This is a guest post by Chloe Trogden.
As a freelance writer, working for yourself is one of the biggest perks and one of the biggest drawbacks. You call the shots — when you work, where you work, how you work — but you are also responsible for all the risk, and you’re responsible for all the benefits you would have received at a job. These include health insurance, a 401(k), and taxes. Yes, taxes.
Working for yourself, you have to keep up with paying your taxes yourself. No one is there to take them out of your check and send them to the government for you. Finding out what you have to pay and when you have to pay, and then keeping up with all the paperwork along the way, can be a lot of work. Here are a few tips for how you can keep up with your taxes as a freelance writer:
Know Your Deductions
There are a number of expenses that you can deduct from your taxes as a freelance writer, more so if you maintain a home office. Some possibilities include:
- Internet service
- Phone service
- The purchase of a computer or other equipment
- Rent, electricity or water service for your home office (usually calculated as a percentage of your home expenses, based on square footage)
- Lunches with clients
- Mileage to and from events and interviews
- Payments for health insurance premiums
What you can deduct will vary according to your business model. It is worth consulting with a tax professional or small business lawyer to understand what deductions are available to you.
Keep All of Your Invoices
Your invoices to clients provide a record of the work you did. Not only can you use these invoices to match up with your receipts to provide a complete record, but you can also use the invoices to write off your losses. If a client doesn’t pay you, you can use the invoice to deduct the expense from your taxable income, reducing your tax burden.
Make sure you keep all of your invoices in a folder on your computer or a binder.
Keep All of Your Receipts
Your receipts will provide the information you need to show your earnings and your business expenses throughout the year. Not only will they help you to file, but they will also help you to provide proof of what you claim if you ever get audited.
Make sure you organize your receipts for easy filing later. You can create a filing system that separates your receipts by client, by type of expense, or according to another system that works best for your business.
Keep Quarterly Spreadsheets
Sorting through a mountain of receipts and invoices at the end of the year can be a time-consuming and tedious process. You can make the work easier by managing it as you go along throughout the year. Keep spreadsheets of all your payments and expenses, and update them every quarter. If your business is really thriving, you might want to consider updating your spreadsheets more often, perhaps even monthly or weekly.
Make Quarterly Payments
Since no one is deducting taxes from your pay, you have to do it yourself. You can’t just set the money aside in a savings account and pay it out at the end of the year in one lump sum. If you do, you could face penalties for underpayment of your taxes. Instead, you must schedule quarterly payments based on your estimated taxes. If you are unsure what your estimated taxes are, you can speak with a tax professional or consult the tax tables.
As a freelance writer, you are responsible for your own success and you are responsible for your own taxes. By following these simple steps throughout the year, you can ensure that tax time is a breeze and that you aren’t stuck under a mountain of paperwork for weeks, only to find that you owe a bunch of money. As always, you should consult with an accountant to get advice tailored specifically to your situation to determine best practices.
Chloe Trogden is a seasoned financial aid writer for a large student resource website. Her leisure activities include camping, swimming and playing her guitar.
This is a guest post by Aaron Tokelove.
Freelance writing doesn’t need to seem daunting, or out there in the great unknown. There are genuine steps you can take to start producing interesting, readable (and paid!) work.
Your first goal is to establish a strategic plan for the kind of writing you are best able to deliver. Not everyone can write about everything, and quite often each person will possess specific expertise on a certain subject that will make them especially qualified to write interesting pieces. Remember, you’re most important client is your reader, so as long as they are being stimulated and are enjoying what you’re writing, then you’ll be fine!
When you have decided what few areas to specialize in – maybe four or five to begin with, covering, perhaps, diverse areas like travel, entertainment, cooking and natural history – you need to start producing a few ‘demo pieces’ to form part of a portfolio. This becomes especially important when you start to market your skills to third-party websites that will connect you, the freelance writer, with your audience, the reader. And when you do come to market your skills, be very careful to tailor your pieces to the instructions given by the client (be they a third-party ‘middle man’ or the reader themselves), while ensuring that you don’t compromise your own ideas and voice. It’s one thing to cover aspects of a story as asked for by the client, but it’s a different matter altogether to compromise your own views and vision for the sake of a pay check. The best freelance writers are those with integrity, consistency and competency.
