Why Freelance?

Why Freelance?

Though I’ve had full time, part time, and one-off clients for the past 15 years, I was strictly an independent contractor throughout that time. Freelancing allows me to choose the clients I want to work with, set my own rates, and be flexible with my time. It can be feast or famine, and not all clients are a joy to work with, but freelancing served me well over the years.

I recently began looking into leaving the home to work full time in a nearby office. It’s not really what I want but sometimes the reliability of the full-time office job appeals to me more than hustling for new clients. However, it wasn’t until we had a medical emergency in our family, that I realized the importance of freelancing for my particular situation.

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My Client Didn’t Send a 1099, Now What?

By law, clients have until January 31st to send their independent contractors a 1099 form. If you receive a paper copy of this form, you might receive it in the mail a few days after filing and sending, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have all your paperwork by the second week in February. Most of us are fortunate to have clients who don’t send a 1099 as they should. However, a client who is tardy or remiss with paperwork shouldn’t keep you from taking care of business.

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Things to Know Before Using Freelance Bidding Sites

things-to-know-before-using-freelance-bidding-sites

I used freelance bidding sites a few times over the past 15 years. Freelance writing is a competitive, feast or famine career choice, and auction sites can look attractive during those “famine” periods.  To be honest, I’ve never had much success with these types of sites. Sure, I’ve found work here and there. For me,  freelance bidding sites aren’t the place to look for well-paying, long-term clients.

But this is just my experience. While I don’t recommend using these types of sites, I would recommend doing your research before signing up.

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Read This Before You Hire a Freelancer

before-you-hire-a-freelancer

Before you hire a freelancer, there are a few things you should know. You see, having the freedom to work where and when we want is a perk, but it’s not compensation. We take our jobs serious and treat each client in a professional manner. We don’t have the luxury of direct deposit every Friday. If we don’t provide you with the finished product, we don’t get paid. Handing in a finished product doesn’t guarantee we’re getting a check as promised, either.

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8 Tips for Becoming a Freelance Writer

becoming a freelance writer

When I was first interested in becoming a freelance writer, I was fortunate enough to work at a publishing company that hired a lot of independent contractors. This enabled me to understand what companies looked for in hiring and working with these writers, and the circumstances that caused a contract to end. It gave me a good idea of what to expect when launching my own business.

One important lesson learned upon becoming a freelance writer is how much work it entails. There’s always a need for new clients and new projects.

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How and When to Say “No” to Clients

how-and-when-to-say-no

As a freelancer, I’ve  been asked to do many things. I’ve collected data and created spreadsheets, researched pallet rack manufacturers, written about poison ivy, and marketed promotional playing cards. Some of the jobs I did weren’t exciting, but they paid the bills, but I treated every client the same – as if each and every one was my most important client and priority.

Over the years I’ve learned that freelancing isn’t glamorous or exciting. The majority of my clients are smaller names, but I’ll never complain about good people (to work with) or steady work. I’ve also learned that there are times when I have to tell a client or potential client “no.” While it always pains me to turn down work (and money), I think it’s more professional to set boundaries or not bite off more than I can chew, than it is to take on more work.

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7 Red Flags to Look for When Applying for a Job

7 Red Flags to Look for When Applying for a Job

Telecommuters and freelancers have to be especially cautious with their job search. Because so many people are hoping to work at home, many home-based job seekers are happy to take any opportunity that looks “legit.” However, even some so-called “legitimate” companies aren’t all they seem to be at first glance. So before applying to a job, even if it’s a job with a brand with a recognizable name, it’s a good idea to do your due diligence.

When researching companies to work with, go beyond their Twitter account and Facebook page. Take a deep dive and see what employees (especially former employees) are saying about them. Check LinkedIn pages for people who work or worked with them to see how long they worked with the brand, and if they left any feedback. Do an online search to see what kind of news or chatter there is about this potential employer. Knowing what you’re getting into beforehand will help you to make an informed decision and could spare you from a big headache later.

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