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WordPress is an industry leader in the web design and development space—and for good reason. Even with so many new competitors, the platform has continued to hold its ground for anyone looking to create a new website.
If you’ve developed your skills as a WordPress developer, you can capitalize on the platform’s massive popularity to build a thriving freelance business for yourself.
In this extensive guide, we’ll give you an actionable playbook to maximize earnings as a freelance WordPress professional. Let’s start with 10 services you can offer and discover the best practices to acquire new clients.
10 proven ways to earn as a freelancer from WordPress
WordPress is the most used CMS platform because it’s highly customizable and flexible for development. If you’re skilled at WordPress, you can start a freelance side hustle and even become a full-time freelancer.
Here are ten ways to monetize your skill and make a living as a WordPress freelancer.
1. WordPress web design
There’s no shortage of individuals looking for highly customized WordPress websites. You can create web designs by customizing any of its existing templates, stacking more advanced features to basic designs, and translating client needs into reality.
Here’s what you need to provide freelance WordPress web design services:
- WordPress development skills
- A portfolio of sample work or previous client work
- Testimonials or social proof
Here’s an example of a freelance WordPress designer’s portfolio website to help you build yours:
Once you have these in place, start finding freelance jobs in WordPress developer communities or on job boards.
You can also offer services like PSD to WordPress conversions and Figma to WordPress conversions to package your services effectively. Use platforms like Complete Themes to discover popular themes in the market and design landing pages using themes and landing page builders.
2. WordPress blog setup
WordPress hosts over 43.2% of blogs on the internet with its powerful CMS. Many people looking to start a blog don’t have the technical expertise to fully set up the blog UX or might not want to invest their time. They look for freelance professionals instead.
This is where you can offer a specialized service to build a WordPress blog from scratch. Make yourself an industry expert and increase your authority by picking a few niches, such as gardening, fashion, electronic gadgets, or anything in demand.
Here’s how freelancers sell their blog design services on Fiverr:
You can offer this service in two ways: sell it individually or package it with other services. If you sell the WordPress blog setup service alone, develop a strong portfolio in your chosen niche. The other way is to package the blog setup service with services like WordPress web development, web design, or support and maintenance.
3. WordPress theme development (and customization)
Freelance WordPress theme development is another lucrative field to tap into. People need custom themes developed based on their brand persona, messaging, and business goals and needs. You can position yourself as a theme developer and offer customization services.
Here’s the skill stack you need to start offering freelance WordPress theme development services:
- Proficiency in WordPress development and customization
- Ability to work within tight deadlines and deliver high-quality output
Typically, you can use this 4-step framework to offer theme development services: design, approval and development, testing, and feedback + final delivery.
4. WordPress plugin development
WordPress plugin development can be your thing if you’re looking to bulk-create a product and sell it to earn passive income. WordPress designers need plugins to customize their sites and solve specific problems quickly.
While you don’t need to be an expert developer to create these plugins, you need basic coding skills with HTML and CSS and knowledge of how PHP works.
Follow these tips to create WordPress plugins that sell:
- Begin by choosing a niche you want to serve
- Follow this up with solid research of the existing plugins in the market in that niche
- Note down the needs of your target audience and see if these plugins are ticking those boxes
- Develop your own plugin based on the gaps you notice based on market research and user needs
- Finally, set up a platform to promote your plugins and sell them on WordPress’s plugins marketplace
You can promote your plugin development services on social media channels, like this:
5. WordPress SEO and consulting
Without SEO, your website won’t get organic traffic and visibility. As an SEO expert and consultant, you can help your clients:
- Attract quality traffic, good engagement, and more conversions
- Beat the competition with higher search rankings
You need in-depth knowledge of SEO and hands-on experience to sell your freelance SEO consulting service. Focus on creating proof of work in your chosen niche with strong case studies demonstrating your expertise.
6. WooCommerce development
The global eCommerce market is booming, showing steady year-on-year growth in demand. Take a look at these project numbers on the growth of eCommerce sales worldwide:
With so much market demand, you have a great chance to build your freelance side hustle or business as a WooCommerce developer. WooCommerce is a completely customizable, open-source eCommerce store builder, making it a great choice for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
As a WooCommerce developer, you can help clients select a suitable hosting option, install WooCommerce and WordPress, develop customizations and themes, create and add plugins, design the web store, set up security optimizations and payment gateways, and offer maintenance.
7. Website migration and hosting services
People are always looking for website migration services to upgrade technology, cut costs, redesign or rebrand, or simply scale their site. These people often work with freelancers who can swiftly migrate their websites to WordPress with complete backup and hosting.
You can make your own package for website migration by evaluating fellow freelancers offering similar services. For example, check out Manuel’s profile on Fiverr. Take note of his services, the packaging, the price models, and the delivery time he offers.
8. WordPress speed and security optimization
A slow-loading website can lead to lost traffic and reduced sales. People often turn to freelance WordPress developers to optimize their websites and boost loading time.
Besides, data theft and hacking are among the security concerns of many website owners. Clients hire freelance security specialists to secure their site data and optimize its speed. You can become a freelance security specialist and offer to detect and remove malware, conduct security audits and vulnerability tests, and debug the website.