As you begin to market your writing, you’ll find that establishing and maintaining a healthy writing routine is essential. Quite often, in the early days, freelance writing is born out of regularity – effectively forcing yourself to sit down every day, probably at the same time of day, to write. This will establish a pattern in your lifestyle, which will make it much easier to treat freelance writing with the respect it deserves. After all, if you intend to make money from it, you need to treat it like a structured, scheduled job. Equally, do make sure that your early routine isn’t overly ambitious. You don’t want to burn out or grow frustrated. I recommend writing for just a couple of hours a day in the beginning, and then your talent and passion to continue will soon see you devoting more time than this to your writing each day.
Business trips are an important source of information. If your writing assignment requires you to do some in-the-field research, make sure you approach the trip as a keen researcher with an eye for detail. Capturing and writing original material is a vital skill for a truly successful freelance writer, while ensuring that you provide an appropriate contextual background to any original research is vital: you want all of your readers to understand just why your new information is compelling when related back to the original framework. Furthermore, providing a contextual background is a necessary narrative skill to ensure that readers feel stimulated and keen to learn new information about a certain topic.
Remember to remain professional at all times. Keep in mind that anything that goes out onto the Internet with your name on it will likely remain in the ether forever, so you want to maximize quality over quantity, at all times. As your skills and reputation improve, your relative pay will as well, meaning you can always prioritize the quality of your words over their quantity.
And, above all else, have fun!
About the author
This is a guest post by Cory Lewis.
There is no doubt that the U.S. economy faces serious challenges and uncertainties. The unemployment rate stood at a staggeringly high 7.7 percent in Nov. 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Americans are also on the brink of feeling the impacts of the nation falling off the “fiscal cliff”—tax increases for the employed and termination of benefits for the jobless are just two of the serious consequences Americans face.
In these difficult and trying times, it’s more important now than ever before to consider creating multiple streams of income. If you’re a skilled researcher and writer, all you need is a computer and Internet access to start freelance writing. Once you become established, you can gain and inspiration and market yourself through Pinterest, the hottest social networking site today. Let’s take a closer look at all this.
Take Advantage of Online Freelance Platforms
Over the course of recent years, America has become a nation of freelancers—according to the Freelancers Union, one in three workers are now “freelancers, temps, permalancers, perma-temps, contractors, contingent workers, etc.” This amounts to some 42 million freelancers in the U.S. Whether or not you currently have full-time employment, freelancing can serve as an excellent income source and a method to develop and sharpen your writing skills.
Two of the most popular and widely used freelance platforms online today include oDesk and Elance. It’s easy to create a profile that includes a recent photo of you, your skills, your objective, your work experience, and your academic credentials. You’d work as an independent contractor and have the opportunity to place bids on various writing assignments posted by job posters. Once you win a few bids, you can produce quality content, create a strong portfolio, receive great feedback, and increase the rate you charge. Of course, all this takes some time to achieve.
Use Pinterest to Market Yourself
Pinterest is the hottest social networking site in the online sphere today—it’s the fastest growing website of all time, according to Fortune Magazine, quite an impressive feat when you consider that it’s outpacing the likes of Facebook and Twitter at similar phases in development.
If you aren’t familiar with Pinterest, it’s a photo sharing tool that allows its users to create virtual pinboards that can be organized by various categories, which may include beauty, fashion, home décor, arts and crafts, food, fitness, and inspirational items. Users can “pin” relevant images on their own to their boards or “repin” images they find on other users’ boards. Pinterest users can follow these boards, which gives the site a truly community feel.
Now, how can freelance writers take advantage of Pinterest? The photo sharing tool is loaded with new writing topics you can discover. As a former freelance writer, I discovered fresh, new ideas on Pinterest in such areas as exercise ideas, arts and crafts, and exotic recipes. One of the most creative pieces I’ve written for a client has been about homemade cleaning products—I was inspired by ideas I discovered on Pinterest.
