on Upwork. I mean, think about it from the client’s perspective.  You’ve got a job and you need to hire someone. BUT, you don’t […]

How to Make a Winning Upwork Profile

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Don’t want to read over 2,000 words on why you’re getting rejected on Upwork? I got you. Here’s a podcast: Rejection is never fun especially when it comes to freelance clients on Upwork. You work so hard to craft the perfect cover letter or pitch. You read it and then reread it, and then have […]

5 Main Reasons Clients Reject You On Upwork

Woman with sad face drawn on paper bag over head to illustrated the sadness of getting rejected on Upwork

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Don’t want to read over 2,000 words about why you should freelance on Upwork in 2021? No worries! Listen to the podcast: There are a lot of people who will tell you you should freelance on Upwork. And at the same time, a lot of people will tell you not to waste your time. There […]

6 Big Reasons You Should Freelance on Upwork in 2021

Happy man on computer to symbolize why you should freelance on Upwork

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Don’t want to read over 3,000 words on how to find your first freelance web design clients? Listen to the podcast OR watch the YouTube Video. The first time I tried getting potential freelance web design clients was not pretty. I had just finished the very first site I had ever done. It was for […]

How to Get Freelance Web Design Clients Starting from Scratch

Finding freelance web design clients starting from scratch || a man in a field looking for something

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Most people begin to build a web design side-hustle without thinking much past the “How do I get started?” phase. There are a ton of resources out there all about how to learn web design or development, how to land your first client or build your portfolio. And, all of that is super important to […]

How to Build a Successful Web Design Side-Hustle Without Working to Death

A woman working on a laptop in bed at night to symbolize the importance of knowing how to build a web design side hustle without working to death

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When you first begin thinking about becoming a freelance web designer or developer you don’t naturally think of finding a freelancer community as the highest of priorities. But, the reality is finding a community that you can walk with through your journey as a freelancer is one of THE most important things if not THE […]

How to Find Success as a Freelancer Through Finding a Good Community

A group of people standing on a rock to symbolize the importance of finding a freelancer community

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We’ve always been told that there was really only one way to build a freelance web design business. Step 1: Learn web design/development skillsStep 2: Find clientsStep 3: As you get better you charge higher and higher prices Then for the really ambitious, you start an agency and make really big bucks. Sure, a lot […]

Scale a 1 to 1 Web Design Business with Productized Services

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I remember being on the phone with a client that would be my biggest paying customer yet. Here I was talking with an agency from San Francisco looking to outsource some work. The words came out of my mouth with a tiny little quiver and that “yelp” sound you hear from boys who just started […]

From $500 to $4500 for WordPress Websites in No Time At All: My Story

Man walking up stairs to symbolize how raising rates on wordpress websites for clients

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When people first start going down the path of becoming a web designer they begin trying to learn a lot of things about design and development. Things like: Color theory Visual hierarchy HTML & CSS OR JavaScript And, listen, those are super important to understand, practice and get better at. But, after a while, it […]

A Web Designer’s Journey with Mental Illness

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7 years ago, if you told me I’d one day be offered $10,000 to build a website I probably would have laughed at you. At the time, the most I’d ever gotten was a $100 gift card to Amazon. And, that was because someone was just being nice. The possibility of actually making that much […]

How to Win $10,000 Projects as a Freelance Web Designer

A freelancer at his desk to symbolize winning $10,000 projects as a freelance web designer

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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 new technologies and all the dang drag & drop website builders like SquareSpace, Wix, WordPress, etc. People imagine a world where pretty soon all you’ll have to […]

Have Website Builders Killed Web Design Careers?

