Sunday, July 29, 2007


The proliferation of wireless technologies and feature-rich Internet applications is making it easier for information technology (IT) professionals to work outside of the office. A new study by Robert Half Technology shows that telecommuting is becoming more commonplace among IT professionals. More than half (58 per cent) of chief information officers (CIOs) surveyed said their companies' IT workforce is telecommuting at a rate that is the same or higher than five years ago; only 5 per cent said IT staff work remotely less frequently today than five years ago (see table 1). Increased productivity and improved retention and morale were cited as the greatest benefits among firms that allow telecommuting.

The poll includes responses from more than 270 CIOs from a stratified random sample of Canadian companies with 100 or more employees. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis.

"Enhanced connectivity tools provide IT professionals greater flexibility and the option to work even when they are away from the office," said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Consequently, working remotely is more commonplace today and more acceptable."

Of the CIOs whose companies allow telecommuting, 36 per cent cited increased productivity due to reduced commute time as the greatest benefit. Thirty-four per cent of respondents also cited improved retention and morale through enhanced work/life balance (see table 2).

"For some, working from home on occasion can result in greater productivity because there are fewer interruptions than in the office," Lee said. "Many IT professionals also appreciate not having to commute every day given today's high gasoline prices."

Companies may need to balance the desire of staff to work remotely against the expectation of accessibility, however. Indeed, survey respondents indicated that telecommuting programs can have drawbacks. More than a third (38 per cent) of all CIOs surveyed felt that quality of work suffers due to diminished in-person contact with colleagues (see table 3A). Furthermore, close to a quarter (21 per cent) of CIOs surveyed felt that telecommuting employees are not as productive because they have less oversight (see table 3B).

"Telecommuting isn't a viable option for every type of employee in every scenario," Lee commented. "Managers who need face-to-face interaction with staff, or individuals who meet frequently with clients, for example, may find that working from home hampers their ability to build strong business relationships."

Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Freelancing As A Copywriter

With the advent of technology, copywriting already covers a wide range of media, such as television, radio, magazines, brochures, direct mail, and SEO copy. In fact, every word in every brochure, advert, website and leaflet you see is written by the copywriter. Before, copywriters were restricted to being in-house or by marketing / PR firms; but now, many freelance copywriters offer their services globally.

Working on a freelance copywriting job can be stressful. Just like all freelance jobs, freelance copywriting means you have to sell or market yourself, meet all deadlines or complete a job on time and on budget by making use of your skills and knowledge.

Being a copywriter enables you to choose a specific or particular market sector or product. To become a successful copywriter, you should have the ability to research a certain topic, while understanding your clients and target customers.

Aside from having excellent research skills, you also have to have imagination and creative flair to keep your ideas running while keeping your clients happy.

Being A Copywriter

As with writing many types of copy, there are also different types of copywriters with various specialties in the market today. Some copywriters specialize in very specific forms of copywriting, such as direct mail or ad copy, while other copywriters take a more general approach by writing copy on general topics for no specific type of client.

Today, freelance copywriters are known to write different forms of copy and are expected to handle a larger workload. Despite being demanding work, freelance copywriting can be a lot of fun and one of the best ways to make a steady income if you have the skills, the connection, and the drive to be successful.

Aside from being an avenue to earn great income, freelance copywriting also offers you the ability to work from anywhere via Internet. If you are planning to become a freelance copywriter, here are some tips to help you do the job:

1. Educate Yourself. If you want to delve into the world of freelance copywriting, then consider getting a writing degree in English, Journalism, Communications, and the like. Having an education or a background on the career you wish to pursue can be a strong step in finding work as a copywriter.

If it's impossible for you to earn a degree, try to earn a certification in a specialty (such as marketing), or take non-degree courses that teach copywriting (or technical writing) basics offered by many colleges. Having a background in copywriting can serve as a credential once you venture into freelance work.

2. Get a pro bono work. If you don’t have any other experience, writing copy or an article for free will provide you with the experience you need. Writing pro bono copy for clients can also serve as sample copies once you market yourself as a freelance copywriter.

3. Intern. An internship from a recognized business or establishment in your field will add credibility to your skills. Aside from giving you experience and first-hand knowledge, an internship may also lead to permanent employment with the company.

4. Pursue various opportunities. Since the industry is booming, there are lots of freelance copywriters who serve as your competitors. If you are really into freelance copywriting, then you should always research businesses and agencies that may need copywriting services, both online and offline.

