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Freelancing

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Why freelance?

Freelancing allows you to be your own boss. This means you make your own hours.

Wear what you want. Does your current job have a dress code? How does sitting
in your pajamas all day sound; what about just spending the day wearing your
favorite pair of worn out jeans and that T-shirt from that unforgettable 1980's
rock concert. If you are an independent agent, like a freelancer, then you
decide the dress code.

Making your own hours does not mean loafing around all day. It means having the
self discipline to set aside a certain amount of hours that you work each day.
But, as the boss, you get to decide what those hours are. That way you can pick
up the kids from school, have lunch with the spouse, go to the gym during the
day when it's not so crowded, and never have to make that horrible rush-hour
commute.

Being a freelancer means that you get to set your own prices for what your time
is worth. No more waiting years for a raise that may never come. As you become
more proficient and widen your client base you can double and triple your
earnings as you see fit.

Have you ever considered living somewhere else but your job and family
obligations keep you stuck in the same place. Freelancing gives you the freedom
to take your family, if that applies to you, or just yourself and live wherever
you want. As long as you have a phone, a computer and a way to receive mail,
you can live at the South Pole or Hawaii and still have a lucrative freelancing
career. Your home is your office. You can be sitting in a coffee shop and
enjoying a scone with a mocha latte at the same time you are making millions of
dollars.

When I was a child my father always told me that "nothing in life is free," and
"if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is." In the case of
freelancing the price is minimal. As you will see in future chapters you will
need some general items such as a computer, a printer and maybe a fax and
scanner. After you have the materials needed to be a freelancer your greatest
cost will be your time and effort. How much are you worth? The best part is
that you get to decide what your time and effort are worth.

As far as the rule "if it sounds too good to be true it probably is," here is
something to consider. You should not quit your day job immediately and hope to
make $10,000 next month. Instead, start slow and work your way to making the
money you want. If you are making the equivalent of your full time job and you
have too much freelance work to do, then decide to freelance full time and quit
your day job. If you work hard this process can happen rather quickly, so don't
be discouraged. The jobs are real. The money is real. The only investment is
the amount of time you are willing to invest.

The market for freelancers is growing in leaps and bounds. The future markets
are projected to continue to grow at the same rapid rate. This means more
fantastic freelance opportunities and greater potential income.

Meeting your freelancing deadlines

When it comes to meeting deadlines, one way to manage your timetable
effectively is to divide the large jobs and farm them out to several coders.

Let's say you've been awarded a writing job to write an e-book on childcare
with 10 chapters for $2,000 over a 45 day period of time. Bid out each chapter
separately among 10 coders and allocate, say, $100 for each chapter over a 25
day period. This way you don't have to worry about the deadline because you've
given yourself a 20-day buffer and you stand to earn $1,000 for your efforts.

If you are going to handle a project in this manner you must be able to rewrite
the articles you receive in order to make sure the entire book "flows"
seamlessly and that the same style and tone of voice is consistent throughout.

3.  Cultivate a strong talent pool
In many cases, this is the most important asset needed when subcontracting work
to others. Here are a few additional tips to help you out in this regard:

a)  Know how to hire a good coder
There are four things you should look at when hiring a coder -- their resume,
their samples, their rating, and their client testimonials.

The last two are critical because it is easy to prepare a bogus resume and
samples, especially on the internet.

If you look at those four things and feel you have found the person you are
looking for, hire them.

b)  Know how to keep them happy
A happy coder always delivers better work than an unhappy one, given the same
skill level. You keep your coders happy by dealing in a polite and professional
manner, paying them on time and understanding them when they fall or falter (and
believe me, they will miss a deadline now and then). Give them respect and they
will give you their best.

4.  Nurture your current roster of clients
Here is the main reason why quality counts -- it is quality, more than anything
else, that will make your customers come running back to you again and again.
Always put a premium on quality. First-class work is sometimes hard to find,
especially given a limited budget. If you consistently deliver first-class
work, you assure yourself and your coders of a prosperous business well into
the future.

There is a popular saying in sales which says that "It is eight times easier to
get new business from your current clients than it is from cold calls." In other
words, make sure you ask your clients for referrals from people they know or
work with who may need the service you provide.

Some coders hesitate when it comes to asking for referrals because they feel it
is unprofessional. They feel asking for referrals is like asking for a favor.
That is not really the case. If you have faith in your ability to deliver good
work you are actually helping your client because of your willingness to
provide quality work to their friends or business associates. That will reflect
well on them too. It is a two-way street.

