How Freelancing Changed My Life

I love freelancing. I love everything about freelancing. The best thing about freelancing? FREEDOM! My life is changed when I started freelancing and I love the changes!

Here’s how freelancing has changed my life, so far:

Time Management

I think this is the most important aspect of all. I can manage time better when I get to control my own working hours. I get to spend more time for myself every day! I barely get to see daylight 10 years ago (being stuck in a shopping mall working as a retail assistant). Now I get to spend more time outdoor, either at beautiful parks or enjoy delicious coffee(s)* at coffee shops.

Health Improvement

I used to get ill really often when I was working in retail, and it was terrible (who wants to get ill anyway?). I spent quite a fortune on medical expenses and I hated it. Now, my health has improved tremendously, physically and mentally. Truly loving my life!

Relationship Improvement

I hardly had any time to spend with my family when I was working in retail due to the long working hours but now I get to hang out with family and friends all the time (well… most of the time). It is very important for me to spend time with my parents mum (after all, we are not getting any younger! Also, my dad passed away in early 2016).

Personal Growth

I have always wanted to study Psychology and I got the chance two years after I started freelancing. I am taking it slow and steady but I am definitely getting there (in fact, my last semester would be Jan 2018, meaning I would be eligible to graduate in late 2018)! Apart from that, I have learned so much from mentors around the world such as Problogger. I truly enjoyed the experience and happy to gain more knowledge every day.

New Opportunities

Freelancing has opened many doors for me, and it never ceases to amaze me. It is a wonderful journey and I get to meet many new friends around the world. The best part of all, I get to work with many amazing people with beautiful souls and I learned so much from them. You will be amazed at how much you can learn, and how many people you get to meet when you run your own business. It also allows you to focus more on yourself, and your business.

CONCLUSION

Freelancing has much to offer to those who seek freedom and change of lifestyle. If you are considering a change of career, it is never too late to start freelancing.


*I do enjoy coffee, and if I have it my way, I might have more than one cup of coffee a day, so feel free to fund my coffee addiction 🙂

Old But Gold: Freelancing Scam – 7 Tips to Spot a Potential Scam

Original article – Freelancing Scams – Equipped Yourself With These Tips (Jan, 2009)

Second article – Signs of Freelancing Scams (April, 2011)

Third article – Identifying Freelancing Scams (Nov, 2012)

 

I have written about freelancing scam back in 2009, 2011 & 2012 and it is never too late to have an update and recap.

Here’s 7 tips (updated) on how to spot a potential freelancing scam:

  1. Your instinct. Believe it or not, this is actually very important and also the easiest way to detect a potential scam. If it feels too good to be true, then it is probably 99% scam.
  2. Vague or unclear job description in a job ad. I don’t trust any potential clients who are not willing to spend some time explaining the job with all the important details.
  3. Paid to get paid – it means you are being asked to pay in advance in order to score a job.
    WARNING: Never pay anyone in advance for a job that you don’t even know if you will be hired / paid. It is even better if you don’t pay anyone for any job at all! Remember, you should not be paying money in advance to get a job. Sites such as Elance (aka Upwork) and Guru charge a certain fee (usually around 10%) but that is only after you get paid through their Escrow payment system.
  4. Free samples (most common for jobs related to writing and design).
  5. Attempt to avoid Escrow – this is common on freelancing sites such as Elance (aka Upwork). They will do everything they can to persuade you to use a different payment method.
    NOTE: If you are on freelancing sites such as Elance (aka Upwork), you are not allowed to use a different payment method. If you insist on using a different payment method other than through their site, you are held responsible for your own action. They would not be able to do anything if you are being scammed (i.e. not getting paid).
  6. Paid samples – sounds good right? No! Although not all jobs that require “paid” samples are scams, it is best to be cautious! This might be a trick to “fish” you into providing them free content. Beware! If in doubt, refer to tip #1.
  7. Contests that require you to sign an IP Deed, probably asking you to hand over your IP rights to the organiser, so make sure you do a background check before entering any contests.

BONUS TIP

Look out for these words or sentences –

“Very easy data entry job…”

“Native-speaking english writers…”

Any additional tips? Leave a comment!

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!

P.S.: Just so you know, I started freelancing with no experience!

Freelancing in Malaysia

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

Identifying Freelancing Scams

I have written in general about Freelancing Scams in 2009 and this post is an updated version.

*****

In 2009, I have discussed a few ways to identify freelancing scams. However, 2013 is approaching and this is the perfect time to revise some of the most common scams in the freelancing industry.

Common Signs of Scam

Unique Article as Sample

Situation: Employer will request a unique article sample (NOTE: if you are a designer, you might be asked to present a unique logo design as a sample).

Reality: You are providing a piece of unique work for nothing.Personal View: Personally I have experienced this in my early months. I have written a few articles, sent them to the so-called employer and never get paid.

Payment Out of System

Situation: Freelancing sites such as Freelancer.com and Elance.com require payment through their system. Any payment out of the system is a breach of their terms and conditions. Now, some employers prefer to pay out of the system to avoid fees.

Reality: Most employers who seek payment out of the system are scammers. They do not have the intention of paying at all. It is not recommended to accept payment out of the system for first-time clients (employers).

Brief Job Description

Situation: The job description is too general.

Reality: It is usually fake (although not always).

Low Pay

Situation: You are being offered low rate (e.g. $1 for 500 words).

Reality: First, they just want to save money. Secondly, they are fooling you into thinking that you are worth such rate because you are “new”.

Too Good To Be True

Situation: You smell something fishy.

Reality: Trust your instinct. Chances are you are right, there’s something wrong.

Pay First Scheme

Situation: You are required to pay in order to “secure” the job.

Reality: Once they received your payment, they will disappear into the thin air.

Revenue Sharing

Situation: You are required to submit articles and your earning depends on the traffic to your articles and the number of clicks on the ads.

Reality: If you don’t mind writing for peanuts, you might want to try this. However, in most cases, they are fraud.

Personal View: I have tried on Triond. While the earning is rather low, but at least they pay as promised, every month.

Newbie Trap

Situation: In exchange of “experience”, you are required to work for low pay or no pay.

Reality: They are insisting on the fact that you are “new” and to lure you into thinking that you are gaining “experience”, you are required to work on low pay or no pay. In other words, this is a waste of time and total scam.

Conclusion

Please beware of the signs when looking for freelance jobs / gigs / work