Sunday, August 26, 2007

How to Freelance as a Work-At-Home Programmer

Freelancing has become one of the trends in generating better income for most professionals today. In fact, one of fields where freelancing is popular is software programming. Today, the world of software development and programming is going through drastic changes. Many big companies and small companies are getting into different levels and options to gear their businesses towards stability.

Because more and more companies are gearing towards different alternatives to better promote their products and services, this need opens up many opportunities to professionals who are doing freelance work. And because of this growing need and demand of companies for freelance programmers, the availability of freelance jobs in the market also increases.

If you are a freelance programmer and you are more than willing to spend extra hours to dedicate your skills, expertise and experience, then you have better chances of survival in the industry. In fact, being a freelance programmer is a potential option for you so you can earn more money.

If you are planning to freelance as programmer, here are some suggestions:

1. FINALIZE YOUR GOALS. This is very important especially if you want to freelance because this will serve as your foundation for the shifting career. Before you finally decide to freelance as a programmer, make sure you develop a clear set of goals to know where you are headed. You should also develop a good business plan to identify your strengths and weaknesses as well as your abilities. Once you have done this, then you can sell your services to various clients.

2. CREATE A GOOD PORTFOLIO. Your portfolio is your presentation in the market. If you want to freelance in the world of programming, your portfolio should reflect what you are marketing. Always remember your portfolio is your "calling card," so make sure you build it well. For a portfolio to be effective in persuading clients to hire you, it should be organized, clear, and professional-looking. If you are beginning to build a portfolio, make sure you include your best works.

3. BUILD AND MAINTAIN GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR CLIENTS. Working online makes it harder for people to create and maintain good working relationships. But don’t let this prevent you from developing harmonious relationships with your clients. All you need to do is open good lines of communication with your clients and be available when your clients have questions or need clarifications.

4. PROMOTE AND MARKET YOURSELF. You can do this by signing up with online marketplaces, building your own website, creating a self-promotion piece, program or design, or by networking.

5. BUILD A REPUTABLE BUSINESS. Maintain regular business hours when you accept a new project. And always make sure you sign the contract and request half of your fee up from as soon as the project starts.

If you want to find freelance programming work, then visit these websites where freelance jobs for programmers are listed; they include:,,, and

An excellent resource to learn about launching a freelance career is Andy Anderson’s book or audio book, “How to Make Money from Home as a Freelancer,” published by

Freelance and Contract Opportunities Open up as Employers Face Qualified Labor Shortages

As the unemployment rate holds steady at less than five percent(i) and the pool of qualified labor continues to shrink, those looking to go out on their own may have more opportunities than ever. More than two-in-five (55 percent) companies have either relied on freelance or contract workers or intend to in the future according to a new survey. is a site that connects freelance job seekers with employers that have contract-based opportunities available.

Of those companies that hire freelancers and independent contractors, 20 percent say that given the shortage of qualified labor, they are relying on independent talent more than a year ago. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of these companies intend to hire freelancers or contractors in the second half of the year.

"Freelancing can not only help workers achieve greater work/life balance, but it can also contribute to greater job satisfaction because it offers variety of work and allows workers to pursue their entrepreneurial passions since they are effectively running their own businesses," said Ben Jablow, senior director of "From the employer side, hiring contractors gives companies access to diverse perspectives and allows them to control costs and respond quickly to changes in the marketplace."

Who wants to go out on their own? Where are the opportunities?

Forty-five percent of workers say they would consider becoming a freelancer or independent contractor. IT workers are among the most likely with 66 percent reporting they would consider freelancing. More than half (52 percent) of employed men would consider freelancing compared to 37 percent of women.

According to the survey, 36 percent of companies that hire freelancers or contractors say they are primarily hiring technology-based freelancers(ii). Other areas/functions that companies hire outside help for include: consulting (13 percent), accounting/financial operations (ten percent), design (seven percent), marketing (six percent), human resources/staffing (six percent), administrative/clerical/secretarial (six percent) and sales (five percent).

How much do freelancers make?

