Monday, December 04, 2006

Hectic Schedule

I know I have not written anything original lately. It's because I was having tons of work. I am juggling 3 projects. Each with different focus. But still I'm happy with where I am now. I left my day job 3 months ago to go full time freelancing.

I am now working at home at my own time. I'm officially a professional freelancer. When I started this blog earlier this year, I was newly hired in a new career direction. But before that I am already doing freelance work on my time. So I created this blog to teach myself and share what I have learned.

After 3 months of staying at home, working. I started to realize, it's never really a walk in the park. Self-discipline to stick to work schedules kept me going.

You see, working at home has its ups and downs. I can take a break anytime I want. Do the workflow depending on what I feel. But also, it is easier to deviate from my schedule. Allowing myself to sleep whenever I feel like slows me down terribly. It's all just self-discipline, really.

And about the content of this site, I'll try my best to write more.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Dead Ducks Don't Quack...

I struggled around for almost 18 months before I realized that to have real success online, I needed to have my own product.

After I realized that, I created my first one... then another... and another... I started to get obsessed with product creation.

And that's the topic of this newsletter is creating your own product. I'm going to show you 19 ways to create your own products quickly.

But, before I do, I wanted to talk about a few key things.

1st - don't do all the work yourself (we covered this before when we talked about outsourcing)

2nd - the key is quality content... It doesn't matter if you have to film in on your home camcorder or a recorded phone call... if the content is high quality - your customers will love you.

I paid $50 for a weightlifting DVD the other day, and when I turned it on... the opening scene was black.

Then you heard the guys wife say "I can't see anything."

A second later the guy said, "You've got to take the lens cap off honey!"

You then saw her take the lens cap off, and he started teaching.

Now, that was horrible quality, but the content was amazing. I ended up buying all 6 dvd in his series BECAUSE THE CONTENT WAS SO GOOD!

I know quite a few people who get caught up in making everything look too professional. I had one friend spent thousands of dollars filming and producing one DVD (which turned out very nice BTW) - but all of his budget was spent on that, and had no moolah left over to market the product.

He still hasn't made his initial investment back.

My point isn't to make products that are crap - but to create the highest level quality content as possible, and your subscribers will appreciate it. I've been going back now with all of my old products and now repackaging them now that I can afford to.

3rd - just do it. Remember from before my motto "Ready, Fire, Aim." Get the product idea, create it and get it out there as fast as possible. Money follows speed, and if you don't go fast you will loose out.

Another reason to go fast is because what if your product is a flop? Another important lesson is to fail fast. I've known one person who's been trying to sell the same ebook for the 5 years I've known him with absolutely no success.

Like my friend Marlon Sanders says, "Dead ducks don't quack!" If you have a dead duck - move on to something new - FAST!

4th - people pay different prices for the same content delivered in different ways.

What I mean is that you can sell an ebook for $27. Now, if you take that exact same content, record it into a "book on CD" - you can sell that same content (in a different format) for a lot more - usually $97 or more.

Now, let's say you want to go to the next level... what if you took the audio, and the text, and combined them into a video. You could make a camtasia video that shows the bullet points from the book as the audio reads through them.

Or create an outline from the text, and record yourself teaching the concepts...

There are a million ways to switch forms of content - but just remember that people pay more for audio then they do text... and more for video then they do audio.

Ok - now that that is out of the way - let's get to work.

Here are 19 ways to create a product:

1st - Software Creation - Creating software is one of the easiest ways to create a product fast. You can create something for almost any niche. I have one client who had a public domain book about dream interpretation - so he had someone create a software program for under $100 where the user could type in a word, and if found that interpretation in the book and displayed it for the end user.

2nd - Public Domain - this is one of my FAVORITES!!! These are "works" where the copyrights has expired. You are able to take these and re-package them and sell them as your own products!

3rd - Interviews - interview an expert in ANY field and sell the recordings and/or the transcripts. This is the best way to become an expert in any field - just interview the experts and people will see you as one of them.

4th - Seminar Videos - put on your own seminar, record it with a video camera and sell the footage.

5th - Re-niche content - if your selling a product (or bought rights to a product) - you can re-niche it for a different audience. Example would be if you sell a book about speed reading, re-niche it to "speed reading for students."

6th - Book on CD - record yourself reading your book and sell it on cd.

7th - Resource CD - compile a list of resources for a specific niche, and sell the directory. I've personally bought resources on supplements directories and also one on "spy" stuff. (I know - I'm a geek)

8th - Recycle content - take products or content you've created in the past and re-use it. I'm using this blog post as a newsletter, an article, probably a chapter in a future book... Recycle what you're doing now.

9th - Camtasia Video - this is one of the most powerful tools online marketers have. Create screen capture videos of anything you can do on your computer. Demos of software - PowerPoint slides, how to... anything computer related. Think how much moolah the "computer professor" makes by making "how to" videos for different Microsoft products.

10th - Idea collection - Combine a list of ideas and sell those. I've got friends who sell list of ideas on how to make money quickly, how to clean your carpets, how to take care of lawns, etc...

11th - Others experts submit content - get others to submit articles, or audios, or vidoes, and compile them into a product. I did this with one of my wrestling products. I had people submit their best stories, pictures and poems and compiled them into a product.

12th - Podcasts - like an online radio show that you can download. Have paid podcasts - or record a bunch, then take the recordings and put them onto CD's.

13th - Membership sites - have residual income coming in when people pay you over and over again for access to your membership site. You can provide content in your membership sites - or create software programs that people have to pay monthly to use.

14th - Teleseminars - just record yourself interviewing someone or teaching on a subject that you know a lot about. The majority of my products were created with some type of teleseminar.

15th - Ghostwriters - hire someone (think outsourcing again) to write a book on a the subject that you want to sell.

16th - Free coaching calls - do free coaching calls for your members, track their progress, then compile the recordings into a product.

17th - Mastermind roundtables - get a group of experts together and have them discuss the subject - record the full thing and you've got an instant product!

18th - Private Label - similar to public domain, but usually created w/ the intent to sell w/out a copyright. A million ways to use private label stuff. Most people fail at this because they try to sell the content "as is." Be sure to make it your own and you'll have a ton of success with these.

19th - Case studies - one of the best products I bought this year is 12 hours of case studies. The people teaching the course compiled hundreds of casestudies for the subject we were learning about, and then explained how they all worked.

Ok - there's 19 ideas. Hopefully that will give you an idea for your first product.

To add your comments to this article please go to:

About The Author
Russell Brunson has been a successful internet marketer over the last 4 years, he is actively helping other people to achieve their goals online. For more information go to

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Start Your Own Online Home Business With A Money Making Site

Keen to start your own online home business and generate an income from home, but not sure where to begin? Or perhaps you have already tried a few online opportunities but have yet to make money online!

In the past I have fallen for the hype and wasted a lot of money because I really did not know what I was doing or did not have the experience and knowledge to put everything together to make an online home business work, so here are some tips to start your own online home business off on the right foot and how to make money online.

When you think about it, having a successful online business means that you will need to own your own domain, which will enable you to alter, add to and change your web site when necessary. You ideally need the opportunity of offering a free newsletter that visitors to your site can subscribe to, so you will require an autoresponder to be installed and a series of follow-up emails will need to be written. You will require products to sell and ideally you need to use companies who ship the goods on your behalf, otherwise you will need to get involved in accepting payments and shipping the goods, which you will have had to purchase first yourself. These are only a few of the basics and one can see that it can be very involved and complicated.

But let us look at what else may be required, just so that you are fully aware of what starting an online home business is all about. Owning your own domain and having access to your source code gives you the freedom to do what you like to your site, which means you have control of your business, but this will require knowledge of html. Internet Marketing is another animal altogether! You need visitors, lots of them, to your site to generate signups and sales, so ideally the online home business opportunity should offer a full training program and a forum where you can go to discuss your business, get assistance and ultimately you can offer help to others.

The ultimate of course is to find a business-in-a-box. This means that your website will come fully set up with the affiliate programs loaded and you will be able to select your own domain name and then be in a position to add any other programs to the site. The all important autoresponder should also be installed and ready to fire off emails to your subscribers, plus you will be able to add more follow-ups to your autoresponder.

