Tag: Freelancer

The Freelancer’s Guide to Overcoming ProcrastinationThe Freelancer’s Guide to Overcoming Procrastination



Procrastination can be a dangerous habit no matter what your job, but when you work as a freelancer it can be deadly to your earning power. Putting off tasks that seem unpleasant or overwhelming may mean that less work gets done – and that can mean fewer dollars in your pocket. Procrastination can also do great damage to your reputation, arguably your most important asset. No one wants to hire a freelancer who consistently misses deadlines, so breaking free of this difficult habit is essential to your success.

Whether you're working as a part-time freelancer to bring in some extra money or have taken the plunge and work full-time for yourself, it is essential to get the procrastination monkey off your back once and for all. By changing the way you look at your work you can provide the temptation to put of these unpleasant or difficult tasks. And those simple changes can help put more money in your wallet and a more stable career as a freelance professional.

Look at the small picture

One of the chief causes of procrastination is a project that just seems too big and overwhelming. When confronted with an incredibly large, incredibly complex project our natural reaction may be to put it off. While it is certainly understandable that the professional freelancer would want to take some time to scope out the project and get a handle on it, the size of the project must not become an excuse for inaction. Putting a project off because it seems too large and overwhelming can result in missed deadlines, unhappy customers and reduced earnings for the freelancer.

Many times simply breaking a large project up into smaller and more manageable chunks can break the procrastination logjams and help the busy freelancer to get started. For instance, if you're faced with a months long project it may be helpful to break the job up into weekly tasks. By meeting this weekly goals you'll feel more in control, and more certain of your ability to finish the project on time.

Get feedback

Asking for feedback is always important for the professional freelancer, but it can be even more important if you're fighting the procrastination monster. Asking the client for feedback on a regular basis is a good way to keep yourself motivated, and a great way to make sure you are making steady progress as a project moves along.

Gathering feedback on a regular basis can do more than just help you fight your tendency to procrastinate. Asking for feedback – especially from a new client – is a great way to stay connected and to make sure all parties are on the same page. By going back to the client often and making sure everything is on track you can be more confident that your work matches the clients need – and you can avoid the procrastination that could wreck the project and cause you to miss those all-important deadlines.

Fighting procrastination is not an easy process, …

Be an Efficient Freelancer by Using Time ManagementBe an Efficient Freelancer by Using Time Management



Time bandits. Those little things around the house that can add up to major time loss over the course of a week. For anyone who freelances or works at home, you know what I mean. Chores, fun distractions, and personal business can all creep in and steal valuable time away from your freelance work.

Here are the top four time bandits in my life, and what I do about them to make sure that I stay on track with my freelance projects.

  1.  The Internet
    Oh, the glories that the World Wide Web has to offer. The web is my biggest distraction (aka: time bandit) because it is convenient, entertaining, and offers variety. Online gaming, fun articles, hobby sites, pictures of the Loch Ness Monster, dancing monkey videos on You Tube…and the list goes on. The point is, while browsing a few sites for article inspiration or research is a great idea, it can be pretty easy to get sucked into the wonders of cyberspace.

Before you know it, half of your workday is gone and you have gotten nothing accomplished.

So what do I do about it? Most often, I'll muster up all of the willpower I have, and force myself to stay focused on the writing project. Then, I'll give myself a five minute break each hour to stop working and explore the fun side of the computer. After that break is over it is back to work, with the promise of a fun break during the next hour.

Of course, there are always those days when the Internet is too much of a distraction, and I can't seem to stay focused on work.That is when I break out my notebook and pen, head outside, and finish my writing in longhand. I find that, being away from the computer for a while breaks the cycle, and I am able to put together an article much more efficiently. If I need to do a bit of research, I'll make a note of it and do it later. Or, I will head in, set the timer, and give myself 10 minutes to find what I need. Then I head back outside to enjoy nature and get some work done.

  1.  Household Chores
    Working at home can be like working in an obstacle course. You want to finish your work, but see all of these things around the house that you want to get done: a leaky faucet to repair, a shirt to iron, a floor to sweep, etc. It's great to get a jump start on household chores so that you will can enjoy a mop free weekend.

