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How to THINK like a developer

What makes a developer truly a developer?

I’ll give you my answer in a second.

But think about that as you read this…

So, I got this email question from Mike:

“I’m stuck at a beginner level. I’ve followed tons of tutorials and did a 3 month full time web dev boot camp. But I cant seem to get past the hurdle of being able to write a program myself. I consistently fail interview tests as my programming logic skills are low. I seem to be stuck at this beginner level. I need to learn how to think like a programmer…. Any ideas or tips?”

Think about that.

It actually doesn’t make sense, does it?

How does someone spend that much time learning and still not be able to sit down and crank out an application? Shouldn’t be that way. And, I’ll just tell you from the emails I get… he’s not alone.

Is this something YOU have struggled with?

If so, let me tell you how this happens.

It’s one of the “dirty secrets” of the coding tutorial industry.

I know that sounds a bit “Ok, whatever”…

But, I really, truly believe this.

It’s the problem with project-based courses, which I absolutely think have their place, BTW. But, when you follow along as someone else builds a program, you don’t have to solve all the little programming problems that come up.

They’re solved for you.

It’s very rare that an instructor even mentions those problems…

Let alone makes YOU solve them.

They just run through the code and show you what to type.

A good one might mention them off-hand.

But, almost nobody labors over those points.

Because, frankly, coding students don’t like it.

They don’t think they need it.

When they absolutely DO.

So, what happens is you never learn how to connect problems to applications and vice versa. That’s WHY you can go through a crap-ton of training, but feel lost when you sit down to write an application.

If all you’ve ever done is project-based courses…

Or, haven’t specifically learned application design…

Then, you’ve actually never done this part of it.

And, here’s the kicker… that’s the most important part.

This is the analogy I use…

Imagine a painter who learns all the technical parts of painting a landscape. Trees, mountains, water, grass, etc. That’s good. You need to know those. But, will knowing those make you good at composition?

At putting all those things together into a painting…

That elicits emotion?

That makes people say “WOW”?

That has a perspective?

Does a well-executed tree make someone a true ARTIST?

It’s part of it, but it’s not all. It’s not the main thing. It’s the ability to capture moments and elicit emotion. To have a point-of-view AND THEN be able to execute on that point of view.

It’s having an “eye” for it.

It’s similar with web development.

What makes you a developer…

Is your ability to identify problems.

Come up with new ideas for solving them in better ways.

AND THEN, execute on those solutions.

And, that’s what you miss with most project-based courses. To me, the answer is to learn application design. To understand how to connect problems to their solutions and how to design applications from scratch.

This is precisely why I named my OOP course, Build Professional Applications With Object-Oriented Programming. Object-oriented programming IS the/a method for application design. And, a damn good one.

When you understand it…

And, how it connects to object modelling.

And, database structure.

The code almost literally writes itself. Again, I know that sounds hypey, but that’s WHY so many people swear by OOP. Because, it gives you a way forward for designing your applications.

You don’t have to guess.

Or wonder.

Or stare blankly at your code editor.

You know where to start and how to proceed at every step.

There’s still problems to work through.

Always.

But, you have a road map for how to get your application built.

Anyway, all this is what Lesson 11 in my object-oriented programming course takes on. Teaching you how to design applications in the most scalable, modular and efficient way possible.

If you’ve found yourself dealing with “blank screen” syndrome…

I truly believe this will help to cure you.

In any case, you can take the course for nothing over on SkillShare. All the details on the course and how to get free access are here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/oop

Later,

John

February 4, 2019

Read this before another developer ruins your website

That’s the headline.

Of the most effective services sales page I ever ran. In fact, I ran it for years on my site before I whittled down to just one client. It’s easily brought in tens of 1000s of the greenbacks for me.

I don’t care what kind of web development you do…

This should be your headline.

It grabs the reader by the eyeballs…

And, forces them to read.

Because, it’s every client’s worst nightmare.

It’s like a car wreck, they can’t NOT look.

And, it works no matter what kind of services you offer.

Of course, you gotta follow it up correctly; otherwise, your potential client will quickly lose interest. So, next comes the “horror story”. For me, it’s Inc. Magazine and how they spent 2 years try to get their site built.

Went through several developers.

Spent lots and lots of money.

