The plugin that earned me a cool half-milly

One of my first serious clients.

I dabbled a bit before that, but this was my first “all-in, I’m doing this shyte” client. I was an okay developer at the time. Hadn’t had the big “aha” moment that all devs have where everything clicked…

But, I could crank out a little of this and that.

And, I’d built this WordPress plugin.

This was before BuddyPress and BuddyBoss, the big forum software — and all the community plugins that are popular now. And I believed all that kind of functionality was going to take off in WordPress.

Which, of course, I was right. 😉

So, I built this plugin I called CommunityPress.

It was a wannabe BuddyPress.

But, of course, I didn’t have the dev chops at the time to execute on that grand of a plugin. In any case, this other premium plugin company I’d been using sent out an email looking for developers.

And, I jumped at it.

And their flagship plugin was a membership site tool — a perfect compliment to my CommunityPress plugin. And, it turned out, they agreed. One of the big reasons they hired me was my plugin.

They wanted to bring it in house and develop it.

Never really panned out for a lot of reasons.

But, that simple little plugin (that took me about a week to write) landed me my first serious, paid freelancing gig — and started me down the path I’m on today. And there’s probably about a good 500K in earnings…

That I can attribute directly to that plugin.

From that one client over the years.

Other clients I’ve gotten through them.

Etc, etc.

That one plugin, that took about a week to create, paid for houses, cars, Christmases, investments — and a 2-3 hour-a-day work lifestyle. Not because it was amazing or ever even saw the light of day.

But, because I had the guts to create it.

And it generated, for me, with THAT specific client…

The one thing that’s so hard to get in this world.

Instant authority. Unquestionable credibility. They didn’t have to ask if I knew how to write a plugin or could work on the community features they were desperate to add to their existing plugin. They knew.

I’d done it.

They were looking right at it.

There’s ZERO questioning.

That’s the power of just *doing shyte*… sometimes.

Even if, you don’t have a good plan for how to capitalize on it. Doing shyte will always be more powerful than not — and more powerful than *talking* about what you “can do” or “will do”.

Shut up and show me.

That’s a powerful lesson for anybody… but especially freelancers.

Anyway, an online course can help you accomplish the exact same thing. It establishes a similar kind of “instant authority” and is accessible to freelancers who aren’t developers — but also works wonders for developers, too.

Potential clients can instantly recognize your expertise.

It’s easier to get booked on podcast or YouTube shows…

And get your name out.

Hell, I’ve even gotten offered all kinds of free courses and software… as a result of my online courses. Invited to big marketing events. It’s really endless the benefits an online course (like a plugin) can create for you.

You just have the guts to do it.

And a little direction.

The trick is creating a course that generates its own word-of-mouth. That takes the marketing pressure off you and can help you get new students just kinda rolling in… even if you do little to no marketing of your own.

Especially true if you put it on a site like Udemy or Skillshare…

Because those sites are designed to push the best to the top.

Like how my PHP courses dominate the top 5 spots on Skillshare.

Or my Upwork course was the #1 freelancing course on Skillshare for years. That’s how you get the kind of automatic “UBI” that I talked about awhile back. And that kind of automatic income is life-changing.

Because you don’t have to stay chained to your desk 24/7.

Or constantly kiss up to clients you can’t stand.

You always have a backup.

Especially, if you’re smart… live within your means, invest intelligently and don’t constantly blow your money on stupid shyte. In my opinion, you could easily retire by 40 if you’re disciplined and know what you’re doing.

Anyway, that’s the kind of course I aim to help you create…

In my new course, Sane Course Creation.

A course crammed with “actionable” value.

In a way that won’t drive you insane… or take two years to create like I’ve seen from some other course creators. A simple, straight-forward, military-inspired method that overloads your students with insights…

So, they walk away mind blown…

And can’t help talk about your course.

Anyway, enough of me blabbing about how “amaze-balls” it is… you can see for yourself for essentially free. That’s because the course is uploaded over on Skillshare for the time being.

And, I can get you an exclusive 1-month free trial of the platform.

The normal trial is just 7 days… but, if you use this link:… it will trigger a 1-month trial offer for you. With that, you get access to everything — including all my courses.

Complete access.

Every course, lesson, download… all of it.

On over 30,000+ courses.

On things like graphic design, web design, business, marketing…

Just about anything you can imagine… it’s there.

Then, if you simply cancel before the month is up, you don’t pay a penny. So, essentially free as I said. A few hoops to jump through, but worth it, in my opinion. But, fair WARNING!

The course is coming OFF Skillshare in just a few days…

August 1st, 2021.

So, if you want it… now is the time.

After that, I’ll sell it on my website for around $150 or so.

Anyway up to you…

Link again is here:



P.S. If you’re a patron of mine on Patreon, you already have access to the course (and all my other courses) here:

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John Morris


I’m a 15-year veteran of freelance web development. I’ve worked with bestselling authors and average Joe’s next door. These days, I focus on helping other freelancers build their freelance business and their lifestyles.

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Jason Rumley

Jason Rumley

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

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.”

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.

Lori Grant

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

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.

Michael Skye

Michael Skye

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

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.

Jim DeJonge

Jim DeJonge

John has a relaxed and engaging manner. His advice is solid and the explanations are well thought out.

Bradley Smith

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

Aaron Gott

Aaron Gott

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

Chris Aitken

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

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!