As the new year is just around the corner, some of you might resolve to take a step forward into becoming a freelancer. With the way the economy has been, it wouldn’t be too surprising if the freelancer ranks grow in the next few months. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Build an emergency fund. This not only puts you at ease, it allows creativity to flow. What’s more, you won’t come across desperate to clients. Speaking from past personal experience, which includes both being dirt poor starving and comfortable with some savings, you want to live in the latter situation. (Not meaning to sound facetious.)
While I did manage to write 60 short stories and 900 pages of one computer programming book while I was freshly out of work for the first six months of 2002, as soon as my funds dwindled and I had to borrow money from family, I found it increasingly harder to write anything. (Of course, it didn’t help having to do 10-12 hour shifts of physical labor at crappy wages.)
2. Set a suitable work rate. Actually, set more than one rate, depending on the services you’re offering. You do not necessarily have to set a lower rate than others just because you’re a new freelancer. When deciding on your freelance rates – whether hourly or by the project, you should use a number of factors: your costs, desired profit, your skills and experience, your client, market demand and any others that are relevant to your niche(s).
3. Utilize the Web to the fullest. Most freelancers these days are “web workers,” but not all of them take advantage of the bounty available online. One benefit of running a freelancing business online is that you can bootstrap it with a blog/ website and social media sites for promotion. There’s also an incredible amount of free software for your operations, invoicing, managing finances, brainstorming (mind mapping) and more.
Wazir Khan Mosque
he Wazir Khan Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan, is famous for its extensive faience tile work. It has been described as ‘ a mole on the cheek of Lahore’. It was built in seven years, starting around 1634-1635 A.D., during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan. It was built by Shaikh Ilm-ud-din Ansari, a native of Chiniot, who rose to be the court physician to Shah Jahan and later, the Governor of Lahore. He was commonly known as Wazir Khan. (The word wazir means ‘minister’ in Urdu language.) The mosque is located inside the Inner City and is easiest accessed from Delhi Gate.
Rohtas Fort (قلعہ روہتاس – Qila Rohtas)
Rohtas Fort (Urdu: قلعہ روہتاس Qila Rohtas) is a garrison fort built by the great Afghan king Sher Shah Suri. This fort is about 4 km in circumference and the first example of the successful amalgamation of Pukhtun and Hindu architecture in the sub-continent.
What was once considered as impossible is now a very real probability. Yes, your website can be indexed in Google’s database within a week’s time after it goes live! How are you supposed to do this?
Google said that you should not bother to submit your website to them. They will find your website, and once they do, they’ll index your web pages. The reason behind this is quite simple. Google uses links to hop from one website to another. If they arrive at a page that is unfamiliar to their database, they will index it… and thus is the method by which your very own website can be a part of their database.
The problem is, there are literally billions of web pages out there. Even with the mechanical precision by which it operates, it will take weeks, if not months, before Google can stumble upon your website for proper indexing. The trick is in expediting this process. And how are you supposed to do that?
Let’s put it this way. If only one website is linking to yours, Google has to crawl through that site before it could discover yours. 1 in 1,000,000,000 is not a favorable ratio. But what if you have 1,000 websites linking to yours? Alas! Your website would have better chances of getting indexed fast!
Therefore, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the homepages of the Top 30 technology companies and assign them a PASS or FAIL rating based on the quality of their homepage design.
Click on the screenshots to check out each website.
1. Amazon.com: PASS
Although it may be a little cluttered for my taste, it would be short-sighted to say that the Amazon.com homepage is a FAIL. Amazon has created a company that has landed at the top of the InfoTech 100, and the fact that one hundred percent of their sales are made online shows that they understand how to use their website to attract and retain customers.
2. Apple: PASS
As an Apple user, I may be a little biased, but I honestly don’t think that anyone could look at the Apple homepage and say that it fails in terms of design. The homepage is uncluttered, provides easy to use navigation and gracefully showcases several of Apple’s products.
The common mistake committed by most novice online businessmen is coming up with a product without determining a hungry market. Why is this dangerous? Because the product might not cater to a certain demand. Without demand, no one would buy the said product, and such would surely be disastrous for any business.
So the first lesson in any internet marketing course should be about finding profitable markets.
