Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Stay Creative While Staying at Home: a Guide for Freelance Writers

Freelancing is a dream for many people – at least they say so. A flexible schedule and the opportunity to select their projects all sound really alluring.

Complaining about rigid procedures and hierarchies at their companies, workers often contend that their abilities go unnoticed or underestimated. Their office has become a prison for their creative potential.

According to statistical data collected by ResearchWritingCenter.com from internal reports:

Over 90% of in-office writers who joined the RWC ranks will switch to freelancing with RWC – leaving in-office positions, within 1 year. The remainder of new recruits will join them within the next 6 months, or will seek another occupation (based on 3.5 years of observation). This means that no in-office writer in the sample who continued working in their corporate position for more than 1.5 years.

However, contrary to the widely held misconception that freelancers are all in clover, working at home poses some unique challenges. Additionally, they face the possibility of creative block, a potentially career-killing condition wherein a person finds themselves short of ideas. There is truly nothing more dreadful than the inability to start working when confronted with a white page.

No matter how interesting the projects might be on which a freelancer works, isolation, and colorless routine remain consistent attributes of work at home.

Sitting in the same room, at the same table, and looking at the same wallpaper pattern (whether on the computer screen or on your walls) may not only be depressing, but also has a negative impact on a person’s productivity.

Lack of communication and being cut off from new impressions; decrease a writer’s chances of generating novel ideas and implementing innovative approaches to projects. These are so serious that all freelancers should take all possible preventative measures to avoid depression and stay creative.

Actually, creativity is significant not only for ensuring quality, but also to keep a writer satisfied with his or her own work. If a freelancer submits a project that seems mediocre, even though he/she has used standard schemes and methods for research and composition, the writer will feel that he/she could have done better. If this situation occurs more than once, and projects begin to look alike, it is high time to raise the alarm. Don’t wait, please, until full-fledged writer’s block sets in! As the proverb says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The same caution applies to the organization of the working environment and schedule at home. A freelancer should strike a healthy balance between self-discipline and a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. Of course, it is vital to stick to business and resist the temptation to waste time on trifles, however pleasant. At the same time, concentration for too long without remission on a research topic may have a paradoxical effect. Some psychologists recommend a modest degree of woolgathering rather than uninterrupted concentration on a project.

A writer following this advice will return to the subject after a delimited relaxation period (perhaps with the help of a timer), refreshed and ready to plunge back in.

Finding the golden mean is important in all spheres of life, and even sticking to business can be taken too far. Keep in mind that creativity, a precondition of success as a freelancer, requires an untrammeled imagination and soaring flights of thought.

In creating the best conditions for this flight of thought, a freelancer should consider modifying both external and internal factors. Thus, a freelancer can make their surroundings work for them rather than against them.

On the one hand, it is critical to keep workspace in order, if for no other reason than that notes might get lost on a messy desk. On the other hand, a setting of judiciously controlled chaos is helpful for some individuals.

A steady diet of the same dull scenery can suppress a writer’s creativity; a detail of the home workplace effectiveness which should not be underestimated. Actually, psychologists advise everyone to make changes in their surroundings from time to time, but this hint is particularly helpful for freelancers. It is possible, without too much investment, to change the appearance of almost any workspace.

Adding or changing a piece of art or poster on display, a different set of curtains, switching the furniture around, swapping out a different floor covering, moving the computer so that a different view is visible; these are “cheap and cheerful’ brighteners, as the British ladies on the BBC show How Clean is Your House might say!

By the way, violet is said to stimulate creativity, so think about including some touch of this color in your workspace. Of course, it is important to adapt any such hints to your own idiosyncratic working style.

It may seem like a major challenge to find inspiration in a small, isolated workspace, but human imagination and contemporary technologies can create unlimited opportunities. Even without office water cooler and lunchroom interactions, an at-home freelancer can still participate in a professional forum.

These online communities offer the chance to exchange experiences, share advice, and discuss the day’s burning issues, whether those issues include global warming, or Manchester United’s chances for the World Cup.

Creative block is truly the besetting demon of all freelancers.

It is practically an occupational disease. Preventing it is crucial for a freelancer’s professional survival. A freelancer should do anything within reason to avoid getting into a rut of stereotypical thinking, depression, or isolation.

This can be helped by modifying one’s surroundings, being pro-active about alternating concentration with relaxation, and reaching out to other professionals using current technology.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Online freelance data entry work

Freelancing is one of the most attractive working opportunity, with the help of which we can make money online.Data entry jobs are coming under this freelancing.It is very flexible and it allows you to handle your own time and working conditions.Your success in getting freelance data entry jobs depends on your patience,talent and skills.

Online entrepreneurs,small companies,fast developing businesses are in need of freelancers.They often have a lot of work in the field of data entry processing and find that it is very difficult for their existing full time staffs to finish the data entry works on time.As a solution to this,they post ads on internet and newspaper to find the right freelancers to help them complete their data entry works.

Many people like to work online from home.There are several data entry jobs including traditional 9-5 jobs and non-traditional commission-based work.You can get a job in this field without any experience also.People do this kind of job to supplement their income.Data entry jobs are an easy method to make money online even though there are many traps also.Commission-based jobs place online ads to promote internet companies.Then the typist get paid a commission which is usually from 50-70% for each sale ones ad generates for the company.The company handles all the sales,inquiries,tech support and delivery of the products.The typists concern is to get the ads out.

Join a data entry program to get started working online.They offer step by step training ,online resources and tutorials which will help one to be successful.

Do freelance data entry jobs exist?

The simple answer here is yes.But you need to find them first.You should be very careful in finding the tasks that you take.Otherwise you may get scammed and you may not get the payment you deserve.This task is like finding a needle in a haystack.One method to find out the appropriate job is through different freelance service sites that connect employers to freelancers.Most of the sites provide free membership.When you are already in,you can always upgrade your account.Going out to the market yourself is another option you have in finding freelance data entry jobs.

How to identify a legitimate opportunity in data entry work?