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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

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Don’t want to read over 3,000 words on how to stand out as a freelancer? Listen to the podcast OR watch the YouTube Video. It’s tough to stand out as a freelancer when there are currently 57 million of us in the US, and that number gets bigger every day. In a lot of ways, […]

How to Stand Out as a Freelancer and Win Higher Paying Clients

Similar chairs to illustrate how important it is to stand out as a freelancer

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Don’t want to read almost 3,000 words on what you need to do to become a top rated freelancer on Upwork? No worries I got you. Here’s a podcast: Becoming a Top Rated Freelancer on Upwork was a game-changer for me. It was like almost overnight I went from clawing and scratching to find and […]

How to Become a Top Rated Freelancer on Upwork

Man climbing side of mountain to illustrate the climb to become a top rated freelancer on upwork

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No one starts out as a freelancer hoping to one day be mediocre. We are all determined to become a successful freelancer maybe even one of the better freelancers out there in our field. The problem is being TRULY successful as a freelancer isn’t easy. It even feels impossible sometimes. After all, if it were […]

8 Tips to Become a Successful Freelancer

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If I were to ask you, “what sets apart a really professional freelance web designer from a newbie?” What would you say? Some people might say it’s, “all about the quality of the design!” Others might tout the web designer’s ability to communicate their ideas or hit deadlines. But, none of those things really separate […]

How to Win Web Design Clients by Mastering Your Project Process

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Don’t want to read 1000’s of words on how to find web design clients? I got you. Here’s a podcast instead: Or if you prefer, there’s a YouTube Video. 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 […]

12 Ways To Find Freelance Web Design Clients

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Okay, you’ve decided it’s time to start a web design business. All the signs are pointing to it. You’ve got a decent eye for design maybe a bit of code know how It’s a growing market It’s fairly easy to get into AND, every business/blogger/influencer/whatever needs a website, right? Great! Now what? Start a Web […]

How to Start a Web Design Business that Lasts with No Experience

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Don’t want to read 1000’s of words on where to learn web development for free? Cool…I got a podcast for you. OR you can watch the YouTube Video: These days, there is so much information at your fingertips it’s hard to know where to go when you’re wondering how to learn web development for free […]

5 Places to Learn Web Development for Free

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Don’t want to read 1000’s of words on career change? Listen to the podcast instead! 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 […]

How I Changed Careers at 36 to Web Design

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After you’ve had a bit of success as a side-hustler the question that always comes next is, “When is it time to go from side-hustle to full-time?” After all, things are starting to pick up. You’re starting to be a bit more confident in your skills and in your ability to make money with this […]

When is it Time to Go from Side-Hustle to Full-Time?

A green door and knob to symbolize the decision of going from side-hustle to full-time

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There’s a lot of fear behind the question, “How do I price my services as a freelance web designer?” I can feel it everyone time someone asks me. And, I get it. In the early days of being a freelance web designer, it feels like most of what you’re doing is just guessing followed up […]

How to Effectively Price Your Services as a Freelance Web Designer

How to price your services as a freelance web designer|| A sign at a hotel that says "Best Rates"

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Don’t want to read 1000’s of words on how to recover from mistakes with freelance clients? I got you. Listen to the podcast below OR watch the youtube video. Making mistakes with freelance clients is inevitable. You’ll do your best to keep it from happening, but one day, when you least expect it…WHAM! Out of […]

How to Recover from Embarrassing Mistakes with Freelance Clients

Old man with a "whoops" face to illustrate mistakes with freelance clients

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Don’t want to read a few thousand words on how I got out of debt with web design side hustle? No worries! Listen to the podcast OR check out the video: My wife and I were married in February of 2018. With our marriage came love, joy, excitement and about $30k of debt. And, listen, […]

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

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Most high school seniors automatically think their next big life decision is choosing which college to go to. They graduate dreaming of the fun they’re about to have from dorm life or fraternities or the general “college experience.” But, not Michael. Michael knew that even if did go to school for computer science he would […]

How a High School Grad Became a Top Rated Freelancer in 6 Months

high school student working on laptop to signify a high school student becoming a top-rated freelancer on upwork

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Jumping into the world of web design can be a bit overwhelming. There are tons of things to learn like design principles and development skills.  And then there are all these different web design tools out there. Some people swear by one tool and then another person comes along and completely contradicts them.  Even if […]

6 Tools Every Web Designer Needs to Know About

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“Should web designers use templates to build their client’s sites?” Honestly, the freelance world is a bit divided on the answer to that question. Ask one person and the answer will be a resound, “YES!” Why wouldn’t you? If a template can get you even half the way there without having to do something from […]

How to use Website Templates to Make More Money and Save Time

a website template on a computer screen to visually communicate using a website template as a web designer