You will be able to install a link exchange program to create linking partnerships, a stat counter, add banners or text links, change the colour and design of your site, choose your keywords and optimize your site for the search engines, link your blog to your site, add an article directory, stream fresh content onto your site, upload ebooks, software and more. Literally, you can do whatever you want as you have full control of your own online home business.

You may well be thinking that this is all too complicated and you do not have the knowledge, but that is the great advantage of joining an online program that sets your money making site up for you and with a comprehensive training program in place and an active forum which you can join and actively participate in, you will have all the help you need.

Starting an online home business does not mean that you are going to be generating an income immediately. You need to give yourself time to work through the training, learn and implement all that you can. It is a step-by-step process that takes time but each step you take builds your business. The marketing and advertising of a web site needs consistent, ongoing work, as you need to build momentum to ensure that your money making site is visible to as many people as possible.

If you have decided to start your own online home business you are in for an exciting time. You will experience frustrations and setbacks, but these can be overcome with the support and backup. The secret is just to press on and never quit. Remember, Rome was not built in a day. The learning curve may be steep, but work hard and have fun and once the momentum kicks in with your marketing and advertising you will start to make money online and reap the rewards of all the hard work you have put in.

By Cynthia Minnaar via GoArticles.

About the Author

Cynthia Minnaar invites you to visit for ways to generate income online. Start your own online home business with a money making site complete with 400 day pre-written email autoresponder campaign.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Generating Internet Income? Utilise These Great Free Webmaster Tools

When looking for free webmaster tools, my advice to you is to be sure that you are using tools from a reputable site or, more importantly, if you are downloading software be very careful that the download does not contain adware and spyware or viruses for that matter!

On that note let’s start off with the free software that you can use to protect your computer, because if that is not running well you will not be able to run you online business successfully. Windows Defender from Microsoft is great at scanning your computer for unwanted software. The free version of AVG Anti-Virus as well as Ad-Aware SE and Spybot are great at keeping your computer free of viruses and other undesirables! The free version of ZoneAlarm has many great attributes. Just a word of warning if you are running AVG anti-virus, ZoneAlarm will not detect that you have anti-virus protection, so do not be alarmed, it is just that ZoneAlarm has not been programmed to look for AVG. The one program I did purchase was ProcessGuard, which amongst other things protects my computer from keyboard loggers, protects the physical memory, blocks global hooks, blocks rootkit/driver/service installation and registry DLL injection. These programs all run harmoniously on my computer and so far I have managed to keep out all the dangerous and unwanted intruders.

Now on to the more exciting free webmaster tools, that will greatly assist you in the running of your online business.

Google Alerts can really add excitement to your day. If you set up a Google alert for the name of your affiliate program/s, Google will advise you by email when a new page appears on Google with these search terms and you can view the page and see if it is an opportunity to recruit an affiliate. Sometimes the new page can be a forum post asking for opinions on the affiliate program. This gives you the opportunity to add your opinion with your affiliate link of course in the signature file.

You can also set up a Google alert for your own name. This throws up some really exciting results as you can see when someone has clicked on your profile in an Article Directory or clicked on your articles as well as where people have clicked to find out what other articles you have written. This is definitely worth trying as I am sure you will be both surprised and amazed at what comes up!

Google Webmaster Tools, previously known as Google Sitemaps is so useful in that you are able to let Google know when you have updated your site. The sitemap enables Google to crawl your site better and ensures that the most current pages of your site are indexed quickly. You can just create a sitemap upload it to the same directory as your .index files and in the Google Webmaster Tools under Add a Sitemap you just type in or paste the url of your new sitemap. Google also give you reports on their latest crawl of your site and notifies you of errors, as well as give you details and positioning of your keywords. There is also other really useful information available.

Google Analytics is an amazing free service where you can see exactly where your visitors came from both geographically and through which entry page, what keywords they used, where they exited your site, etc. You will have to give this one a try for yourself as there is just so much useful information for the webmaster which enables you to fine tune your marketing and promotion strategies.

StatCounter offers a free version which I use on my site and I keep it invisible, as I believe it to be more professional, but this free service also provides incredibly detailed information about your visitors, which is extremely useful. It also records your page loads, unique visitors, first time visitors and returning visitors. It is easy to install and with this powerful little tool you can check to see that visitors to your site are increasing daily.

Online Link Popularity Tools and Back Link checkers are easily available online and enable you to monitor your link popularity and back links on a regular basis. Writing and publishing articles regularly is a great way to see your back links increase on a daily basis.

These are only a handful of the free tools that I do use to assist me with my online home business. There are many more really useful tools provided by Google as well as other reputable sites, it is just a matter of finding what suits you and your business.

As traffic is the key to generating income from the web, these tools that I have mentioned assist me in closely monitoring where my traffic is coming from and what keywords are being used.

By Cynthia Minnaar via ArticleCity

About The Author
Cynthia Minnaar works from home online and invites you to visit for ways to generate income online. Visit to start your own web income generating website complete with 400 day pre-written email autoresponder campaign.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Get A Life Full Of Passion, Start Your Own Home Internet Business

It doesn't matter if you're an experienced business person or a total novice. You can take advantage of a home Internet business. Normally you set up your business from the comfort of your own home. You can start at a very modest budget.

There are many advantages coming with a career as a Internet business owner. And the requirements you probably have already.You'll need a well equipped computer system connected to the Internet.

Dedicate a corner in your living room, or if you have a spare room, as your work space. And most important, your home Internet business will crave 100% commitment and dedication.

You'll find a lot more opportunities than stuffing envelops, paid surveys or affiliate marketing. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it's possible to earn money with these type ventures, especially affiliate marketing. The important point is that you must find what fits you and your personal skills.

You don't need to make any big investments to get started with your Internet home business. If you're new to the Internet business idea, you must start with a serious research. Spend some time to find available opportunities. Evaluate them, keep the ones you think is genuine.

Now you have to get in contact with people who have already tried your possible opportunities. If none of them succeeded, well then it might be a fraud, skip to the next possibility. Carry on until you find something that actually work.

The world wide web has opened a whole new world of possibilities for people who want to escape the never ending 9 to 5, Monday to Friday routine. Including spend a lot of time commuting. The Internet offers a possibility for anyone to work from home. And the web is truly world wide, You'll reach people from all over the globe 24/7.

The idea of your Home Internet business comes with a lot of benefits, such as, your choice of working hours, you'll be able to schedule, so you can spend more time with your loved ones. The time you used to spend traveling to and from work, will be a free time resource.

The possibility to start your own home Internet business may be what you've been looking for. If you are a self starter, want to take your own decisions, and work when it suits you. Well, then it might be a perfect fit.

If you have strong motivation and a burning desire to be your own boss, and have some spare money to get you going. Take the plunge.

If you don't have any financial reserves, you can start part time. Just do your research first, make sure you jump on something that really work.

You will face some obstacles and temporary setbacks, but your new lifestyle will be well worth it. The freedom itself is reason enough, then add all the other benefits, and you have a very valuable package.

You might not become a millionaire, but to gain the possibility to work from home with something you're passionate about, and make a good living from it. Well, what more can you ask for?

By Ove Nordkvist via GoArticles

About the Author

Ove Nordkvist's web site is all about small business ideas and business start up, online as well as offline. Visit to learn more about how to start a home Internet business.

Friday, November 10, 2006


I learned about ReviewMe from one of the Yahoo Groups that I subscribe to. I know I have not written original content substantially lately. Maybe this is the start of a more frequent posting from this blog.

Ok. So I created an account in ReviewMe and here's what I learned so far. ReviewMe is more like PayPerPost. And while PayPerPost leaves out the parts of the world that are not eligible for having a PayPal account, ReviewMe caters to everybody with a valid address that is reachable by their country's postal service. This is where PayPerPost went wrong. And, I bet, this is where ReviewMe is going to win this internet review market. There are just too many people who can write better who are scattered around the globe.

After I created my account, which is the most painless process I went through this month, I added some blogs I though advertisers would want to be reviewed. Freelance Pro are one of them. Be aware, though, that the site/blog you are registering should pass their criteria. Bottomline is that you need to have already an existing site with good amount of traffic and ranking to pass. There are other factors, of course.

As with all the sites I joined. The next I look for is the FAQ page. I cannot find ReviewMe's FAQ page but I learned a good deal about them in their blog. I found out that their only requirement, so far, for writing is to disclose that post's as a review.

