Category Archives: Work at Home

Learn from my experience working at home as freelance writer. Tips and useful information for those who want to work from home.

How to Edit Your Story Right the First Time

As a freelance writer, you want to make sure that you deliver quality content to your client. If not, your career will go nowhere. Granted, some clients have editors who will do all of the nitty-gritty for you, so all you have to do is send a rough draft and let them work their magic. However, not all of them do, and some will make you edit it yourself. You may think that going through the spellcheck and correcting all spelling errors is the right way to go, but you are mistaken. To many clients, good writing should be free of a few knots that spellcheck cannot detect. A few problems are as follows:

tips to edit your own text
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Passive voice. Avoiding this is important, especially in a story. To encourage flow and to make everything seem more exciting, try passing the passive voice. For instance, instead of saying “she was running towards the bridge,” say “she ran towards the bridge.” This makes your story more readable than you’d think.

Avoid long sentences. Even when separated by a comma, long sentences can cause a reader to stumble. Consider breaking down lengthy sentences into smaller ones if possible.

Drop unneeded adverbs. Adverb abuse is a real problem among writers. While they have their place (even though some writers discourage using them altogether,) there are unnecessary adverbs. Don’t say that something is “really big,” but instead use a stronger word such as “gargantuan.” While you shouldn’t give every word the thesaurus treatment, doing it in those cases can help.

There are programs that can help you out. Word has a style check that detects some of these problems, but you have to turn it on. There are other advanced writing analysis tools you could use, some of them free. Whatever the case, check them out and improve your writing.

How To Find Your Freelance Specialty

There have been a few deliberations on whether you must specialize your services and; whether or not you must charge your rates per hour or per task. Be that as it may, priorities must first be focused on what really is our specialty and how to narrow down your skills to achieve what you really want to accomplish. Here are tips on how to find your own freelance specialty and what you must prioritize to achieve success in working online.

Why You Must Specialize

Working online? Develop your specialty
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So why would it be a good idea for you to specialize? Fundamentally, regardless of the extent of what you learn and educate yourself with, it’s difficult to be the best of everything. What’s more, to succeed in freelancing, you must be truly good at what you do.
Specializing permits you to turn into a master in your chosen field. You’re likewise more prone to be seen as one by potential customers. Specializing likewise permits you to concentrate on sharpening your abilities and is simpler to stay aware of new improvements. This permits you to rapidly get to be preferable at what you do over the generalist.

Step by Step Instructions On How To Specialize Your Services

With a specific end goal to specialize, you have to settle on two things:

  • What you’re good at.
  • What you truly appreciate and love doing.

Regularly, the response to those two inquiries is the same, however not generally. If not, try going over the work you truly enjoy in doing, as you’ll in the end get to be better at it the more you practice. All things considered, you did start a new business for yourself to do the work you truly cherished, isn’t that so?

The Most Effective Method To Specialize Your Clients

Specializing your customers is just the same and as imperative as specializing your services. Choosing what kind of customers you need to work with will make you more satisfied over the long run and will build the viability of your market. It’s considerably more successful to get your message to 10 flawless fitting customers than to get your message to 500 customers who won’t work for you.
Thus, how would you pick who you need to work with? Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What sort of services are you presently advertising?
  2. What sorts of customers are the ones who’d need those services?
  3. What is your perfect working relationship and which customers from above would fit that scheme?

So as a conclusion:
Simply keep in mind that with every type of marketing effort, it usually takes some time for customers to perceive that you have specialized. Remember one important thing, if specializing doesn’t work for you, you can just retreat to offering every skills you know to every client.
Specializing provides for you the type of work and customers you need. When you are the master, they come to you and hire you more and not the other way around. There may be customers that pass you by, yet it’s not about numbers – it’s about the quality of customer and the specialized work you will do. The more you train yourself as a specialist, the better you’ll do as a freelancer.

How to Get More Work Done in Less Time

how to write more in less time
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With freelance writing, most of your jobs are fixed price. In other words, you are paid once you complete the task. If you have a reliable workload, you could make more cash in an hour than most people make in hourly jobs. However, some people do struggle to get the most out of their time. There are plenty of articles about avoiding distractions, so this one won’t cover that, but instead will cover how to get more work done.

First off, make sure that you’re working at your preferred time. People are different. While some work great at morning, others are night owls. Being a freelancer, you can adjust accordingly to get the most out of your schedule.

Second, try experimenting with different work environments. Not everyone is going to work their best in their office. Try working outside, or at a coffee shop. Some work in complete ambience, while others like a hectic environment. But if you like the coffee shop option, you must choose one that has people and, as said before ambience, no the noisiest one.

