Author: savvy

Freelancing in a troubled economyFreelancing in a troubled economy

Everywhere I look, someone is talking about the economy, and usually in negative terms. Words are thrown around as though they lack meaning: recession, layoffs, bailouts, debt, stimulus. At some point, talk of our troubled economy becomes nothing more than noise.


As a freelance writer in Houston, my perspective on the economy is unique. Several days ago, my wife and I had dinner with her parents, and my father-in-law made the comment that our freelancing careers were the most stable in the family.

“You can’t get fired or demoted or have your pay cut,” he said. The man has a point.

Texas is “considered flat” with regard to the economy, according to ABC News. The state offers a relatively stable housing and job market. In Houston, the punches of a troubled economy are not quite as devastating as in other parts of the country.

Freelancing in a troubled economy is not much different from freelancing in a sound economy. I haven’t noticed a decline in work as a result of the failing stock market or the increase in corporate layoffs. I am not immune to our troubled economy nor do I exist in an ignorant bubble. Nevertheless, I choose to remain positive.

Two months ago, a client contracted me to write a series of 25 articles about our troubled economy. He wanted me to freelance these stories for a fairly generous sum because he felt posting such information on his Web site would help drive traffic. Not two weeks later, I was solicited for a similar project by yet another client.

In the past six months, more than 50 percent of my freelancing work has dealt with the troubled economy. Clients want articles and information about debt reduction, savings, retirement plans and everything else the average American worries about during a recession.

In a way, it feels as though I am profiting from other people’s misfortune. However, I choose to see it as an opportunity to help people who feel depressed about their financial situations.

Indeed, the troubled economy affects every business and industry in the United States. My freelancing clients are not limited to financial Web site owners or financial service providers; some of my clients are in the home-improvement industry, the retail business, the travel industry. They want to find ways to encourage customers to spend their money despite the troubled economy.

From freelancing to food service, a troubled economy affects all careers and businesses. But there are always ways to improve your situation. In many cases, it is simply a matter of approaching your job from a new perspective. Freelancing with a focus on the economy has accomplished that goal for me.

I’ve also found I enjoy writing articles about personal finance and business more than I did when we weren’t experiencing economic troubles. The idea that one of my articles might help or inspire someone else makes it that much more valuable, regardless of the angle or theme.…

Freelancing Tips- Commitment and FocusFreelancing Tips- Commitment and Focus

Freelancing is a profession that takes commitment and focus. You can have two freelancers, both in the same profession and experienced in their field; both who deliver fantastic work but who earn very different incomes.


So why is it that one can earn twice as much as the other when both are so identical in experience and professions?

Is one more skilled?

Does one give more effort?

The real truth of the matter is commitment and focus. While both have the potential to earn the same, the one with more commitment and focus will always earn more.

Willingness to commit to a freelancing career is essential, along with the willingness to seek out help when needed and to be able to recognize and accept the opportunity for help when it shows itself. Since freelancers have to be confident and self-aware, they often have a stubborn attitude. Many feel like they don’t need help or that by asking for it, they are showing a weakness.

In fact, accepting help is a strength and one that can help you go very far in freelancing. Don’t refuse guidance from those who have gone before you and can help you to have a smoother road yourself. This is all part of the commitment that can help you earn more as a freelancer.

Focus is equally essential as it is not enough just to want success. You need to be able to commit to goals and then focus until you achieve them. This is one of the most important freelancing tips you will ever receive.

Freelancing itself can be an unstable career choice. But it is also one that comes with many benefits if you plan properly. For example, there is no cap to your earning potential when you are a freelancer. However, many less committed freelancers find themselves struggling every day just to get by, find or complete assignments and stay on task.

This is where your focus will come in to be important. When you don’t have the commitment and discipline to stay focused on your goals, achieving them will be much more difficult, if not impossible.

Forbes shares 9 Steps to Freelancing Success which is a great resource to any freelancer looking to find more focus and commitment.

If you are not yet committed to freelancing, you should ask yourself Is Freelancing Really for You?

If you are a freelance writer or looking to start a freelance career as a writer, here are some additional articles you may enjoy:

Freelance Writing Tips- Self Discipline You Can Live With

Freelance Writing Tips- Keeping Clients After a Project is Complete

Charge for Phone Consultations as a Freelance Writer

How to Be a Freelance Article Writer

How Can You Get Freelance Writing Assignments?

