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What Elance and oDesk Won’t Tell You About Freelancing on Their Sites

Have you experienced this too? I know the company line, but this seems to be more of the reality they don’t want to talk about. Watch this video then check out the whole episode on YouTube.

What Elance and oDesk Won't Tell You About Freelancing on Thei…

Have you experienced this too? I know the company line, but this seems to be more of the reality they don't want to talk about. Link to the whole episode in the comments:

Posted by John Morris on Monday, April 13, 2015

April 14, 2015

Need help with MySQL?

I’ll keep this short this week because my wife is out of town again so it’s just me and this guy hanging out all weekend:

Plus I’m recording a bunch of new tutorials for you.

 Do you need a little help with MySQL?

If so, check out this new course I just uploaded. It won’t cost you anything and it covers all the key concepts:

  • Prepared statements
  • MySQLi
  • PDO
  • Data modeling
  • Object modeling
  • Creating a database class
  • ezSQL

And a few other things. I’ve received a lot of great feedback on it so far… so it’s worth checking out if you need a MySQL assist.

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April 11, 2015

Do You Have the Geek Gene?

Do you have the “geek gene”? Find out in this video, then check out the full episode for my step-by-step process for becoming a front-end web developer.

Do you have the geek gene?

Do you have the "geek gene"? Find out in this video, then check out the full episode for my step-by-step process for becoming a front-end web developer. I'll link it up in the comments.

Posted by John Morris on Friday, April 10, 2015

April 10, 2015

I’d never heard anyone talk like that before – This Week on JMO.com

The guy obviously knew what he was talking about… I’d just never heard anything like it before. And, as I listened I never would have imagined what he was saying would cause me to change everything I was doing.

But, before I get into the story here’s the tutorials I posted this week in case you missed any:

How to Build and Grow Your Web Presence:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73OOPbTo_jY

5 Tips For Developing Better Work-Life Balance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH9tyghhvq4

Watch This Whenever You Need Some Self Motivation and Self Confidence:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EB_vYbeVOjA

5 Time Management Tips for Freelancers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH9tyghhvq4

What Are the Biggest Obstacles for Freelancers to Get Clients:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFx83qZU1yo

Back to the story…

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April 4, 2015

The Truth About the Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 by Rob Percival

This is my review of Rob Percival’s Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 on Udemy. I’m writing this review because I had, for awhile, planned on creating a course like this myself but after going through Rob’s course, it felt redundant.

Here’s my review of the course:

Overview

The Complete Web Developer Course is meant as a one-stop shop to learn all the essential skills a web developer needs:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Javascript
  • jQuery
  • Bootstrap
  • WordPress
  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • APIs
  • Mobile Apps

A comprehensive list to say the least. With that massive list of topics, the course boasts 235 lessons and 28.5 hours of content. You also build 14 websites as a part of the course.

Teacher

The course is taught by Rob Percival. Rob has a degree in Mathematics from Cambridge University and spend the first part of his career as a math teacher.

After building websites in his spare time for friends and family, he realized he enjoyed web development and it was a lucrative career so he gave up teaching to become a web developer full-time.

Here’s what I like about Rob’s teaching style:

  • He’s well-spoken and clear in his communication
  • As a former teacher, he can communicate complex concepts in easy-to-understand terms
  • He’s very knowledgeable regarding web development
  • He’s active in the course chat and answers questions promptly
  • He’s to the point and doesn’t drone on and on

Here’s some things I wish were better:

  • I think he speaks a bit too closely to the microphone and there are some “pops” in the audio
  • You catch some of the background mouse clicks, etc.

The audio is crisp and clear and there’s no concern about hearing what he’s saying… but after 28.5 hours you start to notice the few minor audio hiccups.

Who Is the Course For?

I believe this course is a great fit for developers who fall into the following categories:

  • You’re brand new to web development and want the fastest learning path
  • You’ve learned a handful of languages but want to round out your skill set
  • You’re an intermediate developer and want to double-check all your learning to make sure you’re on track
  • You’re self-taught and looking for clear outline of what you need to learn
  • You’re just out of college and feel like you’re missing some of the in-demand skills

Who Is the Course NOT For?

