The web is powered by humans.
I read a lot about code, and bots, and artificial intelligence, and it's all very fascinating and right out of the stuff of science fiction, but the Internet is made by humans, with human needs, and human reactions. It's all fine and good to ask questions like "How can I get to the first page of Google?" or "What software would best execute our amazing idea?", but for every project I've ever worked on, the most important consideration has always been "What is the most effective way to communicate with our audience?"
The really important questions to ask become obvious once we realize that communicating with others is ultimately what we're doing. What sort of language and tone most resonates with our audience? How can we encourage our users to engage with others about what we're doing? How can we convince them we're worth caring about? If you can solve those sorts of problems, the rest will follow. Let's focus on that.
I work on what I believe in.
Much like your audience, I simply cannot become meaningfully engaged in work I don't believe in. I want to work on projects I care about. I want to work on projects that have the potential to affect people in meaningful ways.
That's a personal choice I'm fortunate enough to be able to make, but the benefits are exponential. For me: I get to work on projects I love. For my clients: they get the impassioned results of someone who really cares about what they're doing. And finally, for the audience: their needs are treated as a serious priority necessary for any worthwhile project to succeed.
It's not about the money.
It's really not about the money. For two reasons. One is that the thing I said above is true: I work on what I believe in. That often means working for non-profits that aren't in a position to throw $20,000 at the web guy every time they realize they're not pulling their digital weight. The second reason is that, although I do need money to feed my family, money is kind of a bad incentive for great work. I'm simply not interested in racing to my next payday and never looking back, and far too many contractors are.
While we're on the topic, I offer a discounted rate to all verifiably registered non-profit organizations I work with. If you're doing good stuff in the world and want to work together, please reach out.