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Tips from a 400K Upwork freelancer

Upwork is like the PHP of freelance sites. The most dominant player in the industry, but the one everybody loves to hate for some reason. I guess when you get big enough, it’s inevitable. But, because of that… I get asked a lot: “Is Upwork worth it?” Rather than me answer (again), why not hear from someone who has had massive success on Upwork… over 400k earned, in fact. This is Adam: “Before getting involved with Upwork, I was in a significant amount of debt from several failed businesses, from restaurants to apps, and the company I was currently working

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What they DON’T tell you about PHP

I got this Facebook comment from Jeremy: But, you won’t hear that from any PHP hater. And, I know… I’m beating this horse to a bloody pulp… But, it’s like I said yesterday: And, people asking if it’s true. So, bust out the baseball bat… I’mma keep hammering away at this. In any case, you can sit around worrying about if “PHP is dying” or whatever nonsense they dream up next… or you can make like Jeremy… And, get to work. There absolutely ARE plenty of tech jobs… And, freelance projects for PHP developers. Just gotta get out there and get

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Here’s what’s new in PHP 7.3

array_key_first and array_key_last, updates to HEREDOC and NOWDOC, trailing commas in function calls, passing by reference to list() and more. You can get the 20+ hours of PHP training for nothing here: http://johnmorrisonline.com/php

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Ruby is taking over PHP

My response to this: “PHP is a dying language. Don’t get wrapped up in web code so much that you ignore the fact that the rest of the software industry, which is REALLY big, doesn’t use or care about PHP. Just like COBOL, PHP will probably always exist in some form or another. But it’s hardly used, if it’s used at all, outside of specific segments of web programming and it’s facing a lot of changes from the likes of Python, Ruby, Node, and even C#.” If all this is just noise to you and you know you wanna learn

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Udemy’s blatant discounting

I haven’t done one of these in a long time. But, Udemy has been harassing me about promoting it, so fine. Plus, I know a lot of you secretly always loved these. Anyway, all Udemy (participating) courses are just 9.99… From now until August 30th. Back to school blah, blah, blah. Who cares, really. It’s just a good deal. Anyway, my super special affiliate link is here: http://johnmorrisonline.com/august Do your worst. Later, John

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You’re not smart enough to be a developer

This is one of the big fallacies in our industry. For me, it was about six months in. Growing up, I always knew I was pretty smart. School came easy to me. I could always learn new things really quickly. Plus, everybody always told me I was smart. I just grew up knowing it. Then, I started learning how to code. And, it didn’t come easy. In fact, even when I worked really hard at it, I still didn’t get it. The PHP manual is one I can remember. It’s weird to think about now. But, it used to confuse the

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How to make 100K as a freelancer

In today’s podcast, I reveal the “non-secret” to making 100K as a freelancer. From Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Edison, both Trump AND Clinton, Dwight Eisenhower… Every successful person ever talks about it. But, so few DO it. Anyway, it’s here: https://www.johnmorrisshow.com/343/ Listen… and then DO. Later, John

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What the Upwork IPO means for freelancers

Yes, you read that right. Upwork is going public. They quietly filed to do so at the end of July. These IPOs are always a bit tricky. Lots of potential for growth and collapse all at the same time. So, one has to wonder… Is this just a big cash grab for investors before they jump ship? Or, is this just the next logical step in growing the business? Will Upwork still be around 5 years from now? Here’s what I think you can expect: Later, John

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PHP usage statistics are bunk

Blah, blah… traffic… something, something. I guess that’s the strategy. When usage statistics don’t show that PHP “is like totally dying and stuff”, then we jump to whatever other statistic that fits our narrative. Anyway, here’s the rebuttal:

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PHP isn’t used by REAL websites

I’ve been getting these comments more and more lately: “…let’s just consider that 80% figure, in those stats all websites count the same, so 1 WordPress blog that has not updated in 10 years and gets 10 hits a week counts the same as Youtube getting billions of hits, you see the problem with that, in reality when measured by what counts (usage/traffic) most of the web is not powered by PHP” This seems to be the new thing among PHP haters. They really want to be able to say PHP is dead. But, then there’s those pesky usage statistics

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Hiring managers are your enemy

And, you shouldn’t ever forget that. They don’t care about you. Think about it this way. What do you think a hiring manager is more likely to get “in hot water” from the “highers ups” over? Not hiring a good employee Hiring a bad employee I hope the answer is obvious. Executives and higher ups will almost never know if a good employee slips through the cracks. And, how do you KNOW for sure they’d be a good employee, anyway? But, a bad employee. Well, you see that. It’s right in your face. So, most hiring managers (despite all the

