There are over a billion websites on the internet. Some of them are good, others are bad, and many more lie somewhere in between. Good websites tend to draw more amicable visitors, which in turn generates more business for companies and followers for bloggers.
Creating a good website, however, is not easy. People need a web design expert who can build them a site that helps them achieve all of their online goals.
In other words, they need someone like you. Due to this constant need, there are plenty of opportunities for you to start making money with web design.
Before you begin, you should understand what the money-making opportunities are for web design and how you can take advantage of them. To help you with that, this article will take a look at the best ways to start making money with web design.
(Additionally, check out our article where we asked a professional graphic and web designer on how to be successful in the field.)
1. Learning the skills needed for web design
Before you can start making money with web design, you need to be able to provide web design services that someone would actually be willing to pay for; simply knowing how to edit website templates is not good enough.
That being said, you should learn the following skills to be a top-notch web designer:
These are the most basic of all web designing skills that you need to know. Websites are entirely composed of strings of design languages (mostly HTML); if you are unable to create a page using HTML, then your vision for the client's website can never be fully realized.
A good website is not solely composed of pictures, headlines, and graphics. It will also include high-quality writing that is designed to engage and inform the website's visitors. In order for your client's website to be complete, you will need to be able to deliver this content.
If you do not keep up with the latest web design trends, then you run the risk of hurting the functionality of your client's website.
For example, Flash is considered ancient technology on the web.
As such, using it in a website's design will deprive most mobile users of access to the client's website. This would mean alienating over half of their potential visitors.
Search Engine Optimization
It would not matter if you created the best-looking, most intuitive website in the world for a client if nobody visited it.
The most common way that websites are found these days is via the internet; it is a part of your job as a web designer to help your client's website get listed atop search engine results lists relevant to their business.
This means that you must be able to include some search engine optimization (SEO) in your web design.
In addition to functioning well, a website should look great and be unique. The only way for this to happen is if it includes unique graphics. As such, having some graphic design skills is a must.
If you want to start making money with web design, then the most important element of communication that you need to develop is your listening skill.
This is because if you don't listen to what a client is asking you for, you will end up creating a website that doesn't fit their needs -- and you won't get paid.
If you do not feel comfortable learning or executing all of the above skills, then you can outsource some of the work or bring in one or more partners to fill in the gaps.
2. The Types of Web Design Jobs Out There
The term web design does not encompass a single job. Here are the three types of jobs that you can do to start making money with web design:
Building Websites from the Ground Up
This is what usually first comes to mind when you think of web design. There is a lot of money that can be made building websites from the ground up. Also, if you can do this job, then you can do the other two web design jobs on this list.
Doing Website Redesigns
If a client already has a website, and it is poorly designed or just needs a fresh start, then you can make money by doing website redesigns.
As more businesses become established on the web, this is becoming a more commonly used web design service.
Oftentimes, however, a website "redesign" will simply involve creating an entirely new website and replacing the old one with it.
Even after a website is fully constructed, someone needs to manage it. That being said, you can start making money with web design skills by maintaining a website and/or fixing errors as they arise.
This is a great way to start making money with web design without getting your hands too dirty or worrying about overly picky clients.
Many businesses would prefer to learn how to design and/or manage on their own so that they don't have to pay for a web designer every time something goes wrong or they need to make a change. This is where the web design consultant comes in.
3. Getting Customers for Your Newly Minted Web Design Business
Once you have developed all of your web design skills and have decided how you plan on making money with web design, you are not done.
You still have to get clients to work with you in the first place, and this will not just happen automatically. You need to market yourself to potential clients in the following ways:
Build Yourself a Website
What kind of web designer doesn't have their own website? This is the type of question that people will ask you if you try to design their website without one of your own.
Also, keep in mind that people searching for web design services will begin with an online search; without a website, you will never be found by these potential clients.
Talk About Web Design on Social Media
Social networking allows you to develop personal relationships with clients in a way that you could not anywhere else. You should have a page on every social network out there, including LinkedIn, Google +, Facebook and Twitter.
When using your social networking pages, be sure that you are friendly, interactive, and always on the topic (only talk about topics related to web design).
Also, be sure to mention your website every so often, as many of your followers will be in search of web design services.
Create a Blog
A blog is a great opportunity to showcase your web design knowledge while attracting a deluge of potential clients to your website.
You should treat your blog like a long-form version of your social media pages.
For example, where you would only use 140 characters or less on Twitter to touch on the need for SEO on a website, you could use over 400 words to discuss the same topic on your blog.
With the right approach, you can make a lot of money with web design, it just takes a little practice and fine-tuning your skills.