Now that we have looked at three on line venues we are ready to look at
developing eye catching resumes that will help you land some of those great
paying opportunities.

Blogging Tips for Freelancer

Blogging is one of the best ways to start a Freelancer business because it is
so easy to get going. However, that does not mean that it is easy to make money
from your blog. Don't start a blog and expect to see money rolling in
immediately. Blogging is an activity that will take time to build up to a
profit level. It's a good thing to start while you are working on other
Freelancer opportunities to let it build to a profitability level. With time
and attention, your blog (or blogs) will grow into a business.

When you are blogging for profit, you'll want to pay close attention to how you
present yourself in your blog. There are literally hundreds of thousands of
blogs out there, and there may be several hundred blogs that are related to
your topic. If your readers can't understand your blog and have trouble reading
it, they'll just move on to the next one. The following tips can make your blog
more user-friendly and help you gain consistent readers.

First, pay close attention to the format of your blog. Readers want to
understand how your blog works right from the start. Most blogging platforms
have similar formats, with links and tags on the left or right margin, and the
most recent post on top. Make sure to use the links wisely. Only put links up
for blogs or content that is truly related to your blog's topic. The point is
to give your readers additional information on your topic. Keep the list short
and sweet. There is no reason to overwhelm them with links to other sites.

Also, take careful consideration when choosing your blog's background and font
color. Although there are a lot of color choices that blogging programs offer,
its best to stick with a light background and dark text. Studies have shown
that the human brain can process this type of format better than light text on
a dark background. Think about this before you commit to a black background and
white text. It might look striking, but readers might not want to stay there for
long. Also, use a solid background color instead of trying to use a pattern or
design.

Proofread your entries before you post them to your blog. There is nothing that
reduces your authority in the eyes of your readers' more than bad spelling and
grammar. The online world is a world of text, so take some time to learn
commonly misspelled words and grammatical errors.

Keep your blog fresh and interesting by posting at least once per day. With so
much information available on the Internet, your readers may go elsewhere if
you aren't supplying daily content. If you aren't sure what to write about, try
posting a poll, a link to another blog, comment on a news story or post of list
of helpful tips. Not every post has to be long and complicated, but you do need
to post something everyday.

These tips will help keep your blog readable and interesting to your visitors.
The more visitors you get, the more your blog will grow in profitability and
importance. Just make sure to present yourself in a professional way and keep
your readers coming back for more new content each day. In no time, you'll have
a profitable blog and then you can move on to create two or three.

Writing as a freelancer

Working at home as a writer is one of the largest work at home categories.
Being a freelance writer has traditionally been a work at home job, and now
that working at home is becoming more popular, there have been more writers in
the industry. If you like to write and have a good grasp of the English
language, you will never be at a loss for the work at home writing jobs.

Starting your career as a work at home writer is as easy as doing some Internet
research and applying for a job. There are many ways to break into the writing
field, even if you have no previous experience. Online opportunities abound,
and there are still many writers who stay exclusively in the print market.

While many writers dream of one day writing the great American novel, most
writers are realistic in knowing that they are going to have to do some other
types of writing to get paid on a consistent basis. Writing for pay is mostly,
if not exclusively, done in the non-fiction genre. While occasionally you will
find contests for fiction writing or for poetry, these opportunities are few
and far between when compared to the non-fiction opportunities.

Writing from home as a freelancer requires that you have a reliable Internet
connection, good written communication skills and the ability to be a
self-starter. As a writer, you will be in charge of your time and your
projects. There will always be deadlines to meet and new writing opportunities
to try. You will be responsible for balancing your writing with the rest of
your life. You must also have the ability to research a wide variety of topics.
As you accept assignments, you'll be challenged to learn about and write about
topics that you may have little experience in.

Freelance writing from home can break down into three specific areas: writing
for print, writing for the web and blogging. Although blogging is technically
writing for the web, there are many distinctions that make it different from
other web writing opportunities.

Writing for print is what people generally think of when they hear the term
"freelance writer." freelancer writers who write for the print markets need to
first build a reputation as reliable and eloquent writer. If you've never
written for the print markets before, start with smaller, local publications
and then work from there. You'll need to find a list of publications that are
accepting "queries." Queries are a combination of a letter of introduction and
a pitch for a story idea. Most writers rely on the Writer's Market reference
guide for lists of publications. The Writer's Market has comprehensive
information on a variety of newsletters, magazines and other publications that
are taking queries. Start with topics that you know the most about and try
writing a few queries to get yourself going in the print market.