And, still had nothing.

This makes the fear REAL to your potential client.

Imagine being a client and hearing Inc. Magazine had that much trouble.

It makes your biggest fear suddenly very real. Now, at this point, you have them hooked and they’re in for the long haul to read your services page. But, you’re still not done. What comes next is the most crucial part.

It’s the transition from just scaring the crap out of them…

To actually selling your services.

AND, making your ad something they want to share, in and of itself.

With co-workers, employees, colleagues.

They’ll actually share YOUR ad.

It also establishes the criteria by which they’ll evaluate YOU as a developer. Criteria YOU get to establish. And then, conveniently meet in the rest of your sales page. “Set ’em up and knock ’em down” as they say.

At any rate, I just added a bonus lesson to my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course that’s specifically for web developers. In it, I go through the services page I used all those years and the psychology behind it.

Plus, I give you the Word doc with all the copy in it.

If you’re a freelance web developer, you don’t want to miss this.

You can get started with the course on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/freelance

Later,

John​​​​​

February 1, 2019

Web development isn’t that important

For real.

Think about it.

When you lay your head down at night and think about all the things you want for your life right before you doze off… yeah… you dream about PHP 8 I’m sure. You see yourself chained to a desk, typing code…

THAT’S what you really want outta life.

Uh-huh.

Or, Thanksgiving.

When you’re sitting around the table with your family, big spread of food you’re about to rip into and you’re telling everyone what you’re thankful for… I’m sure it’s “Well, I’m thankful for CSS transitions, React… definitely react… Node…”

No!

Of course, you aren’t.

Cause you’re a normal human being.

Not some code-obsessed psychopath.

Point is… coding, web development, design… all of it… is a MEANS to an end. Not and end in and of itself. The trick is not to fall TOO in love with learning it and become a permanent student.

Like I see so many do.

Learn it.

Learn it quick.

And, USE it to build the life you REALLY want.

With the things you’re REALLY after.

House, car, husband/wife, kids.

Whatever that is.

Coding is your vehicle to get it.

Don’t forget that.

That’s also why my coding curriculum is designed the way it is. To help you learn how to code FAST. To teach you the “muney-makers” you’ll use over and over in your career so you can get hired, get clients or build that next big app.

HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL… freelancing.

It’s all in there and you can get access to it for nothing on SkillShare.

All the details on that are here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/skillshare

Later,

John

December 17, 2018

I’m an uneducated moron

That’d be the conventional wisdom.

I only have my H.S. diploma.

No college degree.

Certainly no fancy-pants Master’s or doctorate. I’m just a lowly web developer building “boring” web sites for equally boring and uneducated people. To hear the know-it-alls tell it, anyway.

But, as I sit here…

On the land I own free and clear…

Looking at the house I’m building (and own free and clear)…

Pondering all the student loan debt I DON’T have…

I can’t help but think:

“This moron has done pretty damn well for himself.”

Some might call that arrogant. Other (smarter) people might see the lesson in it. Regardless, I think it’s becoming more and more obvious what a raw deal college is. And, specifically, talking about tech…

In my humble, but accurate, opinion…

There’s very few tech jobs that actually require a degree.

Sure, a few here and there.

But, far less than the screechers who will send me hate-mail about this would like you to believe. In most cases… a boot camp, an online course, hell just YouTube somtimes… will not only be cheaper, but give you a better education.

That and you don’t have to worry about all the “safe-spacers”…

And, purple-haired weirdos that tend to populate colleges these days.

In any case, do what you want…

I’m just giving you an alternate perspective.

You can be plenty happy…

And, do more than fine financially…

Without a bunch of letters behind your name.

(And, a bunch of zeroes in your debt column.)

Of course, as you know, MY coding curriculum is available to you for ONE zero… as in… zip, nada, zilch-o. Object-oriented programming, HTML and CSS, JavaScript, PHP, freelancing, Upwork and much more…

The whole shabang for nothing.

All the details on that are right cheer: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/skillshare

Later,

John

November 26, 2018

Do developers need a college degree?

“You don’t need college degree to be a web developer because people with advance college degree create libraries so that people without college degree can get a job.” 

That’s the comment I just got on YouTube.

🙄

Yeah.

