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4 Helpful Tips for Beginning Freelance Writers

4 Helpful Tips for Beginning Freelance WritersBy Angie Nelson

Freelance writing is one of the best jobs in the world if you love to write. The freedom to make your own schedule, work in the fields you love, travel to new places, meet amazing people, and truly make a difference with the written word is one of the draws of the profession. But this freedom does not come without some hard work and sacrifice – and a lot of planning. Your first six months as a freelance writer will be trying, a little scary at times, and will teach you many lessons about what works and what doesn’t.

However, these tips can help you make the most of your first six months as a freelance writer and avoid making some of the most common mistakes that new freelancers make.

Planning is Everything.

While you don’t want to get too caught up in the analysis side of things, you do want to make sure that you are making careful plans. There are many areas where planning is essential, but these are some of the best tips to follow.

  • Have a savings account that will cover at least four months of bills if at all possible.
  • Know where you’re going to prospect for work, which venues you are going to pursue, and how you’re going to track your income.
  • Organize your desk space and have a filing system, physical or digital, to help you track projects.
  • Set up a writer’s website. You can add credentials to it as you obtain them, but at least have a one-page site that acts as a digital business card.
  • Try to develop a loose idea of how you will structure your day when it comes to prospecting, working on projects, marketing, etc. While this will change from time to time, it’s more efficient to know how you intend to run your day.
  • Set up social media sites for your writing and tell everyone you know that you’re beginning your freelance writing career. Leads and clients come from the most unlikely places.

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How to Sip Your Way to Small-Business Success

How to Sip Your Way to Small-Business SuccessBy Cathi Nelson

Do you sip your coffee in the morning or gulp it down? Do you jump out of bed ready to take on the day, or are you a slow riser, needing an hour or so in your PJs before you get dressed? Do you drive like you’re in a race or take your time, enjoying the journey? Your answers to these questions are a great indicator of the type of person you are, and they can have an impact on your success as a work-at-home entrepreneur.

When you work in an office, there is a culture that exists and most of us intuitively adapt to fit in. Your day likely starts at 8 or 9am and ends around 6 or 7pm. Depending on your job description, you have clear work objectives and a rhythm to your day. Natural breaks occur when you head to the water fountain or get a cup of coffee. Then there is the lunch break whether in a break room or at your desk.

All of these day-in and day-out experiences create rhythm and routine that can contribute to your success depending on your personality. When you leave that environment to work from home, all the rules change. You get to be in charge of your time and destiny, and there are pros and cons based on your personality styles.

Something I have learned about myself over the years is that I am a risk taker and competitive. Both are great characteristics that have helped me start a business I love. Yet those same characteristics that keep me driven and focused can be detrimental in helping me maintain my business. (more…)

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Solid Advice for Buying an Established Online Business

Solid Advice for Buying an Established Online BusinessTell us a little bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey?

My entrepreneurial journey began the first time when I was 26 and was laid off from my job. I started a sales consulting firm and quickly fell in love with being self-employed. Back then I didn’t have the responsibilities of kids, a husband and a dog as I do now, so it was a good time to test the waters of self-employment.

I knew I’d come back to it again someday.

Fast forward almost 20 years, and I was a national sales manager in the consumer products world, doing the corporate grind. And when you have two kids under the age of 4 and you travel several times a month, it is a grind. Ever since they were born, I would look on business-for-sale websites like buybizsell.com and websiteproperties.com for web-based companies that I could purchase that would offer me income along with a better work/life balance.

Where did you hear about Business Among Moms and its sale?

I was subscribed to several sites that listed web-based businesses for sale, and I received the profile for Business Among Moms from Quiet Light Brokerage.

How are you making the platform your own?

When I purchased the company, it was a blog that primarily offered mom-owned businesses the opportunity to advertise on our website, Facebook page, and email list. After a year, I decided to change the business model and focus more on creating in-person communities for mom entrepreneurs. We now have 20 chapters across the country that host monthly networking events and an annual conference in the Seattle, Washington area. (more…)

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Why I Fired My CPA

Why I Fired My CPABy Jan Pinnington

Not all business relationships are mutually beneficial, and sometimes, no matter how much you may like the person you are working with, there comes a time when saying goodbye is the right thing to do.

Working through my incubator, I was given a list of local bookkeeping and CPA contacts to help me with my QuickBooks online bookkeeping.

Going down the list, I came across a female CPA that was close to my home office and also located in the same plaza as my neighbor’s fabulous restaurant. I was immediately drawn to 1. female, 2. local and 3. lunch!

I called to make an appointment to see if we could meet to determine if we would be a good fit. The office was small with a few pieces of Ikea-esque desk furniture when you first walked in – kind of a reception slash employee area. It was nothing fancy, but two friendly women offered me a beverage upon my arrival.

I waited for about 10 minutes because the CPA was running late – but as soon as she arrived, I was ushered into a boardroom, and we immediately hit it off.

The CPA was very energetic, intelligent and confident – all things for which I was looking. In fact, she made a point to say she worked with startup businesses and if agreeable to me, would send formal contracts for me to sign. I enthusiastically agreed, and we were off to the races. (more…)

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A HUGE List of Free Resources to Help Run Your Home-Based Business

A HUGE List of Free Resources to Help Run Your Home-Based BusinessBy Holly Reisem Hanna

Leaving the security of a steady paying job to launch a new business can be a scary endeavor. Even if you’ve planned and saved six months worth of living expenses, often it takes months to start generating income from your business.

And guess what?

Even if you don’t have money coming in, your business still incurs expenses to run smoothly. But don’t despair, there are tons of free tools, resources, and printables, so you don’t have break the bank.

Here’s a huge list of free business resources so you can focus on making money instead of spending it.

Your Website. 

Since you won’t have a brick-and-mortar location the heart of your home-based business is your website. Having a website allows people to window shop your services and products, it helps them find you via the web, and it conveys valuable information. Personally, I think it’s in your best interest to own your website (purchase your domain name and hosting), but if you can’t afford a website right off the bat, I suggest using a free option until you can afford to switch to a more robust platform.

A few things to note about free platforms. Usually you’re limited to small number of web pages, you’ll have limited bandwidth and storage, and often you’ll have a sub-domain. If you can spare $3.95 a month, I highly recommend setting up your own website with WordPress. Not only is it affordable, it’s extremely easy to setup and use and it will give you a professional looking website. (more…)

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