Some of the different ways include:
  • Check whether the job is posted at a trusted site.
  • Check whether there is any positive feedbacks for the company from a no: of real,registered freelancers.
  • When you deliver the products,check whether the company is willing to pay half upfront and the remainder.
Ways to determine scam

Some of the ways include:
  • If the opportunity requires money from you, it may be a scam.There is no need to ask you money so that you can do a job for them.
  • Check whether the site has a good reputation for truly having freelance jobs available.If not,skip it.
Facts about work from home data entry jobs

For doing a data entry job,one should have a computer with a reliable internet connection.Any professional doing this job could do whatever he wants to do and go where ever he wants to go,provided he could still perform the basic duties and tasks expected from him.
The pay rates may vary depending on the work we do.For example,A typing or encoding job could pay less compared to medical or legal transcription job because the latter requires specific skills and expertise while the former may not.
Another fact is that the data entry jobs are flexible.A home based professional could work whatever time he likes provided he is able to complete the work at specific time.

You should always deliver the final output within the specified time and without any mistakes,as a data entry freelancer.If your employers are satisfied with your quality work,you will get more freelance projects and make more money.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Translator is a person who translates written messages from one language to another or someone who mediates between speakers of different languages. While considering a career as a translator, there is a lot to look forward to. Translators are employed in every conceivable different field including business sector, banking, museums; health care, high tech etc. translators are well paid for their jobs. Most translators even if they work 40 hours a week or more can have freedom in their working hours and can tailor their work day around their families and hence time for hobbies , other small scale jobs or hobbies
freelance translator
To become a successful translator you need to have multi linguistic abilities. A natural ability in the selected language is a must. Classroom study doesn't produce excellent translators but it is important to have a through knowledge about the different languages you are planning to handle. Translators like other skills like excellent writing skills in their target language, in depth knowledge in one or more areas of specialization and business management skills. Their desired qualities are business management skills such as the ability to find and retain clients, work on tight deadlines with little supervision or management, handle increases and decreases in work-flow and cash flow and perform tasks such as book keeping, tax planning and computer upkeeps and maintenance. They must develop the skill to dissect language for the purpose of extracting meaning and representing that meaning into another language. Deep interest and dedication to the language they work with will enable the translator to enjoy their work in hand. 
Translators can work either for translation agencies or direct clients. Translation agency is not an employment agency, and there is no fee involved for a translator to register with an agency. However an agency cannot guarantee a steady flow of work to anyone translator and will normally pay the translator a good deal less than the pre word rate that the agency is charging the client. So in it may be considered only a supplementary source for finding work. Most translators work for both agencies and private clients.
If you have excellent skills in at least two languages then the next most important step is to have an excellent resume highlighting specific skills. Offer services that other translators are not giving or are failing to do. Most experienced translators with a full house of regular clients don't have a financial need to work nights, weekends, rush jobs, etc. Make it clear to prospective clients that you can fill in a short notice and provide quality work. Be realistic. To work full-time or close to it as a translator, you need a size-able list of regular clients. So never quit marketing. Once you have steady work, it's tempting to think that agencies will keep contacting you, freeing you from the hassle of contacting new prospective clients and touching base with previous contacts. However, this is a bad assumption. Work flows go up and down, agencies go out of business, new people come in , the project manager who loves you quits and is replaced by someone who brings in his/her own person, etc .Always keep in touch with the local market. Ask for advice whenever necessary on any point. As you apply to agencies, keep a file of the person you talked to or e-mailed with, and what his or her response was to your inquiry. As you get more experience, periodically contact these people again to let them know a) you're still there and b) you have some new projects to tell them about..
While translation is definitely well-paying as compared with other careers that allow you to work from home in your pajamas on projects that are often very interesting, remember that 25-40% of your income as a freelancer will go to things that your employer normally pays for when you have a full time job. Most people count in the biggies- taxes, health insurance, retirement plan contributions and vacation/personal/sick time, but over the years other expenses like dictionaries, office equipment, continuing education and professional travel add up too.
Show an interest in the profession. Browse translation-related websites, magazines and newsletters out there. Always expand your knowledge .Contributing to magazines and newsletters allows you to both educate yourself and present yourself as someone who's really passionate about the industry, not just someone who likes to work in your pajamas
Never take on work that you can't handle to take on something that's too technical, too long, or too complex and ruining it will earn you a bad reputation. Clients will appreciate your honesty and use you for projects that you can handle. Sometimes this involves protecting clients from hiring you for work that they think that you can do, such as translating into your second language. Politely explain that this work is best handled by a native speaker of that language and offer a referral.
freelancing jobsFinish every project on time and on budget, and never miss a deadline without notifying a client as soon as you realize that despite your good planning, the project won't be done on time. Respect your client's time. Return all phone calls and e-mails as soon as you can, always within one business day. When you're not available, help solve the client's problem by referring them to a colleague. Always leave a contact number when out of city or on holidays. In all of your dealings with your clients, remain professional. When you encounter a problem, it hurts to have your skills or qualifications questioned, but remember that the client is already in high-anxiety mode if they're not happy with your work, and you need to remain calm rather than making the client more upset. Keeping a good relationship with the client and doing outstanding work proves to them that often, you get the level of service you pay for
There are several ways for finding translation jobs.
1. You can apply to translation agencies. To apply to an agency, send a resume and/or brochure on your services. If you're asked to join, you'll probably need to do a trial translation and some basic paperwork.
2. Join online translator directories. At these databases, you can post a profile stating the type of translations you do your qualifications and experience and set your own rate. Some translator directories also have a section where clients can post translating jobs and a forum for networking and help with work. Most of these directories offer free basic membership and don't take finders fees.
3. Browse online freelance job boards. There are a number of general freelance job site that also include freelance translation jobs. At many of these sites, clients post job descriptions and take bids from translators. At others, clients post contact information along with the job description so translators can contact them with more detailed replies.
4. Network with other translators. Build good connections with other people who translate your language pairs. You can not only share job search tips, but also take each other's overflow work. Don't forget about freelance workers and businesses in complimentary industries, either.
5. Get in touch with your target market. Translation often requires a fair amount of client education, so try to meet potential clients in person by providing useful talks and workshops.
Freelance translation is an enjoyable thoroughly fulfilling job which provides you with flexible working hours and a good source of income. Like any other job translation also requires skill, knowledge and dedication, keeping up with marketing standards and providing satisfactory services can help you to become a successful translator

