Blogging offers writers great rewards. We get to share our words with others. We educate and entertain. If we’re really lucky, our blogs generate income or interest from book agents. To do any of this, however, you need readers, and in the early days of any blog, readers are hard to come by. [Read more…]
Freelancing in any niche is a tough task, requiring you to play the roles of boss, employee, client hunter, marketer, and motivator each and every day, a workload much more demanding than many more traditional jobs! Being successful and moving upwards may be tough, but it’s entirely possible; you’ll just need to stay on the cutting edge of what’s new, exciting, and useful in your field.
Planning to take your freelancing career to the next level? Check out any of these five freelancing seminars to sharpen your mind and build your contact list: [Read more…]
File sharing has been around ever since digital files existed. From sharing files using floppy disks to using online platforms – these are all forms of file sharing. With the advances in technology, however, file sharing has become such a widespread activity.
There is the common misconception that file sharing – and thus the platforms allowing them – is automatically related to shady activities. While this idea may be justified, there are actually a lot of legitimate uses for file sharing platforms: sharing copies of your ebook, sharing photos of your vacation, and so on.
When it comes to file sharing platforms, I suppose there is no cut and dried answer. Take for example one of the newest platforms to hit the news – Kim Dotcom’s MEGA. You may be familiar with the name Kim Dotcom. That’s because he is the founder of now defunct Megaupload, which banged heads with the law last year. The entrepreneur has not taken things lying down, and he has made a comeback with MEGA.
One would understand how it can be attractive to users. How does 50GB worth of FREE storage sound? Even Dropbox cannot compete with that! Here’s an infographic to give you more information about MEGA.
Those things being considered, I personally think that file sharing platforms are not inherently evil. It’s in the way that you use them, don’t you think? Why don’t you share your thoughts?
I’ve been a (more than) full-time writer for ten years. It takes talent, ambition and the ability to manage your time and money to be successful. Contrary to popular belief, you can be a successful freelance writer without starting your own business. However, if you have a habit of slacking or procrastinating, this probably isn’t the path for you.
My typical day includes writing for up to ten clients at a time. This includes everything from SEO-rich web content to brochures for international hotel chains. I scour job boards for new openings and apply daily, even if I have a full workload for the next few months. I’m also updating my resume, website and LinkedIn while learning new skills like SES qualifications as I accept new projects. [Read more…]
If you’re like most writers, you enjoy the part of your job that entails putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). You’re probably, however, somewhat less fond of marketing. Many of us squirm at the idea of cold calling or attending networking events.
That’s why it’s so important to have a strong professional website. Once it is up and running, it can bring you a steady stream of referrals with little or no further effort you your part.
These are features that will help your website attract customers [Read more…]
The popularity of social media in today’s job market has made everybody believe they can talk their way to a job. It gives them an excuse to visit their favorite social media site and say they are doing it as a part of their job search. While freelancers and job seekers can find jobs on social media sites, it needs to be handled carefully to be successful.
When looking for freelance writing gigs, it is important to let people know you are open to receiving new clients. One of the benefits of social media is the people you are associated with know others and those people know more people. You never know who you can reach within your network on a social media site just by telling people you are looking for a freelance position. [Read more…]
I usually have about seven projects at a time, and they’re not all created equal. As a successful freelance writer, I’ve been on the wrong end of a bad job. However, there are some warning signs that are easy to miss. If a job posting requires numerous, generic forms, you’ll be drowning in paperwork and red tape for the entire project.
Trust your gut during a phone interview. If the client doesn’t know what they want, they’re not going to be happy with anything you produce. The most lucrative jobs are from either well-established corporations or start-ups with solid investors. Tread carefully if a job posting seems too broad or it requires you to sign up for an account. [Read more…]
I like to think of myself more of an optimist than a pessimist. I could be wrong, but I think that’s a trait that could influence the success of a freelance writer. After all, you need a certain degree of positivism to take that leap – leave your regular day job pay and strike out on your own.
There are times, however, when all this freelancing business gets to me. I know I should not complain. This is, after all, what I had been aspiring for while I was still a corporate drone. This was – and is – my dream.
Freelance writers are only human.
I don’t think anyone will dispute that. Contrary to “popular opinion”, writers who work at home, visit clients if necessary, and still have to take care of the thousand and one chores at home are also vulnerable to down times. When things become too much for me to handle, I allow myself to feel bad for a while. Just for a while, though. I force myself to move on afterwards.