In addition to serving as a source of inspiration, Pinterest can drive traffic to your blog, which you should make to market yourself as a freelance writer. Are you an expert writer in the health niche? Do you enjoy writing about new, exotic food items? Are you a passionate writer in the area of home décor? You can create visually appealing pins (or hire an expert digital graphics designer) that can be placed on your Pinterest profile. The pins should be relevant to different themes you specialize in as a freelance writer. This can drive traffic to your website and potentially help you expand your clientele.
Taking advantage of freelance platforms and Pinterest as a marketing vehicle is an excellent way to generate extra income in these challenging economic times.
Cory Lewis is a content contributor and marketing specialist for Baby Changing Station.
This is a guest post by Richard McMunn.
Most people starting out on their freelance career will use one of two paths to get work. They will either promote themselves to contacts that they already have, or they will advertise in one form or another for new work. Regardless of which path is taken, the temptation is to initially offer their services at a lower rate in order to prove that they are reliable and can get the job done. This can be a great way of building a reputation, but it can cause problems later on when it comes to reappraising the prices for services. So, how should you raise your prices as a freelancer?
There are probably as many ideas on how to do this as there are freelancers, as everyone’s situation is different. One excellent suggestion though, is to have a yearly price review around November. By sending out an email or letter to clients explaining that you have had a review of your prices, and that you will need to increase them in the New Year, you will be informing them in the most professional manner possible. As long as the price rise is realistic, most clients will simply budget your rise into their equations rather than go through the process of trying to source cheaper freelancers who may not be as good or as reliable.
A price review does not need to just be in November, of course. Anyone that has knowingly under-priced their work in order to secure a new client should review the price again after six months. If the client has been satisfied with your services during this time, and you are way off the current market rate, then it is only reasonable to request an increase in pay. In fact, if the client has been impressed with your work, they will more likely than not be expecting you to raise your prices as a freelancer in any case.
Some freelancers operate in a very narrow niche, and often know fellow freelancers in the same field. Building up contacts with freelancers as well as clients can be just as important, as not only does it give a better idea of what the going rate for work is, but it can also lead to other things, such as discovering if people are retiring or have started a huge contract. Either of these two cases presents the chance to raise prices, as there are less freelancers available out on the market.
Another thing that freelancers often forget is that the longer they have been working for themselves, the more skills they will have developed, and this is the same for an interpreter as it is for a freelance writer. When applying for work, you are not just pricing in the time spent to do the job, but also the years’ of experience that has been accumulated.
Finally, if you are hesitant in raising the prices for existing clients, then simply increase the rates when going after more work for new clients. At this point, you will be relying on the reputation that you have carefully built over the previous months or years and will start earning what you are truly worth.
About the author
How2become was established by Richard McMunn in 2005, who was working as a Fire Officer for Kent Fire & Rescue Service at the time. Since writing his first book, how to become a firefighter, Richard has gone on to author various titles spanning across multiple careers. The company has grown and developed into the UK’s leading careers information and development website. Connect with How2become on Facebook
Freelance journalism is one of the trickiest career options anyone can follow. Largely, it’s because more than you can imagine, it’s not as glamorous as you read in top publications like Elle, Sex and the City, XXL. Succeeding as a freelance journalist demands a lot from you, as a huge portfolio is what many papers are looking for. This is because freelance journalism is a career line that requires you have a fat portfolio of published work and the important industry connections. However, someone has to start somewhere. Here are some tips on the best way to get started.
Know your publishing field
The biggest event for starting as a freelance journalism is getting published out there. You need to get started with the local magazines in your city for the required exposure and skills. This doesn’t mean you directly flash out the best sports news you can find. This is because these parts already have the competition. Instead, start focusing on the different parts of the publishing fields by targeting a different kind of readership. Being able to comfortably do this will enable you learn to value target all magazines in your area and possibly land you a writing spot.
