Sunday, May 24, 2009

Freelancing During the Economic Downturn by Jonathan Pincas

During the inevitable cost-cutting that a recession brings, there is a single piece of advice that is shouted louder than any other by business experts: don't reduce the publicity budget - increase it! The idea is that while other companies are shrinking their advertising to nothing, the clever companies are taking advantage and increasing market share.

I guess it should come as no surprise then, that the online freelance job portal has confirmed what we all suspected: in times of economic difficulty, the hottest jobs are in sales and marketing. The Elance Online Work Index for May 2009 shows demand for 'Sales' skills up 11 places and 'Marketing Strategy' up a whopping 19 places. Interestingly, companies are looking firmly to new and developing sales channels such as online marketing, blog content and social media to increase sales, with demand for skills in all these areas up significantly from previous indices.

Now also appears to be a great time to ditch the 9-5 with a flexible online career. Don't believe me? Here's what the experts have to say:

The demand for online work is growing across the board as businesses cope with tighter budgets and growing workloads. Marketing and IT departments are hiring online as a flexible alternative to adding full-time staff. In April, companies posted more than 25,000 new jobs on Elance, building on the 250,000 jobs and $100m worth of online work posted on Elance in the last 12 months.

The bottom line: in harsh economic conditions, your aim should always be to show how you can add immediate value and drive sales for any potential employer, whatever your field of expertise. If you're a creative writer, now may be the time to adapt your skills to writing sales copy or promotional material. If you're a programmer, switch to social media development and show companies how you can push modern sales channels. Effectively, every job is now, at least for a time, a sales job. Even better, as a Non-9-5'er, your flexibility and low overall cost to employers (those carpeted divider they use for cubicles in offices cost hundreds) makes you a more attractive candidate right now than a fully suited drone.

About the Author

Jonathan Pincas is creator of "Say No! to the Office" (, a collection of tools and inspiration for Non-9-to-5'ers. Not into the corporate thing? Visit the website for intelligent advice, discussion and tutorials on small business, entrepreneurship, modern working practices, home-working, freelancing, business technology and communications, productivity and personal development. Real worklife liberation - now at Say No! to the Office.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Freelancing FAQs For the Business Owner by J. R. Pittman

Business owners new to hiring freelancers generally have a lot of questions on how it's done and why. Now, you'll find a lot of information on the Internet about the benefits of freelancing; we've even written some articles and blogs on the topic ourselves. However, once you've read them, many of the questions remain. With this in mind, we've come up with a list of Frequently Asked Questions that, hopefully, can help you decide whether hiring out is the best thing for your needs.

What should be covered in a freelance contract?

Anything and everything, including the kitchen sink. The contract between you and your freelancer should cover everything from the number of revisions allowed to the level of confidentiality you require. Payment terms, an outline of the work involved, deadlines, specific criteria - make sure the contract holds it all before signing it. If there is something missing, revise it and send it back to the freelancer with a note on what you have revised.

How do I know if I have the right freelancer?

During the interview, ask the same questions you would ask an employee. Ask them how they would deal with certain situations that may arise. How do they prefer to do business? Do they work well with others, or do they prefer to work alone? These kinds of questions can help you decide.

In addition, remember that a good freelancer will also ask you questions. Those who assume they understand what you want from the start have a 50/50 chance of getting the project done like you want it. The more in depth the project, the more they should know about your company, and a good freelancer will understand that.

How can I protect myself from bad deliverables?

Quite simply, you must research - just as you would with an employee. Look at their portfolios and feedback; see what they've done before and how others felt about it. Go through the interviewing process with your potential freelancer. Finally, most freelance sites offer escrow services. Especially if you've never hired the freelancer before, use the escrow services!

What kind of copyright do I need?

First rights means you will be the first to use the deliverables and for a specific period of time. Once that time span is over, others will be able to use it. You won't be able to change anything in the deliverables; they have to be used as is.

Work for hire, which most freelance contracts stipulate, means that, as soon as you accept and pay for the deliverables, they're yours. You can change them, sell them and use them anywhere. You own full rights to the completed project.

First rights cost less - because you're getting less - but most of the time, you'll want the freelance contract to state the deliverables are "work for hire".

