There is a perception out there that WordPress is easy and a quick way to make money. Here is a summary of a question I got recently.
I work at a 6 figure job doing Windows coding. I want to get out on my own but need a similar income. I always thought that I’d do .NET development but now I am thinking about WordPress. There are plugins to solve most medium sized business problems right, so I wouldn’t have to do custom coding.
Update December 12, 2013: I broke down my expenses.
WordPress is easy
I can’t really disagree with the statement above. There is lots of work with WordPress. The plugin ecosystem is amazing. You will be able to solve lots of problems for businesses using existing plugins.
That 6 figure part though…
6 Figure freelance
To make 100k freelancing you need to be making almost 200k. First you’re going to loose 30% or more to taxes. Then you should be saving 5 – 10% for rainy day money. Now how about those business expenses?
Your 200k quickly turns in to 100k.
So whatever you say you want to bring home, expect to need to generate 2x that number in the business.
I don’t know a single freelancer that jumped into a 200k business their first year. Running a business is way more than just producing work.
What’s your sales process? When I started it went something like “clients call me and I do work, oh and I have a contract to sign”.
While that is the basics of getting work, you’re typically not going to get the highest paying clients with big projects like that. You’re definitely not going to get them if you’re just starting in the industry.
To get high quality clients through the door you’re going to need a solid sales process. If you’re looking to build that process I have 2 recommendations:
WordPress is easy
The other thing in the statement above is the implication that since WordPress is easy you can jump in and make lots of money quickly.
I’ve been doing this WordPress thing for 7 years. I’ve been running a business doing consulting for 5 and for 3 years it’s been my sole income.
This is the first year that my business has generated over 100k. I doubt I’ll hit 120k before Christmas but I’m past 100k today.
I know a number of people who earn over 100k with WordPress and none of them just got started. Even if they don’t really code, they have been in the WordPress ecosystem for years. To say they know their stuff would be an understatement.
If they code they work on WordPress core regularly or they do major work in some of the biggest and best plugins around.
If they don’t code they have used almost every plugin around. They know exactly what WooCommerce can do and what plugins to use and when they will need custom coding. They know who the awesome developers are that deliver high quality work on time.
To think that you can just blog a bit, know WordPress and then jump in to a 6 figure consulting business is pretty presumptuous. It’s probably going to take at least couple years to really know WordPress well enough.
So can you make 6 figures doing WordPress consulting? Yes you can
Can you just jump into WordPress and start making that type of income? Unlikely
It’s as easy to make money consulting on WordPress services as it is in any industry. Just because WordPress is huge doesn’t mean that it’s any easier to make 6 figures.