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No, you don’t need a degree to get a tech job

A 5-minute look on Indeed… And, you can find a dozen or more tech jobs… That DON’T require any kind of degree. But, I know, I know… “All the REAL tech jobs require a degree. You ‘script kiddie’ web developers might not, but my uber-genius requiring jobs does, so there.” Know-it-all says what? Anyway, here’s the proof you don’t need a degree to get a tech job (plus, several actual non-degree-requiring web developer jobs you can apply to if you want): Later, John

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Any monkey can learn to code

I first talked about this way back in 2013. In fact, this is exactly what I said: “But, to be honest, I’ve never really talked much about what it REALLY takes to be successful as a developer. Because, while all that technical mumbo-jumbo is cool… none of it REALLY matters. Yes, you need to know how to do those things… but those things aren’t what MATTER most when it comes to determining the successful from the unsuccessful. Any monkey can learn to code.” Which… okay. Touch aggressive maybe. But, the point stands. I mentioned this is yesterday’s podcast (johnmorrisshow.com)… 51%

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Fake PHP jobs

So, from yesterday… There’s obviously lots of PHP jobs posted out there. But, Leon asked this in response to that video: “How many companies lie about their intentions to hire, to create a false shortage, to argue for more (cheaper) foreign workers?” I’ll keep it real. My gut reaction is: “Who gives a [email protected]#?” It’s not ALL of them. I know that. And the only way you’ll really know is to apply. It just feels like an excuse to me. And, that gets my inner grumpy old man outta his chair. Buuuuuuut. Let me be civil. I looked it up.

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PHP jobs you can apply for right now

I get a lot of PHP haters who love to drone on about there being no PHP work out there. Or, well-meaning PHP developers who are struggling a bit to find PHP work. Well, this massive list of PHP jobs should cure both: And, do let me know once you get hired. Gives me ammo for the PHP haters. 🙂 Later, John

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Seeking junior developer, 5+ years experience

Wait, what? This comes from a comment I got on YouTube: “Today I saw a job post Jr Front End-Developer 5+ years experience Angular 2.  Recruiters make it hard.” To which I replied: “Oh geez. Chicken and the egg problem.” Why does this happen? Yes, sometimes people are just dumb. But, you see it more than just to chalk it up to “everyone else, but me, is dumb.” This is what happens when an industry gets more competitive. The bar starts to raise. Until you see illogical things start happening. I mean, how are you supposed to get started as

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I suck at web development

Lack of confidence is incredibly common among web developers. But, not many talk about it. As I’ve said, confidence comes from competence… but how do you motivate yourself it put in the work to be competent when you’re feeling like you just suck at web development? That’s what I explain in this video. SkillShare 2-Month FREE trial: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/johnmorris

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The 1 thing Upwork haters get right

For all their blubbering and sniveling… There IS one thing Upwork haters get right. It’s getting way more competitive. I mentioned this before, but freelancing is exploding. 36% of the U.S. population already freelances. In the next 10 years, that will jump to over 50%. Plus, tech is also on the rise. Hitting its highest workforce rate since the dotcom bubble. So, all those freelancers ain’t gonna be walking dogs. They’ll be developers and designers just like you. That’s, in part, why Upwork decided to begin “curating” its freelancers and not just letting any swinging… ahem… in the front door.

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Nevermind, Upwork DOES suck

I get a kick out of these guys… But, YOU have a choice to make. Who are you gonna believe? This guy: “UpWork is a joke… Clients on there are awful, getting paid is in no way guaranteed. I mean, you can’t even gain valuable experience, let alone earn a living. UpWork might not be a scam, but it is a joke.” Oh well then. You’re totally unsubstantiated opinion convinced me. Nevermind, Upwork does suck. Eye roll. So, you gonna believe that or these: “Yes! I get almost all of my work through Upwork. Great clients, long-term relationships, well-paying jobs. Upwork is

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Upwork is NOT a scam so stop saying it

This is bigger than even Upwork, really. Take a minute and really think about it. But, anyway, let’s get into it… Web development was the first thing I came across in my life that I really believed, deep in my soul, was my “way out”. I’ve talked about this before… But, I came from a dirt poor family. I lived in a trailer house. A run-down, dirty one, in fact. And, when you grow up like that, you’re always looking for something to “get you out”. For some people, it’s football or basketball. Others it’s music. Whatever it is… It’s

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The final blow in the language wars

