Tag: Working From Home

Freelance in a FlashFreelance in a Flash



Various circumstances can cause a former full-time employee to find herself suddenly freelancing as a full-time profession. Late last year, I had begun planning my smooth full-time to freelance transition and saw myself just about ready to give my employer a full month’s notice.

 

At the beginning of December (just two business days before I planned on handing in that one month’s notice), I found myself involved in two car accidents within three days of each other. With minor injuries, I had the option to collect disability from my full-time employer, but learned that I would be unable to legally collect any freelance income in addition to my disability earnings. Even freelancing part-time, I knew I’d be able to make more than the disability paid, so I quit the job rather suddenly after sending in documentation about the accidents.

The transition was abrupt even though I had already begun preparations. Here’s what I learned immediately after my sudden transition:

An abrupt transition isn’t easy. Different circumstances might have been better, but life had something else in mind. Car accidents, job losses, recessions, sudden relocation for a spouse’s higher-paying job or an ill family member needing care-these things happen and they don’t happen gracefully. Accept it and move forward.

Communicate with existing clients. Be candid but professional with clients about your situation; if they have more work and approve of your previous work, they’ll give it to you.

Communicate with family members. An abrupt transition likely means that you have other things going on emotionally and you’re probably stressed. Communicate with your family members to let them know that you need time and space to work, but don’t afraid to ask for support when you need it.

Once these primary steps have been handled, here’s what you need to do to freelance in a flash.

Week One

Assess your finances using estimates. You need to get working, and fast. Do a rough estimate and re-budget if necessary. You can revisit this in time, but for the moment, you’ll need to find out if there’s any money available for your start-up costs.

Get what you need. Folders, paperclips or even a new color printer-certain things are essential for a full-time freelancer. Make a quick list and do a one-stop shopping trip at the least expensive office supply store. Get that rewards card if you don’t have one already. Save those receipts-even if that means stuffing them hurriedly into a folder for now, and stick to essentials only.

Take on a full workload and keep looking. If you can, don’t take a large amount of time off, even if you can afford it financially (in my case, I only took a few days’ recovery time with minor injuries before I was freelancing). The best remedy for a job loss or sudden change at this point is the reliability of your favorite clients.

Get to work. Once you know you are actually able to freelance full-time, …

Starting a New Business: Freelance Vs. LicensedStarting a New Business: Freelance Vs. Licensed



With job loss at an all time high right now, more and more people are considering being their own boss. For many this may be a temporary solution but for some it could be more permanent. Once you do actually decide that you need a little extra income, you will need to do a little thinking of what that actually means. There are two different approaches to working for yourself. One is becoming a licensed business and filing the appropriate paperwork and the other is to be a freelancer. There are definite benefits to both of these choices. You will need to weigh those benefits yourself.

 

There are different aspects that you will need to look at when deciding which route you want to go. In some states, you still need to file a business license as a freelancer but they are cheaper fees and less paperwork. There are also some industries that you will need additional paperwork and fees. An example of that is in California you need a license to sell any type of monitor or T.V. screen. Many states have some additional licenses and fees for products sold but for services offered there are little to no fees. A trip to your local Chamber of Commerce, either online or in person, will answer many of your questions.

As a freelancer, you will have the benefit of not filing for a business license. This is a definite choice for those that are only doing work from home temporarily or part time. If the business is not a full time or permanent way of life for you, you stand to gain from freelancing. As a freelancer, you advertise your services or goods yourself and do the work on your own. As a freelancer, you cannot have any employees. You are basically an independent contractor. This means that you work on your own. If you are offering labor services, you can hire additional help on a contract basis. In some states, this makes you a business and you will need to file the appropriate paperwork. The biggest benefit of being a freelancer is that you do not have a lot of tax paperwork. You need to keep a log of what you earned for your taxes but you do not have to report monthly or quarterly. As a freelancer, you also do not have any overhead, hiring restrictions, EO responsibilities, insurance requirements, or any of the other business requirements. It is much harder to advertise and you are not eligible for any government contracts or services. If you are only working temporarily or in certain industries, like IT or writing, then freelance would be a viable alternative.

