The Week In Freelance: September 4th

Posted: September 4th, 2009

The Week In Freelance: August 17th

Posted: August 20th, 2009

The Week In Freelance: August 10th

Posted: August 14th, 2009

  • oDesk has a great post on ten ways to make more money from future clients. Take note since this was written by an employer who hires freelancers and was was once a freelancer himself.
  • Web Worker Daily has 7 things you can do boost a stagnant freelancing career. I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that most freelancers go through a period where they experience boredom in their careers. Taking it out to the open by starting a blog or offering tutorials, as the post suggests, will give it a new dimension when other people are involved and positively affected by what you do.
  • More Web Worker Daily: I like to write in a journal to keep my writing somewhat fresh. The problem is consistently keeping up with it until you eventually quit only to start over again later down the road. A solution to this: just write one-sentence entries.
  • And… Web Worker Daily: Raise you hand if you find it difficult to keep up with your social media and have time for work and a life beyond that. OK, me too. Maybe improving our social media efficiency can help us out.
  • Freelance Folder: Probably the most important step a freelancer should do before starting out is to discover your purpose for freelancing (then create your USP after). It is this reason that stays in the back of your head when times are good and especially when times get a little rough.
  • The Freelance Writing Jobs Network: A fear that is common among freelancers is worrying about your competition when applying for projects. Its a fear that really goes unfounded. The real issue is confidence, not competition.
  • Freelance Switch: If you are a freelancer, eventually there will come a time where you have to provide proof of income to rent an apartment or do anything financially related. It helps to prepare yourself beforehand.
  • Zen Habits: As freelancers, it is easy to take for granted that we can make our own work fun and not think of it like we’re in a job. Leo, not beating around the bush, put it best; “Well, the fun of learning and doing was drilled right out of us. And as adults, we were told we had to work hard to get ahead, that work wasn’t fun but that’s just how life is. Bullshit.”
  • Smashing Magazine: Has an interesting list of specific TV episodes that inspire creativity. They are also a great return to the past when you were glued to the television as a kid (ahem… for those who were kids).
  • The Simple Dollar: Some good advice for life… buy experiences instead of things that end up in a dusty corner.

Freelancing Links: Week of April 6

Posted: April 10th, 2009

A happy Good Friday, Passover and Easter to all. Here are this week’s happenings in freelance to much on with those Cadbury eggs (or martian-mallow Peeps, if you can stand those).

Bizzia: For the U.S. freelancers, the clock is ticking… five days left to do taxes. Hopefully you paid your estimated taxes throughout 2008, otherwise you may be in for a surprise with the IRS. Allison Boyer has a very helpful tutorial on estimated taxes that is a must-read for freelancers. The tax bill come April 15 could bankrupt you if you don’t learn it.

Freelance Folder: Usually when we obtain new clients, we get some sort of interview so they know who they are dealing with. Really, we should also be asking the question so we know who we are dealing with. Believe it or not, sometimes a client can be a real dud or more trouble than it’s worth.

Freelance Switch: I’ve seen several top ten lists of freelancing “myths” but here are a good list of objections one might have in becoming a freelancer. One good point they touch on: If I started freelancing I’d never be able to get clients.

Freelance Switch: In this economy, it helps to take a cue from retailers and offer discounts on your services which can help you retain those light-pocketed clients.

Flying Solo: Email can eat up a huge chunk of time in your daily routine. Knowing the seven deadly sins of email can be the first step in helping you manage it.

India On Rent: Proof that being nice to others will help you out in the long run.

Rubiqube: Ouch! Read how a teeny weeny mistake concerning his website contact form cost freelancer Adrian Diaconescu some major clients.

Self Employed Blog: Making money online is not easy and won’t happen overnight, no matter what you hear. On the plus side the investment required can be as little as zero.

Wake Up Later: Sometimes we have a little downtime between freelance projects. You could rest and watch a little more TV, or you might want to tackle some useful tasks during this period.

Web Worker Daily: Have a problem with procrastination? You can put an end to that in a few steps.