There's not much to say about ReviewMe for now except that they've just launch their service yesterday (Nov. 09, 2006). What a way for freelance writers to earn some more from their god given talent.

Oh by the way, this is a review of ReviewMe.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Damn the Scams!

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that the majority of us hate our 9 –5 jobs. We hate the rat race. We hate someone telling us to do this and that. We hate been told what time we need to be somewhere in the morning and what time we may leave. We hate been told what we are worth in terms of the salaries we get paid. We hate been told that we can only have so many days holiday a year. We hate long hours, too much stress and time away from our families.

Is it any wonder why millions of us are crying for a way out by searching for work from home opportunities? It’s not called the employment trap for nothing!

It’s another unfortunate fact of life that certain individuals and organisations are very quick to realise this fact and so begin to perpetuate their work from home scams.

If you are at all like me, you would have come across these sorts of work from home operators many times. The results are loss of money and an ever growing cynism with regards working from home. Most people give up after a few times of been conned into believing that they can make money from home.

Fortunately for some, the desire is so great to avoid the employment trap and to work from home that they continue to search and search until they do find an opportunity worth pursuing. Not all opportunities suit all people. When you come across one you think may be worthwhile it is of absolute paramount importance that you do your due diligence and research. It is only after this that you are in a position to make a judgement call. Always consult with your lawyer if huge sums of money are involved with regards start-up costs. Go on to forums and see what people are saying. One word of warning though – a lot of forums are filled with the sort of people who will be negative about every sort of opportunity. This is mainly because they have had bad experiences in the past and really do not believe that there is any suitable work from home opportunities out there.

The key to finding a work from home opportunity that is genuine and suits what you are searching for is to be persistent, never give up your search, be a healthy sceptic and to always do your due diligence and research.

The best piece of advice I can give you is to learn from those that have been where you are and have come out the other side successful and fulfilled in their home working life.

By Stuart Ramsay via ArticleCity

About The Author
Stuart Ramsay has successfully fired his boss and enjoys a new life working from home. He is passionate about online business and shares his passion with others. To find out more and receive a free work from home newsletter & bonus, please visit

Freelance Pro: Free to be yourself

Friday, November 03, 2006

Rid Yourself of the Receipt Pile

How many of you have a shoebox of receipts that you go through at the end of every year? Do you pay an accountant to go through those receipts for you? You already know how important it is to keep track of those receipts and take each and every deduction you can. Below are some tricks that I use so that when tax time comes, I don't spend hours getting ready to do my taxes or have to pay someone to organize FOR me. My hope is to make your "tax life" a little less stressful.

Organizing receipts throughout the year:
1)Get a plastic expanding file folder with 10 20 pockets and self labeling tabs in it ($9.00 $15.00 @ Staples)
2)Make sure it is easy for YOU to open and close. Most have an elastic band that is easy to use.
3)Create tabs for each tax category that you will have receipts for (see list of possible categories below)
4)Put the file folder in a place where you'll see it and use it!!
5)Whenever you take receipts out of your pocket, wallet, purse
etc... place it in the appropriate pocket in your file.
6)At the end of the year, you have two choices.
a)put all receipts in corresponding manilla folders and place into a tax box
b)bundle each pocket with a rubber band or paper clip. label them with sticky notes and put them in the last 2 or 3 empty pockets.

If you REALLY want to be organized:
1)Create a spreadsheet to track all of those receipts
2)Every time you get a receipt enter the amount, description and tax category into your spreadsheet.
3)Then file the receipt away
4)At the end of the year, you can print out your spreadsheet and put it with the bundled or filed receipts.
5)If you have a PDA, there is a software program called QuickOffice, that I highly recommend. You can take any MS Excel or MS Word document with you on your palm (some PDA's come with a similar program).

What about that pesky mileage report?
Do you have a PDA? There are many different software programs you can download. Go to and type in "Mileage" for your search. There are programs starting at $5.00.

If you are PDA less, then there are several options.
1)store a pad of paper in your glove box with several pens
2)get one of those pads you can stick to your dashboard
3)log it in your day planner or calendar that you carry around with you.

Tax Categories to file under:
(these are taken from the IRS Schedule C form, choose the ones you use) Advertising
Commissions and Fees (you know all those Coaching Associations you belong to)
Contract Labor
Depreciation (most electronics get depreciated)
Legal and Professional Services
Office Expenses
Pension and Profit Sharing Plans
Property Rental or Leasing
Equipment Repairs and/or Maintenance
Taxes and Licenses

For more information on these categories go here: Starting on page 3 you'll see the EXPENSES information. The actual form is at

By Kirsten Beireis via

About the Author

Kristen has had several careers before becoming a VA. For Kristen, being a VA is not just about completing tasks. It's about helping Coaches succeed so that they may help more clients with the amazing work they do. For more information, go to

Monday, October 16, 2006

Your Guide to Making Money on the Internet

There are many sites offering you ways to make easy money on the internet but most of them are scams. Even though making money on the internet is possible, it is not in the ways these sites suggest. You will never get rich quick using a scheme which will guarantee success. Don't you agree that if someone knew how to make a fortune overnight they would use it for themselves and not sell it to you for $30? This is how these sites work - they make money on the internet by giving false hopes to the broke or poor.

Despite that, it is still possible to make money on the internet. I personally do that as a freelance writer. What I really like about the internet is that it gives you more work opportunities. First of all, you can work from home which is always a pleasant thing to do. Secondly, you can be your own boss as you can set your own work hours and get paid when you finish your tasks. Another advantage of the internet is that it allows you to connect to many other people and in case you are good at marketing yourself you can sell your services quickly. Despite all these great advantages, there is no miracle solution. Even though you shouldn't leave the house in order to make money online, you still have to get the work done.

As a freelance writer I use the countless opportunities of the Internet to meet potential employers. One thing I use is craigslist. It is very helpful as there are hundreds of jobs offered every day so you have to quickly discover useful contacts. To be completely honest, I should admit that there are many better resources for making money online but all it comes to are connections. One way to develop them is to ask for referrals from your previous employers. Even though you might never meet the people you work for, when making money over the internet is concerned, it is almost the same as real life work - you do need connections. Consequently, making money on the internet is not such a difficult task. However, what is really hard is to make your living on it and not just an additional income.

By Morgan Hamilton via ArticleCity

About The Author
Morgan Hamilton offers expert advice and great tips regarding all aspects concerning money. Get the information you are seeking now by visiting

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Reasons for Not Getting a Job

Steve Pavlina listed his 10 reasons for not getting a job. And if you're like me who hates being a slave to another for money, this is definitely a good read.

I really liked these two paragraphs from Steve:

Smart people build systems that generate income 24/7, especially passive income. This can include starting a business, building a web site, becoming an investor, or generating royalty income from creative work. The system delivers the ongoing value to people and generates income from it, and once it’s in motion, it runs continuously whether you tend to it or not. From that moment on, the bulk of your time can be invested in increasing your income (by refining your system or spawning new ones) instead of merely maintaining your income.

This web site is an example of such a system. At the time of this writing, it generates about $9000 a month in income for me, and it isn’t my only income stream either. I write each article just once (fixed time investment), and people can extract value from them year after year. The web server delivers the value, and other systems (most of which I didn’t even build and don’t even understand) collect income and deposit it automatically into my bank account. It’s not perfectly passive, but I love writing and would do it for free anyway. But of course it cost me a lot of money to launch this business, right? Um, yeah, $9 is an awful lot these days (to register the domain name). Everything after that was profit.

It talked about giving value and I totally agree. In freelancing, we give value not time. Nobody cares how much time you put in on your current project as long as it works as intended. You can work for 18 hours a day but if your work sucks, there's now way you are going to generate enough income from your work.

Steve's business is self supporting, generating him income even after he had published his articles. Project based freelancing, on the other hand, require us to look for another when they're done. But if the project is really well made, it will do the talking for you. In other word, it is supporting itself.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

How Does It Feel To Be A Freelancer

When you are freelancing, everything that you do are attributed to you. When you succeed, you get all the credit. If you fail, you get all the blame and you have no one to pass that on.

Most of my life I was freelancing. I take orders from no one. Everything is based on what I think is right. There are other factors that affect my decisions and they are not from other people. They are objectives. Something you can readily weight and it's determining value does not change much over time.

