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DieScum
17th April 2013, 18:34
Currently on the bench. Got about five years of war chest but I've been trawling for crap casual work to bring in some cash.

I do an email shot of local companies and trawl classified ads.

So far I have :
- used my crap web design skills to make web sites for an accountant, a perfume importer and a travel blogger (1500)
- used my crap javascript skills to fix a web form for a local chamber of commerce (500)
- given an introduction to powerpoint class to a bunch of secretaries (500)
- set up Moodle for a charity (500 + 100 per month ongoing)
- optimised a dodgy loans website (100 per month ongoing)

It's partly depressing/partly fun/partly f'it I'll give anything a try. Makes an interesting sideshow to updating skills and looking for the next big gig. Combined with cutting costs it's nice to live on what I make rather than use the warchest.

The tiny sums involved really do put things in to perspective but may as well be doing real stuff and earning a little bit.

Has anyone else done this kind of stuff or is it just me?

stek
17th April 2013, 18:50
I sell my body every night but I'm finding sixpence doesn't go far these days....

kingcook
17th April 2013, 18:57
Currently on the bench. Got about five years of war chest but I've been trawling for crap casual work to bring in some cash.

You have 5 YEARS of warchest, and you need to bring in some cash?!

doodab
17th April 2013, 18:59
You have 5 YEARS of warchest, and you need to bring in some cash?!

That's how come he has 5 years of warchest...

DieScum
17th April 2013, 19:02
You have 5 YEARS of warchest, and you need to bring in some cash?!

Well I don't need to but it's interesting. The amount of work involved for the return is unbelievably depressing but it's quite good for the skillset.

mudskipper
17th April 2013, 19:08
Making good contacts for the future - priceless
Keeping skills up to date - priceless
Broadening industry experience - priceless
Keeping CV gap-free - priceless
Not going stir crazy - priceless
Acting like a business should Hector come a-knocking - priceless

DodgyAgent
17th April 2013, 19:09
Well I don't need to but it's interesting. The amount of work involved for the return is unbelievably depressing but it's quite good for the skillset.

Why don't you buy a nice little recruitment agency to set you up for life :happy

Funnily enough .....

darmstadt
17th April 2013, 19:10
I'm actually quite impressed. More people should be like you instead of just sitting around (grins and looks in mirror ashamedly)

stek
17th April 2013, 19:18
Oddly enough during a short time on the bench, circa 2003 I did an ad in shop windows and one in the paper, phone never stopped. Just PC stuff even back then when compared to now there was hardly any.

Trouble is I could never charge the darling little OAP's much, even as walked past their Range Rovers and down their 400 meter drives....

Hang on....!

SimonMac
17th April 2013, 19:19
You have 5 YEARS of warchest, and you need to bring in some cash?!

I am in the same boat, don't NEED to bring any cash into the business, but I want to as I am going stir crazy!

Zippy
17th April 2013, 19:37
Good attitude :yay: You're earning money, keeping the brain going and building up a new client base.

DieScum
17th April 2013, 19:40
Oddly enough during a short time on the bench, circa 2003 I did an ad in shop windows and one in the paper, phone never stopped. Just PC stuff even back then when compared to now there was hardly any.

Trouble is I could never charge the darling little OAP's much, even as walked past their Range Rovers and down their 400 meter drives....

Hang on....!

Yeah, pricing is an issue. Nobody wants to pay and it makes you really appreciate a 300-500 a day contract where you get paid day in day out.

I might try some traditional ads. Been doing adwords but hasn't worked so far.

Tried to sell a day long IT seminar on an area of interest of mine. Another company does something similar and they seem to sell out 30 seat auditoriums at 250 quid a seat. Didn't rustle up any interest though.

istvan
17th April 2013, 20:04
Yeah, pricing is an issue. Nobody wants to pay and it makes you really appreciate a 300-500 a day contract where you get paid day in day out.

I might try some traditional ads. Been doing adwords but hasn't worked so far.

Tried to sell a day long IT seminar on an area of interest of mine. Another company does something similar and they seem to sell out 30 seat auditoriums at 250 quid a seat. Didn't rustle up any interest though.

Maybe try to sell a day IT seminar on an area of interest of your target audience :wave:

Uncle Albert
17th April 2013, 20:34
I always use bench time for small projects like those. My favourite was a lesbian dating website. I had a lot of fun knocking up test data for that one. :happy

d000hg
18th April 2013, 07:49
Good attitude :yay: You're earning money, keeping the brain going and building up a new client base.WZS

sasguru
18th April 2013, 07:55
Back in the 90s I did the odd spot of dispatch-riding in the City to earn extra cash since I was putting every penny into BTL deposits and had no warchest for a while- worked a treat, quite well paid.