The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Finding Jobs

Typical Work Day for a Freelance Writer

Top 3 Tips for Becoming a Freelance Writer

How to Know What to Charge as a Freelance Writer Pitching Yourself to Companies as a Freelance Writer…

Being a Freelance or Temporary Employee in BahrainBeing a Freelance or Temporary Employee in Bahrain

If you are moving abroad to take um overseas employment in Bahrain you will most likely be a temporary worker as the Bahrain government does not permit foreigners to become fully integrated into the society in Bahrain. If you are just considering going to Bahrain for employment and are wondering what is out there you should note that there are a lot of freelance and contract temporary jobs in Bahrain. The industries with the most opportunities are construction, ship building and repair, and oil.


While it is possible to come to Bahrain without a job and find your self a contract position, many foreign workers simply transition from one contract job to another. Often times foreign workers are able to stay in Bahrain for many years as they move from one temporary contract job to another.

If you are most interested in temporary casual work as opposed to a contract job then you may be able to find that type of position as well. Typically the best places to look for this type of work are office administration jobs, retail jobs during tourist season, restaurant jobs during tourist season, driving jobs during tourist season and something like nursing if you have all of the necessary qualifications. These types of jobs are usually advertised in English language newspapers and even with recruitment agencies. Women may have an easier time find this type of open position as there are almost always jobs for women who want to work in nightclubs as hostesses. Working as a hostess in a nightclub in Bahrain means that you would be talking to male customers in an effort to encourage them to run up a high bill at the bar in the club.

Recruitment agencies play a major role in placing foreign workers with local companies in Bahrain. You can even find offices of these agencies in major cities around the world like London and New York. Agencies usually have a specialization and do not charge a fee to workers. Fees are paid by employers instead. Besides filling placement for long term and short term contract workers, agencies also help expat wives take up employment in Bahrain. Agents usually help with visas and other paperwork and can even help expatriates that are changing jobs.

Remember that for any type of employment in Bahrain that foreigners are required to have a local sponsor to be able to legally work. Your employer will be your sponsor and will take care of making sure that you have all of the required paperwork and forms needed to be legally employed in the country. Your sponsor will also take care of opening up a bank account for you and signing a rental contract for you when you find a suitable place to live.…

How to Hire a Freelancer and Outsource Your ProjectsHow to Hire a Freelancer and Outsource Your Projects

The idea of hiring a freelancer when you need to outsource your projects can make any small business owner panic. You may not know how to hire a freelancer. You may not like the idea of contracting an online professional you don’t know. You may not feel comfortable trusting someone else to complete projects as well as you do.


All small business owners want to be successful. With that success comes growth. Eventually, you may find you can’t get it all done yourself. You will also likely find you aren’t knowledgeable in some tasks that are essential to running a successful small business. There are a few things that will make hiring a freelancer easier.

1. Collect Bids – There are only so many hours in the day. If you are at point where you are already burning the small business candle at both ends, you may not have the time to actively seek out a freelancer. There are thousands of freelance professionals online. Searching and sifting through hundreds of websites to find those qualified may be impossible. Place an ad through a freelance board or RFP site. Let those qualified and available come to you.

2. Be Specific – When placing an online ad or RFP, be as specific as possible in what your needs are. Look at other ads that relate to your project and see what information other small business owners are including. If deadlines are involved, be sure to list that. Be detailed in your project description to ensure you are attracting only those freelancers with the proficiency you desire.

3. Expertise – Finding one freelancer to handle all of your tasks may sound ideal, but it is not always the best option. You will likely find some projects are completed to your standards and others are subpar. Do not hire a jack of all trades. If you have several projects to be done, seek out several professionals each specializing in a specific area. Conversely, you can hire an online business manager who will place those projects with qualified individuals for you.

4. Credentials and References – Always ask your potential candidates about their background and education. Complicated projects require experienced freelancers. Ask for references. If they have completed similar projects, they should be able to refer you to a few happy clients you can speak with. Do not rely on the glowing testimonials on their website. Speak with individuals directly. Your business is at stake. Take the extra step.

5. Work Samples – If you are hiring a freelancer writer or web designer, ask for work samples. Ask if they have previous projects available online that you can view. This will ensure their style is similar to what you are looking for.…

Freelance Invoicing: Get Paid!Freelance Invoicing: Get Paid!

