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web development

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

JMS388: Global Game Jam and Staying Focused In a World Full of Distractions

Just uploaded a new episode of the podcast. Here’s the breakdown:

Do you know about the Global Game Jam? It’s a challenge/event to create games in one weekend in hundreds of locations worldwide. Anyway, chat about that and how to stay laser-focused in a world full of distractions and chaos. Specifically, that focus is NOT about discipline or will power and the 3 things you need to do to stay focused no matter what’s happening around you.

Give it a listen here: https://www.johnmorrisshow.com/jms388-global-game-jam-and-staying-focused-in-a-world-full-of-distractions/

January 25, 2019

Finding the perfect freelance clients

Back when little JMO was just a freelancing tadpole…

I made the mistake virtually every new freelancer does. That makes freelancing 10X harder than it has to be. Awful clients. Projects you hate. Getting paid pennies. It’s easy to see why so many people give up on it.

My mistake was taking any and every client I could.

I built a weird e-commerce app for a guy.

Jackin’ around with creating PDFs in PHP for another.

Hacking WordPress for yet another.

I didn’t enjoy any of it. So, I procrastinated HARD. Clients got pissed. I had to refund a couple, because I just couldn’t bring myself to finish. And, they weren’t paying me much to begin with.

It was miserable.

Then, I built a membership site for a guy.

And, I really enjoyed it. 

And, I decided to do only that… not out of some genius insight about marketing or freelancing. But, because I was just sick of doing all the other stuff. But, what I discovered is that the more I just built membership sites.

The less I procrastinated.

The more I got paid.

The easier getting clients became.

And, the happier I was.

It all went hand-in-hand.

That’s the trick. The first big step as a freelancer. Figuring out your niche. That “magic” elixir of what you love doing, that you’re good at, that others are willing to pay you to do for them. 

That’s when the freelance “dream” becomes real.

And, it take some thinking…

And, some experimenting.

Trust me, you’ll be 1000x happier as a freelancer if you spend some time figuring out what your niche is… instead of doing what most do, which is either just be a “generalist” who tries to be everything to everybody.

Or, focus only on the muney.

And, try to grunt your way through it.

In any case, once you figure out what your niche is, NOW you need to find those clients… who want exactly what you have to offer. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to consistently find your perfect clients on Upwork…

The largest freelancing platform on the planet.

The exact kinds of projects you want.

The exact budget.

The highest quality clients.

I show you the strategy I use to filter through all the trash on Upwork to find the diamonds in the rough… in lessons 4 and 5 of Module 3 in my Freelancing on Upwork course on SkillShare.

And, it’s more than applying a few search filters.

It’s an entire strategy for consistently finding the best projects at any given time. Since, there’s always so many projects in and out of Upwork.

Anyway, you can start taking the course on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/upwork101/

Later,

John​​​​​​​

January 13, 2019

The perfect freelance service to offer clients

The offer is crucial.

You can do everything else right, as a freelancer, but if you screw up the offer, you’ll have a miserable time getting clients because they simply don’t want what you have.

This is why I rag on the “generalist” web developer approach so much.

Most FREELANCE clients don’t want that. If they did, they’d hire an employee. They want a specialist to build them XYZ thing. That change in offer, alone, has helped 100s of freelancers I’ve taught.

Here’s a perfect example.

After I built Platform University for Michael Hyatt, I started to get a bunch of people contacting me to build them something similar. So, eventually, I added an official service to my services page called a “Clone”.

And, I sold a ton of these things.

In fact, these were the easiest money I made in my entire career. I had all the code already. So, they only took me a couple days to build. And, people were paying 3K+ for them (and, telling me I should charge MORE).

But, before I built that site for Michael…

I never would have thought of “Clone” as a service anyone would want. Nobody probably would have. But, at that moment in time, it was the perfect offer to a specific group of people.

And, I capitalized.

That’s how powerful “the right offer to the right people at the right time” is.

It will make or break you as a freelancer.

So, don’t just slap up some services you “think” people will want.

Research it.

Think about it.

Spend time on it.

Learnt the skill of crafting compelling offers.

