Freelancing: Taking on smaller projects but earning a bigger amount

Freelancing is the best especially when you have enough clients for the month. I mean you get this feeling like you’re complete but what happens when you do not meet your monthly requirements and things start to get slow? In today’s Article I will go over why taking on smaller freelancing projects can be better then taking on just large scale projects.

Large Projects

“Hi there YOURNAME. My name is Bruce and I checked out your portfolio and am very interested and working with you. I have a budget of $X,XXX and would love to get something going. Please let me know when you’re available to talk so I can discuss more to you about this project.”

Receiving an email like so from a client can be very heart jumping and exciting. When freelancing comes to mind this is what we all dream of when first starting off or when we’re looking for work. If you’ve freelanced before and have taken on a large or decent size jobs like so then you know that there is a up side to it and a downside. The upside to taking on larger projects is you’re getting paid a very good amount for a website rather then chump change. The downside of taking on large or decent size jobs are the amount of work you have to do when working on the site and not mention the amount of time it takes to complete it. It would be great if you could design, code and add some cool functionality to a website in just a day but in most cases you can not(Not Talking about templates).

Too Good For The Small Projects

I have visited many freelancer portfolios and I must say most of their staring prices are $1,000 and up. That is a cool price for some people but what about others? You’re letting everybody know that you will not touch anything under 1k. I understand the fact that some clients can be frustrating or ask for too much but saying you will only take a certain amount is harsh. As a freelancer I look at people situations and I know not everyone can afford a $4,000 website so I try my best to work a deal with them. When I say make a deal I do not mean do a complete website for nothing but do it depending on your situation. For example I am 18 years old and I do not have a family and I LOVE to code and design so if someone comes to me and ask, I have x amount of money to spend can you make me a website? I would respond to that depending on my current situation. Maybe I need money for hosting or money to renew my domain so why not?

Smaller Projects = FATTER pockets

More MoneySmaller projects seem to be the victim when freelancing for a client. No one wants to work on a website or create something for nothing. Well that is false. I’ve been freelancing for 2.5 years now and most of my work comes from clients who has a “small budget” and I must say that my pockets have gotten bigger over the last year. How? Well I will tell you how. See when taking on a small project many people under estimate what it can do for you. For example a client came to me so I could create a banner for his website. I knew it would only take me a hour or so I charged him a low rate. I finished that and the client returned multiple times with bigger things for me to do.


So just remember the next time you take on a large scale websites not to forget the potential of a small scale website. As a freelancer never be too good to take on anything, and remember do not work for others, work for yourself! In other words do not charge an amount because others are charging that amount. Charge an amount that will make you happy.

Why didn’t you go into details with this article? I did not go into details with this article because Webdevtuts is launching a premium area where I will tell you guys a bit more then the average. As a freelancers of 2.5 years I have a lot to share and a ton of proof to back it up so stick around and if you’re a true Webdevtuts subscriber then you know that everything posted on this site is up to par. Thank you all for reading this article. Great announcements coming very soon.

Joe Granados the author

Joe Granados is the owner of WebDevTuts. He is also a web designer & developer who loves to design and develop websites. If you're looking for him you can find him via @webdevtuts
  1. Hi Marcell,
    You are right. When you just start to work such as freelancer may be it’s a good idea to have a deal with small budget. But after a few years (if you continue to study the web design, web usability, psychology, seo/sem…) you can ask 3-5 more… Why? Because now, you have an experience and knowledge how to…
    P.S. The good design or web site can’t cost a few dollars.

  2. Libby Fisher says:

    I really agree with you on not turning down clients only because of their small budget. If they have a small budget, obviously the project will be smaller as well, which means you can take on more than one at a time and have them done in short periods of time. Taking on smaller projects is also an excellent way to build up your reputation and your portfolio and to earn more money. As long as work is steady, I don’t think it should necessarily matter whether the projects you work on are small or big. I have worked on both small and large projects, one-time projects and projects that have gone on for over a year, and in the end, I think it just comes down to having steady work. At least that is one of the most important things to this freelancer! 🙂

  3. I think it depends on what someone is asking. Say someone has a budget of $100, well, that’s ten months worth most hosting plans. 😉

    You should never undervalue your skills, of course. At least if your knowledge is too valuable to do a lot for not enough, refer them to someone who needs the experience.

    The only thing some people don’t understand about web work is that it’s a service. You wouldn’t go to a doctor or a dentist trying to find a cheap one…you’d want a good one.

    If someone only has a small budget, then just limit what they can get. At least they get something.

  4. Issa @ Ajeva says:

    You’ve got valid points there. Sometimes, big amounts can fool you into thinking that you’re getting more–only to realize in mid-completion that the work demands more time and effort on your part, which should have been paid more if you went for an hourly model, instead of a fixed price rate. Yes, hourly rates may be lower but come to think of it, you get paid for each minute of working ( and thinking ). So, I’m all for smaller projects paid on an hourly rate.

  5. Mostly I agree. But you need to be careful for people with small budget, but in theirs opinion enough for “computer guys”. In my experience some people with small budget think they are big businessmens and usually have enormous demands to the project.

  6. Jay Kaushal says:

    Very well written article Marcell. I fully relate to it. I started my career as a freelancer by template editing in just 30$. The price was small but it immediately gave a boost to my careers becuase after that I never looked back. I have done around 450 small, medium and big projects now and still crave for small jobs anytime 🙂

    The beauty is you get instant money in no time and the clients feel obliged that atleast somebody is there to help them on small budget. And I have received many big projects from these small budget clients in routine as they will never forget you. Most of my repeat clients today are the one those I helped while I was struggling and they too were establishing their business. And now they established, get big site jobs and return their thanks by giving me medium to big work every month.

    Work is work, no matter it is 30$ or 3000$ 🙂

  7. sanji says:

    Good point! I already done this on my free time, I charged clients depending on work, my free time, and my situation. Small clients can turn into big referral, which is the bread and butter for any marketing business.

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