Latest Posts

Are coding boot camps worth it?

I recently got this comment on YouTube: “I want to focus primarily on web development because software is way more intense. Most of the bootcamps are entailed for web development and that is what I’m planning to enroll in the near future. Yes, bootcamps are expensive since accelerated learning, but at least I have the opportunity to do full stack along with cohort simulating how it is to actually work in a real workplace. I think that is way more beneficial than teaching myself alone. I am someone that needs to interact to get the feel of how to code.”

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Winners vs losers in freelancing

Winners don’t sell themselves short. Winners don’t expect other people or platforms to do it for them. Winners don’t make excuses. They don’t whine and complain when Upwork changes its fee structure or starts charging to bid on jobs. They don’t immediately blame “crappy clients” when a project goes wrong or they don’t get hired. Not because these aren’t true. Sometimes they are. But, because they’re not productive. They weaken you as a competitor. Like a basketball player blaming their loss on the refs. The refs could’ve been terrible. Doesn’t matter. Win anyway. That’s what the greats do. That’s what

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Degrees for developers are worthless

It’s a minimum of 4 years of your life. Very little of which you’ll actually learn how to code. The stuff you do learn will almost certainly be outdated. And, for your trouble, you’re going to fork over 5-6 figures for a piece of paper. And, that’s IF you actually graduate. And, don’t get sucked into the bottomless pit of parties and alcohol. But, but, John… you’ll learn computer science at college. Great. Take one of the many computer science courses you’ll find on online… many for less than 100 buqs. And, learn your precious computer science concepts. No need

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The Instagram Hack

Stories. They seem weird, but they’re one of the most powerful tools you can use to sell your services on Instagram, because they accomplish two of the most important priorities when marketing any product or service. Top of mind awareness Attention. Top of mind is why all these big brands spend bajillions every year running what are, if you think about it, weird ads. Ads that don’t directly sell their services. The funny Old Spice commercials. Or, Coke and their never-ending “fizz” commercials. On and on. It’s to keep reminding you about them and to associate their brand with positive

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Learning your first programming language… quickly

When I played high school basketball… And, I wanted to become a better shooter… my coach and I spent hours analyzing film of the best shooters at the time. Hand placement, elbow position, follow-through, on and on. Breaking them down. Figuring out WHY they were so good. You start to see trends. When I first started learning copywriting… one of the pieces of advice I got was to take an ad I knew worked well and write it out by hand myself. It helped embed the flow of a good ad into your muscle memory. And, again, you start to

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Upwork’s network effects

The concept is pretty simple (from Investopedia): “The network effect is a phenomenon wherein increased numbers of people or participants improve the value of a good or service.” The internet. Social media. They all operate on this idea of network effects. Both across the platform AND for individual users. So, as Facebook’s user base grows, Facebook becomes more valuable. But, also, as YOUR individual friend’s list grows, Facebook becomes more valuable TO YOU. Save those few “friends” you’d rather not follow, of course. 😀 Thing is… Freelancing platforms have network effects, as well. So, the more freelancers on a platform,

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The 80/20 rule of web development

I once did this YouTube video. It was called the “Exact PHP Skills You Need to Learn to Get Paid to Code.” The idea was there’s all these things you think you need to learn or you get told by some ranting know-it-all that you need to learn… But, in reality… You only use a small fraction of those skills on a regular basis. So, I made a list of the things you’ll use most often as a PHP developer. The things that make up 90% of the coding I do. Variables, arrays, loops… That sort of thing. It’s been

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JMS389: I Grew My Business 500%

When it comes to freelance marketing, this is the most important thing I can teach you. It’s not sexy or flashy. In fact, it’s a lot of hard work. But, it’s the one thing I know I can rely on year after year, no matter the scenario. And since I started doing it, my business has grown over 500%. So, take it for what it’s worth to you.

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This is how I grew my business over 500%

Question: “What are you doing TODAY to market your freelance business?” If you can’t answer… Or, the answer is a little vague… Or, something you’re still figuring out… Whatever income woes you might be experiencing, I can point you to the culprit. The reality is: no marketing = no business. This is the simplest, yet most effective, “freelance marketing” advice I can give you: Do it daily. Let me give you an example… People often get horrified when they find out that I mail my mailing list on a daily basis. Sure, I miss some days here and there, but

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Walmart and the most important freelancing skill you can learn

Sam Walton started in the first Walmart in Rogers, Arkansas. If you look, today, the population is about 66,000… but back then it was just 5,700. And, he did this despite the prevailing wisdom at the time that a mass retailer needed to be started in a big city, otherwise it would fail. But, Walton actually listened to his customers. He knew that consumers in rural areas often bought in larger quantities because they had larger families and took fewer trips to the store. The result is, of course, the largest retailer on the planet, today. Listening to your customers/clients

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The fastest way to learn development

I’ve mentioned before… How PHP was my first language and it took me nearly five years to learn it to a point I could perform job-wise with it. Yeah, that was in the early 2000s when training resources were pretty much non-existent. But still… I made a lot of mistakes. And with the way things are now… You can’t afford to spend that much time learning a language. Hell, React is just 5 years old now. And, it’s all but taken over the JavaScript world. In any case, I learned my lesson with PHP and when it came time to

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The Al Bundy Method for selling your freelance services more easily

I used to sell shoes. Was damn good at it, too. In fact, I made it through the company’s 18-month manager training program in just over 9 months. In my first store, as a manager, I was the #3 selling manager in one of the smallest stores in the chain. And, I broke several store sales records along the way. Anyway, we had this thing we did. Out of Al Bundy’s bag of “tricks” if you will. Let me give you an example. “This is an XYZ Brand shoe. You’ll notice the high quality leather upper. The better the leather,