The only drawback to writing for print is that the period between when you
write and when you get paid can be months long. For many freelancers, this is
just not feasible. Writing for the web, however, can meet their income needs
and still allow them to write from home. There are many categories of writing
for the web. You can be a ghostwriter for e-books or other Internet media. Many
people need copywriters to provide content for their sales letters and websites.
You can also offer your services to webmasters who need fresh content for their
blog or newsletter. The opportunities are endless.

Blogging is yet another way to make money as a writing freelancer. Blogs are an
ever-growing form of Internet media. Blog writers generally provide their own
content. You can make money as a freelancer by starting your own blog and
posting to it daily. If you love to write, you can start several blogs at once
and multiply your earnings. Once you become an experienced blogger, you can
apply for blogging jobs and post for other people.




Virtual Assistant freelance jobs

Starting a virtual assistant business is just one of many ways to be a Work at
home mom. If you have experience in an administrative field, or can offer
virtual services to business clients, then you are a prime candidate for having
a successful virtual assistant business.

Getting started as a virtual assistant requires a few simple steps. There is no
formal credential process to become a virtual assistant, but there are several
companies who offer training and their own credentialing. This is not
absolutely necessary to be a successful virtual assistant, but it can be
helpful in obtaining jobs as a newcomer. Before you sign up for any program or
course, do your due diligence and investigate the company. Get recommendations
from other successful virtual assistants and consider finding a mentor who can
help you get started.

Legally, you'll need a business license in order to become an independent
contractor. By obtaining a business license you'll be able to open up a
business bank account and keep your business and personal finances separately.
Being legal also means you can declare many of your business expenses as tax
write offs.

Once you've set up your home office, you'll need to establish your virtual
office. On the Internet, you'll use a website to advertise yourself as a
virtual assistant. Having a website is essential to establishing your presence.
If web design is not in your skill set, find someone who can make a website for
you. Try to contact other virtual assistants and see if you can barter for the
design if it's something that you cannot afford to begin with.

On your website you should, at minimum, list your services and who you are. You
can also include an hourly rate, although many virtual assistants like to charge
by the project instead of by the hour. As far as services go, don't offer
services that you don't like to do. If you can make spreadsheets but don't like
to do it, then don't offer that service. If you have background in a specific
field, for example law, then list this as a specialty. You can also specialize
in the type of work that you offer. Many virtual assistants limit their
business to writing and editing, web design, data management or planning, but
some offer a mixture of all types of services. Remember, this is your business
and you can choose what tasks that you want to perform.

The best way to get virtual assistant jobs to begin with is to start
networking. Your best leads will come through people that you already know,
whether they are online or in your hometown. Let people know what you are
offering and promote your website address so people can see who you are and
what you are doing. Make sure to include up to date contact information on your
web page, including a phone number.

When you get your first client, its important to have a contract set in place
before you start working on a project. You can get many sample contracts online
that you can adapt for your needs. Make sure you and the client are both on the
same page about the type of work that you will be doing. That way there are no
surprises when you deliver the project and your bill.

After you have a few projects under your belt, you'll begin to build a
reputation. Then your virtual assistant business will grow naturally to include
repeat clients and new projects. When you consistently do good work, your
reputation will precede you and you may have more projects that you know what
to do with in a short period of time. Make sure not to overbook yourself, and
collect a network of other virtual assistants who are willing to take overflows
for you if the need arises.

Getting your virtual assistant business off on the right foot is simple when
you follow the basic steps mentioned above.

Get Paid To Programs for Freelancers

"Get paid to" programs (or GPTs as they are often called) are one of the many
ways that freelancers can make money from home. If you've been looking for a
work at home job, you've no doubt run across ads that claim that you can make
money by reading e-mails, answering surveys and trying free samples. The good
news is many freelancers make money doing those exact things. The bad news is
that this particular industry is rife with scammers. If you are interested in
getting involved with GPT programs, you'll have to do your homework and take
special precautions to protect yourself and your computer.

It should be noted that very few people make full time income from GPT
programs. Like mystery shopping, GPT should be used as a supplemental income
source at best. For many freelancers, the GPT programs are a fun and easy way
to earn some extra money when they need it. People who have experience with the
programs recommend that you never rely on GPT to pay your monthly bills. But
they can be a perfect solution to earn money for a special occasion or holiday
shopping.

Just what are GPT programs? They fall into three basic categories: get paid to
read e-mail, get paid to fill out surveys and get paid to try products. Each
type has its own pros and cons. Before you start any GPT program, you should
take some steps to protect your personal information. You will be required to
give your personal information for many of these programs and the less you
actually say about yourself the better.