It makes the rest of  your marketing way easier.

And, it will pay big dividends when you get it right.

Of course, one of the big things people ask me when I bring this up is “How?” How do I craft an offer? What do I research? What things am I looking for? How do I know when I’ve got it right?

There’s a litmus test I use.

A way to know when you have the perfect offer.

I used it as a freelancer.

I use it as a teacher.

It’s THE thing I use to decide what to offer and when… even now.

In any case, I teach you what it is and how to apply to your freelance services about 2 minutes into Lesson 3 in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. If you wanna make sure you’re always hitting your freelance offers just right, give it a watch.

You can start taking the course on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/freelance

Later,

John​​​​​​​

January 10, 2019

Family as your first freelance client?

I was reading this Instagram post from @martin_lasek.

(I definitely recommend following him, BTW.)

And, his advice was to let family be your first client to help you get comfortable working with clients. And, one thing he said jumped out at me:

“Believe me the fact it‘s family doesn‘t make them an easier client it just makes it easier for you to enter the field of project management, delivering and actually finishing it.”

Man! Is that so true?

And, I’ve been back and forth on this.

Family CAN be a great first client.

And, it can help give you that jumpstart you need.

With something to put in your portfolio.

Experience.

Etc.

But, you really have to be careful. Because you can quickly ruin a relationship and get discouraged as a freelancer if you don’t do it right. So, I’ve developed some “rules” for working with family.

Follow these and you’ll get the experience and portfolio items you need…

Without making Thanksgiving dinner as uncomfortable as a giant in a clown car.

1. They’re a client.

Once you decide to work with a family member as a client… they’re a client. Throw ALL your expectations about how they’ll behave out the window.

Because THEY will.

At the end of the day, they want their thing built.

And, if you don’t deliver or mess it up.

They won’t like it.

So, treat them like any other client.

2. Scope, scope, scope… and then more scope.

The #1 issue you’ll face with family members as clients is scope creep. “Come on, bro!” “Really, sis? You can’t add just this one more thing?” “Come on, son. I did everything for YOU growing up.”

And on and on.

Families are masters of guilt-tripping each other.

They WILL do it to you.

So, take this as a challenge to learn how to manage scope creep.

Keep THEM on task and you’ll have no problem with regular clients.

3. Exit strategy.

What if things go to hell? Bring this up BEFORE you agree to work with them. Tell them this is your first time doing this. You might just screw it up. And, decide on how you’ll exit the agreement if things go wrong.

This will save your relationship with them.

It helps manage expectations.

And, gives both sides a way out.

It’s uncomfortable, but crucial.

So, there you go.

If you do those three things, at a minimum, you’ll be much more likely to have a good experience, learn a ton and build up your portfolio while working with someone you know and trust.

Oh and charge them.

Something.

It can be 10 bucks.

Doesn’t matter.

Make them pay.

You’ll thank me later. 😉

Of course, at some point, you’ll want to move into getting regular clients. A portfolio, experience… those will help a ton. But, you still have to learn the SKILL of getting clients.

Where to find them?

What to offer?

How much to charge?

Persuading them to hire you.

It’s a skill just like learning how to ride a bike or coding out a CSS grid. Once you learn it, you can USE it again and again to get you the clients you want. In any case, that’s what I teach you in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course.

The SKILL of freelancing.

Best part… you can take it without paying a purple nickel over on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/freelance

Later,

John
P.S. Or if you prefer Patreon, you can find the course here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/beginners-guide-21994444

January 4, 2019

Big project managements lessons from building a tiny house

Do easy things WHEN they’re easy.

I’ve always been the “I’ll figure it out” type. It drives my wife nuts. She’s more of a planner. She likes to know how, when, where…

Every little detail.

Me? I usually just wing it.

I think a lot of developers are this way.

Goes back to the “smart” thing.

You KNOW you will figure whatever it is out.

BECAUSE, you’re smart.

So, meh…

Of course, I’ve had plenty of moments in my career that have slowly cured me of this. The project for Michael Hyatt was a big one. I was just gonna “figure out” the responsive stuff later.

Then, users started complaining and all eyeballs turned to me.

