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.

First. 
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.

Second. 
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.

Advantages:

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.

Disadvantages:

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 Guru.com and Getafreelancer.com.…

Is Freelancing Right for Me?Is Freelancing Right for Me?



When I started as a freelancer a couple of years ago, I had no idea that this will become my full-time occupation and my major source of income. I started out of sheer curiosity but now I feel I have found the right job for me.

 


Being a freelancer can vary from great (as is in my case), to so-so (as is for many people), to devastating (as is for those who do not qualify to be their own boss). I don’t mean to insult anybody but being a freelancer is not for everybody. The fact that freelancing is fashionable or that you have heard of somebody, who has made a lot of money from freelancing, is hardly a serious motive for you to jump into the deep waters.

I have noticed that I am a role model for many people. While this is sometimes kind of flattering, I am usually annoyed when somebody copies my ideas and actions and later comes on sobbing that I have misled him or her. Yes, I know many people who have tried to make a living out of freelancing and who have failed because their judgment about their skills was somehow inadequate. In my opinion, some of the reasons why people fail as freelancers are as follows:

1.Lack of skills. When you have a full-time, 9-5 job you develop the skills required for this position and more or less you forget everything else, because you simply don’t need it. But when you work as a freelancer, you can rarely afford such a narrow specialization, even if there are a lot of projects, which require exactly the skills you currently have. No, I don’t mean that you should know 10 programming languages, 5 databases and operating systems, PhotoShop, Flash, and every other major technology on Earth in order to be a successful freelance programmer but you do need to know a lot and to maintain yourself it top shape. So, if you are not willing to constantly update your “knowledge base”, then a 9-5 job might be the better choice.

2.Inability to communicate. I work mainly with technical people and it is true that most of them do not know how to communicate effectively. Of course, there are many exceptions to the rule but generally speaking, the majority of people who have the technical skills for freelancing, have no sales and marketing skills, which are equally important. Sales, marketing and communication skills as a whole might be a small portion of the skills you need but without them all your technical expertise is void.

3.Time management and other organizational issues. Being your own boss means that you have to manage effectively your schedule. I admit that even for well-organized people “Deadline” is a dreaded word and often a deadline = a missed deadline but when you simply don’t know how to work, when you are most effective, how much workload you can handle, etc., failure is round the corner.

4.Poor English. English is the …

How to Be a Successful Online Freelance WriterHow to Be a Successful Online Freelance Writer



While some may scoff at your chosen profession and slog off to retail or corporate or office work, as you sit at home in your pajamas with your laptop, pontificating the placement of a period, freelance writing from home, online, really is hard work. Or, I should say, it’s as hard as you let it to be. You have to come up with publishing venues, you have to come up with content ideas, you have to be fresh, and you have to be keep giving your readers what they want. While I’m sure this subject has been exploited to death on a freelance writer website like hubpages, allow me to offer my feelings on the matter. Follow these steps to online freelance writing success.

 

Multiple Subjects: One of the biggest concerns you are going to have a freelance writer is making sure that you have a reader base. Moreover your content must be discoverable. Addressing this issue, you need to have quality content on something that someone is going to want to read about. To that end, you should be well read on a diverse breath of subjects. Or you should have multiple viewpoints on the same subject. Take things from your own life that you enjoy doing; playing golf, cooking, gardening, watching TV; then write about that. It’s important to write what you know but it’s also important to write about things that are going to keep people interested in reading your work.

Join Forums: One of the things that’s very difficult for people to do who are not openly overt is to share with others. Writers often are criminally introverted. However the Internet creates a sealed vacuum for people to be able to share their work in forums. Chat rooms, discussion boards, and other such online forums allow freelance writers online the ability to share work with complete strangers. Who knows? You may make all sorts of interesting friends from all over the world who you may never meet.

Post Everywhere: Much the same as forums, posting the URL to your work anonymously in places where people are going to read it is a good idea. For example if you write a lot about music, when you write about a musician or a type of music that is similar to a popular musicians, go to their MySpace page and post your work there. You can also start a whole blog dedicated to a specific type of music or musician as I did with Fink. The same is true of your blog for just about anything. Having links back to your work in a multitude of places is a sure fire way to get loyal regular readers to see your online freelance writing.

Use Hyperlinks: People can be lazy. It’s a fact of life; if they don’t have an easy way to access your stuff they’re probably not going to put forth a lot of effort; at least at first. For that reason using hyperlinks in your text is …

Successful Freelance Business BlueprintSuccessful Freelance Business Blueprint



I recently wrote an article about how freelancers can get more clients and keep current clients. Today I would like to address some other factors that come into play when it comes to your freelance business being successful.

 

I will touch on the following topics, as they relate to your freelance business:

1- Billing, Invoice and Rates 
2- Legal matters 
3- Tax 
4- Proposal Writing 
5- Project Estimation

Let’s get started.

Billing, Invoice and Rates. You earn your living through your freelance business. So this is the most important factor of the business. If you do not do it right, then the consequences might have negative impacts on your freelance business. Setting your rates might be hard if you are just starting. You might have a hard time adjusting to the fact that you have no clients and as a result people do not really know what you are capable of.

At the same time, you might well be really efficient at what you do. So how do you reconcile the two sides and lay down the foundation for sustainable rates to keep your freelance business going?

A very good way of doing this is to check out what other freelancers are charging based on various factors, including their experience, skills, technology packages, etc. Also, you need to keep in mind that your rates should be low to start with. You will need to increase your rates on a yearly or so basis.