Copywriting Jobs

The number of copywriting jobs is enormous. If you did a keyword search on "copywriting," you would find 509 open jobs. This is only a small part of the market, and you could find many other copywriting jobs on other websites as well. With the evolution of the Internet, there are more and more jobs available to write good web content among other things on the Internet. Often many freelance copywriting jobs can be found where you will find a plethora of advertising agencies. A good example of this would be in New York. Within your area, there will be a good number of smaller marketing agencies where you may be able to find work as a copywriter. The number of opportunities for a freelance copywriter is very high and this is a great field to work in.

Freelance and staff copywriting salaries usually range from $41,000 a year up to $85,000 a year or more. This is a rough gauge on what you could potentially make as a freelance copywriter.

Copywriting jobs are out there for the taking. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, copywriting jobs will grow in line with the general economy over the next decade. This means you will see about average growth for the industry but you could see a great deal more growth if you focus on Internet copywriting.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Freelance Writing Jobs

Writers are very much in demand these days because of the rising demands for their online content. The pay is oftentimes better and the hours are not so long. Many even freelance full-time.

Freelance writing extends to several different categories. Before you begin looking for work, you'll have to decide whether or not you want to get credit for your writing. If you insist on a byline, you may have difficulty finding a lot of paying jobs. Byline jobs are out there if you look. However, the most money to be made is from working as a web ghostwriter.

There are several different categories of freelance writing. When you see the term "content writing" you will normally be providing text for an existing or new website. Your writing will have to be engaging and clear for website visitors. Article writers concentrate on providing articles for websites, newsletters and blogs. Generally, articles for the web are between 400 and 800 words each. Any more than that is difficult for readers to sit through while looking at a computer screen. Copywriters are challenged with putting readers in the mood to buy. They write copy for Internet sales letters and marketing sites. Ebook ghostwriters provide clients with full-length books on a variety of topics.

Freelance writers need to be professional in their online presence. This means spell-checking all writing, including e-mails to clients. It is also a good idea to get an e-mail address that is specifically used for your writing. A personal e-mail address with a goofy handle will make you appear unprofessional. Your first and last name or a combination thereof is a good choice for your web writing e-mail address.

Writing for the Internet has a few differences from writing essays in school or writing for print magazines. Readers online have short attention spans, and you’ll need to keep your sentences short and your paragraphs clear.

The other difference is the use of “keywords” in certain writing assignments. Keywords are words that have been selected by your client to be used in the article. These words have been selected because they are Internet search terms and your client wants their website to show up for those search terms. Keyword articles will require you to use the word or phrase a certain number of times in the article. Sometimes it can be difficult to use the words without making it sound forced. Experienced web writers have developed ways to make the keywords flow naturally into their articles.

Below are some of the areas and industries where freelance writers are needed. Read on and find the freelance path that is right for you.


Freelance writers are frequently hired to contribute articles for magazines. In fact, this is one area where you can actually get regular assignments as a freelance writer especially if clients find your work good. The rate for every article is quite generous especially if it involves interviewing. Some writers even kill two birds with one stone by also taking photographs for the interview. This way, the client also pays for the pictures that accompany your article.

Newspaper correspondent

Another area where you can get freelance work is the newspapers, where editors often hire freelance correspondents (sometimes called “stringers”). This is especially true with areas that are outside the city. Newspapers find it cheaper to hire correspondents and pay for their services than to send their own staff writers to cover an event.

Online Writers

As mentioned before, online writers are in demand nowadays because writers are needed to update website content. Magazines that maintain their own websites hire freelance writers just to do online content. In fact, not all the write ups you see on the Internet can be found in the magazines and not all articles in the magazines are used for online content.

PR Writing

Public relations writing is a cost-effective way to advertise products. Because of this, companies hire writers to do their PR write ups for them.


Blogging is yet another way to make money as a freelance writers. Blogs are an ever-growing form of Internet media. Blog writers generally provide their own content. You can make money as a freelancer by starting your own blog and posting to it daily. If you love to write, you can start several blogs at once and multiply your earnings. Once you become an experienced blogger, you can apply for blogging jobs and post for other people.


Many freelancers find success with ghostwriting. When you work as a freelance ghostwriter you provide writing services for clients who will then use the work as their own. Ghostwriting is a lucrative opportunity, especially when you focus on web writing. For the most part, the Internet is a text and image based platform. Companies and individuals who run websites constantly need text to make their websites attractive to visitors. Since writing is something that a lot of people would rather not do, this leaves plenty of opportunities for people who love to write.

Once you’ve gotten a few web writing assignments under your belt, you can decide what type of web writing suits you best. You can find work on writing message boards, freelance writing job sites and classified ad sites like Craigslist. Whenever you apply for a job, make sure to include your contact information and a few well-selected writing samples.

