I am a lucky freelancer—I have my own home office and no kids (well, at least not yet) to worry about. And my job means I don’t have to sit in my office, day after day, until I can’t stand it anymore. I get to go out and meet interesting people to interview and take photos. However, not everyone can work this way.
Some of you don’t have a home office, or any office, to work in. You have to work wherever you can, be it the couch, the kitchen table, or in the basement. Finding a quiet space can be difficult if you have a family. And not having anyone to bounce ideas off of can be maddening, too.
That’s why I liked this article posted on Men With Pens about the best—and worst—places to write.
If you have to get out of the house due to cabin fever, loud teenagers, or you just need a new environment to spark creativity, there are places where you should and should not go. Continue Reading
The graphic designer leave behind has, ironically, been left behind in recent years. Its something that is heavily focused on in design school, but rarely is it put into practice in the real world. I think that’s a shame.
If you made a good impression on your potential client or interviewer, the leave-behind is such a great opportunity to make that impression last. When done right, leaving something tangible behind will help keep you top-of-mind, which will increase your chances of landing the job. Continue Reading
Looking for a new client? The FreelanceSwitch job board is a great resource of freelance gigs and opportunities. These opportunities are in various fields, from development to writing to design, and come from a wide range of potential clients. The job board is hand-moderated by dedicated staff and volunteers from the freelance community.
Each week, we’ll feature a selection of the best job opportunities posted for the week. This week, we’re featuring jobs in Web Design, Brand Strategy, Web Development and more!
View engaging conference lectures, interesting how to discussions, and high quality freelance advice via video here on FreelanceSwitch.
This week we look at Startups on the Side with Toni Gemayel by FreelanceJam. In this inspiring video the FreelanceJam duo interview Toni Gemayel who has loads of experience as a freelancer and with launching successful ventures. He’s a full-time “startup scout” for Coloma Ventures which involves regular travel. He’s also someone who launches a lot of startups on the side, including ventures such as Fonadu. Continue Reading
When I saw this blog post on Gawker.com, I just shook my head. What else can you do?
Here’s the gist: a guy who is looking for a job created a profile on Monster.com saying he’s looking for a job in the Columbus, Ohio area. He’s contacted by a recruiter looking for an employee in northern Arkansas. One snippy comment made by the job seeker (who is called “Robert” in the post) sets off a barrage of crazy emails.
Since you got my resume off of Monster, I’m sure you saw in my profile that I’m only interested in jobs in Columbus, Ohio, because you surely check these things before firing off e-mails. —Robert
I’m no geography guru, but thanks to mapquest.com, I deduced that there are about 760 miles between northwest Arkansas and Columbus, Ohio. It’s far. Twelve-plus hours in a car far. So sure, perhaps the recruiter was stretching a little bit when he contacted Robert.
And clearly, Robert was annoyed. But the entire chain of emails between these two guys are totally rude and unprofessional. Sounds like they both had a bad day.
It is so easy to misunderstand and misinterpret people when it comes to email. It happened to me just last week. Continue Reading
In this issue of Ask FreelanceSwitch, we look at a case of nerves and a question of file ownership. Ask FreelanceSwitch is a regular column here that allows us to help beginners get a grip on freelancing. If you have a question about freelancing that you want answered, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am newish to freelancing (have done small freelance gigs, but mostly work full time for corporations) and I have an opportunity that is coming through for a contract to hire job. I am a Front End Web Developer and confident in my abilities but not having worked contract before, I get nervous. I have a wife and young son that I need to provide for and having insurance is important, as is job security.
Should I be nervous? What can I do to calm my nerves? How can I leave the corporate rat race and push myself to the promised land of freelance/contract?
It’s normal to be nervous when you’re making major changes to how you earn your living. There is more risk associated with freelancing or working on a contractual basis, matched by an increase in opportunities. Nervousness is just a reminder that you need to take steps to address that risk. Continue Reading
CareerCast.com just published a list of 200 jobs ranking them from best to worst based on the following criteria: physical demands, work environment, income, stress, and hiring outlook. They used info from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (along with other government agencies) to create this list.