When you file for a business license, there are many responsibilities that go with it. There are many benefits as well. As a small business, you can qualify for some loans, lines of credit, and local grants. You will also be able to separate your personal finances from business finances. This will allow …

Tasks Freelance Blogger’s Can Do on a Slow DayTasks Freelance Blogger’s Can Do on a Slow Day



Freelance bloggers rely on their blogs to earn their money. They post to them frequently and build up a following and in time they begin to earn an income that helps to sustain them. Blogging is a great way to make a living, but even a freelance blogger has a slow day now and again. So what can you do when they’re having a slow day? Here are a few ideas to get you going.

Market your blog. Join a few social networks and stop in and do some marketing. Find friends with comments that your blog would address and mention your blog in a casual post. Put your blog into your website listing on your profile. Make a comment on your latest blog post or an upcoming blog post that may interest many on your social listing.

If you’re going to be out and about running errands and unable to post to your blog, take along some flyer’s and business cards and put them up on some bulletin boards or leave a few on a table in waiting areas. Don’t be shy now, you’re marketing your blog here. This is a great time to toot your own horn and make your blog known.

If you’re going to be at home you can make some edits on your blog. Add some different advertising for a change of pace or change a color or two around for a different look. Pre write your blog postings and set them up to auto post later in the week, month or year. You’ll be farther ahead and well on your way to a secure income if you have your blog postings ready to go ahead of schedule.

Take this time to read similar blogs and make polite appropriate comments and leave your blog url in your comments. Often people want more information and if your blog has it why not let them know. You could also go to a site like Yahoo answers and see if there are any questions that might pertain to your blog. Write up an appropriate answer and either reference your blog or cite your blog in your answer for even more visitors. If the question is fresh and you have a blog that pertains take advantage of it.

You could set up a blog that lists all your blogs and every time you post a new posting add it to the blog you set up. This could be a showcase of all your blogs and articles or websites that you just make a brief comment on.

Write a few articles for a change of pace and use your blogs as reference. You can easily hyper link your blogs in many articles providing they pertain to the article and are done so tactfully without directly pointing them out.

Update your twitter site and list your latest blog postings. Add a few more friends to your twitter account so that you’re constantly building your list.

You could also take this time …

Targeting the Wrong Markets: The Biggest Freelance Writing MistakeTargeting the Wrong Markets: The Biggest Freelance Writing Mistake



Freelance writers make plenty of mistakes as they learn the ropes and develop their craft, but targeting the wrong markets is arguably the biggest freelance writing mistake. If you’re targeting the wrong markets, you aren’t selling any material. Every freelance writer must find the perfect markets for his or her style, voice and expertise. Sometimes this conclusion is reached after months (or even years) of hard labor and rejection.

 

Shooting Too High

Every young freelance writer wants to land a gig with Better Homes & Gardens or Time Magazine or National Geographic. The reality, however, is that we all have to pay our dues, and that usually means starting out with markets that don’t pay as well as Newsweek. Shooting too high is part of targeting the wrong markets — your eyes get far too big for your stomach and you start querying magazines that probably aren’t going to give you an assignment.

To avoiding targeting the wrong markets in this fashion, try to view your career as a freelance writer objectively. How many clips have you published in other magazines? And do you have what it takes to write for a large publication? It isn’t always about how well you can write; it also has to do with your ability to evaluate a potential market and then provide the type of story a specific publication wants.

Shooting Too Low

Some freelance writers target the wrong market in the exactly opposite way: They shoot too low. They figure that no one would ever want to publish something they created, so they write for publications that either pay very little or don’t pay at all. This can be just as detrimental to your career as shooting too high because clips from disreputable magazines is just as bad as no clips at all. Not only that, but you’re sending the message that it’s O.K. for writers to work for nothing.

When looking for potential markets, find smaller magazines that pay, but that don’t have national coverage or that have specialty niches. This will allow you to build up your craft while still making at least a little bit of money.