That wasn’t fun.

But, a recent one… I think a DEFINITIVE one…

Was with this house.

We had to trench in the water and electric lines. And, there’s a pole and a water meter both about 150 feet from our house. Problem was… we didn’t do it until halfway through the project.

Because, we weren’t sure where we were going to put the bathroom.

Which is where all those lines would come IN the house.

So, by that time the house was half built…

And, we couldn’t trench underneath it.

And, we needed to.

So, we had to do that part by hand.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever dug a 2-foot trench into the rock-laden Missouri ground in the middle of winter… but, if you want a test of your manhood…

Anyway, it took us about as long to do that 10-foot section of trench…

As it did the other 150 feet we could do with the trencher.

Had we planned better and made some decisions earlier…

That 10-foot stretch of trench would have been easy.

But, we MADE it hard.

Since then, I’ve been on a “how can we make this easy” kick.

Point is…

Yes! You are smart.

You can and WILL figure whatever it is out.

But, everything doesn’t have to be hard.

Apply that intelligence to do some pre-planning.

And, ask “how can I make this easy?”

I don’t make promises a lot.

But, this I can promise you…

You DO that with your projects…

Your life WILL get easier.

And, a lot less stressful.

Speaking of making things easier…

Same goes for learning web development and freelancing. You don’t have to make it hard by going it alone. There’s plenty of help out there to teach you what you need to know to make a damn good living doing this.

And yep!

I think my training curriculum is one of the better ways to do that because I work hard to go beyond the surface of just “what to do”… whether it’s learning a language or setting up an Upwork profile… and teach you WHY.

So, you’re empowered.

And because you can get started with the curriculum for NOTHING over on my FREE tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com

But, whether it’s my curriculum or someone else’s…

You don’t have to go it alone.

Find a good teacher.

And, dig in.

And, make it happen.

In any case, take all that for what it’s worth.

Later,

John

January 3, 2019

The hardest lesson I learned in 14 years as freelance developer

I’ve always been smarter than most of the people I know.

It might sound arrogant, but it’s just something I’ve always known. I was constantly told how smart I was growing up. All the things I’d do with my life because I was smart. How “easy” I’d have it.

After a while, I started to believe it.

And, I began to believe that “being smart” meant I was destined to be successful.

That, one day, it’d just happen.

By 28, it hadn’t happened.

And, I remember I would sit there and stew over it. “How can all these dumb people be so successful? I’m so much smarter than all of them and here I am broke. What is wrong with me?”

Man, what an arrogant prick!

But, I remember the night I broke.

It was in a New York City hotel. 

It was for a mastermind that I felt like I had played a big part in making happen. And, I’d watched a client of mine profit off it while I played errand boy all day. I felt like such a chump.

Which IS an extremely jaded view of what actually happened.

But, that’s how I felt at the time.

And, to make matter worse…

I had to go to THAT client, like even more of a chump, and ask for an advance on my per diem for that trip. Because, I was so broke, my wife and kids were out of food and had no money to eat.

It was like everything hit me at once.

I couldn’t help it.

I just started crying uncontrollably.

That was the day I said, “Enough is enough.”

That I was going to stop WAITING for “it” to happen.

And, I was going to MAKE it happen.

I was going to stop sitting around whining about “I’m so smart, why can’t I make it?” And, I started valuing hard work, persistence and patience over intelligence.

And, when I started doing that…

That’s when things started happening.

I came across this quote, recently, that really sums it up for me:

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

Calvin Coolidge

Man, that hits hard, doesn’t it?

If you’re someone who’s always thought of yourself as smart… and that your intelligence would carry the day. To realize, it won’t… necessarily.

That it’s possible to be super smart and a complete failure.

More than possible… it’s common.

My point is this…

How smart you are isn’t as important as you think it is.

It took me an emotional breakdown in a hotel, 1000 miles from home (while my wife and kids went hungry) to get that through my thick skull.

Please, please, please…

Don’t let it get to that point for YOU.

As we roll into 2019…

Make a commitment to MAKE “it” happen.

To forget about how smart you are.

And, embrace persistence and hard work.