What is a kill fee, and do I have to agree to it?

A "kill fee" is a set amount that you agree to pay if you decide to stop the project. Generally, this applies to writing, though it can be used with any project. Generally, the kill fee is a percentage of the overall agreed upon price. While you don't have to agree to it, some freelancers may not work with you if you won't approve a kill fee. Many consider it a way of guaranteeing that you won't change your mind on wanting the project done.

Hiring a freelancer could be one of the best decisions you make for your company, but you have to know the FAQs. Just these few above can make all the difference between getting a project finished, and getting it finished right!

Copyright 2009 - 2010 YesFreelance - Article may be reproduced, in its entirety, as long as copyright, resource box and links are retained. J.R. Pittman is a freelance writer, hired by YesFreelance, for YesFreelance, and has several years' experience as both a freelancer and a business owner hiring freelancers. YesFreelance offers business owners a platform for hiring skilled freelancers on a project-by-project basis. Hire a freelancer; pay safely through YesFreelance escrow.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Freelance Writer - 3 Reasons Why You Need a Blog by Sarah Lam

Face it, being a freelance writer is never an easy task. You need to be good at writing and have strong portfolio to gain you work that pays well - perhaps more than you ever imagine. However, there are so many freelance writers that are willing to earn smaller income as long as there are work for them.

Still, being a freelance writer has its own perks such as setting our own working hours and setting our own rates too.

Now, why you need a blog if you are a freelance writer?

1. Exposure: Everything is about exposure these days. Remember, you are running your own business in writing. You need to 'sell' your services to the public. To sell, you need to promote your own services. Otherwise, who would know what you are offering. It is like having a home. People will find you easily with an address. Invite them to visit you, talk to them and they will be interested in what you are offering (i.e. your writing services).

2. Portfolio: A blog also acts as your portfolio. In fact, a blog is the easiest way to display your work because you are the one running the blog and write for the blog. Direct your potential customers to your blog and showcase your blog writing skills. They will be impressed.

3. Professionalism: Since you are running your own business, you might want to appear to be more professional in your career. Having a blog in writing is like gaining the authority in writing industry. Remember, there are many writers around you (which means competitors) and you need to stand out in the crowd. Do something that is like a signature mark from you. Write something unique to attract more people to your blog. Good content will always attract more readers. More readers mean more exposure and more opportunities for you.

A bonus tip: Print your own business cards. Personalise it. Spread it. Make sure you include your name, address, emails, blog address and a short description of who you are and what you offer. This will allow your potential clients to reach you whenever they need you.

Sarah Lam is a blogger, a copywriter and a virtual assistant who blogs at Writing Consultation since January 2009. Writing Consultation aims to help freelance writers to gain better knowledge about writing and the freelancing industry. You might want to check out Sarah Lam's profile and get to know her as she assists you in becoming the next freelance writer.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Freelancing - Becoming a Freelance Writer by Sarah Lam

Yes, freelancing is rather scary sometimes. You might or might not get a job. If you have a full time day job, consider yourself lucky. However, some of us are being laid off and what do we do? Freelancing started to sound better at this time. At least, we can make use of our talent to make some money.

To be a freelance writer, the best tip is to have a nice portfolio. In the portfolio itself, include your details such as name, age and location. Then moving on to experience, if you have any. Now, most potential customers would want to know what kind of experience you had.

For example, you might have worked on a book writing project (maybe co-author with someone or ghostwriting). Include that along with any other projects you have worked on. If you have any references online that indicates your work (which you can use as part of your portfolio), include them. The more references you have, the better chances of getting a freelance writing job.

Now, the problems starts when you have no experience at all. Still, don't lose hope as you will be able to find some customers who will give you a chance to work on something. For example, I have started off writing some simple articles from a customer in Australia and it worked out excellent so I get to stay on for some time. Now, I have been working for the same customers for almost a year based on freelancing.

Moving on, to be a freelance writer you need to be sure of what you are interested to write about. Of course, in the beginning it is hard to determine especially if you are new but over time, you will know which niche is more comfortable for you.