The best strategy for being a freelance journalist is being able to pitch work with the right editors. Don’t pitch ideas to editors. Instead, consider giving them articles that have been completed and in the best shape. This means you avoid the lazy card by making your pitch articles the real article, using the right spellings and grammar and ensuring the work will turn eyes. This is one of the best ways to launch you to editors and papers.
When you pitch an idea to the potential employer, be sure to sell yourself in a sentence of two. The best practice is having the letter say you are a freelance writer and what your article is about. Make it snappy, direct and straight forward. Also give them deadlines on when to give you feedback before you move on to other interests.
Some calls don’t really come easily, and if you are really serious about getting the position you are looking for, it will help you to make a follow-up call. The intention of the call is to clarify the status of the article you send and whether or not they are willing to engage.
A phone call is a reminder to the editors that you are indeed interested and committed in a working relationship with them. The phone call can also remind a busy editor of your interest in writing for them and if possible, the ideas you have and subsequent interviews needed.
Freelance journalism is not easy, and many are times your topic and article ideas will be shot down by editors and media bosses. A rejection doesn’t necessarily mean the article is bad, but a difference in preferences. When this happens, get up, dust yourself and move on for the next writing opportunity.
About the author
Austin Rinehart is the senior writer on PapersConsulting.com, married and have two lovely adult daughters. Looking for opportunities to publishing on various topics such as internet trends, science researches, strategies of life improving and etc.
This is a guest post by Gwen Stewart.
Choosing a name for your business can be fun. You can go with something straightforward, or you might choose a name that is fun and catchy. However, choosing a name can also be frustrating. Multiple choices and ideas can present themselves and leave you second-guessing yourself as you try to determine what name will suit your business best. Ultimately, you want a name that is recognizable and instills brand recognition as your business grows. Read these tips on choosing a name for your business and make the process both easier and smarter.
1. Make it Easy to Remember
Google, Yahoo!, Pepsi, Starburst, Apple, Sears. What do all these business names have in common? None of them accurately describe what the business is, but they are all easily recognized, and because of brand awareness, you know exactly what each business is. So regardless of whether your business name is creatively obscure or self-descriptive, simple and easy to spell and remember is most important. Additionally, some businesses try to be clever by using a play on words or inserting punctuation in order to create a unique name. While the name might be easy to remember, it can be potentially difficult to look up in the yellow pages or on the Internet.
2. Be Positive
Choosing a name that is positive doesn’t necessarily mean that you must choose uplifting words. It’s more about creating a strong-sounding brand, such as Dynamic Marketing, The Lucky Teapot, Fresh Market, and Stone Cold Creamery. These names also help to convey an image in the mind of the business, making it easy to remember and recognize.
3. Make it Informative
As mentioned earlier, names like Apple and Sears don’t necessarily convey a type of business information, but that’s because these are actually shortened company names. Apple has become synonymous with “Apple Computer, Inc.,” and Sears is shortened from “Sears Department Stores.” Of course, Google and Yahoo! are exceptions, but since your business is just being created. If you aren’t planning an instant global reach with lots of promotion, you’ll want a name that provides some information to consumers about what your business actually does.
Dynamic Marketing is a good example. Netflix is a great example, and PayPal, Quality Logo Design and Antics Digital Marketing are also good examples of names that are simple, easy to remember, and provide you with some sort of idea of the business.
4. Keep It Short
Again, the key to making a business name memorable is also making it short. One-word business names are easy to remember, but you don’t necessarily need to make it that short. When a business grows, consumers tend to shorten the name on their own because the name has become so recognizable that only the first word might be needed for you to be aware of what it is referring to. That doesn’t mean you should create an especially long name, either. Three words is usually a good standard, enabling you to make it simple yet also provide information.
5. Will it Have Visual Impact?
Think about how your business name will appear on signage, business cards, and on websites. Will it be able to lend itself well to a logo? If you have the resources, you might want to see some logo options for different names you are mulling over in order to better gauge the impact of the name when seen visually.
6. Make Sure it Isn’t Already Taken
There are millions of business names already out there, some currently in use, and some just trademarked for potential future use. So how can you be sure that the name you choose isn’t already taken? Perform a simple search on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website and you’ll quickly be able to determine if you need to think of a new name.