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Some times the most inspiring stories come out of disappointment. That certainly was the case with this week’s guest: Jasmine Glasgow. Jasmine had a fairly steady job at her family owned company. Then COVID hit and they had to make cutbacks. Her job was one of the first to go. BUT, instead of going the […]

From Laid Off to A Successful Business: One Web Designer’s Story

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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

7 Things Really Bad Freelance Web Design Clients Say||Man Screaming with x over his mouth

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Don’t want to read 1000’s of words on how to accomplish freelancing goals? Here’s a podcast! It seems like we start every year with high hopes for making huge progress on accomplishing freelancing goals.  We sign up for new goal setting systems. We read new books and swear to ourselves that this year will be […]

How to Crush Your Freelance Goals in the New Year

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As 2020 begins to wind down we turn our attention to the newly minted 2021 web design trends. Okay, there are probably a lot of things you are glad to see go coming out of 2020. The coronavirus An election year The return of fanny packs And, while there is a lot to celebrate seeing […]

Important 2021 Web Design Trends You Don’t Want to Miss

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Don’t want to read 1,000s of words on how to make a winning bid on UpWork? I got you. Listen to the podcast instead. Or you can watch the video. If you haven’t figured it out yet, you can’t just create an account on Upwork and sit back as the jobs start rolling in. No! […]

How to Make a Winning Bid on UpWork

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It’s pretty tough to know how to price your services as a freelance web designer. There are so many people that will tell you something different. Some say you should charge hourly while others say a flat rate is the only decent thing to do. Some will tell you to charge a minimum of $5,000 […]

How to Price Your Websites as a Freelancer

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UX design bootcamps are all the rage these days. People are opting out of the traditional college education route and instead choosing bite size programs that focus entirely on the skill they’re wanting to get hired for. Personally, I think that’s awesome. But, not everyone agrees with me. In fact, there’s a bunch of people […]

How to Choose the Best UX Design Bootcamp for You

Group of people studying UX || How to Choose the Right UX Design Bootcamp for You

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When you think of making more income as a web designer you probably think of two ways to do it. You either have to: Charge higher prices OR Take on more projects But, what if there was another option? What if there was a way to make more money without adding a ton more work […]

How to Increase Your Income with Sales Funnels and Automation

Wooden steps with "Up" spray painted on each

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Making 6 figures as a freelance web designer is kind of like a rite of passage. When I was first introduced to the world of freelancing I was kind of shocked at how freelancers would just openly tell me they made over 6 figures a year without me asking. When I asked a friend about […]

How to Be a 6 Figure Freelance Web Designer

Man with computer raising hands in victory on a couch representing a freelance web designer who is hitting 6 figures

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There are probably a lot of reasons why someone would want to become a freelance web designer. There are motivations like being in control of your time, having flexibility in your schedule, or being your own boss. But, one that probably trumps them all is earning more money. That was one of my biggest motivations […]

How to Earn More Money as a Freelancer

How to Earn More Money as a Freelancer || A man excited at his computer to signify earning more money as a freelancer

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The creative process is pretty torturous. I don’t say that lightly. I’ve experienced it. When I was a full-time musician I would have an idea for a song that I knew was going to be my big break. I’d pull out my phone record a little bit of it and go to bed. Then, I’d […]

How to Be More Creative as a Web Designer

How to Be More Creative as a Web Designer || A man with paint on his hands to express creativity

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Being unhappy with your job is pretty much a given these days. That’s why everyone posts those stupid memes about how bad Mondays are. A recent study found that over half of all US workers were unhappy with their career. But why are we so content to stay and do work we hate for a […]

How to Find a Job You Love in Tech

How to find a job you love || Illustrated by a twisty road because it might take a non-traditional route to get there

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Freelancing as a web designer is known to have feast or famine seasons. It seems like you either have more work than you can handle or you’re worried about being able to find another client before it’s to late. What if I told you there was something you could put into place today to keep […]

How To Make Recurring Revenue With Website Maintenance Plans

How to make recurring revenue with website maintenance packages || a set of wrenches to communicate maintenance like you need maintenance on your vehicle

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Becoming a self-taught web developer is all the rage these days. And, for good reason. With rising cost of traditional universities and a world of educational resources online A LOT of people are opting out of the old model of learning something. I myself DIYed my web development education and I’m a big advocate of […]