Zen Happens: Do you really enjoy what you do as a freelancer? Surely we are passionate about our careers but we sometimes find ourselves trudging through our normal work and not liking what we are doing. The simple remedy: find your amazing work.

Freelancing Links: Week of March 27

Posted: April 3rd, 2009

So who got fooled the other day? I read about some pretty good pranks online, but this one wins the trophy. OK, It didn’t happen on Fool’s day but it’s good for a belly ache, anyway. Back on topic, here you have this week’s happenings in freelancing:

Copyblogger: For you writers, learn an interesting technique for getting those top-notch copywriters to mentor you “for free.”

Freelance Folder: “Opportunities aren’t discovered; they are created.” One thing that separates the successful freelancers from the wannabes is precisely this… they make it happen instead of waiting for a break.

Freelance Folder: Sales is probably one of the most useful skills you can have as a freelancer. Though the selling aspect is important, it’s learned quickly that clients have to be treated right so you continue to get their biz. Here’s a nice little crash course so you see what I mean.

Freelance Switch: Hand’s up if you use an accountant to crunch your numbers. That’s what I thought (me included). I’m probably not the first to be struggling through taxes at this time, but it may help to read a little advice for beginners.

Freelance Switch: Eight practices of freelancers… who have kept on freelancing.

Mashable: A bit off topic, but has your house showed up in Google Street View yet? One town says an emphatic NO to the Google invasion.

New York Times: Here’s a good question to ask yourself if you work at a job and are considering the jump to freelancing.

The Onion: With basketball season winding down, better get to one for that career opportunity you’ve always wanted. Freelance programmers take note, the playing field may be leveled soon. India appears to be pricing themselves out of the market.

Zen Habits: Forgot about your New Year’s resolutions yet? Nobody’s perfect, so maybe it’s time to have a look back at those.

Freelancing Links: Week of March 23

Posted: March 26th, 2009

It’s the middle of March Madness for those of you in the States. The rest, just an ordinary week without the insanity of college basketball. These should keep you busy in the meantime:

Copyblogger: Stuck on a writing topic? How about writing about the easiest topic possible?

Elance: Some people want to create a blog as a medium for expressing themselves. Others want to eventually profit from one. Here are some tips to do the most important thing… getting readers to read the blog.

Freelance Folder: Interesting post on the ten types of bad clients and how to steer clear of them. Sadly, you may get to know at least one of them in your freelance career.

Geekpreneuer: Here’s a type of freelancer you don’t hear a whole lot about. Presenting the virtual assistant.

Guerilla Freelancing: You hear all the time of twitter being used more and more as a marketing tool. This can especially be useful to help promote your freelancing business or blog if twitter marketing is done correctly. I recently got on the twitter train, trying to overcome being an online introvert. Mike from Guerilla Freelancing happened to be my first follower, so thanks Mike!

Indexed: I couldn’t say this better myself.

Mashable: If you are from the States and are a fan of college basketball AND work online, then surely you caught the on-demand March Madness from CBS Sports. There are some pretty gaudy numbers as far as numbers of online viewers. Let’s hope this trend jumps ship to other sports worldwide.

Mashable: For all you web developers, here’s a great list of useful development tools. The XenoCode Browser Sandbox is a life-saver.

NorthxEast: More on helping you blog better… some rules to help develop the habit of adding content. Since most people blog apart from their jobs, it is often difficult to keep up with them.

oDesk: I don’t know about you but I’m sick and tired of hearing about layoffs and the economy. Its depressing and creates fear and we’re all vulnerable to fear. That’s why this post was a refreshing breath of fresh air.

The Onion: Was this you that got “layed off” recently?

Wall Street Journal: The WSJ interviews Sara Horowitz of the Freelancers Union (USA). She’s fighting for our rights as freelancers by creating a health care plan (although only in the state of New York) and lobbying the White House for stimulus money to go towards other benefits for freelancers.

