Thank God It’s Friday, But We Shall Not Letteth Forget We Work

Posted: November 5th, 2010

  • Usually, there are telltale signs that a client will end up screwing you on a payment and usually it’s the hard way you end up learning these. Once in a while, however, there is always a new client that passes cleanly through the bastard filter and leaves you hanging. Solution: a threat to resell the work.
  • Is there such a thing as an affordable lawyer for freelancers? Apparently there is. Maybe they were getting too cold in hell.
  • How nice would it be to take a course at MIT, Carnegie Mellon or Stanford without leaving your home or paying a single cent? Quite a nice fix to lying about your education.
  • Success is mighty high pedestal that drives us mad climbing it. Hey, screw success.
  • I’m a programmer and I wouldn’t be doing my part if I didn’t spread the need to understand polymorphism in PHP.
  • Admit it, we’re all guilty of bullying poor little Comic Sans. Finally, someone has come to his defense.
  • A read somewhere that a person spends approximately two weeks in his or her lifetime waiting at stoplights. Well, you can guess how scary it is to imagine the amount of your lifetime spent making websites work for Internet Exploder,… sorry, I mean Explorer.
  • Nothing like a few places for freelancers to take five and find a little humor.
  • Limewire officially closed it’s doors this week. Fear not, though. File sharing may be coming to a back alley near you.

Freelancing Links You Can Shake a Stick At

Posted: August 27th, 2010

  • Readhead Writing: Amidst the funny commentary is actually good advice for freelancers to suck it up and get things done. “I don’t care if you’re sitting in your house working in your bunny slippers, in the middle of a co-working space or a coffee shop devotee. It’s time to cowboy the fuck up and start acting the way you want people to treat you.”
  • Noupe: Some pretty convincing reasons to get that crazy thought out of your head on becoming a web designer.
  • I Will Teach You To Be Rich: Worried about what clients would think if you raised your rate $10 an hour? How about tripling your rate with a smile in return? It’s a no-brainer technique too.
  • Freelance Folder: I know I fall out of practice of searching for clients when I get busy. Here’s a nice refresher article to finding those new clients again.
  • Copyblogger: In freelancing, do you do any of these mistakes when marketing your business online?
  • VanSeoDesign: You’re not still too scared to ask for a 50% deposit before starting work  are you? Understanding in depth why you have to be collecting deposits will convince you otherwise.
  • CSS3 Playground: In case online games get a little boring for you, you can test out those DIV blocks you had in mind.
  • Pushing Social: If you’re absolutely pulling your hair out trying to come up with a blog post to write, channel the boogie man instead for a sure post hit.
  • The Huffington Post: Hilarious graffiti photos to brighten your day. Plus a reminder to free Bill Stickers.
  • The Oatmeal: I definitely saved the best for last. No hints, just read it and laugh.

The Week In Freelance: August 13th

Posted: August 13th, 2010

  • Mashable: Sooner or later, you’ll run into a question you have  for your own freelancing business… you know, how do I write a business plan, where do I find an affordable accountant, is murdering a client really punishable? Nice to know there are free online tools to help you with business advice.
  • The Positivity Blog: I don’t know of too many people who haven’t tried a Magic Pill before. I don’t mean “that” kind of pill, but a quick answer to a problem such as purchasing an ebook to help you earn more money. Sticking to a more traditional means of solving a problem or achieving a goal will more likely work out better for you.
  • I’m a firm believer that it’s not your discipline that you need to concentrate on to be productive, but rather, your focus that needs to be improved.
  • Six Revisions: Then again, there are other useful ways to make yourself  productive in freelancing.
  • ReenCoded: Of course, some tools to make freelancing easier would make you more productive too, wouldn’t they?
  • Harvard Business Review: Great article on the four phases of design thinking. “What can people in business learn from studying the ways successful designers solve problems and innovate? On the most basic level, they can learn to question, care, connect, and commit — four of the most important things successful designers do to achieve significant breakthroughs.”
  • Bit Rebels: If you lost or were robbed of your laptop, you’re screwed, right? Actually there’s a FireFox plugin that can track down a lost/stolen laptop plus disable those saved passwords. I’d say a must for everyone.
  • Web Design Dev: Did you know you can brand your tweets with your business name and URL? We’re not talking about anything regarding your username or the actual tweets themselves either.
  • {grow} Blog: I really hate sitting there for hours trying to come up with a blog post. Then there is nothing to show for it but a single crappy paragraph. Now it’s on to trying out a post writing technique taught from a great blogging friend that will hopefully put an end to those blocks.
  • PC World: You already know this but it’s always fun to make fun of yourself knowing you’re spoiled rotten by technology.
  • Entertonement: As if you didn’t need another distraction, here are 20 of the best online games you never heard of. Go with the Beer Pong.