Sooo… let’s tear this guy a new… ahem…

I mean, here are my thoughts:

Later,

John

November 19, 2018

How to become a full stack web developer

I don’t hear many developers talk about #4 here.

But, it’s so critical.

If you start your web development career by picking a language, you’re making it much harder on yourself. And, that’s what #4 in this video addresses:

In any case, if you wanna know how to methodically become a full stack web developer, give it a watch. It’s my recommended path to make a lot fewer mis-steps and get there faster.

Later,

John

November 14, 2018

How to become a web developer without a degree

It’s 100% possible.

In fact, I think degrees are mostly worthless for WEB developers.

But, there are three things colleges normally figure out for or dictate to you… that you’ll need to figure out on your own. Otherwise, you’ll wind up wasting a bunch of time and muney learning things you don’t need to.

Or, in ways that don’t suit you.

Anyway, I reveal those three things here:

Watch, like, share.

Later,

John

November 9, 2018

How to become a professional developer

I’ve been a developer for over 14 years.

And, I’ve worked with developers from all over the world.

And, when people ask me “What does it take to be a PRO developer?”… I’ve noticed there are three tell-tale signs. Things you’ll see pro developers that others simply don’t or can’t.

And, if you can do these things…

You can pretty much write your own check as a developer.

Anyway, just uploaded a new video on it here:

If you want to take that next step, give it a watch.

And, I’d appreciate if you’d share it with any other developers you know.

Later,

John

November 6, 2018

How to learn to code fast

It took my five years to learn PHP. It was my first language and I made a bunch of mistakes. Later, when I decided to learn jQuery, I fixed those mistakes and learned it in about 30 days.

In this video, I reveal what I learned:

If you wanna learn how to code as fast as you possibly can, give it a watch.

I’d appreciate if you’d share it with any developers you know, as well.

Later,

John

November 1, 2018

What working with Inc. magazine taught me about freelancing

Wanna sell your freelance services a lot easier?

I mean without feeling like a sleezeball?

Without needing to read 1000 books and become a sales genius?

Quick story…

The project I worked on for Inc. Magazine, I worked for this guy named Lewis. He was some kind of director at the company. I can’t remember exactly what, but he had quite a few people who worked for him.

He’d written several books.

One big best-seller, if I remember right.

Dude was a heavyweight.

And, he didn’t take any s!@#. I remember the first meeting we had. I don’t think I’ve been asked “why” that many times by all my other clients combined. And, it continued throughout the entire project.

He NEVER just took my word for it.

I had to explain every little thing.

But, he wasn’t a d!@# about it.

When I gave him a good reason, he accepted it and we moved on it. When I didn’t, we dug in and figured it out. And, by the end of the project, I felt like we both had a lot of mutual respect for each other.

And, it taught me a lot.

About how to be believable when talking with clients. How to generate trust not just with WHAT you say, but HOW you say it. And, I took what I learned there and applied it to selling my freelance services.

That’s a big part of why I got to work with Michael Hyatt.

And, Lewis Howes.

And, all these other heavyweights.

TRUST.

The people I worked with trusted me to work on these projects.

So, selling your services isn’t about some slick presentation or fancy sales “triggers” or gimmicks or whatever phrase the Twitter-heads use these days. It’s about trust. And, establishing it quickly with people who know very little about you.

Anyway, I reveal what I learned in lesson 6 of my new freelancing course.

How to be more believable in everything you say…

So, clients just “feel” like you’re trustworthy…

And, you get hired a helluva a lot easier.

So, you can get to the point where you’re not struggling or hoping and wishing to get clients each month. Instead, you have a backlog of clients. And, you can pick and choose who you work with and what you charge.

I know you can get there.

But, you gotta learn how to be convincing and believable.

To push more clients over the hump to hiring you.

Anyway, you can get access to the course for free over on SkillShare. As a teacher, I can give you an exclusive 2-month free trial. You get FULL access to all the courses on the site, including mine. Then, just take the course.

Cancel any time before the 2 months is up.

And, you never pay a dime.

Simple.

Anyway, link to get started is here: https://skl.sh/2pOiF5g

Later,

John

October 26, 2018

Advice from a CodeCanyon success story

I got this from Mikhail:

2018-10-25_1142

Another example of how simple this can be.

Your job is to grind.

