How To Manage Your Time As A Freelancer

woman holding a clock

Time management is an important aspect of a freelancer’s life – especially for stay at home mothers. You need to learn how to balance your time because when you are not working, you are not earning. At the same time, you need to take care of home-related responsibilities that were the very reason why you opted to work from home. If you try to obsess about it, you will realize that you will never have enough time to finish everything. In most cases, you might even overwork yourself.

That had been one of my struggles for the past few months.

Now I am not going to make excuses for my long hiatus but let me just give you a brief scenario of the reason why it took me 7 months to update this blog site..

My 3 year old son started going to school and the mother in me just couldn’t help but feel very excited for this new milestone in his life. We also enrolled him in summer school to see if he can skip one year and proceed to Junior Kinder. Well he passed (Yipee!) and all the hard work paid off. I am brimming with pride and joy and I just want to share what I have learned for the past couple of months.

Obviously, time management was a big issue for me while my son was in school. He is at an age wherein he cannot be left alone in school. That meant I had to stay with him and the waiting eats up my precious time. But since I’m committed to guide him and be a supportive mom, I am not complaining. But it does bring up some issues about how I can manage my time better as a mother and a freelance writer.

The thing is, when my son started to go to school, a lot of job offers suddenly poured in. If you work on oDesk, you should know that there is this new feature wherein you get invites for interviews. Well I got a couple and it became a struggle between the mom and freelancer in me as to whether I should accept them or not. I was tempted to decline and focus on my son’s schooling but I knew that my husband and I needed the extra income to save up for my son’s tuition.

This is where time management became a real savior in my freelancing life. I knew that I could not sacrifice the attention that my son needed but I also had to boost the freelancing jobs that I had to take on. So here are the things that I did to cope with what could have been a chaotic time in our household.

  1. I put everything on schedule. Before the start of every week, I wrote down all the projects and chores that I had to accomplish and plotted everything in my schedule sheet. That way, I knew what had to be done the moment I woke up, while my son was sleeping, etc. I was very detailed at first and I found myself consulting this sheet every now and then. I set at time limit for each project and task to make sure that I finished them on time.
  2. I built my schedule on my priorities. I had to weigh the important tasks and this time, it was my son’s schooling. I built my freelancing career and household chores around that time to make sure that the priorities will not be compromised.
  3. I took note of those that were not my priorities. I ranked my tasks to identify which of them can be given up. That way, when certain tasks took longer than planned, I knew what to give up or move to another day.
  4. I did not obsess about the changes. Now this did not happen immediately. I initially, became upset when things did not go according to my schedule. But I soon learned how to let go of the things that I could not control. I just made sure that my schedule have some free time that can be used for the tasks that I needed to move because some projects took longer to finish.

If you find yourself faced with a lot of things to do, planning really goes a long way. This is how time management helped me be there for my son and at the same time, allowed me to put in more time on my freelancing career to save up for his tuition fee.

How about you? Do you have time management issues in your work?

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4 Best Work At Home Forums Part 3: Work-At-Home Mom Support Forum

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We are down to our last work at home forum in this 3 part article series. So far, we have discussed Digital Point Forum, Warrior Forum and Why Do Work Forum. In case you have not yet found the forum that you want to join, you may find better luck with the last one.

Work-At-Home Mom Support Forum

Work-At-Home-Mom support forum is a popular site the specifically cater to mothers who wish to find an online career. WAHM provides the job support page where you can search for the best Internet-based careers in your state. Another thing that you can find here are business job posts that you can select from. You can get professional tips and advice from the site through blogs and articles.

The forums and discussion threads also provide announcements about site-related issues – most of which can be found in their Getting Started forum. If you have started your online business, you can promote that online by posting, advertising and displaying your social network links. WAHM has a Professions forum where you can browse job opportunities by specialization. It will allow you to narrow your search by focusing on discussion threads of the niche that you want to look into.

More than that, there are also discussions about sales in different categories, saving money, and WAHM life. You can get tips from actual experiences of the other members and you can return the favor by submitting your own experiences too. The site also has a help forum where you can specifically post questions to help you maximize the tools and resources available online.

That caps off the 4 work at home forums that you might want to look into for help as you embark on the wonderful world of online freelancing.