The Week In Freelance: July 23rd

Posted: July 23rd, 2010

  • Get Rich Slowly: Lifehacker)
  • Freelance Folder: If you think you can get by with just your laptop and the wifi at the local Starbucks, well, there are costs to consider in freelancing. “While most freelancers experience lower start up costs than other types of businesses, nearly all freelancers will wind up having to pay some money to start and maintain their freelance business.”
  • Freelance Switch: Just about every freelancer goes through a slow spell… ah forget the sugar coating, a period of eating nothing but ramen noodles and wondering why the hell you’re freelancing in the first place. Don’t worry, there are some great ways you can begin to overcome these slumps.
  • oDesk Blog: You can almost be guaranteed of some crisis that will affect your freelance work sooner or later. Either that or be a victim of Murphy’s Law. my own little computer disaster that I cleanly escaped from.
  • P.S. Jones: If you had a bad week, then enjoy reveling in 6 things that suck about freelancing. Then get over it already.
  • Noupe: Whoa! The super-duper list of web development resources that escaped your attention.
  • The Logo Factor: Likely, if you’re an established graphic designer, at some point your work will get ripped off due to the ease of a Google image search. And if you are one of those who does this, be aware you might get caught.
  • Dumb Little Man: Yes, freelancers suffer from poverty at times in their careers but being time poor is often the cause.
  • Jon Buscall: 21 life lessons we all need to learn. Because our momma isn’t around anymore to teach them.
  • Zen Habits: Some very wise tips to be insanely productive and enjoy it at the same time.

The Week in Freelance: July 16th

Posted: July 16th, 2010

  • Noupe: Great article on a truth in freelancing: we dread doing our own sales. “Most graphic artists and web designers would rather rip their toenails out than do what I do-sell. They conjure up images of being the next Billy Mays style pitchman hawking Ginsu knives at some county fair, when in truth, business to business selling is nothing like that.”
  • The Wealthy Freelancer: Some more thoughts to ponder… as a freelancer, are you so consumed with how to freelance that you forget WHY you’re doing it in the first place? In short, if you know your real purpose for freelancing, then you won’t be stumbling and bumbling you’re way around in your career.
  • Quora: Interesting thread here on why startups fail. For those of you with big ideas and dollar signs in your head for that new project or app, this is worth a read.
  • I hate admiting to myself that, a lot of times, I’m busy all day but seem to not get much done. A handy test to see if you use your time wisely proved I might have been on Twitter a tad too long.
  • Freelance Folder: Telephone calls are a freelancer’s worst nightmare. A sure time killer, keeping you away from doing actual work. So, until you start charging for them, you can find ways to keep the phone calls from disrupting you.
  • Six Revisions: Nice tips on five files that can improve your websites, especially with SEO. These also make nice premium charges for your clients.
  • Freelance Switch: If you are experimenting with using social media for your marketing, then you best know these 7 mistakes that can cripple your social media reputation. Here’s an 8th: Don’t drink and tweet.
  • We Blog Better: Some must-reads if you are a blogger, or if you’re bored of your current blogs and need more blogs to read on blogging.
  • PSYBlog: If those outdoor walks in the park or trips to the museum aren’t enough to get you inspired, then tap your inner Freud and follow up with 7 more.
  • Gigaom: Don’t you hate having to open up FireFox, Safari and (ghast) IE just so you can have multiple Gmail accounts open at the same time? Fear no more.