Friday, August 20, 2010

An overview of freelance career-a means of earning from the comfort of our home

freelance onlineBy freelancing on the internet,many people do make a good amount of money,working from the comfort of their homes.That is,We can do a job we love and earn an excellent income.Wouldn't that be great?The person involved in this kind of job can be called as a freelancer.With the advent of internet,things are now much easier.That is,People can keep themselves busy with lucrative work.There are a number of jobsites available for helping freelancers find work and stay busy.
To become a successful freelancer,first you have to find your niche from thousands of online freelancing jobs.Some of the different freelancing careers are :
  • Personal Assistant :Personal Assistant can be asked to answer incoming call,to send out email etc.
  • Data Entry :Data Entry can be anything from adding products to websites to adding articles to blogs.
  • Website Developer:They need to know how Joomla,WordPress,Dolphin and other platforms work and how to install the components,modules and plugins.
  • Writing:You could write yourself into a freelancing career,if you are very knowledgeable about a certain subject.
  • Social Media Consultant:To market a traditional business,a social media consultant can advise companies on the cost effective means of advertising on social networking sites such as Facebook,MySpace etc.
  • Graphic Artist:They could use their artful imagination to design graphical representations of people for use online.
A freelancer should be humble,professional and should not be sarcastic to be successful.He should stay in front of the technology as best he can.A freelancer is not bound by any restrictions that may come within an agency environment.This can be considered as a great advantage as it helps to work directly with the client to know what his needs are.Eventhough you are the highest bidder,the clients will approach you if you are committed to your work.


As a beginner in freelancing our attention must also focus how to attain popularity.That is,building your personal brand.People should recognize you much more online for your skills.
Some of the social networks for freelance collaboration include Dribble,Forrst etc.They are being created targeting specific niches in freelancing.A number of tools are offered by google for social media branding.
Example: google talk,google buzz etc.
Twitter is a well-known venue to build a brand online.We will get some followers who enjoy our work by tweeting frequently and building up your account.
Some of the effective processes that should be considered in this business are:

  • Spend less time on the time consuming aspects of your business.
  • Do outsourcing if needed.


Mistakes lead to failure.So evaluate your work carefully in order to avoid any mistakes. There are some common mistakes that the freelancers make when they are starting out.Some of them are:
  • Fretting over what to charge.
  • Deadlines are not met.
  • Looking for a big dollar amount.
  • Not doing outsourcing when needed.
  • Free resources are not utilized well.
  • Picking wrong partner.
  • Not branding yourself properly.
  • Not saving money for taxes.
  • Over committing.
  • Always saying 'yes'.
  • Underpricing.
  • No focus.
  • Leaving project until the last minute.
  • Failing to sell and so on.
Let us now discuss about the importance of partnership in freelance career.
There are many advantages being in a partnership.Thats why freelancers decide to team up.

  • Enable those involved to spend more time doing what they love most and do best.
  • Our credibility as individual increases if we work with other respected freelancers.
  • Greater income.

For getting a good partner:

  • Work together at least in a small project before signing any agreements.
  • Friendship should be maintained outside of work.
  • Figure out which partner play best with clients and agree with him.
  • Communication is an important factor for maintaining a partnership.

Friday, June 25, 2010

How to Make a Success of Your Freelance Career Without Ever Leaving Home

The advent of the constant use of the internet for business purposes has opened up a whole new set of opportunities for those people who wish to pursue a career working as a freelancer. Thanks to the advent of such software innovations as Live Meeting programs and internet phone services like Skype it is possible for a freelancer to work with people who are hundreds, even thousands of miles away from them.
freelancing jobsThere are virtual freelance opportunities available for people who have all kinds of different skill sets. From virtual assistance to marketing, creative writing to illustration people from all walks of life are taking advantage of the freelance opportunities available online to earn a full time or part time living.
A number of internet sites have sprung up that are dedicated to helping freelance workers and employers connect and then ensure that both the employer and employee are satisfied with the work that is produced and that payment is made in a timely manner. One of the most popular sites, Odesk, is a great place for new freelancers to begin as they guarantee payment for hourly jobs, allowing employees to gain an extra sense of security when just starting out.
Just like any other freelance opportunity the key to success as a virtual freelancer is putting together a great portfolio and amassing a set of great references. Whichever of the freelance sites you choose to work with they all have one thing in common - buyers hire based on the strength of your online profile and feedback. Beginners may want to consider undertaking lower priced jobs to get their work history going and then most find that the higher paying jobs start flowing in when the buyers can see that they will be getting a great work product for their money.
It does not cost a lot to begin working in a virtual freelance capacity. Of course a computer with a reliable Internet connection is a must, as is having a number of methods by which you can be contacted easily. This does not have to mean running your phone bill sky high though; many employers prefer to communicate via email, instant messaging and VOIP services, all of which are available at no cost to either party.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Online Freelance career - New Ray of Hope

It is an exciting career for many as it offers multiple benefits. Now any professional can render his specialized services to a freelance project from anywhere and anytime.
Here are some benefits of working as a freelancer:

online freelance career

1. Freelance freedom- One of the biggest benefits of freelancing is to work independently. A freelancer can self set his working schedule as per his own convenience. It also keep a professional away from general distractions, office politics, numerous meetings over unattainable goals etc.

2. Liberty of choice and timings- Freelancing allows a professional to devote as much time he wants to put in to particular task assigned. Freelancing means flexibility as it enables a professional to work anytime, anywhere as per his choice and schedule. A freelancer can keep full control over the choice of projects, timelines, milestones and price he wants to quote on the project.

3. Cost effectiveness- Freelancers usually work from home, hence the daily expenses are automatically curtailed. He can save money on commuting expenses, traveling time, petrol bills etc. Also a freelancer can also cut on different expenses like new clothes, dresses and other expenses he might face at the time of working as a full time employee.

 4. Opportunities to make more money- Freelancing brings a chance to widen your horizon by showcasing your specialized skills across the globe. It also gives you an unlimited scope to execute projects and earn money for successfully accomplishing a freelance project. Social networking channels can also help you in earning great profits and also a chance to connect with professionals & companies all around the globe.
Most of the online services marketplaces, such as Elance, LimeExchange, ODesk, Guru, etc., also offer free profile posting where a freelancer can get access to varied projects matching his domain of expertise.