I have been writing about games for some time. I find that out of many games, I prefer to talk about Wii rather than Warcraft. However, since I need to work on both at the same time, it is fine with me. I also tend to write better at topics that interest me. Writing is my profession and that is why I love to write about writing itself from all angles.

Ok, next will be having a blog. You have no idea how a blog can bring in business for you. Sometimes, it won't but it definitely help to expose your services to the world. Remember, you could be working with anyone from anywhere. At least my customers come from all over the world. Only a few of them are based in my own country.

Still having a blog with your own samples (your blog posts would be your best samples) will definitely attract more potential customers. You can put up your services and explain a bit on it. Now, when your blog get some steady traffic, you can even earn some money from your blog. This is the perks of having a blog.

Coming in to the most important part, payment. Make sure you can receive payment through different methods. PayPal would be the best way to receive money internationally but if you are working for someone at home, bank transfer would be the best way. It saves some money and you get the money fast.

With these tips to go through, take some time and come up with your own small freelancing business to help you go through the economy crisis that seems to be never ending. Good luck!

Sarah Lam is a blogger, a copywriter and a virtual assistant who blogs at Writing Consultation since January 2009. Writing Consultation aims to help freelance writers to gain better knowledge about writing and the freelancing industry. You might want to check out Sarah Lam's profile and get to know her as she assists you in becoming the next freelance writer.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The World's First Free Online Computer

icloud today unveils that it is more than an online computer; it is also a fun fast growing social community available worldwide in 18 languages. icloud shows how a desktop + community makes everyday life easier for its digital inhabitants.

Daniel Arthursson, founder of icloud, says: "We see icloud as a next generation community platform, with powerful applications, sharing, group and desktop functionality beyond what people today expect from a community."

Everyone in icloud is provided a free, secure online computer -- a private space on the Internet. Within icloud is also a vibrant social community, file sharing, email, instant messaging and capabilities to publish and share contents through your public icloud profile.

* 3 GB free storage space to safely store documents, photos and music

* 50 free applications and widgets such as Office, Mail, Music,
Video, IM, Sharing, Games, Collaboration and Development tools

* Public profile,

* Free email

* File sharing and free backup with secure storage, including WedDav

* Zero installation, icloud runs in Internet Explorer or Firefox

icloud is available for free, and open for sign-ups. To learn more about icloud, visit

Monday, May 11, 2009

When is a Good Time to Start Your Freelancing Business and Become Self Employed? by John Purfield

If you're reading this article you are probably thinking of starting your own freelancing business at some point in time. You are like many people in our country. Even though you know you want to start your own business and prosper, the thing that holds people back is when to start your business.

Sometimes people become entrepreneur's start their business when they have been downsized and unemployed. I'm in that category. I have wanted to start my own consulting business for many years but decided to play it "safe" and keep working for an employer.

Due to my hesitation, I worked at a crappy job that I truly hated. It was four long years. Let me tell you there's nothing "safe" about losing time. Finally, I was let go. Thank God.

Since I was unemployed, I made the decision to start my own consulting business. The funny thing is I found clients right away and was able to make money right away. It's not easy freelancing but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Some get started while they are working. All you would need to do is work your regular hours at your job and then work additional hours at your business. Some find this challenging to do because of the additional hours. However, you do work a lot of hours per day when you work for yourself.

So when is the best time to start your own business? I wish there I could give you an easy answer. I cannot recommend when you should start your own business because it's up to you and your situation. You'll know when you're to take the plunge.

If you want to know more about starting your own business, there's a link to a free report in my resource box. You may find it helpful in your efforts to get moving to start your freelancing business.

Starting your own freelancing business should be simple. Get my free report at and get the facts about when is a good time to become self employed and get started.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Free Book Teaches How to Use the Web to Gain Power

Ralph Benko, a Washington-based populist Republican human rights advocate, is using an atypical approach to create book sales for his new book, The Websters' Dictionary: How to Use the Web to Transform the World. (The Websters' Press, 2008.) Benko is promoting sales by giving the eBook edition of his book away at no charge.