Not Playing to Your Strengths

Every freelance writer has strengths and weaknesses that affect the way he or she works and lives. If you play to your strengths, you’ll be able to make the most out of your freelance writing career and you won’t ever feel as though you are stuck in a rut. When you write articles for magazines that don’t interest you or that present problems in your writing, you’re targeting the wrong markets.

If you want to make a career as a freelance writer, you’re going to have to look at each market objectively before you decide whether or not to query it. Order several back issues or look them up online to get a feel for the voice, style and culture of the magazine itself. If the subject matter doesn’t interest you or if you don’t …

Freelance Author’s Beware – How to Spot Publishing ScamsFreelance Author’s Beware – How to Spot Publishing Scams



If you have to pay them to publish your creative works or to send you a book…it’s a scam! If you are a well developed writer, a publishing house will give you money and copies of your creative works. As a struggling freelance writer, you must beware of publishing scams that exist on the internet. According to Mrs. Allen (2007), you should investigate the publishing company that you plan to sell your work too. So many, gifted writers actually get caught up in these types of scams.

 

Before signing any contract with a publisher, please take time to investigate the history of the company. Start, by calling the Better Business Bureau and ask them about the company’s history of complaints. Then, look for local or online writing communities and ask other writer’s about the publisher that you was approached by. Many of these writing groups have information about current scams that exists.

Then, take time to research the many paying markets, which are waiting for a talented writer to come their way. Your writing should speak for itself and it will, if you treat it as a career and keep learning as you write. Keep submitting your work often and listen to the editor’s notes, because they know what they want or need. Never allow other people to edit your work, instead taking writing course online or at the local community center.

Next, search the internet or your local bookstores for books that list the current paying markets. There are many books that deal with every writing market like: magazines for children and adults, novel and short stories, poetry, and song writing. You may find a home for all of your writing and you won’t have to deal with annoying scams. Also, you may find some freelance markets or communities on the internet.

However, watch out for the freelance communities that exist on the internet that charge you money, but don’t bring you any work. Always look for communities, which allow you to speak with their other authors through discussion forums or chats. Only you can protect yourself from being swindled, by the phony promises of a swindler. As an author, it is your job to sell your writing, so spend time researching the market and its preferences.

Finally, never sign any contract without reading it and seeking legal advice from a qualified lawyer. This way, you will know, whether it’s a scam or a reputable publishing company, who is ready to give you a place for your writing to shine. It doesn’t matter is you are a struggling freelance writer or a passionate hobbyist. If you can choose to submit your articles for publication, you should treat it as an important business deal!…

Exploring the Freelance Job MarketExploring the Freelance Job Market



With gas priced at $4 per gallon and the unemployment rate as high as it is, there’s no doubt in my mind that people need to start finding new ways to make money, or make major modifications to their lifestyle. The latter is certainly an option, albeit a painful one, so I want to focus on the first option: making more money. I believe that the very best way to do this is to get involved in the freelance job market.

 

Many people do not realize it, but there are literally hundreds of people hiring for part-time jobs over the internet. Most of these jobs are pretty simple: article writing, directory submission, editing and proofreading, or creating accounts at social bookmarking networks, and some of these jobs pay rather well. If you have skills with computer programming or website design, you can make a whole lot of money. This can be a great way for you to earn the extra money you so desperately need to help pay off your bills.

My favorite place to find freelance jobs is this list of freelance jobs. It’s being updated constantly, and there’s all kinds of jobs available.

You can work as a freelancer part time if you want, or you can do it full time. Either way, if you budget your time appropriately, it gives you the flexibility to work whenever you can.

I’ve done a lot of freelance writing work the past few months because I was unable to find a good job. Freelancing gave me some disposable income during that time. Now that I have a part-time job, I still do some web design and writing jobs from time to time as a way to supplement my income.

Unfortunately, as you might expect, it is difficult to stay with freelance work for long periods of time. Most people find it difficult to get and stay motivated when they can work uninterrupted from their home computers. What I would best recommend to you is that you get out and try it. Sign up and get involved. There is no other way to figure out if this is truly right for you or not. Do one small project from start to finish, collect your pay, and see if this is something that you can do for an hour or two a day to help supplement your income.

