Dream Job

Hello,
My name is Kieran Flores.

I am trying freelance writing jobs, and that’s how I found your site. You provide interesting and practical information, thanks!

I would like to know whether you will write about writing as a dream. I mean, when you ask a kid “”What do you want to be?””, he or she would hardly answer “”A writer””. But you certainly have an experience in this field. I’m sure you have something to say. Is it the job you dreamed about? Is being a writer dreamy? It’s just a suggestion, but I really think it would be an awesome post. Your opinion is very important for me.

Thank you.
I highly value your feedback!

Best regards,
Kieran Flores

I apologise for overlooking this.

This has been sitting on Google Drive for months.

Kieran, you have raised an interesting topic for me.

Is writing my dream job?

YES.

I knew it since I was 12 years old.

I used to write poetry and short stories.

In fact I had a very old blog on creative writing when I was 13 years old, but the blog is unpublished at the moment.

So, there you have it. My answer is yes and I will write for as long as I can, although it has been difficult lately due to the commitment (work, study & family).

Have a question? Ask here.

*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 🙂

Have a Question Burning in Your Mind – Answers

I have asked my readers to submit any question they would like to ask me and after more than a month, it is time to reply. [Have a Question Burning in Your Mind?]

There are 3 questions.

Question 1.

Hi, it is nice to stumble across your blog. I am wondering, is it really important to have a blog for a freelancer? What about the old fashion way? Name cards? Face-to-face job application? Do you meet up with your clients? Thanks!

by: Damian

Answer: Having a blog will boost your credibility and it serves as a platform for your potential clients to have a look at your work. You can still use name cards (business cards) to sell your services if you find this method works well for you. Of course, some clients require face-to-face meeting. I do meet up with my clients from time to time.

Question 2.

Hi Sarah,

My biggest hurdle is in increasing page views per visitor. On normal topics I get very low ratio close to 1. Even on topics related to film actresses I am not getting more than 2 page views per visitor. I expected much higher ratios. So how do you give a strong call for action?

1. Does it depend most on the phrasing of the call for action at the foot note of a page? Say luring the reader falsely.
2. Does it depend most on the topic itself and uncontrolled by us?
3. Does it depend most on the suspense/discontinuity created intentionally to make the reader like to know completely (controlled by the author)?
4. Does it depend most on the compulsive nature of the audience (similar to 2)?

These days I am concluding that 4th is the right one and thus both topic and audience matter. What is your take on this subject.

by: Rajun

Answer: I don’t get many page views as well, especially when I started this blog in January 2009. One thing I do realise is many people are searching for topics related to freelancing. So, I started to research on keywords, related topics, how to write the titles, the content and other SEO methods. I have tried article marketing and forums last year and they are sending traffic to my blog but I can’t rely on article marketing and forums to help generate a steady traffic. The key is to establish an authority blog, and make sure Google verified the blog as an authority blog and cache the content as soon as possible.

To answer your question,

1. Does it depend most on the phrasing of the call for action at the foot note of a page? Say luring the reader falsely.

I believe this is known as link bait. You can give it a try but I haven’t find this useful at the moment.

2. Does it depend most on the topic itself and uncontrolled by us?

At some point, I do believe that we cannot control the traffic we get for our blog. However, with the right practice of SEO, you should be getting more traffic.

3. Does it depend most on the suspense/discontinuity created intentionally to make the reader like to know completely (controlled by the author)?

I don’t think so.

4. Does it depend most on the compulsive nature of the audience (similar to 2)?

Readers choose what they read. Maybe whatever you are offering on your blog is not interesting enough to capture their attention.

I get an average of 300 unique visits per day, with 1000 page views per day.

Question 3.

Hi Sarah,

I hope you will answer this question. I have a burning question for a long time.

I set aside time to write for four or five hours day. But eventually I fail to be consistent. I do write for an hour or so and then stop. Even when I write on a topic that I like the most and have lot of knowledge still I feel that I do less than what I could.

Why does it feel like so tired just after an hour of continued writing?

Is it just the reality or is there some problem with me?

Just want to be focused for at least 2 hours a day in a productive manner. I would appreciate your suggestions.

Answer: You are not alone. The key is to take a short break after writing for an hour (a break of 5 minutes) so that you can walk around, have a cup of tea, take your eyes off your PC/laptop or papers if you are writing using pen and paper.

Why does it feel like so tired just after an hour of continued writing?

This is normal, which is why you need a short break in between writing.

Is it just the reality or is there some problem with me?

Yes, this is the reality. I must admit there are some very hardcore writers who can spend hours writing without a break but not everyone is a super writer.

Just want to be focused for at least 2 hours a day in a productive manner.

This is not a problem at all as long as you take a short break in between your writing task. However, stick to the 5-minute rule or else you won’t be able to resume your writing later because you will be exposed to more distractions if your break takes more than 5 minutes. I can focus for 6 hours of writing during weekdays and 4 hours during weekends. However, my productivity increases at night, so I write mostly after 8pm until late (sometimes very late).

