Author: savvy

Freelance Bidding Online: Selecting the Right Projects.Freelance Bidding Online: Selecting the Right Projects.



This is Step Three in the freelance bidding online series for writers. We've covered setting up your profile and daily scanning of project lists. Now it is time for us to talk about to select the projects with the highest potential for successful bidding.

Most freelance sites provide you with a limited number of bidding points per month, depending upon the type of membership you have with them. You can easily use up your bidding points and waste a lot of time bidding on projects that aren't really worth your time, so you will need to be selective. Here are some tips for choosing those projects.

  • If you're a writer in the U.S., look for projects that originate there or are targeted towards U.S. writers. Employers who plan on hiring U.S. writers are more likely to offer a liveable wage for you.
  • Look at their project budget. If the amount of work required can't be bid within their budget and still make a decent wage, don't bother bidding.
  • Look for projects that list the subject matter and demand high quality writing. If you can deliver factual and well written material, they'll be willing to pay you a decent price for it.
  • Look for subject matter that you have related life experience to or have written about before. This can give you an edge over other writers submitting proposals.
  • If the project description is vague about details, such as word count or time frame, post a question about these details to clarify the terms before bidding, if you have that option on the site.

Picking quality projects to bid on, will give you quality projects to work on.

 

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Navigating the Freelance FreewayNavigating the Freelance Freeway



Sifting through the vast number of freelance writing websites for job opportunities can feel like walking through the desert without a water bottle. There is an abundance of sand but without direction there is a very good chance of getting lost in a dizzying sandstorm. The internet is chock full of gigs for freelancers in a variety of genres but knowing which sites to choose from can save you time, money and potential heartbreak.

Some sites require nominal to high membership fees to access job listings. The temptation to subscribe to high priced sites under the assumption that high paying assignments may follow is understandable but not entirely practical for those without paid credits. In fact it can result in financial losses if you are unable to land jobs outside of the unfortunately predominant no to low pay range. Knowing from experience, accepting jobs that do not pay is a great way to bolster a portfolio but eventually you have to be cognizant of those looking to milk your talents for their gain at your expense.

Freelance writers, more than any creative artist, must be keenly aware of and responsible for their work. This goes beyond procuring proper copyright. Legitimate outlets for exposure aren't as visible in the writing field. There are no open mic nights for a columnist working on a piece comparing small cap and large cap investing. However, writers shouldn't be discouraged for there are reputable and profitable resources both online and in traditional media.

The Writer's Market should be the first guide you pick up. The 2017 edition offers thousands of markets looking for freelance material. Agents and book publishers are also included in the print guide but the impact of the Writer's Market is best felt through its website. Writers can obtain a free one year membership upon purchase of the print edition. Standard memberships are $29.99 annually and $3.99 monthly. Market listings are updated on the site daily and payments range from low to very high. Many of my published assignments originated from their postings.

The Writer's Market is not the only option for freelancers. Since the term freelance encompasses all areas of writing, there are skill specific websites with excellent reputations to choose from. Screenwriters can upload scripts and list short screenplays on Inktip.com. Inktip.com can get pricey but when you consider screenplay contests and festival entry fees can cost upwards of $100, a $50 charge to post a screenplay for bona fide agents and production companies to read seems fair. Poets can refer to the Poet's Market while playwrights can find listings on backstagejobs.com in addition to the Writer's Market.

Freelancers are not limited to creative pursuits. The new economy, heavily influenced by the growth of the internet, relies on independent contractors to create web content and complete a wide assortment of copy and technical writing assignments. Jobs in the new media are more lucrative and searchable on mainstream career minded dot.coms like Hotjobs, CareerBuilders, Dice and Monster. They require …

Lose the Freelancer Bulge with a Low Carb DietLose the Freelancer Bulge with a Low Carb Diet



Adopting a low carb diet is a great way to attack the freelancer bulge. It is also useful for anyone who has a job that requires you put in more time in a chair than standing or moving around. A person can individually tailor his medical needs into a low carb lifestyle, or simply follow a plan like Dr. Atkins has already established.

Getting Started

Before you run out to the store and buy every low carb book on the shelf, you must determine if you are really ready to start a lifestyle change. A low carb diet requires commitment. It is not something that a person can do half heartedly. Implementing high protein and fat into your diet can actually lead to weight gain if you're not cutting carbohydrates. It can't be stressed enough that you have to be committed.

Ask yourself, am I ready to lose weight, feel fabulous, and get back into the size I wore before I became as mobile as a snail? If your answer is yes, shout it out so that it resounds throughout the room, tell yourself you can do it, and lay the groundwork.