I believe the course won’t be useful to developers in the following categories:

  • You’re an advanced developer looking for very advanced topics
  • You’re dabbling with code and not yet sure if web development is something you’re interested in
  • You prefer written tutorials over video tutorials

Pros and Cons of the Course

Here’s a list of the pros:

  • It really is complete covering all the essential topics
  • Rob is a talented teacher who explains things well
  • The course is laid out intelligently
  • The video quality is excellent
  • You build 14 real websites during the course
  • Rob is active in the chat and answers questions
  • It has a large student base (88,000+) so you have lots of other developers to learn with

Here’s a list of the cons:

  • The small audio issues I mentioned
  • I’d learn the topics in a bit different order than what they’re presented in

How Do You Get the Course?

The Complete Web Developer Course is available on Udemy for a fee of $200. The good news is that I’ve worked out a deal with Rob for my online audience and he’s agreed to offer you a 75% discount on the course.

If you purchase his course through my affiliate link, you’ll get the 75% discount:

Click here for the 75% discount

Full disclosure: I will earn a small commission if you purchase the course through that link. I wouldn’t recommend the course if I didn’t believe it would truly help you. The small commission is just a side benefit.

Special Bonus

I believe strongly enough that this course will really help most up and coming web developers that I wanted to eliminate as many of the cons as I could. While I can’t do anything about the audio, I was able to convince Rob to give the 75% discount I mentioned above.

On top of that, if you purchase the course through my affiliate link I will send you my revised Web Developer Learning Guide where I outline the order in which I would learn the various skills necessary for a web developer.

This fixes the con I mentioned about how I’d learn the topics in a bit different order. To get the bonus, follow these steps:

1. Purchase the course through my affiliate link 75% off

2. Forward your Udemy invoice to cwdc at johnmorrisonline dot com and I’ll email you the Web Developer Learning Guide PDF.

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March 31, 2015

4 Keys to Developing a Profitable Web Application

Building a profitable web application is often the fastest way to notoriety as a developer (just ask Mark Zuckerberg or Sergey Brin).

It’s also often the quickest way to have massive impact on the world and improve thousands or even millions of people’s lives.

And, of course, if you hit it big (and usually even if you don’t)… the pay isn’t too shabby, either. 🙂

But, how can you ensure the web application you want to develop will be a success?

Having worked at a successful tech start-up for the last five years, I want to share a few of my insights:

1. Build Something People Want

It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many developers don’t do this. The “gotcha” here is building something you assume people will want… not something you know they do.

When the founders of our company (WishList Products) got started, they developed an application that they themselves wanted and felt was sorely missing for their business.

But, they didn’t stop there. They quickly put it on the market (after only about a month or so of development) to see if anyone else wanted it too.

And, the demand for the product exploded. Then and only then did they go all-in and create a full-fledged company.

Research, build and test as quickly as possible until you find a winner. Selling people something they want will make every other part of your business that much easier.

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February 10, 2015

7 Steps to Get New Web Design Clients on Autopilot

When I first got into the online business/internet marketing space (way back in 2004) one of the ideas I saw thrown around a lot was this notion of getting business on “autopilot”.

I always thought it was a little silly. It sounded like straight up hype to me. I mean how is it possible to get traffic, leads and sales on “autopilot”… the same numbers week after week without a lot of input on your part?

Didn’t seem possible. And, for a lot of years I simply wrote it off as hype and didn’t think much more about it.

Then, I started getting serious about my online business. I started putting a lot more effort into creating content and focusing and getting traffic and leads, in particular.

And as I started to track all the numbers, I started to notice something interesting.

It looked like this:

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January 9, 2015

WARNING: Are You Ruining Your Career by Following This Common Piece of Freelancing Advice?

When I first entered the web design world, I felt like a fish out of water. For a long time, I felt like I really didn’t belong.

Admittedly, my background is probably a bit atypical. I wasn’t born a “geek”. I grew up in a military and sports-oriented family.

My first job ever was working construction for my dad. I was a star football player in high school. And, I had a fairly extensive background in sales my first few years in the workforce.

I certainly wasn’t in the Mark Zuckerberg mold of learning to code from age 7. I was 23 before I even know what web design was.

So, there were a lot of things that those who’ve “grown up” in a tech-heavy environment take for granted that really stood out to me.

More specifically, a lot of ideas that get accepted as dogma… that aren’t necessarily looked at the same way by the rest of the world.