Third, set a minimum word amount that you must pass in order to take a break. For instance, you should write a thousand words before you can look at Facebook, and only spend less than a minute looking at it. By doing this, you have an incentive to finish your work faster.

Finally, don’t be afraid to mix it up. Working on the same story can get a little tiresome after a while, so don’t be afraid to work on another job to keep everything fresh. Make sure to apply to plenty of jobs so you can be able to have enough work for you to do that.

By following these instructions, you can get the most out of your freelancing career and make enough to pay the bills and then some. You may not perfect the art in a night, but you can gradually increase your productivity.

The Advantages of Freelancing Working at home

Are you bored of looking for a traditional job? Are you looking for something that allows you to get a wrok-life balance? Maybe it is time to change your mind.

There are plenty of benefits from deciding to work at home. Here are just five to consider if you want to be a freelancer.

tips to get hired and work at home
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  1. Make your own hours. Some people work better at night, others at the crack of dawn. You don’t have to adjust your sleep schedule and work at a time that you don’t want to.
  2. You can take any day off. Getting a day off at a normal job can be an uphill battle, and good luck trying to get multiple days off. But with freelancing, a majority of jobs have reasonable deadlines, so you aren’t hurt if you want to take a day off. You can just work harder another day to make up. Or you can even work a little if you decide to take a vacation. Just use your laptop at the hotel before bed or when you wake up.
  3. The harder you work, the more you’re paid. Most jobs pay you the same by the hour no matter how hard you work. However, many freelancing jobs are fixed price, so the more you do, the more you’re paid. If you devote a few hours to nonstop working, you can potentially make a hundred dollars or more.
  4. Work can be diverse. Doing the same task every day can be boring, but with freelancing, you can have a variety of tasks that are different from one another. You can devote one day to working on one job, or do a little bit of everything another.
  5. Getting the job is much faster. For the most part, there’s no extremely long applications and no having to wait for too long to see if you got the job. And most interviews are quick and easy. No having to wear a suit, cut your hair, and look awkwardly at your boss as they scrutinize your every breath.

Overall, there are many benefits to freelancing, and it’s something to consider if you’re tired of working from 9-5.

How to keep a client happy when working from home

Working from home can be a very liberating experience. It rids people of the hassle of commuting from home to work and back. It also gives most freelancers the feeling that they are their own boss. In a way, instead of just being another employee, freelancers are actually entrepreneurs. They basically sell their skills. Working from home also gives freelancers the chance to decide how their area will look like so that it’s conducive for a work at home setup. Altogether, these possibilities give freelancers the chance to envision how they want to be successful using their own skills.

Once clients are in and the projects are piling up, the next thing to do is to make sure that clients are happy. For which there are three very helpful basic principles: Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind and Put First Things First.

1 Be Proactive

To be proactive means taking the first step to engage and communicate with the client. Discuss details, ask for information, and be available for feedback. It is important to be available to do these things because details, information and feedback are what make a project successful. Of course they are also the tools which help in keeping the client happy because knowing these things serves as guide in producing the client’s preferred output.

2 Begin with the End in Mind

To begin with the end in mind means internalizing the client’s expectations and feedback and letting these guide one’s thought process and output design. It means keeping details in mind so that outputs looks just the way the client envisions it to be. It is one thing to be available for feedback and it is another to actually apply feedback, make the necessary changes or, for example, use the appropriate vocabulary to match the client’s goal. Even if the client changes his mind sometimes, it is important that a freelancer keeps the client’s preference in mind. This makes the client feel that the freelancer is working with him on the project and is working to help him achieve his goal.

 3 Put First Things First

Finally, putting first things first means making sure that the projects or tasks with the highest priority are really put up on the list. Although it is alright to want to have more projects, there must be a scheduling system to be followed so that a freelancer knows which deadline with which client is coming up. Clients will not want to feel that they are not being prioritized. However, clients are also not the same in dealing with their deadlines. Some clients allow for longer turnaround time while others need work submitted early. That is why a scheduling system will help to keep track of expected work progress.

Overall, despite the liberating experience that freelancing may give people who work from home, it is still important to not forget that this is still business and therefore a degree of professionalism which is helped by the aforementioned principles is still needed.

Should I do a free test?

When working as freelance writer many clients want to see some examples of your work, which is normal. But sometimes, if they ask for free examples, there is a difficult situation to deal with.

What to do if a client ask you for a free writing example?

