Have you ever dreamed of putting your business on TV but thought it was too expensive?

ODTv, along with cable companies, has developed a system to allow businesses to advertise on TV at a lower rate than ever before. Most cities in America are controlled by one cable company. Each company has divided its cities into subzones. Subzones allow your business to target just one area of your city, which makes TV advertising more affordable than ever before.

Now you can target nationally-known cable networks with your commercial airing only in a portion of your city. To viewers, it looks as if your TV spot is airing all over the city, state, and even the nation, but you are only targeting – and paying for – the immediate area around your business.

Advertise On Television For Less Money

Commercial advertising is one of the best ways to expand your business. However, many small business owners are not aware that they can advertise on television affordably by airing TV commercials in a very targeted local market.

Benefits Of Commercial Advertising

Television advertising allows you to advertise to many people who are more difficult to reach through other outlets. Most people do not respond to internet advertising, and others simply do not spend much time on the internet.

Similarly, it can be difficult to reach people with print ads in an age when newspaper and magazine subscription is on the decline. TV advertising is a cost-effective way to reach a large audience in a desired market or demographic.

Best Practices For TV Advertising

The best way to get the most out of commercial advertising is to use a service like ours that will help you reach a specific market. We can help you advertise in a specific area — the subzone of your city where your business is located and most of your customers live.

You can also choose from several of the most popular cable channels for your tv ad to air on. Your ODTv Advertising cable consultant can help you choose from the channels that are available for advertising in your area.

Take advantage of the effectiveness of television advertising for less. Request more information or a quote today.

How It Works!

An advertising program that makes launching a TV campaign easy, effective and inexpensive. This is how it works.

Sean “Swift” Walker – Founder

Step 1: Choose your production package*


Voice Over TV Spot  — $950

Great visuals with a great concept for a call to action, that’s the key to an effective TV commercial. This is the most cost-effective way to produce a high-end TV spot, with your personal information. Nobody will ever know you spent so little money for such great production!
This package includes:

  • Custom written script by our Award-Winning creative team
  • Use of stock footage from our library of 500,000 clips
  • Option to include your own footage and/or photographs
  • Complete editing and production of finished spot
  • Music and voice over
  • Your business information, including logo, phone number, etc.
  • Delivery to the TV station

Spokesperson TV Spot — $1,950

You can tell your story and advertise your business at the same time with the help of a live spokesperson. A spokesperson adds trustworthiness to your image and helps you relate your message to your audience in a professional and very effective manner.
This package includes:

  • Custom written script by our Award-Winning creative team
  • Live actor or actress
  • Complete editing and production of finished spot
  • Music and voice over
  • Your business information, including logo, phone number, etc.
  • Delivery to TV station

Location Shoot TV Spot — $2,500

If you want to show who you are along with high-end visuals, this is the perfect option for you. We send our own production crew to shoot you and your facility, we’ll mix your own footage with footage from our extensive library to create a national-level TV ad.
This package includes:

  • Custom written script by our Award-Winning creative team
  • We send a production crew to shoot you and your facility
  • Use of stock footage from our library of 500,000 clips
  • Complete editing and production of finished spot
  • Music and voice over
  • Your business information, including logo, phone number, etc.
  • Delivery to TV station

*If you already have your own TV spot, no problem, skip to the next step.

Step 2: Choose your Airtime package*.

ODTv Advertising along with cable companies have developed a system to allow the business to get on TV cheaper than ever before. Most cities in America are controlled by one cable company, those companies have broken up those cities into subzones, that allows your business to target just one area of your city, and most importantly, it makes it more affordable than ever before.

  • 3K Airtime — $3,000 per month

100 TV spots per month on average

  • 5K Airtime — $5,000 per month

175 TV spots per month on average

  • 10K Airtime — $10,000 per month

350 TV spots per month on average

  • Custom — Designed for custom schedules, higher amounts, and/or national buys.

*Airtime packages require a 3-month commitment minimum, paid monthly. Airings are Monday through Sunday, from 6am to 12 midnight. We recommend choosing 4-6 networks. Total spot count may vary in by the market. We can recommend what networks based on the demographics client are after, or the client can select them.

Products and Services

Step 3: Add ons.

Add on tools that are directly connected to your TV campaigns to provide faster results

We recommend an additional 10-15% of your TV budget for your online campaign. For example, if you are investing $3,000 per month on TV, your investment would be an additional $300 to $500 in an online program.

In-Stream Video
They are TV commercials that appear online while you are watching internet videos. After 5-10 seconds, the viewer has an option to skip it. You only pay when a viewer watches the whole 30 seconds of your video (or the duration if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) or engages with your video, whichever comes first. These online video ads allow you to target specific audiences, demographics and geographic areas.