Personally, I think this is a much better option than the alternatives.…

Answers from a Freelancer: An Interview Looking at the World of FreelancingAnswers from a Freelancer: An Interview Looking at the World of Freelancing



Freelancing, especially with regards to computer and website work, has become extremely popular. There are dozens of popular freelance websites that are connecting website owners with freelancers to get many projects done. I have interviewed one of those freelancers to get an inside look into his job.

 

What is your name, age, and location? 
I am Michael M., I am 19 years old and I live in Ontario, Canada.

What made you want to get started in freelancing? 
Well when I first started getting into computers and coding work, a lot of friends would ask me for help here and there, I had a lot of other family friends ask me to make them websites for their companies and it was work I really enjoyed doing. So I thought why not try to make a living doing it. Fun work and you get the chance to meet and work with people from all different fields of employment.

What areas do you specialize in as a freelancer? 
Mostly PHP & CSS design. I do a lot of working with PHP and MySQL backends. I also do a lot of work designing the site in CSS according to XHTML standards. I’m also pretty well versed in AJAX, Javascript and Actionscript.

What are the benefits for you to work for yourself doing freelance work? 
Probably the same as anyone else who works for themselves: You set your own hours, it’s easy to get to or from work, especially when you work from home. You have lower overhead in most cases which leads to better profit. The best I would say is you actually get to deal with all of the clients; you’re not just some small part of a bigger machine so you really get to meet a lot of different, interesting people when doing freelance work.

Do you think you’d want to work for one company in the future? Why or why not? 
Would I want to? Probably not because I like the freedom of what I do now, but chances are I will probably end up working for a bigger company as freelancing at times can be hard to provide a paycheque. There’s so many sites now that offer people a chance to “rent coders” and with so many younger, non-experienced coders that don’t know what they’re doing bidding bottom dollar it takes away from the work, and it takes jobs away from coders who are very talented and can actually get the job done right.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with regards to being a freelancer or freelancing in general? 
To clients looking to hire a freelancer, there are a lot of people out there that will take your money and not code, or will simply provide you with a half coded script they themselves didn’t even make. When picking someone to code for your project, do your research! Ask for examples of their work, ask for a reference or two, and realize larger scripts can take

How to Set Yourself Up for Freelance Writing SuccessHow to Set Yourself Up for Freelance Writing Success



There are many people who are turning to a career in freelance writing to make ends meet. These people are looking to add to their full time income or to even replace a lost job. Freelance writing is a great way to make money working from home. Many people that attempt to make money with freelance writing fail miserably. The reason for this is that they fail to take the proper steps to set themselves up for freelance writing success.

 

Step One

Create a place for you to work to make money freelance writing. Many people do not think about this as they go about trying to become a freelance writer. To be successful, you need to have a dedicated place just for your work. Writing sitting at your kitchen table will only work for so long and will not help you to achieve the success that you are looking for in freelance writing. You need to set up a mini home office to do your writing in. Even if the only place that you have is a corner of the bedroom, this space needs to be defined as the place where you do your writing. You can get an inexpensive desk at a yard sale or flea market to set up your office.

Step Two

Schedule a set amount of hours each week to work at your freelance writing if you want to be successful. Many people try their hand at freelance writing thinking that they will make a lot of money without having to do a lot of work. This is not the case. To become a freelance writer, you need to treat this just like any other job that you have had. You need to dedicate hours each week to your career and do not neglect your freelance writing. Look at it like you are punching a time clock every time that you log in to work. You get out of freelance writing what you put into it.