Always remember that these websites are discussion forums and that means you must abide by the rules of each site. To keep yourself from being banned or considered as a spammer by the administration, you have to fill out important details about yourself. These are done in the strictest of confidences. Feel free to join different forums and just be honest about your information to avoid being marked as a spammer. Read the rules, be sincere and observant as you go through each thread. Forums can be a gold mine of information – you just have to know how to look for them.

When you think about it, these forums will not only give you the information that you need about online jobs, it will also help you make a lot of friends. Joining a community board is like joining  a club. You are entering a group that share the same interests as you are in hopes that you can enjoy and enhance your skills with those who share your passion.

Work at home jobs help you set up a very promising online career. In order to find online opportunities, you need to be patient in exploring the web.  Discussion forums are a great source of help for someone looking for an online career. So pick a forum and join in on the discussion. You don’t have to limit yourself to the 4 forums that we have discussed in this article series.

Good luck!

4 Best Work At Home Forums Part 2: Warrior Forum and Why Do Work Forum

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This the the second article in the 3 part article series about work at home forums.

In the last article, I shared with you a review about Digital Point Forum and how it can help you jump start your work at home career. As promised, let’s discuss two more forums that you may want to look into for information as you start building up your earning capabilities at home. See if your specific interests and requirements will be satisfied in these forums.

Warrior Forum

Warrior Forum specializes in Internet Marketing. Here, you will see various ideas and information about the constantly changing rules and techniques about online marketing. The thing about being an Internet Marketer is you need to make sure that the site, products and services you are promoting online will always be visible in search engines. If you are looking for information from people who are really doing the “legwork” – go to Warrior Forum.

The members of this website consists of web experts that will help you solidify your career online. They have been there, done that and are continuing to explore this ever changing domain. So if you want to keep abreast of Internet developments, you might want to be a member of this community.

Typical discussions include social media marketing, mobile marketing, writing, advertising and other popular ways to make money online. There are also private forums available are specifically for registered members only.

Posts about Warrior Forum events, support and plug-in profit site support are also available here. So if you are very interested in Internet Marketing, you might want to hang out in this forum.

Why Do Work Forum

Why Do Work forum is a bit of a quirky name but it is still one of the best communities online. The work topics are categorized properly and among them include work from home advice, tips and support, and business discussions. There are also general chat forums and an introduction category that will help you maximize the benefits of the forum.

There is a job leads category where you can discuss your skills and hopefully find work as a freelance writer, transcriptionist and other virtual office related jobs.

You can ask questions about different employers too – and you can very well expect honest and sincere answers. This will help you when you are doubtful of the credibility of a client. Scam reports and scam prevention are aslo topics that you can find in Why Do Work. While the opportunities are great, there are malicious employers online who will run away with your output without paying you. This forum has a specific category to help educate you on how you can keep yourself from being a victim.

Why Do Work Forums also provides tips on how to make money online, advertising and promotion of your business products and services, webmaster resources and advice. You can also find articles with the special offers – but this is mostly available only for the registered members.

In the third part of this series, I will be discussing the last (but certainly not the least) of the 4 work at home forums. I will try to keep the wait from being too long for this third article.

Till then! :)

4 Best Work At Home Forums Part 1: Digital Point Forum

keyboard with JOIN key

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Nowadays, work at home jobs are in greater demand.  A lot of skilled workers are trying to build a part time or full time online career. Why? It is because of the higher opportunity to earn more at your own time and in your own pace. At least that was one of my reasons.

In developing your online job, you need to have a starting point wherein you can gather basic information, advice and tips. When I started my freelancing career, I knew next to nothing about working online. I had a good friend (who is now my sister in law!) teach me the basics but I still had to do a lot of self studying. She introduced Odesk to me and I while I got a lot of useful information from her, we worked on different niches. She couldn’t really help me develop the specific skills I needed to be an effective online writer. That is why I had to seek out other sources of information that will help develop my knowledge of writing in this domain.

One of the portals that really helped me are work at home forums. A forum is a social networking site or community board wherein you can exchange ideas and information with people who share the same interests as you. Naturally, I gravitated towards online writing forums.

In this three part article series, I’d like to discuss in detail 4 work at home forums that you can look into while you are starting your online career. These websites have a high page rank that makes them an authority site for remote workers.