Re-Marketing Tools
A clever way to connect with visitors to your website who may not have made an immediate purchase or inquiry. It allows you to place targeted ads in front of an audience that had already visited your website and are familiar with it, reinforcing the message of your ads.

An online marketing tool that allows you to pay only when your ad is clicked by a user. Adding Pay-Per-Click to your TV campaign will enable potential customers to search for your business online after they just saw your commercial on TV, providing a direct response.

Step 4: Get on TV!

Congratulations! Your commercial and airtime package is ready. We can have your commercial up on the air in as little as 72 hours (sometimes less) once everything is complete. We’ll provide a report that shows when your TV spots are scheduled to air so that you can track your advertising campaign results.

Contact Us

Organically Developed Television (ODTv Network)
4300 Bayou Blvd Pensacola, FL

There was that time I started a TV Network


I want to be the first to tell you about a Broadcast Network Tv Channel I call ‘Organically Developed Television – A Grassroots Network. ODTv is a leader in the development, production and strategic distribution of entertainment content and is the key content provider for The DMC Entertainment Group. I am excited to launch this network. Once, I grasped the gravity of what I am about to do… I had a fiendish grin on my face and I laughed about it.  The laugh of a home run – I feel like I just knocked one completely out the park. ODTv Red LogoSo I am currently running a test pilot channel thru Viloud, I took it back to August 1, 1981, when MTV launched and ran the only music videos that had available – at the root. I had access to more than did obviously but I wanted to run a few to see if I was feeling it or not. Soon as I saw I had a few extra views other than my own, I was hooked. So I did some investigating and found another company that will allow me to do what I want and the coolest part is… We get to air on these online tv networks:

  • Apple Tv
  • Roku
  • Amazon FIRETV
  • Android TV
  • iPhone
  • Android mobile
  • and on Smart Tv’s such as Samsung and LG

Some of the featured channels will be something like:

  • Animals & Pets
  • Automotive
  • Comedy
  • Cooking & Food
  • Education
  • Fashion & Style
  • Gaming
  • Health & Fitness
  • Home & Garden
  • How to
  • Kids & Family
  • Music & Art
  • Religious
  • Sports
  • Technology
  • Travel & Leisure

I got more to tell you…I am super about the whole thing and I am trying to process it all. I will keep you posted. Stay tuned.



Organically Developed Television (ODTv)…. A Grassroots Network

I am super excited to announce the launch of our very 1st TV NETWORK ODTv!!!! This is our test launch, there will be changes, additions, and more. Stay tuned and grow with us.
We are kicking this network off with shows like music, our plan is to start organic, build, and grow. Have a suggestion or want to add a show to our programming-advertising, email me directly @ thedmcfirm@gmail.com  (Contact Us For Growth!!!)
The Channel
To the right is the TV guide. As we grow this will change and we will be adding other Network Stations and Movies. This is our pilot launch, the best is yet to come.

We are on the air!!!!

ODTv – a Grassroots Network 
Click the flat screen to view our Network.




Happy to give your views on hair products or politics? If so, it's possible to earn up to $150 an hour, without any special skill with online focus groups.

The other day I got an email in my inbox that said:

“Sara, you might be a fit for a $150.00 study!”

If it wasn’t coming from a legit consumer research company, I wouldn’t even have opened it! But I knew the company really well and knew that this was a real money-making opportunity.

It was for a study about hair care purchase and routine!

But hey, $150 for an hour of my time? Why not?

That’s pretty special, and not that easy to find!

I used survey companies before! And as much as I love Swagbucks for their Gold Surveys and cashback (I made over $200 in a couple of months, just by buying through their links! So you should really subscribe for free…), $150 for an hour is not bad at all!

And as I am always super interested in side hustles and ways to make extra money, I decided to do a little research to find other companies that look for people to do paid focus groups, either in person or online.

And the great thing about online focus groups? You can do it from anywhere!

So you can take part in some of these, no matter where you are or your nationality!

Table of contents


But what is a Focus Group?

A focus group is a small group of people that have been invited to share their opinions.

Focus groups can be conducted in-person or online.

They are normally used for market research for new or existing products, to be able to determine people’s attitude towards specific branding, usability, packaging or ideas. They can also be used for political campaigns and opinions research. You can think about paid focus groups as much more in-depth surveys.

They normally involve you giving opinions and answering questions on a specific subject, get some free coffee, and go home with an extra $50-$150 in your pocket!

More and more companies are now using paid research studies to get a much better understanding of the market and trends, and connect with the consumers, not only locally but around the world.

