How I started my journey as a freelancer WordPress Developer

I have been working as a full-time freelancer WordPress developer for the last 5 years. Taking a decision to move to a full-time freelancing job was not an easy decision but after that, I find out a way to earn well in terms of time and money.

I graduated in 2013 from Mumbai University after my graduation I got a job in a small WordPress Development Company. Where basically I got to know about WordPress and Woocommerce was the first plugin I explored.
When I type this everything is rolling in my head like a movie. there is a lot to tell if I will start, I will move away from this blog topic. So control Naveen and let’s come back to the point.

So when I started doing the job within 3-6 months, I started Working on client tasks and that was the time I was working on improving my coding skills.

First Freelancing business model – Academic Project Freelancing

Throughout in academic career, we use to have ASP.Net and Java in the course so we all have a dream to get a job in those technologies probably in big companies like TCS, Wipro, and Infosys.

This was also a thought process of mine and I was planning to switch jobs for work in those technologies. During that time, our juniors in college were asking us for guidance in Third Year Graduation project development. me and one of my friends started a business out of it. we started selling them the entire Project for $30-$60. I know it’s very low but our business model was to make it affordable for students so they can do mouth-to-mouth marketing for us.

Our process used to be like this

  • Get the project from previous year’s students
  • Do some functionality changes in those projects and fix bugs in it
  • Ask Junior students if they need a Working project
  • Teach them the flow and how the project works
  • Collect the cash from them

I still remember my salary was around $150/month with 6 months of experience. after these Academic project freelancing, I totally doubled it.

so once we distributed the project to every student I closed this business model and move on to the next.

Second Freelancing business model – Local projects

Idea of Freelancing was very new for me so I have no idea how to earn some Good extra money through it.

I still remember, that was Sunday and I was sitting on my laptop and continuously searching for new freelancing jobs in WordPress. mostly people ask to give full-time work but there was a person Mukesh, who was in need for a WordPress Developer and he was leaving near by my area.

One day I meet him after my job and he basically explained me how he work. He have some local connection from where he get projects and he want someone to do it fast for him. the work that will be done he will take 25% and rest will be mine.

One weekend me and Mukesh and a few of my friends gone to meet a businessman for the project. That was the day when I sensed the respect a entrepreneur can get. Awesome day, the businessman approached me like I am someone special for him.

I was also not suppressive against him because I know I am not doing job under him. that feeling was awesome and different than it get in daily job.

Me and one of my friend Deepak Gupta we were working in the same company so after our daily office work, we used to sit for sometime and completed that project module wise. At the end I got a cheque of 18000 INR.

It was awesome feeling I cant express it in words but right now when I am writing this post. everything rolling like a movie in my head. I remember I shown that cheque to my family and explained them I am earning extra income which is greater then my current salary.

But this was not the stopping point for me, I did a couple of Local projects. “Whats next?” thought was always rolling in my head. which leads me to my next freelancing business model.

Third Freelancing business model –

Through my friend circle, I got introduced to where initially we created profiles by girl’s name.
It was a research of my one friend, who used to think clients offer more projects to Girl’s profiles.

To be honest that worked and I got several projects from it. You can check my freelancer profile here.

Although I have changed the name now the username still tells the whole story.

Fourth Freelancing business model – and Toptal

In the Year 2017, I got introduced to Upwork through a job.

I think it will be unfair if I will not mention about my first and the client.
I got introduced to Upwork by Mario Peshev. If you don’t know him go check out about him.

I worked for around 2 years with Mario in DevriX. Mario is the CEO of this company. He started it as the next step of his freelancing career. I have seen DevriX growing and Mario working hard to build it. Today DevriX is a successful company in Bulgaria and in the WordPress community.
Today If I am writing this entire blog post. if I am expressing my thoughts in words. I think Mario Peshev is a big inspiration for me.

I am doing good on Upwork earning decent money and building long-term client connections. I feel if you have Good communication skills and a sense to impress people with your work. you can do good on Upwork.

After my first job, I served many clients on Upwork. I am also a Top rated WordPress Developer on Upwork. You can check my profile here Naveen Giri.
I have seen many freelancers give 100% of their focus on Upwork and I think we should not give 100% focus on building profiles on Upwork. I consider Upwork as 30% of my income source and the rest 70% I described below.

I hardly put the time to bid on the Upwork jobs. I noticed once you have a successful track record client invites you directly.
It happens to me, I get weekly 3-4 invitations and sometimes more.

Recently I also got selected for Toptal and became a top 3% freelance talent.

Fourth Freelancing business model – Open Source contribution

Fifth Freelancing business model – Retainer Hours