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Freelance Work: Any Experiences?

msuitepyonmsuitepyon Registered User regular
edited July 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So, I'm leaving my current job mid-August. To continue to get income, I've looked into part-time jobs. I haven't found much that's piqued my interest (or I'm waiting on responses). I've toyed around with freelance before, but I've always been reluctant. Now is another one of those times. I've been poking around and found some database work I know I can do, but I need a Windows machine to do it. Hopping over to Dell, I can get a laptop that's capable of running what I need for a little under $600. Is it worth the investment? Can I get freelance work? Have you, collective internets, had experience with freelance work, specifically Guru?

msuitepyon on


  • spukeesanspukeesan Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I've been doing freelance web development for years, and if there's one thing I've learned it's to always have at least a few thousand in the bank to cover the "lean" months.

    Freelancing is a very viable option, but you can't limit yourself to a single source. Any professional will tell you it's about 60% marketing 40% billable hours, with a much greater divide when you're first getting started. It's nice being able to account for your own time though, and you'll rarely get bored (just frustrated/panicky when bills are due :P).

    There're some good websites out there lobbying for the freelancer's cause. One that comes to mind immediately is Freelance Switch. Also, never underestimate the power of craigslist for finding some worthwhile gigs.

    spukeesan on
  • wasted pixelswasted pixels Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I've taken work from Guru and Elance, Craigslist too.

    The best advice I can lend would be to know *exactly* what you're worth, and to bill that. Don't let yourself get in a mindset that allows you to take $200 jobs "just to hold you over" -- if you're worth $xx an hour, bill that, and don't waste your time with anyone who isn't willing to pay it.

    People who have no understanding of what your work is worth will also have no idea how to handle your project. Not only will you be underpaid, you'll be doing a *shit-ton* of work you shouldn't have to. Every $1,000 website I've ever done has been a bigger pain in the ass than any $20,000 website I've done. Bill what you're worth, and *fuck* anyone who won't pay you fairly.

    Also, if you're doing database for web -- any flavor of SQL, really -- get it IN WRITING that you won't be responsible for any security shortcomings due to crappy scripting. 9 times out of 10 it's shoddy php that compromises a database, and 9 out of 10 shoddy developers will blame whoever set up the database. Make sure your work is solid, and make sure you aren't accountable for anything else.

    This is harsh experience talking, I dodged a frivolous lawsuit by a hair's breadth.

    wasted pixels on
  • msuitepyonmsuitepyon Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Sound advice.

    Thanks for the info.

    msuitepyon on
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