When you work for someone else, your paycheck is always expected on a certain day, and by law it must arrive. The security that comes with working a full-time job no longer exists as soon as you begin freelancing; it is now up to you to collect money for services rendered.


If you are uncomfortable with asking for money, or with billing clients after a job is finished, then you’ll either have to find another line of employment or learn how to do it, because a business can’t survive if you work for free. The trick is to come up with a set method of invoicing, and to make that method clear before you even begin working on a job.

Your Contract

If you provide freelancing services, you should have a contract – or agreement – that must be signed before work commences. Have an attorney look over the contract before you submit it to clients, and never start work until you have a signed copy in your hands.

The contract should state the method of payment, when it is expected, and the consequences for nonpayment. As long as those three factors are made clear, you are covered.


It is certainly advisable that you receive a deposit before beginning a project. The most common amount is 10%, though some freelancers require as much as 50% up front. Whatever number you choose, the deposit requirement should be strictly enforced. Never begin a project without a signed contract and a deposit up front.

Example in your contract: “Before work on the project can start, a 10% deposit is required from the client. This deposit will be subtrated from the final payment amount owed.”

Time To Pay

Some freelancers perform large projects that cost thousands of dollars. If this is the case, your clients may want to set up a payment schedule. For example, if you charge $5,000 for a 30-page website, the client may want to pay you in $1,000 increments for five months. If this is an acceptable agreement, get it in writing and attach it to your contract. You should also obtain the name, phone number, address and fax number of each client so that you can reach them at any time.

Example in your contract: “If payment cannot be made in full, we will arrange for installments to be paid on a monthly basis. This payment structure is non-negotiable, and must be signed by both parties prior to commencement of work.”

Date Due

Your contract should state exactly when payment is due. For example, you can state that payment is due three days upon completion of the project. That way, you are assured to be paid promptly. If you are in any way unclear about this, you could be invoicing customers for three years before you see a dime – it isn’t worth it.

Example in your contract: “Payment is due three days after the final product has been delivered.”


Your contract should also clearly state the …

Freelancing in CollegeFreelancing in College

Ah, college. It is a time where you’ll spend thousands and yet be terribly broke at the same time. Because of weird school schedules, most students have to find unique jobs that will accommodate to their needs. A lot of students will take up a part-time job or work for the school, however, with the recent economic downturn a lot of college students are having a tougher time finding an outlet for some extra cash. Aside from donating blood or other such instant cash schemes it seems as though most people tend to overlook the freelancing gig—it does take quite some time and work, but, what job doesn’t?


Another reason for the hesitancy might be the inconsistency that can arise from freelance work. While a part-time job will pay you every two weeks or so, a freelance job is dependent on how much time you spend on trying to make money. Or, perhaps there is uncertainty in how exactly a freelance job works. Well, this article here is a nifty little list of the pros of going freelance while in college! That way, you can find out if you’re ready to give it a try.

Making your own schedule. Oh yes, it’s true: as a freelancer, you will be making up your own schedule and that means deciding how much time you wish to put into your work. During those more stressful semesters at school, you can lessen the work load of your freelance job without the hassle of asking for less hours through management or trying to find someone else to cover your shift.

Building professional relationships. As part of a resume, everyone needs references and some future employers (especially for an actual career) will want to dig up those references in order to learn a little bit more about you. When you acquire clients for your freelancing gigs, those same people turn into professional references to place on your resume. Also, if you happen to become successful in your freelancing job, you now have established clients for credentials to get even more clients!

Using what you’re learning or already know. The biggest question that a student might ask (even me) is “when will I ever need this in real life?” Well, that could be now. Use what you learn and you’ll see it in a whole new perspective. Those economic and finance classes will finally come in handy when calculating rates and your hours of pay, and learning that new but boring software in computing classes can also be used professionally.

Gaining experience. Whether you’re working freelance or at the local coffee shop, it is still considered experience on a resume. But, placing “Freelance Web Designer” with some credentials on a resume might be a bit cooler, and come in handy, when applying for that web design career after college.

Feeling confident in your abilities. This goes hand-in-hand with the aforementioned reason in that with that experience you’ll also probably feel a bit …

How to Market Yourself as a Freelance PhotographerHow to Market Yourself as a Freelance Photographer

How to market yourself as a freelance photographer?