So how does it feel to be a freelancer? Great. You always get the bragging rights to your work. Being your own boss has its own perks but here's a list of what I feel being a freelancer.

  1. You are always right.

  2. If you are wrong, nobody's going to tell you're wrong. Except yourself.

  3. You get to give your utmost attention because you only work when you feel like it. You only work when you feel the energy within you.

  4. You value your work highly. After all you get all the credit afterwards.

Here's the greatest downside to being a freelancer. You run the risk of losing everything everytime. One wrong step in the wrong direction can send you falling down faster that you can say Ugh. While you enjoy the reputation due to past successes, that same reputation can be your stumbling block. You see, in freelancing, your reputation is what brings you client. Much like lawyering. If you're not careful those papers you hang on the wall is only good for wiping you behind.

In closing, I feel proud freelancing. Yeah, it's the thought of being free that carry me through near impossible projects.

Freelance Pro - Be Free, Be Happy

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Freelance Gigs: Web Design

One cool freelance gig you can go into is Web Design. If you enjoy mixing and matching colors, photo editing and layouting you can never go wrong with Web Design. Web designing has been a staple internet revenue generator ever since the internet went public in the mid 80's.

Web Designers are like fashion designers. The obvious difference is that web designers make clothes for sites while the latter for humans. Differences aside, they both aim to make clothes that'll make someone - somesite in the case of web designers - look good.

Getting into web design business, some basic tools are: a good image/photo editing software, popular browsers (firefox, IE, Opera), and a good PC. A good book about html and CSS is a must. People have a penchant for standards compliant design nowadays.

In web design, you should learn the language that browsers understand: the Hypertext Markup Language or HTML. Browsers can understand plain text, of course but then again it wouldn't be fun if you site lack form and color. That's where HTML comes in. It gives your HTML document a structured form and colors that pleases the eyes.

The one site that taught me a lot about HTML is After you've mastered the basics, use it as a reference. And don't forget to validate your site in W3C markup validator if standards compliant designs are your thing.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Develop A Home Based Business That Works!

Internet and home based businesses have virtually exploded since the 1980’s. To have an Internet presence these days for most companies is not just a desire, but a requirement for any company serious about attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. Even home based businesses have benefited from the Internet revolution. Today, payments can be made online and a person may never have to see, or even talk to, a real person. What a change from the old days, when one had to either speak with someone on the phone or live in a particular city to buy a product or make a sale! These days, anyone can have a home business and be successful, if they have the right systems and support in place.

Now, even small home businesses can put the power of the Internet to work for them. And you, as a savvy Internet Marketer and someone with a home based business, can and should put it to work for you. The days of having a home business with a “tangible” product and maintaining inventory (which is riskier), are just about over. That is the old way of developing a successful home based business. Now, you no longer have to spend thousands on advertising, and you don’t even have to consider print, radio or TV ads. The Internet has changed all that. What you do have to do is market your home based business wisely online.

The Internet is open 24/7. That means that anyone, anywhere in the world can visit your website or buy your products at any time. Your home business is your livelihood. This means that you need to be smart about how you manage your limited time and resources. As far as your home based business is concerned, this means having your sales and advertising systems on autopilot so they don’t require any driving from you. It also means separating the customers that are serious about buying your products from the “tire kickers”.

There are really only a few systems on the market for home based businesses that can save you valuable time and money by doing the advertising and sales work for you. Even fewer will send you real, targeted, qualified customers. But you don’t just need a computer system for your home based business, you need someone who will take you by the hand and show you the ropes. Many companies will sell you an Internet home business system. Not many will actually show you how to make it work for you. You need to find the one that will, because the success of your home based business depends on it.

By Elias Georgi via ArticleCity

About The Author
Elias Georgi makes it easy to build your home based business and earn a substantial income quickly. Learn how to increase your income in the comfort of your own home with minimal effort by visiting:

Freelance Pro: Professional Freelancing

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Biggest Distractions Of Working From Home And How To Avoid Them

Do you ever have days when the little things in life seem to be fighting to keep you from getting any work done? Here are some suggestions to help you alleviate some of the most common distractions people face when working from home.

If you have young children underfoot throughout the day, it is easy to be drawn away from work. Try to get things done during nap times and after the children have gone to bed. You can hire a teen aged mothers helper to come in for a few hours each day, or go all out and hire a Nanny. Even 10 hours a week of quiet, uninterrupted time will help you drive your home business forward.

Repeatedly checking your emails can be another major distraction. Replying, deleting, and managing emails is a drain on your time and produces no real results. I recommend checking your emails no more than 3 times a day, and deleting unwanted emails only once a day, in the evening. You will be surprised how much time this will free up for you to do more important tasks.

Surfing the net can be a serious time waster. If you are looking for specific information, find what you need quickly and then get out . Sign yourself off of messenger services, and by all means stay away from chat rooms, forums and blogs until you have completed your work for the day.

Use a voice mail service to take your phone calls if you don't wish to talk on the phone. Make sure to turn the ringer off so you won't be distracted. Set aside a specific block of time each day to call contacts and leads and follow up. Stick to your plan.

Running errands can be done at specific times during the week, such as on Wednesday between 1 and 3. Going out for just one errand 2 to 4 times a week is a waste of energy, time and gas. Get it all done in one afternoon and don't worry about it for the rest of the week.

Housework is not everyone's favorite activity. If you avoid it, you'll get overwhelmed. If you are spending too much time on it, you have little time for your business and family. It helps if you delegate some of the responsibility to other family members. Break up the chores by doing 15 minutes worth of cleaning several times a day. This has the added benefit of getting you up out of your desk chair and moving. If finances allow, you can hire a cleaning service to assist you with the chores that you really dislike doing.

Putting these suggestions into practice will keep the distractions to a minimum and ensure your home business will run more smoothly.

Angie Hewerdine is a successful home business owner with a driving passion for helping others change their lives. She has assisted many in realizing and attaining their personal and financial objectives. Learn more at or call 1-800-491-4758.

Freelance Pro: Professionally Free

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Web Directories

In my previous post, Freelance Gigs: Be an SEO Part 2 - Link Builder, I wrote about the minimum skills someone who is starting on SEO should acquire. This post is about web directories.

Web Directories, What are they
The term directory suggests a list. Much like the traditional phone directories. It lists and categorizes websites. It allows people to add their sites in categories that best describe their site. Supposedly, when you want to find something, you go look in web directories. But not anymore. With the arrival of better search engines, web directories was relegated to the sideline.

In this day when search engines are kings of the web, web directories still has their use, helping search engines find new sites. A link from a web directory gives your site better probability of being indexed by search engines. And remember, most web directories are categorized. This help search engines determine the relevancy of sites.

Web Directories for Link Building
As I've said, there's not much you can do with web directories. They had been overtaken by search engines and portals. But they are still good for creating a relevant link to your site. Creating a link from web directories are easy - way, way easier than emailing for link trading/exchange.

What's more? There are more than a handful of them around and growing by the day. There are directories that asks for payment, others ask for a linkback, some require you to write an article in their forum/blog. But what's great about web directories are they still work. There are still some that search engines trust.

Low Quality Link
It is common knowledge around SEO communities about the quality of links that web directories provide. But believe me, many good SEOs still have web directory strategy in their list. Don't limit our link building activities to finding only high quality links. Web directories, other than the low quality links, can send some direct traffic to your site as a side effect.

Where are they
Or better yet, where's the list. Web directories list sites. There are other sites that list web directories. One site that lists web directories that I always start with when submitting sites is this free web directories page. It highlights which directories are free and which requires payment. This way you save time if you only wanted free directories. Even if you are looking for paid listings, this list gives you an estimate of how much a link on that directory cost.

Automated Directory Submission Software
When link building, why do it manually if it's easier to just fire up a program to do all the work for you. Right and wrong. Yes, it's easy but you won't learn anything. You have no way of knowing if that program you bought for $49.50 really does what it advertise. Web directory admins do change their signup process from time to time that will more or less break your auto submitter. What's worse is that you still end up doing some work because submitter cannot email back because almost all web directories today require some sort of verification and have anti-bots.

If you want to be an effective SEO/linkbuilder, do it by hand and learn something along the way.