Mine is to point you in the right direction.

In any case, I’ll keep it short, today. If you wanna become another success story like this… yes, of course, I truly believe in my courses and the fact that they’ll help you get there… and faster.

BUUUUT…

Don’t do what 90% do.

Don’t join up and then do nothing.

GRIIIIIIND!

Hit it hard.

Squeeze very last drop out of it.

THAT is how you win.

Anyway, if you want to know what to do and HOW, jump into my curriculum. You can get access to it for nothing on SkillShare. All the details on that are here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/skillshare.

Later,

John

October 25, 2018

When a freelance client questions what you charge

This is a really good question from Jeenie:

2018-10-17_1301

Two things:

First… and, I know, I know… “that’s what you ALWAYS say”.

That’s because it’s true.

It goes back to selling on value. The value you offer to a client should be MORE than time saved. The expertise you bring to the table. The quality of work. The reassurance it’s being done right.

A whole host of “value-added” benefits beyond time saved.

So, sure…

Maybe, her client could do it themselves in 15 minutes.

But, will it be done right?

Will it be done to the same level of quality?

Will the client know to do X and not Y?

And, to be clear… it’s not just about telling the client this. It’s about actually doing it as a part of the service you offer. If your only benefit is you’ll save them time, you’re going to have a hard time as a freelancer.

It HAS to be more.

Second thing is this…

Walk away.

Or, at least, make sure your client knows you will. From my own experience, all but one of the first group of clients I got… eventually moved on as I raised prices. Just that one stayed as I went from 25/hour to ultimately 100/hour.

Sometimes, there’s a direct conflict between holding onto a client…

And, what you can make as a freelancer.

Is that client really worth you not making what you want?

You only have so many hours in a day.

Maximize them.

And, if you have to let go of a client to do it… then, let them go.

Now, of course, that only really works if you have a new client, willing to pay your increased rate, to replace them. And, this is why I focus so much on teaching freelancers how to get clients.

It needs to be your top skill.

Because, when you can get clients at will.

When you have a backlog of people wanting to hire you.

It’s easier to move on…

And, you’re less likely to put up with this stuff.

In any case, that’s what my new freelancing course is all about. Teaching you how to methodically build your freelance business over the next month, year, 5 years… and create a REAL business around your services.

And, you can get access to it for nothing on SkillShare.

All the details on that are here: https://skl.sh/2pOiF5g

Later,

John

October 17, 2018

Most freelancers REFUSE to learn this

This is probably the hardest thing to convince freelancers of:

2018-10-16_0819

​​​​​​It’s such a mindset shift.

I think most freelancers, understandably, are a bit desperate when they start out. Hell, I was. I was trying to leave a 9-to-5 I hated. I was looking for something to just “work” and help me escape.

And, I’d have begged clients if I had to.

So, I get it.

And, frankly, early on…

You probably should work with clients who don’t pay well…

And, are awful to work with.

You just need experience… any experience almost.

But, if you really wanna make the next step in your freelance career and go from getting paid to getting paid WELL… at some point, you have to become disciplined in how you deal with clients.

Your mindset has to change.

And so, if a client is underbidding a project…

And, you tell them so…

And, you sell them on value.

And, their response is “F!@# off” and they decline the proposal.

Good!

You just saved yourself a massive headache. In fact, most of the time I wouldn’t even bother to bid on projects that are way underbid. Those generally aren’t going to be the clients you wanna work with.

Of course, that’s all hard to do when you’re desperate for clients.

Never knowing where the next one will come from.

If they’ll pay well.

Will they be a pain in the arse.

The trick is to get so much incoming work that you literally can’t work with them all. And, you have to pick and choose who you’re going to work with. THAT’S when your mindset will change.

THAT’S when you become picky.

And, THAT’S when you’ll start making even more as a freelancer.

Anyway, that’s also what my new freelancing course will help you do. How to figure out what (high-paying) services to offer as a freelancer. How to find clients who will hire you for those services. How to get referrals. Repeat clients. And more.

And, you can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare.

Details on all that are here: https://skl.sh/2pOiF5g

Later,

John

October 16, 2018

NEW course: Beginner’s Guide to Freelance

Just posted a new course.