I have done some free examples in the past, and some of them led to good and profitable projects. However, I don’t believe in free tests, because there are people, I can’t say they are clients, that use these tests for their purpose and after that don’t hire anybody.

You need to create a portfolio of your writing, and this portfolio needs to have examples of many different subjects/areas/sectors. Once you have that, your future clients can have an idea about how your work will be. If they are so unsure about you, that still want a free example, maybe is better to suggest them to look for another person.

If you fell your client is trustful you can offer do a test for a lower price. Ideally this example shouldn’t be a good fit for the job. I mean, if your client needs a 500 words post and want and example, the example could be 100 words. It doesn’t make sense do a 500 words for a job that is write 500 words.

Other thing to take into consideration is the amount of work you will get after the example. For a single post, there is not a single reason to do an example. If the job is a small project, you need to make your client feel sure about you with your portfolio. Examples are ok, for a long term projects or projects that has a good amount of income involved.

First step to be a professional is that you value your own work. Always remember that.

Hourly rate or fixed price?

work at home how get money
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In general there are two kinds of jobs:
Hourly rate jobs: Your client wants you to track your time so they can pay you a specific amount per hour worked.
Fixed price jobs: Your client pays a set amount per project, no matter how long you have to work to finish it.
I personally charge less for an hourly rate than for a fixed-price rate. When you are working for a fixed price and encounter unexpected aspects of the job, you could be working a long time for a ridiculously small amount. In an hourly job the unexpected is covered. Also your client is trusting you to accurately record the time you spend on the job. This trust should be rewarded with a better price.
When you are agreeing on an hourly rate, give an approximate budget but be clear that it depends on the time needed to complete the job.
Some clients will ask for your hourly rate, and then ask you to complete a job in a fixed amount of time. Okay, this is obviously a fake hourly job; it is a fixed price. If you are charging different for an hourly than for a fixed price rate, then you must let your client know it. If a client tries to negotiate a lower amount than your fixed price, it is better to refuse the job. It is a very bad signal if a client is trying to take advantage of this “kind of negotiation”. Negotiation is okay and healthy, but this is dishonest. I don’t appreciate dishonesty in people that will have to pay me.
If you ask me, it is okay if you want to offer a deal to your client and do a job for a cheaper price, but it is a deal because you have offered it. This situation is not acceptable if it is a result of your client asking for an hourly job and then limiting the time that will be compensated.
I can accept the time limit if it seems reasonable plus a little.

What does plus a little mean?

As I said, the good thing about an hourly rate is that the unexpected is always covered. So if you are going to agree on an hourly rate (cheaper than a fixed price) and your client wants a time limit, calculate the time you will need and double it, explaining that you will likely use less time than you quoted and that if he wants a fixed price, you can do it but the conditions will be different. You can explain about unexpected factors to let your client know why you are charging different rates.

How to avoid scam job offers

When you are working at home as a freelancer, one of the most difficult tasks you need to do is look for new clients and jobs.

Making this process as efficient as possible is very important because the time you spend looking for jobs, writing applications and answering clients’ questions is time that you are not getting paid. Of course, it is an investment in future paychecks so it is vital that you do your best in these endeavors. One way to make this process more efficient is to avoid losing time with scam offers.

how to avoid scam job offers
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Typical features of scam job offers:

  1. Job conditions are great and the process to be hired is extremely simple.

Yes, it is true that you are probably the best freelancer in the world, your personality is very attractive and every client that knows your name is anxious to hire you. But take into consideration that if the work conditions are really that good, there are thousands of people interested in this job, so you could expect a long hiring process.

Some of these clients say things like, “I am overloaded with work,” “I need you because you are in the XXX country and I want to expand my business,” and “I need you because you look reliable.” I have no doubt that you are, but I am sure that there are many people with these skills, so why doesn’t your client spend any time to get to know you better?

  1. They ask you for data such as your phone number, credit card number, physical address, and they don’t share their own data with you.
  2. They don’t have a website, or the website is so poor that you can’t believe their workers are being paid at all.
  3. They speak very poor English even though they are based in the UK or US.
  4. They are in a rush to hire you, always asking you to agree to each step.
  5. They ask you for an online interview in a chat platform like Yahoo or MSN. Skype is a much more likely venue for serious clients, although not a guarantee.
  6. They want to send products to your home. Don’t you think that they could rent a post office box for about $50 instead of paying you $1600 to do practically nothing?

What could you do to minimize the risks?