9. Support and maintenance
Creating a WordPress website isn’t a set-and-forget activity. Brands have to consistently audit their performance and fix bugs. This is where you can offer support and maintenance services as a package comprising:
- Bug fixes
- Speed optimization
- Backup and migration
- Themes and plugins
- Overall support
You can add or cut down on services from this stack based on your knowledge and expertise. Packaging, support, and maintenance services like this will ensure you can set up multiple price models for your clients, like monthly subscriptions or one-time payment models—like in this example.
10. Membership site development
Entrepreneurs and businesses are evolving around subscription-selling models, members-only access, and restricted content structures. You can offer a stacked service to develop a membership site for your clients. Here are a few services you can include in your proposal for membership site development:
- Create an account or login form
- Membership registration form
- Integrated payment method
- LMS and CRM integration
- Restricted pages for members
- Member interaction platforms like chats
- Email automation
- Community directory, forum, and activity hosting platform
- Recurring subscription model system
- Security setup, support, and maintenance
The best way to estimate your pricing is to hop on platforms offering freelance gigs and search for freelancer profiles offering these services. Apart from the pricing structure, you’ll learn how other freelancers position themselves, pack their services, and create their portfolios.
How to get WordPress clients: An actionable playbook
You can use five different methods to find clients and your dream projects. If you’re freelancing for the first time, freelance gig-finding platforms like Upwork and Fiverr are a great starting point. You can also work with a business coach to hit the ground running.
But if you’re trying to freelance for the long run, try and develop the rest of the four channels to source clients eventually.
Here’s your rinse-and-repeat strategy to acquire clients for your freelance WordPress business:
Upwork / Fiverr
Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr are the go-to places to find freelance gigs. You can build a strong portfolio and hunt for diverse project opportunities here. Not just that, this will also help you collect ratings and testimonials to create social proof for your business.
Use these tips if you wish to make the most of these freelancing platforms:
- Pick a niche to scale faster, attract more clients, and offer specialized service
- Offer competitive prices by doing market research
- Build trust with your clients and make it easy for them to work with you
- Continuously upskill to stay on top of the competition
These gig-finding platforms are a good starting point, but you should aim to build other streams to attract clients in the long run.
Here’s a quick snapshot of how you can create your Fiverr profile to get clients:
Outreach will help you get your dream clients, work on better projects, and increase your rates. If you’re targeting a new prospect, use cold emails to pitch your services. You can also engage with your prospects on social media to come on their radar and establish some rapport before sending a direct LinkedIn message.
Here are a few best practices to succeed with cold outreach:
- Research your target clients
- Begin with providing free value
- Focus on building relationships rather than transactions
- Make sure you reach out to them when they are available
- Use multiple channels for outreach
- Keep A/B testing your approach and messages
- Automate client outreach using Mailchimp or similar tools and follow up about two to three times
Warm outreach will help you reach businesses that already know about your services. These clients are familiar with your skills and your background.
LinkedIn is among the best platforms for targeting the B2B industry. You can organically market your services and attract quality leads by creating LinkedIn content on niche topics.
Follow this step-by-step process to organically market your freelance services on LinkedIn:
- Begin with researching the profile, content, and offerings of other freelancers with similar services as yours
- Research your target audience, their needs, pain points, goals, and challenges, then start creating content based on this research
- Use LinkedIn bots to automate tasks like posting consistently and engaging with your prospects’ posts
- Share your experiences as an expert in your niche and collaborate with fellow freelancers
Besides organic marketing, LinkedIn paid ads are a great choice if you want to scale your lead generation efforts. Here’s how this freelance WordPress developer uses LinkedIn to share client case studies and promote his business:
Diversifying your marketing channels is the key to building a stable lead pipeline for your business. That’s where social media platforms can be a game-changer. Build a strong profile on multiple channels to attract new leads consistently.
You can get started with social media marketing for your business using these tactics:
- Dig deeper into the pain points and habits of your target audience
- Create engaging content and show up on stories
- Showcase your work, expertise, and testimonials
- Present case studies to show how you helped your former clients
- Study analytics and your performance metrics to optimize site performance
You can also invest in paid marketing on social media once you’ve built some momentum. This will help you double down on your growth.
This freelance developer promotes his services on X by regularly tweeting about his audience’s pain points and challenges.
Content marketing is a feasible channel to sell your freelance WordPress services if you are:
- Looking to position yourself as an expert in your niche
- Willing to create a game plan for the long run
- Gunning for consistent inbound leads
- Aiming to network with fellow freelancers
For example, if you’re offering a freelance WordPress SEO service, create in-depth content on that topic. Create a blog, run email newsletters, and make content on LinkedIn. Make sure you solve your target audience’s pain points, offer recommendations, and create content around topics often untouched by other content platforms.
Build quality links to your blogs to get on the first page of Google.
Consider adding chat to your website to generate leads to make the most out of your traffic.
Now is the best time to start
There’s no upper limit to the money you could be making with the right skills, service packaging, and business strategy as a WordPress freelancer. So, start by honing your skills to kickstart your journey and create a strong portfolio with testimonials.
With the steps and best practices we’ve shared, you can create a freelance side hustle or even a freelance business with your WordPress expertise. Take inspiration from fellow freelancers in your niche to start working and making money.