It was more a “put your toe in the water” kind of thing for me with Designtopia.net. Designtopia was supposed to be an easy way for me to freelance my web design skills to anyone that needed my services, but it turned out to be more of a headache than a financial relief.
Trying to design websites for people is like pulling teeth, it makes you stupid after a while. One guy wanted blinking letters that scroll from right to the left of the browser, another wanted a bunch of Under Construction graphics ala 1994 on pages he wanted me to put up, but not have any information on. Another one wanted to use specific colors that looked so horrible, it gave me an eyesore just looking at it.
A lot of these people didn’t want my advice, my expertise, my skills, they wanted to control me like a puppet and treat me like I’m merely an extension of their superior web design skills that doesn’t exist. They didn’t care about accessibility, usability guidelines, or proper semantics. One guy even wanted me to spam his website to millions of emails from an email list that he purchased for “an amazingly low price of $500.” The vast majority won’t communicate with you, and don’t even have enough content to fill a website with useful information. For every serious client that had a plan, asked for my advice, and let me do what I do best, there were 20 more that wasted your time.
Live and learn, as they say.