5. Less Pressure and work stress - The level of frustration and resultant stress is relatively very low in freelancing as compared to that in a full-time job. As freelancing keeps a professional away from the work pressure and annoying bosses which results in improved efficiency. This will help a freelancer in executing the projects and building a triumphant online presence. Less pressure and stress brings a lot of opportunities for freelancer to put in their best every time in a project.

6. No job risks- The current global slowdown has resulted in massive job layoffs across the globe but for freelancers this has turned out to be a bright opportunity to acquire more projects. Also, professionals who have lost their jobs have started freelancing as this helps them survive and bring a substantial source of earning to them. In order to thrive successfully in freelance business, a freelancer needs to stay updated with latest technologies, trends, demands and the market. He needs keep his learning process on as there would be less exposure to office environment. In that case, a freelancer can make use of tools/resources available online to avoid these difficulties and realize the benefits of this opportunity instantly and effectively.
Hope these benefits will help you explore new avenue to make money online. I welcome your feedback and suggestions on the same.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Your hobby - Your freelance career

Many of us have hobbies that are constructive in that they teach us new things, and occupy our time constructively. What we do not know is that these hobbies are also latent careers in the making. Here, we talk about how easy it is to make your hobby into your new freelancing career.
Got job problems? Or maybe you're thinking of getting into freelancing? Well, don't hesitate. Take out those old home-videos, dust them up and put them in the VCR. Or dust off the journals, and have a read through. Or go through your old coin collection. Or dig out that camera and get snapping. For most of us, freelancing is doing what we do best and making money out of it. I've always kept a journal, so it makes sense that I would become a freelance writer, wouldn't it? Yes. I'm making my hobby pay for me.
Hobbies that you have show your latent talents. You wouldn't be painting as a hobby if you had no idea of how brush strokes work together. You wouldn't make writing into your hobby if you couldn't string two words together. So why not take that hobby you love and make it into a fulfilling career?
Getting into a freelance career isn't as easy as most people think. You need to have a strong base to get started. Only professionals get outsourced projects, so you have to work hard to become a professional in your field. If your hobby is taking wildlife photography, you have to be an expert in judging different types of cameras, lenses, outdoor lighting and so on and so forth. As your hobby, you're doing it for yourself, so you might not be having very exacting standards.
However, if you're planning to make your hobby into your career, you'll have to work a lot harder and be a lot harder on yourself to achieve perfection, or come as close to perfection as you possibly can. Most freelancers have a repertoire of tricks that they use to make their work stand out. As a hobby, you'll probably have learnt quite a few of these tricks yourself, so you're not starting out from scratch.
Moreover, having a decent hobby that you can turn into your career gives you one big advantage: You already have a portfolio. In business terms, this means that you're no longer a newbie and can command higher rates than a newcomer to the field. Good luck with turning your hobby into your freelancing career.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Freelance Career - How Much Money Can I Earn Through Freelancing Jobs?

When freelancers take up Freelancing Jobs or opt for a full time or part time freelance career, the question that constantly bugs them is how much money can be earned through a freelance career or Freelancing Jobs.
Some of the freelancing jobs companies or websites which merit special mention and which will pay you handsome compensation are eHow, HubPages, About.com, Squidoo, BrightHub, Associated Content, Craiglist, Problogger, WriteJobs, and Online-Writing-Jobs.
In fact there are countless other websites like these, which offer handsome money making opportunities and if you can become a guide with About.com, you can earn a minimum of $725 to $1000 per month. About.com appoints guides at the rate of 1 for every subject and if you can match up to their writing standards, you can easily earn up to $3000 to $4000 per month if you are ready to devote more time to writing well researched, keyword rich, informative articles.
 At essaywriters.net, you can earn up to $16 per page and some other Freelancing Jobs websites offer up to $18 per page and the compensation will depend on client feedback, difficulty level of the project and urgency. If you can satisfy the customer fully with your articles, you will be rewarded an extra performance bonus for outstanding work and you will receive bi weekly payment.
If you can submit your assignments within 24 hours, you will earn $7 to $16 per page, if you can submit within 48 hours you will be paid between $6 and $14, if you submit within 4 days then the remuneration will vary between $5 and $12 and if you take a week to submit your completed assignments, the compensation will be between $4 and $10 per page. Payment is done through e-gold, Xoom, PayPal and Wire Transfer.
By submitting quality content to Helium you can earn a fat lot of money and the amount you earn will depend on the quality of your content. Innumerable Freelancing Jobs websites will pay you $20 to write one page and if you can devote around 12 hours per day, you can easily write out 10-11 pages per day. That means you can earn $200 to $220 per day. As freelancers you can earn a minimum of $100 per day by spending around 5 hours behind your writing. That works out to $5500 per month if you work 25 days per month. Thus a freelance career can be quite a happening one for freelancers if they are serious and passionate about churning out quality content.
Basically what I am trying to say here is that as freelancers, it is possible to earn a decent livelihood through a freelance career or Freelancing Jobs and a recent study showed that 28% freelancers earned over $2000 per month, 27% freelancers raked in between $1000 and $2000 per month and 44% Freelancing Jobs holders earned a little less than $1000 per month. If you roam through the virtual territory often, you can come across bloggers who make a cool $5000 to $6000 in one month through blogging and Freelancing Jobs.
One day, while accidentally happening to peruse through elance I found out that top freelancers have brought in more than $16000 in the last 6 months by working through Elance.