Freelance Pro: Work when you feel like it.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Freelance Gigs: Be an SEO Part 2 - Link Builder

To become a SEO, you need to learn some basic skills that all SEO possess. They have to start somewhere and most still do the basics. There are a number of basic skills an aspiring SEO must learn. Link building, on-page optimization, off-page optimization, keyword density analyzation and copywriting are just some of the basic skills SEO must have.

With more and more sites popping up daily, online businesses need a way to promote their sites and wares. The need for SEO also increases. Search engine optimization as an activity need humans who can think and adapt to the situation. SEO has not yet been fully automated other than spamming blogs and emails. This make SEO a good freelance gig.

The most important skills of SEOs is link building. This is the holy grail of search engine optimization. The days of keyword stuffing the meta is over. The rise of Google as the king of search pave the way for links to become the most precious online commodity. Google made links as the basis of a site's credibility. Google Pagerank, the algorithm that ranks websites in the results page, uses the number of inbound(incoming) links to rank sites against other sites.

As you can see there more stuff in links that are important other than giving site A a way to access site B. Nowadays, links offer a whole lot more than that. The ratio of your incoming and outgoing links plays a major role in search result ranking. The anchor text(e.g. the underlined text being displayed) of the link tells the search engines/bots something about the site at its destination. A link with an anchor text home loans is telling the search engine that the site found at the other end is about home loans. So if that site about home loans gets enough link pointing to it with an anchor text home loans, chances are it'll rank higher in the search engine result pages(SERPs) for the keyword "home loans".

As a link builder, your task will be to produce inbound links to your client's site. Some things you should consider:

  • what are the terms/keywords your client wish to rank for in the SERPs

  • how will you produce/deliver those links

  • how long can you make his/her site appear in his desired position in the SERPs

Those are not easy task even for the experienced SEOs. That's why they usually outsource those to freelancers.

The term/keywords your client wishes to rank for is the determining factor of your success. Some terms are very easy to rank for, some are not. Trying to rank for the term "real estate" or "home loans" is harder than, let say, "real estate provo utah". You see the more generic and the shorter the term, the harder it is. It's because people who search are just too lazy to type and are always in a hurry. This behavior also applies to how they click on those results - always the top one.

Link Production
Every SEO dreams of having the ultimate program for them to create enormous amount of links in the shortest possible time. But then again if everybody is doing it, they are just offsetting each other. Producing inbound links is an art. Sometimes it uses deception, sometimes creativity, sometimes ingenuity and sometimes necessity. Those are just some of the things bots cannot do.

Link building is an art because you have to carefully craft a scheme that will make people link to your site. SEOs have a term for this: linkbaiting. Linkbaiting is something that you do to gather links without begging, buying or threatening. People just finds it irresistible.

Ways to linkbait:

  • Creating a super original and very good content that will merit as a source that everyone will link to

  • Original Humors, they always travel fast and are being passed along everytime

  • Bordering on defamatory remarks - most of the time an authority on the subject gets away with it

  • Having the scoop on the latest upcoming super secret web.0 app.

  • Give away free or semi-free stuffs - Yes, people are a sucker for freebies

Of course if linkbaiting is not for you, there's always directory submission. You, basically, just submit links to directories. Probably the most boring way to build links but, hey, someone's got to do it. And if the pay is good, why not?

Another way to build links is by link trading. Link trading or link exchange is done by two similarly themed or related sites. If your site is about auto detailing, most probably you'll want to trade links with sites that sells mod parts. You put his link on your site, he put yours in his.

Now if you're thinking of blog comment spamming to build your links, go ahead but be warned. It's never good in the long run. Your site loses credibility and the only sale you get is from duped visitors. This technique is most suitable to fly-by-night sites that sell porn, pills and casino.

When will you rank
There are no guarantees in SEO. You can never predict when will your site appear in the first page of SERPs. That's why link builders are often paid by the hour they spent building links.

One tip I always remember when link building: Never build your links too fast. You risk losing them.

Freelance Pro: Be your own boss.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Freelancing Gigs: Be an SEO Part 1

First and foremost if you are already doing SEO skip this post you're better off optimizing sites than reading this post as you already know all that will written here. For others who aren't please read on.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, you optimize websites to rank better in search engine result pages (SERPs). Please be guided that SEO is different from SEM (Search Engine Marketing). SEO is just a subset of being a SEM. Anyway, for starter we'll just take on SEO.

There is no formal way of training to become an SEO. SEO learn by reading lots and lots of articles on search engine optimization, search engine algorithm, basic web design, copywriting, link building, some hacking and others which are beyond the scope of this post.

SEO is increasingly becoming popular in this age of internet. More and more companies are started online and there are others that are converting or getting their business in the web. And for this companies to compete, they are in constant need to advertise. Just like television, the basic premise they have for internet advertising are the same. More airtime the better - more eyeballs the better. In television or print, advertising firms manages the ads. Online, it's the SEOs/SEMs.

With just declared online advertising expenditures of companies shows that they are increasing year after year, more and more SEO jobs will be needed to fill the demand. SEO can never be automated. It require thinking. SEO is beyond spamming. Best strategies out there doesn't utilize spam bots, they use humans who are able to workaround search engine constraints to deliver the desired result.

What's good about being a SEO is that it's perfect for freelancing. SEO work doesn't require fixed time. You work when you feel best, when you feel inspired, motivated or when you just thought of new ways to put a site on that top position in SERPs. However, to become an SEO, you will be needing a mishmash of skills to achieve your goal. You need a little knowhow of everything. SEOs are train to be well rounded.

Actual SEO on the Part 2 of this post.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Getting Started on Freelance Copywriting

You may not believe it but with the re-emergence of the internet from late 1990's and early 2000 dotcom crash, copywriting is one of the most sought after job online. Every company online needs a good copywriter to their webpages and ads. And they do it often.

Copywriting as you know is a skill. It is learned over time. There's no magic involve, just perseverance, some brain and a dash of luck. If there are tons of online copywriting jobs wanted, beware, there are also tons of sites offering to get you started copywriting.

All the tools you need to get started copywriting might already be available to you. If you are reading this article now, then you are well equipt to get started. First, you need to read some good copywriting article. You need to learn from those who had succeeded. You need some footsteps to follow.

Of all sites that I have visited on copywriting one of the better ones that I have come across is How to Get Started as a Freelance Copywriter. And for those who have a general idea or is already practicing copywriting, I strongly recommend Copyblogger.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Magic Phrases for Negotiation in Freelancing

Getting an increase in pay as a freelancer can be a tough job. Freelance Factor listed five magic phrases to get what you asked for.

  1. That sounds a little low.

    A timeless classic. This follows a golden rule of writing: keep it simple. No matter what figure is proposed, just state those five words and then shut your mouth. Since no one can stand uncomfortable silences, your tight lips will force the editor to say something in response. Either he or she will make a new offer, ask you what you need, or tell you that’s the best they can do. If it’s the latter, employ one of the next phrases.

  2. To make it worth my time, I would need…

    This one lets you take control of the situation. If you’ve already figured out approximately how much time and effort this piece will require, you should be able to determine how much you expect to be paid for it. Make sure that you’ve done some research and that your figure is in the realm of what that particular market typically pays. (Asking for a figure that’s 20% more than their average payment for an article of your word count and scope is reasonable; asking for 200% more is not.) Don’t bother mincing your words; just state your figure and let the editor decide whether or not to meet your demands.

  3. Considering the amount of research required, can we agree to…

    You can end this open-ended statement with a higher fee, less rights, or other "barters." Heavily researched pieces often have potential reprint markets. If an editor has asked for all rights, or exclusivity in any way, use this as a bartering chip. Mention that you can only give them exclusivity if they’ll raise the fee; otherwise, you’ll accept the fee for one-time rights (or whatever rights you find suitable) only. You may also barter for free advertising space, links to your website, etc.

  4. I’m expecting more for this piece.

    Another simple statement that forces the ball back to the editor’s proverbial court. Again, follow this one with silence, and allow the editor to come up with a new figure. This statement introduces the possibility that you could decide to sell the piece elsewhere if the editor doesn’t meet your requirements.

  5. Can we work on that?

    For pop psychology fans, this one brings the editor onto your "team." By using the word "we," you’ve asked the editor to partner with you in coming up with more acceptable terms. This question opens the door to a variety of improvements; you may choose to talk about fees, rights, word count, sidebars, kill fees, etc.