Don’t wait around for your life to happen.

Or, assume “I’m smart, so one day…”

It won’t.

In any case, if you’re a freelancer or web developer, I’m here to help. To take my 14+ years of doing this and pass what I’ve learned onto you. So, you don’t have to go through what I did.

And, that’s what my training curriculum does.

HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, freelancing and more.

And, you can access it ALL without paying  a single penny on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com

But, whatever you do…

Make 2019 the year you MAKE this happen.

Later,

John

P.S. If you prefer Patreon, you can get access to all my courses, plus even more “unofficial” tutorials and videos here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/patreon.

January 2, 2019

If you want friends, be unsuccessful

Just read this tweet from Ed Latimore (former heavyweight boxer):

Groan at that if you want, but it’s true.

For me, one of the major turning points in my life and career is when I stopped seeking out friends and instead sought “allies”. An ally of mine, Michael Skye, taught me this. And, it can be life-changing.

A friend is someone who comforts and consoles you.

They excuse and justify your shortcomings for you.

They’re rationalize your failures.

They’re good to have in your life.

You need that, sometimes.

But, if that’s ALL you have.

You have no one to hold you accountable to your best self.

That’s what an ally is. An ally doesn’t accept you for who you are, but sees you for what you could be, what you WANT to be. And, they hold you accountable to continually seeking and honoring your best self.

They push you.

Challenge you.

And, don’t make excuses for you.

When you fail and seek their comfort…

They give you none.

Instead they ask, “Now what?”

And, I’ll just say this. If you want to be successful and actually achieve the things you want in life, you NEED allies in your life. In fact, the more I’ve invited allies into mine, the more successful I’ve become.

So, while you’re thinking about 2019…

And, all the things you want to accomplish…

Make “more allies” one of them.

That one resolution, alone, can help you achieve all the others.

In any case, that’s how I see my role for you. I’m not your friend. I’m your ally. Which is why I hammer away at the excuses and the bullshit. I won’t let you off the hook. I won’t rationalize your shortcomings or failures.

I see you for what you could be.

And, I’ll continue to do so for as long as you listen.

Anyway, if starting a freelancing or web development career is in your plans for 2019 plans, I really do believe my curriculum is one great way to make that happen. My freelancing courses are top-ranked on SkillShare.

And, my web development courses the same.

And, you can get started with them without paying a single penny on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com

But, fair warning…

There’s no hand-holding.

I will challenge you throughout.

If you’re ready to take that challenge and make 2019 happen…

Let’s get started: https://johnsfreetuts.com

Later,

John

P.S. If you prefer Patreon, you can get access to all the same course, plus all my unofficial courses and tutorials there. Learn more about that here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/patreon

January 1, 2019

How to Get Freelance Clients to Pay You More

I got this question on a video of mine:

“So how do you get the to pay for your larger fee vs the guy who will do it for 300.”

I get this a lot.

The “low-baller” problem.

So, what I wanna share with you, today, is a dead simple way for not only dealing with low-ballers, but also be able to raise your freelances fees at will… and, not have clients think twice about it.

And, it starts with a simple change in how you think about.

Why do people buy a Rolex watch when a Timex tells time just the same?

Why buy a nice car when your Yugo will “get you from A to B” just the same?

If you need a mechanic, do you choose the lowest price with no regard for quality?

People pay more for stuff all the time. YOU probably pay more for certain things regularly and don’t even realize. Do you buy Coke brand soda… or do you get the generic “Cola”. Why?

People don’t buy on price alone.

Regularly.

The thing YOU have to do is to establish yourself as a “product” worth investing more in. Because everything else equal (quality, service, etc)… YES! A potential client will go with the lowest price.

You haven’t give them a reason not to.

Your job is to give them reasons to spend more with you.

Think about it this way…

If you need a medical procedure and you came across a doctor’s office. Out front, the office has a beat up old sign, half broken off. The parking lot was all cracked and crumbling. The front door had a crack in it.

And, it just looked like a seedy place…

But, they had the lowest price…

Would you get your procedure there?

Why not?

THAT is your answer.

You have to make your “office” look pristine, clean and new to potential clients.

