Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Freelancer's Guide To Choosing The Perfect Work-at-home Career

If you want to work part-time or full-time from home, you must decide whether or not working being your own boss is right for you. Next, you need to consider what type of freelance work you want to do. Freelancers can tap into many opportunities, both online and offline. Having a successful freelance career starts with evaluating your own skills and requirements in a job and then finding the right match.

Sometimes the best place to start with your freelance career is where your staff employment had ended. Many people find they can become independent contractors in the field in which they previously worked. You can use your previous work experience as a launching pad for your freelance career. Some ways to use your experience include: finding a company that hires people in your field to work from home; or using your previous experience to become an "expert" freelancer in your field; or starting a business related to your previous field.

Some people look at their freelance careers as a way to break out of their old job. If you'd like to try something completely different, there are many opportunities for entry-level work as a freelancer. Many of these jobs deal with telephone or online customer service. When you work as a customer service agent from your home, you need a reliable Internet connection and a working phone. Companies also hire medical transcriptionists, data entry professionals, and virtual personal assistants to telecommute.

If you want to start your own freelance business, the opportunities are very vast. You can start with a direct sales company and sell products from an established brand to friends and neighbors. You'll make commissions through your sales and by recruiting other people to sell the products. There are hundreds of direct sales companies that offer everything from aromatherapy products to candles to cooking supplies.

Another option for starting your own freelance business is offering a service in your community. Day care center operators, florists, professional organizers, freelance writers, and hairdressers all have the option of working at home, among many other professions.

Many people turn to the Internet for a source of freelance income. The World Wide Web offers a plethora of job opportunities. You can offer your services online as a freelance web designer, writer or virtual assistant. You can also start an online store that sells your own products. 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

Decide first what type of job you'd like to do and then work from there. If you are truly a people person and need to get out each day, direct sales or a local service business might be right for you. If you are the type of person who goes online a lot and is comfortable with the Internet, try finding a job or starting your own freelance business on the Internet. If you like the comfort of having a weekly paycheck, look into telecommuting positions.

Once you've decided what category of job you'd like, do some research on what it takes to be successful at that type of business. If you feel you are drawn to one particular business or company, then sit on your decision for a week and see how it feels. Imagine what your life will be like as you take on the duties of that job. More importantly, be realistic with yourself about how much time you can devote to your business. Finding the right match isn't hard when you thoroughly consider your options.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

How To Launch A Part-time Freelance Writing Career

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 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:


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.


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.


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.


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.

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


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 freelancing 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. I find many of my paying freelance writing jobs at

Below are some tips to get freelance writing jobs:


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.


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.


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.


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.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Freelancer's Guide To Meeting Project Deadlines

When it comes to meeting deadlines, one way to manage your timetable effectively is to divide the large jobs and farm them out to several freelancers.

Let's say you've been awarded a writing job to write an e-book on childcare with 10 chapters for $2,000 over a 45 day period of time. Bid out each chapter separately among 10 freelancers and allocate, say, $100 for each chapter over a 25 day period. This way you don't have to worry about the deadline because you've given yourself a 20-day buffer and you stand to earn $1,000 for your efforts.

If you are going to handle a project in this manner, then you must be able to rewrite the articles to make sure the entire book "flows" seamlessly and that the same style and tone of voice is consistent throughout.

1. Cultivate a strong talent pool

In many cases, this is the most important asset you need to subcontract work to others. Here are a few additional tips to help you out in this regard:

a) Know how to hire a good coder

There are four things you should look at when hiring a coder – their resume, their samples, their rating, and their client testimonials.

The last two are critical because it is easy to prepare a bogus resume and samples, especially on the Internet.

If you look at those four things and feel you have found the person you are looking for, hire them.

b) Know how to keep them happy

A happy coder always delivers better work than an unhappy one, given the same skill level. You keep your freelancers happy by dealing in a polite and professional manner, paying them on time and understanding them when they fall or falter (and believe me, they will miss a deadline now and then). Give them respect and they will give you their best.

2. Nurture your current roster of clients

Here is the main reason why quality counts – it is quality, more than anything else, that will make your customers come running back to you again and again. Always put a premium on quality. First-class work is sometimes hard to find, especially given a limited budget. If you consistently deliver first-class work, you assure yourself and your freelancers of a prosperous business well into the future.

There is a popular saying in sales which says that “It is eight times easier to get new business from your current clients than it is from cold calls.” In other words, make sure you ask your clients for referrals from people they know or work with who may need the service you provide.
Some freelancers hesitate to ask for referrals because they feel it is unprofessional. They feel asking for referrals is like asking for a favor. That is not the case. If you have faith in your ability to deliver good work you are actually helping your client because of your willingness to provide quality work to their friends or business associates. That will reflect well on them too. It is a two-way street.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Careers For Writers: Freelance Copywriting

The field of copywriting is large and continues to expand every year. A way to describe copywriting is putting a persuasive message in front of a consumer so he/she takes action. The book, Ad Copy Psychology, mentions effective copywriting is based upon six fundamental principles:

Fundamental 1: The copy creates appropriate expectations in the reader. It highlights every benefit, while never exaggerating or misleading - even by omission. It also never leaves the reader feeling manipulated, whether they order or not.

