Tag: Tips

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, …

Scheduling Tips for FreelancersScheduling Tips for Freelancers



I don't understand why focus is so difficult these days. It never used to be. When I worked for someone else, I knew what time I started, what time I finished and I knew exactly what to do and when to do it in between. Now, working for myself, I just don't seem to know – when to start, what to do first, when to quit. It's frustrating as all hell. Grant proposals to write – for pay. Business plans to write for pay. A poetry manuscript to edit. A short story manuscript to compile. A website to complete, both personal and for pay. This whole blogging thing to work on. And then of course there are dishes, laundry, and cooking, cleaning, building relationships. On and on and on. Ahhhhhh! The whole thing about setting a schedule to work by is psychological. I get this feeling then that I'm no longer independent, once again on a timetable. Yet here's the thing. If there's no timetable, then nothing really gets done. Haphazard and scattered bits and pieces. I've had no customer complaints, except the one internal customer – me!

So, I've started something I've never done-a to do list. Not in any kind of order, the first thing to do is get it all down, brainstorm, everything that can be thought of that needs doing, keeping household separate from both personal and paid work. Then decide which takes priority. Sometimes this can cross over because sweeping or cooking can free up the mind to receive ideas for the others. It's gonna take at least a day to get everything organized, at least for me, to have all paid stuff ordered together, all personal, etc.

Then calculate at least an 8-hour day, just like a job. When I first became self-employed I used to get up and prepare myself just like I was going to the office. I've since gotten lazy and usually get up, grab a cup of java and sit down at the computer. Wrong! Shower, brush teeth, get dressed and then go to work! There's an old saying about saving money that you pay yourself first, otherwise it'll all be gone by the time you get around to you. The same holds true for work. While we think that we should do paying jobs first, because after all, that's what's keeping the roof over our heads, when we're done, we have no brain power left for our personal stuff. So, my choice is "me first." Read my email, gather ideas for writing & blogging, then do the actual writing and blogging. Spend some time marketing, checking out submission guidelines, publishers, etc. At least half of the 8-hour day should be spent on personal work otherwise the success will never come. And breaks have to come in somewhere. Breaks were taken at corporate so why not at home? Stretches, coffee breaks, lunch, and all away from the computer. Again, it frees up the mind to receive.

Now, all is ready …

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 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. …

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 …

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…

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 …

How to Become a More Efficient Freelance WriterHow to Become a More Efficient Freelance Writer



Being a freelance writer is the dream of millions, but many writers fall short of their goals because they do not work efficiently. Luckily, there are some easy things you can do to increase your productivity and your income. Simply use these tricks to boost how many articles you can write in the time you have.

 

Create a Schedule

When you are a freelance writer, it can be easy to get side tracked. By setting a schedule of when you will write and how much you will write, you are going to become more productive. Set aside blocks of time every day where you sit down to do nothing but write. When you do this, you should see a huge increase in your article productivity.

Write What you Know

Try to write articles about things you already know. The less research you have to do for a particular article, the faster you can write that article. Of course, the faster you are able to write, the more money you are going to make. So whenever possible, find topics that you know about to reduce how much time you have to write.

Time Yourself

There is nothing that will pressure a writer to write quickly that the ticking of the clock. So if you are having a hard time getting those articles written quickly, sit down and set a goal for how long you would like to spend on each article you write. Then time yourself on how long it takes you to write a typical article. Once you see how much time you need to shave off your writing time, slowly knock off a few minutes at a time.

Limit your Time in Forums

It can be very easy to tell yourself you are doing work when you are surfing around writing forums on different sites. Though spending time communicating with other freelance writers can be a great way to find out about opportunities, there is a point where it will hurt your efficiency as a writer. So allow your self a set amount of time every day to look at your favorite forums and then get to work.

Find Higher Paying Sites

Efficiency is not just about writing more in a particular time frame but making more for every article you write. So although sites like hubpages, ezine are great places to write for, you might want to apply for sites like Demand Studios and Internet Brands. If you are able to write articles for these sites, you could literally earn five times more than you are currently making. So if you want to increase your efficiency, keep an eye out for higher paying opportunities.

Keep a List of Article Ideas

Another way you can increase your efficiency is to combat writers block with a list of article ideas. By keeping a running list of articles you can write, you will help cut down the time you spending trying to find a subject to write about. This means that …

5 Tips from a Freelance Designer: Become a Jack of All Trades5 Tips from a Freelance Designer: Become a Jack of All Trades



I know, it flies in the face of conventional wisdom. The idea of no longer needing to specialize in one area of the technology field is boggling to some and very natural to others, but it is a truth: being a freelance designer means bringing a deck of professional skills to the table.

  1. Focus On the Basic Principles: Working for web or print output, packaging or UI design means using the same basic design principles of color, typography, and grids. Spend some time developing a strong portfolio in several output options that show you have the creativity and experience to tackle a full project.
  2. Follow Trends: Your client knows what they want based on what is coolest right now. So know what is coolest and how to create it.
  3. Make Every Piece Count: Yes, you’ve got to get a start somewhere and yes, it’s tempting (and almost involuntary) to take every project that comes your way. Don’t. Every single piece that you create, even the most basic logo design, have to be prime examples of your very best work. This is much more important when starting out than you would think. Unfortunately it can hurt the wallet in the beginning but it will pay off financially, emotionally, and professionally in the long run.
  4. Keep a Specialization: Build your reputation on a specialized area that you can consistently deliver. In the end it is your reputation that will bring clients back to you with more ideas and future projects.
  5. Balance it Out: Don’t spend so much time learning new technologies, languages, and techniques that you let your work lag. People are getting to know you. Don’t let them down by not producing work in at least two areas of commerce (Etsy, DeviantArt, and Stock Distribution sites are great starter choices) while you buff up your portfolio with pieces that really make you shine.

Taking this route does take more time to achieve a point of success you’re happy with. My very best advice: if you’re even considering this path, get started now. Don’t wait – make up projects to work on. Pretend a massive company has hired you and create every piece of material they might need designed. Then, do it again.…