AND…

Position your competition as the “seedy office” with the cracked front door.

That’s your job as the marketer of your freelance business.

You do THAT…

And, you do it well…

Clients will pick you over the “guy who’ll do it for 300”.

And, they ‘ll happily pay you more when you raise your prices.

That’s the WHAT to do.

For the HOW… well, that’s what I teach you in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. It’s all about positioning, marketing and establishing yourself as an authority in your niche so clients see you as that sparkling new “office” they can trust.

You can get started with the course for nothing over on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/freelance

Later,

John​​​​​​​

December 20, 2018

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

Gutenberg is a clunky, horrible mess

Spaketh the troll:

“The only thing laughable here is this smug, horrible take.

That’s what cracks me up.

Gutenberg is a clunky, horrible mess. I can see how the childish building block approach might appeal to an arrogant prick like yourself who believes that every sentence deserves a new line, but to real content creators who actually know how to write, it’s a nightmare. An actual blog, an actual article…something you clearly know nothing about, since you’re committed to this self-congratulatory “I’m smarter than everyone else” drivel you laughably call a blog.

I’m sure you’ll offer up some snarky reply about how it’s for developers and whatnot, forgetting that it’s also about the end-user and content creators. Of course, looking at what you’ve designed here, it’s clear that you don’t really know much about quality content or good design. More’s the pity.

In short, your take is bad, and you should feel bad. Sadly, you won’t. You’ll dismiss this as “hating”, just as you’ve dismissed all the valid criticisms of Gutenberg because, I don’t know, using it makes you feel special, important, and superior? I’m only guessing, but based on the attitude of this post and others you’ve made, I feel it’s a pretty accurate one. But hey, you do you, pal.”

–Troll

Oof!

The lady doth protest too much, methinks!

Anyway, notice how there’s no actual explanations here. No reason why. Just “it’s a clunky mess”. One bumbling line about “every sentences deserves a new line”… as if that has anything to do with Gutenberg.

Anyway, this is when you know you’re on the right track.

When, this is the best someone can up with.

Funniest thing is…

I guarantee this “real content creator” will be typing his blog posts in Gutenberg in less than a year from now. In fact, most of the Gutenberg “haters” will. It’s just how this stuff works.

Although, there probably still IS that one guy using Windows XP.

Anyhoo, t’aint no sweat off this gander’s back.

Keep using that clunky old editor if you like…

With your T9-enabled flip phone…

Riding your horse and buggy “into town ma”…

To pick up some spears and loin cloths…

Ok, ok… I digress.

Anyway, if you ain’t into all this debating and just want to dive into Gutenberg without having to learn “yet another piece of software” all on your own, my new Beginner’s Guide to Gutenberg course will show you everything you need to know.

And, access won’t cost you a buffalo nickel.

Deets on that are here: https://skl.sh/2AQpjNj

Later,

John​​​​​​​

December 9, 2018

Why you’ll fail as a freelancer

There’s lots of reasons:

  • You’re just not that good at what you do.
  • You’re not very good at dealing with people.
  • You picked the wrong market and services to offer.

I could go on and on.

But, by far, the #1 reason freelancers fail is they never learn how to consistently get clients. They rely on luck or “word of mouth”. They try this and that, but never learn and apply anything consistently.

They constantly worry that one day the clients will dry up.

And, if that does happen…

They have no idea how to fix it.

That was me the first few years of my freelancing career. I’d gotten a few clients by pure dumb luck. I’d picked a few up off Upwork. But, I really had no idea how. I didn’t know what to do to get more.

And, I clung to those clients like a vegan to her tofu.

And then, one of them decided to move on from me.

It was going to be a huge hit to my income.

And, I had no plan.

All the crazy thoughts kicked in. What if I never get another client? What if I can’t pay my bills? What if I have to go back to a regular job? What if my wife and kids see me as a failure?

On and on and on.

The silver lining is all that gave me the motivation to figure this out.

And, I did.

In fact, I built a system so powerful that I was turning away 4-5 clients/month because I simply had too much work. Several of those were high profile clients I’d have killed for just a few years earlier.