When it comes to compensation, one-in ten employers said they are willing to pay $100 per hour or more for freelance or contract help. Nearly one-in-five (18 percent) are willing to pay $75 or more and more than a third (34 percent) said $50 or more. Sixty-three percent of employers said they will pay $25 an hour or more. IT continues to be one of the strongest segments, with 56 percent of IT employers reporting that they are willing to pay $50 or more per hour.

Jablow recommends the following tips for workers interested in going out on their own:

-- Get your name out there
Join associations and attend industry conferences. Pen thought leadership pieces to distribute to clients and prospects. Write a monthly newsletter and speak at local or industry events. Reach out to former employers, clients, vendors and personal contacts. Also think about relationships you've cultivated in your local community.

-- Think broadly about opportunities
Most businesses need marketing, financial and technology services, so don't limit yourself to a particular industry. If you're in the IT industry, don't just attend IT events, reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce and attend local business gatherings.

-- Consider a referral program
What source are you more likely to believe -- a brochure in the mail or a referral from someone you trust? Referrals are one of the quickest and most effective ways to grow a business. Make sure to capture the positive feedback you receive and ask if you can name clients as references, capture testimonials and write case studies based on your work. Also consider implementing a referral program. Give satisfied clients materials they can pass on. When referrals come in, be sure to send a thank you note and consider a small gift or discount on services to show your appreciation.

-- Position your skills
Be sure to customize your resume or marketing materials for the opportunity at hand. Create a summary statement at the top that quickly highlights the experience that is most relevant to the position. Follow the summary statement with some bullets that highlight specific, relevant qualifications and accomplishments. If you're in the creative industry or simply want to set yourself apart, create a portfolio that includes examples of your work.

-- Gain a seat at the table
Get the work that full-time employees "want" to do. One challenge freelancers face is getting the work no one else wants to do. In order to avoid just getting tactical assignments, freelancers need to effectively market their skills and experience. Don't just position yourself as part-time help, instead help clients see you as an indispensable resource and business partner. Create professional and relevant marketing materials, build a web site, create a portfolio of past work and write position papers. This can not only differentiate you from other freelancers, it can help you secure higher fees and elevate your level of responsibility.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

How to Freelance as a Work-At-Home Photographer

One of the most in demand freelance professionals is photographers. Freelance photography is lucrative especially if you have established a good reputation in the industry and in the community. The going rate per assignment can skyrocket, and many freelance photographers charge per picture and not per assignment.

The Internet has provided more work for freelance photographers. With the rising costs of basic commodities, many are turning to freelance work as a side line or as a means for extra income.

Below are just some of the ways in which you can do freelance photography.

Photo Sites ( and similar websites provide photo services to people and businesses. Freelance photographers can submit their work online and get paid for each photo. Of course, the pay is not as good as being hired to do photographs for an event, but you can earn royalty payments based on the number of photos you submit.

Wedding Photographs

Many freelance photographers do wedding photographs. Not only are you hired to take photos for the wedding day and the receptions, but also before the wedding. In fact, many couples hire a photographer to do their engagement party, their bachelor’s party and their bridal shower. Photographers can also do engagement portraits as well as wedding portraits.

Another area you can earn money during weddings is taking photograph shots of the guests and then selling them afterwards during the receptions. As most people do not have someone who can take photographs, you can actually earn a lot from this. If you can, offer packages at low prices. This way, you will be able to earn more. You can even suggest they use photos as their souvenirs.

Event Coverage

Freelance photographers can earn a lucrative income by covering events where the pay is given per picture. This is often the case with magazines and newspapers which hire correspondent photographers to cover the events for them. Online webzines and other websites are also other areas which you should look into. Companies with websites also pay freelance photographers to update their online pictures and photos.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

How to Freelance as a Work-At-Home Graphic Designer

The birth of the Internet has changed the landscape of communications. Aside from providing a seemingly limitless source of information, the Internet has opened plenty of opportunities to people and businesses.

One of the most lucrative freelance fields is graphic design. Today, more and more designers are freelancing because they experience the artistic freedom they have been longing for.