It’s called the Beginner’s Guide to Freelance and it’s teaching you everything I’ve learned from 10+ years of freelancing to help you get started, grow and be your own boss. Here’s what you’ll learn in the course:

  • How to figure out what services to offer
  • How to make money AND do what you love
  • How to find people WILLING to hire you
  • How to sell your services without having to become some sales genius or slime ball
  • How to build your freelance business as a sustainable business you can sell or hand to your kids and grandkids
  • And, ultimately, be YOUR OWN boss and control YOUR OWN destiny.

This course is for you if you’re an absolute beginner, tired of working a 9-to-5 you hate and are ready to make the leap into freelancing. It’ll show you how to methodically build and grow your freelance business.

Anyway, you can get it for nothing over on SkillShare.

Link to get started is here: https://skl.sh/2pOiF5g

Later,

John

P.S. If you’re a patron over on Patreon, you can get it here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/beginners-guide-21994444

October 11, 2018

The bass-ackwards way most people think about making money

I came across this tweet, today:

“If I started a shoe brand, understand that I don’t have to be Nike or Adidas. If I profit 65 off 2,000 people every year, I’m at 130,000. And if I capture .003 percent of the market share my grandchildren would be set for life. What we were taught: 20/hr x 40hours = 800 per week. What I’m teaching: 65 product x 40 sales = 2,600.”

Funny, I found this today.

I’ve been recording a “Freelancing 101” course, which’ll cover the “big rocks” you need to get rolling as a freelancer, and I’ve been looking up a lot of statistics around freelancing vs wage work.

It’s pretty crazy.

The #1 reason people freelance?

To be their own boss/own what they’re building. Goes back to the whole “grandchildren” thing. You can’t hand a job off to your kids. But, a freelance business? Absolutely.

Another…

Globally, the average freelancers earns 39,000/year. The average wage worker makes 18,000/year. Remember this is globally. In the U.S. the average freelancer makes even more… 31/hour, in fact.

Another…

One of the top fears people have about freelancing is job security. Yet, 63% of people who actually freelance say they believe a diversified portfolio of clients is MORE secure than working for a single company.

And, that’s up 10 points from just a few years ago.

In any case, I think it’s just a mindset thing.

For me, I’m building a legacy.

Something I can give to my kids and my grandkids.

So, they NEVER have to go through what I did growing up.

But, to each their own.

Anyway, if you’re ready to dive into freelancing, my Freelancing on Upwork course will teach you how to tap into the largest freelancing platform on the planet, Upwork… and turn it into your personal oinker.

You can get access to the course for free-zy over on SkillShare.

All the deets on that here: https://skl.sh/2EhufQC

Later,

John

October 9, 2018

How to find the GOOD jobs on Upwork

I get this one a lot.

It’s the most common refrain from the “Upwork is a SCAAAAAAM!” folks that troll my YouTube channel. But, there’s also some well-meaning folks who just haven’t learned how to do this, yet.

Anyway, there’s a simple way to weed out all the junk projects on Upwork and get to the good, high-paying jobs… with clients that are easy to work with.

First, log into your Upwork account and run a search for your niche:

2018-10-08_0929

Then, click the “Filters” button. A list of filters you can apply will drop down:

2018-10-08_0930

At a minimum, I recommend setting the “Client History”, “Client Info” and “Budget” filters. You want clients who’ve hired other freelancers and have their payment method verified.

NOTE: before a client can pay you, they HAVE to have their payment method verified. So, clients who don’t have that… can’t pay you.

I then, also, look for projects in my desired budget range:

2018-10-08_0933

Notice that the number of projects went from 1,644 to 669.

That’s still a massive amount of jobs.

And, for what I do, I only need maybe 1-2 per month.

So, I have a hard time when people tell me there are no “good jobs” on Upwork. In MY niche, there’s more than I could ever hope to even BID on, let alone get hired for.

Of course, FINDING these jobs is one thing… now, you need to get hired for them. I see a lot of people who have their opinions on this…

But, I see very few who will tell you THE most important thing…

Which is, your opinion doesn’t mean jack.

That it’s not about some sales tactic or how you write your proposals or what “order” a client sees your proposal in. I mean yeah… pay attention to those things.

But, they don’t mean squat if you don’t know what the CLIENT wants.

