Apr 14

Free Stock Images

free stock images

I am constantly on the look out for free stock images and here’s a list of stock images websites providing free stock images.

Free Stock Images

  1. 123rf.com – I am officially in love with this site. You can download the free images here : 123rf Free Stock Images (In order to download, you need to register an account).
  2. Dreamstime – You can download free images here : Free Images (In order to download, you need to register an account).
  3. Free Digital Photos – This is a great site as you can download photos without registering.
  4. Free Range Stock – All photos are free for commercial and personal use. (In order to download, you need to register an account).
  5. Stock Free Images – Search a keyword and then look out for the term “free images” in the search results.In order to download, you need to register an account.
  6. Stockvault – You can download free images without registering.
  7. iStock Photo – You can get free image here but look out for the term “Download free photo” at the bottom of the homepage.
  8. Fotolia – You can download 3 free images every week.
  9. Morguefile
  10. Free Photos Bank

Free Photos by Photographers

Note: Some websites require credit line (a link back to the photographer / stock image site) in order to use the free images. Please check the T&C before downloading images from the websites mentioned above.

Disclaimer: All information posted is correct at the time of posting.

Photo by Matt Banks

Feb 14

Virtual Assistant in Customer Service

As a virtual assistant, it is very important to keep learning and upgrading. If you aspire to be a virtual assistant in customer service, you need to check out this course:

Diploma in Customer Service on ALISON.

In this course, you will learn everything you need to know to start off as a VA in customer service.

customer service

Once you have completed this course, you will receive a Certificate of Completion that looks something like this:


Enjoy learning! Love learning!


Images from ALISON

Jan 14

Can You Freelance with No Experience?


Can you freelance with no experience?

Yes, that’s a question in my mind, when I first “thought” about freelancing. It was years ago and somehow it feels like only yesterday, when I asked myself the question.

After searching Google for some time, I noticed that there are many experts discussing the same subject.

However, I love these 3 articles:

  1. Mashable – http://mashable.com/2013/06/09/freelancing-getting-started/This article is excellent. 5 pointers to get anyone started in the freelancing business.
  2. Freelance Folder – http://freelancefolder.com/how-to-start-freelancing-with-no-experience/FF came up with 3 key questions to help anyone who wants to jump into the freelancing industry.
  3. Wikihow – http://www.wikihow.com/Become-a-Freelance-Writer-Without-ExperienceThis article is dedicated to teach anyone to be a freelance writer.

If you are thinking about joining the freelancing industry, you might want to check these out. It is never too late to freelance.

Good luck!

ps: Just so you know, I started freelancing with no experience!


Image by bokica

Jan 14

Elance as a Freelancing Platform

Elance is no stranger in the freelancing world. Whether you are an old timer or a new freelancer, you should check out Elance as freelancing platform.

Personally I have tried different freelancing sites such as freelancer.com (previously known as Get a Freelancer) but in the end I decided to stick with Elance (because Elance is the only site that can get me gigs, that don’t make me feel like I am a slave).

Get started with a free “basic” account to get used to the platform.

It is easy to use.

1. Register an account.

2. Log in and fill in your details.

3. Browse for jobs.

4. Bid for interesting jobs.

5. Keep trying until you land your first job. For some, this might take a few days, for others, it might take a few weeks or months, so be patient.

 photo elance_zps732be786.png

However, there are certain things that you might not like about Elance.

For example, their fee. They charge about 8.75% for every transaction from clients (when clients pay).

Having to pay 8.75% might be too much, especially for new freelancers.

For basic account (free account), you get 40 connects (free!) – which means you can send up to 40 proposals (although sometimes it takes more than one connect point to send a proposal).

UPDATE: This has changed recently, you will not get connects immediately after registration.

Here’s what they announced,

Effective January 15th, 2014 freelancers on a Basic Membership plan will be required to complete a series of tasks towards building a comprehensive profile before accessing their Connects.

You can read more here.

