Greg's Freelancer Journey (Part One)
In a previous post, Steve laid out the process for getting started with a custom domain, email, and website in order to effectively market your freelancing services. In this post, I'll describe the process I went through, trying to follow that post to set up my own custom domain, email, and website.
First, I purchased my domain name from Namecheap. I thought about a couple of domain names, but settled on gregboggy.com since I was lucky enough that my firstname-lastname .com domain was available (Steve isn't so lucky). There are lots of TLDs available other than .com, so if you find that your own firstname-lastname .com domain is not available, you may choose a different domain (e.g., firstname-lastname.ai).
With my domain name in hand, I set up G Suite for my domain name. Following the instructions here, I had G Suite set up in no time at all, and I could move on to setting up a website.
As a data science freelancer eager to show off my programing skills to prospective clients, I opted to build a website from scratch and I chose Netlify for hosting. If you decide to build your website from scratch, hopefully you are either a developer yourself, or you have a developer friend who can help you out from time to time (it's been helpful for me to be able to bug Steve when I get stuck!).
It was pretty easy setting up Netlify to build a website from a repo on my Github account. Netlify even has a template that you can use to get a page up quickly and I used this to set up my first website.
The only snag I hit when getting set up with Netlify was when I attempted to add the nameservers provided by Netlify to my Namecheap account. I got confused following these directions for setting up nameservers. A quick call with Steve got me straightened out though, and after following these directions for setting up Custom DNS nameservers, I got everything working.
Of course, after I finished setting up Netlify, I had to set up G Suite to work with Netlify instead of Namecheap. Steve helped me out here too. He helped me find the generic instructions for setting up G Suite MX records (currently, there are no specific instructions for Netlify). After following the instructions, everything was working for me.
Now everything is working beautifully! All of this setup took me less than a day and now I have a custom email address and a website I can use for marketing my freelancing services. I'd say it was time well spent!
This is the first blog post in the "Greg's Freelancer Journey" series. In this series, I'll be discussing the concrete steps I take toward developing a successful freelancing business from scratch. I'll post again soon after I have spent some time designing my new website. Stay tuned!