How Focus Groups Work


If you find an in-person focus group near you, you will be expected to attend the interview in person. You will normally be interviewed within a group where each participant is able to talk to each other.

There is normally a researcher or moderator to lead the group and take notes and ask questions, and record the results.

If you join an in-person focus group, you might need to go to more than one session, but you will be paid for each session you attend.


An online focus group is very similar to an in-person focus group. You’ll need to join online via chat, on your tablet or smartphone. You’ll normally receive a link to access the focus group and from there you’ll be able to join the discussion and give your feedback.

There are some online focus groups that also use video or specific web-based software. You’ll need to download the software ahead of your focus group research.

More and more research studies are now opting for online focus groups as it’s a lot less expensive for them: they can cut down on money spent for materials and staff, plus it makes it a lot easier to have a bigger pool of possible participants in the research study.

How Much You Can Expect to Earn With Paid Focus Groups

Each focus group will be different, but you can expect to make from $30 to $150 per focus group (although some very specific focus groups can pay up to $450 for an hour of your time!).

The amount you will receive will depend on the time you’ve spent, which is normally an hour or two.

You’ll normally get paid in cash, via PayPal, check or gift cards. Some market research companies pay with points that you can redeem using a specific credit card.

Make sure you know exactly how you’ll get your money before you agree to take part in a focus group!

How to Find Legit Focus Groups

Whether you are looking for online focus groups or in-person focus groups near you, you will have to be a bit patient as you have to go through a screening process before you can participate to any research study.

Consumer research companies are normally looking for people with very specific interests and profiles, and you are not going to be able to qualify all the time.

By joining as many companies as possible, you will be able to maximize your chances of qualifying for as many focus groups as possible.

But before you start signing up, spend a couple of minutes to check out the company and make sure it’s legit. The last thing you want is to waste your time and get scammed online!

Read all the fine prints and check their Facebook pages, to find out what kind of reviews they are getting. Like with all surveys companies, you’ll never find a 5-star rating from everyone! Some people will love them, some will hate them.

But lucky for you, I have done a lot of the hard work!

Top 15 Online Focus Group Companies

Here I put together for you a list of 15 companies that pay the biggest sums, to make the most of your time!

You will find info on how each company pays and if they accept registration from specific countries, cities, or from all over the world.

1. Respondent.io (my favorite)

Happy to give your views on hair products or politics? If so, it's possible to earn up to $150 an hour, without any special skill with online focus groups. Respondent.io

Respondent is my favorite option for in-person and online focus group studies and the one that got me the $150 focus group.

Their payout is great, up to $250 per research, sometimes more!

And they accept respondents from ALL OVER THE WORLD!

Respondent.io have projects that are available to US Residents as well as International. This means you don’t have to be in the US to join and earn from $50 to 250$ per research.

All you need to join is a PayPal account, and either Facebook or LinkedIn to connect your profile too.

This is how it works:

  1. After you have created your account you’ll be able to browse all the open studies.
  2. You apply to participate in studies that you think are a good fit for you.
  3. The researcher/sponsor of the study reviews responses and sends invitations to respondents that are the best fit.
  4. If you receive an invitation to participate, you choose a time that suits you from those made available by the researcher.
  5. After you have completed the study, you are paid via PayPal.

Respondents are paid the cash incentive amount advertised by the researcher, less a 5% (or a $1 fulfillment fee whichever is higher). Example: If the cash incentive is $150 you will receive $142.50 via PayPal.

I know you’ll love it, and you’ll soon find something that’s right up your alley! Just sign up here.

2. Survey Junkie (my top second)

Survey Junkie: Happy to give your views on hair products or politics? If so, it's possible to earn up to $150 an hour, without any special skill with online focus groups.

Survey Junkie is a great legit website to make some extra cash! It’s mostly a survey company. With their surveys, you can earn anything between $0.5 to $5 (although the average is probably around $1-$1.50). But once you have signed up, you can opt-in for some great focus groups and studies.

Survey Junkie offers:

  • Product testing: up to $50 – you get sent a free product to test, plus you’ll get paid for it! You just need to fill an online survey after you’ve used it.
  • In-Person focus groups: up to $150 – after an initial online survey, if you are selected, you will have to attend an in-person focus group in a location near you.
  • Phone Survey: up to $100 – you will go through market research questions on a phone call.

The only catch is that some of these higher-paying options are available only once a month (or less, depending on your profile).

I really like how easy Survey Junkie is to set up and it doesn’t cost anything to subscribe. Just sign up here.

3. Recruit and Field

With an outstanding 4.9 out of 5 on Facebook, Recruit and Field offer US nationwide online studies as well as focus groups in different locations.

They look for participants from any gender and age for their studies, including professionals and medical professionals (doctor, nurse, lab technician).