The most popular skill-set of designers are graphic designers. These are entrepreneurs who have independent spirit combined with a sense of adventure. Having their own bold vision of success, graphic designers venture into freelancing so they can have artistic independence. Despite having to working extended hours, many designers freelance because they can have more assignments and projects and earn more money in the process.

Graphic designers are those people who are known to generate and create visual presentation and design of various goods; this often includes websites, album covers, soap boxes, and even cat food cans. The works of these people are usually done on a project basis so they are known to work under extreme time constraints to produce quality material or output.

To be a successful graphic designer, you will need Adobe Photoshop (latest version) with Image Ready so you will get the most out of the photos you will use. Aside from this, you will also need Adobe Illustrator so you can transform your creativity and ideas into impressive graphics for use in print, on the Web, and in dynamic digital media as well. Lastly, you will also need QuarkXPress, one of the leaders in desktop publishing, or Adobe InDesign to achieve professional publishing results.

Being a freelance designer means you possess great visual communication skills to convey a specific message -- either an idea or concept -- to a defined group of people using print or visual media. As the profession of graphic designing evolved through computers and digital technology, the growth of demand for the field has also increased.

Before you decide to become a freelance graphic designer, you must know who your targeted market is. If you are planning to freelance, your market will definitely include design agencies. Aside from that, your potential clients might include companies that have upcoming campaigns or projects.

Here are some tips to strengthen your freelance stint as a freelance designer:

1. Strengthen your network. You can do this by attending design conferences and interacting with other freelance designers, exhibitors, guest speakers, and the like. You can also strengthen your network by going to local clubs, art-house cinemas, galleries, and café bars so you can meet local freelance designers.

2. Build your portfolio. Since this serves as you calling card, make sure you build a reputable portfolio for your clients to see. Create a free online portfolio at

3. Create your own branding. If you are freelancing as a specialist, you should be able to create your own branding just like in any business so you will earn a distinct reputation in the specific field.

An excellent resource to learn about launching a freelance career is Andy Anderson’s book or audio book, “How to Make Money from Home as a Freelancer,” published by

Finding Freelance Graphic Design Jobs

Today, graphic design has become one of the most-sought after services in the industry of marketing and promotions. Since freelance graphic designers provide visual representation of goods, products, and services, graphic design jobs have become an in-demand commodity for various companies and establishments.

Graphic design services are being marketed by freelance graphic designers to offer potential clients more options. One media where graphic design jobs are promoted and marketed is the Internet. Since the Internet has no barriers or boundaries, many graphic designers use the Internet as a whole new avenue to find freelance graphic design jobs and opportunities.

As the industry of web design and development grows, graphic designers and illustrators are now given the opportunity to reach a new market on a global scale by doing freelance gigs. In fact, many clients prefer to hire freelance graphic designers to do the job because they are more artistic, creative and productive compared to those who are working full-time in different firms.

If you are a freelance graphic designer and you want to find freelance graphic design jobs, you can use the Internet to find profitable markets for your services. All you need to do is surf sites where they host freelance graphic design jobs and they can match you with clients who need your expertise.

In fact, you can find freelance graphic design jobs listed at these websites and contact the potential client by yourself. Just make sure that when you do this, you have earned a reputation for being a professional freelance graphic designer who can meet deadlines and can complete freelance graphic design jobs on time.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

What Is Freelance Poker Writing?

There are many popular casino-style games, but nothing matches the growth and popularity of poker and how poker influences society. Poker writing covers limitless topics in the gaming world; and poker writing can be a blend of journalism, feature writing, sports writing, entertainment writing, travel writing, food writing, technical writing, and so on, depending on what you choose to write.


You might think "freelance poker writing" is exactly that: writing about poker games. You might also think poker writing is about writing for one specific market: poker magazines. This might have been true years ago, but not so today. The expanding market of online and offline poker and gaming magazines is one small fragment, out of dozens of paying markets, to find freelance work. The Internet has spawned many online writing opportunities, such as blogging, writing for poker and gaming websites, self-publishing, and writing SEO articles for companies and affiliates. And "poker writing" is more than writing about the games of poker. Poker writing encompasses the influences of poker, such as entertainment, technology, psychology, law, lifestyle, money, travel, and so on. Writing about poker and gaming, along with their influences on society, is limitless.