How to Be a Self-Taught Web Developer (The Honest Truth)

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It’s crazy to think that only a few months ago having a remote job wasn’t the norm. Now, almost the entire world is working from home. And, while a remote job as a web designer might be a dream come true, it comes with its fair share of challenges. Being on a remote team makes […]

How to Be a Successful Remote Web Designer

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“How do you have time to work on a web design side hustle?” I get that question a lot. And, I understand where it’s coming from. The older you get the more responsibilities pile on and the less time you have to take up new hobbies or even build skills that make you money. But […]

How to Make Time for a Web Design Side Hustle

man standing in front of a blurred train to represent how to make time for a web design side hustle despite having a busy schedule

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Don’t want to read 1000’s of words on getting good web design clients even with a tiny portfolio? No worries. Listen to the podcast. Here is the conundrum: good clients are looking for web designers with a strong portfolio before they hire them. But, how do you add to your web design portfolio if no […]

How to Get Good Web Design Clients Even with a Tiny Portfolio

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Starting a web design business is a scary thing. There are so many questions! Should you get an LLC license? Is a sole proprietorship okay? What about taxes? How much should I set aside? What if I don’t know how to do something the client asks for? All of those questions can be enough to […]

What You Need to Know To Start a Web Design Business

What you need to know to start a web design business || man sitting on a bed with a question mark above his head

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Don’t want to read 100’s of words about staying focused working from home with kids? No worries. You can listen to the podcast OR scroll all the way down for the video. It’s that time of year again. Back to school! In a normal world, school starting up brings a bit of relief to working […]

How to Stay Focused When You’re Working from home with kids

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If you don’t want to read nearly 3,000 words on 5 important things every web designer needs to know, I got you. Here’s a podcast Well, it’s official. Selfmadewebdesigner.com turned 1 year old! ? It’s been a pretty awesome year. I’ve gotten the chance to help a lot of people up their game as web […]

5 Important Things Every Web Designer Needs To Know

5 Important Things Every Web Designer Needs to Know || Balloons Being Released in the Air

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Have you ever worked on a web design project and been super proud only to present it to the client and quickly realize what they said they wanted is nowhere near what they actually want? I wish I could say that’s never happened to me ??‍♂️ When a client comes to you it’s very likely […]

Why Branding is the Key to Success with Web Design Clients

Why branding is the key to success with web design clients || A crossword of marketing words

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Getting into a UX design career has become incredibly popular lately. It’s almost like a modern day gold rush. As a result, there are a lot of companies capitalizing on the sudden increase in attention toward tech design jobs by creating products people can buy to help them get into those types of careers. One […]

How To Know if UX Design Bootcamps Are Right For You

A young man sitting at a laptop in a classroom || How to know if ux design bootcamps are right for you

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The frontend development field is constantly changing and advancing in your career is becoming more and more difficult. For one, the sheer amount of people in the industry has gone up drastically. AND, not to mention, what it actually means to be a frontend developer worthy of a tech job is getting more and more […]

How to Advance Your Career as a Frontend Web Developer

How to Advance Your Career as a Web Developer || A computer with code on it with a cup of coffee

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The Self-Made Web Designer podcast is pausing until July 7th. There is an important conversation that is happening right now concerning racism and diversity. It’s my heart to give space for that conversation to be fully heard. So, I am pausing for the rest of the month to listen and learn how I can be […]

An Update from Self-Made Web Designer

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Make sure to put people before profit. At the end of the day, that’s what marketing honestly boils down too. It’s a simple idea in theory. But, if you’re honest with yourself, it’s actually a tough idea to practice. “But, Chris!” You say, “Of course I would always put people before profit.” Well, hold on. […]

How To Be An Epic Salesman Without Losing Your Soul Part 2

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Selling your services as a web designer comes with its fair share of ethical dilemmas. You want to be honest about your ability but you don’t want to sound like you lack confidence. You want to get paid a good amount but you don’t want to overcharge someone just because you can You want to […]

How To Be An Epic Salesman Without Losing Your Soul Part 1

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I don’t know about you but writing a resume freaks me out a bit. The idea that the future of your life depends on a small piece of paper is more than just a little bit nerve-racking. AND, as a UX designer, you have to worry about more than your resume. You’ve got to think […]

