While having a regular freelance writing gig is nice, can you keep up with the ongoing need for fresh content?
Can you balance the workload with other projects?
Say you have a client who has you blogging weekly or even daily. Have you found it easy to come up with simultaneously original and useful content each and every week or even every day? In some saturated niches, it’s not always easy producing regular content.
Here are some tips you can use to to blunt the edge of writing dry spells, if they happen–or prevent them altogether.
Before starting this post, I had not completed a single article or post in over four weeks–my longest dry-spell since I started to take blogging seriously in 2005. This was mostly due to recently getting into non-writing and long-term writing projects. So while I did earn some income, my concern was for what would happen when those projects ended. A creative dry spell has a habit of perpetuating beyond control if you don’t forcibly do something to get out of it. Continue Reading
Einstein once said something to the effect of, “you cannot solve problems by thinking within the same framework or mindset that discovered the problems.” The implication is that you need to step into another mindset, another level of thinking.
So how do we step into another mindset, as Einstein implies we should? One possible method is mind-mapping, which arguably triggers a much more natural way of thinking and problem solving. Continue Reading
Freelancers in every field face a constant challenge to achieve and maintain a high level of productivity and quality in their work. One of the ways that you can improve your results is by developing systems or routines for various aspects of your work.
Most likely you do some of the same things day-after-day and week-after-week. Having a proven system for getting these things done can bring several positive benefits. In this post we’ll look at why you would want to develop you own systems and some areas of freelancing life that lend themselves to systematization. Continue Reading
Hurricane Sandy’s unwelcome visit to the United State’s East Coast at the end of October left millions of homes and businesses in the dark. When you’re a business of one, it’s more important than ever to make sure you are set up for any kind of weather.
While your main concern during a storm should always be to protect your home and family, it’s also important to have plans in place to safeguard your freelance business. Continue Reading
A freelancer’s efforts can be roughly divided into two areas: working toward a contracted project, and taking steps to keep your business strong. When you’re occupied working for a client, it’s easy to focus only on that effort. Deadlines should always take high priority, but don’t let the other areas slip too far, or you’ll be scrambling to catch up down the road.
So just how do you balance the two? One approach is to make a checklist of business-minded tasks that you need to do each week, regardless of how busy things get. Continue Reading
Cloud computing oppens new opportunities for freelancers. One of them is free online file synchronization and storage. Nowadays you can sync your PC files and manage your documents on the go. Share files with your employer or other freelancers. Make an online backup or roll back to previous file version. All these actions are possible with modern online file sharing applications.
Here are the top eleven online storage and file sync services that are suitable for freelancing document needs:
JustCloud specializes in simple cloud backup by using only 3 steps – choose your files, back them up and then access them from anywhere. This simple approach, combined with top level features, ensure that you will never lose data again, and you will always have access to the files you need.
JustCloud is fully compatible with mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android and also implements top level security features so you can rest assured that your data is safe. Enjoy 2 weeks of free cloud storage space and a host of market-leading features before upgrading for unlimited storage space and even more features.
Dropbox is a leading folder sync tool. Dropbox gives 2GB free online file storage, which may be increased up to 8GB. Install Dropbox software on PC, Mac, Linux, or mobile devices. Put files you want to store in your Dropbox folder, share a folder with someone, or sync files with other device. I think Dropbox is the easiest file sync software I’ve tried. It’s simple to setup and easy to work with.
When I hear the term minimalist, I think of zen and balance, as well as simplicity.
As you develop your freelancing portfolio and career, one of the keys of long-term success is simply to keep a balanced lifestyle, which often boils down to a minimalist approach to life and work.
Within the context of freelancing, minimalism is removing distractions; clearing the desk (and mind) of anything that isn’t needed to get the job done.
After enough time in the industry, it’s easy to pick up activities and habits that simply take away time from meaningful activities. The following is a guide to minimalist freelancing and your start to a more balanced career. Continue Reading
While freelance writing is my main job, I also do some part-time work as a freelance photographer. Working from home and living in a tight space gets a bit hectic when I have cameras, bags, chargers, tripods, SD cards, DVD’s, hard drives, and more.