However, writing is your career, and it should be treated the way that you would treat any other job – with dedication and hard work.

Odd but true, I love to iron. So, some days I will give myself a break every few hours, to get some ironing and other household chores done. I'll set the kitchen timer for 10-15 minutes and focus in …

How to Find Article Ideas for Freelance WritingHow to Find Article Ideas for Freelance Writing



If you are new to HubPages, you may find yourself like me and be limited with ideas of what subjects to write about. In three months of being on the site, I have found five different ways to generate ideas.

One of my favorite ways to find subjects to write about is Wikimedia Commons photographs. The photographs sometimes remind me of a memory that provides a cute story. The added bonus with this option is the photo that inspires your idea can be used with your article on HubPages. Yesterday one of my thus far more successful articles was inspired by a picture of a panda bear found on Wikimedia Commons. Beware that this website consists of photos people volunteer. I was a bit surprised to see several photographs of male and female private parts with one in the act of masturbation. Use the random photos option rather than searching by category.

Another way I have found ideas for articles is in researching a subject that catches my interest that day. An example of this is an article I wrote on cellular memory. In reading the research for what you are learning about, take notes. Try to understand the subject well in your own mind and then convey it in an article for others to enjoy and also learn from.

The assignment desk on HubPages helps stimulate ideas. Be wary of releasing too many topics because your list of assignments will shrink to near nothing for quite some time. I am guilty of claiming assignments, finding ones that sound more fun to write and releasing the others. As a result my assignment desk usually consists of eight or nine articles inappropriate for me, a lot of picture assignments, some video assignments, and pod casts none of which I have the ability to complete.

If you are looking for an article that you can write quickly then check www.yahoo.com. On the right side of the site, there is something called "web pulse" that shows subjects people are commonly searching for on that day. Choose one of those subjects and write about it on HubPages. Use the display only option to have it released quickly and hopefully people will find it when they are searching for those topics. How successful this is will depend on how quickly your article is indexed but common topics are often the same for a week or more.

Lastly, everyone has heard an author writes about what he or she knows even when it is embedded in fictional stories. For me, I write a lot about health issues, my children, and problems as a disabled person because they are a large part of my life. `I have written reviews of items we have bought and places we have visited.

These are ideas a rookie had that have somewhat worked and I just thought I would share.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Pictures_and_images

 …

How to Win Bids as a FreelancerHow to Win Bids as a Freelancer



When you become a freelancer, you have to find a way to create an income every single day. Many freelancers do this by bidding on freelance job boards. The problem they come across is there are millions of people bidding on the same job as they are. So how do you make your bid stand out, how do you win the bids so you can earn money?

The first thing you need to do in order to win a bid on a freelance site is to understand your skills, what are you offering. If you are a writer, it is important that you focus only on writing jobs for the time being. You do not want to waste your bids on jobs that you are not qualified to do. If you decide you would like to get into another niche, study it, and learn everything you can about it, but always stick to what you know.

Second, you need to decide what your work is worth. I see thousands of posts for transcribers for example. These jobs offer one dollar to nine dollars per audio hour. Now that may seem okay for some, people may think hey, nine dollars and hour that's not bad for working at home. In reality, these jobs can take anywhere from four to six hours to do so you really are making pennies. So how much is your work worth? Once you determine a price, you look for jobs that are within that price range. For example, if you work as a copy typist, and you charge $.04 per word, only bid on jobs that will average out to $.04 per word. You must ensure you are making money.

The third thing you should do if you are trying to win bids is to make sure your profile is filled out. What is your education, your skills, your job history? Do you have a portfolio? Have you ever published anything? These are all things that should be filled out on your profile.

Next, you need to begin taking test. Each freelance job site has tests that can be taken in order to show employers that you are skilled for the jobs they need you for. Some of the sites provide these tests for free while others will charge a fee for them. It is very important that you spend some time and take these test. There are some jobs that you can't even bid on if you have not taken the relevant test. Make sure you score as high as you can because employers can see your scores.

Finally it is time to place a bid. How do you make your bid stand out? If everyone is bidding around the same price and same time period to deliver, you can stand out by offering better. Over to do it for a little less money than everyone else, do it in less time. The way I work, is I will bid on projects, but only accept …

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…