Freelancing Career is Still a Lucrative Work at Home Option

If you are contemplating starting out with a freelancing career, the decision is an independent one and is circumstantial of the spate of events in your life or career option you decide to choose. With a freelancing career it's most likely that you cut the cloth as per the situation demands and learn the tricks of the trade on your own rather than regular jobs where you tend to have a role model after whom you style your work and modify it as per your individuality too.
Getting started with a freelancing career is not something that everybody will be able to handle. This is because it requires specific standards and a lot of the job happens to be what employees make of it. It depends on a worker how they would like their career to shape.
As a freelancer, great discipline and timeliness are essential for survival in this industry. The freelance world is competitive and you obviously don't wish to fizzle out. You need to follow a strict code of conduct and put in hard work in order to survive. The need to resort to a freelance job is slowly rising as more and more people are becoming aware of its existence. It is no longer considered an odd job that someone did to rake in the extra moolah but is now being considered as a mainstream job option by many.
It's not something that you may have adequate knowledge regarding. As such, it becomes essential that you gather reliable information from dependable sources. If there is a particular freelance job you have in mind and you know someone who's already doing it, it's a great idea to ask them for help. Understand the job requirement so you know if it's really meant for you.
Freelance Career Advantages
The great thing about having a freelance career is that it gives you a lot of spare time that you can use productively for whatever reason it may be. Another great thing is that you could be caring for family members, pursuing a hobby, getting on with college or just about anything that's important to you simultaneously because you'll always be saving a precious few hours each day.
The Requirements of a Freelance Career
When you are taking the plunge, it's essential that you understand the obligations involved. Since there'll be no one to monitor your progress, or as a matter of fact even check your day to day work while you are at it, it's possible that you tend to lag. As such, when venturing out, you need to have astern resolve of doing what is expected of you even though you have every right to sit back and relax another extra five minutes. You need to have a plan and know what you want from such a career because your earning potential is huge considering you can optimize the use of limited time.
Searching Jobs
Searching for a freelance job is not difficult. You can find out about such opportunities at the community hall itself. Of course, this is basic level search but there's loads of information online and you will always find out about jobs in any career path. You may start to freelance after working at a regular job for few years because you know just what the job requires of you. At other times, you could even start a freelance career with the regular company you have been working with. They know you well as an employee and will be more willing to take on the freelance risk with you because they trust your work.
Few Tips
  • Do not take it up just because your neighbor is doing it
  • Know enough before venturing out because you don't want to be left in a soup
Understand if it really suits you or are you just better off at a regular job

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Getting started as a freelancer : Read this before

I've gotten quite used to the looks of envy I get whenever I say I work from home. The reaction is easy to understand; who wouldn't want a freelance home based job? You work at your own leisure, you don't have to change into a uniform, and you're saved from the hassle of the 7 am traffic. You get savings from transportation and dining out, as well as opportunities for extended family time. Overall? Not a bad deal at all.
But while there are many benefits to going freelance, it's not as easy as many assume. Working for yourself requires a complete 180 degrees change in mindset, as compared to working for an established organization. Being both boss and employee doesn't mean added liberty. It means exactly that: twice the responsibility!
Whatever freelance services you wish to deliver, here are some areas for reflection before you make the shift to being self-employed:
One vs. Many Bosses.
freelance career
It's not unusual for people to take on freelance work to get away from their overbearing, slave driver employers. But did you know that when you go freelance, you multiply the number of your bosses by the number of your projects?
That's right, you don't just have to balance one person's expectations, you have to balance several people! Some clients will be lax; others would be strict. There are those who would micromanage you, and there are those who would expect you to do everything for them with absolutely no instructions. In the freelance world, all of your clients are your employers, and you have to please them all!
This calls from you great skills in adjusting to different personalities, managing time, coordinating schedules and communicating updates. If you're not the type to dance to different drummers all at once, then maybe freelancing is not for you. If several things moving all at once overwhelms you, then you should think twice about working alone. Contrary to popular belief, freelancing is neither for the anti-social nor the easy-going.
Consistent vs. Unpredictable Income.
Ideally, freelancers should have a monthly quota that they have to meet in order to live comfortably. However, if you're self-marketing, there is really no guarantee that you will meet or exceed your target earnings. There will be lean months, and there would be times when your back would break from too much work. And yes, there are also occasions when clients would swindle your hard earned cash! You have to be able to roll with the punches, and anticipate potential setbacks in every project that you do.
Those familiar with freelancing know that a huge chunk of a service provider's time is actually spent on marketing: lead generation, proposal writing, cold calling, profile building, etc. These tasks don't pay directly (and would in fact cost you!), and you should consider them as overhead expenses that must be recovered. So, it's not really true that you get to rake in all you earn; what you don't spend commuting to the office, you spend getting those jobs!
Security from the Company vs. Self-Provision.
Simply put: a freelancer is his or her own caretaker. When you decide to work for your own, you have to say goodbye to employee benefits like free dental and medical check-ups, insurance and salary loans. You also have to set your own "maximum working hours", and dictate "vacation leaves" ---- or else you'll burn out. If you're not used to self-care, then maybe you should think twice about freelancing.
Clear Work-Home Boundaries vs. "I can't work and cook at the same time!"
Lastly, you have to consider whether your home is actually the most conducive place for you to work at. Aside from the obvious requirements of space and quiet, there's also the crucial aspect of being able to separate your work persona from your home persona. Many presume that because you work from home, you can be constantly interrupted to watch the kids, do the laundry and answer the door. If you can't set a clear boundary between you as a worker, and you as a parent/ spouse/ child, then you'd go crazy in no time!

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Freelance Career in Writing

How do you get started with a freelance career in writing? There are many ways to achieve success as a writer, but there are some basic steps that pretty much every freelance writer takes to get his career on track. (These mostly apply to those focusing on the online writing market.)
First, find the job ads. My recommendation is that you research and bookmark at least 10 different online job boards. Then, make a point of browsing through them for suitable job ads on a daily basis. There are different types of online job boards - some you join as a member (some have upgrade possibilities, but you can start with a free membership), and others have completely free access to all job board information. There are also sites where you post your own writing, and publishers pay you a fee for the rights to it.
Second, take a chance. You will never get started with your career in writing if you don't put yourself out there. Bid on something small, with a VERY manageable deadline, and do you very best to please that client. Happy clients give good references. Write well, and edit well.
Third, build good daily habits. Start each day by setting up your daily tasks. Give yourself mini half-way deadlines for different projects, and schedule in a certain block of time each day (no more than 1 hour) for looking for new work. Resist the urge to surf the internet for hours on end, even for "research" purposes.
So, find the job ads that appeal to you, get started writing, and build good habits right from the start. The three important basic steps to starting your online freelance career in writing.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Unlike the other professions, the freelancing career has got more challenges and responsibilities. No other company or persons would take the responsibility of your work. Any issues happen; the question comes to you only. The coin has got another side; any acclaim comes to your way only. No other person can claim the credit of your success.
Well Success!! Is it just a seven letter word? No; hard work, talent, potential, luck and many more factors should work out together to accomplish the seven letter word. If you think that we can have an overnight success in the freelancing career, then you are mistaken. There should be a lot of observation needed. Patience, tolerance & hard work should be you input. It’s not necessary that you should get all your assignments approved. But the mentality to go on and give a try continuously should be there.
You might have heard the story of the bird which reached the top of the tree by eating bullshit and within seconds collapsed. The moral of the story should be kept in your mind. “Bullshit will take you to heights, but won’t let you stay there longer. Hence the main pint in your mind should be that you should make sure that what ever you do should be flawless in terms of quality.
Freelancing career is like a one-man-show. We need to give ourselves the time to land safely. The toughest part is to establish ourselves and leave our identity. The effort/turnover ratio would in very lower digits initially. But the main thing is how you handle the situation. We can wait and try again and again till we reach our destiny. You might have read the book “Who moved my Cheese” by Spencer Johnson. The protagonists of the story are two mice. This  is the story of four characters living in a "Maze" who face unexpected change when they discover their "Cheese" has disappeared. Sniff and Scurry, who are mice, and Hem and Haw, little people the size of mice, each adapt to change in their "Maze" differently. The narrator uses the two tiny creatures as the media to explain the importance of will power. Never give up. Try again and again. There is not even a single instance wherein hard worked hasn’t paid.
Well begun is half done.  If we succeed in making our identity, then we can count on the positive response. The amount of pain that we should take would be on the higher side. We should take enough pain. Then only we would get long lasting success. If you are looking for a successful freelancing career, keep all these in mind.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How to Start Working As a Freelance Web Designer|Programmer