To learn more about freelance writing, visit

Learn about different freelance careers you can do at home. Download your free copy of CREATIVE FREELANCING.

Digital Age Transforming the Way Advertising Agencies Operate

The advertising industry is in transition, moving from an old above-the-line/below-the-line position to one that is driven by the Internet and the massive increases in online spending and that is better described as "through the line."

By exploiting the opportunities the Internet presented to create niche markets for themselves in Web design and build, search-engine optimisation (SEO) and e-mail marketing, entrepreneurs have developed their creativity to the extent that many may now be classified as digital marketing or digital advertising agencies in their own right.

It is in this sector that the most creative use of new technologies is to be found and the larger global media organisations have been snapping these up to add to the services of the long-established agency brands in their portfolios. Some of the most creative - and award-winning - independent agencies are resisting such takeovers and fiercely defending their leading-edge positioning; these are highlighted in this report.

The digital age is bringing about fundamental changes in the way in which both the media industries and advertising agencies operate. The traditional broadcast and print media are having to reinvent their finance models in order to compensate for declining advertising revenues as advertisers chase audiences across the plethora of media platforms that are now available. Some media owners are embracing the opportunities provided by digital media and redefining themselves as content owners.

Others are, arguably more clumsily, looking to consumers in order to compensate for lost revenues, seeing interaction through, for example, phone-ins, texting and video on demand (VoD) as the way forward.

Advertisers, keen to promote their carefully-built brands across all platforms, are dependent on new thinking to help them, but are aware that their global brands, handled by global agencies, might be missing opportunities in the digital arena. This is how relatively small independent agencies can win business from superbrands such as Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Yell.

As a result of such moves, advertising agencies face the issue of how to integrate their services to service clients across multiplatforms as well as being aware of developing markets, such as China and Brazil.

Consumer attitudes are also changing. The previous edition of this report, published in 2005, focused on the increasing awareness of the problems caused by obesity, especially in children. As a consequence of this awareness, the Government focused on how foods high in fats, sugars and salts (HFSS) were marketed to children. The outcome was a ban on advertising such foods during children's programming, with a further ban to be phased in over the course of a year to remove such advertising around any programmes of which the audiences comprise a sizeable number of under-16s.

This report commissioned its own research to discover how attitudes towards food advertising had changed since its previous Market Assessment report on Advertising Agencies and found that a staggering proportion of respondents now believe that it is parents' responsibility to teach children which foods are healthier than others: over 96.8% in February 2007, compared with 59% in October 2004 when the survey was last conducted.

Another controversial advertising sector is gambling. In September 2007,

the rules around advertising gambling change in the UK, with advertisements promoting certain gambling activities, such as the new `super-casinos', being permitted on television for the first time in the UK. The report survey asked respondents whether they thought allowing advertising for gambling on television would be a mistake. Nearly two-thirds (66.1%) of the sample agreed that it would.

The industry is placing strict controls on the nature of the advertisements but it would seem (from the report’s research findings) that this has not filtered through to the viewing public.

Despite falls in some sectors, there have been massive rises in others and the overall picture for the advertising industry is positive. For many, the changes are as exciting as the initial dotcom boom; however, with lessons learned from that time, new ventures are tempered with financial caution. Clients can trust their digital partners to deliver and, while the changes may make some media owners and some established agencies uncomfortable, for some there has never been a better time to be working in advertising.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Breaking into Freelance Writing

One of the best things about being a writer is you can hold a permanent job and still write on the side. That is the good thing in having a creative profession. You can do freelance jobs in your spare time while still being employed. In fact, many magazine writers and journalists accept writing and editing jobs on the side, while others who can afford not to have a permanent job will settle in with freelance jobs.

There are some freelance jobs that can pay a lot and can even exceed a person’s monthly pay. Permanent writing jobs, however, provide the security. You wouldn’t want to wake up one morning without money to pay the rent, right?

Freelance writing jobs are a dime a dozen especially with the advent of the Internet. Writers are frequently commissioned to do online content to keep websites updated and informative. Still, one needs to know where to look and how to look if you want to get regular assignments. Below are some tips to get freelance writing jobs :

Go Online

There are a number of writing jobs you can find on the Internet, and you can do most of these freelance jobs at home. You can submit most of your finished projects to the client by e-mail, and get paid the same day. You can find freelance writing work at writing-related websites, such as

Establish A Network

Being a writer, you have to establish a network of people who will recommend you for jobs and writing assignments. PR professionals, for instance, look for writers who can do assignments for them. The same goes with owners of companies who advertise on the Internet or those who maintain websites which you can write for. Editors of magazines and newspapers also regularly seek freelance writers for articles and editorials.