The Week In Freelance: July 9th

Posted: July 9th, 2010

  • Clients From Hell: Good ol’ humorous client tales dedicated to us freelancers and worthy of a bookmark.
  • Wall Street Journal: In New York, a new bill is under consideration that would give freelancers more power to fight deadbeat companies. Hopefully this spreads across the States (or else a move to NY would be in order).
  • Smashing Magazine: Has the ultimate list of time-saving tools for web designers. That way, you’ll have way more time for Twitter!
  • Smashing Magazine: If you have your own self-hosted WordPress blog, then you definitely want to go over these ten WordPress security tweaks. Little things like hackers can be annoying otherwise.
  • Web Designer Depot: You may be indirectly familiar with Occam’s Razor but I’ll humor you.  It states that the simplest explanation is usually true. So why not use this principle in your design?
  • Dumb Little Man: It’s safe to say all freelancers would like a passive income stream to supplement the regular income. So take these seven steps to heart to create your successful passive income stream.
  • Crossrefme: For the freelance writers, you now have a free tool to check if your original work has been plagarized. Don’t worry, I wasn’t tempted to reuse that blog post of yours.
  • All Freelance Writing: If you’re looking at the job boards for freelance writing jobs available, it’s best to avoid one like this.
  • {grow} Blog: If you think you’ve seen it all on Twitter, then you obviously haven’t followed a lactating cow, just one of the 20 craziest things you can do on Twitter.
  • IS Parade: Then when you’re through with those 20, enter your username here, wait a minute or so and be amused with your very own parade in honor of @you.
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The Week In Freelance: June 25th

Posted: June 25th, 2010

  • Freelance Switch: You have to admit it. You weren’t made to work with all clients so let go of the clients that give you grief. Article doubles as advice for breaking up with a significant other too.
  • Six Revisions: Some of the hardest lessons to learn as a freelancer are the business side of things. You will learn the hard way through experience but an article that gives you an outline to the business side of freelancing is a nice shortcut.
  • oDesk: While we’re on the subject of the business side of freelancing, you might want to get to know how to do a profit and loss report, you know, just to see if you make money or not.
  • Creative Overflow: Just to make sure we exhaust all business topics, feast on a ten step guide to starting a freelance business. Or have a look in case you forgot one.
  • The Wealthy Freelancer: Now taking a step away from business talk, we’ll move on the the psychology of freelancing. Pretty interesting read… a few mental blocks that kill your freelancing income.
  • Dzine Press: I know, summer is here and distractions are a plenty. Creativity, well, that goes out the window too. So take 7 suggestions to boost your creativity back up.
  • 1st Web Designer: Freelancing is a hazardous occupation? Time to check up on that health insurance.
  • The Wealthy Freelancer: Freelancing is not college. There is no need to frequently stay up all night to get those projects done.
  • Famous Bloggers: OK, so you use Twitter to keep up with friends and mingle with those other like-minded freelancers. Take it up a notch and learn to use Twitter for your marketing too.
  • Carson Brackney: If you have your down days as a freelancer, reading this will give you a better appreciation for your career (and others around you).
  • Pilot Handwriting: Pretty cool tool for you to save your handwriting digitally and use it wherever the hell you want.

The Week In Freelance: June 11th

Posted: June 11th, 2010

  • Smashing Magazine: Unfortunately in freelancing, there are many potential clients that try to take advantage of you or are just plain dodgy. Worse, freelancers don’t often consider this when accepting projects since, hey, it’s new work. So learn to spot these sketchy clients (includes a sample contract).
  • Freelance Folder: A potential client finds your name, politely asks for an estimate and you spend the better part of a day giving a detailed quote expecting the project. Then you never hear from them again. Better to know how to weed out these tire-kickers.
  • Freelance Switch: Something to think about… branch out your skills to create your own niche and higher income.
  • Freelance Switch: Cold calling with emails to get new clients may just work if done the right way.
  • Web Worker Daily: Try a little reverse psychology to make yourself more productive.
  • Zen Habits: Some nice concise and must-know tips if you want to start your own online business.
  • The Wealthy Freelancer: Do you have all five habits of highly effective freelancers? Damn, I just have 4 and a half.
  • Freelance Writing Jobs: Some things you should know before starting out in freelance writing. Doesn’t hurt to have a refresher either if you’ve been in the biz a while.
  • Inspired Mag: Freelancers aren’t just workers with no boss. They are entrepreneurs, so listen to some wise tips on how to make solopreneurship a success for you.
  • Say Educate: Sure, we’re all looking at other ways to earn an income in addition to our freelancing duties. Here are few ideas to get you started.
  • Ufunk: Read on in case you were wondering how the net’s biggest websites had a drug connection.
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