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

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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! :)

Important Qualities of a Successful Writer Part 1: Stamina

I came across an interesting article at All Freelance Writing regarding what is most important when you are a freelance writer. It was written by Rebecca Garland and she just made an interesting comment about the qualities that one needs to be successful in one’s writing career. She actually mentioned three points but I think I will just concentrate on 2 (as I have previously written an article about the third). Let’s split this article in two so you can focus on one trait at a time.

The thing about freelancing is there is no certainty to the compensation and the stream of projects. One minute you are full of projects and another you have none. You need to work hard every step of the way because unlike corporate jobs, you don’t get paid vacation leaves or any other benefits. When there is no work, there is literally no pay.

I still believe that it is a great career but you need to have the determination to make it through. You don’t just sit around waiting for someone to hire you. The key is to have the following traits as discussed by Ms. Garland.

Important Qualities of a Successful Writer Part 1 Stamina

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The first trait that she mentioned is the need to have stamina – which I agree 100%. She mentioned having to wake up at 4am because it is the only quiet time at home. I do the same thing but not as early. I wake up at 6am everyday because I want to do as much as I can before my son wakes up to wreak havoc at home. (That’s an exaggeration of course. My son is a complete angel and he’s well behaved.) But nevertheless, you need to be able to make the proper physical sacrifices to be able to achieve your maximum earning potential.

She also mentioned that having the ability to write well is one thing but it is not enough. If you want to build your career around your writing skills, you need to be able to write well on command. That is very important and I completely agree with it. If you are the type of writer who needs inspiration and all that, you may find it hard to get the creative juices flowing when it matters the most.

In the next article, we will discuss the second trait that you have to possess: flexibility. In the meantime, exercise your stamina so you get to maximize the potential of your writing career.

On Working Overtime at Home

On Working Overtime at Home

Some of you will cringe at the thought of working overtime and who likes it anyway?

As a general rule, I always inform my clients (especially the new ones) of my preferred working hours. I never go for clients who would require me to work during their local 9-5.

On Working Overtime at Home

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I also tell them that I’d rather not work during the weekends and that is stated at the beginning of our partnership. In the event that I had to work during the weekends, that is only because it was on offset of a weekday that I was unable to accomplish my task. I wanted my weekends to be free for family time and household errands.

When you work from home, you need to be organized about your schedule to make sure you do not miss out on anything. You need to specify your availability to your clients so it is clear when they should expect output from you.

While working overtime may increase your profits, it may be at the cost of family time or your health. Try to keep in mind why you started working from home. If that is to be with your children, then make sure this new career will not hinder that from happening.

When It is Alright to Work Overtime

While that is true, there are cases wherein putting in longer hours is expected. If you are new at freelance writing, you can expect that you will find yourself working overtime a lot. This is understandable because you basically have no market yet. You need to grow your client base and build your online portfolio.

When I started working from home full time, I had to work overtime and I tried not to be too picky about my project choices.

Price was also one of the reasons why putting in longer hours seemed acceptable. A high rate was not really something that you can negotiate just yet when you are starting. I was working through the oDesk platform and a lot of clients will not take a second look at your application unless you have had a couple of successful projects to your name. Only a few clients will take note of you. These are the clients who will offer a really low price for your services. To reach my financial quota, I had to take in more jobs and that meant working overtime.

But as I was able to build my work history and portfolio, I started to be strict about my schedule. I tell my clients the time and day of the week that is allotted for their projects. I am quite transparent in telling them that I have other clients and that I need to stick to my schedule to make sure I attend to all my responsibilities.

While I think it is every contractor’s right to charge extra if they are forced to working overtime, this is something that I do not practice. That is probably because my working arrangement with most of my clients gives me the flexibility to work anytime – as long as I complete the time requirement for the week. I usually say no and I haven’t been put in a position wherein I was forced to say yes. There were instances wherein I said yes – but these were clients that I have developed a respectful friendship with – having worked with them for more than a year already.

Your client cannot force you to working overtime and use up your family time. However, that is really under your discretion. Granting them a favour may benefit you. If it is only 3-4 hours, that may not be too bad to give in to. It’s your choice.

Earn At Home

Earn at Home

Earn At Home

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Wanting to earn at home is something that most of us dream of. There is nothing like staying in the comfort of our own home and at the same time, earn a living out of it.

There are several benefits when you know how to earn money from home.

1. You usually work at your own pace (unless your employer wants you to work online at specific hours).

2. You do not have to dress up for work. You can even wear your PJ’s to work! I’d say you don’t even have to brush your teeth before starting work everyday but that would be really unsanitary. (Though I’m pretty sure some of us working from home are guilty of this!)

3. You won’t have to worry about traffic or getting wet when it’s raining. (I love this!)

4. You get to stay with your family 24/7. As a mom, this was actually my main reason for wanting to have this work arrangement.

I could go on until the list is endless but you get my point. Bottom line is, it’s great if you have work online that allows you to earn at home.

Earn At Home Hindrances

As great as it is to earn at home, not everyone feels that they can make it in this arena. That may be true, but I don’t think that has anything to do with limited opportunities. On the contrary, a lot of the people who are hindered by finding ways to work online are just plain scared.

Let me list the common reasons why people get scared and why they shouldn’t be.

1. Financial Instability. If you are afraid of the instability in terms of finances, you can always start part time. I did at first. It took a bit of getting used to and some sacrifices too. I had to practically work a double shift but that was because I knew I could take the additional work load. You can try it a couple of hours a day. Just be patient and determined and you will be able to find a great employer online. My tip is, work on this part time until you are sure that what you are getting off of it is big enough to support your lifestyle.

2. Technically Challenged. Some people are afraid of trying it online because they believe you have to be knowledgeable of the technical aspects of the Internet. If you think that you need to know the HMTL codes and stuff – you don’t! Besides, there is nothing that you can’t learn through the Internet. I mean, I knew nothing when I started except to makes sense of a couple of words. That was why I entered a writing career. But beyond that, I knew nothing. Also, a lot of the applications now are user friendly. Or you can ask someone to teach you how. An online colleague taught me the basics of WordPress and here I am trying to run my own blog site. Learning is easy if you have the perseverance to go after what you want to know.

3. Unsure of their Online Career. This is a bit more difficult to explain actually. There are certain careers that cannot be translated online. But if you focus on your skills, you are bound to find something. If you came from sales or marketing, your skills can work in Affiliate marketing and sell stuff online. If you are an artist, you can be a graphic artist. If you are into real estate, you can use the same principle and go into buying and selling websites (that is like dealing with virtual real estate). Your real world career does not have to influence what you can do online. I was a product developer of underwear products for more than 5 years. But I knew I had skills in writing so I started working as a freelance writer. One online employer taught me how to write SEO articles and the education continues through practical application. My current employers don’t really care that I was in the retail industry before. As long as I can deliver the task they set upon me, they will pay me.

I’m not trying to sell that when you earn at home, it is a lot better than doing so in corporate offices. There are people who are built for this career path while there are others who thrive in real world offices. It all boils down to where your personality is best suited for – not to mention your priorities and what you are willing to give up for them.

I am just saying that whatever reason is hindering you from pursuing this path (even if it is what you really want), we can probably find a way to go around your fears.

So let me know your excuse. Let’s work on it together.