There are a lot of individuals and companies who look for part-time or freelance writers. The bigger your network is, the more people can help you find freelance work.

Ask for a Referral or a Recommendation

The first step in asking for a referral is to do such an outstanding job that your client will want to refer you to his colleague. Although writing is big business, the industry is actually pretty small. Chances are your boss will also know someone who is doing a similar project. Ask for a recommendation to another person who needs a writer. This is one way to get assignments.

Write Well

The key to having a great freelance writing career is to take care of your reputation, not only in terms of your writing, but also in the way you deal with people. For instance, you can write so well but if you are always missing deadlines, no person would want to deal with you. Remember that writing involves deadlines and you have to keep up with it if you want to succeed in the industry.

To learn more about freelance careers you can do from home, download Melissa Gallagher's free e-book, Creative Freelancing.

Friday, July 13, 2007

How to Stay Competitive As A Freelance Writer

In the industry of freelancing, among the most in demand are writers. This is especially true with the birth of the Internet, which tripled the need for writers because of the various websites and online content that are constantly being updated.

There are actually lots of work a freelance writer can go into especially if they have established the right contacts. Freelance writers, as mentioned, are needed for writing online content to boost website viewership. In fact, online content is fast becoming one of the major sources of freelance assignments, not only for writers, but also for other freelancers, such as photographers, web designers and graphic artists.
Even though there are lots of assignments and freelance jobs waiting on the sidelines, this does not mean you’ll be getting a fair share of them. You still have to compete with a lot of freelance writers for these jobs. To make sure you stay competitive, here are some tips:

Market Yourself

If you plan to freelance, make sure people know you do freelance. How else will they know unless you tell them? When you meet people, don’t hesitate to give them your business card and tell them that you do freelance work. Self-marketing is essential as this will give you the contacts you need to start a freelance career.

Always Do Your Best

It is important you always do your best and make sure you take care of your work reputation. Your work, whether they are PR write-ups or newspaper articles, will be the basis for clients hiring you for future freelance work. So make sure you always give your best in every assignment.

Establish a Sound and Solid Reputation

It is not only your work you should take care of, but also your attitude in dealing with people. You can be the most brilliant writer, but if you are known in the industry as difficult, you will find it hard to get freelance jobs. Take care of your reputation especially in terms of work ethics and meeting deadlines, as these are important factors that employers consider in hiring freelance writers.

Look for Jobs

Of course, it is not also right that you just wait for people to give you work. You can actually look for assignments yourself, just to tide you over before actual assignments come in. There are many ways to look for freelance jobs.

You can log on to job sites where they have a special section that posts freelance jobs or part time jobs. Some are even located in different states, which you can actually accept since most just require telecommuting and not your actual presence.

Another way to look for jobs is to ask people you know for referrals.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Use Creative Blogging To Get Freelance Writing Gigs

by Angela Booth

Blogs are very useful for a writer - they showcase your writing skills to the world, and if you're selling your work, you'll find that they get commissions for you painlessly. A "hobby" blog may even get a publication offer for you.

You're A Writer, But That Doesn't Mean That Your Blog Needs To Be About Writing

I've noticed that writers tend to blog about writing, and while this is fine, it's also very restrictive. You can choose whatever subject area you wish for your blog. I encourage you to choose any subject about which you're passionate, or in which you're interested, or any area in which you hope to be published.

For example, let's say you'd like to become a travel writer. Travel writing is very difficult to break into. A blog provides an excellent showcase for your skills. Blog your own travels - even if they're just day trips to tourist venues in your state. If you create this kind of blog, then you can point editors to whom you send proposals to this blog - it will act as a sample portfolio of your travel writing skills.

Or perhaps you want to develop a copywriting career. This doesn't mean that you need to create a copywriting blog. Blog about business, or finance, or technology - your copywriting skills are on display, and you'll be read by people who can hire you.

You can create as many blogs as you wish, and I encourage you to do so. I've got lots of blogs, and so have many other writers who've found the blogging route to writing gigs. When you want to be published in an area, create a blog for the fast track to success.

You can set up a blog on a platform like Blogger, and the blog will keep generating writing gigs for you for years to come.

About the Author
You'll get great writing gigs fast when you subscribe to Angela Booth's Fab Freelance Writing Ezine. (It's free.)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Freelancing In A Fast Changing World

The word "freelance" was first coined by Sir Walter Scott, a renowned Scottish historical novelist and poet, in 1819 when he wrote his novel Ivanhoe, to refer to a medieval mercenary warrior. The term has then shifted into more figurative meanings. In the 1860s, freelance became a figurative noun; in 1903, it was officially recognized as a verb by etymologists like the Oxford English Dictionary.