BlasterBates
18th April 2013, 08:07
I´m thinking about doing the same thing, agree...building websites is so time consuming, but fun. A friend of mine wants to do language course, so I´ve started doing it. What I´m trying to learn is how to make a nice presentation, how you get a professional looking layout, then add a database and some php scripts.

Anyway I´m impressed a few hundred quid a month is better than nowt, and I presume you´ll get more work as time goes on, and you´ll get more efficient.

d000hg
18th April 2013, 08:58
The only risk is you decide running a proper business is more fun than contracting and you resent having to contract to earn good money :)

vetran
18th April 2013, 09:13
I´m thinking about doing the same thing, agree...building websites is so time consuming, but fun. A friend of mine wants to do language course, so I´ve started doing it. What I´m trying to learn is how to make a nice presentation, how you get a professional looking layout, then add a database and some php scripts.

Anyway I´m impressed a few hundred quid a month is better than nowt, and I presume you´ll get more work as time goes on, and you´ll get more efficient.

take one of the pre built document management tools and put a nice template on it.

http://drupal.org/
http://www.joomla.org/
http://wordpress.org/

Many hosts support one of these.

Your value is in getting the content from the customer into it in.

You could of course roll your own with some fancy language, but whenever you want to add to it or get support you need to spend a lot of time or money getting the expertise.

There are some dedicated training apps out there.

Adapt not build IMHO. Its cheaper.

If you have to build something that isn't in open source you have to wonder why someone else hasn't done it.

BlasterBates
18th April 2013, 09:25
take one of the pre built document management and put a nice template on it.

Do you have an example? (not quite sure what you mean).

But yes indeed, looking. I found a few sites that allow you to down load everything and which you can reuse, I´m taking them apart so learning how to do nice menus, partition the pages how to use background gifs to give shading etc.

My feeling is once you know how it goes you can easily knock one up.

A lot to learn though :nerd

vetran
18th April 2013, 10:00
Do you have an example? (not quite sure what you mean).

But yes indeed, looking. I found a few sites that allow you to down load everything and which you can reuse, I´m taking them apart so learning how to do nice menus, partition the pages how to use background gifs to give shading etc.

My feeling is once you know how it goes you can easily knock one up.

A lot to learn though :nerd

looks like we crossed in the ether, have added some links.

Maybe it looks frightening but my First wordpress took me 3 hours. It gets easier AIUI.

d000hg
18th April 2013, 10:13
From my experience, you can't make a nice website using WordPress without doing some coding. Well - you can make a nice website but it will just look like a WordPress site which can put some people off. If you want to use WP to make a more unique site you can very much do so, but then you will have to get your hands a bit dirty.

Platypus
18th April 2013, 13:55
From my experience, you can't make a nice website using WordPress without doing some coding.

I've seen it done. Some of the themes are, so I am told, very flexible and don't look at all like a WP site.

d000hg
18th April 2013, 14:20
I've seen it done. Some of the themes are, so I am told, very flexible and don't look at all like a WP site.I've used themes like that for my own site - markup language and so on to do widgets and all that - they are good but you still run into walls and it still (to me) looks like a WP site.

Maybe there are better ones, I used WordPress Themes Loved By Over 170k Customers (http://www.elegantthemes.com/)

vetran
18th April 2013, 14:42
I've used themes like that for my own site - markup language and so on to do widgets and all that - they are good but you still run into walls and it still (to me) looks like a WP site.

Maybe there are better ones, I used WordPress Themes Loved By Over 170k Customers (http://www.elegantthemes.com/)

That may be the significant point, to most users this applies :

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

This of course is a double edged sword and you are expected to add to it like magic.

kingcook
18th April 2013, 15:08
I always use bench time for small projects like those. My favourite was a lesbian dating website. I had a lot of fun knocking up test data for that one. :happy

Linky? :laugh

d000hg
18th April 2013, 15:10
I always use bench time for small projects like those. My favourite was a lesbian dating website. I had a lot of fun knocking out test data for that one. :happyftfy

BlasterBates
18th April 2013, 15:21
From my experience, you can't make a nice website using WordPress without doing some coding. Well - you can make a nice website but it will just look like a WordPress site which can put some people off. If you want to use WP to make a more unique site you can very much do so, but then you will have to get your hands a bit dirty.