To start you should register a separate e-mail address for your GPT purposes.
Many programs can result in a lot of spam mail, so you'll want to keep your
main e-mail address separate. You can also register with NetZero to get a free
voicemail inbox and private phone number. This is helpful in keeping your home
phone free of telemarketing calls.

Get paid to read e-mail programs will pay you a few cents for receiving e-mail
and clicking on links. Normally these e-mails offer special deals on products
or encourage you to sign up for programs. Sometimes, depending on the e-mail
program, you will get more money or "points" if you try the offer. You are not
obligated to try the offers, and will get paid a small amount just for clicking
on the link inside of the e-mail. There are many popular paid e-mail companies.
Do some research before you sign up for a program to make sure that people are
actually getting paid. Try not to sign up for too many programs at once or your
GPT e-mail address will be swamped.

Getting paid to fill out surveys works in a similar way. You will sign up for a
survey program and then fill out some personal information. You will be matched
to surveys that are looking for the opinions of people in your income bracket,
of your age or one of several different qualification factors. Depending on the
company, you will get paid per survey, or completing surveys will earn you
points that can later be redeemed. Just as with get paid to read e-mail
programs, do research on survey companies before you sign up. There are
hundreds out there but only a handful are worth the time and effort.

Finally there are get paid to try products programs. These programs pay
significantly more than the other GPT programs. However, you will be required
to pay anywhere from $1 to $10 to try the products. When you use these kinds of
programs, you have to be careful to take complete records of what you will be
receiving and when you need to cancel service or return the item. Most of the
time you will be registered for recurring billing for a monthly service, which
can be cancelled within the initial 7 to 14 days. You can call the companies
and cancel the service, yet still be paid for signing up for the GPT program.

Remember that GPT programs are a great way to supplement income but are not
something to be relied on for monthly bills.

Choosing the Right Freelance Business

When you are considering working from home, there is a set of decisions that
must be made. First, you must decide whether or not working at home is right
for you. Next, you need to consider what type of work at home job you will be
doing. There are many opportunities for freelances out there, both offline and
off. Having a successful freelance career starts with evaluating your own
skills and requirements in a job and then finding the right match.

Sometimes the best place to start with your freelance career is where your out
of the home career ended. Many women find that they can become independent
contractors in the field that they previously worked in. You can use your
previous work experience as a launching pad for your freelance career. Some of
the ways to use your experience to your advantage are: finding a company that
hires people in your field to work from home, using your previous experience to
become an "expert" writer in your field or starting a business related to your
previous field.

However, some people look at their freelance careers as a way to break out of
their old job. If you'd like to try something completely different, there are
plenty of opportunities for entry-level work as an independent contractor. Many
of these jobs deal with telephone or online customer service. When you work as a
customer service agent from your home, you just need a reliable Internet
connection and a working phone. Companies also hire medical transcriptionists,
data entry professionals and virtual personal assistants to telecommute.

If you want to start your own business, the opportunities are very vast. You
can start with a direct sales company and sell products from an established
brand to friends and neighbors. You'll make commissions through your sales and
also off of recruiting other people to sell the products. There are hundreds of
direct sales companies that offer everything from aromatherapy products to
candles to cooking supplies.

Another option for starting your own business is offering a service in your
community. Day care center operators, florists, professional organizers and
hairdressers all have the option of working at home, among many other
professions. Of course, starting a business in your community normally means
that you've had some experience in that field. However, there are some small
business ideas that can be started without much experience at all.

Many women turn to the Internet for a source of at home income. The World Wide
Web offers a plethora of job opportunities. You can offer your services online
as a freelance web designer, writer or virtual assistant. You can also start an
online store that sells products that you make yourself or have the rights to
resell. Many freelances establish their businesses online by using one of the
popular auction sites, like eBay. Still others find a home in internet
marketing, by directing web traffic to a website and then recommending certain
products and services.

Decide first what type of job you'd like to do and then work from there. If you
are truly a people person and need to get out each day, direct sales or a local
service business might be right for you. If you are the type of mom who lives
online and is comfortable with the Internet, try finding a job or starting your
own business on the web. If you like the comfort of having a weekly paycheck,
look into telecommuting positions.

Once you've decided what category of job you'd like, do some research on what
it takes to be successful at that type of business. If you feel like you are
drawn to one particular business or company, then sit on your decision for a
week and see how it feels. Imagine what your life will be like as you take on
the duties of that job. Most importantly, be realistic with yourself about how
much time you can devote to your business. Finding the right match isn't hard
when you thoroughly consider your options.






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