ONE of those ideas is incredibly dangerous for your freelance career. I’ve literally watched it kill the careers of some of those most talented coders I know because they refused to change their thinking.

I’ve also watched mediocre coders ignore this dogmatic advice and go on to have fantastic careers without ever really becoming what I’d consider a highly-talented developer.

Here’s how it works…

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January 9, 2015

How can a newbie freelancer become popular in freelancing websites?

Watch on YouTube: http://youtu.be/RpgTS3VZltA
Listen on SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com

You gain popularity by doing more work and getting good reviews and recommendations from the clients you work with.

Elance uses a sophisticated algorithm to determine an individual freelancer’s level. You can see this level displayed on the side of your profile here:

Elance Level

This level is important because it plays a major role in how you show up in profile listings throughout Elance. In general, the higher your level the more likely you are to show up at the top of those lists and get seen by potential clients.

How to Consistently Outrank Popular Freelancers on Elance

However, there is an equally important ranking factor that I see many new and even advanced freelancers miss…

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November 18, 2014

My Closest Friends Said I’d Never Make It as a Web Designer… Then I Did This!

In this episode of the John Morris Show, I teach you how to use Elance and ODesk to build a successful freelance web design business.

This 6-part strategy is what I used to prove all my friends and family wrong when they said I’d never make it as full-time web designer.

And, to be blunt… if your freelance business is based 100% on sites like Elance and ODesk.. you’re being foolish.

You could be working less and making more by implementing the 6 simple steps in this video.

Over time, these steps will start to seem a bit “magical” because you’ll have new business flowing in without a bunch of effort on your part… and a lot of times you won’t even know where it’s coming from.

New clients just show up at your door.

So check out this episode so you can give YOUR doubters the finger once your freelance web design business is thriving:

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September 10, 2014

How to Avoid Clients From Hell BEFORE They Ever Hire You

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Some clients just suck. There’s really no nice way to put it. Learning how to expose and avoid them BEFORE you let them hire you will keep you from tearing your hair out (and stave off the gray hair for just a few more years).

Of course, it’s fun to joke about it… but dealing with hellish clients is actually serious as… well hell!

That’s because getting good at avoiding clients who just don’t fit well with your personality and how you operate will help you avoid getting seriously burnt out and overwhelmed.

And, it’ll keep you loving your job which will make you happier (and helps you make more money).

Of course, having been at this for 10+ years…

I’ve had my fair share of clients from hell…

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August 21, 2014

How to Get Your First Web Design Client (Step #2 is especially important)

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/162810026″ params=”color=2eaef0&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Getting your first PAID web design client is the most important action you can take for your coding career… whether you plan to be a freelance web designer long-term or not.

It’s THAT important because it immediately makes everything much more clear:

  • You see if you actually like coding
  • You figure out what your clients expect from you
  • You understand what to charge and why

And, most importantly… you gain CONFIDENCE. You get to see first-hand that people WILL pay you money to code for them and that you CAN deliver.

On the flip side, NOT getting your first client leaves everything unknown:

  • You assume you’ll like coding but don’t know for sure
  • You continue to have no idea what clients really want
  • You have no idea what you can charge

And, most importantly… you don’t gain the confidence necessary to move forward in your career… and that deep-seated fear about whether clients will pay you and whether you can actually deliver or not… will continue to linger.

I learned this the hard way…

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August 12, 2014

How to Position Yourself to Get More Freelance Jobs

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I was recently asked: “How do I fill out my profile on sites like Elance and oDesk? How do I fill them out in a way that’s honest but more impressive than leaving them blank?”

Here’s the simplest way I can put this…

Your unique situation can and SHOULD be positioned to highlight your advantages. For example, when I started looking to get hired for freelance IT jobs I was completely self-taught and I believed that was a disadvantage.

I believed coders who had gone to school were in a better position than me and would have an easier time convincing clients to hire them.

But, I quickly found out that clients were often MORE impressed with someone who was self-taught and so I began using that to my advantage.

I would highlight that I was self-taught and I learned by working on REAL projects (instead of fake scenarios in some college “lab”).

And guess what… it works!

Since then I’ve come to understand that whatever situation you’re in… you can position it to your advantage. It’s “all about how you tell the story”… and it’s your job to tell YOUR story and not worry about anyone else’s.

So, how can you tell your story in a way that is compelling… that highlights your unique skills, qualifications and experiences?