Many successful freelance writers tap into an arsenal of online and offline media outlets to sell their work, not just to poker and gaming magazines. Their recipe for success is simple: they write varied topics related to poker and gaming that don’t just fit into a specific poker magazine, but also fit (with some reslanting) into many other non-poker magazines and media outlets (i.e. trade magazines, regional magazines, newsletters, tourism guides, newspapers, websites, blogs, ebooks, etc.) that cover varied subjects (such as gambling, gaming, professional sports, sports betting, travel, lifestyle, women’s issues, money, finance, real estate, hobbies, and so on).


To write about poker, you need to know why it is on the minds of so many people. Why all the excitement? What do players see in a little game of cards? Many people fall in love with playing poker because it challenges the mind; poker games are thrilling and competitive; and let’s face it, we love the winnings. The winnings in poker games, even online, can trail with many zeros. What other game can you play with a $40 entry fee and win a couple of hundred thousand dollars, or as with WSOP winners, several million? It’s what lures the crowds to the game. Once players begin to play, everyone is a legend in their own mind. The enticement and excitement of winning drives players to want to play more. Typically, players just play more and more once they discover Texas Hold’em.

Even if you aren’t playing poker for the money, you will quickly become aware of the jackpots of money that poker players play for online and offline. Many people play poker because of the great challenges of the mind. Amarillo Slim (, another legendary poker player once said, “Poker is a game of people….It’s not the hand I hold, it’s the people that I play with.” Most of the older players do play with dollar signs glinting in their eyes. On the other hand, if you read some of the articles written about Slim in the past, you’ll discover he enjoyed beating his opponents as much as anyone else., and showcase job postings for many different freelance opportunities. If you have the skills to write on gambling, specifically poker, then you’ll never be short on writing gigs.

In fact, a search on a handful of job boards produced many writing opportunities, from blog posting, to writing articles on poker games and strategies.


If you want to write about poker and gaming, the opportunities are there. If you are educated about poker and you can write well, the opportunities will be endless. However, you have to be better than average to earn a decent income as freelance poker writer. You must know your “stuff” in this field.

Writing about poker and its players requires you to learn about the games of poker and about the players whom people want to read. For instance, Doyle Brunson and Amarillo “Slim” Preston are two old timers who many consider two of the last living legends of the game. However, Brunson pulls a crowd more so than Preston. People look for articles, books and information on Doyle Brunson because he is still an active player in Las Vegas. Furthermore, Brunson lives where poker rooms are on every corner, whereas Amarillo Slim lives in, well, you guessed it—Texas!

A freelance poker writer has many opportunities. For starters, a poker writer can write from home because of the online games and tournaments. The online poker rooms (the ones offering the large satellite tournaments) are newsworthy as are many of the sit and go tournaments that offer large purses. Writers find ample topics and stories to pull from in this capacity alone. People want to read what’s going on in the online poker rooms. As a new writer, you need to write as much as you can on the subject of poker no matter where people play it.

In addition to the newsworthy opportunities online, web content is a huge marketplace for freelance writers. Writers who can write content-rich articles related to poker and gambling are in high demand.

To succeed as a poker writer, you will need to find your niche. However, you don’t necessarily have to stay within your niche market. Many writers will write on poker and cover online and offline games. They’ll cover the World Poker Tour for an offline gambling magazine one day and write an informative “How to Spot a Poker Cheat” article the next day for an online website. Poker writers like the ability to remain diverse but it pays to have a niche.

For example, there are several writers on who write web content for gaming websites but still pick up a couple of writing gigs offline in magazines and for newspaper articles. Respectively, several notorious authors and professional poker players write primarily as book authors and authorities on their game but occasionally they will snatch a writing column for an online poker website.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking the gigs you have online will allow the offline writing jobs to fall in your lap. You have to keep your options open. You will need to apply for most of the work you get, even after you become well-known within the industry. However, if you’re good, you’ll very seldom face competition for the writing jobs you want.