Today, the word "freelance" has changed into different forms: as a noun, freelance or freelancer; as a verb, a photographer who freelances; and as an adverb, he works freelance.

Freelancing has become a career and lifestyle choice. It has given more people a variety of benefits, and these people feel there is no better option because freelancing offers a lot of flexibility.

Many people choose to leave the security of their day jobs and engage in freelance work due mainly to the following factors:

Variety of jobs. More people are drawn to freelancing for this reason alone. Freelance work offers a greater variety of assignments compared to regular employment. And with the Internet offering more and more opportunities, freelancing becomes a goldmine for those who seek good opportunities and better projects, not to mention higher paying jobs. A freelancer can also take on different jobs at one time. He/she can write feature articles while designing a website.

Fast turnaround of projects. Most freelance jobs are time bound. Freelancers can do these jobs fast and move on to new projects as soon as they finish the job.

More freedom, more flexibility. Freelancing can give you the freedom to choose the place, date and manner in which to do work. Though some freelancing schemes require contracts, freelance still spells a “no-employer no-employee” relationship. Freelance work offers more freedom for someone who does not want to be confined in an 8 to 5 or 9 to 6 work scheme. The freelancer is free to choose his working hours and be his/her own boss. Because of the freedom in the work schedule, freelancing gives a person more time to pursue other interests or take on more jobs. Other freelancers also consider they can even take care of their family better as soon as they start freelancing.

Improved income and savings. Freelance workers can usually command higher income rates for their projects because they are hired for their specific talents and skills. This is a big plus because they are paid higher rates, yet do not have to work full-time. Though income rates for freelancers vary, most freelancers charge either by the hour, by the day, or per-project. Others use value-based pricing methods instead of imposing a flat rate. Payments are arranged based on the agreement, and could be done upfront, percentage upfront, or paid whenever the project is completed. For others, a staggered payment scheme may be agreed upon.

Today, freelancers can easily find work through the Internet. The Internet has been a good facilitator of freelancers and employers around the world. These jobs can range from writing short articles to language tutorials to architectural designs. The demand to complete projects through freelancing is very high, as shown by the thousands of projects posted on the Internet.

For more information on launching a freelance career, download Melissa Gallagher's free e-book, Creative Freelancing, at

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Freelance Employment: Is it for you?

More people are finding freelance employment outside of their regular day jobs. They leave the security of their regular employment to move on to the challenges of freelance employment. Freelancing has become a career choice for many people who enjoy the benefits that it offers. Freelancers often attribute their interest to freelance employment to the following factors:

• Wider range of job opportunities;
• Fast turnaround of projects;
• More freedom to choose projects of choice;
• More flexibility to work on different jobs on a simultaneous basis; and
• High income rates

Do you have what it takes to freelance? Before you take the plunge and begin the journey of working at home, read through the following steps.

1. Determine the amount of money you’ll need to earn to sustain your expenses. If you have a day job now, you will save a lot of money once you make your shift to freelance employment. If you begin to work at home, you will save a lot of money from commuting, food, taxes, and more.

2. Take a self-assessment test. List all of your skills and experiences. Include your hobbies and interests; doing this will determine what types of freelance jobs you can handle. Do you keep a personal website? Then perhaps you can freelance as a website designer? Do you keep a personal blog? Maybe you can freelance as a writer or blogger? If you know how to conduct searches on the Internet, you can write about any topic that may be given to you.

3. Visit websites offering freelance jobs and see what jobs are currently offered. Take notes and keep a list of these jobs. You should also be on the lookout for companies and organizations which use freelancers for their projects. Look at how much they pay freelancers and pay attention to the different rates for different projects. Keep a list of these important details as they will surely help you in estimating how much you should charge for a project.

4. Try to estimate the costs of a project if the client were to award it to you. Keep in mind the number of hours or days it might take you to complete. What would you need to charge for an hourly rate? When you have done this, you will be able to determine how much you could potentially earn.

5. After doing all of the above, you can start applying for freelance jobs. These jobs will help you earn some amount that you can later use after quitting your day job.

6. Once you have confirmed that the projects have been awarded to you, use a table to plot specific data about them. Write down all the information about these projects such as contact persons and their contact details and number of days to complete the projects.

7. As you begin freelance work, you will start to feel the flow of freelance employment. Bear in mind that you will not get all the projects that you want, so apply for different jobs. Be cautious when taking on several jobs. Don’t take on more jobs than you can handle.

8. Always track your freelance jobs and how often clients pay you. When you have developed an effective system of securing freelance work (and getting paid for your time), then you might feel you are ready to quit your day job.