They normally pay via PayPal but also offer Amazon or digital gift cards.

Their payments range from $100 to $275 per study.

4. 20|20 Panel

20|20 Panel conducts market research and paid online studies for clients from all kinds of industries.

Not the most well-designed websites, but has great Facebook reviews (4.3 out of 5).

It has paid opportunities for participants to share their opinions. You can sign up for local (Charlotte, Nashville, Miami) or online focus groups (the US and Canada) and can earn $50 to $2500!

They will post pre-qualifying surveys on their Facebook page or send them via email. If you qualify, they will then get in touch to give you the details of the study.

5. FocusGroup.com

FocusGroup.com offers both in-person and online focus groups all over the US. You can have a look at “Available studies” to check how much you can get paid. Most studies pay between $70 to $250.

Most of the research studies you’ll find interesting are probably under consumer topics, which includes:

  • Child-Related Products
  • Cell Phones
  • Dining Out
  • Pets
  • Cars
  • Entertainment
  • Electronics
  • Sports

But they also run Business-specific topics and Medical topics.

Their payment methods are different for each research study. Make sure you check if you are happy with the payment method before you apply!

They normally pay either via pre-paid Visa card (normally valid 180 days), check, gift card, or cash.

6. American Consumer Opinion

Happy to give your views on hair products or politics? If so, it's possible to earn up to $150 an hour, without any special skill with online focus groups. American Consumer Opinion.

American Consumer Opinion is a big survey company for people from the US with over 7 million users. It’s free to sign up and you can receive money in two ways: PayPal or a check.

It normally doesn’t pay very much, with short surveys making you $0.05 to $0.50, but if you get selected for longer market research surveys you can make up to $50.

You get points for each survey that you take. 1 point is equivalent to 1 penny. When you hit $10.00, you can request your money.

7. Fieldwork

Fieldwork compensation to participate in a focus group starts at $75 and their focus groups normally last one to two hours.

It has locations throughout the US:

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago-Downtown
  • Chicago-O’Hare
  • Chicago-Schaumburg
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Fort Lee, NJ
  • LA-Orange County
  • Minneapolis
  • New York City
  • Phoenix
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle

But if you don’t live near any of these locations, you can still apply to join their national database. They normally pay with Visa gift cards, but check before you apply for a focus group.

8. Probe Market Research

Happy to give your views on hair products or politics? If so, it's possible to earn up to $150 an hour, without any special skill with online focus groups. Probe Market Research.

Rated 4.7 out of 5 on Facebook, Probe Research is a US-based market research company and constantly hosts focus groups to get feedback for clients’ new advertising campaigns, products, or services.

Focus groups normally pay between $50 and $400 and in some cases, you may not even need to leave your home! Interviews are conducted in groups, by phone, or online—depending on the amount of time assigned to that particular study.

9. Survey Feeds

Survey Feeds is US-based and has opportunities all over the country and online. You can earn anything from $75 to $475.

Survey Feeds Specializes in:

In-Person Studies

  • One-on-one Interviews
  • Focus Groups
  • Clinical Research Studies

Online studies

  • Web Conferences
  • Online Surveys
  • Phone Interviews

You can browse the different options online by clicking here or you can follow their Facebook page. They normally share their most profitable market research studies there!

10. Mindswarms

Happy to give your views on hair products or politics? If so, it's possible to earn up to $150 an hour, without any special skill with online focus groups. Mindswarms.

Mindswarms is quite unique: they will pay you $50 to answer 7 questions about a product or service, or $10 to answer 1 question.

You can create an account using one of two ways:

1) On the web platform using your laptop/desktop.
2) Using the MindSwarms app on iOS or Android operating system with your smartphone or tablet.

You’ll need to record a profile video or two (to verify that your camera works well) and answer a few questions, then you can begin applying to surveys.

Once you have registered, you’ll be able to see studies that might qualify for you, based on your profile. You can apply by answering a few simple questions in less than a minute.

If you are invited to take a survey, you’ll be asked to answer up to 7 questions using the video function on your smartphone, tablet or webcam. It’ll take you less than 10 minutes to record your answers.

Then you’ll get paid automatically via PayPal, 24 hours after you post your responses to a study.

11. Brand Institute

Voted 4.6 out of 5 on Glassdoor, and 4.5 out of 5 on Facebook, Brand Institute seeks participants to take part in pharmaceutical and market research, all over the world.

You just need to register your details and reply to some simple questions. Make sure your account is as up to date as possible and you will be contacted if you qualify for any study.

If you do, you will receive an email, so make sure you check regularly.

You will be paid via PayPal (remember to claim your payments within 30 days of completing a study!), or check.