When you become established in your niche, clients, editors and colleagues will willingly generate referrals for you. In fact, if you are well-informed and can stand out as a leading authority on poker, you can create your own jobs if jobs don’t randomly come your way. You’ll be able to query an editor with ideas and convince the editor to publish your articles. You may be able to query a book publisher with a manuscript idea and have it accepted for publication.

In addition, the offline writing jobs on assignment are often lucrative. Most of the writing jobs on assignment will allow you to live like a high roller, or at the very least, a low roller with some great perks. Poker writers normally stay where the action takes place, which is commonly in a casino. If you’re covering a World Poker Tour event, you’ll likely stay in upgraded casino accommodations; after all, the casino knows you are writing on the event and they’ll likely want you to plug their plush rooms and their many amenities.

On assignment writing jobs will enable you to eat in marvelous dining restaurants, stay among the upper echelon of poker players in suites or upgraded rooms and enjoy hosted parties among poker players. Writing on assignment as a poker writer enables writers to stay in some of the most elegant resorts in the world while enjoying the lifestyle of the pampered poker player. And trust it when you see it in magazines and hear about it online, these professional players are pampered.

Before you obtain your first job assignment as a poker writer, you need to learn all you can about poker. Read everything there is to read. Listen to everything and anything you can on the subject. Flip on the TV set and watch some live game coverage and learn the terminology. Poker tournaments and poker coverage are constantly on TV, especially in the evenings and on weekends.


Poker writers who travel to some of the casino destinations hosting world events such as the WSOP ( or the WPT (World Poker Tour — ) find they can enjoy a lifestyle many freelance writers dream about. Not every freelance writer can endure the schedule of these writers. However, if you are a writer who can face the unpredictable scheduling of events in the World Series of Poker, have a great personality and excellent people skills, then your chances to live a jet-set lifestyle in the world of poker is better than what many writers might think.

Life is better as a poker writer than it is in most areas of writing. You will be rubbing shoulders with people in Sin City and many other casino destinations where money is no object. Remember, money is no object to a great number of poker players. Stakes are always high. With that in mind, remember who you are and where you are. Remember to capture the story, and not the party.

You will get a free ride pass as a poker writer if you can achieve a name for yourself in the poker world. You will have the things only high rollers can get just because the right people want YOU to remember their name. Naturally, this will only happen after you become recognized as a poker authority. If you strive to achieve it, you will know what the inside of the suites at the MGM and Paris Las Vegas look like because you’ll be staying in them. You won’t walk or hail a cab in Vegas. You’ll be riding in a limo, free of charge. Best of all, when you are on a job, you will drink and eat what you want and never see a bill. Welcome to success. Revel in it and know you’ve worked hard for it.

Brian Konradt has been a professional freelance writer for more than a decade. He is the author of the book, "Freelance Poker Writing: How to Make Money Writing for the Gaming Industry," available at

The US Graphic Design Services Industry Has Combined Annual Revenue of $8 Billion

The US graphic design services industry includes about 16,000 companies with combined annual revenue of $8 billion. Major companies are units of large, integrated design firms that provide graphic design services in support of a primary specialty like architectural, environmental, or product design, such as Gensler, ERM Holdings, and IDEO, respectively. The industry consists of privately owned companies and is highly fragmented: the 50 largest firms account for less than 20 percent of total industry revenue. Most firms are small: a typical business has one location, fewer than four employees, and average annual revenue of around $500,000. About 30 percent of graphic designers are self-employed.


Regional economic activity drives demand, because most graphic design firms are small and work locally. The profitability of individual companies depends on accurate bidding, timely delivery of projects, and a steady volume of work. Large companies have advantages in marketing and sales, breadth of services, delivery of complex projects, and supporting ongoing contracts. Small companies can compete effectively by responding quicker, adopting new trends, and specializing by services or markets. The industry is labor-intensive: average annual revenue per employee is around $130,000.

Customers and prospects become competitors when they bring design services in-house, rather than use graphic design firms. Freelance designers may be competitors or contract labor.


Major industry services are general graphic design, commercial art and illustration, drafting, and photography.

For more information visit