How to Build a UX Design Portfolio that Get’s You Hired

How to make a winning ux design portfolio || Two ux designers working on a project together

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“Can you really get high-paying clients on Upwork?” That’s a question I’m asked a lot. It’s not always that direct BUT every so often someone will mention something slightly negative about it in passing. It comes in forms of: “Upwork is fine…if you’re just getting started.” Or “If things get slow enough I guess I […]

How to Get High-Paying Clients on Upwork

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I got an email this last week. And it wasn’t a fun one: I have to be honest. That was a blow to the gut and it’s even pretty hard to admit that it happened. For the longest time I’ve been a huge advocate of Upwork. I’ve even been featured on some of their advertisements. […]

How I Lost My Top Rated Status on Upwork

A neon sign with an encouraging message that says "People Fail Forward to Success" || How I lost my top rated status on Upwork

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You can’t have a successful side hustle without having a healthy family. At least not for very long. Most of us like to think that we can compartmentalize different areas of our lives. You’ve probably heard something like this before: “whatever personal issues you have, leave them at the door of your office.” But, the […]

How to Have a Healthy Marriage and Successful Side Hustle

How to Have a Healthy Marriage and a Successful Side Hustle || A happy couple

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So many freelancers think it takes some secret to find good web design clients. But, in reality, it’s actually pretty simple. Here’s a hint. It has nothing to do with how long you’ve been in business, how many skills you’ve mastered or even whether you’ve got a degree in some related topic. If you want […]

How to Attract High Paying Web Design Clients Part 2

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SEO can sometimes seem like a mystical concept. We all know we need it but we can’t quite figure out how to get it. So, we figure the people that are doing well with SEO have some kind of magic formula they’ve concocted and are probably unwilling to share with anyone else. But, thankfully, that’s […]

How to Grow a Strong Web Design Business with SEO

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Forget about making a little bit of extra money on the side. This graphic design freelancer is making enough money to fund a small town in Arkansas. What amazing secret source did she use to find her success? Upwork. That’s right. The place that everyone says is a race to the bottom. The place so […]

How to Make Over 6 Figures on Upwork as a Freelancer

How to Make Over 6 Figures on Upwork as a Freelancer|| A Miami street

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Most of us think that starting a side hustle will give us a little extra money to buy things we probably shouldn’t with our normal salary. With the money we earn, we imagine we’ll be able to splurge on a night out or slowly save up for an epic vacation. Not Josh Burns. Josh spends […]

How to Go from $0 to $500k in 4 Years on Upwork

How to Go from $0 to $500k in 4 Years on Upwork || A man celebrating in his office in front of a window

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Erin Flynn is not your normal freelance web designer. While everyone else is preaching “hustle, grind, kill yourself until you win” Erin is encouraging everyone to slow down and build a business that supports your life RATHER than the other way around. Erin only works two to four hours a day as a freelance web […]

How to Only Work 20 Hours a Week & Make an Amazing Income

How to Only Work 20 Hours a Week and Still Make an Amazing Income|| A man floating in the ocean while reading a book

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The world is crazy right now. Entire cities are shutting down. Businesses are being bankrupted. All from a virus we call COVID-19. In the wake of what’s happening around the world a lot of people are questioning what their next move is. They just lost their job or their income has drastically decreased. And, some […]

How to Be Successful with a Web Design Side Hustle

How to Be Successful with a Web Design Side Hustle || A laptop on a table with coffee, a notepad and a phone

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I have to be honest and say I did not think the Coronavirus would affect us as much as it has. I thought everyone was going a bit overboard. But, things kept getting worse. Then last week the CEO of the company I work for sent out a message telling us that we would all […]

How to Make Your Web Design Business Coronavirus Proof

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Well, it happened to me today. My CEO sent a message to our entire company. We are going to be working from home for the foreseeable future because of the Coronavirus. And, I’ve heard of a lot of companies who are following suit. Oracle, Twitter, Apple, Google. All of the heavy hitters aren’t just encouraging […]

Coronavirus: How to Work From Home and Not Go Crazy

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I’ve talked to a lot of freelancers over the years. After a while, a few common issues started to pop up. It turns out a lot of us are struggling with the exact same issues but no one is talking about it with one another! That’s the topic of this week’s episode on the Self-Made […]