Available at, readers can download the free eBook or purchase it in paperback or hard copy on the Websters' Press website or at online book vendors including Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Benko admits his marketing approach is unconventional and sometimes seen as borderline confounding. He explains that his approach makes tremendous sense in today's web-enabled world. "The marketing behind The Websters' Dictionary is about building a transparent and open relationship with the public. It's the type of strategy that helped elect President Obama, but is equally powerful for Republicans. Website visitors from 138 countries are loving the message."

Benko's book takes the reader well beyond strategies for building social media networks, showing how Barack Obama was--in Benko's words--transformed from a novelty to a nominee. Benko reveals the powerful implications of Web 2.0 on politics, advocacy, and policy.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Freelance Your Expertise - Can You Pay For College Via Freelancing? by Sarah J. Cameron

If you are a student and are finding it tough to pay your tuition fees, but cannot fit a part time job into your schedule, getting work as a freelancer may be the answer you have been looking for.

Freelancing is the art of getting hired by a company or individual on an as-needed basis to complete certain tasks. It can be a great way to make the money you need for tuition as well as general living costs.

Here is how freelancing can benefit you as a student:

1. Flexibility - you can work as much as you want or as little as you want. Take on more tasks in slow periods, and less in busy times, like studying for and writing exams.

2. Income - you can make a very nice income from freelancing that will help you pay your tuition, and put real food in your cupboards. You can stop eating Kraft Dinner.

3. Experience - working as a freelancer will give you much needed experience and help build an impressive resume; especially if you find work in your area of study.

4. Freedom - as long as you get your tasks completed on their due date, you can work whenever it fits into your schedule. You are not bound by a 9-5 or 5-9 time table. You can work after school, before school or anytime in between. You will be working on your own computer, using your own tools and software. There is no commuting involved.

5. Wide range of jobs - you can find work in almost any area you can think of. Writing, website design, virtual assistants, website reviews, e-commerce, research, web programmers, blog posters; the list is endless and only capped by your imagination.

Search the internet and look for companies or individuals who hire on a freelance basis. Start by taking on only one or two jobs; whatever you think you can handle. You may even find freelance work at your college or university. Talk to your professors and ask them if they have anything for you. Most of them are quite willing to delegate tasks to their students.

Freelancing is a great way to increase your income without sacrificing your studies. It can also be a wonderful way to list some experience on your resume. Who knows - you may even find a permanent, full time job offer after you graduate! is the leading site where you can find freelancers and freelance projects of all kind, where businesses connect with independent professionals to get work done. Providers:Get a healthy Second Income from Hundreds of Freelance Jobs! Businesses: Access a Vast Pool of Skilled and Tested Talents Online! Get the best of Freelancers and Freelance Work

Monday, May 4, 2009

Establish a Business Plan When Freelancing by Noe Pacheco

Freelancing seems like an easy opportunity to gain revenue, but professionals do not realize that it takes a business plan to be profitable.

Do not take freelancing lightly when you consider doing it part-time, or full-time. You have to approach the process as if you are an established company looking to turn a profit.


The first thing you need to do is create a contract for yourself. Have a default contract prepared for your freelance business. Negotiate the terms with the company you are dealing with and use them as guidelines for your revised contract. Go over the time-frame, the amount you will charge, and what is expected by the company compared to what you can offer. Make sure the document is signed by the company you are doing work for and yourself.

Here is an example of why I tell you to do this: I did graphic design freelance work for the Racine Mirror Newspaper. I had an oral agreement with the owner to do layout work and create advertisements for a sum amount of money. Well I did not have the agreement in writing. This left me vulnerable for the owner to take advantage of my time and services. Hence, I did not see payment for my last issue. It is harder to prove terms without a written agreement in court, so I did not pursue a case. More to follow about this situation.


Do not sell yourself short when you start the negotiation process for your deals. Prepare a competitive analysis report before you discuss the amount you expect for your work. For instance, analyze what a full-time employee receives and ponder the amount you can afford to offer your services.


Be prepared to be strict on your terms and to receive harsh terms from the company you are dealing with during negotiations. Propose the dates projects are due, when you expect to receive payment and penalties if the terms are not met.