Preparation

Since you have decided that a low carb lifestyle is right for you, it is now time to start the grocery fling. If you are like me, you have a bag of Oreos, stuffed somewhere in the cabinet for emergencies. You may even have good food items like, oranges or grapefruits tucked away. On the first leg of your low carb diet many foods are strictly forbidden.

Clear your pantry of fruits, potatoes, pastas, rice, sugary snacks, corn, flour, sugar, and bread. You don't have to toss these food items. If you have canned food or unopened food packages, donate them to your local food pantry, or pass them along to a friend or family member. Remember, these small sacrifices are important in order to keep temptation as far from you as possible. To slay a dragon you must have the right weapon, so arm yourself for your new lifestyle!

Grocery Shopping

In the first few weeks, Dr. Atkins recommends two weeks, you are going to eat very few carbohydrates. This causes your body to go into a state called ketosis and allows your body to start burning your stored fat. This is completely awesome, for those of us who have been saving fat for a rainy day.

The best way to combat the most miserable days of the diet is to have good, low carbohydrate foods stored in the house. The first few days of the diet is the hardest, because anytime you limit something you like, your body wants it. I could go without a potato for six months, but when I tell myself I can't have one anymore, all I want is a potato.
Be prepared!

Make sure to have low carb foods that are easy grab-and-go type foods, as well as foods that require a little preparation. It is important that you purchase …

5 Ways To Relax While Working From Home5 Ways To Relax While Working From Home



Working from home is one of the things which might sound like a dream come true to many people but only those who have done it know its true horrors. Working from home many times takes a toll on the mind of the user as there aren’t people all-around working with whom they can talk to or even if not talking, then simply look at.

 

 

People who work in a proper workplace have got this advantage which is not available to the people who are working from home. So, you must relax your mind as well as your body while working at home because if you won’t then it’ll seriously affect your productivity. Here, we will tell you about the tips which you can follow to relax while working from home.

Reset the workspace

Your parents might have told you many times to clean the table on which you work or study and you must have taken them lightly. Well, it seems like they were correct all the time. However, engaged you might be at work find some amount of time to reset the place where you work. Keep it neat and tidy. Clean the workplace whenever you get time. Arrange the things which are not lying in proper order. This will help a lot.

 

Get a massager

Sitting in one place and working throughout the day can take a toll on your body. Invest in a good massager that can help you relax. If you can afford it, a massage chair is the best investment. If not, cheaper alternatives like back massager or foot massager can serve the need depending on what works best for you.

Cook something

This is another very effective way which you can use to relax the mind while at work. Just get up from your desk and head to the kitchen to cook some quick snacks or whatever you like to eat. This will work in two ways. Firstly, it will satiate the cravings that arise during working and secondly, it will distract your mind from work and give you the much-needed break.

Take a stroll

This is one of the simplest things that you can do while working from your home to relax your mind as well as your body. Whenever you feel exhausted just get up from your chair and walk around the house. You can go from one room to another or can go to the roof or the balcony where you can easily get some fresh air as well as sunlight.

Listen to music

Another popular way to relax your mind while working at home is listening to some music. You can plug in your earphones or you can get the speaker thumping. Music soothes the mind. All that you need to do it close your eyes and feel it while relaxing.

Breathing exercises

This is one of the simplest things that you can do to relax your mind. This doesn’t demand anything from you. …

Freelancer’s Guide to Cold EmailingFreelancer’s Guide to Cold Emailing



Now that you’re familiar with the screening process when looking for your potential clients, the next task is to get a hold of their contact information. The only information you really need is their name and email address. Generally speaking, this information will be in their “About Me” page or “Contact Us/Me” page. If you get a hold of the name and email, great! But, if you only get a hold of their email, keep searching for their name. Usually, it will be in the tag of their blog posts right under the title. If you can’t find the name, you can still email them, but your chances of going into the spam inbox are high because the email isn’t personalized.

Before sending your cold email, you should go through a few pages of their blog’s content and see whether or not you think you’ll be able to deliver content from a similar angle. If so, keep them as a contact. If not, move on. You won’t get repeat work or recommendations from a client that doesn’t agree with your writing voice. Once you have all of their email addresses and names down, it’s time to get to the hard stuff! Choose three samples of your writing that are relevant to the blogs you’ve chosen. Make sure the samples are absolutely flawless and portray your business and your writing style in the best light. After that’s taken care of you’re going to craft your cold email template.

Personally, I prefer using an email template because it saves me a ton of time. Just be sure to customize the email when it comes to the blog name, the name of the prospective client and when adding a bit of personality. Remember, to always add a link to your business website so they can look around and see more samples if they wish. I just write a general email template and leave the personalized fields blank. When it comes time to send the email, I literally just fill in the blanks. Below, I’ve provided an example of what an exceptional cold email template looks like. For demonstrations sake, let’s pretend I’m targeting real estate agents with blogs.

