WordPress is one of the most promising content management systems (CMSs) nowadays. It’s easy to use, it’s flexible, and it’s also one of the most used CMSs— with 50% to 60% of websites built on WordPress.
Because many entrepreneurs and companies run their businesses online using this system, developing a career in WordPress development would be a good start for freelancers that are looking for a job.
That’s why in this post, Course Belt will teach you how you can start a career path in digital marketing in five easy steps. We’re going to focus on WordPress and Marketing, a powerful combination of skill sets that businesses are definitely on the hunt for.
But first, let’s cover the basics.
What is WordPress
WordPress is an open-source content management system that was released on May 27, 2003.
CMSs are a type of software that helps users create, manage, and modify content on a website even without deep knowledge of coding and software technicalities. To make it simple, CMSs let anyone have their own website that is up to their preferences even without hiring a developer or website designer.
And because WordPress is open-source, anyone can freely access, modify, and distribute WordPress’s code according to their preference. This is why many businesses choose to have WordPress over any other CMSs. It’s simple to use and it’s easy to change or modify to fit the requirements of their business.
5 Easy Steps to Start a Career Path
So how do you start a career in WordPress development? How do you win over clients and help them reach their goals? While answers to that question from successful WordPress developers aren’t the same, there are commonalities, and we’ve listed these down below for you:
1. Develop your knowledge in WordPress and master the basics
The most important thing to do when choosing to become a WordPress developer is, of course, to build your knowledge of the system and explore what it can do. There are several ways to do this. One is to watch YouTube videos about WordPress development, discussions about the career from developers themselves, and examples of successful projects from the developers.
While all of these are free, these tend to be confusing especially to people who are really, really new to the world of software. We recommend enrolling in online courses for WordPress that is designed for beginners as they are curated to be engaging and make it easier for newbie freelancers to understand WordPress development.
Remember to master the basics— how websites work, the kinds of WordPress, and how to set up your site, among others— before moving to the more technical side of the CMS.
2. Get a mentor
A lot of freelancers can get by even without being trained by a mentor, but this is one of the best ways for you to learn any craft easily, without repeating the mistakes of those that studied the craft before you.
Online courses or coding boot camps often provide free mentorship programs. Take the opportunity to ask questions and learn something new every day. But be judicious in choosing your mentor.
Strive to develop a meaningful relationship with your mentors— ask for best practices, safe ways to get clients, or quick ways to learn something— so you can safely navigate the world of freelancing.
3. Choose a career path
WordPress development is not a one-way path. There are so many career options to choose from and you’ll learn about them more as you go along the way.
Some developers transition into becoming WordPress designers. Others become writers. There are also some people who become teachers themselves. Interestingly, some people combine their expertise in design, writing, and developing and make a career out of these.
4. Build your portfolio and resume
Learning the basics would take some time and while you’re at it, you can actually accept clients or provide services to family or friends. This is how you can build your portfolio easily.
Don’t worry about the things that you don’t know yet— what if my client asks me to do “this” or “that” which I have zero knowledge about? Tell your client that you can do some research and get back to them as soon as possible. It’s one way to learn more about this craft while getting paid.
Once you’re able to build enough outputs, curate, and organize them, you can build an online portfolio to demonstrate your expertise and show clients what you are able to do as a developer. Ask feedback from family or friends or even clients that you’ve worked with before. You can even ask them for a referral so you can start to grow your network.
5. Start your search from your own network
Last but not the least, search for clients from your own network. And it could be anyone— from your family, your friends, your family’s friends, your friends’ family, or even a total stranger that just heard about your work from anyone you know.
Think of your career from the perspective of sales. As they say, “whatever business you think you’re in, you’re in sales because you’re always selling yourself.” How can you persuade a total stranger to get you to do their website for them?
But while doing all these, always think about your strong selling points— what can you do that others can’t? What can you do that would bring a positive impact to your client’s business?
Skills Needed in WordPress
While knowledge in WordPress development is definitely a must if you want to be successful in this career, don’t forget about these other skills that are essential too:
It’s a soft skill that’s a must-have, especially during the pandemic! Think about what your clients would need during the crisis. Think about how their clients would respond to their goals. If you can provide anything valuable during the discussion that would change your clients’ approach for the better, you’d be credited for that input. Don’t forget to include that in your portfolio and resume.
Eye for little details
Having an eye for details doesn’t only mean that you’re meticulous and a perfectionist— it also means you’re capable of understanding how the little processes work for the bigger goal.
A lot of times clients don’t even know what they want and you have to learn to read between the clients and extract more information from them so they can convey their needs in the clearest possible manner. It’s a difficult skill to master and you’d have to learn this from experience or from your mentors who have been with “difficult” clients in the past.
You also have to know how to communicate the value of your outputs to clients— what your creative decisions can do to their business and their potential impact on the future of the business. Knowing how to do this will give you an edge when it comes to meeting clients’ expectations.
Build more skills, win more clients
Impress more clients by showing that you can do more than the average WordPress developer. Build a stronger portfolio by learning more skills and competencies. Get an All-Access Pass from Course Belt and get a certificate when you finish.