12. User Interviews

Happy to give your views on hair products or politics? If so, it's possible to earn up to $150 an hour, without any special skill with online focus groups. User Interviews.

User Interviews pays for your feedback on real products and brands. After you sign up, you’ll need to complete surveys via email. If you qualify for a study, you’ll get paid to participate. You can only apply from the US and Canada.

If you connect via Linkedin and Facebook, you’ll get more chances to participate in surveys, as they’ll be able to see details in your profiles.

You can check out active projects by clicking here. You’ll be able to select between:

  • Focus groups
  • 1-on-1 interviews
  • Multiday studies
  • Tasks

The pay goes from $75 for 30 minutes of your time up to $450 for very specific one-hour studies.

13. Inspired Opinions

In order to participate in research studies, you just need to be over 18. You can register from all over the world.

You will be asked for some basic information and will be able to create your own personal login and password. Once your profile is complete, they will match you to their research studies. When they find a study that fits your profile they’ll contact you either by email or phone, to see if you qualify.

You can then participate in research studies in a variety of ways:

  • In-person at one of their 16 offices across the US
  • On the telephone
  • Online from a computer anywhere in the world

They have a great 4.4 out of 5 on Facebook. By participating to one of their focus group, you can earn anything from $50 to $250.

They use an Opinion Reward points system. And you need to reach 1,000 ($10) before you can redeem points for gifts cards.

14. WatchLab

Voted 4.4 out of 5 on Facebook, you can earn from $50 up to $200 for a study (US-based only).

WatchLab has online focus groups, in-person research studies, and in-home studies. You can check out their Facebook page to see the range of focus groups they offer.

I saw focus groups in San Francisco, LA, Seattle, Chicago, New York, Denver, and Portland. There might be more!

15. Engage

Engage has a pretty old school looking website.

It specializes in consumer and healthcare market research studies (you’ll need to pick one when you subscribe), and they pay ranges from $50-$250.

You can subscribe from all over the world, just select your country when you sign up!

16. Ipsos i-Say

Happy to give your views on hair products or politics? If so, it's possible to earn up to $150 an hour, without any special skill with online focus groups. iSay

Ipsos is the third largest survey-based research firm in the world and their consumer survey platform accepts people from all over the world.

Most of the offers available here are for small surveys where you can only earn $0.40-$1.50 per survey, but they do offer from time to time high-end surveys and focus groups that pay $50-$100 for an hour of your time.

They also have a mobile app that allows you to take surveys on the go.

When you complete a survey or focus group, you’ll earn points instead of cash. Points vary depending on survey length. You can redeem your points when you have at least 500 in your account.

You’ll get paid with gift cards (including Amazon and iTunes), or you can also choose a prepaid Visa or PayPal cash.

More Ways to Find Paid Focus Groups

My 15 favorite websites for online and in-person focus groups aren’t the only ones around! And as I said before, the more you can find, the more opportunities you have to be a perfect fit for a paid focus group.

You can also search Facebook for “focus group” to find a list of pages of companies looking for applicants. I’ve listed some more companies below that might be worth checking out!

  • FindFocusGroups.com: will help you to find focus groups near you in the US, by state.
  • FocusGroups.org: another US-based website that will help you to find focus groups in your city.
  • TakePartInResearch.co.uk: if you are in the UK, this is an amazing focus group finder! You can earn up to £150 for an hour of your time!
  • SIS International Research: conducts focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and research studies all over the world.
  • Advance Focus: a top-rated website that hosts focus groups and market research panels in New York City.
  • Plaza Research: specializes in in-person focus groups and has facilities across the U.S. and pays $50-$200 to group participants.

Get in There And Get Paid for Research!

Focus groups are not going to make you rich overnight, but they are a nice side hustle to make some extra cash in your spare time!

And if you are not going to get a free coffee from an in-person focus group, you can sign up to Swagbucks and get free $5 credit that you can use for s Starbucks gift card!

If you want to find other ways to hustle for money check out these other side hustles:

Let me know in comments below if you had any success with paid focus group studies!


I really love online focus groups as a way to make some extra money on the side. You won’t get rich quick, or they cannot replace your full-time income, but making $150 for an hour of your time, a few times a year, sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.

I wish it was possible to qualify for one a day! Lol!

If you are interested in starting your own blog, have a look at my step-by-step guide! I will show you everything you need to do to start a successful money-making blog!

Check out all the best resources for your blog!  I find all these resources so valuable and I am sure they will help you as much as they helped me.

Source:  Gathering Dreams

How to Start a Web Design Business in 13 Steps

how to start a web design business

OK, no more idle chit-chat. Let’s get to work.