I did a search for some words that describe my job(s) and here’s what I came up with:
- Publication Editor: Ranked 118
- Photojournalist: Ranked 166. I actually typed in “journalist” and this is the only thing that comes close.
- Technical Writer: Ranked 37. Again, I typed in “writer” and this is what I got.
- Reporter (newspaper): Ranked 196 (yikes!).
The top 10 jobs are as follows:
- Software Engineer
- Human Resources Manager
- Dental Hygienist
- Financial Planner
- Occupational Therapist
- Online Advertising Manager
- Speech Pathologist
The worst 10 jobs are as follows:
- Meter Reader
- Reporter (Newspaper)
- Oil Rig Worker
- Enlisted Military Soldier
- Dairy Farmer
Unfortunately for me, my skills have a lot more in common with the worst jobs than the best. And I have to say; I spent many years through college (and even for a while after) being a waitress at a restaurant outside of Fenway Park in Boston, and I LOVED that job! It was the fastest and easiest money I have ever made.
When I looked up “freelancer” in this list of 200, nothing came up. Not surprisingly, as that word can mean so many things. However, I’d like to put “freelancer” through the five criteria above anyway, for discussion sake. Continue Reading
As a solo freelancer, you probably don’t have the budget to conduct big market research studies like the big guys to learn how to improve your business – things like how to improve your sales process, or where your customers are coming from, or a million other market research questions.
I’m here to tell you that you have a little tool (well maybe not so little) to give you the answers to many of these questions, which provides insights into how to grow your freelance business. That tool is Google Analytics.
Let’s get started with DIY market research in this lesson. Continue Reading
I require my undergraduate journalism students to buy two books to keep by their sides at all times. One of them is the AP Style Book; the other is called When Words Collide: A Media Writer’s Guide to Grammar and Style.
I can’t tell you how much I love my When Words Collide book; I use it all the time. I’d like to share some information with you about one of my favorite chapters in this book. It’s called 10 Little Secrets, 10 Big Mistakes—and the information is useful if you aim to be a better writer.
Secret 1: Read
If you don’t like to read, you can’t possibly love to write. The two go hand in hand. I have always been a voracious reader. I love fiction as well as nonfiction and I’ve been lucky enough to study a handful of classics in literature in both high school and college.
Language is an amazing thing—and you can’t really work on building your own voice without listening to others. Other writers are the best examples of how to do things well—and not so well. Read widely and often. Continue Reading
Surprise, surprise! On 11th April Google+ made a new announcement. Google+ now has more than 170 million users!
This is not the only reason why you should consider using Google+ for your freelancing business. Another very important reason is that Google+ profiles and pages can make an impact on the SEO of your website, at least in the personalized search results of Google.
The announcement also declared that Google+ will now run on a whole new interface that is a more “functional and flexible version of Google+.” The most striking feature of this new interface is that all the apps have been cornered down into the left margin, which can be moved up and down as per the requirements of the user. This means that the apps are no longer static as before.
But this is just the beginning.
The senior vice president of Google, Vic Gundotra wrote on Google’s official blog that:
We’ve also built the ribbon with the future in mind, giving us an obvious (and clutter-free) space for The Next Big Feature, and The Feature After That. So stay tuned.
Google+ is surely onto something big. Only time will tell, what? In this article we’ll discuss some of the new features of Google+. Understanding the big changes to Google+ will allow you to take advantage of them to promote your freelance business.
The Banner Image
Google Plus’s home page now hosts a large banner image. Its dimensions are 940 by 180 pixels.
Compare this to the new Facebook Timeline banner that is 851 by 315 pixels. Since Facebook rolled out its Timeline first, it suggests that Google Plus’s banner is inspired from Facebook’s. Continue Reading
Irrespective of what niche you write in, there are major industry events that you need to be aware of. Reading about them is a terrific way to get ideas for new topics.
In addition, when you are well informed about your niche, you will be able to generate new ideas and base your writing on solid facts, as opposed to opinion alone. It is not just the major events that you should concern yourself with – it significantly helps to keep up to date on your niche in all aspects.
If you are able to blog about an event early in its life-cycle, you can gain several advantages as a blogger, which may not be as apparent at first. Continue Reading