That´s my view I want to build unique websites, I think it´s good to know how to do it well, and get something cool you can then put some logic behind (e.g. php MySql).

I´m not a big fan of these types of websites, accept as simple blogs or personal web pages.

Nice to build something a bit unique you can use for your business.

FiveTimes
18th April 2013, 15:38
That´s my view I want to build unique websites, I think it´s good to know how to do it well, and get something cool you can then put some logic behind (e.g. php MySql).

I´m not a big fan of these types of websites, accept as simple blogs or personal web pages.

Nice to build something a bit unique you can use for your business.

However small business who dont have web presence would be jumping for joy with a nice elegant themed wordpress site.

Fair enough do the hard yards for knowledge but you will find it hard to sell a site for ~ £300-500 when you have to spend loads of time on it.
Thats the wonders and joys of the templates. Quick and easy to turn around

BlasterBates
18th April 2013, 16:17
Well my "hope" is if you know what you´re doing. You can "knock it up". Most of these background gifs and techniques for building menus are things you can copy and change very easily.

In the end I see you´ll develop your own "templates" or shall we say box of tools, i.e. not auto configurable, but snippets of code so you´ll be more flexible.

But yes you are right it would be a good thing to become a Wordpress expert as well, as part of the armoury.

d000hg
18th April 2013, 21:49
However small business who dont have web presence would be jumping for joy with a nice elegant themed wordpress site.

Fair enough do the hard yards for knowledge but you will find it hard to sell a site for ~ £300-500 when you have to spend loads of time on it.
Thats the wonders and joys of the templates. Quick and easy to turn aroundBoring though. Barely even graphic design work - and you need some design/arty skills otherwise it looks crap even if you breath JS/CSS.

Knowing WP itself could be useful if you know PHP, to do more customised stuff.

vetran
18th April 2013, 22:23
Its not just WordPress, there are other OS tools that are tuned to different requirements and audiences.

aussielong
19th April 2013, 00:19
Currently on the bench. Got about five years of war chest but I've been trawling for crap casual work to bring in some cash.

I do an email shot of local companies and trawl classified ads.

So far I have :
- used my crap web design skills to make web sites for an accountant, a perfume importer and a travel blogger (1500)
- used my crap javascript skills to fix a web form for a local chamber of commerce (500)
- given an introduction to powerpoint class to a bunch of secretaries (500)
- set up Moodle for a charity (500 + 100 per month ongoing)
- optimised a dodgy loans website (100 per month ongoing)

It's partly depressing/partly fun/partly f'it I'll give anything a try. Makes an interesting sideshow to updating skills and looking for the next big gig. Combined with cutting costs it's nice to live on what I make rather than use the warchest.

The tiny sums involved really do puEt things in to perspective but may as well be doing real stuff and earning a little bit.

Has anyone else done this kind of stuff or is it just me?

I think this is great. You are the kind of person that made this country great. More people should be like you- resourceful and hard working.

KentPhilip
19th April 2013, 00:29
A few years ago I was driving past a sex shop in a Berkshire town, and I saw a banner in the window saying "website wanted".
Knowing a very little about html, but with some misplaced enthusiasm about being an entrepreneur I decided to knock one up on on a bit of spare webspace I had online at the time.
I walked into the shop to give him a demo, but he looked a bit worried when he saw it. Maybe he was not too impressed.

I never heard anything from him subsequently...

doodab
19th April 2013, 07:04
A few years ago I was driving past a sex shop in a Berkshire town, and I saw a banner in the window saying "website wanted".
Knowing a very little about html, but with some misplaced enthusiasm about being an entrepreneur I decided to knock one up on on a bit of spare webspace I had online at the time.
I walked into the shop to give him a demo, but he looked a bit worried when he saw it. Maybe he was not too impressed.

I never heard anything from him subsequently...

You're probably the only person who ever went in there after noticing the "website wanted" sign in the window. Even I find that a little scary.

MadDawg
19th April 2013, 07:29
A few years ago I was driving past a sex shop in a Berkshire town, and I saw a banner in the window saying "website wanted".
Knowing a very little about html, but with some misplaced enthusiasm about being an entrepreneur I decided to knock one out on on a spare webcam I had online at the time.
I walked into the shop to give him a demo, but he looked a bit worried when he saw it. Maybe he was not too impressed.

I never heard anything from him subsequently...

FTFY

petergriffin
23rd April 2013, 15:34
If you are really bored you can still work at Poundland for free. On the plus side, you will stink like poverty so bad, nobody will ever think of breaking into your castle.