We’ve all day-dreamed about being self-employed. Waking up in the morning to start work on your schedule, enjoying a cup of joe instead of a morning commute, and dealing with your own clients instead of managers and supervisors. There’s a lot to be said about being your own boss!
If you’re interested in leaving your current job and exploring opportunities where you can work for yourself, have flexible hours, and get great compensation, landing a WordPress job may seem like a great option. And, even if you don’t want to freelance, WordPress offers lots of great full-time job opportunities.
Why? Well, first of all, WordPress is the most popular website platform in the world. WordPress powers blogs, news websites, local business websites, eCommerce storefronts, and so much more. In fact, WordPress is used in about 38% of all websites – so if you start to work in the world of WordPress, you won’t run out of clients any time soon!
There’s also a lot of information out there about working with WordPress, and it’s easy to start learning on your own – before you quit your current job. Wondering how to get started? Get all the details you need now!
1. Identify Your WordPress Career Options
There are a lot of different ways that you can start working in WordPress – and not all of them involve technical skills! In fact, WordPress provides a lot of opportunities, even for people who don’t know how to code.
The first step in landing a WordPress job is to identify your WordPress career opportunities, and what you’re interested in. Consider the skills that you already have as well as skills that you’re willing to learn.
Not sure what’s out there, or what your options are? Here are a few common WordPress career opportunities to give you some examples.
- WordPress Graphic Designer – If you’re a design fanatic and beautifying digital assets is your thing, then this is the job you want to go for. WordPress graphic designers don’t really need to know how to code, but only need a basic familiarity with WordPress. They will use programs like Adobe Photoshop to create images and content for WordPress websites, and may also do some technical work if they know how to use HTML, CSS, and other front-end languages.
- WordPress Extension Or Theme Developer – Many entrepreneurs create their own WordPress themes or extensions, which can be sold in the marketplaces like themeforest.com, codecanyon.com, etc. for a flat fee, or even for a monthly subscription. You can develop extensions or themes on your own if you have the skills to do so and know how to code, or join a larger company that develops WordPress themes and extensions.
- WordPress Administrator – WordPress administrators need to have some basic technical skills and a deep familiarity with how the platform works. This role involves managing the website and its user profiles, monitoring performance, and other day-to-day things that keep the website running smoothly.
- WordPress Content Manager/Writer – If you love to write, this is the role for you. This role typically involves editing and changing content on various WordPress websites, as well as writing new content. This can include updates to web pages, blog posts, FAQs, product descriptions, and any other written content. Although no technical skills are needed for this role, it’s nice to have some understanding of few technicalities like taxonomies, installing and removing plugins, some basic html to embed graphics, videos, gifs etc. into the content, and so on.
Sit down, do some thinking, and consider which role may be the best fit for you based on your past experiences, current skills, and the skills you’re willing to develop! Then you’ll have a goal you can work toward.
2. Develop and Hone the Proper WordPress Skills
Next, you’ll want to begin developing and honing your WordPress skills. You want to build skills that will help you reach your goals and achieve your dream role in the world of WordPress design and development. So make sure you know what skills you need to learn!
Or, if you would rather work in graphic design, you can become more familiar with Adobe Creative Suite, and take courses online or in-person to develop your design skills and learn more about this field.
Want to become a content writer? Start writing! Find some articles online and try to create a new article based on their content. Study up on best practices for content layouts and blogging. Learn how to do research, and familiarize yourself with the WordPress CMS so that you’ll understand how to properly upload and format your articles.
You also may want to learn some of the basics about WordPress SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and other concepts in digital marketing – this can be very helpful when looking for work!
No matter what role you want, though, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the platform. We recommend creating your own website. You can start a WordPress website for free and learn the basics about how it works.
3. Find Job Opportunities
Once you’ve built up your skills and you’re ready to enter the professional field, you need to begin looking for job opportunities. This is an exciting time – you’re making the leap from WordPress enthusiast and learner to becoming a WordPress professional!
Not sure how to find work? Here are a few ways that you may be able to find WordPress job opportunities.
- Create your own website to market your skills – Your online presence is critical to your professional reputation. We recommend you create your own WordPress website to market your skills! Your website should have information about you, a list of past clients (if applicable), a portfolio of your work, and any other information about you that you think a potential customer may want to know.
- Keep your LinkedIn profile updated – LinkedIn is a great place to network and find job opportunities, so make sure you have a LinkedIn profile and keep it updated. You can reach out to other professionals in the WordPress space, and find potential opportunities. Networking is key to find potential new opportunities not just in WordPress, but in any niche,
- Check freelance sites – Websites like Toptal, Upwork and Fiverr are a great way for new WordPress professionals to get their start. You can create a profile with all of your information, apply for jobs, and get work and payment all through a single convenient platform.
