Are you a designer or developer in WordPress but aren’t being paid well? Work in a niche within the WordPress and you will see better pay
If half of all Internet sites are powered by WordPress, it is a powerful CMS. Once you have too many websites on WordPress, it is better to be freelancing in a niche within WordPress than trying to be an expert at the overall WordPress level.
So let me help designers and developers find a niche within the complete WordPress ecosystem.
Once I drilled down into the niche within WordPress, you will see how easy it is to be a WordPress developer and command better hourly rates when working in a small niche.
Why Niche Freelancing within WordPress?
I am a big fan of working in a small niche as I believe it is better to be a big fish in a small pond than to be a tiny fish in a huge pond. I always niche down on a smaller set of expertise to demand better rates for my services.
As an individual freelancer, it is much easier for me to be an expert in a minimal set than an expert in a huge set. So I can become a much better expert being a WordPress developer for a certain kind of sites than being an expert in every aspect of it.
So let me now share how WordPress designers and developers can apply the same process to find a niche within WordPress.
How Developers Can Find a Niche within WordPress
Let me share how developers can find a niche within WordPress. I am sharing these details from a personal experience point of view.
Be a Problem Solver
The best way for a developer freelancer to find a niche within WordPress is to find a prevalent problem that you encounter and try to be a solution provider for such problems.
You are a WordPress developer, still, you don’t need to start as a niche WordPress developer. You will start within the WordPress ecosystem. Slowly you can see many clients coming to you have some common aspect which can be your niche within WordPress.
Like in my case, many of my clients wanted to have excellent connectivity with forums.
I offer them a solution where both WordPress and the forums (vBulletin or XenForo) work independently and still are well connected.
Very few developers can offer such a solution, and I can demand much better rates for such a solution provider. I am solving their problem of having a forum or community and using WordPress as a CMS.
Similarly, when you start working in WordPress, you will find many clients coming to you with a specific problem on freelancing sites like Upwork.
As a freelancer, you have to define your niche within WordPress when you work more and more in WordPress. It is a long process to find a niche. We are anyway not into freelancing for the quick buck.
Check For Competition
As a WordPress developer, you will find a lot of work to consider yourself a problem solver. However, what is important is to consider the competition as well.
Let me explain it with an example to help you understand it better.
When I started working in WordPress, I found that many clients were looking to optimise their WordPress for speed. Furthermore, clients were using many WordPress front-end builders like WP Bakery or Visual Composer as well.
So if I want to optimise WordPress, there is very little that I had to do as a developer. It was more like installing the WP Rocket and then optimise the images with Imagify.
WordPress optimisation was thought to be a development job. However, now it is merely a couple of plugin installation and configuration tasks. You can’t have an edge over others.
Though it is a good niche within WordPress for freelancing, it isn’t something that can make you demand better rates in the long run.
The main reason was, there was so much work in the WordPress optimisation niche that one can do everything via a plugin. Furthermore, there are so many plugins for it. So anybody can optimise WordPress.
So you will have a lot of work in a niche, but it is imperative that one also checks how competitive the niche within WordPress is.
Try Building a Business for Clients
I always like to make myself an asset for the client than a liability.
When clients pay me, they should consider investing in an asset instead of paying off a liability. The way I like to do it is to be able to become an asset to my clients.
I own blogs and forums. So I know what can drive more traffic to the sites.
As a web development client, they are always looking to build traffic. So if I can develop or recommend some functionality that can help them get more traffic, does that mean the client will be more than happy to pay me.
So if a client requests a quote of something from me, I always recommend the way I would have done if it was my blog or forum.
Like many of my clients had sites in WP Bakery / Visual Composer, I recommend moving over to the Genesis theme. Some websites even quadruple their traffic because the content was awesome. The real issue was organizing the content with better design.
So when you are looking to build a business of clients, you will definitely get paid better rates even when working in a competitive WordPress niche.
How Designer Can Find a Niche within WordPress
Enough has been said about developers. So now let’s focus on web designers as well. I am not a designer, but I interact with many designers who are doing awesome even in WordPress. So let me share how a designer can demand higher rates.
Offer a Great Solution
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – Marshal Goldsmith.
So if you are making a decent income doing WordPress designs, you have to think and believe that it can’t help you grow 10x or 100x more doing the same thing the same way.
You have to move away from being a service provider to offer product-based solutions.
What I mean is you have to look to build ready to download themes for sale in WordPress. You have to use the power of ThemeForest and look for a niche where there are only a few great themes available. Then you have to offer your theme for the niche and generate sales.
It is one of the better ways for designers to scale up freelancing in the WordPress niche. I know many designers are doing it that way where they are always looking to get a great design for particular niche blogs.
Just, for example, my Recipe site is using a food niche theme from ThemeForest itself. Again, food is a very competitive niche in ThemeForest, but there wasn’t anything using Genesis for the food niche with recipe rich snippet support. So I moved over to something outside of Genesis niche.
Again, this is just an example to help you understand how one can use themes marketplaces and offer a great solution for customers and acquire clients in the process. It is a better way for designers to scale up their freelancing business and even find a niche within WordPress.
Be Hungry and Remain Open to Ideas
As a designer, you have to think like a creative person.
The problem is designers often tend to think they are doing a mechanical job. They put a few elements together and then crank it up to form a theme in WordPress.
The design has to have an element of creativity in it.
If you are not open to good design ideas, you will soon become out of ideas.
So remain hungry and open to ideas. You don’t always need to be doing the design work and have to understand what others are doing and how they are approaching the design aspect differently.
I have seen many people always focus on delivering the design. Their calculations are to deliver the number of themes per week / per month, and in the interim, they miss the concept of being creative and being different.
Research is the Key
Finally, it is important to understand that you have to understand the current trend in the market and do the research.
If you can find a niche within WordPress where you don’t see too many good themes available, you are more likely to hit the jackpot.
The idea is to do the research.
There is always a niche within WordPress that a freelancing team can look to beat the competition. It is easier said than done, but a freelancer who can find a great niche within WordPress will make it big.
Everyone will not be willing to do it, and so if you are willing to do the research, you will definitely find it. In fact, because you are working in the WordPress niche, you are more likely to find a good niche than anyone else. The key is to open to ideas and ready to do the research.
For those freelancers who are willing to find a niche within WordPress, it is not that difficult, provided you are ready to work yourself into the small niche over time.
The question is, are you willing to do it?