You can be the smoothest talker in the world, but if you’re not speaking the client’s language, it won’t matter and you’ll struggle to get hired.

The good thing is clients will TELL you exactly what they want. You just gotta know how to look for it AND prioritize what matters to them most, second most, etc.

Anyway, I show you how to do that in Lesson 6 of Module 3 in my Freelancing on Upwork course. I truly believe it’s the single most important thing you can learn about writing proposals on Upwork (or anywhere for that matter)… because it removes all the guesswork.

You’ll know exactly what to say and your proposals will have much greater impact.

In any case, you can get access to the course for nothing on SkillShare.

All the details on how to do that are here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

October 8, 2018

How to build a freelance portfolio that’ll get you hired (even if you have no past client history)

Your portfolio may be the most important part of your freelancing profile. It’s the thing that concretely PROVES (or not) that you know what you’re doing.

But, it needs to be built a certain way, otherwise it can actually work AGAINST you.

First is visual appeal. Take these stats for instance:

  • When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.
  • Eye-tracking studies show internet readers pay close attention to information-carrying images. In fact, when the images are relevant, readers spend more time looking at the images than they do reading text on the page.
  • People following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations.
  • Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images.

I know… shocker.

Adding images makes things perform better. But, I’m always baffled by freelancer profiles. A lot of freelancers don’t properly prioritize visual appeal. Your portfolio HAS to look good. Even if, you’re in an industry that lacks it (writers, back-end development, etc).

One way to accomplish that, of course, is to make sure you always build nice-looking things.

But, again, that can be tough in some industries.

One trick I see being used a lot more lately is using “graphical representations” instead of screenshots. Take this graphic for Infusionsoft, for example:

2018-10-07_1120

This is obviously not what the actual interface looks like. But, it gives the impression that it is. And, it communicates the point.

So, get creative with your portfolio. Don’t tie yourself to having to just take screenshots. If you’re a writer, use the graphics from the websites or books you’ve written for. If you’re a back-end developer, show the front-end result. Use graphics instead of screenshots, if necessary.

But, PRIORITIZE visual appeal.

The second big thing is your portfolio needs to function AS proof.

I talked about how to inject proof into your profile overview in this article. It’s critical. But, when you mention projects you’ve worked on in your overview, clients will immediately go to your portfolio to SEE those projects. So, make sure anything you mention in your overview is visually represented in your portfolio.

I’m telling you as sure as I’m sitting here… if you combine that 1-2 punch (overview and portfolio) in the way I outline… clients will stop and give you a hard look.

And, you’ll make a very compelling case.

And, over time, my experience is you’ll win a lot more jobs.

Of course, the big objection I get at this point is…

I don’t have past clients to put in a portfolio.

And, it IS tricky when you first get started. It’s hard to get work without a portfolio, but you can’t build a portfolio without work. And, the main advice you’ll hear is to do FREE work.

That’s fine, but it’s actually not necessary.

There’s a simple (and quicker) way to build your portfolio that doesn’t require doing a bunch of free work for people who often end up being a pain in the a!@ to work with.

I show you what that is in Module 2, Lesson 6 of my Freelancing on Upwork course on SkillShare.

And, you can get access to that course for nothing.

All the details on that are here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

October 7, 2018

How to get your profile approved on Upwork

When I first started on Upwork, they didn’t do this.

At least, not that I remember.

But, apparently, it’s becoming more and more of an issue because I’ve been getting asked this a lot more lately. And, the thing here is… when you understand what Upwork’s goals are and how it’s technology works to support those goals, the answers here start to become obvious.

Take this, for example:

2018-10-05_1003

In case it’s not clear…

This is an Upwork employee stating that WHO performs a search and WHEN they perform it affects Upwork’s search results. So, if you’ve been thinking that Upwork is 100% rank, this is probably a big eye-opener.

It should tell you two things:

  1. Relevance is a MAJOR factor in how Upwork operates. Search results and suggested freelancer lists don’t just come down to Rank.
  2. Upwork’s algorithms are HIGHLY sophisticated… down to the time of day affecting search results.

So, this goes back to the point I continually try to hammer home about Upwork:

RELEVANCE, RELEVANCE, RELEVANCE!

Upwork’s stated to goal is to match clients with the best freelancers for their project. That last bit can’t be overstated.