  1. If they are a foreign client, it may be difficult for your country’s to help you, but a good idea is to ask for a contract (signed by hand, not with a drawing made with Paint).
  2. Research them on the Internet. If you don’t find them, this is a very bad signal. Some companies have a commercial name, which means maybe you won’t find the company name in the top of the website, but it should appear in the T&C page of their commercial name website.
  3. NEVER SEND MONEY to buy training materials.
  4. Ask for an advance payment for the first month or the first 15 days.
  5. Always research the legal responsibilities of your work. If you have to interact with products, what happens if you receive something broken?
  6. If you are in doubt, don’t take it. It’s better to be poor than to lose money on a scam.

Do you have any other useful advices?

Work too cheap is counter-productive

Do you want to be rich? Choose another job.

Take writing as a job has a little problem, all people know how to write, so some clients want to pay just a little money for a text. And, yes there are only a few people that know how to write properly, but sadly this is less noticed by these clients that look at write content as an expense instead of investment.

There are two kinds of clients:

The ones that don’t want to waste time in writing.

These clients don’t give to the writing the importance it deserves. They just have a lot of things to do, and want their website updated for a low price. They want to pay $3 per 500 words of original content, and they are doing you a favor when hiring you.

They want you to follow SEO rules, search and upload an images with the text, post in their blog both the image and the text, and maybe do their laundry.

These clients are not real clients. If you want to be a professional freelance content writer you can’t take these jobs. And, it is OK for them want to pay that little. There are people who have writing as a hobby, and maybe they are OK with these low fees. Market and world are big enough to all kind o clients and writers.

But, if you want to have a proper lunch each day with the money you are earning with writing, you have to skip these clients. It is likely that you even won’t cover the time of writing them an application for the job.

The ones that want a professional writer working on their content.

These clients won’t hire you if you offer a fee of $3 per 500 words. Why? Because they want a good text and they know you can’t be a professional with that price.

They want to pay as less as possible yes, but they prefer a little more expensive price and be sure you will be a good writer.

These ones are your real clients, the others are just a way to waste your time.

Think that if you work so cheap, you will need to write so many texts that you will hardly have the time to proofread your production. Work for nothing decrease your quality.

Take into consideration that whilst you are writing for almost nothing you could be looking for a real job.

Keep in mind that if you don’t value yourself nobody will.

I am not saying you have to be expensive, I am talking about a price that covers your costs. There are a lot of false advisers recommending writers to fix a high price. We are not talking about this, we are talking about to skip job offers for $2-3 because this is the price of your time to read the job bid and maybe write an email to the employer.

Here you can read some tips about what aspect you need to take into consideration when creating a budget.

How to create a long term relationship with a client

A long term relationship with a client is a real treasure, because have a more or less fixed amount of work is always welcomed when you are a freelance writer and also because when you work for someone for a long time, you know what he likes, how he likes it and in short you work more efficiently.

How to get a long term client as freelance writer

work at home as writer in Spanish
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There is something obvious, if your client doesn’t need regular content, he won’t need a long term relationship with you. But sometimes clients that really need regular content don’t know it. Let know your client what a good content can do for him, maybe he just doesn’t know that regular updates are good for SEO, or that copy content is the best way to go to the bottom of Google.

Anyway, most clients know that content is important, so this first tip only works when you see that your client is not very well versed about how internet works. In case he knows the basics about internet you can try the following.

First, show your client that you are available for his needs. Sometimes people doesn’t ask for more job because think that you are too busy.

Second, be trustworthy. Even if this means that you have to say no to a task that you can’t do properly. It is better show a client that if you take the job you will deliver a high quality work, than take all the jobs and provide a bad result.

Third, let your client know supplementary services that you can give. For example, if you are proofreading, you likely are able to write too. If you are writing, maybe you know how to create cool infographics.

Fourth, don’t be aggressive. It is ok to show what you can do, but you don’t have to spam your clients. Don’t offer services each time you send a message to them. Do it when you see that you can give a real value to the services you are currently giving.

Fifth, get involved in your client’s project. Sometimes you are asked for a text and your client shows his website to you have a better idea where it will be published. Imagine you see that this website is lacking something important. Let your client know. Maybe you can suggest them to hire a graphic designer, and maybe you can’t do that service, but it will show to your client that you are a good person to run his site.

There is another important thing to take into consideration. There are people too sensitive that when you give a suggestion like improve this or that, can feel it as a critic. You have to play with that. Try to don’t sound offensive at all, say these things as a way to improve and always be careful.

To conclude always keep in mind that providing a high quality work is the best way to develop a long term relationship. Looking for freelancers is boring and requires time, so if you are a very good one, your clients will ask you the first when need something.