Link: Freelance Factor

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Freelance Tools: Project Management

Just like in any other job where you have to collaborate, freelancing requires you to be organized and efficient. One way to do that is to have some sort of a Project Management program where you can track the development of you project. Make no mistake, project management does not only apply to online or software projects. It is used in just almost everything. We just don't notice it but we do project management in one way or another. We may put it in a piece of paper or we do it on our personal computer or we have it in our cellphones.

What is Project Management
Wikipedia define Project Management as the discipline of defining and achieving targets while optimizing the use of resources (time, money, people, materials, energy, space, etc) over the course of a project (a set of activities of finite duration).

Project Management Activities
Also from Wikipedia, Project Management is composed of the following activities:
  1. Planning the work
  2. Assessing risk
  3. Estimating resources
  4. Organizing the work
  5. Acquiring human and material resources
  6. Assigning tasks
  7. Directing activities
  8. Controlling project execution
  9. Reporting progress
  10. Analyzing the results based on the facts achieved
Don't be fooled by the length of the list. It can be applied to even the smallest project. Project management being used in freelancing helps us to be methodical in our approach. It gives us a clear view on where our project stands amid the complexity of the project itself. Most importantly, project management helps us manage more than one project at a time which we do most of the time.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Make Your Clients Happy

When selling anything, may it be products or services, our aim other than to earn is to make our clients happy. When going solo, we tend to all everything our selves - we do the dirty work, we do the support, we do the marketing, we do the selling... With so much work, we sometimes become sloppy. For lack of time, the quality of our work drop. And in time we start to lose our clients.

Quality Product and Services
So how do we keep our clients happy? As mentioned above, we maintain or better yet improve the quality of our work. But most of the time, improvements are hard to come by so maintaining the quality is the best that we can offer and we must never fail in that area.

Sense of Importance
Clients are demanding. They expect to be treated with utmost importance even on simplest task. It's not that they wanted us to spend all our time with them, what they want is that we give them our all when they need them. One good example of this is when doing a telecommute job, clients expect their freelancers to give them regular updates on the status of the project. They would like to think that we are doing something about the task/work given to us.

Deliver on Time
Time is gold. Almost every task has a need to deliver in a timely manner. Deadlines is part of the job. Clients welcomes it if we deliver before the deadline. This gives them a chance to test/check the product/output/result and returns before the deadline.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

How to Spot Work at Home Scams

Working at home holds a great deal of promise to most of us who wants more freedom. There tons and tons of work at home ideas and schemes both offline and online. We have these tendency to jump into those who offers almost everything and makes our lives easier. So how do you spot these schemes or scams? have a short list.

There are a few rules of thumb that I go by to determine if a work opportunity is legitimate.

1. Does it seem to good to be true? If someone is promising a lot of money, for little work - or it seems flavored to be a 'get rich quick' scheme, count me out.

2. Do they require money for more 'information' about the opportunity. Or do they require a down payment for materials (such as the envelope stuffing schemes, and other build crafts at home schemes.)

3. Do thorough research on any business opportunity you consider joining. There are some legitimate ones. Avon and Tupperware for example.
But it takes a certain type of person to make these types of biz ops work.

See, based on the list above, it's very easy to determine which one is a scam and which one is the real deal. However, there are still a number of us freelancers, especially the new ones, falls into these traps. These scammers are hedging on the fact that there are suckers born every minute.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Work at Home

A lot of people wants to be with their family. They want their work to be close to home. If possible they want to work at home. Home-based business by individuals are one the rise and most are earning well from it.

Work-at-Home and Freelancing Distinctions
Freelancing and Work-at-Home are most of the time one and the same. Sometimes they are not. Freelancing vaguely refers to those things you are paid to do. It is not necessarily a business but it sure can. Work at Home, on the other hand, refers to those things you do at home which are more likely a home business.

Work at Home is closely related to Home-based business than to freelancing. But since it falls into the category in which you are not employed, it can be considered as freelancing.

Work-at-Home People
The people who are likely to work at home are those who love staying home, those who needs to look after the children. Most of these people are mothers who needs to supplement the household income or wanted to earn some money to buy something for herself but at the same time needs to look after the children and take care of the house.

As mentioned, work at home is closely related to home business. And because it's a business, moms have the time on their hands flexible enough to take care of domestic matters. Unlike freelancing where time should be spent finishing a project, work at home allows a fraction of time.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Taking on a project

When deciding on your freelance gigs, you mostly come to a point when you ponder on if to take the project or not. There are many criteria for you to decide whether to do it. The list below will help you choose if the project is worth taking.

Do you want the job?
More and more freelance gigs are dropped not due to it being difficult or anything but due to freelancers not enjoying what they are doing. If you like what you are working on, no pesky clients can put you down.

Does it pays good?
Of course you should ask yourself this. Pro-Bono is good but you should not be overdoing it. You are making a living here. Professional projects needs professional person and should pay well.

Do you like your client?
Working on a freelance gig with somebody who are not helping to get it done is never good. You must have a good working relationship with your client. You must be able to approach them and notify them about the projects and what other things you need for it to get done. And them to communicate to you about their concerns in the development of the project.

Will the project expand your client base?
You should look at your freelance gigs as a snowball that gets bigger the farther it rolls. What I mean is that your freelance gig must pave ways for you to get other gigs either by client rehiring or referring you to others. Will that project look good on your portfolio is another question to ask yourself.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Freelance Networking: Pseudo Company

You can't do everything. You need somebody to do something that you have limited or no knowledge at. Yes, you can be the "jack of all trades" but the quality of your work will suffer in one way or another.

Pseudo Company
What you need is to pool your resources and skills with other freelancers whose skills are related to yours but not totally the same. Simply put, you are a web developer who are good at codes. However web developing is not all codes. You need graphics, and html layouts. You certainly need a graphic artist and a web designer. It is only natural that you find other freelancers that compliments you and you with to them. What you and your "partners" have is a pseudo company. Not really a full company in the sense that you are all bosses and each of you have your own clients.

What's great about Pseudo Companies is that you are not limited to one. You can have multiple networks if you want depending on you resources and time. The downside to it, however, is that partners can easily leave the company whenever they want leaving the rest dysfunctional especially if you are in a middle of the project.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Freelancing: Finding Clients

The awful truth about freelancing is that you search for your own clients. The task is pretty easy if you have background in sales and marketing. If not, looking for clients is a steep hill to climb. Here are some of the ways you can get new clients.

Join Communities
You can join communities that are related to you. If you are an aspiring photographer, join photography groups in your community where you can share and learn at the same time the tricks of the trade. This is also a great way to get new clients by letting others know that you are in search of them. They might have more projects that they can handle they would happily refer to you.

Setup Website
The cheapest way to market yourself is through a website. Your website is your office in the web. People search in search engines for stuff they need. And if you have a website, these search engines can send these people to your site. Your website also serves as a repository of your works. If you're a freelance photographer, your website is your bestfriend next to your camera. Put up a gallery to show your work.

Pro Bono Work
Offering free services have gained popularity as the starting point to accumulate prospective clients. By giving free services, you are giving them a sample of the quality of your work or service. More often than not, if they like how you do business with them, they are likely to contact you in the future.

Business Cards and Fliers
As I've previously written, have a business card with you always - you never know who you'll meet today. In parties, do not be afraid or be ashamed to give away business cards. Give them out, give them out freely.

Parking lots is also you friend when marketing. Give out fliers in the parking lot. If you don't feel like it, attached them to the cars' windshield. They will surely notice especially when your fliers have good design and color.

Freelancing Contract

Sometimes, a none-paying client is all you need to be discouraged from pursuing a freelancing career and opt instead to receive a flat salary every month being employed. Freelancing pays good if you know how to make your clients pay. You don't even need force, just a piece of paper will do. What you need is a Freelancing Contract.

Freelancing Contract How-To, one of the best resource site in the internet has this guide on how to create a simple contract you can have your client signed. From that article I give you the steps here.