Of course, I’m no genius (just ask my kids).

This stuff really isn’t all that hard actually.

In fact, I basically just took what other service businesses had been doing for hundreds of years and combined it in a unique way. Something, I’ve never seen anyone else talk about, but based on well-established, tried and true business principles.

So, it’s no big secret.

Or, overly hard to implement.

You just gotta know what it is.

In any case, that’s what I teach in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. And, you can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare. All the details on the course and how to get no-cost access are here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/freelance.

Later,

John

November 30, 2018

Blood-sucking freelancers

Fair warning if you’ve never been told.

It’s important to never get too close to your clients.

It’s a recipe for certain disaster.

Something I learned the hard way…

I had this client once I really liked. When we started, she was super laid back and easy to work with. She wasn’t trying to re-invent the wheel. And, she was actually willing to listen to me and my thoughts on her site.

And, I felt like she really liked me, too.

She always was pleasant when we talked.

Always said nice things.

Even as we worked through a stickier issue with the site, she was great.
Then, one day, she forwarded an email thread from one of her staff members about some question they had.

And, I was tracing back through the thread to get some context…

And, that’s when I saw it.

The most vile, explitive-laced paragraph I’ve ever seen a client write.

Calling me every name in the book…

And, spewing venom like I’d never seen.

It was like a knife to the back.

And, a hard lesson.

It’s amazing how quickly a client will turn from “loving you” to telling everyone they know you’re a “blood-sucker”. It can happen in a heartbeat.

In any case, my solution was simple.

I immediately fired her.

Copied that paragraph, sent it to her and said, “I’m done”.

She begged for forgiveness.

Even tried to hire me, again, several months later.

Apologizing profusely.

But, nope.

No dice.

I refused to let her hire me.

I can forgive, but I don’t forget.

Of course, I could fire her and reject her constant overtures because I had a backlog of clients waiting to hire me. And, I had that backlog because I’d created a system for GETTING those clients.

Makes things a helluva lot easier when you freelance.

And, you don’t gotta “swallow your pride” with s!@#%y clients.

Anyway, I teach you how to build that same system in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. And, you can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare. All the details on how are here: https://skl.sh/2pOiF5g

Later,

John​​​​​​​

November 28, 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

I can smell your excuse from here

Once upon a week ago, I got a YouTube comment from a student of mine:

“Really? I made 35k on Upwork in the last 12 months. Seems like a good scam to me :)”

This was in response to the typical loser-screech of the Upwork haters that come out of the woodwork every time I do an Upwork video… calling Upwork a scam or whatever the excuse-word of the day is.

Then, some dingbat responds to her with this doosie:

“35k on Upwork? That’s because you’re a woman, you’re privileged and people pay you more.”

Lol.

The excuse-gerbil is spinning at maximum speed on that one. It sort of reminds me of all the excuses people make about why they can’t become a developer. Not smart enough or not “techie” enough (whatever the hell THAT is).

When, really it’s just about persistence.

And, hard work.

And, a little belief in yourself.

You can whine about everyone else and their “privileges” all you want. At the end of the day, nobody cares and it won’t change anything. You’ll be right where you are. And, they’ll be right where they are.

That or get off your arse and make it happen.

Anyway, for a lot of new freelancers, the problem with Upwork is they just don’t understand how it actually works. That it’s an algorithm-driven platform with very specific goals. And, that despite is “propaganda”, the client is king on Upwork.

But, once you do get that stuff.

Understand what its goals are.

And, how its algorithms work to support those goals.

Tweaking your profile and your bidding strategy to manipulate those algorithms in YOUR favor becomes obvious.

And, Upwork can become your little piggy bank.

Anyway, that’s what I teach you in my freelancing on Upwork course here: https://skl.sh/2EhufQC

But, fair warning… leave your stinky excuses at the door.

Ain’t nobody got no time for that s!@#.

Later,

John​​​​​​​

November 24, 2018

How to ask for a raise as a developer

Don’t just go in and ask.

Have a plan. And make sure your plan includes these three things… I learned from my brother as he went from 40K to over 110K in about 2 years:

Later,

John

November 21, 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