- Contact local business owners directly – If you do some research on local businesses and see that they could use some help with their websites, you may want to reach out to them directly, and see if the business owner would be open to working with you. For example, let’s say you’re a WordPress content writer and you have a lot of experience writing informational content pages and blogs for chiropractors, as well as SEO experience. With this skill set you could find local chiropractor offices and inquire about whether or not they are interested in your services.
- Explore job listings online – Websites like Indeed, Monster, and other online job listing websites are good ways to find full-time WordPress work. If you’re not interested in building your own client base and working on your own, this is a great option. And, after you’ve gained some entry-level WordPress experience in a full-time gig, you may find that it’s even easier to expand and begin working as a freelancer!
You can even apply for work directly at Automattic, the parent company behind WordPress! The platform is always evolving, and your skills may be needed – it never hurts to try!
4. Negotiate Your Terms
Once you’ve found some job opportunities, the next step is to negotiate your pay and the terms of the project, or your salary, if you’ve found a full-time gig. Here are a few tips for negotiating your pay when you begin working WordPress jobs.
Tips for negotiating rates as a WordPress freelancer
Planning on working for yourself and being your own boss? Here are a few tips you should keep in mind when negotiating terms for your project.
- Do your research – Start by researching how much other WordPress pros are charging. Content writers often charge by the word or the article. Developers on the other hand usually charge according to time. The average hourly rate for a WordPress developer, for example, is $30/hour – that’s a good starting point when you consider how much to charge. Do some Googling and ask around to see how much people with similar experience and skills are charging to get a good baseline.
- Charge based on your experience – If you’re a new WordPress developer who has only made one website, you may not have the same experience – or be able to command the same hourly rate – as a developer who has built hundreds of websites. Keep this in mind, and don’t be afraid to accept slightly lower rates when you start out – this will help you gain more experience, and lead to more lucrative offers later on.
- Don’t be afraid to counter-offer – If you get a “lowball” offer, don’t be afraid to counter-offer with a more reasonable rate. Many companies will try to pay a low rate initially to see if they can get you to agree – most people expect you to negotiate with a counter-offer!
- Get comfortable with rejections – It’s okay to walk away from a potential client if they won’t pay what you’re worth, or if you’re not comfortable with their project. Know when to walk away, and get used to being rejected.
Tips for negotiating salaries for full-time WordPress workers
Planning on working full-time for a company? Here are some tips you can use to negotiate your salary.
- Do your research – Make sure you understand industry salary trends, and how much people in your role are compensated. Take your experience and skills into account.
- Build your case while asking for a certain salary – Don’t just ask for a certain number. Explain why you deserve it, how you can help the company, and the skills you bring to the table. This helps hiring managers understand why you’re asking for a particular salary.
- Don’t forget about perks & benefits – Health insurance, 401(k) matching, vacation days, sick days, etc. Make sure you bear the value of these extra benefits in mind, especially if you’re considering multiple job offers.
- Get everything in writing – A written agreement ensures that your compensation package is iron-clad. You don’t want to end up signing an employment contract, only to find that you’re not getting the salary or benefits you thought you’d be getting.
5. Network and Build Meaningful Relationships
Once you’ve landed a job or some reputable clients, the next step is to continue networking. Build meaningful relationships that can help you find new jobs and more clients – ensuring you continue to build your career.
For example, if you work as a freelancer, follow-up with past clients a month or two after an engagement ends. You may be able to get more work from them, or get a referral to a colleague of theirs who may require your services.
Or, if you work in a larger company as a full-time employee, spend time with your coworkers and colleagues outside of work. Get introduced to their network, and expand your relationships.
You may also want to look into local professional development organizations and meetups. Meeting others in your field, local business owners, entrepreneurs, and other people can expand your network and lead to future business opportunities.
No matter your approach, be open, honest, and genuine, and look to build meaningful relationships with others. If you have a great attitude and genuinely want to meet others, learn about them, and help them, you’ll be surprised at how many opportunities you find!
Now Go Jumpstart Your WordPress Career!
Even the longest journeys start with a single step. And with these 5 steps, you can begin your journey toward becoming a WordPress professional – and getting started with a lucrative, fun, and flexible career.
So don’t wait and don’t let the next opportunity pass you by. Think about what you’ve learned in this guide. Identify your opportunities, build your skills, find a gig that works for you, negotiate a great rate, and keep building your career by networking with like-minded professionals. That’s your formula for success!