Once you are registered, you have the option to add more connects, but you will have to upgrade your basic account to a paid account such as “individual” account ($10/month) to get more connects (60 connects).

Apart from that, upgraded accounts have the option to buy additional connects. It costs $5 for extra 5 connects.

For most cases, it takes like weeks or months to land your first job (a decent paying job) on Elance and this is probably the biggest annoyance.

I would suggest to use Elance as a stepping stone to get started in the freelancing industry but once your freelancing career has stabilised, you might want to start finding freelancing jobs without going through agents like Elance.

Have fun freelancing!


Verdict: I find Elance a great freelancing site with better reputation than other freelancing sites. Still, feel free to experiment!

Dec 13

5 Free Online Writing Courses


Writing is important especially if you are a freelance writer. It is never too late to learn about writing. In fact, the more we learn, the more we practice. Thanks to the Internet, we are able to access online writing courses for free at our own pace.

Online Writing Courses

Here are five free online writing courses anyone can learn (not listed according to preference).

1. Writing What You Know

This course is by The Open University, under the OpenLearn section. The study material is adapted from the Creative Writing course (paid and online course). This short course is a great introductory course for anyone who wants to improve in descriptive writing. At the end of the course, you will:

  • be able to articulate your own thoughts on the notion of ‘write what you know’;
  • be equipped to write ‘blind’ descriptions of known objects and note new observations;
  • have an enhanced ability to list sensory perceptions;
  • be able to write short texts about a personal memory of either a place or a character.

2. Diploma in Basic English Grammar

This course is by Advanced Learning Interactive Systems Online (also known as ALISON). Grammar is essential in writing. With this course, you will be able to learn the proper use of grammar and identify common grammar mistakes. You will have to register to enroll.

3. Creative Writing: A Master Class

This course is by Academy of Achievement. If you are into creative writing, this would be a great reference, and you can easily gain the material using iTunes. To download the material, you just need iTunes.

4. Advanced Essay Workshop

This course is by MIT Open Courseware. You don’t have to register to access the course material. It is available here. Study the material at your own pace!

5. English Composition I: Achieving Expertise

This course is free but slightly different than the previous four courses. To enroll you have to register on Coursera. In order to complete this course, you will have to complete the assignment according to due dates. It takes 12 weeks to complete, so make sure you have enough time to complete assignments on time. English Composition will explore academic reading and writing.


Take some time to research and decide on the best course for your personal development. Feel free to sign up all if you are up for the challenge!


Images from 123rf.com

Nov 13

Freelancing in Malaysia


Definition(s) of the word “freelance” from Google

Freelancing is generally unheard of in Malaysia.

However, freelancing in Malaysia is slowly gaining recognition in recent years. In fact, the number of Malaysian freelancers is increasing in Elance.

We have over 7,000 Malaysian freelancers on Elance.

Please refer: https://www.elance.com/r/contractors/cry-MY/ind-true

We have over 300 Malaysian companies on Elance.

Please refer: https://www.elance.com/r/contractors/cry-MY/biz-true

However, there are many people who do not understand the meaning of “freelance” or “freelancing”.

They hear me speaking alien when I say I am a “freelancer” or I “work from home”.

They thought I am “just a housewife”, simply because I “work from home” or “work at home”.

One can be a housewife and works at the same time, but working doesn’t mean you have to leave home at 7 am and reach home at 6 pm.

These days, you can work at home or work from home as long as you have a PC (or laptop) and internet connection.

You can be a freelance writer or a freelance designer (depending on your skills).

It is sad to say that most Malaysians have no idea about freelancing or being a freelancer.

In fact, I believe there should be more women freelancers in Malaysia, considering most women are housewives.

I have known some women who started their own home business by selling cakes & cookies or sewing clothing & curtains.

However, majority of them have no side income.

Living cost in Malaysia is rising (very quickly!).

You might want to consider working part time on the internet writing articles or designing logos.

Freelancing in Malaysia is possible but it takes time to learn. It is not possible to be good in something without taking the first step to learn.

Here’s your first step: Register on Elance