Freelancing Links: St Patrick’s Week

Posted: March 16th, 2009

Yes it’s that time again… time to go to your local overcrowded Irish bar, drink disgustingly green beer and do things you’ll (hope to) forget about the next morning. Check out these beforehand:

Biznik: Not too long ago I wrote a post on what makes a $100/hour freelancer. One secret is to do away with the hourly rate. Explained by Chris Haddad:

So it always shocks me when business folks new and old demean themselves anddevalue what they do by working based on time. Why? Because if you say “I’m a designer who works for $X dollars per hour” you’re basically saying that while your effort(the time you spend on the project) is worth something, the end result of what you provide (a beautiful and powerful design that will serve your client for years) has no actual value of its own.

Basically you’re saying that your time is worth something, but your product is just another cheap and easily obtainable commodity.

Copyblogger: Many freelancers are turning to blogging as a side project with the intent of earning money. Not all will succeed at making money though.

Geekpreneuer: Blogs can earn you a living, though. Despite the number of bloggers who actually are successful in this, it doesn’t mean it is easy. It is wise to learn the blog marketing strategies and adopt one of them.

David Airey: For freelance designers, spec work is ruining the industry, not to mention, hurting the industry.

Freelance Folder: Ever work in tech support (my hand is up)? Though most probably hated it, it does teach you lessons you need for freelancing.

Freelance Switch: New career move… empty job freelancing. Ethically it is wrong, but Jody makes a good case for it here.

LifeDev: Freelancers, once they are busy working, can often overlook the reasons why they got into it in the first place. Here’s a little refresher.

Mashable: Can social media actually be good for your health? Definitely so.

oDesk Insider: It’s hard for a freelancer to pass up work. In fact, it is practically a built in instinct to accept everything that comes our way for fear there may be no work beyond that. It’s OK to say no and should be something to get in the habit of doing.

Self Made Chick: Great story of how the average freelance writer followed her own idea and now earns a six-figure income. We should take her example and pursue those ideas that come to our heads. That’s how people find their “niche.”

Zen Habits: Get to know the 5% rule to get to where you want to go in life. Your biggest dreams can be accomplished in small, simple steps.

Freelancing Links: Week of March 9th

Posted: March 10th, 2009

What’s going on this week in freelancing? A lot apparently so enough talk. Here you have this week’s links:

Freelance Folder: To someone who works at a typical office job, working independently as a freelancer would seem like the absolute dream. Believe it or not, there are negative moods that afflict us even when times are good and paychecks are rolling in. It can happen for no real reason, too. See how to identify and combat those moods.

Freelance Folder: Interesting article on the three lies we make to ourselves which kills our income. I know I was guilty of all three at some point.

Freelance Switch: Here are the twelve ways to raise your profile as a freelancer. In short, volunteer your services to a high profile client. It’s a win-win since you help a big name save money (especially desirable in this economy) and you raise your profile in the process.

Indexed: So that’s the reason we hit the happy hour a little more than usual.

LifeDev: Fear is a major influencing factor in our careers whether we realize it or choose not to even acknowledge it. Understanding how it affects us can help us make it our friend.

oDesk: Even with the tumbling economy and massive layoffs you keep seeing in the news, you still hear that it’s a freelancer’s market and it’s even getting bigger. Here are some nice charts and graphs to explain this phenomenon.

oDesk Insider: If one word could describe success in freelancing, it would be… I would agree with this one, too.

SOHO Happens: Do you have an elevator pitch? You never know, this just may find you a client.

Stepcase Lifehack: Being idle is a pretty bad habit for freelancers. I’m not talking about downtime with nothing to work on, but the time we spend IMing our friends, checking scores, browsing the net, etc, when we are actually suppose to be working. Learn a strategy to recognize idleness and put an end to it once and for all.

Webdesigner Depot: If you freelance at home then maybe you can relate to missing the socialization that was a part of working at a job. Angela West has an analysis of the “anti-social” behavior the work-at-home freelancer and a few ways to socialize yourself back into society. Come to think of it, it sounds eerily similar to what you would do once you get out of prison.

Zen Happens: We all have goals and other things we want to accomplish, but a lot of these never happen. Have you ever realized that we enjoy the wanting more than the want, itself, which is the reason why they don’t happen? Learn how to break out of that pattern so you can finally achieve the wants.

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