1) Ask yourself “Why?”

No, seriously. Ask yourself why you want to do this.

As I just finished saying, starting a web design business is a lot of work. Don’t get me wrong, the fruits of your labor will be so worth it. But you need to have your goals and objectives clearly defined.

When you get stuck in a line of code or have to deal with a demanding customer who has no idea what they want or needs to turn down yet another social invitation to meet a deadline, you’ll need to revisit why exactly you’re doing this in the first place. It will keep you motivated and consistent.

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. – Mike Tyson

For me, I wanted to build a location-independent online business that allowed me to spend more time doing things I love.

To do that, I needed to keep my life simple and make a modest income. After extensive research, it became clear that running my own web design business would allow me to do just that.

2) Find your niche

You’re probably sick of hearing this cliche beaten to death. But do you want to know why it’s repeated so often?

Because it’s 100% true.

This is especially the case in the web design industry. Web design is so incredibly crowded. The competition is fierce.

Worse yet, many people have had negative experiences with web designers. For some, just hearing “website design” said out loud is enough to coat their brain in molasses.

How many times have you received a broken-English phone call or email from India trying to sell you web design? For some, this is the first thing that comes to mind when someone starts talking web design with them.

Between intense competition and negative associations with your work, you’re going to have your work cut out for you. It’s not enough to simply be a “web designer”.

how to start web design business

What makes you different? Why are you special? What do you have to offer that no one else does?

Answering those questions will help you carve out your own small piece of the massive web design pie.

While searching for my own web design niche, I discovered that while everyone was offering websites that were “beautiful“, “professional“, “responsive” and “affordable“, essentially no one was selling fast web design.

That was my ticket.

I built my entire business around that simple premise. While most designers take weeks or even months, I can build your website in just a couple of days. In one case, I even built a website for a gentleman in less than 24 hours.

3) Establish your brand

You know what I called this web design business that specialized in fast website design?


Catchy? No. Sexy? Not at all. Easy to remember? Not really.

But if you had to ask someone what I do based on the business name alone, I’m pretty confident that they’d be able to answer correctly.

A successful brand does just that. It effectively communicates your value proposition as simple as possible. Your brand is made up of things like:

  1. Logo
  2. Color guide
  3. Slogan/tagline
  4. Voice/messaging


If you have the cash, have a professional graphic designer make for you. But if you’ve got nothing in the piggy bank, like I did, you can make your own logo.

Make sure that your logo will look great no matter where it’s placed. (like social media channels, for example)

Color guide

Pick 2 or 3 colors that will be the core of your entire brand. These will be used in everything from your logo, to your website, to your marketing materials, and everything in between.


Make it simple but catchy.

Mine?? Fast and affordable web design. Guaranteed.


Maybe you found this one a bit confusing.

You need to think of your brand as a person. What are this person’s values? Likes and dislikes? Strengths and weaknesses? Style of speech? Age? Gender?

It’s important to consider your target audience when developing your brand’s messaging. If you’re going after the 60+ seniors crowd, then they’re not going to want to listen to some beanie-wearing, frappucino-sipping, Snapchatting punk like you.

4) Register your domain name

Now that you’ve come up with a company name, brand, and logo, it’s time to register your domain!

(note: some people like to check and see if their preferred domain name is available before settling on a company name, so you can reverse the order of steps #3 and #4 if you’re one of those people)

There are myriads of companies that you can use to register a domain with.

That said, depending on the web design tool you decide to use, you may not even need them…

5) Pick the right website design tool

how to start a web design business

Now things are getting interesting.

There are so many different website builder tools these days. I’m sure you’ve heard of a bunch of them. Here are some of the most popular options to choose from.

Let’s take a quick look at each one, shall we?


Weebly is one of my favorites. It is by far the easiest to use and makes it super simple to allow your customers to edit their own site whenever they need to. A big feature that pretty much everyone wants.

Also, from a business perspective, Weebly has a separate version of their platform made just for web designers like you and I.?

This makes it really easy to white-label their products and presents yourself professionally.

Some snobby web designers write Weebly off as being “too simple”, but that all depends on your perspective. My target audience is small business owners who want to get online fast and affordably. They have little to no online marketing knowledge.

This makes Weebly the perfect fit for me and my business.


WordPress is the most popular web design platform in the world, and for good reason.

It’s extremely versatile and customizable. You can make WordPress become anything you need it to be. This very blog runs on WordPress.

But, with that awesome versatility comes increased complexity. There is a rather steep learning curve. If you are a complete web design noob, you will find it challenging.

If you’re going to become a web designer, you should learn WordPress at some point. Until then, use a simpler tool like Weebly to get some experience under your belt.

