Tag Archives: work from home

SWOT analysis of working from home: Threats

Scary Pumpkin!creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by peddhapati

Going from an office job to working from home as a freelance writer can sometimes threaten your already established career.

Content writing is a very cool profession that will let you work from home. At the same time, establishing yourself as a freelance entrepreneur can change your approach to writing entirely. Therefore, it’s important to analyze the threats this shift can bring to your career and your writing. The more you know about the threats of a freelance writing career, the better able you will be to protect yourself against them.

  1. The Internet and Its Many Distractions

If you can just get down to business without getting distracted by the technical side of things then this isn’t a threat for people like you. But if you’re easily distracted by new information (which leads to more new information, which leads to still more new information…) working as a freelancer can be a bit tricky. Since there will be no one hounding you to get back to work, you’re free to follow links all day – and then scramble to meet your deadline at the very end. To avoid this, make sure you come up with a method to keep yourself focused and on track.

  1. Society as a Threat to the Entrepreneurial Content Writer

One major fear people have about becoming a freelance content writer is the fear of society and its lack of respect for the profession. Because this kind of work is usually done from home, many people think of it as more of a hobby than a respectable career. For many of us, working in a field that lacks “respectability” can be very hard, as there’s a lot of pressure from society to have a “normal” career. It can make Christmas dinner with you relatives or parties full of strangers pretty awkward if they don’t think of your work as a real job.

  1. Almost Everybody Wants to Work from Home

And this means that if you’re scrolling through an online freelance platform looking at jobs, then there are countless people eager to get exactly the same job. Of course, there are lots of people who are just bunglers hitting a keyboard, but there are also great writers out there, and you will need to stand out among them.

  1. SEO Writing is Constantly Changing

Keeping yourself up to date is crucial and will help you stay ahead of the game. Failing to do so, on the other hand, can be very detrimental to your feelance writing career. Many clients want content with SEO to make their websites stand out. If you can’t provide this, you will be passed over for someone who can. Luckily, the internet is awash with guides for SEO writing. Schedule yourself some time to familiarize yourself with the concept and its implementation.

  1. Some Clients Don’t Believe Content Writing is a Real Job

Like I mentioned when talking about society as a whole, you will find that some clients also think that online writing is just a hobby – and not worth paying much for. If you ask me, you just need to avoid this type of client. If they don’t respect you or your work and don’t pay you what you deserve for it, then do yourself a favour and find someone with whom you can build a lasting working relationship.

  1. Currency exchange

You always need to be aware of changes to currency rates. Because you work online, you will have clients from all over the world and it is better if you can charge them in their own currency, if that’s what they want. On the other hand, many clients and contractors use American dollars or Euros as for simplicity’s sake. If you’re charging in dollars or Euros, make sure you know what that translates to in your own currency and in your client’s.

What Upwork is?

Upwork Facts that Every Newbie Should Know

Are you thinking about signing up in one of the most useful websites for freelancers, Upwork? Are you an aspiring freelancer who wants to start reaching his dreams through freelancing? If your answer is yes for these questions, then you are ready to work at home.

Time To Break From Work flickr photo shared by Nanagyei under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Freelancing can happen once you sign up in Upwork.com. This website is formerly known Odesk.com. It offers variety of online job vacancies. Its job openings cater most of the works that are needed in outsourcing. It has served lot of freelancers globally and has given job opportunities for people who prefer working at home. In fact, it has been one of the competing companies when it comes to freelancing opportunities.

If you are planning to sign up, or working through this website, then you must know these facts.

Nature of Upwork.com

Upwork.com is an online website that posts job offerings from various people with or without companies. Basically, these people post the skills or services that they need, then you will be the one to apply for that job. Upwork.com does not directly give you a workload. You have to work for it. Hence, not applying for a job means not having workload at all.

Application in Upwork.com

Killer resume is needed in Upwork.com. Just like in applying for a full-time job in companies, or institutions, you have to build yourself by creating a resume. In Upwork.com, your profile in this website is your resume. Hence, you have to show your competence through writing every detail of it. Other than that, you also have to take exams to test and prove yourself. Your chances of getting hired increase whenever you have created your resume. A higher possibility of getting hired is possible if you have good ratings posted on your resume or profile as well.

Two Kinds of Wages

There are two kinds of rates in Upwork.com—hourly rate and fixed hour. Hourly rates refer to wages that are hourly in nature. It means your work or job is being monitored then you will be compensated based on your job hours. It works better for administrative assistants and other fields as well. Meanwhile, fixed rate means your payment depends on your project. If your project’s price is $10, then you will receive that no matter how long you work for it. Hourly rate is better than fixed rate for it will really compensate you well.