There are many ways to earn money as a freelancer on the Internet, particularly if
you are able to write articles, content, design a web page, program web applications (think PHP / MySQL), do sound recording and engineering, know your way around the web, or are even willing to spend a couple hours a day doing quick data entry projects or link exchanges for a website. Often, there are even jobs you might be surprised to find. People looking for freelancers often pay through PayPal or other type services on the Internet. If you work fast, many of you can start finding little projects to start TODAY (no kidding, it works!) Here are some ways to find jobs like these on the internet and get started.

Step One: Go sign up at a Freelancer Marketplace. This is a place where people post ads for jobs and people bid on getting those projects. Signing up is almost always free (and if it isn't you'll need to look elsewhere), and there's usually nothing expected of you at these talent pools until you win a project (at which time they will take out a percentage commission of your final project bid -- usually anywhere from 5-10%). There are quite a few on the Internet; I'll be listing these resources following this article.

Step Two: You will usually have to confirm your email address, so do that first.
Next, you'll be choosing a username and filling out your profile. Don't worry about it if you don't have much to add just yet, just choose a username and add the basics, for now. Later, you can update and add more when you can. Choose a username that sounds professional and trustworthy (think 'writer4hire' or 'projectmaster', rather than 'suckit2004')

Step Three: Setting up your profile. When you're setting up your profile, be sure to choose the categories of the kind of work you do (writing, marketing, web design, ASP, whatever) and choose to be updated when new projects arrive instantly. You want to do this for sure, other-wise some other guy could beat you to the job! Many times, being the first one to place a good bid will get you the job, so it's worth it! Being FAST is a great way to get started working immediately.

Step Four: The Bidding Wars. When you start finding projects you want to work on, being new (zero feedback), place bids that are a bit cheaper than you'd normally be willing to go. A few tiny projects and good feedback will get you the clout you'll need to start charging more for projects. Besides, an extra $40 in your Paypal account in a day or so (if your fast) is nothing to complain about!

Step Five: Know When and How to Follow Up. When you do put a bid in, make sure you also leave a message on the board and repeat exactly what you said in the bid. Most projects are awarded for a combination of things, but mainly because the person understands what they have to do! Write a proposal that is basically a SHORT recap that includes the time it will take you, how you'll be delivering the final product (such as 'A ZIP file in an email with a TXT file of the article', etc.), and - believe it or not - a summary of EXACTLY WHAT THEY ASKED FOR IN THE PROJECT POST. I know it sounds silly, but it does get the point across, and you'll get chosen because you sound like you understand. And you do - because you have to read the post to even DO this!

Step Six: Winning the Project. When you get the project, do it AS FAST AS YOU CAN! Speed is important if you're working for less than what you expect at first. PLUS it will gain you better feedback.

Step Seven: Rinse, and repeat. After about 5-10 projects, you'll realize quickly that you're actually pretty much working for yourself these days. And considering the size of many of these sites, you can do this on and on and on...whenever you want.

Monday, January 4, 2010

5 Easy Steps to Finding a Freelancer for Programming or Web Design

There's almost nothing more intimidating for the average person than wanting to make a simple web site, knowing how you want it to run, imagining an easy logo, and then trying to find someone to do it. The technical jargon alone is confusing for most people. It often sounds something like this:
Client: "I need to be able to, you know -- log in and change stuff.."
Provider: "You mean a CMS."
Client: "No, not really. Just something simple.."
Provider: "That's right. A CMS. A content management system. You can usually get that
done in P-H-P-n-My-Ess-q-eel, or --"
Client: "..."
Provider: "That'll be a zillion dollars."
Sound familiar?
Or maybe you just want to have a quick look around Google. Unfortunately, for the past four years, the top results for "web design" or anything related -- if it has anything to do with web design -- don't exactly help you know how to get a project started, get it done, and ... probably more importantly ... for much less than a zillion dollars. Possibly more in the range of $100. And if you know where to look, sometimes for little more than the cost of an installation.
In this article, I'm going to show you how to find sources and freelancer hiring pools (the easy way), hiring said freelancer, finishing the project, and getting your final result from said freelancer in 5 easy steps. Steps that you can rinse, repeat, and rinse again, if you really have the 'projects' for it. So let's start:

STEP ONE: This is the easiest part.