Digital Point Forum

Digital Point forum is a website that receives a lot of traffic or visitors every month.  In order to sign up at Digital Point, you need to use your existing Facebook account – at least, if you want to automatically fill in your information. Of course, that will link the forum to this social network site and you can see updates from the forum even as you browse your Facebook account. If you don’t like the link, you can simply put your preferred email address instead and fill in the details needed manually.

After registering, you are obliged to read the rules of the Forum. I really suggest that you read them because failure to comply could get you banned from participating.

In this site, you can start new forum topics and search for the necessary information about online opportunities such as advertising, business, marketing and other online freelance jobs. The topics are categorized, thus it is important that you post your topic according to the appropriate category. Otherwise, your topic may not be approved by the admin and you could lose the information that you can get from the other professionals in the forum.

Also, you can also chat online with the other members of the site. That will help you increase your network and possibly even gain you friends. At Digital Point forum, you can view the different posts about payment processing, social networks, SEO, ecommerce, affiliate programs, pay per click advertising and many more online opportunities. Digital Point product and tools, reviews and feedbacks are also available so I highly recommend it to newbies.

In the next part of this series, I will be discussing other forums that you can look into.

Till then! :)

Real Ways To Earn Money Online

Are you looking for real ways to earn money online? Working from home is a great opportunity for every mom, whether you choose it as your part-time or full-time job. The benefits in my work includes a chance to earn a greater income, freedom to express my work habits and more importantly, manageable time to between my work and family.

At first, it will be difficult to find a promising web career that fits your ability and skills. But that’s the thing, you must focus on your strengths and expertise. This is the reason why I have shared here the different means in making money through the use of Internet; to help everyone find the niche that they belong to and grow their online careers from home.

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Here are the examples of real ways to earn money online:

IT Specialists. This career consists of information and technology professionals such as computer software engineers, specialists, programmers, analyst, administers, designers and many more. It requires specific IT knowledge and skills in order to work as a freelancer. You have the option to work with an agency or company – as long as they operate online. After all, the goal here is to build your career from home. In this category, the level of knowledge and skills about the Internet and all the technical aspects of it is very important. If you are proficient in the field of Information Technology, then you can find work in this niche.

Blogger/writer. Freelance blogging and writing belong in the same category. In this job, you must have the ability and skills in writing and communicating to readers through text. You can look for a specific client who is seeking for a blogger/writer for his/her business. Nowadays, many sites require a writer to build up their content. Just like a window display will attract customers in a mall boutique, the content in a website will encourage visitors to explore the business even further. If you are passionate in writing (like me!) and you want to earn more money, then I highly encourage you to pursue this online career.

SEO Specialist. Search engine optimization is another way to earn more income through the Net. The whole idea is to make sure the website you are working on will rank high in major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. In this field, you must be knowledgeable in linkbuilding, social media marketing, content writing, video submission, bookmarking, etc. The only requirement for this strategy is to follow the portal updates like Google Update, to remain on the top of the (SERP) Search Engine Results Page. There are many agencies or companies that contracts SEO jobs for the freelancers and even for the SEO companies.

Tutors/Teachers/Translators. In this work, the demand is to be an expert on different languages, especially in English, which is a common language in most countries. Tutorial and teaching language is possible through services like Skype. In translation, you must be knowledgeable of one or more languages to translate audio files or documents of your customer. Business companies and even individual students from other countries hire tutors and teachers who work remotely from home.

Customer Service Support. Today, business companies hire customer service representatives to help handle direct customer relationships. You can be a freelance customer service representative if you have the experience in the field. You can remotely provide customer service support for clients and their business products and services. This work can transpire through phone calls, emails and live chats. You have to be equipped with the necessary data of the website and the products of services being offered. If you are a great communicator, have a charming personality and blessed with superhuman patience (for irate customers!) then this is a great career opportunity for you.

Anywhere in the world wide web, you can search for real ways to earn money online. But, always remember that there are many scammers in the net who are looking for victims. Some of them will just leave without giving payments or exploit your skills for their own profit. If you don’t want that to happen, you need to be wise and smart. References such as blogs, articles and discussion forums are examples of citations for the information about scammers.

I hope that this list of professions will help you build up your work from home career.