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10 Resources for Beginning Freelancers

10 Resources for Beginning Freelancers

    The idea of making a comfortable living without leaving your home or putting pants on in the morning is an idea that makes many people drool all over their office clothes. No more commutes, no more company politics.

    There are negative aspects to freelancing—clients can be slow to pay or demand millions of revisions that decrease the quality of the product—but the positives by far outweigh the negatives. But, if you want to work for yourself and from home, you can do it.

    All you need is the right knowledge, the determination to make it happen, and the skills to deliver what you’re selling.

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    To that end, here are ten resources that’ll help you achieve this goal. If you do this right, you can craft your work life the way you’ve always wanted. I for one always hated meetings and phone calls that took hours to get through ten minutes worth of content; you can bet those were the first things to go when I found my feet as a freelancer.

    If you have a skill, you can do this too. If you’ve been at it for a while and nothing seems to be working, it’s probably because you’re missing some fundamental element of what is required to make this work. These resources can help you too. These are all resources I’ve used myself, whether it was to get a grip on how I spend my working day, invoice clients, or find jobs.

    I’ve included a few job boards in this article. If they aren’t job boards for writers, they’re job boards that cater to writers among others, and that’s because I can’t vouch for the quality of any job board that I haven’t used.

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    1. ProBlogger Job Board

    In all honesty, this was not the board where I found most of my freelance work, but it was the place I found the ad for this very website and subsequently got the gig, and thus deserves an honorable mention. The ProBlogger Job Board is a handy tool if you don’t just want to work from home, but want to work on the web, publishing your articles on blogs and various other types of websites.

    2. Freshbooks

    Every freelancer needs a good invoicing system, or they’d soon become overrun with a chaotic mess and plenty of unpaid bills. Freshbooks has been a pretty good option for many of my invoicing needs and there’s a free plan available. It’s got some cool time tracking abilities built-in, but I don’t use them myself.

    3. How to be a Rockstar Freelancer

    How to be a Rockstar Freelancer is a book by Collis and Cyan Ta’eed. It’s the bible for freelancers. Don’t get started until you’ve started reading this book. I spent a lot of time looking for a good reference and resource on all things freelancing, and Rockstar Freelancer covers just about everything you need to know. I know at least five six figure earners who, if asked how you should get started in freelancing, will tell you to get this book.

    4. FreelanceSwitch

    It would be a bit silly to mention Rockstar Freelancer and leave out FreelanceSwitch. FreelanceSwitch is an informative and popular blog that covers all things freelancing, whether you’re a writer, designer, developer or something else entirely. They also have a fantastic job board that costs $7 a month for a subscription, but it has resulted in more paying gigs for me than any other job board out there.

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    5. Billable

    Billable is a great time tracking utility for Mac OS X (all freelancers use Macs, didn’t anyone tell you?). In fact, it can be used to keep track of not only your hours, but every piece of work you do that needs to be invoiced, and even knock up the invoice for you. I use it to track each article I write with an affixed billing price, as well as my hours on jobs that are more about fulfilling a role as opposed to completing a project. I don’t do hourly billing, but keeping track of how many hours you spend on anything is definitely important as a freelancer so you can prioritize and schedule more effectively.

    6. Freelance Writing Jobs

    Freelance Writing Jobs is one of the most popular freelance writing communities on the web, and they publish very frequent job round-ups. The blog’s authors dutifully scour the Internet for job postings that pay decent rates and publish them in one convenient place. Priceless, both literally and figuratively speaking.

    7. Freelance Folder

    Freelance Folder is another great freelancing blog with useful content from a whole bunch of varied and experienced contributors. The blog was founded by Jon Phillips, who plays guitar in a rock band. C’mon, a site run by a successful freelancer who also plays guitar? What more could you want?

    8. Blinksale

    Blinksale is another cool invoicing service. I use Blinksale and Freshbooks pretty much equally and find both to be great services, and my having feet in both camps is mainly a matter of various clients being on one service or the other (though your clients don’t need to be using these services, it does make things easier). Like Freshbooks, there’s a limited free account available.

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    9. WebWorkerDaily

    WebWorkerDaily is a blog for people who work from the web, and it’s not centered around doing well as a freelancer so much as it is about making your web-working experience more pleasant and productive. It does cover freelancing to a degree, but you’ll also find out which new apps, web services, Firefox extensions and so on will make your life easier.

    10. Slife

    Slife is an app that tells you how long you spend in various apps on your computer. I use it as an analysis tool—should I swap Flock out for Firefox when I’m writing lengthy posts because of Flock’s inherently distracting and social nature? Slife lets me compare how much I switch from writing my article to using the browser during a given period and decide which is the more productive option. The saying time is money is more true for freelancers than employees, so tracking it and optimizing it are very important activities.

    More by this author

    Joel Falconer

    Editor, content marketer, product manager and writer with 12+ years of experience in the startup, design and tech digital media industries.

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

      More Tips on Getting in Shape

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

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