  1. You can create any sort of document that appears as an invoice. Many word processing programs contain a document wizard and several invoice templates. Open up one of these templates or create a new one.
  2. Your contract needs to be as specific as possible. In the upper right hand corner of the document you can type the words SERVICE TERMS, CONTRACT or any other variation in a bold, 12 or 14 point font size (larger than the rest of your contract type).
  3. On the left side, type your name, title, address, telephone, fax, Email, etc. Make sure all of your contact information appears here.
  4. On the right, type the date and complete contact information for your client.
  5. Assign the project a job number and write it down for your records. Also include this information on your contract, usually above the client's contact information for easy reference.
  6. Make a few lines to detail the job description. If you're giving a price quote for a TV commercial, write as much detail as you can. For example: Job Description: Joe's Used Cars (:30 TV Commercial)
  7. Are you charging by the hour or offering a flat rate? If charging by the hour, be sure to put your hourly rate on the contract and an estimate of how long it will take you to complete the project. If you're charging a flat rate, be sure to put on your contract that this is the bottom line price.
  8. Your contract can resemble an invoice (lines for a description, price, etc.) to be more professional. Of course, you don't want the word INVOICE to appear on your contract. But you can easily save a copy of this document as an invoice so when you complete your work, you can send an invoice that mirrors your contract. Less confusion and less room for debate over paying up.
  9. Now you're ready for the heart of your contract. Be very specific on what the client is getting. Just because you have your policies on your Web site doesn't mean you can be skimpy in your wording here. Example:
    Commercial Copy
    • Copy Due DATE
    • Revisions and rewrites included as defined in policy
    • Payment for services due within XX days of final revision
  10. Type in your price for the project (or estimated hours if you are working on an hourly rate). If you are working on an hourly rate, be sure to include terms on how you handle going over the hourly estimate. If you estimate 3 hours at $100 an hour and you come back with a job time of 8 hours, you're going to have a hard time convincing the client to honor their end of the deal.
  11. Write a line that acknowledges the client is accepting the terms by signing the contract. If you are doing your business via fax, as most freelancers hardly meet their clients these days, you'll want to tell the client they need to sign the contract and fax it back to you. You will sign the contract before you send it to them for their signature so they will have your signature on their copy.
  12. Make two lines at the bottom of the contract. One for you with your name typed below the line and one for your contact person at the ad agency or individual business with their name typed underneath the line. This will be your signature lines when you and a client accept each other's terms.
  13. Save your contract so you can plug in the details for your next project without having to start all over again.
  14. That's it! To see a sample of your finished contract, click on the link under the "Related Resources" section at the bottom of this page.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Freelancing Rates

Do you ever wonder how much to charge for your work or services? Yeah, it's tough decision to make. Charge too much and clients scampers away. Charge too low and you are working for nothing. If you are experiencing this anxiety, it is time to create a price matrix for your work/service. Sure, there will be times that you need to compromise and charge a bit higher or a bit lower. It all depends.

Also depending on you expertise, the rates vary. As a HTML Coder, you cannot expect to charge the same rate as your EJB programmer friend. And also, it adjusts to the level of mastery you have over your skills.

Webmonkey have a matrix that details freelancing rates depending on their skillset:

Writer (Technical)US$35 to $100
Writer (Non-Tech)$300 to $1,000 per piece
(or $.30 to $1 per word)
Editor$35 to $75
Copy editor$25 to $50
Producer$50 to $125
Information Designer$50 to $100
Interface Designer$30 to $75
Graphic Designer$50 to $150
Animator$50 to $150
Straight HTML Coder$10 to $30
Advanced HTML Coder (CSS, dHTML, etc.)$20 to $50
Programming (everything from Javascript to backend)$100 to $300

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Freelancing: Home Office

Being a freelancer gives you the freedom to conduct your business anywhere. You can be the on-the-go type who lugs around with a laptop, you can put up an office somewhere with lots of foot traffic, or you can have your office in the comfort of your home.

Home Office
The benefit of having your office at home is that you save money on office space lease, not to mention the additional cost of travelling to and from your office. It is very important to consider this especially if you are starting on your venture.

One of the pitfalls of having your office at home is you becoming lazy. Discipline is key to becoming a successful freelancer. You can't wake up at noon and work a few hours and expect to rake in loads of cash at the end of the day. Not unless you are selling you're a part of some money laundering syndicate. Even them works hard.

Ideal Home Office Space
Home office ideally are not big. They should be spacious enough to allow you to move around for that thinking/creative phase of you projects but no too spacious that you can't reach your tools at arm's length. That office space must be located far from the bedroom to discourage you to take that nap during your supposed work hours. And it must be out of your kids way.

Basic Equipment
So what, then, your small home office must have? For one a telephone line, you absolutely need this for clients to contact you and most importantly, you to contact them. Telephone line can be shared with the household but it's best if you can have a separate line. For online freelancing or work-at-home business type, an internet connection is required - you just can't do anything without it. A decent printer for that brochure presentation and contracts. An answering machine to take your calls when you're away, remember, you don't have secretary to answer them for you. A fax machine is also suggested.

Freelance Pro - Be the boss, Be free

Monday, April 03, 2006

Freelancing, Part-Time, Full-Time

Do you really have be unemployed to freelance? This is one of the question some of the freelancers who are the same time doing their own stuff ask themselves. Their reasons differ but most will agree that freelancing gives them the satisfaction they don't get from their job. In fact, it's great doing your own stuff. Another reason is that, they will have something to fall back into in case they decide to leave the corporate world or they are laying out the groundwork for their own business.

Part-time or Full-time
So is doing your own stuff while employed be considered freelancing? I think so. In that part of your world, you are free. You are your boss. And unless your company clearly prohibits you from doing so, which they usually doesn't care unless you're trying to undermine their clients, you can do all you can in your own time.

So let's say you work in a technology company, Search Engine Optimization to be specific. Of course it will be a conflict of interest if you are doing the same thing for money in your free time. But you can always go into web design where you can integrate your SEO expertise anyhow or go into affiliate marketing for yourself which also leverages your SEO mastery. This is called part-time freelancing.

So when do you go full-time freelancing? Full-time freelancing is in essence you are already building your own business. The time for one to become a full-time freelancer is ripe when his/her earnings from freelancing is more than double than what he/she is earning from his day job. It only mean one thing. If you will just exert a little more effort on that freelancing thing, you are better off doing it all the way. But then there are other things to consider, like securities of offered by an employed person or the discipline one has to sustain his/her work habit. Mileage varies. In the end, it's case to case basis.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Your label in business cards

Yeah, it was a tough question to answer. It took me a couple of days to figure out what to label myself in my business card. Being a freelancer there are a lot of things that you can call yourself. But most of the time, the label has got to do with what you do.

Offline freelancers
Easy if your work is offline. If you are a plumber, you put there something like Master Plumber. If you're a auto detailer, put Auto Detailer. Most of the time, people put CEO in their cards.

Online freelancers
Online freelancers like web designers, software developers, or web developers may have a hard time putting labels on their business cards. It's not that they don't need one to get clients. Sometimes, they do need to meet face to face with a prospective client. If this happen, chances are prospects will ask for a business card.

Most of the cards I've seen, including mine, have "consultant" in them. Consultancy is a pretty generic term that fits in anything hard to define and those that have a wide/broad coverage. It fits most programmers, they use many programming languages. It is not to say that most freelancers are consultants, but they are. So to be safe, just put "Consultant" to describe yourself in your business card. Actually, you can put anything you want - CEO, Manager, Specialist, anything.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Get Started Freelancing: Portfolio

Just like in any field and in any job, in freelancingl, you need something to show that you can do the task at hand. In an offline freelancing, most of the time you have samples of previous work or referral from a previous client to prove that you can do the job you sought.

It's no different in an online freelancing. You need to give an assurance of your skills. In most cases, this is called a Portfolio. It is a showcase of your work. Web designers have galleries with screenshots of their web designs. Web developers also have links to their project sites. Software developers have download pages for their softwares.

Personal Site
It is suggested that you first get a website to host, hold, and showcase your skills. A place where people can go and verified that you do exist and you have done something that they would want you to do for them.

As a freelancer, it doesn't matter if you host your site in a free hosting account or in a paid hosting. A newbie freelancer can get away with this. But a professional freelancer will most likely get a paid hosting to give that professional feeling to their prospective client.

Work Samples
As mentioned above, you need to have samples of your work to show prospects. If you do not have something concrete to show, if you're a web developer or a web designer, your site is your best sample.