Basically, you must know that Upwork.com has already given job opportunities for people worldwide. These people are brave enough to prove themselves through their profiles. If you have the skills to convince employers to hire you, then you must sign up already.

Signing up in this website means opening doors to more opportunities to acquire work whether it is for full-time or part-time. Upwork.com generates opportunities and new learning that you can never get from working in the outside world. As long as you have the resources and well-written resume, you are now ready.

Odesk.com was known for being a low-cost freelance platform, though you can choose what works you will apply for. In my case I have found good clients in ODesk and now in Upwork. However, being honest I have to say that you will find a lot of jobs which budget is non-sense.

GOLD tip for working in Upwork, be picky with the jobs you apply for and you won’t lose time.

4 reasons to start a freelance career

Compared to regular jobs, freelancing is a bit different. Everything that happens, or might happen, depends on the freelancer himself. If he does not market himself for possible clients, he does not work. If he does not work, then he does not earn as well. This fact happens especially to people who are new to this industry. However, despite of these problems, and challenges, there are still many reasons why you will love to be a freelancer.

  1. Freelancing gives you choice to choose your desired job. You will be the one to look for a job. Hence, you are the only who will dictate what job will you take. You choose want you want to do and reject which work does not suit or ring a bell for you.
  2. Freelancing gives you more personal time and space. This is only possible to people who manage their time well. Also, the freelancer chooses time when and where to work. He can work in a coffee shop. He can work after ten o’clock in the evening. This type of work gives more personal options to everyone involved here.
  3. Freelancing gives you less stress-free working environment. Since you handle your own job, you are the captain of the ship. After deciding what, when, and where to work, it is the time to deal with how will you work on something. Jobs may give less stress to freelancers if these people only know how to manage everything perfectly.
  4. Freelancing opens more opportunities. Being unattached to specific companies provides a freelancer a chance to explore more opportunity. Exclusivity is not a problem because in freelancing, every job offer is acceptable if desirable. There is no limit in accepting jobs.

However, freelancing is not the heaven. Sleepless nights, deadlines, clients’ demands—these are the top struggles encountered by every freelancer. While some people think that freelancing demands less time, freelancers dedicate more time in their home-based job. It is their sole responsibility to finish all the projects that they have collected. Then, upon submitting the projects, they need to look for another project to be done.

But then, every freelancer should remember that freelancing does not stop by these problems. A dedicated, disciplined, and committed person knows how to manage things effectively. These make things very desirable for everyone. Hence, these reasons will surely encourage any person to try the world full of challenge and that is freelancing.

Is it worth to take a small job when working at home?

Scrabble Position by Flazingo Photos

When you are starting a work at home career it is very likely that you have to try freelance platforms such as Upwork or Elance, which soon will become Upwork too. In these platforms it is common that you have a fixed amount of points per month, and you need to spend the points when you want to apply for a job.

If you apply too much, you can buy extra points with a premium account and the platform has a little extra revenue. These points make applying for small jobs more expensive because you are spending points that maybe you will need in the future to apply for other bigger job.

What a freelance should take into consideration when applying for a job

First, you should look at your client credibility. Will they pay? This is an important question and the answer is not always yes. In freelance platforms this is easy to know. Do they have a profile with good reviews? Then, they pay. Are they new and haven’t the payment method verified? You are in risk. But, all the clients were new one times, so, sometimes you need to just trust in them.

Second thing to think about is whether the effort/time to write your application is worth for the job. If you are applying for a 10 euros task, you can’t put more than 5 minutes in the applying because there are chances that they choose another freelancer. Actually, even if they hire you, you need to write the application, get information about the job and then do the tasks. All these things take time. And, this is not all, likely when you finish the job you will have to record your income and generate an invoice for your taxes (more time!). So in the end, how much time do you spend for this 10 euros? I guess too much if you want to survive. Remember that a day has 24 hours, and you spend about 8 sleeping. So it leaves 16 hours to work, eat and exchange some words with other human beings.

However, sometimes it can be worth to apply or this jobs

But, life is hard and work at home is not easy. So maybe you might try to take one of these small jobs. Let’s see why.

One of the most important things to be hired is your own credibility. If you do a small job, and you give a nice value for your price, it is likely that the client will ask you first the next time he will need something done. And, it can become a regular project!

So, sometimes you get a high value to do a first job that at a first glance seemed a waste of time.

I would suggest freelancers that work from home applying to small jobs when:

1. Client has credibility. It can be due to he has a good profile in a freelance platform or because you know them or at least their website seems that he is serious.

