There seems to be unlimited possibilities for developers, designers, and entrepreneurs within the WordPress world. Everyday there are new businesses being started, dreamers submitting their first themes on Themeforest, and children across the world typing their first “the_title();”. However, the majority of those building websites with WordPress are part-time developers and full-time employees dreaming for their chance to make the BIG jump to full-time WordPress development.
I have been working with WordPress for almost 3 years. In November of 2011, I decided to take the plunge and become a full-time WordPress developer. When I made this transition, I had worked on a handful of client sites and several personal projects bringing my total number WordPress sites built to 10. Believe me, this was NOT the ideal time to make the full-time transition :).
How to make it work financially
Starting out, you may not get enough contacts or referrals to sustain a full-time living doing client work. There are plenty of great blogs and books (this one inspired me to make this blog) dedicated to this topic so I won’t focus on it here. This post focuses on that in between time. How do you make a living with WordPress while developing your professional reputation? Here are a few things that worked for me.
When I started with WordPress I was immediately drawn to Organic Themes. I loved their style, simple design, and ease of use. For every development I would try to use themes from Themeforest that more closely matched the project need but always found myself jumping back to an Organic Theme to complete the project. One day I stumbled onto a post on their corporate site which stated they were looking for some support staff. I jumped at the opportunity and almost immediately began running their email support. Not long after, the guys at Organic connected me to Werkpress which generated a second source of part-time work.
Not only did these connections generate the revenue that literally meant the difference between my family being fed or going hungry, it was also a crash course in everything WordPress! So, with the massive number of businesses providing WordPress themes, plugins, and other resources, why not reach out and look for ways that you can serve them? I know I will be forever grateful for the opportunities (and income) that these guys gave me early on.
We all know other WordPress developers. People with differing skills, talents, or interests that are a natural compliment to our own. By joining forces and collaborating, you get the opportunity to specialize in the areas in which you are more skilled. Additionally, you double your network, increase your credibility, and increase the quality and quantity of your portfolio. This is exactly why Blake and I joined up at LimeCuda
Think Laterally and make their customers happy
Do a google search in your area for marketing, branding or graphic design companies. How many are there? How many of them do you think actually build the websites for their clients? How many of those use WordPress?
Odds are, if you are using WordPress, you LOVE WordPress. You’re aware of how powerful it is and how easy it is to create high functioning sites compared to older ways of development. If you can find a company that hasn’t capitalized on the power of WordPress, just think of how much time, money, and headaches you could save them and their clients.
I recently moved into the offices of a local design firm. Within a matter of weeks I have had the opportunity to bid on several projects that I never would have had opportunity for had I not reached out to this local design firm.
Don’t Get Discouraged
No matter what, just keep pushing. This is your livelihood, your belly is counting on it!