About the Author:
Gwen Stewart is a business development professional and writer for Outbounding.com on behalf of www.ShareFile.com. Her line of work requires she have a reliable solution for file sharing as well as a solid strategy for meeting tight deadlines. Any spare time she can scrape together finds her hiking, reading and enjoying the company of great friends.
Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or a newly unemployed job seeker, freelancing allows you to a schedule set by you. Some people are night owls, but others like to rise with the chickens, and that’s OK if you’re a freelancer! When you are a freelancer, no one but yourself dictates when you work. You can take your children to the park and still have hours in the day to take care of a neighbor’s dog as a pet sitter, or while your toddler naps, you can type some articles for a freelance writing site. Waste not want not is a great saying that applies to the freelance world. If you use the same hours, you might use playing a game online or checking Facebook by instead freelance writing. You could make some great money during the times of day you like to work rather than during the hours your are made to.
Everyone knows in our world today there is uncertainty in the job market. When one loses a job or possibly has their hours cut back due to an economic downturn of a company, it is so easy to go to a “woe is me” mindset. But that path is unhealthy. Being pro-active is a positive, bolstering way to be, and freelancing allows for a pro-active lifestyle. Recently becoming unemployed, instead of getting down on myself, I looked at it as an opportunity and immediately became pro-active over my own job possibilities. After a few hours of researching, I realized there are many ways for a person to freelance in today’s world. Crafty people can use sites such as Etsy.com to sell wares and crafts, Textbroker.com allows folks who have the gift of language to quickly and easily begin a freelance writing career, and even a person with an eye for value could hit up local yard sales and flea markets and resell items on Ebay.com. Ask yourself where your passion is, come up with your own strategy and you can turn any downtime away from the traditional working world into a magical new adventure of a working world designed by you!
What a Wonderful Wardrobe!
When you work for someone else, you dress how they like. When you freelance and work for yourself, you dress how you like. Add to that the added savings of not having to stock your closet full of clothes, you don’t even want to wear and it’s a win-win all around! No one needs to be in high heels when they write on their laptop from the comfort of their own couch. Dressing in a pencil skirt is certainly not required attire when you make the rounds to walk the dogs you have signed up to pet sit this week. And if you can’t afford a huge rotation of a glamorous wardrobe, well it makes no difference if you sign up for nanny jobs on Care.com. You can dress in Converses and t-shirts and not even put on a clean one if you choose when you freelance, depending upon what line of work you choose to do.
You can wear no shoes, as I choose to, or different ones on two different feet when you are a grocery shopper for the elderly in your neighborhood. The only person your wardrobe has to please is you, and this definitely is a huge part of the “free” in freelancing!
And an added bonus of freelance work allows flexibility unmatched if you become bored or unhappy with a job, you are in control to change who you work for and the type of work you are doing easily and possibly even many times a week!
About the Author
Jenna Hayworth writes about freelancing, parenting & more at http://www.backgroundcheck.org.
This is a guest post by Emma-Julie Fox.
Every website on the net sells one form of product or service directly or indirectly. You may want people to buy a product, or take some action like subscribing to your newsletter or RSS feed, follow you on Twitter or maybe like your Facebook page.
Whatever the goal may be, this is known as conversion. And I’m going to show you how to do it in 5 smart ways.
Make your objective clear
Having a clear objective is fundamental to converting more targeted traffic into subscribers or customers. It’s unfortunate how some webmasters neglect this truth.
When you visit Amazon, what’s the first thing you observe? It is the product they’re selling, right? The Kindle Wireless Device is strategically advertised on the homepage. That’s a clear objective, which instructs the buyer what to do next.
Your website might be exceptional and helpful, but if the objective is vague, the organic traffic you drive to such a page will be a waste. So, define your objective and scale it through from there. Read on…
- Welcome search users
Search users are moved by the impression they get about your business or persona.
As I said earlier, having a clear objective is vital, but you must embrace your visitors.
