Freelancers don’t get paid much these days, tough competition has made freelancing less attractive, it is difficult for professionals to get jobs at their price. Freelancers are slowly becoming part-time rather than full-time because of the cost. In many ways, most people still view self-employment as a luxury.
Freelance work in every industry has its own risks, including difficulty in finding work and maintaining stable income. There is no exception working as a freelance web developer. While the benefits of freelance work can be extremely rewarding, finding freelance employment can be difficult.
And while the volume of jobs and opportunities for freelancers is not necessarily small, self-employed developers are definitely swimming in saturated waters. The industry is full of young and knowledgeable people so it can certainly be a tough test to differentiate yourself.
But if you have the talent to nurture yourself, your efforts might be worth it. One of the first challenges freelancers face is selling themselves before they establish their personal brand and allow inquiries. Freelancing for any beginner requires you to travel the world in search of your first customer. And even for those not new to it, this trend could continue if you don’t make a name for yourself. It takes work, but it is definitely worth it if your efforts pay off. But there is always an inherent lack of income security when you are self-employed. Because of the certainty of a low income, you need to plan ahead financially. This is what every freelance web developer should know.
If you think all you need is a working laptop and an internet connection, you might be wrong. As your customer base grows and your work becomes more demanding, you will quickly find that it takes more than a few hundred dollars to get things started. Hosting and development costs are an overlooked expense and if you’re trying to build a small empire you might be surprised. Once you start working on some projects, you may also find that your current IT equipment also needs to be updated. You’re probably looking for a computer that can hold at least a few gigabytes of RAM and add a lot of additional storage.
Even with cloud services like DropBox and iCloud, things can get pretty expensive pretty quickly. Over time, costs will likely increase as your customer base grows. Usually these expenses are paid for by an employer, but as a freelancer, you are now the one to pay the bills.
While using your own equipment may not seem stressful at first, you can feel the stress as you try to separate your personal life from your professional activities. As you begin to associate your desktop or mobile workstation with work (and the stress that comes with it) it may become increasingly difficult to log out by quitting your email app or closing the work tabs in your browser.
This is something that you need to manage, although with good management and time allocation it can be done successfully.
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