In an effort to get this load off my mind, and maybe to help others in the process, I am going to list down those freelancer issues that sometimes get me down and meddle with my productivity. Bear with me, please!
- Funky Internet connection. I am sure you agree that a stable Internet connection is one of the most important tools for a freelance writer. I am actually not asking for super fast speeds – just a stable connection, both for home use and mobile use. A solution: have two providers just in case – if you can afford it.
- Computer failure. Oh, the horror stories we’ve heard! I don’t need to go on and on about this. We’ve all had our computers act up at the most inopportune of times.
- Expectations at home. People will always expect something from you, no matter what kind of job you have. I don’t know if you experience the same thing, but it seems to me that sometimes, family and friends think that you can drop whatever you are doing the moment they need something of you. You’re a freelancer after all. You don’t have the same responsibilities as office workers do. It makes me want to tear my hair out at times!
- Unexpected circumstances beyond your control that make a dent on your earnings. Sickness. Personal emergencies. Even technical problems fall under this. When it happens, and you have to worry about your earnings for the month, it can really be a tough time. Getting back on your feet and moving on is the logical thing to do, but it is easier said than done.
- Unfair and destructive criticism. Some people are thick-skinned, and most of the time, I allow criticism (of the bad kind) to flow over me like rain falling on a newly waxed car. Of course, when delivered at a bad time, this kind of feedback may very well be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Whew! That felt good!
I’ve always seen writing as a way to vent my feelings without being destructive, and it is no different this time. Are you feeling frustrated with what you’re doing right now? Let’s commiserate with each other, and find solutions to make things better.
Marcia Dentley has been working from home for several years. You won’t see her without her trusty laptop, but she also always has a pencil and notepad with her. Her other constant tech companions: www.clear-internet.com, Quora, and Twitter.
A day before New Year’s Eve, I find myself getting some work done. I know it’s supposed to be a break, but there are some things I need to finish and some things I need to prepare for. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more than a couple of you who are in the same boat.
And while I do believe that change does not have to happen only when a new year comes in, it does have a nice symbolic ring to it. So, as I sit here going through a partially mental, partially written out list, I thought it might do good to share some thoughts with you. It would also be great to hear how you prepare for new beginnings!
Out with the old, in with the new – or so they say. To be honest, though, there isn’t much I would throw away.
Delete or archive files
Maybe I am a hoarder that way, but one thing that is important for me to do is to delete or archive files that I have accumulated in 2012.
For sure, you also have massive amounts of files that you probably would not be needing in the next year. What do you do with them? I prefer to be quick and painless about it: simply delete those I know I would never take a look at again and store the rest in an external hard drive.
I’ve had my share of failures in the past year, both personally and professionally. While totally forgetting these events is impossible, being able to let go of their crippling effects and facing the new year with a spring in my step is at the top of my list. Being a realist, I know that this is probably not an overnight thing, but the intention is there.
New habits, new tools
I once read somewhere that when you let go of something, you open yourself up to new things. Staying on the practical side of things, I think that this section is mainly all about tools that can help me improve my workflow. I’ve been looking at some tools that will – hopefully – help me create new, better habits. Here is what I have so far.
Asana is a task management platform for teams, and while I usually work alone, I do collaborate on some projects with other people. Asana is perfect for keeping tabs on each other, what we’re doing, and how the project is going along. It also is a great reminder/to-do tool.
I have been using Buffer for almost a year, but not as regularly as I should have. This tool helps in making social sharing more organised as it allows you to space out your tweets and Facebook updates. It also gives you basic stats about the links you share.
My Team Monitor
Just in case you do lead a team, the chances are you do so remotely. Then you might be interested in www.myteammonitor.com, a tool which I have been looking at since it’s at the beta stage, and use is free. It allows you to track the productivity of others wherever you may be. It’s not exactly the first thing that comes to mind as a freelancer, but I have encountered some freelancers who have been building up their business to the point that they have several sub-contractors who do some work for them.
A couple of days ago I was chatting with some friends over drinks, and the topic turned to social media. Given the status of about half of us as geeks, this was an in depth discussion that lasted for quite some time. Accompanied by plenty of eye rolling from the other half of our group with little interest in social media outside of playing Farmville.
When we talk about the web and technology related fields, those in the group as obsessed as I am will usually agree on the good, the bad and the undecided. But what shocked me was that of those there, only one other friend had used Quora. A fact that was stunning, given my recent obsession with the site and the way it is growing more and more by the day. [Read more…]