It’s important to make sure that you use a tone that’s friendly and affable. More importantly, remember to talk to your visitors and not talk down to them.
You want your website to be the go-to resource for a specific subject? Then offer helpful advice. Give away valuable information. You have to realize that the No. 1 reason why people visit a website is because they feel it can provide the information they are looking for.
Sure, a colorful template has its role in engaging visitors, but the solution you provide is more fundamental. And how you deliver the solution is another thing. Entertain your visitors by adding a touch of humor to your writing. Give practical advice and encourage people to visit again.
- Ask relevant questions
An integral part of SEO services is extracting relevant information from clients. When you ask the right questions, you’ll always get the best answers from people.
It’s all about engaging organic traffic until they feel obliged to answer your questions. But such questions must be relevant to the objective of your business website.
Every copywriter I know has used questions to engage potential buyer. The key to asking successful questions lies in timing them right, and wording them in a subtle, non-offensive way. A good way to do that is to ask a question at the end of an informative blog in a manner that makes people feel you value their opinion.
- Educate your visitors
When someone discovers your website through a search engine, they usually have an objective in mind—finding information about a specific issue. Real and practical education does more than just sharing information; it captivates and engages people.
If you run a blog for instance, before publishing a blog post, ask yourself if it’s educational enough for your target readers. Let’s say, if the target audience of your SEO blog comprises of webmasters that understand basic SEO, an informational blog would be one that discusses concepts and strategies suited for an intermediate level and not a piece that shares entry level SEO tips.
So, you’re ready to convert organic traffic into whatever form you want? Calls to action are a quick way to move prospects throughout your sales funnel. You could be burning your bandwidth if the traffic you’re attracting does nothing.
And call to action doesn’t have to be difficult. It takes a creative nudge to inspire people into action. After educating and entertaining your visitors, proceed with a call to action, immediately. And do you know that when you educate and solve problems, it creates a positive curiosity.
Your visitors definitely would like to know more about your services and products. So, when you call-for-action, the conversion rate will be high.
An important tip here is not to go overboard with repeating your call-for-action, instead follow the policy of less is more and place it at strategic points in a manner that it’s always visible to your visitors.
Website conversion isn’t a one-off strategy. You have to continually persuade organic visitors to subscribe, click to read more, or buy your product.
And you don’t have to be proficient at copywriting to make this work. Just be focused. Study your audience to fully understand what they want. Go ahead and serve them the right content.
Photo Credit: Socialconfidencecenter
About the Author
Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Meida top rated Vancouver SEO company that provides services to businesses across North America. If you would like to invite the author to guest post on your blog, please contact www.pitstopmedia.com
This is a guest post by Rachel Hyun Kim.
Your online reputation is a valuable resource. It takes extensive time and effort to build up, and a single mistake can have a drastic impact on your blog. For bloggers, establishing a credible reputation is vital for drawing traffic, increasing influence and building an audience. But even the most veteran of bloggers can make mistakes when it comes to managing their online reputation. While you may be tempted to take some shortcuts along the way, the short-term advantages are unlikely to stay so for long. The following are common mistakes that bloggers make with regards to their online reputation and how to address them:
1. Ignoring the Dialogue
Are you aware of what others are saying about your content? Whether directly on your blog or through social media channels, individuals are engaging in discussions that are relevant to your niche and site. However, if you ignore the dialogue, then you run the risk of letting your reputation go stagnant. Think of every comment page, every social media account as an online reputation snapshot. Every single page gives both new and repeat visitors a look at your engagement with readers. Therefore, it’s vital to make sure that you stay involved with the conversation as much as possible.
2. Not Monitoring Social Media
Not all of the conversation around your blog will occur directly on the site. Many readers often choose to spread your content through social media, making this a channel that simply cannot be ignored. Luckily, there are a variety of tools that can help you monitor and keep track of the dialogue within social media. For example, management tools such as HootSuite can help you deal with social media accounts, while tracking tools, such as Social Mention, allow you to track what others are saying about you. By staying aware of your online reputation, you’re better prepared to respond to any comments, good and bad.