General Cold Emailing Template

Hi _______,

___________________________________________________________________

_________________________ Are you interested in hiring a real estate writer to produce content on a consistent basis for your blog? I’ve been a freelance real estate writer for over three years and have gained extensive experience in the field. If you’re interested ________, I can create blog content that is search engine optimized to help you build a local readership. Search engine optimization is simply a form of free internet marketing that will drive traffic to your blog through Google and Yahoo. Below, I’ve included samples of my previous real estate blogging work. If you’re pleased with my samples you can contact me for a commitment free quote.

All the Best,
Jazmin Espinal

Sample 1

Sample 2

Sample 3

www.capitalwebwriing.com

Personalized Cold Email Derived from the Template

Hi …

How to Decide to Become a Freelance Writer Full TimeHow to Decide to Become a Freelance Writer Full Time



If you are like many people who want to become a freelance writer full time, you have started your writing career part time as you still work your fill time brick and mortar job. This is a great way to make extra money, but you will not succeed in becoming a successful freelance writer by going this route. To truly build your writing career to its full potential, you will need to go full time at it so that you can make sure that you are giving your freelance writing career its all. The decision to become a freelance writer will not be an easy one, but if you use this process, it will make the decision much easier for you.

Step One

Start out the process on deciding to become a freelance writer full time by making a list of pros and cons. The list of pros and cons will be based around the idea of quitting your full time job to become a freelance writer. As you compile this list, you need to write down everything that comes to mind when you think about making this month. When you have put your pros and cons on paper when it comes to being a full time freelance writer, it is often easier to see the best decision for you.

Step Two

Talk to people who are successful being a full time freelance writer about your pending decision. They were in your shoes at one time and know exactly what you are going through with your freelance writing career. It is much easier to ask someone who is doing what you want to do what is the best road for you to take to get to your goals. These are the people that will know how to become a freelance writer and will be able to support you the best.

Step Three

Talk to your significant other about the decision to quit your full time job to become a freelance writer. You may come up against some initial resistance about your decision to become a full time freelance writer. Go over your list of pros and cons with the person in your life and tell them everything that you have learned about being a writer. Ask them to support the decision that you are about to make.

Step Four

Make the decision and stick to it. This is one of those times when you need to do your research and then go with your gut feeling on when it comes to you wanting to become a freelance writer.…

The Trials and Tribulations of a Freelance WriterThe Trials and Tribulations of a Freelance Writer



You love to write. It is your passion. You just know that people will love what you have to say and the way you say it. You intend to join the ranks of struggling freelance writers and set about making a name for yourself. The internet is an ideal place. There are so many writers out there, and they are actually getting paid. You just know that you can write as well as many of them and even better than most. You find a site and are on your way to becoming a world-famous writer.

Then reality comes to call.

One thing many new writers neglect to take into consideration is that writing just does not always pay that well. Okay, if you are Stephen King, you can pull down some big bucks. Even Stephen King, however, did not start out making a gazillion dollars per book. The internet, while a great place on which to write, can be especially brutal. The owners of the various sites are trying to make money, too. The way they do that is through advertising dollars; therefore, they are interested in content that will bring in those advertising dollars. Truthfully, they could probably care less that you have degrees upon top of degrees from accredited universities and that you could very well have the next Great American Novel locked up in your head. They want to know that you can attract viewers. (No one really cares if they actually read your stuff or not.) For this reason, most sites will pay you based upon the number of views you can draw to your articles. It does seem at times that they pay you less for views in order to encourage you to promote your articles more so you can attract more views. Of course, you do it. You need those pennies you are being paid.

Another thing that new writers seem not to take into account is the editor. You may believe that your article is perfect. Your editor will not see it that way. You really cannot spend any of your time arguing with them, though, because they are nameless and faceless. They are out there in cyberspace somewhere and may never read another one of your articles ever again. You see, you never seem to get the same editor twice. This presents another whole set of problems. One editor may tell you that you need more detail in your articles. You make the changes and focus on adding detail in future articles. A new and different editor comes along and tells you that you have too much detail in your article. One editor will tell you not to include any explanations of things that are probably obvious to the reader. Another editor will want you to explain every little detail. (I have tried to draw them pictures on the computer to no avail, so I suggest you not try it and just make the changes.) I had an editor tell me …

How Do Freelance Bid Sites Work?How Do Freelance Bid Sites Work?



Freelance bidding sites allow you to do several different things all on one site – the main goal is to provide a secure marketplace where a buyer can post a project, relay the specifications of the project, and give an estimated budget for completing the project, along with the criteria for the professionally completing the project.