Now, despite how intimidating this subject may sound, it’s actually quite easy to pull off. All you need is an idea. Yes, like one of those eureka moments. This idea can come to you at any time… while watching a movie, for example. Or while reading the morning papers. Or while viewing the billboards by the road your way to drop off the kids at school. This idea may also be inspired by your current or previous profession, or a passion you nurtured when you were still enrolled as a student.
It is always advisable to carry a small notebook with you, so that whenever these ideas pop up, you could write them down so that they won’t have to fade from memory. If you have a personal digital assistant (PDA), the better it would be for you.
So how would you know if the idea that enters your mind is the right one to build a business for?
This wouldn’t be difficult to figure out. Surely, an idea would entail thoughts of various possibilities you do with the same. An idea about dog grooming can make you think of a dog grooming service, for example. Or an idea about pest control can make you think of a do-it-yourself pest control eBook.
Simply type in the idea you have in mind, and press the submit button. You will then be presented with a list of keywords and key phrases that are related to the subject you have entered.Each keyword or key phrase would have an indication of the number of searches that they have gathered from internet users. The number of searches made for a particular keyword or key phrase is a good barometer of the demand for the same.
Naturally, you would want a keyword or key phrase that has gathered many searches, right?
This shouldn’t be the case. Demand is just half the battle. You would also need to determine the number of competition you would have for that particular market. To do this, you just have to run a search using the particular keyword or key phrase you have selected. Look at the number of web pages catering to the said subject. If this number is less than the number of searches made for the same, then you have a profitable idea indeed!
Your idea is about dog grooming. So you use the tools mentioned above, and type in the phrase “dog grooming.”
You’d immediately get some keywords or key phrases like “shih tzu dog grooming” or “dog grooming cases.” The searches for these terms are greater in number than the web pages catering to them. As such, you could consider them as highly profitable markets. These markets are what many people call as niches. Finding a niche is the first integral step in making money online.
Once a niche is determined, focus on it. If you’re not familiar with the subject, do some research. Build a website that would provide accurate and educational information about the topic. Employ marketing strategies to give it the exposure it deserves.
It all starts with finding a niche. The sooner you discover one, the sooner you will realize the many promises that the online world can offer.
Whether you’re a current project manager seeking to validate the skills and knowledge acquired through years of practical experience or a newcomer to the PM field looking to strengthen your resume, the PMP certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI) provides you with the means to do so. This updated edition of the best-selling PMP: Project Management Professional Study Guide was developed to help you prepare for this challenging exam, and includes additional study tools designed to reinforce understanding of critical subject areas.
Key Topics Include:
- Project Initiation. Determining project goals, identifying constraints and assumptions, defining strategies, producing documentation.
- Project Planning. Refining a project, creating a WBS, developing a resource management plan, establishing controls, obtaining approval.
- Project Execution. Committing and implementing resources, managing and communicating progress, implementing quality assurance procedures.
- Project Control. Measuring Performance, taking corrective action, ensuring compliance, reassessing control plans, responding to risk event triggers.
- Project Closing. Documenting lessons learned, facilitating closure, preserving records and tools, releasing resources.
- Professional Responsibility. Ensuring integrity, contributing to knowledge base, balancing stakeholder interests, respecting differences.
By Anthony Balderrama, CareerBuilder.com write
Interviews are nothing if not opportunities to drive yourself crazy. Just remind yourself to look good, appear confident, say all the right things and don’t say any of the wrong ones. It shouldn’t be so hard to follow these guidelines except you’ll be on the receiving end of an endless line of questions. Factor in your nerves and you’ll be lucky to remember your own name.
If you walk into the interview prepared, you can make sure you know what right things to say, and you can stop yourself from saying the following wrong things.
1. I hated my last boss.
Your last boss was a miserable person whose main concern was making your life miserable. Of course you don’t have a lot of nice things to say; however, don’t mistake honesty, which is admirable, for trash-talking, which is despicable.
If you truly did hate your last boss, I would be prepared to articulate why your last organization and relationship was not right for you,” says Greg Moran, director of industry sales and partnerships for Talent Technology Corp. “Then be prepared to explain what type of organization is right for you and what type of management style you best respond to.”