Hello! This is the first edition of my newsletter. Here are the ground rules, because every good organization has rules:
These newsletters are not going to be sent at any regular cadence. Sometimes you’ll get multiple emails a week, sometimes you’ll hear from me once in a month. I write when I have something to say. (And for anyone looking for advice on writing a newsletter, this is not the way to do it. Regular cadence = happy subscribers. Sorry.)
I’ll be covering a number of topics here. Again, it’s whatever’s relevant at the time. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future newsletter, DM me. Otherwise, we’ll come to rule 3…
There will be chaos. As my good friend (read: not friend) Cody Rigsby once said during a Peloton workout, all need a little fun & flouncy in our lives, especially this summer.
Cool. Now we can begin. WELCOME.
If you’re not into software engineering or programming or development (there’s a whole topic hidden in here on how I feel about ~words~), you can skip this part.
I once attempted to learn React so I could build a Gatsby site. It… sort of worked. I mean, the site worked, and I eventually had a headless Shopify store running on it (RIP), but I just didn’t understand anything that I was doing. I’ve tried numerous times and it just never stuck. The next big attempt was when I entered the Shopify App Challenge and Dan Abramov kindly offered to look at my code because I couldn’t get something to work. And, well, it was bad. Attempting to learn how to use Hooks and Classes at the same time meant I was literally trying to use them together, and… that doesn’t work.
Anyway, here I am again needing to build an app, this time for a super secret project, and I’m not making the same mistake of jumping right into the code again. So I embarked on my journey to quickly (re-)learn React.
I have to shout out Brian Holt’s Complete Intro to React course on Frontend Masters for getting me just comfortable enough to be dangerous.
Much more than an intro, you’ll build with the latest features in React, including hooks, effects, context, and portals. Learn to build real-world apps from the ground up using the latest tools in the React ecosystem, like Parcel, ESLint, Prettier, and React Router!
I also want to thank Kent C. Dodds for Epic React (I still need to dig in, but have plenty of time this weekend to do so!) and Dan Abramov for reaching out (and frankly giving me a second chance after a first failed attempt), and the many others who have reached out offering to help. I sincerely appreciate it! And dare I say… I’m starting to enjoy React! I’m sure this isn’t the last you’ll hear about this.
Freelancing: How do you increase your rates?
One of my biggest struggles when growing my freelance business was increasing my rates. Determining what to charge is such a mystery, and frankly changes from one project to the next. Should I charge hourly? Should I charge by the project? What is everyone else quoting? What if I’m not charging enough? What if I’m asking for too much?
After years of freelancing, I’m here to tell you that 🎉 nobody has it figured out! 🎉 But just for some general information, I increased my rate from $50/hr to $75/hr, then to $100/hr, then to $150/hr. Now I may do development work at $200/hr, but my consulting rate is $400/hr. You’ll always hit a natural market cap based on what anyone is willing to spend, but you can continue to increase your rates as you feel. If you can’t land anything at your new rate, drop it down a bit and try again on a future project.
There are no rules. That’s why freelancing is so great.
And that’s enough for one newsletter :) I kept chaos to a minimum on this one but I promise I have some spicy takes on the way. Let me know if you have anything you’d like me to address in here. Maybe I’ll do like a weird AMA in here. Who knows. I don’t know how to newsletter.