In today’s day and digital age, everyone can be a photographer and with falling prices of digital cameras, anyone can afford to turn this formerly known expensive hobby into a career. So how do you distinguish yourself as a talented and creative photographer from “just a guy with the camera?” 
You must showcase your talent – either via self-promotions or portfolio presentations, depending on which clients you are trying to attract. If you’re planning to sell your photographs to publications or stock agencies, you will need a self-promotion package. However, if you’d like to exhibit your work in an art gallery, then you’d most likely need to present a portfolio.

Self-promotion campaign: The goal here is get your name out and become prominent amongst your competitors. You want to show just how amazing and creative you are, and you want the photo buyer to hang on to your sample for as long as possible. Instead of sending a simple postcard, maybe you could send a z-fold booklet, a calendar with your photographs that a photo buyer can use all year round or a puzzle with your image. But, before you start thinking of creative ways to package your work, be sure to create an effective design. It is important that you chose the best image(s) from your portfolio in order to prevent the photo buyer from tossing way your self-promo. A photographer’s postcard shouldn’t have too much text because if your images are strong, they should be able to talk for themselves. Having your full name and contact information is simply enough – there is no need to indicate what genre of photography you specialize in as your photographs should be able to reveal that. The cliché, “less is more” is most true when it comes to designing self-promotional materials. 
Portfolio presentations: Once you’ve actually made contact with your potential buyers, they might want to see a larger selection of your work – your portfolio. The presentation of your work is synonymous with impact and professionalism. There are many ways to showcase your work: digital portfolios such as a Website, CD or DVD presentations and the print portfolios. To have a successful portfolio, each image must be chosen carefully, from the printing on best quality paper to ensuring each print has consistent sizing.

Print portfolio cases can be expensive, but it’s worth investing in if you want to distinguish yourself from competitors and to project pride and confidence. They are necessary for face-to-face meetings. Although print portfolios are great for creating a strong impact, they are time-consuming to put together and have a lack of portability. Size does matter when choosing the right portfolio – bigger images have a greater impact. Typical sizes are 11X14 inches or 16×20 inches. You can display your photographs mounted or unmounted. Most galleries/museums prefer mounted work. If you also have tearsheets, you may include these in the back of your portfolio. Tearsheets are often laminated and …

How to Get Gigs as a Freelance MusicianHow to Get Gigs as a Freelance Musician

I have spent many years supplementing my income as a freelance musician. The work is generally enjoyable, pays well, and often takes little time out of my schedule. Here are some of the things that I have found tend to lead to getting gigs.


Introduce yourself to as many people as possible in the music world and let them know you are interested in working. Local music teachers and faculty members at universities are often the first people who know about potential jobs. Owners or managers of local instrument repair or supply shops are also very knowledgeable when it comes to performing groups.

Familiarize yourself with local churches. Many churches, particularly those with large congregations, hire musicians for special programs. Christmas and Easter are generally the busiest times. Some may also have special events centered around spring, Valentine’s Day, Back to School, prom alternatives, revivals, etc. Introduce yourself to the music minister. You may even begin with volunteering some of your time. Volunteering can often lead to paid work in the future.

Join a community band or orchestra. These groups are often loaded with great people connections. The group to which I belong consists of members ranging from middle school students to teachers to semi-professional musicians. Some of the more serious musicians belong to other ensembles in addition to our community group. Knowing and playing alongside these people has often led me to paying gigs with churches or small ensemble groups. You may even find that you can start your own small ensemble (quartet, jazz combo, chamber group), with other members. Even if your newly formed group doesn’t get any paying engagements right off the bat, the rehearsal time together helps to hone your skills and can be great fun! Again, volunteering your time and talents with smaller groups can often lead to paying gigs.

Become proficient on more than one instrument, or on a less common instrument. Trumpet players, saxophonists, and percussionists are usually very easy to find (and very eager to work). If you play one of these, consider developing your skills on French horn, keyboards, or string bass. Also consider learning a new instrument if your proficiency is on one for which there is less need, such as clarinet or oboe. Many times, people are looking to hire brass quintets, quartets, or jazz combos, so if your instrument works well with one or more of these you should be in good shape.