Step Three

Practice patience as you build your freelance writing career. Newcomers to becoming a freelance writer, often get discouraged after their first month of writing because they are not making a lot of money like the seasoned freelance writers are. You can not compare yourself to writers who have been working at this longer then you have. It will take time to build your freelance writing career to the level that you want it to be at. The good news is that the more that you work at it; you will achieve your freelance writing success faster.…

Some Fun Freelance Jobs to Bring in Some Extra MoneySome Fun Freelance Jobs to Bring in Some Extra Money



Job downsizing, lay offs, cut hours – there isn’t anyone I know who has not been affected by the economy lately but what others see as a bad thing I see as a GREAT chance to try to develop another job (potential career) on the side. for me as a nanny (only working 15 hours a week) it’s photography that is my fun side job and I’m quickly building a reputation around town as the best budget photographer- which is so much fun. Anyhow here are some other fun freelance jobs that you could try on the side (or full time if you’ve gotten laid off)

 

PHOTOGRAPHER– as I mentioned above this is the secondary (or freelance) job that I do in addition to my normal day job and I hope to do it full time in the future. all you need is a good quality camera and a computer (with a cd burner, color printer and an editing program). to start with you’ll need to set up a portfolio and possible a website – for more in depth tips on how to start a photography biz see my article on the topic. 

MAKE-UP ARTIST
– there are so so many people out there (including myself) that can do basic makeup but have no clue how to do the more fancy stuff like the smooky eye or the flawless foundation- you can make a good little side job out off lending your services to brides, photographers (or their clients), highschool students getting ready for a dance and a number of other events. You’ll need a biz card and a bunch of really high quality make up (working with numorous clients you might encounter people with face allergies to the cheaper kinds of makeup so be sure to invest in the good stuff) – see if you can shadow and help out with a current makeup artist to learn some of their tricks and tips.

MASSAGE THERAPIST– you need to get a degree for this- but there are several schools where you can achieve this in just a few short months. I’ve got a friend who does massage and she takes her table to the clients house AND has space for clients to come to her home, you can specialize in a certain type of massage or market to a target audience (like pregnant ladies) or just try to get whatever jobs you can. Free massage coupons are great to start out and get some references and maybe throw in some fun promotions like a free massage when someone refers three paying customers

EVENT PLANNER- this one is one of those jobs that you’ve gotta really love, the stress levels can be high- read as much literature as you can, talk with fellow event planners, maybe even volunteer to help them out for a bit to get the hang of it. Weddings are the biggest events that are in demand for planners, you may have to offer your services …

FreelancingFreelancing



Times are bad. There is an economic slow down and many employees are being given the pink slip. Getting another job has become a tough proposition. They are just not available. Now what are you going to do? Wait till the depression lifts? Why not try freelancing?

 

When you do freelancing you are called a freelancer and a freelancer is one who is not committed to any employer and is on his own. Basically he or she is selling his or her skills as a specialist service. It is of course not necessary that you should be an expert at your job, but it helps.

Freelancing is a good way to start a business. Your own. Common areas where freelancing is prominently practiced include

journalism,

article writing,

proofreading,

copywriting,

computer programming,

graphic design,

consultancy, translating,

transcription and many other professional services.

What freelancing business you do depends on the knowledge and the expertise that you have. The advantages of starting a free lancing business is that you do not really need a separate office space, though if you have one it would be helpful when your business grows. You work from the comfort of your home. There is no 9 to 5 grind. Minimum equipment and all you need is a PC or laptop, an Internet connection (preferably broadband) and a telephone. And since you are working from home, there will be the opportunity for you to spend quality time with your family, if you have one.

You also do not need a lot of capital unless the business you intend to start has to carry an inventory. You could, of course, buy equipment that will make running your business a lot easier, but this should be deferred for a later day when your business has grown. It is better to start with minimal investment.

But there is one thing that you should have in mind. Just like any other business, freelancing will also have its hiccups and starting troubles. It will not start working for immediately. You may not even get a job for quite a long time. The good news is that you are in control and how you run the business is up to you.

You cannot afford to be complacent. Just like any other business, you have to work hard at it to make it a success. Put all your skills into the first job that you get and complete it to the complete satisfaction of your client. In freelancing, your reputation mostly grows by word of mouth and the quality of your work.

You will have to do some sort of marketing because your business does not have a store front and a prominent banner to advertise your wares. This is a business where you sell your skills rather than physical items. A well designed website is the best kind of advertisement that you can put up for your freelancing skills.

There are no set hours in freelancing. You will be working on your own …