Finding freelance providers for several years has been made easy because of the proliferation of new "freelance job auction sites". These are websites that are basically full of freelancers from every discipline and every corner of the world, from PHP programmers and content writers in the United States, to data entry workers and ASP gurus in Turkey, to Marketing and SEO geniuses in Brazil, to Flash experts in the United Kingdom. These sites are often referred to as "Freelancer Sites". Clients post jobs here, and within minutes the talent pool is furiously bidding against each other for the lowest price and the fastest time. And since these sites usually rely on a ratings and feedback system, the freelancers in these auctions will actually *meet* their arrangements and timelines. For you, this works great -- you get the lowest price, the fastest work, and instead of clamoring after a website designer, it puts people like us in control of our own project! A Freelancer Site is often called a "Reverse Auction" site, mainly because the service providers are bidding on the money they earn, rather than on buying something from the poster. For the scope of this article, this is where we're going to be finding our talent. There are many, many tochoose from at the time of writing this article.
Here are some of the best and my reasons why:
1. TheSuperlancers :: This is a new and very promising site. It's run by both ex-freelancers and current website developers, so they really know both sides of the game. They also offer no commission on opening projects (that means you start a project here for free and you don't pay anyone anything except your freelancer -- after the work is done, but we'll get to that later). And aside from great features like payment escrow, they really seem to want to provide a lot of support and help where needed. Every time I've had to deal with service and support on this site I had a response within an hour ... and it was actually *helpful*. They also have some of the cheapest and best rates in the business. Their talent pool is big enough to get the work done and have a decent selection of bidders for your project, but they are the newest site (probably less than a year old).
2. Scriptlance :: This is probably the opposite of the siteabove. This site was founded several years ago, and while it isn't the oldest, it certainly has the most reputation, good and bad. These guys have some good things going for them, though, including a huge talent pool. You can always guarantee some results by posting a project there. Posting a project at this site is free, too, but you are charged a commission when you close a project (usually 5-10% of your final accepted project bid). The support here is generally slow and not always useful, as it is with most older sites, but it's always great to have options. I usually go here when I don't get the results I want at the first place (which is free for me, the client/buyer).
3. GetAFreelancer / Freelancer :: The middle-brother of these two other sites. GAF (as it is dubbed) has been in business for several years, and has grown quite a bit recently. Often, I will end up here if I can't find what I want at the other two.
Usually, it's rarely necessary to go beyond the first site in my recent experience -- but it's always good to have options, isn't it?
STEP TWO: Create your account at any (or all) of these sites.
Usually, you can start with one and get used to it first. You'll need to confirm your email (standard), choose a username, and possibly flesh out your profile slightly, possibly by adding a business name and sometimes a picture. These "freelancer sites" are communities like eBay, so the more information you can provide the more freelancers know that you're not somebody who may be out to scam them out of their work. Just being a real person is enough. Doing this is much faster than eBay, however. It usually takes only 2-3 minutes at most. When you open your account, you do not have to add any money yet. These three places above generally don't require you to. You may, if choose, add enough funds to cover a "Featured" or otherwise special project, or if you get a bid from a programmer you like. We'll get into this later, but for now there is NO need todeposit money unless you really feel like it.

STEP TWO-AND-A-HALF:Open your first project.

While this may sound intimidating to most people still, the signup process and getting your first project out there is probably easier than you think. It's basically as easy as signing up for a forum and opening your first post/thread. Just confirm your email (since these are communities, they need to make sure everyone is a real person ... including the freelancers *and* you), set up a profile (username, the usually) and then find one of the links that say something like "Post a Project". Usually, these links are close at hand.
Posting a project is like posting a message on a forum and waiting on replies, or putting up a classified ad, but more immediate and more inter-active. What you'll want to do is post a project that purely explains what it is you want to do or need done. Offer examples where you can. Keep it short and to the point. don't worry about them not 'getting it' (they will), and don't try to tell them how "easy a project it is for someone who knows what they're doing" (they hate that -- easy projects are often harder than you think, and harder orders are often easier than you might believe). Just explain as much as you can and take it fromthere. Usually these places have Project Message Boards, and you can further explain to interested providers when they ask. Just post what you can -- if you need a website built, provide some examples of similar-looking websites that you like. If you want a website that is supposed to do something (say, have users log in, upload photos, vote on a poll, cut and crop uploaded photos) then say that in your post. Most of what you're asking for has been asked for before, so many providers know what you're looking for immediately.
After typing in your project, you'll need to choose a budget and some categories (at most sites). This is often pretty simple -- for your budget, just be honest. Programmers and designers might start off bidding within your budget, but they're going to ignore it just as quickly to start competing with each other. Be honest about your budget and let them work it out between themselves. For your categories, just choose up to five (5) that most closely fit what you said you wanted in your post. If you wanted just a website header, then choose things like "logo" and "graphic design". If what you're looking for is some marketing help, then choose those categories. Whatever categories you choose, every provider in the system for that category will be emailed a notice that your project is live, so choose carefully! (Perhaps that's why they make you choose only five.)
NOTE: A website that has any sort of interactivity (logins, uploading/downloading, search, ability for you to change content) is probably a "coder" type job. That means the provider you're looking for -- while possibly being able to design brilliant websites -- must also know how to code. The language that they code it (PHP, ASP, et al) is rarely very important unless your web server (your host) requires it. Most applications (coding) these days is done in PHP/MySQL. If you're not sure, post your project to the coders and let them figure it out. Most coders do design, while most designers don't do code.
ANOTHER NOTE: A website that has any nifty animation, or slick moving things with music and special effects is probably done in Flash. Make sure you choose the 'Flash' category if your idea sounds too nifty to be true. Featuring and making projects "Urgent" is up to you. Rarely are they necessary, but are often useful if you are posting on a very busy site, want to draw attention to your project, or are truly in that much of a rush. Mostly, "Featured" means that your programmer won't be paying commission on the final project bid, so they'll lower than they'll usually go on said project. If you have a high-budget project, "Featured" is usually the way to go. "Urgent", is a great way to get last-minute bids, and "Private" is simply a way to keep your bids hidden -- if you don't want programmers competing amongst each other for your work. This can be helpful if you feel that providers are bidding too high on a very easy project. Otherwise, save your money to pay your programmer or web designer and hit "POST" on that project.

STEP THREE: Sorting out the bids.