Utilizing my experience with the Racine Mirror Newspaper: As I mentioned, I was vulnerable without a written contract with our terms that the owner and I had discussed. So the owner took advantage of every opportunity by adding tasks to my workload. Furthermore, the owner would have me drive back and forth to the office, use all of my day time cell phone minutes and expect me to generate more than my fair share of advertisements. Needless to say, a contract would have put what I was willing to do for the amount paid.

Overall, you need to implement a plan for your freelance business. There are plenty of Web sites offering organizational tools to base your business, or you can use a program such as Microsoft Offices Excel. Evaluate what you can do compared to the project workloads, and hopefully you should not have any negative experiences like mine.

Noe Pacheco
Gighive Editor

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Freelancing to a Healthy Second Income - Is Freelancing Right For You? by Sarah J. Cameron

So, you're sick of the rat race and have decided to at least supplement your income by working at home as a freelancer. But do you know if freelancing is right for you? Here are some questions you need to ask yourself before you quit that corporate job.

What is a Freelancer?
A Freelancer is an independent writer who works for whom they choose. Work could be done for an individual or a company. The work you do could include from article writing, web content, data entry, translator, or desktop publisher. The list is endless. It's up to you how much you want to work and who you'd like to work for. Freelancers are also known as freelance designers, freelance writers, or freelance journalists.

How Do I Get Paid?
You get paid by the person who has hired you to do the work. Usually there is an agreement between the two of you at the beginning of the hiring process as to whether you will be paid by the hour, or by the job. If you are to get paid by the hour, be ready to log your hours, and provide proof that you were working when you said you would be.
Some providers pay via paypal, some by check or money order. Again, you will need to discuss this before getting hired.

Are There Benefits?
Since you're an independent worker, you would not be receiving any typical benefits like health care insurance, or eye care coverage etc. Technically you do not work for any firm/individual. You work for yourself.

Where Do I Find Work?
There are many places to find work as a freelancer, especially if you search the internet. Do a browser search for 'freelancer' or 'freelance designer.' Once you find a job posting that you are interested in, send the contact person your resume with a cover letter. Do some research on how to create a good resume and cover letter.

How Can I Become More Qualified?
Taking courses will definitely help here. Your local college should offer several courses in creative writing, non-fiction writing, web content writing, English and grammar skills. It would also be beneficial to take MS Office courses. The more relevant courses you take, the more chance you have of getting hired. You should also think about joining a professional freelancer's association. An association can provide you with courses, and you can meet other freelancers and share tips and tricks on how to improve your craft.

How Often Will I find Work and Get Paid?
This is really entirely up to you. You can accept as many jobs as you feel you can handle at one time. Sometimes, if you've done a good job for a past firm/individual, they may hire you for more work, and keep you as an ongoing freelancer. Once you've built up your resume and can provide good references, finding work will be easier. Be prepared to write about a variety of topics at first - travel, health and fitness, weight loss, etc. Once you've been at it for awhile, you can narrow your niche based on what you enjoy doing best.

So, do your homework and visit the top freelancing job sites, browse through the available jobs, and see if you can meet the said requirements. Then, do a few small jobs and in time, you will find the kind of work which suits you best. Becoming a Freelancer can be a rewarding experience, but like anything, you must do your homework and research before you decide if it's right for you! Good luck! is the leading site where you can find freelancers and freelance projects of all kind, where businesses connect with independent professionals to get work done. Providers: Get a healthy Second Income from Hundreds of Freelance Jobs! Businesses: Access a Vast Pool of Skilled and Tested Talents Online! Get the best of Freelancers and Freelance Projects

Friday, May 1, 2009

New Website Serves up Tips, News, Advice, Latest News Jobs on the Internet

True to its site description, "serves up the freshest news jobs" on the Internet.

In addition to news jobs, the site also supplies news and communications professionals with job hunting tips, advice, and the latest news headlines.

However, the best part of the site, according to site founder, Tiffany Orr, is that it provides professional communicators with a forum, where they can connect and share news job tips, leads, ideas, and discuss their favorite topic--news.

" is different from every 'news job' site on the Internet," said Orr.

"Where else can journos and communications people stay up-to-date on current events, network and find a news job?"

For additional information on, contact Tiffany Orr or visit