I use WordPress for nearly all of my clients’ websites at this point.


If you’re specifically focusing on building eCommerce websites for your customers, then you need to be building with Shopify. Straight up.

It is the #1 eCommerce web design platform in the world. They’re constantly pioneering new products and ideas to make selling goods online dead simple.

They also have a reseller version of their platform, where you can build multiple sources of income with their various products.

Highly recommend!


I have been advertised to by Squarespace on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, TV, radio, billboards and pretty much all of my favorite podcasts. They’re everywhere.

There’s no doubt that they’re popular, but I can’t say I have an opinion on them. Simply because I’ve never used their product.

I recommend you check them out for yourself and see what you think.


Wix is another popular DIY web design platform. Simpler than WordPress, but more advanced than Weebly, it boasts a number of features that I’ve yearned for in Weebly’s platform.

But, from my experience, their website loading speeds can be very inconsistent. Something to keep in mind. Give it a try for yourself and let me know if I’m wrong!


I know nothing about Jimdo. Honestly.

I know they’re a small player in the DIY web design world. That’s about it. Didn’t feel right to not include them in some way.

6) Time to build your website!

Woop Woop! Let’s get building!

You now have everything you need to get started on your own website.

I could write a gazillion separate blog posts on what it takes to build a successful, but ain’t nobody got time for that. For now, just remember these core principles:

  1. Keep it simple. Less is more. Clean, minimal, beautiful.
  2. Your website is nothing without high-quality images and video. They should make up about 70-80% of your content.
  3. Always design with the phone in mind. The majority of traffic now comes from mobile. Ensure your site is 100% responsive for all devices!
  4. Speed is everything. Make sure you’ve compressed all of your images to ensure they are as small as possible without sacrificing quality. And don’t add too much fancy coding or bloated apps and extensions!
  5. Your user experience needs to be fantastic. Make it crystal clear what you expect your visitors to do. Guide them down that path. Want them to subscribe to your newsletter? Buy a hand-made cup warmer? Call you? Show them how.

There’s obviously a bit more involved in building a great website, but this is enough to get you started. You’ll learn as you go, just like I did!

7) Choose your invoicing platform

You do like getting paid, don’t you?

how to start web design business

You want an invoicing platform that:

  • Makes it super easy to design beautiful and professional invoices
  • Automatically tracks expenses (you’ll thank me at tax season)
  • Has automated recurring invoicing for subscription-based products
  • Can process credit card payments

They have a free version as well. Perfect for when you’re just starting out.

8) Set up your credit card processor

Like I said, I use Stripe.

Don’t start building sites for clients until you have this setup. Almost everyone wants to pay with credit cards these days. It protects both you and your customer.

You’ll also have the ability to preauthorize charges from customers. I don’t start any job until I receive a 50% deposit.

50% before the job starts, 50% once the job is done. Weeds out all the sketchy folks.

9) Promote your shiny new web design business!

web design social network

You’ve got your logo, brand guide, website, and invoicing and payment processing setup. Now you’re ready to start building websites and making paper!

Setup a profile here:

  • Google My Business (crucial)
  • Google+ (yes, seriously)
  • Yelp (just as a placeholder, really)
  • Facebook (if you think you need to… I personally hate Facebook and have now deleted it)
  • Twitter (my fave social network)
  • Pinterest (great for blog traffic)
  • YouTube (if you’re not videoing, you’re way behind)
  • Instagram (I don’t use it for business marketing, but more as proof that I practice what I preach ?)
  • Reddit (can be very useful if you have thick skin)
  • Quora (mostly for thought leadership)
  • Launchers (the social network for web designers!)

We’ll leave it at that for now. Remember to only pick a handful of these platforms to invest your time into. If you try to use all of them, you’ll spread yourself thin and accomplish nothing. Stay focused!

10) Finding new clients

This is the hardest part of being a web designer by far.

There are a lot of different places online where you can find people looking for web designers, but let me tell you this:

Your most valuable asset is YOUR network

Your friends, family, coworkers, social media contacts, current or former customers, anyone you have a decent relationship with. These are the people that will help you get started.

It will take time. You’ll need to be patient and work hard. But you will start to see a “snowball effect” as you finish one website after the other. One delighted customer spreads the word to everyone in their network and so on and so on…

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, here are some other places that could be good for freelancers like yourself.


Upwork is the most popular freelancing platform in the world. It has its fair share of both ambassadors and detractors.

You can find some decent-paying jobs on here. Just be prepared to put in a lot of work to stand out from the massive crowds of intense Indian and Filipino competition. Especially when you don’t have the experience to lean on.


Guru is like Upwork, just smaller. ‘Nuf said.