This really is the definitive answer in the language wars. I mean, people won’t stop battling over it. But, if you just want the answer… this is it. Here’s the question I got: “Do you think there is more job security in Java programming for software as opposed to web development? “I find web development enjoyable but have been focusing on Java because of concern for this… I’m switching careers from social work. Currently in school for CIS.” And, Jesse responded with this: “There is a lot of Java work in large corporate environments – I’ve worked as a consultant

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Tech jobs will soon be obsolete

Job security is an illusion. I’ve said this before. But, lemme rap a little more on it, because if you watch trends, it’s becoming more and more obvious, in my 1000% biased mind, that… Soon, the standard tech job will be mostly obsolete. Every year, Upwork puts out a “state of freelancing” report where they break down the raw data related to freelancing and independent contracting work. In 2017, 36% of the U.S. workforce was freelancing. By 2027, the majority of the U.S. workforce will freelance. More than that, 54% of the U.S. workforce said they’re not very confident that the

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Most developers are frauds

I want you to imagine this for a second. Imagine you’re from a dirty little town of less than 200 people in the middle of nowhere. You can from a dirt poor family that are outcasts in your community. And, you’re surrounded by rich kids. Who never miss an opportunity to remind you… That you don’t belong. Constantly made fun of. Constantly told you’re a dirty nobody. Constantly told that you’ll never amount to [email protected]#… so why even try? Imagine that was your childhood. Then, fast-forward 10 years and now you’re a developer.. or, at least, trying to be. And, you’re

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Why is PHP still being used to create websites?

This was pretty epic. A real drop-the-mic-er. It was this answer on Quora I saw the other day from Vakrokh. The question was: “Why is PHP still being used to create new websites? Why aren’t all new sites using more modern frameworks such as Django or Rails.” I love how these guys just throw “modern” in there. As if “modern” automatically equals “better”. Anyway, here was Vahrokh’s answer: “PHP is not still being used. ‘Still’ is a word suitable to 2012 PHP, when it has been under an heavy rework and to end users / programmers it looked like it was

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All the web development you’ve learned will be obsolete in a year

You ever watch the movie, Twister? There’s a scene at the end where they’re trapped in this small shed, tied to some pipes as a Tornado rolls right over them, tearing the shed to pieces. Debris everywhere. Legs flying in the air. Complete chaos. But, there’s a moment where, Helen Hunt, one of the main characters, can see all the way to the top of the tornado. And, it’s nice calm, blue sky. Almost peaceful. That’s sometimes how I feel. As I’ve talked about… all the chaos and change coming so rapidly in our industry. There’s so much to learn

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What’s your biggest fear about becoming a web developer?

Serious question. I made it into a Quora question, I’m asking you to answer: http://qr.ae/TUIJa1. Please answer it over there and not in a comment. I’m building this as a resource I can point people to. Because, I get a lot of this kind of stuff. And, I want to show people they’re not alone. Appreciate it. Later, John

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Forget responsive web design. Just use HTML tables

Well then… My message, yesterday, sparked this doozy from PJ: “If you just stuck to tables this entire time, imagine the years of frustration you could have avoided by ignoring floated divs, Bootstrap, flexbox and now CSS Grid! These ‘new’ methods add no additional benefit to the client or user, and the syntax is not any better either! I use floated divs and flexbox only because I was gullible enough to drink the koolaid. But if I had used tables all this time, really nobody would have noticed, and I would have been more productive.” Bahahahahaha! Wait. No. Don’t do

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The cut-throat developers coming for you

Let’s talk competition. This follows on from my post from yesterday, but there are two big trends, in my mind, that are ramping up the competition you’re going to face as a developer. And, it’s only gonna get worse. First, is this the flip-side of what we talked about yesterday. All the new technologies. All the new languages. All the new frameworks. By the time you get one thing figured out, there’s three more new ones to learn. When you’re in this industry, it can be overwhelming, frustrating and a little bit scary. That’s one way to look at it.

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Not sure I’ll be a developer in 5 years

It’s crazy to think how far we’ve come. Back when I started in this developer thing, we were still using ugly-azz tables. There was no CSS. Most web pages were mainly just text. The fancy ones had a few images. Then, this thing called “Web 2.0” happened. PHP became a thing. JavaScript became more prominent. Before I knew what had happened, the internet as a I thought I knew it had completely changed. Today? It’s even worse. The kind of change I went through over a few years… Happens every couple months now. Take responsive design. That first article by

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Most Rich Tech People Had Wealthy Parents

This is another Chris Hawkes video. The gist of it is to go through all these rich tech people and show how they all had already rich or successful parents. Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Steve Jobs and on and on. Okay? I never get the point this kind of stuff. He makes some awkward point at the end of it about… (I’m paraphrasing here): “This doesn’t mean you can’t be super successful, but most of these people we look up to had a lot of help.” Great. So, what? What’s somebody supposed to do