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Why you’ll never make it as a developer

I was watching this YouTube video the other day. Guy was a home-builder and he was talking about siding… some of the stuff he does to insulate and protect homes. And, when you look at his stuff, the finished product, it’s obvious… guy knows what he’s doing. The homes look amazing. The videos are really good. He has several hundred thousand subscribers. It all seemed amazing. And then, you check the comments… What a horror show. 300 response threads of people arguing over what he said at 5:18. Or, one-liners like “Idiot”. Several hundred comments and there were maybe a

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What languages and frameworks to learn as a new developer

One of Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Effective People” is: “Begin with the end in mind.” When you do, what you need to do now becomes much more clear. It’s the same with your web development career. A lot of people ask me what languages they should learn and what order they should learn them in. The real answer is: I don’t know. That depends on your end. Here’s what I mean. If you want to work at Google, for example, Golang might be something you wanted to learn since it’s developed by Google. If you want to work at

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What my dog taught me about making more as a freelancer

I took my dog to the vet to get spayed the other day. The week prior when I called, I got a masterclass in selling your services. As I explained what I needed, one of the first things they asked me was, “Is it a stray?” Our dog, Marley, is. A neighbor rescued her, but wasn’t able to take care of her, so we took her from him. Because of that, the animal clinic gave us 40 bucks off. That’s lesson #1. The hook. When I called I was just gathering information. I was going to call a couple clinics

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How to price your freelance projects

Another common question I get, this time from Gary: “Sir, I’m a self taught web developer with no job experience. My question about freelancing is how to price a website? For example do I need to let the client pay for the hosting website and etc.” Perceived quality. Note the emphasis on perceived. Here’s the analogy I use. Imagine you need to get a medical procedure done. So, you go to the nearest clinic. As you pull up, you notice the clinic is in a sketchy part of town. The parking lot is cracked and littered with trash. The clinic’s

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What tricks most NEW developers

When Lynda Weinman first started the site back in 1995, it was built to let her communicate with people who’d bought here book. By 2015, it was acquired by LinkedIn for 1.5 billion. Here’s the lesson for new and aspiring developers.

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How to start your web development career on a rock-solid foundation

Two terms you’ll want to write down for today. First one: Skill-Stacking. You know this, but probably haven’t thought of it this way. A lot of developers ask me what they should learn. The real answer: ALL of it. The more skills you stack in your arsenal, the more valuable you’ll be to employers. And, more importantly, the more adaptable you’ll be when [email protected]# changes. And, [email protected]# changes… a lot. You shouldn’t be stingy about what you learn in the beginning. Learn it all. Stack, stack, stack. Second term: Credibility-Stacking. This one I don’t think near as many people think

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How to THINK like a developer

What makes a developer truly a developer? I’ll give you my answer in a second. But think about that as you read this… So, I got this email question from Mike: “I’m stuck at a beginner level. I’ve followed tons of tutorials and did a 3 month full time web dev boot camp. But I cant seem to get past the hurdle of being able to write a program myself. I consistently fail interview tests as my programming logic skills are low. I seem to be stuck at this beginner level. I need to learn how to think like a

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Read this before another developer ruins your website

That’s the headline. Of the most effective services sales page I ever ran. In fact, I ran it for years on my site before I whittled down to just one client. It’s easily brought in tens of 1000s of the greenbacks for me. I don’t care what kind of web development you do… This should be your headline. It grabs the reader by the eyeballs… And, forces them to read. Because, it’s every client’s worst nightmare. It’s like a car wreck, they can’t NOT look. And, it works no matter what kind of services you offer. Of course, you gotta

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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

Thabo Motsoahae

John is one of the best instructors I have come across, I learned a lot from his online tutorials.

Jason Rumley

Jason Rumley

John has a habit of over-delivering on the expectations he sets up. That’s why he’s the best.

Aaron Gott

Aaron Gott

John has a particular knack for the development and training of others.

Xan Barksdale

Xan Barksdale

Very professional worker who is extremely knowledgable in WordPress and Wishlist Member. I would definitely hire again.

Lori Grant

John did an outstanding job on my project. I highly recommend him and look forward to working with him on future projects.

Daniel Mohlendick

On the Freelancing on Upwork course: “This is by far the best course i have watched on Skillshare!! Thank you so much.”

Michael Skye

Michael Skye

John is a man of integrity, who gives generously of himself to projects and people he cares about.

Sukh Plaha

John is a fantastic and patient tutor, who is not just able to share knowledge and communicate it very effectively – but able to support one in applying it. However, I believe that John has a very rare ability to go further than just imparting knowledge and showing one how to apply it. He is able to innately provoke one’s curiosity when explaining and demonstrating concepts, to the extent that one can explore and unravel their own learning journey. Thanks very much John!

Bob Patterson

Not only is John a very talented programmer and developer, he is also an excellent communicator. He has a talent for taking complex subjects and communicating them in terms that anyone can understand. This is a rare combination. This ability has enabled me to take my skills and knowledge to the next level. Thank you John for for all that you do.

Chris Aitken

He significantly improved my site through his expert knowledge of PHP, CSS and Javascript. Would definitely recommend John to others.

Ray Edwards

I recommend John every chance I get. If every person I worked with were as committed to excellence, punctuality, value, and unquestionable integrity… the world would be a better place. Highest recommendation.

Oliver Wainwright

Oliver Wainwright

I’m a fan. I have completed several of John’s courses. I find him very knowledgeable and he has a great delivery.

Bradley Smith

John and I have worked together on numerous projects. John is very quick and efficient and was a pleasure to work with.