Freelance bidding sites are usually free to register and their fees will vary from site to site after the free registration. What you get for a free registration on most freelance bidding sites is the ability to add your skills and often your online resume to their database.

Once the freelancer’s profile is set up on the freelance bidding site of choice, the forms and required information can be filled out to get started. Some sites will charge a fee for special services, such as uploading clips and work samples to the freelance bidding site’s portfolio, and some may allow this at no additional charge.

Many freelance bidding sites charge a fee to either the provider or the buyer and sometimes to both. For example, Elance Online charges a monthly fee, with discounts for annual and quarterly membership fees to the service provider, but it is free to post projects as a buyer. Guru.com also charges a quarterly or annual fee to use their premium services. With this fee, the provider (the freelancer) will be given a certain allotment of bids at no cost. After the freelancer has used all of their allotted free bids, they can then purchase additional bids either in bid packs or individually, depending on the site’s regulations.

Once the package and bids have been purchased, the freelancer can now browse the database for jobs or assignments that have been posted by buyers. When the freelancer finds a job on a freelance bidding site for which they are qualified, the freelancer can now place a professional bid for services, outlining the services they can provide the buyer and possibly provide work samples as well as their cost for completing the project.

The buyer can then review all the bids and samples and choose a provider who best meets their needs. Once the buyer has chosen a freelance provider, he or she will award the project to the provider with the best bid for the price and value of service, which may not always be the lowest bid. Once the project is accepted by the buyer and the freelancer, the freelancer communicates with the buyer, usually over a message board on the freelance bidding site, and then completes the work to the buyer’s specifications.

Payment arrangements vary depending on the cost of the project and the services provided by the freelance bidding site. Some freelance bidding sites have escrow accounts, where the buyer transfers the funds of the agreed upon price into the account to show good faith and then when the freelancer completes milestones or completes the project, the buyer then releases the escrow funds to the freelancer.

Freelancers can …

Freelancers Union Annual Independent Worker SurveyFreelancers Union Annual Independent Worker Survey



While independent workers-self-employed, freelance, part-time, and temporary-comprise 30% of the U.S. workforce, there is limited information about these workers. To help fill that knowledge gap, please complete the Freelancers Union Annual Independent Worker Survey. Survey results inform the public (see previous survey coverage in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today)and policymakers about issues that affect workers like you.

Based on data from previous surveys, policymakers have made concrete changes to help support independent workers-from reforming the Unincorporated Business Tax to introducing legislation (S8084/A11520) to help independent contractors collect what they’re owed from nonpaying clients.

Needless to say, the more respondents there are, the better the data is, and the greater the chance of helping you as an independent worker.

Here’s the survey link:
www.surveywriter.net/in/survey/survey937/2010Advocacy.asp…

Time Management for Freelancers and Their FamilyTime Management for Freelancers and Their Family



Some people like to complain and claim that they don’t have the time to do something that they would like in order to make money at home. In my opinion, they just don’t want to find the time to squeeze in their moment “to shine” where they can showcase what they can do to the world. Since I have a family of my own where I am expecting a fourth child in January 2010, I try to make my small amount of time with my family with my writing and doing some household chores. Here are my suggestions on how to work this.


For moms with very young kids, it is harder to do but it’s doable. While your toddler or a little older ones are napping or at least watching TV, can work on your writing, web site design, etc of what you are good at. Try to use your time well such as at a doctor’s or dentist’s visits, games going on for your kids at school, while waiting in line at the grocery store as a few example.

If you need help with childcare and you don’t like the idea of sending them off to daycare, you can find another mom that would not mind watching your kids while the kids play together. Or if another mom you know works at home, both of you can switch when to watch each other’s kids. That way, both of you will save money while the kids get to play with each other.

If you have a spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend ask them if they would help watch the kids while you are working on yours. If they work outside of the house and make income, the least they can do is to help you with yours. They should support you with your home business idea no matter what.

If you have older kids, have them help you with the household chores. Since they are old enough to help out, they need to give you your time to work so then you could make income too. In my case at the current moment, I have a 8, 4 and a year old. All girls but my oldest can help me watch my two younger daughters. They can go play with each other like in the front yard if I am alone.

Another tip to point out is to work on them late at night after everyone else is asleep and wake up an hour or two. That way, you can get your work out of the way earlier in the day instead of waiting later on to do.

Spend a few hours or so with your family by playing games such as board games, make crafts together, do puppet shows or even go bike riding as a few more. As for the older kids, do what interest them in order to connect together as a family. Kids nowadays seem to not appreciate time with their family if they are …