The other major item in getting your income has to do with billing. More often than not clients will want you to give them bulk quotes for projects. In other words, they will want fixed fees. As a starter, you might fall into the trap and underestimate projects. Well, if you do, you will lose! So unless the project is ABSOLUTELY trivial, you should bill your clients for materials and time.

A good invoicing approach is to invoice your client upon completion of milestones. In fact, you need to make sure that the client approves the completed milestone and is happy with it. If so, then they will deliberately execute your invoice and pay you. Whatever method of invoicing you choose, make sure it is made known to the client beforehand. Also make sure that clients understand that payments for work they approve are final and are NOT reimbursable – in the event that the client would want to discontinue the work.

Legal Matters. You should always use work contracts whenever applicable. Even for subsequent changes to a given project, you need written/signed documents. Not all your clients will behave nicely all along. You need to have your assets protected by having a lawyer you can use for legal matters. Do not underestimate this factor of the business. Things happen!

Tax. If you are not good at doing taxes, you need to have someone who knows that stuff do it for you. You do not want any trouble with the IRS or such. Make sure that …

Five Great Sites to Find Freelance Writing JobsFive Great Sites to Find Freelance Writing Jobs



Writers at any stage of a freelance career regularly scan online job boards for paying freelance writing jobs. Professional freelancers who are making a living as writers look to these boards to gain steady clients and increase their monthly writing income. Those who are newer to freelance writing scan these online job listings hoping to get a foot in the door and land that first paying freelance writing assignment.

 


Whether you are starting out as a writer and building a clip file, or you’re well established and looking to boost your monthly writing revenue, it’s important to know where to look for legitimate freelance writing jobs that pay. Here are a few online job boards for writers (some sites mentioned in this article are quite well established, while others are less well known places to look for work).

This article is geared more towards the beginning freelancer looking to get a foot in the door, but should also be useful for writers who have established a freelance career. Hopefully, these web sites will make the difficult search for paying freelance writing jobs a little easier.

Freelancewritinggigs.com

Deborah Ng’s Freelance Writing Jobs is considered one of the most popular sites to find freelance writing jobs. Many freelance writers swear by this site and make it their number one place to look for paying writing jobs.

At this site, you’ll find listings of quality freelance writing jobs that are updated regularly, as well as helpful articles about all aspects of a freelance writing career. The nice thing about Freelance Writing Jobs is that it is geared towards beginning freelancers as well as established writers. In fact, the site has many helpful articles about how to land that first paying writing gig; the article titled “Landing Your First Freelance Writing Job-Where to Begin?” should be required reading for those new to the freelance writing world.

At the Freelance Writing Jobs site, don’t miss the article called “23 Places to Find Freelance Writing Jobs and Freelance Blogging Jobs” (there is a link to this popular article on the front page of freelancewritinggigs.com.) This article is a goldmine of other recommended sites to find freelance writing jobs that pay.

Accentuateservices.com/xmb

Accentuate Writers Forum is run by fellow Hubpages writer and freelancer Michelle L. Devon (also known as Michy). On the Paying Writing Jobs Forum, you will find a carefully compiled listing of quality freelance writing jobs. A lot of care is put into these postings, and there is a nice assortment of jobs for content providers as well as those who write for magazines.

In addition to offering a listing of freelance writing jobs, this site offers a place for writers to post and introduce themselves, and chat about a variety of topics. Accentuate Writers Forum has given many content providers, like those who write for Hubpages and Triond, a way to branch out and find paying freelance writing jobs for print publications.

Freelancewriting.com

Freelance Writing.com is a huge site with an abundance of resources …

Ten Things I Learned in Twenty Plus Years as a Freelance WriterTen Things I Learned in Twenty Plus Years as a Freelance Writer



1. If you want to become rich, go back to school and become a lawyer or doctor. Yes, there are rich writers but the odds are against you. That’s not to say you won’t become one of them, it’s just to say if you’re in it for the money, it’s no place for you. Most freelance writers have full-time, or at least, part-time jobs. If seeing your name and something you’ve written in print sends you into orbit, then you’ll make a good writer.

2. If you’re a hardheaded person, writing is not for you. Very few editors will work with someone who is stubborn. One editor wrote he received an article he liked but it needed work in order to fit into his magazine. He called the writer, explained the changes needed and asked the writer to rewrite the article. When the editor received the rewrite, all the writer did was change a few words. So he called the writer again and tried to get the writer to agree to the changes needed. The writer fought many of the changes but the editor was able to get enough changed to publish the article. However, after that, whenever the editor received anything from that writer, he simply put it into the SASE and returned it unread.

3. Too many people think they can write for publication without learning how to write for publication. This is mind boggling. You wouldn’t expect to perform brain surgery without going to medical school, why would you think you can write for publication without learning how? Okay, that may not be the best example, but learning how to write for publication will save you years of struggling to get published. (Hint: If you don’t know the difference between a book and a novel or an article and a story or don’t know want an SASE is, you better take a writing course.)

4. Very few writers escape the thrill of receiving rejection slips. Louis L’Amour, who at one time was among the top five best selling authors in the world, was reported to have received 200 rejections before selling anything. J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected several times before it was accepted. I received over 100 rejections before I sold my first article and I still get rejection slips.

5. The first page of a manuscript is the most important page of the manuscript. Believe it or not, many editors decide if they are going to reject manuscripts based on the first page, and in some cases, the first two paragraphs. I used to think this was a rip off. What about the middle and the ending? Then I was asked to judge a writing competition. I learned everything an editor needs to know is within the first two paragraphs. If there are grammar errors, there will be grammar errors throughout the manuscript. The same holds true for poor writing, misspellings, bad sentence and paragraph construction and even facts. (If there’s one mistake …