What does that have to do with getting your profile approved?

Well, it should tell you a lot about how Upwork thinks about its ecosystem and who they let in. And, when you first apply, you have ZERO rank in their system. So, it is 100% about relevance. Specifically, Upwork looks at what kind of projects clients are actually posting for, how many quality freelancers it has for those projects and where the holes are.

Categories where there’s a lot of job postings but few quality freelancers.

Those are the freelancers they want.

And, who will breeze through their approval process.

Wouldn’t it be nice if they just told you what those categories are?

Well, they kind of do.

Every quarter, Upwork releases a Quarterly Skills Index. Just go to: https://www.upwork.com/press/ and scroll down to the “Upwork Skills Index” link. Scroll down and you’ll see a list of what Upwork has determined to be the 20 fastest growing skills for freelancers in that quarter:

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You think maybe they’d be dying to find freelancers in these categories for their platform?

Absolutely.

Now, I don’t work at Upwork and I don’t know exactly how their application process works, but I’d bet if you were to include a couple of these skills in your application, there’s a good chance you’re going to get approved.

But, John, I don’t know any of this stuff!

Are you sure?

“Rapid prototyping”.

“Product photography”.

“Google Cloud Platform”.

Some of these are vague enough and enough apart of a developer’s day-to-day activities that you could probably get away with listing it. Down the list there’s also “eLearning” and  “Customer retention”. I think almost anybody could list those as a skill you’re, at least, familiar with.

Now, of course, this isn’t foolproof.

It’s possible to list one or more of these skills and still get rejected. Which is why I constantly tell freelancers to stack as many of the cards in your favor as you can. This is just one. In fact, there’s 10 more things you can do when applying to Upwork to help get your profile approved. And, I outline all 10 in my Freelancing on Upwork course on SkillShare.

You can get no-cost access to that course here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

It’s a 35-lesson course that will teach you everything I know about freelancing on Upwork.

Anyway, do with that what you will.

Later,

John

October 5, 2018

You’re an idiot, please help!

This is the weirdest s!@# I get:

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And, this is not unique.

I once had this guy stalk me for about a year. He’d send me these 10-page emails where he spent 9 pages telling me all the ways I was an idiot, then the last page outlining what he needed ME to help him with.

I finally blocked him on email.

Then, he went to Twitter.

Blocked him there and he want to YouTube.

Then, Facebook.

He was obsessed with telling me how dumb I was…

Then, asking for my help.

I still can’t explain it.

Anyway, to his question…

You get work on freelance sites by understanding how clients think, by figuring out how each platform and its algorithms work and by creating a following of people online who are potential clients for your services.

It’s literally how EVERY online business operates these days.

It’s kinda like learning HTML.

Not necessarily anything “magical” about it…

But, you either know it or you don’t.

Anyway, I’ve been at this for over 14 years now and I teach you everything I know about getting freelance work in my Freelancing on Upwork course. AND, you can get access to to for nothing over on SkillShare.

My story and all the details are here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

October 4, 2018

Ajax requests with jQuery.post()

This is one of the reasons I still like jQuery.

I’m sure all the new frameworks do similar stuff, but things like this are so simple with jQuery. Anyway, jQuery.post() is a shorthand Ajax function. It’s the equivalent of doing this:

$.ajax({
type: “POST”,
url: url,
data: data,
success: success,
dataType: dataType
});

So, with it, you can send an Ajax request this easily:

var posting = $.post(url, data);

Then, handle the response like this:

posting.done(function(data) {
// Handle data here
});

Or, all together like this:

$.post( “process.php”, function( data ) {
$( “.result” ).html( data );
});

It really is pretty simple.

Anyway, in my latest course I show you how to grab the form data from an HTML form, send it to a PHP script to be processed, generate a response in JSON and then handle that response in your jQuery to create an Ajax-powered quote request form on your website.

If you haven’t got into Ajax or jQuery, this is a good place to start because you get to see the whole request “loop” in a simple script that you can understand even if you’ve never done any of this before.

And, that’s along with learning about CSS Grid, CSS transitions, a little PHP and more.

Anyway, link to get no-cost access to the course here: https://skl.sh/2xM6Y3l

Later,

John

October 3, 2018