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The One SPAM Email That Actually Works (To Get Freelance Clients)

This is a SPAM email I just got: Subject: Can you answer me soon Greetings, You may be completely unaware that a few things you’re doing in your website may be boring your visitors half to death. And a visitor who’s bored is a visitor who’s gone. I’m a Web designer, one simple secret will help you identify any snooze-inducing issue on your website and I will quickly eliminate them. My portfolio is ready for viewing if you’re interested. Besides the price, I cater to what my client wants and that’s why my clients love the service I provide. Let’s

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The One-Line Difference Between Ugly and Amazing Websites

Forget personal taste. I’m telling you as sure as I’m sitting here… whatever your personal thoughts about the differences between this before and after… one will get you, “Um well… something just feels off.” And, the other: “Wow! Clean, fresh. Amazing!” It’s just how people are. Anyway, here’s the before: And, here’s the after: This is a template I’m working on for a new course I’m doing. And, the difference is a single CSS declaration, but it’s light-years in terms of how it looks and how clients will react to it. The code? body, p, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5,

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The Most Vile Client I’ve Ever Dealt With

One of the tougher clients I ever dealt with was one of these “enlightened” types who likes to run around singing koombaya and telling everyone how “centered” and “ego-less” they are. Of course, they’re usually the most intolerant… And judgmental people you’ll meet. Anyway, her site had this weird setup where people could only access a certain lesson for 72 hours or something like that. And, she hired me to write the plugin that did all this checking and whatnot. So, I did. And, a few weeks later, she came back and said she was having problems with the timer

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The Poor, Stupid, Ugly Developer

It was my junior year of high school. I remember it vividly. The moment everything switched. Up to that point, I was the class mule. The butt of every joke. Picked on relentlessly. Ugly, poor, stupid. Whatever they could think up… I got attacked with it. For over 10 years of my life. After awhile, you start to believe it. You start to believe something is wrong with YOU. And, there’s nothing you can do to change it. Then, I grew three inches and put on 30 pounds of muscle in one summer (with a lot of hard work in

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The Code That Stopped An Entire State’s Phone Cards From Working

Job security is mostly an illusion. Any company can go out of business at any time. I was just reading this story the other day from this guy named Steve. This was back in the early 90s. He was working on this project that affected the entire state of Utah. And, had a project manager who didn’t know his arse from… Well, you know. For example… They had no systems for testing. None. Everything was just rolled live immediately. Bug fixes were just tested on production servers. And, his project manager thought it was no big deal. He talks about

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Overcoming Pricing Insecurities and Raising Your Freelancing Rates

I stumbled across this on Instagram: “Every Monday I send out invoices and ever since I raised my rates, Mondays have also become absolutely the hardest part of my week. As much as I love money, ASKING for money from the clients that I have actually provided something of value to makes me really uncomfortable.” Ain’t that the truth. At first, it just feels weird. And, there’s all these insecurities around, “Am I worth it? Do my clients feel like they’re getting their money’s worth? Are they eventually just going to drop me, because they feel like they’re getting screwed?”

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The Moment Every Developer Must Conquer

These are the most important posts I write. I got this YouTube comment from Sir Joelsuf: “I feel like I’m not learning enough and not doing enough. Its been pretty overwhelming. I wanted to replace a full time job with freelancing but its not working out. Working full time wasn’t either and I was getting nowhere and wasted 8 years of my life at a really bad job. I guess I’m at a crossroads.” This happens to every developer. Every developer I know anyway. There’s that moment… when things aren’t going how you imagined. You’re starting to doubt if you’re

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The simple secrets to high-paying freelance clients

What makes clients willing to pay $5,000, $10,000 even $20,000 and up for your services? Download and install my mobile app and I’ll show you. It’s free. Just click the button below:

Clients Like:

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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

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!

Aaron Gott

Aaron Gott

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

Lori Grant

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

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.

Xan Barksdale

Xan Barksdale

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

Daniel Mohlendick

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

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.

Andrew Malone

Andrew Malone

John Morris is exceptional in his ability to give focused insight into Freelancing and starting one’s business. His direct methods inspire confidence in his honesty.

Jason Rumley

Jason Rumley

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

Chris Aitken

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

Michael Skye

Michael Skye

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

Steve Dimmick

Steve Dimmick

John has provided expert knowledge and advice on multiple occasions that have helped me better serve my clients. John is a Rockstar!