Other than that, you need to show more. Your other options are your work/services rendered to a close relative/friend. This is best achieved when you are still starting and have more time in your hands to do projects pro bono. Don't squirm at doing things for free for others. That good deeds will pay up in time. You just have to have patience, just like everything in life.

Do small projects which you can finish. If your friendly baker next door needs a website, design one for him for a small fee or, better yet, for free. The return you get from it not monetary - at the moment. Think about future projects this opportunity brings to you.

There are freelancers who are employed before doing the same job as what they are doing as freelancers. They have a lot to show. Their path is easier.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Get Started Freelancing: Freelance Sites

So, you have your tools and you checked your skills. You feel ready to go to work and get your hands dirty. Unless you have somebody looking for clients for you, as a freelancer, you need to go out and do all the work. After all, this is your "business".

You should know every details on how to go about it. And the best way to do that is when you are still starting. As your business grows you need not do this things if you can already afford to hire people to do work for you but as a freelancer, and starting at that, you have no choice but to find clients yourself.

It's hard for a software/web developer geek to go out there and knock on every shop if they need something done with their software or business process. Geeks are not known to be very good in sales and marketing especially during the first meeting. So where should one go if visiting prospective clients are not your thing? Online.

Online Freelancing Marketplace
Most of the freelancing work are now posted online. It's cheaper for the company seeking freelancers and the freelancers themselves. There already exists many sites that cater to these service buyers and seekers. As a freelancer, you can look and compare companies for better compensation. For companies, they can choose the one that fits their criteria. Example of these sites are (these are some of the sites I use):

Take note that some sites require registration others do not. Others even requires membership fee. But if you are starting as a freelancer, it's best to stick to free sites. There are projects available in fee-free freelance sites. Craigslist is my favorite. It's free and has lots of listings.

Freelance Pro - Be the Boss, Be Free

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Get Started Freelancing: Invoice

In my previous post, I wrote about service pricing and payment gateways. In this post, I am writing about invoicing, what is an invoice, why you should send invoice to your client and online invoicing services.

What is an Invoice
An invoice is a detailed list of goods shipped or services rendered, with an account of all costs. It is commonly known as an itemized bill. As a service vendor you can send the service purchaser a written account that indicates the quantity and value of the items purchased. When you give someone an invoice, you are therefore billing him.

Why give an Invoice
The invoice will give your client the clear idea of what he will be getting from you. The invoice will help eliminate confusion as to the extent of your service. The invoice is also a sort of a contract binds you and your client. Paper based invoices can be taken to court if not honored by either parties. In a way, your invoice will protect you but can put you in trouble if you don't honor what was agreed.

But the best reason of giving out invoices is for accounting purposes. It is easy to track and manage your finances when everything is documented. It is very important when you are settling you taxes.

Paper and Online Invoices
When it comes to legality of the transaction, paper invoices will always win, hands down but with the advent of the internet and the subsequent boom of eCommerce, electronic invoices has gained popularity especially when companies are not located near each other. For paper invoices, your local printing presses can help you facilitate in getting a license from your internal revenue service before they will print the invoice. But most of the time, internal revenue service issued invoice is not enforced like Official Receipts since they are merely a detailed lists of items/service you and your client has agreed upon.

One good online invoicing service I found is BlinkSale. It offers free account for beginner freelancers who needs to send invoice not more than 3 times a month. It is already appropriate to most newbie freelancers.

Freelance Pro - Be the Boss, Be Free.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Get Started Freelancing: Service Price and Payment Gateway

So you want to become a freelancer. You have evaluated your skills, your time and dedication. You are ready to take on projects that seem doable. Before you jumped into the murky water of freelancing, you have to know what are the tools of the trade.

First you must have a way for your clients to pay you. It's not a problem if you are doing the job onsite. Your client can just hand you the payment after you got the job done. The client is less likely to scam you in this situation.

Service Fee
It's different if you are freelancing online. Most of the time, you are dealing with a total stranger. The internet is home to a lot of scammers. People online can be mean. When dealing with a project online, make sure you ask for a partial payment up front. Don't start with the project unless you are paid initially. It doesn't have to be the full of the agreed price. It should be enough for you to start and him to trust you that you will finish the project.

You can't ask for the full amount before the project starts. No one in their right mind will do so. The right value for the initial pay is somewhere between 30% to 50% of the full price, depending on the project.

Payment Gateway
So how can your client pay you? Setup an online payment system. Apply for one. As a freelance, you don't need a merchant account. Most people use PayPal. But Paypal is not readily available to all countries. Check on their website if you are living in a country where they allowed residents to signup for an account. If you are unfortunate who belong to a non-registerable country, you can try other online payment system. There's GreenZap, StudioPay, and 2Checkout. There are others, some are specific to your country of resident. These sites will give you a way to accept credit card payments from your client.

Freelance Pro - Be the Boss, Be Free.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Freelancing Benefits and Drawbacks

The following are taken almost verbatim from Wikipedia on Freelancing:

Freelancing Benefits and Drawbacks
Freelancers generally enjoy a greater variety of assignments than in regular employment, and almost always have more freedom to choose their work schedule. The experience also allows the opportunity to build up a portfolio of work and cultivate a network of clients in hopes of obtaining a permanent position.

A major drawback is the uncertainty of work – and thus income – and lack of company benefits such as health insurance or retirement pay.

Another drawback is that freelancers often must handle contracts, legal issues, accounting, marketing, and other business functions by themselves. If they do choose to pay for professional services, they can sometimes turn into a significant out-of-pocket expense. Working hours can extend beyond the standard working day and working week.

As a cultural phenomenon, freelancing exists both below and above the system. In Germany, for example, among other countries, creative freelancing is considered one of the most socially elevated fields of endeavour one can pursue. In Japan, freelancing is generally associated with an inability to find work with a major company, and is held in low esteem.

As with every endeavors, the drawbacks almost always outnumbers the benefits. It should be put to mind that it is not purely in numbers that we based our decisions. We should take into consideration the weights of the benefits and the drawbacks.

Yes freelancing is tough. There are more people failing on this than being employed. Just like everything that we do, we gamble, we risk to achieve what we longed for. Just what I've said before, freelancing is not for the faint of heart. So before you jump into the freelance market, please do think deep and hard about your decision.

Freelance Pro - Be the Boss, Be Free.

What is a Freelancer

The following are taken almost verbatim from Wikipedia on Freelancing.

Whatis a Freelancer?
A freelancer or freelance worker is a self-employed person working in a profession or trade in which full-time employment is also common.

Common Freelancing Jobs
Fields where freelancing is especially common include journalism and other forms of writing, computer programming and graphic design, consulting, and many other professional and creative services. But the practice is widespread: for example, bounty hunters and mercenaries are freelancers, with their full-time counterparts being, respectively, the police and the military.

Newest Freelancing Opportunities
The internet has opened up many opportunities for freelancers, especially those in low-wage countries working in software development and information technology areas, while it has made the work of many other kinds of freelancers easier by increasing communication.

Freelancing Basics
Freelance practice varies greatly. Some require clients to sign written contracts, while others may perform work based on verbal agreements, perhaps enforceable through the very nature of the work. Some freelancers may provide written estimates of work and request deposits from clients.

Payment for freelance work also varies greatly. Freelancers may charge by the day or hour, or on a per-job basis. By custom, payment arrangements may be upfront, half-half, or upon completion.

Freelance Pro - Be the Boss, Be Free.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


FreelancePro is all about freelancing and being a freelancer. I will posting freelancing resources and tips on becoming a better freelancer. For those who are contemplating on going this route down their career path or is already a successful freelancer, I will try my best to provide a insights on freelancing.

I am also a freelancer. I do work for other people on specific projects. All I can say about being in a freelance market is that, it is tough. It is not for the faint hearts. Beginners need someone who can point them to the right direction. Somebody who will help them avoid the pitfalls successful and failed freelancers alike experienced.

I will be writing here about my experience of being a freelancer. I will also be writing about the tools I used, the strategy I take, the places where I hunt for projects and a lot more. I am by no means an expert but I am writing from a perspective of the one who haggles with prospective clients.

That's it for now. Welcome to Freelance Pro. A blog of a semi to pro freelancer.

Freelance Pro - Be the boss, be free.