What can I do to earn money while studying?

I know html and css, I can code designs. I know my knowledge is insufficient, I continue to learn, but can I earn money in front-end while I am a student?

Perhaps you know some people who could benefit from a simple website? Friends who would like a personal website to serve as a resume or portfolio? Someone who might like a storefront for their Etsy shop or something?

Unfortunately, there is no such person around me.

Start where you are. You know html and css, and can code designs - perhaps start blogging about the design-to-code process, developing a network and following. If you’re thinking freelance design, the first step might be to develop connections and credibility.

The same would apply if you were considering getting into tutoring. It could be done, if you have a very solid understanding of the two: semantic, accessible html and the intricacies of css and how the rules actually cascade. Being able to convey that in simple, understandable language is a valuable skill.

Another option, both for your own practical experience and possible income, is performing site reviews and updates. Often called “brochure-ware,” a simple static site offering basic information much like you’d find on a company brochure. Find restaurants around you, or businesses. Check if they have a website, and if they do, perform a site review. Both presentation and content matter.

  • are there outdated links?
  • missing or broken images?
  • are the image resolutions reasonable (large enough to be not blurry, small enough for timely download)?
  • company information current and complete?
  • products and pricing accurate and consistent?
  • fonts, sizing, spacing, colors? From a design perspective,does it work?

Doing reviews like this are great for your own designs, and good practice in spotting issues. Note the things you see that might benefit from your services, outline them, and approach the business owner. Often they don’t know it’s broken, or don’t know how to fix it.

The downside to any of these is that they’re not quick. You need to realistically assess your skill-set, and see how best you might benefit others. You will need to invest time and effort, and be prepared for comments you might not like. Be prepared for the “no,” and try to find out why - even in that “no” there is often a reason that you benefit from knowing.

If you are hoping to make “side money” using the skills you have, be prepared. You will be designer, developer, debugger, sales, management, IT admin, chief-cook-and-bottle-washer. You will wear all the hats. And burnout is real.

Are you (or have you been) working a regular job, part- or full-time? Is that an option while you continue to learn?

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It might be difficult to find work for your skills your learning and find people willing to pay for those skills.

It might be easier split what your learning from what work you can perform, while still learning “side-skills”. Namely picking up some side-skills doing things related to the ones you want to focus on while learning.

Something like picking up how to create sites using some sort of CMS, like Wix or wordpress. This will allow you to learn more related web development stuff, without needing to build everything with just HTML and CSS. You also can find more people willing to pay for these sorts of skills, technologies giving you some support while you learn more.

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