*****

Thanks for all your questions!

*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 🙂

Telecommuting

People have been asking me the same questions.

“What is telecommuting?”

Years ago, I was asking myself the same thing.

Thanks to Google, our best friend, you can truly learn about anything you want.

Do you know the meaning? No?

According to Google (by using the search keyword ‘define:telecommuting‘)

  • employment at home while communicating with the workplace by phone or fax or modem
    wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
  • Telecommuting, e-commuting, e-work, telework, working from home (WFH), or working at home (WAH) is a work arrangement in which employees enjoy flexibility in working location and hours. In other words, the daily commute to a central place of work is replaced by telecommunication links.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecommuting
  • The action of working from home, sometimes for part of a working day or week, using a computer connected to one’s employer’s network or via the Internet.
    en.wiktionary.org/wiki/telecommuting
  • Telecommuter – Telecommuters spend at least part of their workday at home or a telecottage, using computers or other telecommunications equipment. Most telecommuters live on the fringe of large cities and in the suburbs and exurbs, in what is known as the “two-hour telecommuting ring”.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecommuter
  • The practice of using telecommunication technologies to facilitate work at a site away from the traditional office location and environment. teleconference – Interactive, electronic communication among three or more people at two or more sites.
    shopfort1.com/t1terms.cfm
  • working with others via telecommunications technologies (eg, telephones, modems, faxes) without physically travelling to an office.
    www.nrdc.org/reference/glossary/t.asp
  • Telecommuting uses telecommunication technology such as the Internet to work outside of the traditional workplace. An individual may be on a company’s payroll, but perform his or her duties from the home.
    eca.com/terminology.html
  • An arrangement where an employee works either part or all of their workweek from a location other than the standard place of work (office).
    hrcouncil.ca/hr-toolkit/HRToolkitGlossary.cfm
  • telecommuter – A work-at-home computer user who connects to the corporate LAN backbone using remote access technologies.
    www.ohsu.edu/edcomm/vcs/glossary/
  • This may be a subgroup of Human Resource Policy. (To be decided whether it should be a separate keyword.)
    ccs.mit.edu/21c/iokey.html
  • The practice of working from home and communicating with your fellow workers using teleconferencing. Also known as teleworking: linked closely to …
    www.martech-intl.com/best2/glossary.htm
  • Periodic work out of the principal office, one or more days per week, either at home, a client’s site, or in a telework center; the partial or total substitution of information technologies for the commute to work. …
    www.jala.com/definitions.php
  • Working at home for a business. Data and documents are usually transmitted to and from a central office via computer, fax, and telephone.
    www.cybercitymommies.com/Glossary.html
  • Use of a telephone and/or computer system in the home that allows an employee perform job duties and to communicate with the office without actually traveling to and from work.
    www.thecallcenterschool.com/tools/glossary.aspx
  • Working at home but connecting to one s office by way of a computer network. Source: Learning Circuits
    www.deploypromis.eu/en/glossary-t.html

Do you like telecommuting?

*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 🙂

Home Based Jobs

Recently, I have received an enquiry from Rossa Deken.

I need to find a home based job because I am tired of office hours. Would you advice me what should I do?

Rossa, if you are reading this, this would be my reply to you.

The truth is everyone is tired of office hours.

The reason I become a freelance writer is because I hate working hours (9am to 6pm or similar working hours).

As I said, I used to work in retail stores and offices. I know it is difficult to work according to a set of working hours. If you work for yourself, at least you get to set your own working hours. The best part would be to go on a holiday at anytime you want.

I would suggest you to give freelancing a try, but don’t quit on your day job because:

  • If you quit now and your freelance work is not successful, you will be having a tough time because you won’t have enough money to support your living cost until you get a new job.
  • If you quit now and you can’t find any freelance work to do, at least you can still earn money from your current day job.

If you are sure you want to start freelancing, be sure to have enough money to support you for at least six months. Otherwise, don’t think about it at all.

As to finding a freelance job that is suitable for you, refer to this article.

I hope you can find the right path towards your dream career.

Regards,

*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 🙂

Q&A: How To Write and How To Charge

I got this question from a reader (Chin).

Hello Sarah, Was browsing thru your webpage and was impressed with your articles. Was wondering do often you write for companies (eg being AsiaPartTime.com) and how do you charge based on these freelance write?

Ok, so first of all, how do I write for companies like AsiaPartTime.

Some time ago, AsiaPartTime advertised on its own site that they are looking for freelance writers.

At the rate of RM10/article, it is a good start. So, I applied for the position. I sent in a few articles to the editor. The editor will select the articles that he/she finds interesting to be used on the site. Then, they make payment.

However, I have been guest blogging on AsiaPartTime’s blog for some time now. As a guest blogger, I did not get paid but I get a back link to my blog.

How do I charge as a freelance writer?

This depends on the assignment. Most of the time, I write for overseas clients. I would charge based on the hours I work but sometimes, I charge by the number of articles and the number of words per article.

There is no specific rates as you set your own rates.

Regards,

*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 🙂