3. All Feedback is Not Created Equal
One common mistake is to give a template-like response to every single comment made on your post. However, this can give the impression that you’re simply skimming through the comments and replying with a general response. Instead, make sure that you take the time to read each one and give a unique response. This will not only allow you to nurture a positive reputation; it will allow you to build relationships with readers and fellow bloggers.
4. Lack of Unique Content
Over time, it can be difficult to consistently come up with fresh topics and ideas for your blog. But as a blogger, you should strive to create unique content that provides value to your readers. If your content tends to get stale and outdated, then this may reflect poorly on your writing ability and credibility. However, there are a variety of ways to freshen your content, such as inviting reader input or using guest blogging. Not only will this have a positive effect on your reputation, it can release the burden on your content schedule.
5. Don’t Get Frustrated
Not every visitor will be a fan of your content. In fact, some may even decide to express their displeasure directly to you. But regardless of their negative comments and feedback, make sure that you don’t follow back with the same response. Doing so will only harm your own reputation and display an undesirable online presence. Instead, make sure that you respond with respect and understanding, in order to keep your online reputation as positive as you can.
About the Author
Rachel Hyun Kim is a professional blogger who writes on a variety of topics, ranging from SEO, social media and business. She loves to learn all she can about online marketing and is always looking for the next writing opportunity.
This is a guest post by Ashley Gaynor.
As a stay at home mom, working in the comfort of your own home is indeed alluring, especially for unemployed females. If you have the flair for writing and some time to spare, freelance writing is probably the best option for you.
Do your research first. Selecting a client must be done after thorough research. This is because some scammers may ask you for a payment or investment. Do not fall for these scams. Legitimate online jobs should provide payments, not demand them.
You must look for dependable freelance websites. These will usually require resumes and ensure that you deliver work and receive proper payments through a certified system. A powerful authenticity tip is to search for the first few results on popular search engines, like Google, to see if there are any negative posts about your chosen freelance site. You must also check these websites for appropriate terms and conditions and genuine payment systems. Transparency in communication with an employer is also essential in case of a dispute over a project.
Be patient if you are a new freelancer. You will have to complete difficult or dull tasks. Develop the habit of completing the unpleasant tasks first. This way, you can get to the easier and enjoyable ones later in your day, having decreased your workload considerably.
Avoid distractions when you are working from home. Avoid watching TV or going for a walk half way through your working day since it may take you a little too long to get back. Treat the time that your children are at school as your personal working hours, and remain strictly professional during those times. You are working from your home, so you may have several other tasks nagging you, like the laundry which needs washing or the evening meal that needs to be prepared. Make sure you complete these before you start working or schedule them for later. You can, however, take occasional breaks to break the weary monotony.
Establish a work environment at home. Once you have projects, it is essential to ensure you have an appropriate working environment to complete them successfully. When you are working from home, you can set up an informal workplace with the required equipment. This will not only enhance your comfort and thus your productivity, but will also maximize the sense of having real working hours.
Work at the same time every day, and stick to your routine. Working from home eliminates the need of having to get to work at the same time every day. You still must, however, work on a routine and not work randomly. This will help you to complete the promises you make to your clients by delivering work on time. Keep regular and appropriate working hours, though you must not go overboard with it.
Stick to deadlines. Once you are working on a routine, make sure that you make every effort possible to meet deadlines. Making excuses is not going to give your client the best impression of your work and will limit your future earning power. At most, ask for a minor extension and deliver on your promise. To make it up to the client, you may offer to work on a new project with a tighter deadline or lower payments. While this may seem unnecessary to many, building a solid reputation with employers is essential to ensuring future work.
Keep records for the tax man. Keep a record of the projects you are getting, the payments you are receiving and the deadlines you need to meet. This will help you schedule the work that needs to be done, thus assuring that you provide the required work on time. It will also help pay the correct amount of tax so that you do not get into trouble.
About the author
Ashley Gaynor is a university educated, professional freelance writer who has spent the last ten years producing high quality works of a very wide variety of subjects and sites including DegreeJungle.com, a resource guide for online education students.