Got a Question?

Call (515) 344-3163 to ask me your most burning coding question right now?

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Photo by: Kat Ter Haar

August 6, 2014

Most Web Designers Don’t Do This… But It’s How I Get 99% of My Freelance Jobs

Most freelancers and web designers immediately roll their eyes when I say the word, “branding”.

Mostly because they’re thinking of big brand branding done by companies like Coke or McDonalds… that’s “not meant to actually make sales”.

Yet, “branding” is how I get 99% of my clients.

In fact, you’re here reading this right now because of the “branding” I do.

So, if you can put aside all the mis-information you’ve probably heard about the word “branding”…

Check out the video below and let me show you the #1 thing I do get more freelance IT jobs:

July 31, 2014

The Most Important Freelance Job Getting Activity You’re Not Doing

Most web designers don’t this. Most web designers think it’s dumb or not necessary. Most web designers roll their eyes when I bring it up.

Most web designers are also BROKE.

There’s one single thing I’ve done that most other web designers don’t do (or don’t do that well) that brings me 99% of my freelance jobs…

And, in this video I’ll show you what it is (and how to do it RIGHT):

photo by: Dan Moyle

July 28, 2014

2014 Trends That Could Make You Obsolete, Should You Use Code Frameworks, and How to Attract High-Paying Clients Using Content

Segment 1: Web Design Trends You Need to Watch Out For (2:56)

Several years ago when the “Web 2.0” movement hit, I lost my entire freelance business because I didn’t actually know how to code. I had been using MS FrontPage to build static HTML web sites for clients.

And the move to dynamic database-driven web sites killed me.

That taught me to pay close attention to web trends and to break them down to understand the larger motivations at work. So, I could begin to predict trends and stay ahead of the curve.

In this segment, I break down 8 of the hottest web design trends in 2014 and show you the larger forces at work… so you can begin to predict what’s going to happen and adapt your business accordingly so you don’t get destroyed like I did.
(more…)

May 5, 2014

How to Get Hired on Elance and oDesk

Why You’re Not Getting Hired on Elance and oDesk

When I first started out on Elance, I really had no clue what I was doing. In fact, I was pretty nervous about the whole thing. I had this sinking feeling that nobody was going to hire me and I’d quit the whole thing feeling like a failure (and maybe give up on coding for good).

And, at first… that’s exactly what happened.

The first few freelance jobs I bid on I got undercut by another developer willing to do the work for a price so low it made me question if I’d be able to every make any money as a freelance coder.

And it really burned me!

It made me angry that a potential client was willing to give control of a huge chunk of their business (and livelihood)… to the lowest bidder. It just seemed so stupid.

Then, a friend of mine (another coder who was killing it on Elance) showed me what he was doing and how he was able to get clients to hire him over and over… even though he was often the highest bid on the project.

And, he laid out a 3-step plan for me to kill it (like he was) on Elance. Here’s what it looked like:
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May 2, 2014

Be Remarkable… Or Don’t Be a Coder

remarkable(adj): worthy of attention; unlikely or surprising; likely to be noticed

It was Iraq 2005 and there was a girl I liked. Problem was… so did every other guy. In fact, you could say she was overloaded with guys trying to get her attention. She was gorgeous… as you can see from this picture:

sonja

And, she had an intriguing personality. She was the kind of person everybody just wanted to get to know. So, it was no surprise every guy was “after” her.

And, I was stuck.

I wanted to get to get her attention. I wanted to impress her. I wanted to get her to like me. But so did everybody else. And, so I kept trying to figure out…

How do I stand out?
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April 24, 2014

Separation of Concerns, MVC, and How to Get Started as a Freelance Coder

Build Better Websites Using a Separation of Concerns

Easily one of the biggest mistakes new coders make… inter-mingling content, presentation, and behavior… making it a nightmare to maintain and update your code. In the first segment of this episode of the John Morris Show, I reveal how to avoid that whole mess by building your websites using a “separation of concerns”.

What is MVC? How Do I Use It?

I get this question every day. MVC has become a buzzword in the developer community and many developers have been told they need to build their applications this way… but don’t know what it is or how to do it.

In the 2nd segment of this episode, I answer those questions and show you how to start building your applications using the MVC pattern.

How Do I Start Getting Freelance Clients?
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April 22, 2014