2. The job description is clear and comprehensive. So you know what you will have to do, and you can be sure that it won’t be the typical “I need someone to rule the world by 3 euros per hour and also needs to speak ancient Greek”.

3. You see that the client usually posts small jobs so there is a chance for they deciding to keep you as the one to do it each time they need something to be done.

5 Healthy Habits to Develop if you Work from Home

Many people would argue that working from home is ideal in every way because it is convenient and comfortable. Although there are notable benefits to getting your job done within your own four walls, working from home can also lead to the development of poor habits. In order to assure that you can get the most out of your stay-at-home-job, here are 5 healthy habits you should try to develop:

            1) Stay active

It can be easy to fall into the negative habit of not getting enough exercise when you do not have to leave the house to get to work. For your overall health, it is important to make sure you move around throughout the day. Try taking a short walk around the neighborhood every few hours or shooting a few baskets to break up the monotony of the day. Exercise is great for rejuvenating your mind and helps your body to feel more energized.

            2) Make a space for yourself

When you work from home, it can be difficult to separate work time from personal time. One way to combat this issue is to establish an environment within your home that is dedicated to work. If you create a separate space for yourself, it will likely be easier for you to adjust your mindset in order to be able to differentiate between work and play.

            3) Be presentable

As tempting as it may be to stay in your pajamas all day, getting showered, dressed, and ready to take on the world will make you feel more awake and more engaged during your workday. If you feel confident and fresh, you are more likely to perform at a higher level.

            4) Maintain social contacts

Working from home can be very isolating because it often prevents the type of face-to-face water cooler talk that many experience at work daily. Therefore, it is important to intentionally interact with others throughout the day in order to meet your social needs; however, be cautioned—too much social interaction that is not related to work may become distracting. Be sure to limit your conversations that are not related to work so that you will not fall behind.

            5) Set limits

For those of you who tend to be perfectionistic in nature, it can be difficult to ‘leave your work at work.’ Working from home can make it challenging to draw the line between working time and taking time to relax. One important habit to set is to give yourself a cutoff time for work and sticking to it. Everyone needs rejuvenation in order to be their best the next day.

Working from home can be an excellent experience; it saves time that many people waste each day with long commutes and offers a level of convenience that most people do not get to enjoy. On the other hand, working from home takes a lot of self-discipline and drive. Establishing these five healthy habits can help you to have a positive, productive at-home work experience.

How to improve the quality of your service

Waiting patiently?flickr photo shared by Chovee under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

As freelance copywriter I have one main goal: improve the quality of my work. To do so, one needs to study and keep learning things, but also is a good idea observe what things make your clients more happy. As you can’t learn everything in academic books, sometimes you need every day expertise, and this is hard to find in the academia.

One thing that I can recommend to everybody that is starting a freelance career is to treat your clients as if they were special. Actually, if you think it for a moment your clients are special. How many clients do you have? If you are not company, I am sure you do not have so many clients that you can’t remember each one of them. Of course, you can forget someone that one day asked you to do something and you never have heard from him again. But, now I am talking about your current clients. Can you tell me that you are not able to give them a personal treatment? I am sure not, and if the answer is yes, you likely need to hire someone because you are not keeping enough attention to your clients.

So, how can you show them that they are special?

Easy!  Let them know how is the work being developed.  When you are working hard in several long term projects, you can feel that you do not have enough time to write to your clients. However, if they need to wait, let’s say for a month to see the results of your work, they can be worried when half of the time is over. How can they be sure that you are working hard and that you will have it on time?

Just writing a short e mail saying that you have finished these things, you are currently working in these other things and you will finish it on time, will allow them to trust in you and feel better.

Because just waiting without news, can be stressful.

Taking a few minutes to give them the information they deserve, allows you to show them that they weren’t wrong when they decide to give you the project.

Don’t forget that in the work market we are all people, no robots.

Avoid that pretty work from home scams

creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by peddhapati

I have written about work from home scam jobs a couple of times before: here and here. But,  today I have noticed another common feature that some scams have: The job offers are spread by supposedly pretty women.

If you follow twitter hashtags like #workfromhome to be aware of what is happening in the world of this great activity, you will soon notice that many of the adverts are twetted by twitter accounts with very pretty women. It is curious like normal or just no-so-pretty  women never have a job offers to tweet about.

Well, nobody doubts that when you are publishing an advert you need to link it with a good-looking person, no matter if a man or woman. In fact, this is used in every TV commercial that we see everyday and they aren’t usually scams. But, when we talk about publishing jobs, you don’t need to link it with wonderful people because getting a job is attractive enough to engage with everyone that is looking for it.