Fundamental 2: It increases the likelihood that the prospect will not only use the product, but use it correctly and get the results they're looking for.

Fundamental 3: It doesn't call attention to itself. It communicates with the consumer without them thinking about anything but the product and what it will do for them.

Fundamental 4: It's more powerful every time you read it.

Fundamental 5: Instead of just trying to provoke emotional reactions, it creates an experience that engages real prospects. When this is done correctly, the reader feels as though they're interacting with the copy and the benefits of the product while they're still reading your letter.

Fundamental 6: It doesn't start with the letter or end with the order. It begins with the way the prospect talks internally, and sets the stage for any communication that follows the purchase.

There are many writers in the world, but there is a specific niche for copywriters. Copywriters are the ones who write messages but mold them in a way that generates interest in a consumer. With the number of advertisements out there today, consumers will not respond unless it is something that specifically interests them. This is why beginning copywriters must have a clear focus on the audience for which they are writing.

There will always be a need for copywriters no matter whether the economy is in a recession or in a boom. Companies must always put out a message to consumers; as long as this demand is needed, copywriters will be in high demand. If you are interested in working as a copywriter, you will have many different places to look for work. You can decide to work for advertising agencies, on the Internet, or be your own boss.

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

When you write copy for a seller of a product, the key is to remember to put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. This is done through extensive research and studying what goes through the mind of that particular consumer. Each niche or group of people will be different in what will motivate them to do certain things. By doing this research, you will have a better idea of where you need to go with the message you are trying to convey to your target audience.

If you are a good writer, you can pick up copywriting rather quickly. The basics of copywriting involve writing in a different style and to a different audience. An excellent quote from “The Copywriter's Handbook, A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Copy that Sells,” sums it up best: "A copywriter is a sales person behind a typewriter."

The keyword is “sales person.” Clients hire freelance copywriters to communicate with their audience in a way that persuades them to buy your client’s product or service. You must create an initial connection or else you'll find you've lost the audience's attention. In this day and age, people are inundated with too many advertisements and they quickly discard any advertisement that does not fit within their perspective immediately. A successful copywriter knows how to marry entertaining copy with persuasive copy to force the reader to take action, such as ordering a product or service.

As a quick introduction to some of the important points on learning copywriting, the first key is to pay attention to the headline. The headline is read more often than copy at an exponential rate. If you cannot catch someone's attention with the headline, you have wasted the rest of your sales copy. A sales letter essentially only has about five seconds in which you can grab a person's attention -- and the headline is one of the most important factors to generate interest. This is just an example of copywriting and what you must look for.

In learning copywriting, look into the works of copywriting legend Dan Kennedy. He is one of the foremost experts on the subject. He has said many times that he became a better copywriter by developing his skills continually. If you would like to learn more about any one of his books, look into the following title: The Ultimate Sales Letter.

The copywriting field will seem challenging, but it is also one of the more interesting fields for freelance writer. The key to being successful is to learn from what you do and what other successful copywriters do. If you constantly read and continue to develop your skills, you'll find that you will become a great copywriter. It is hard within a single page to give you an idea of what it takes to be a copywriter but always remember a copywriter is a person who sells. Your goal is to educate an audience in a way that persuades them. This is the only difference between how you currently write and how you will write as a copywriter.

Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography

Photographers have until November 15, 2007, to postmark applications for the next two $20,000 Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography, to be announced in February 2008. Grant application and submission guidelines, plus additional information on previous winners, their projects and the judges can be found at

Applicants must include a written proposal of 550 words or less explaining the scope, significance and journalistic merit of their chosen project, along with a supporting portfolio of between 30 and 60 images of their previous work.

Each year, Getty Images awards five grants totaling $100,000 to fund, inspire and support the best global talent in photojournalism. Two grants are awarded in February and three in September.

Each grant consists of $20,000 as well as project execution support from Getty Images photo editors. While retaining copyright of their imagery, grant recipients also have the option to sign a one-year exclusive rights deal with Getty Images, enabling their grants project imagery to be marketed and available for license to customers worldwide at

Make Money with your Freelance Photography Skills

Citizen Image is an image agency that professionally represents photographic and video content of citizen photojournalists to editorial outlets around the world. Through Citizen Image, any photographer – professional or amateur – can offer his images for sale to media organizations by creating an account and uploading his content. Citizen Image allows news organizations to take advantage of camera-equipped bystanders who can take important pictures or video long before professional photojournalists can arrive on the scene. For more information visit