Some equipment is tiny (the SD cards for instance) and can get lost easily. Some of these items belong to specific equipment and cannot be separated from this set. “Okay, so this charger is for this camera…and this cable goes to that hard drive…”
A lot of freelancers I know (especially other photographers) get so passionate and involved in their work, that organizing their equipment is the last thing on their mind.
But, the thing is…if we don’t organize ourselves as freelancers, we can never get on to the next assignment without having a sizable mess of stuff follow us. And that sure isn’t professional, is it?
Whether you’re a writer, designer, or developer, here are some tips on keeping your equipment organized and ready for the next project. Continue Reading
One of the fundamental principles of productivity is that in order to get things done, you gotta focus. And that necessary focus requires that you eliminate as many distractions as possible — not always an easy task with the Internet, coworkers and busy phones calling to you from every direction.
Here’s how to block out the Siren’s call of distractions, in 10 steps.
First, let me say that there should be room in your life for distractions. Work should be fun, and without a few distractions, things can get boring. That being said, when it’s time to do a task, there’s no reason to do it while handling a million other things. You’ll never get things done that way. When you’re ready to work on a task, block out all else, and really focus on it. Do your best on that task, and get it done as quickly as possible. Then reward yourself with distractions.
That’s all easier said than done, I know. So here are 10 of the best ways I’ve found to eliminate distractions and really focus on a task.
Imagine a quiet office space. There are only a few people around – not enough to distract you, but enough to ensure that you don’t feel isolated from the world. Mostly they are freelancers, typing away at their computers.
You like the music playing in the background because it is almost like someone copied your own playlist. The coffee is delicious, there’s plenty of food to choose from, the view is not bad at all…And the best part? The rent you pay is the price of the things you eat and drink.
It sounds good, doesn’t it? I’ve just described at least three of my favorite coffee shops. You might think that working in coffee shops is an obvious choice, albeit not a very convenient one. After all, several other FreelanceSwitch writers made pretty good cases about why libraries make better offices than coffee shops or why co-working spaces are the best office alternatives. But what if there aren’t any co-working spaces near where you live? And most libraries don’t really allow you to eat or drink something around their computers.
So what’s a freelancer to do? Sure, most freelancers, including me, run home offices. But working in one place for a long time decreases productivity, creativity and frankly, it gets boring and lonely.
So every time I need a change of scenery, I take my stuff and go to one of my favorite coffee shops. And if you choose correctly, they can make the most fun and positive office substitutes. Whether you don’t feel comfortable in libraries or you don’t live near co-working spaces (or just don’t want to pay $25 or more for them), here is a guide to what to look for in coffee shops so that they provide a satisfactory office experience: Continue Reading
Thanks to the internet, it is more advantageous to work as a freelancer these days. You can conveniently find clients online, market your work effectively at a low cost (or for free), network with colleagues, run your website, research, handle your accounting and a lot more.
But having such easy access to the internet is not without its drawbacks. For many freelancers, it is hard to resist reading e-mails, logging on to social media accounts, checking stats for their blogs and websites or following one link after the other. Even though we want to get ahead by multitasking, we get distracted and wind up not accomplishing much.
That’s why lots of productivity articles advise you to turn off your internet connection (or ignore it) when you need to focus.
However, we do have a lot to do on the Internet and we really get frustrated if our connection goes awry. So what do you do when the internet cuts you off? Whether you are at your (home) office or at your favorite coffee shop, it’s inevitable to run into problems from time to time.
Yes, the internet is essential for many of our tasks, but we often forget that quite a few of these can, and maybe even should, be done without it.
The next time you can’t connect, don’t get mad – get efficient. Regardless of what area of freelancing you are in, following are some ideas to get you started: Continue Reading
I’ll be honest– my home life is completely insane. My house is like a zoo with two feral monkeys on the loose, tearing apart everything they can get their little hands on.
There are spills, wrecks, crying jags, minor explosions, loud thumping sounds (heads on walls probably), and occasional horror-movie-style screams. It’s amazing that two tiny people can create so much chaos.
My wife does all she can, but she’s outnumbered. I provide back-up, but I’ve also got a job to do. In spite of all the madness, I still somehow manage to write for several hours each day.
Speaking of which, I should get started on some work right now while they’re eating pancakes. Here are 5 of the ways I keep from going completely nuts and manage to keep my freelance writing projects on track. Continue Reading