So, it is easy to think that the scammers are just using fake accounts of attractive people to get your attention. This is because they are not looking to hire the best worker available, which is what the employers want, but to introduce in their scam as many people as possible. They want you to see their job offer even if you are not looking for a work from home job.

Let’s face it. Work from home jobs usually asks for very hard-work and offer a modest income. This is because there are many people that dream about working from their home. And, regardless of the income, they legit jobs usually come from companies that have official twitter, or any other social media platform, account. If you were looking for someone to work in your company you wouldn’t use your personal account, but the one of your company.

I am not saying that you need to remove every job offer that you get by someone that looks nice. But when a great income, no experience requeriment and good looking person are put together in a job offer, be careful and take a second look.

 

ODesk is now Upwork

After creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by maurcs

If you are looking for a work from home job, you likely know ODesk and Elance. Well, time ago we read that ODesk and Elance merged to become a bigger and better freelance job platform. A few days ago ODesk has changed and now it is Upwork.

It was a big change! We receive an e mail with a CEO explanations, we say a brand new website and all the changes…some changes….well it is a new website.

The truth is that the big problems of ODesk remains the same. Many people are still looking for slaves instead of workers, and freelancers don’t know if they are applying to work for a business or a physic person. When you ask ODesk…sorry Upwork about that, they think ‘Who cares? We provide work, which is what you are looking for’ and then you have to explain that in your case working for a company means that you don’t need to charge VAT which means that you will earn 21% more. Well it is true that 21% percent more than almost zero is still almost zero, but within the slave hunters, there are some clients that pay reasonable prices and if you are the only one asking about they data, you are creating more problems than solutions for the clients, so they usually choose someone that doesn’t ask annoying questions.

What a bad habit is paying taxes!

Elance is still independent and is still a better place to work. I am really afraid that it will be spoiled when it turns into Upwork. When I receive the new about the change, I thought Upwork was going to be more serious, more professional, but they have missed that part.

Let’s keep the faith in the future.

Translator scam jobs

creative commons licensed ( BY-ND ) flickr photo shared by B Rosen

As freelance copywriter in Spanish, I always have to be looking for new clients and in the meantime I am used to finding suspicious job offers.

I won’t write here the specific URL and name of the company because I think it is more important that people understand what seems not legit than the specific websites that do the scams.

An example of a scam job for translators

The last very suspicious job that I have found said things like:

  • You will work for big companies as Coca Cola, Disney…

Well, I really don’t know these two particular cases, but big companies usually hire an agencies and do not lose time hiring freelancers that are not able to reach their expectations related with volume of work.

  • You do not need experience

Maybe you do not need experience, but I don’t know any company that says this openly if it is not desperate to get more workers. Even if they do not need experienced workers, an experienced worker usually gives more confidence to the client, so why would they write this in the job description? If they do not need experience they won’t say it explicitly, in order to both experienced and not experienced apply.

Until this moment this job seems too easy, but it could be ok. Problem is that now come the bad news. You need to pay a registration fee in order to go into the platform and access these great and generous clients.

They promise they will give your money back if you do not find accurate jobs.

A quick internet investigation about the website gave me some forum discussions with freelancers saying they never had their money back.

Summarizing

  1. Too easy jobs doesn’t exist.
  2. Too easy jobs well paid doesn’t exist.
  3. Never give money to get a job. You need to earn money, not to spend it.

If you are going to pay for a platform, then be sure that the platform will only charge to you a proportion of your earnings. This is a win-win relationship because you are sure that they want you to get jobs. More you earn, more they earn. You do not earn, you don’t pay. You become rich, they become rich. Easy!

 

How to choose an accurate room to set your office

creative commons licensed ( BY-ND ) flickr photo shared by marksaplenty

One very important thing to decide when you are about to start a work at home business  is the room that will be your office.

If you are thinking about not to set any room for working and do it in the kitchen, the lounge or in a place that is free of children when you need to work, let me say this is a big mistake. You need to have a room just for working activity, and everybody living with you should know that this room is a workplace. You don’t need to have the room only for you, but all the people in the room should be working in order to have a nice work environment.

So now that you have decided that you need a room, let me tell you some factors you have to take into consideration.

  1. The room needs a door. Sometimes you will need to close it to, talk with clients by Skype, or to avoid noises.
  2. The room should have natural light. Well if it is possible, choose a room with a nice window. It is very healthy.
  3. Try to choose a quiet room instead of the one that totters each time someone closes the parking door of the building.
  4. You need room to keep your work tools such as documents, tables, hardware. If not, you will lose a lot of time going to other room each time you need a sheet.
  5. Wifi reaches the room. Yeah! check it before you decide any other thing.