WordPress has grown over many years to become a platform for all kinds of websites to be built on. Considering how easy it is to set up and maintain a WordPress website, almost 40% of websites are built on WordPress. There are several reasons why it is the most sought after platform. It is open source, it has great themes and designs, it makes any website look professional, and so on.
One of the reasons why you can start a career as a WordPress professional is that despite how easy it is said to work on the platform, there are several business and blog owners who still need help.
People don’t have the time to set up their own website today. They are busy developing business plans and growth hacks. In the meanwhile, they hire professionals to help build and maintain their websites for them.
1. Identifying Your Area of Work
First off, you need to be clear about what you want to do as a WordPress professional; coder, programmer, designer, developer, content creator, and so many functions are there for you to pick from. Once you narrow down what you want to do, you can get down to business.
If you can pick a function you want to work with, you can find clients or clients will come to you for that specific function. It’s like being a chef who knows what cuisine he’s good with. When you identify your niche, you will find ways to be good at it. That’s what a good WordPress professional needs in order to help his or her clients.
2. Self Motivation
It’s not like you’re in a corporate office with a cubicle to yourself and you punch in and punch out of the office while the work gets done. Being a WordPress professional means you need to work on yourself a lot of the times. You need to kick yourself when it’s needed and reward yourself too.
Picking up complicated projects may seem challenging, but with some motivation, you can do your best. You won’t have a boss to give you the ‘employee of the month’ award. You must find ways of pushing yourself to do more and to do better every day.
3. Constant Learning
Becoming a WordPress professional doesn’t mean you stop there. It isn’t the end but it’s just the beginning. It’s the point where you realize that you need to constantly learn to keep your skin in the game.
Just like how WordPress and its themes need regular updates and upgrades, as a professional, you need them too. There are several outlets where you can learn new things about WordPress.
4. Security Knowledge
One of the reasons potential website owners go to professionals is that they can’t deal with the security threats any website can pose. Even if it’s WordPress, if there’s a way to hack it, it will be hacked. WordPress is so popular that it attracts many cyber hackers. They sneak in malicious code or get all your data.
This makes it hard for website owners to protect their websites. That’s why, as a WordPress professional, you need to find different and creative ways to protect your clients’ websites. If word spreads that you’re good at protecting websites, clients are going to flock to you for business.
5. SEO Skills
In-depth knowledge or skills for SEO as a WordPress professional isn’t absolutely necessary. But it’s a great value-add for your clients. Website owners want their websites to be ranked well by search engines and expect their developer to help them with it.
There are several plugins that you could use but it’s even better if you learn a few basic SEO skills that will help your clients’ websites perform well.
6. Sharpening Your Business Skills
Being a WordPress professional, you could either go the freelancer route or create a business of your own. Either way, since you aren’t working for anybody else, you must cover the basics of being your own boss.
Read up and learn about basic accounting, how a small business can grow and the different ways you could find new clients. At the end of the day, you are an independent professional. You can’t rely on an accounting team or a sales team to help your business grow.
7. Marketing Yourself
Once you understand the basics of business, you must learn a few marketing skills. Marketing is important to grow your business and land more clients for yourself. You could go the old fashion way of ads and word of mouth.
But since it’s the digital age, digital marketing is ideal. There are social media platforms, banner ads, email marketing, and many other means of promoting your skills as a developer and growing your brand in the market.
8. Being Organized
Yes, you are your own boss. But that’s something that is easily taken for granted if you aren’t focused and organized. It’s important to set goals, have deadlines, and follow a strict working code for yourself to follow in order to succeed.
Something as simple as a workspace is often ignored. Your couch isn’t your office. Get off it and create a workstation in your home where you can focus and get things done. Get your family and friends to pitch in once in a while when you’re in need.
As a young and new professional, you will meet all kinds of people in your work life. Clients come in various forms and you should know how to tackle each kind. There are times when you need to be flexible and then there are times when you need to draw the line.
Don’t get taken advantage of as a new professional and don’t drive away clients by being unreasonable. Read your clients before taking them on board. Understand their needs and be practical in your way of approaching them. They are your bread and butter but it doesn’t mean you give them more than what they ask for. Build your brand and reputation so clients recommend you to others.