Google Maps

Want new web design clients fast? Go local.

Pull up Google Maps, find all the local businesses in your area and see if they have a website. If they don’t, go pay them a visit. If they do, but it sucks, go pay them a visit.

I can hear you complaining already. “I have to talk to people in person?” “But I suck at sales!” “I’m too shy to do that.”

The best stuff happens in that little area just outside of your comfort zone. You can do it. ?


It’s old school, but it can still work.

Most people who know nothing about web design, but know they need a website, have no idea where they should turn to to find a web designer. So, they head to the same place they look for anything else they need to buy, Craigslist.

Get on there and start replying to people’s requests. Just be ready to not get paid much.

11) Obsess over your customer experience

When you finally land that first web design client, you need to treat them like a freakin’ princess. I’m talking mind-blown levels of good.

Your customers will always be your most powerful asset. From the moment they first find you online to the second they send you final payment, they need to be “wowed”.

Nothing is too small. Every little interaction should be furthering your brand’s message.

For example, here is what my visitors see after they submit a request for a quote:

how to start web design business

It’s small, but it’s more memorable than “Thanks for submitting! We’ll get back to you soon.”

And here is what happens when my blog visitors get a 404 page on my blog:

how start web design business

If you can perfect your customer experience, you will have no trouble building a successful web design business.

12) Implement scaling and automation

Automate as many tasks and procedures as you can. Things like:

  • Sending invoices
  • Payment processing
  • Email communications
  • Lead generation
  • Funnel management

There’s a lot to unpack here, and I’ll have to write about it in separate blog posts. I’ll post them here as I do.

For now, just focus on getting off the ground and gaining new customers.

13) Think of additional services you can offer

Small businesses need websites. But what else do small businesses need?

Things like:

  • Logo Design
  • Branding
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Content Marketing
  • Blogging
  • Video Production and Editing
  • Website Management Services

Get creative. How many problems can you solve for your customers?

I started out offering nothing but web design services. As I sharpened my skills, I branched out into additional products and services. Like the ones listed above.

At the risk of sounding redundant, be careful not to spread yourself too thin in the beginning. Start with building your web design skills, then slowly grow from there.

I’m now at the point where I have a small team helping me to keep up with demand. Growth FTW!

Ready to start your own web design business?

No matter what, this will take a lot of work. But nothing in life that is worth having comes easy.

You don’t have to be great at something to start, but you have to start to be great at something. – Zig Ziglar

While you can certainly follow this guide to have your web design business built and ready to go in just 24 hours, you can also take your time with it and grow at your own pace.

And there will certainly be many ups and downs. Customers tend to come in waves. One minute you’ll have more customers than you can handle, and the next you’ll be begging for new customers.

But that doesn’t mean there is no work to be done. Business downtime is the perfect time to get involved in other activities.

No matter what, just start.

I feel like I’ve provided a pretty clear path towards building a web design business from scratch. I hope you find it helpful!

If you need some help, shoot me an email at thedmcfirm@gmaill.com.


weebly blog

Here are the most common questions I get about starting a web design business:

How much should I charge for website design?

I get this question so often that I wrote an entire blog post about it right here. There is no simple answer to this question. The popular answer is to simply “charge what you’re worth” but, when you’re first starting out, it’s not that simple.

Personally, I always quote on an individual basis. I decided early on how much I want to make per hour, and then I estimate how many hours it will take to build the website. That being said, I offered heavy discounts in the beginning in order to build up my portfolio. It’s difficult to convince someone to work with you when you have zero proof of your skills.

Be prepared to work for free a few times!

How do I hand the website over to a client when it’s done?

It depends on the client and their skill level. Some will be comfortable enough that you can just hand the site over, while others need more hand-holding.

The rest depends on the tool you’re using. Most popular CMS tools offer the ability to create logins for separate accounts, so you can just create a new account and send your client the login.

If they prefer complete privacy and security, you can delete your own account after creating one for them.

When should I increase my prices for website design?

Raising your prices is a very gradual process. There’s no specific number.

What I can tell you is that when I got to the point when I no longer NEEDED a client in order to pay the bills that month, that gives you the total freedom to charge what you want and pick the clients that are right for you. But that will take time.

Try not to beg for business! People won’t respect you otherwise.

How do I provide an accurate quote for website design?

Decide what your minimum hourly rate is, then quote based on hours. So, if you decide you need to make a minimum of $30/hour, and the website will take about 10 hours to make, you can quote for $300.

There are many ways to quote, but that’s how I do it.

Should I register my client’s domain name myself, or have them do it and give me access to it?

Depends on the client. Most of my clients already have a domain so they just provide me access to it.