The 5 Worst Mistakes Freelancers Make and How to Fix Them

The 5 Worst Mistakes Freelance Web Designers Make and How to Avoid Them || a paper with a sticker on it that says Mistake

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One of the first questions that comes to mind after you’ve had a bit of success as a freelance web designer is: “How big can I build this thing?” It’s pretty easy to get sucked into grandiose daydreams of having a full staff of employees, maybe an office, and best of all plenty of money […]

How To Quickly Scale A Web Design Business

How to Quickly Scale Your Web Design Business || A picture of a small plants growing in rows

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Getting a job in the tech field is becoming more and more competitive. People are realizing that there are tons of opportunities for jobs in web development, software development, UX design etc. So, it’s much harder to get a job in that space than it was 5 years ago. That’s what we talk about on […]

How to Build Your Dream Career in Tech

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Today I talk about how it all began. My story starts out of tragedy but it doesn’t end there. 6 years ago my wife of 10 years left me. When she did I had to figure out how I could make extra money for me and my 3 daughters as a single dad. Off of […]

How I Doubled My Income After a Tough Divorce

How I Doubled My Income After Divorce || a light shining on one stretch of road in the woods

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There has never been a better time to start a side hustle in a tech-related field. There are so many opportunities out there to find work you can do right from the comfort of your own home. Best thing? You don’t have to have a ton of experience to get started. In fact, you can […]

How to Get Started with a Tech Side Hustle

How to Start a Tech Side Hustle || Table with a coffee mug with the word Hustle on it

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So, many web designers settle for low paying projects. They make excuses as to why they’ll never attract the high paying web design clients they see others get so easily. “I’m just not that good.” “I don’t have an official degree.” “I haven’t been doing this long enough.” All of these excuses keep good web […]

How to Attract High Paying Web Design Clients Part 1

How to Attract High Paying Web Design Clients||Happy Man Sitting at Laptop

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One of the things that web design freelancers struggle with the most is figuring out how to market themselves to potential clients. I know plenty of great web developers who have a hard time breaking into the freelance world because they don’t know how to brand themselves or show potential clients that they’re worth the […]

The Best Way to Market Your Web Design Business

The Best way to Market Your Web Design Business || A piece of crumpled up paper on a desk. The paper says marketing strategy

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I am so excited to announce that on March 3rd, 2020 I will officially be launching a podcast to go along with selfmadewebdesigner.com! Let me tell ya, I’m excited about this. For months I’ve been quietly working in the background interviewing people that I have looked up to for years. People like: Laurence Bradford of […]

Introducing the Self-Made Web Designer Podcast

Self-Made Web Designer Podcast || A microphone and headphones

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Dear Freelance Web Designer, We need to talk. As you know there are around 30.1 million of us here in the US. I know that after reading that your mouth is probably salivating. The harvest is ripe for the taking! Right? Hold on a sec. I feel like there’s a disconnect between you, the freelance […]

An Open Letter from a Small Business Owner to Freelance Web Designers

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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

A Busy Father's Guide to Learning Web Design|A man on the beach with his son

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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

The one thing you need to be a successful web designer| a man walking down a rainy road

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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

A Simple How to Pricing Guide for Freelance Web Designer|| A sale sign in a store window

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Not many college students can say they make $120 an hour. But, that’s not the case with Josh Ahles. Josh started freelancing as a web designer only a few short months ago. But, in that time his success has skyrocketed. Here’s the crazy thing, only 8 months ago, Josh was afraid of freelancing as a […]

How to Crush it as a Freelance Web Designer in College

How to Crush it as a Freelance Web Designer in college || a college student in cap and gown doing a dab

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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

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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

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“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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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This free, 4 video course will give you all the tools you need to start freelancing as a web designer and earning extra money.

• How to get started from scratch
• How to find your first clients
• How to charge higher rates

Become a web designer and land high-paying clients

Come learn the same steps I use to land projects for $6k+ on Upwork. You'll walk away knowing:

• How to stand out from other freelancers
• A cover letter template that wins
• Profile MUST HAVES that most freelancers miss

3 Simple Steps to Land High Paying Projects on Upwork