Expose yourself to and become proficient at playing a wide variety of musical styles. Jazz, big band, and classical are usually the most sought after, but it is helpful to be familiar with as many different styles of music as possible. Familiarize yourself with various forms of pop, gospel, bluegrass, or any other style, particularly those most popular in your area.

Most important is getting your name and talents known by as many people as possible who are connected to the music business. Meet people, play with groups, and volunteer your time to expand your …

Make at Least $30,000 a Year as a Semi Full-Time Freelance WriterMake at Least $30,000 a Year as a Semi Full-Time Freelance Writer

Recently, I have been receiving quite a bit of mail in my mailbox asking for advice on how to make it as a freelance writer. I’m not sure I’m necessarily the right guy to be asking; there are more than likely any number of writers here making more money than I, but I do know that anyone who is dedicated, has the time, and is a good writer can make $30,000 in the next twelve months without even leaving their home very often.


First the ground rules. In order to make $30,000 a year as a freelance writer-and of course, the potential is far greater than that-the first thing you have to have is time. Even if you are the greatest writer in the world, if you don’t have the time to commit to becoming a successful freelance writer, you are out of luck. As an example, I will use myself. I have a wife and children that I love to spend time with. Other than that, I don’t really have any issues with time management. I’m a professional loner so I don’t go out with friends. I follow Groucho Marx’s instructions on never belonging to any club or organization that would have me as a member. In essence, my time is my own. And since I would prefer to enjoy the little time I have left with my wife and kids, I choose to be with them rather than working my arse off trying to make more money to afford more crap I don’t need or a house I can’t afford to air condition or a fancy car that is going to break down just as much as my minivan. In other words, if I was unmarried and childless, I’d probably be writing this to tell you how to make $75,000 a year as a freelance writer. But I simply don’t want to work that hard. What I’m trying to say is that if you have the time to put into becoming a freelance internet writer, $30,000 should be viewed in terms of an average. Those want to pursue it as a part time career should be aware that they can pump up their annual income between $10,000 and $20,000 rather easily. If you want to be able to buy yourself a new car with the money you made in freelance writing this time next year you should be aware that it can be done, but you’ve got to treat it like a real job.

Now the second big question. Can you make $30,000 a year just writing for hubpages? Well, sure. I mean technically I can’t think of any reason why you couldn’t. It would just mean a lot of writing is all. In the past twelve months I have made over $9,000 just at hubpages alone, and I spend a considerable amount of time writing low-pay or no-pay opinion and political pieces instead of keyword-rich articles about MySpace and Fergie and thongs and other topics constantly at …

Freelancing Your Way to SuccessFreelancing Your Way to Success

Are you bored of your 10 to 5 schedule? Do you want to get rid of your boss? Do you want more money with fewer tensions? Read on this article to know why freelancing may be your choice in today’s world.


Let’s know what freelancing basically is. You may have heard the word “Outsourcing”. Yes, it’s the same outsourcing. There are two cases.

People get their work done through professionals who are competing to do the same work. As there is large competition, the work is done very cheaply.

People lack time and divide the work given to them to different professionals. The professionals get much more than what normally they would get.

Before we move any further, let’s have a critical analysis of what you gain and what you may lose in the freelancing business.


1) You can leave your job after sometime when you get set in the freelancing business. 
2) You can give extra time to your family. 
3) You can earn more money than what you earn from your job. 
4) You can work from your home. 
5) You can set yourself as an expert. 
6) You can get much more knowledge about the professional world. 
7) You can expand it as a business.


1) You may even lose your job and what you earn right now if you are not careful. 
2) You may get into financial problems if you are not careful. 
3) You may spoil your reputation with your boss if you leave your job

Now, once you consider this see my advice.

Start freelancing as a small part time work and once, you start getting much more income than what you are getting right now, you can think of leaving your job.

When you start your career as a freelancer, try to get yourself recognized as an expert. That will include completing the freelancing jobs for very less profit. Once you have completed 25 to 30 jobs, you can think of (you can) increasing your price as you will be recognized as an industry expert.

You will even have some fixed clients who will constantly come for their work to you.

Slowly and steadily, you can start to make huge profits and you will find the need for hiring new employees who will complete some of your work. 
You can now see your business expanding.

The freelancing business is a very good business if done carefully.

You may find freelancing jobs at and…