Your project will almost ALWAYS draw a lot of bids. It's up to you to cut through the bidding wars and find the best provider for your work. A few things to look for are feedback ratings left by other clients, or project buyers like yourself. It's important to read through these and get a feel for who the provider is. If the provider doesn't have any feedback (which is sometimes the case), then try looking at profiles. Follow the links to the providers portfolio and personal websites. Try to get a feel for them and for what they do. Out of 10-20 bids, it's usually pretty easy to find 2-5 that appeal to you. Sometimes, the person with the highest feedback (rating) isn't the way to go. I have had many great projects done myself by providers with little or no feedback, and often they are willing to go lower than others to establish themselves on the site. For this, don't simply rely on the bid postings -- use the project message board to ask questions. Find the right person by looking for easy tip-offs, like:
*Good communication. I they don't make sense now, they'll make much less sense later, believe me.
*A good portfolio. Use your common sense and best judgment. The work may be incredible, but is it theirs? Also, is it the kind of work you need done?
*Someone who clearly understands what you need to do. Usually someone who is clear on the project will be able to tell you what YOU want in the first message or two, and will do this just to make sure that THEY understand.
Don't answer programmers that try to get you off of the site or talk directly by phone, MSN, or otherwise. This is a problem because it strips you of the protection that the site itself offers. Stay 'tuned in' to the site, because once you're off, you're on your own again. If you communicate and manage through the site, it's much easier for their support to come in and handle problems if you need them to.
When you're sure you've found the right person, it's time to close the auction. If you make a mistake, don't worry yet. These websites can help you un-do a mistake and pick another provider (find one with great support, as mentioned), reverse an escrow payment (we'll discuss what that is in the next step), or even un-write feedback. It's a fairly forgiving system if you use it correctly. Besides, the programmer has to be notified that they won the project AND decide to accept the project in the system before starting work, so don't sweat it. Yet.

STEP FOUR: Escrow payment and start work.

Now is a good time to pull out the old checkbook. Or, in this case, PayPal. Most sites work through PayPal (if you aren't signed up, you should be -- it's free and it's very common to use on websites for payments). Unless you have much more work you need finished, you'll only need to deposit the amount of money you chose for the bid. Usually, you can do this through an account panel at the site. You'll start at the panel, leave for PayPal, add funds of some sort, and then return. By the time you get back, your deposit should be visible in your account area at the site you're at. Now find the "Escrow" button and send it to your provider.

What's Escrow, you ask? And why?
Escrow -- very much like the real-life escrow system -- is a method of payment that both secures your money at the site as well as the payment for the programmer or designer. With the escrow system, you can pay to start the work *without* actually paying any money "up front". This also tells the provider that you actually have the money to pay them. All in a manner that doesn't quite pay them and doesn' quite part you with your money just yet. With the escrow system (at the three sites above that I mentioned), this usually means that only YOU can complete it, and only THEY (the programmer, or designer, or writer) can cancel it. What that means is that power is evenly distributed --
NO ONE wants money just left in limbo. Generally, the site's support staff will be there to clear up any disputes, so they will step in and cancel an escrow when a provider won't, or can't. However rare dispute cases are, escrow is the safest way for everyone involved (much, much safer than you paying for work "up front", or your designer starting to work on a "promise"! Use the site's escrow system whenever possible -- a good programmer or designer will even *demand* it. Be wary of those that don't.
By this point, the provider has probably already emailed you, or communication has started. This is a good time to clear up any last-minute details and to give them any materials they might need to get started. Usually, you'll give them FTP and web server information from your host, existing logos or web copy, or anything else they need. While it is very common for clients to create separate FTP accounts for programmers and designers when starting work, it is also very common to trust them with this info. Use your best judgment, and always take the route that is safest for you or your business. Make a backup before you start, or only allow access to what they need. In the end, most providers can, in fact, be trusted with what is often very sensitive information, as commonly as a valet is handed the keys to a prized automobile.
Many times, it is also common to speak with providers as they work through Yahoo, Skype, MSN, or ICQ. Staying connected and in good communication is easily 90% of most projects going the way that they should. Remember, you shouldn't disappear for days at a time any more than they should -- they're often relying on you to be there when they're done so they can move on to the next project. Stay in communication and expect the same from them. If you don't (for whatever reason) hear from your programmer or designer (or writer) for more than three times what you expected (three days, when you only expected not to hear back for one) -- then it may be time to talk to the site for support. Many times, the site will track them down for you and work out the problem with ease. If not, they can always help you choose another programmer and get you started again.

STEP FIVE: Work is completed and they're asking for money / escrow. Now what?

It is important to check the work they give you. If you've been talking to them throughout, then you probably already know if you're happy with the work or not. Just remember – if it's a programming project, have them install it for you and make sure it runs. If it's a writing project, proofread it. If it's design, then be certain that you have all the elements you need for later, including FONTS, PSDs, Illustrator documents (if needed), FLASH FLA files, and anything else that might have been used to make the project. Get EVERYTHING, whether you think you'll be needing it or not.
Once you're settled and approve of the final outcome, it's time to pay up. Often, this is as simple as releasing the escrow at the site you're working on. Sometimes, you loved your provider so much that you offered a bonus for great (and fast) work. Maybe you're even having them over for dinner. Just know that it's time to pay the piper and let everyone in the community know how the project went by leaving feedback. Your provider will probably want this to happen right away, because as you may not use the site again for several weeks, months, or more -- they're going to be right back at the auction pool within a day of finishing your project.
Feedback, while consisting typically of ranges from 1-10 (10 being the greatest and 1 being the 'worst' of experiences), is most often left at the lowest and the highest range. It is very rare to leave an "average" rating (very much like ebay, or other auction sites). Just say that if a job was well done, it deserves a '10'. If it was horrible, it deserves a '1'. If it was so-so, it deserves a '10'. Maybe an '8'. Use your best judgment, but don't bicker too much over an above-average rating. If everything goes as planned, your provider will be leaving you a '10', and probably expects you to do the same. I once made the mistake of giving a decent programmer a '7' rating out of honesty, and it didn't go to well. Just remember that the ratings are usually graded on a steep, steep curve, as usually with most sites.
That's it! By this point, I hope that you've managed to build that site you've been wondering about and dreaming up, and I hope it all works like it should. You can always go back and hire more talent for more projects in the future -- just remember the process and learn as you go. But be careful -- for some clients (like me) it has become very easy to "decide" when I need freelance work. Some might call it an 'addiction'! There's something quite addictive about envisioning a project and seeing it done by a professional right before your eyes. You can even work on four, five, or more projects at a time, giving you space to dream about even more websites and ideas (at least it's what I do). 
Enjoy yourself, and good luck on that new website you're building. Meanwhile, I've got a few to finish myself...
-web freelance jobs | freelance career