Monthly: September 2009

30 Sep

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How to Bag your First Ever Freelance Virtual Assistant Assignment

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The scenario in bagging each freelancers first freelance job assignment, regardless of their expertise, is never easy. In fact, it is always very tricky. The competition is as stiff as ever and if you are not up for the challenge— landing your first freelance job can make you feel very frustrated. One of the many areas in freelancing which poses these challenges is Virtual Assisting.

Virtual Assisting is a freelance job which has lots of field of specialization. To name a few there are data entry, appointment setting, word processing and bookkeeping. These are jobs that were traditionally done in an office setting, but are now being outsourced for practical reasons such as business cost-cutting. And, if it is a common job in the ‘real world’; it should be relatively easy to do it in the virtual world. Needless to say, if you are aiming for this job in freelancing, you can be confident that you are in for a greener pasture out there. Below are tips that will help you jumpstart your Virtual assistant career so you can eventually enjoy the good opportunities this new line of business pursuit has to offer.

  1. Define your interests and know your skills. Be certain of your goals and work on it. As mentioned earlier, you can specialize in this kind of freelance job and specializing will do you good. Not only will it allow you to set your own boundaries, it will also allow you to build a name and brand as a freelancer in the long run.
  2. Do your homework. Research and study to prepare. Be familiar with industry terms and be aware of your job description.
  3. Redraft your resume to satisfaction. Make sure to emphasize your relevant skills and work experiences. If you lack a relevant work experience, make sure to note any possible relationship to any of your activities and work experiences to the freelance job that you are aiming for.
  4. Prepare your place for success. Even if you are not yet hired for a freelance job assignment, make sure to already have the essentials handy— folders, cabinets, a printer— these are you investments. These are fairly cheap as compared to the hassles of travelling to and from work.
  5. Set up a realistic rate. By realistic we mean a rate that is affordable, but is also enough to pay for your own resources that you used for the freelance job (electricity bill and your time). You may have saved on travel fare, but these things replaced it. However, make sure to offer a competitive rate that a client will not dare refuse. A balance in this aspect of your career will back you up for a good and fair competition with other freelancers.
  6. Build your name by offering a service that buyers will be crazy to deny. Go the extra mile if necessary. Make sure to impress a future employer. Do it right the first time!
  7. Finally, be excellent and remain excellent. Landing your first freelance job assignment is no reason to be too self assured and be lousy. Remember that your feedback score counts in your pursuit for a constant stream of work. Similarly, a client’s feedback towards you can cost you a stable continuous business with him or her.
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29 Sep

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Freelance Job Opportunities for Bookeeper and Accountants

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The freelance job community has grown from a relatively small group of people enjoying the perks of working from home into a ‘variety of groups of professionals’ in need of opportunities to make good money out of their certified skills. Prior to the outburst of internet usage in business transactions, very limited freelance jobs are outsourced. Now, due to extreme technological advancements, even the most complex office responsibilities can now be taken into the homes of employees from around the globe – accounting and bookkeeping needs of organizations are one of these aforementioned tasks. What could be the reason behind such a surprising trend?

  1. Statistics show an increase in demand for accountants and bookkeepers who can excellently perform in their field of expertise. In fact, if you are to check your local classified ads, you will definitely see a huge ‘ad’ which will prove this notion. How is this fact related to this kind of jobs getting outsourced? Simple. An increase in demand will require an equal increase in supply hence a witty action from employers – freelance bidding sites exploration!
  2. The global financial crisis has also led a lot of business owners to look for cost-effective ways of meeting their business needs. Getting their accounting and bookkeeping needs outsourced as freelance jobs is one of the viable ways to find/hire people with cheaper rates and those who won’t cause much maintenance (read: benefits and office needs consumption).

The aim for this enumeration of the top two reasons for the sudden increase of freelance job opportunities for accountants and bookkeepers all over the web is simple: to get the word out that accountants and bookkeepers can now enjoy the same advantages freelance writers, programmers and web designers are able to enjoy – and this is an undeniable fact!

How to get started?

If you are a full time employed accountant looking through the option of finally practicing your profession within the comforts of your home, getting started in the virtual world of freelance jobs will no longer be as difficult as it is for a new graduate. This is primarily because freelancing as an accountant or as a bookkeeper is simply a matter of knowledge and experience. In fact, freelance jobs of this kind will be very much similar to the job that you have in the office (sans the boss, of course). Additionally, buyers will appreciate excellent ‘real world’ work experiences if you are to work on an assignment for them.

However, for the starters in both their profession and freelancing, succeeding in this pursuit is still very much possible. There are considerably few great deals for a buyer to gauge your capabilities and skills. This fact is in both ways advantageous and disadvantageous for you. You will no longer need to defend your lack of experience, but you will also lack much skills required to perform excellently which will hit your feedback score big time in the long run. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you take certifications which will both enhance your skills and your profile as a freelancer. Furthermore, those who have much to offer (relevant studies and work experience) are able to enjoy higher pay rates and interview invitations. Finally, freelance job opportunities have indeed grown into almost all employment verticals. So, should you wish to move out of your comfort zone, turn your life around a bit and skip your nine to five work schedule.

Happy Freelancing!

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28 Sep

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4 Tips for Student Freelancers

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There is definitely no doubt that there has been a great decline of work opportunities these days. The global financial crisis has led to an employment recession around the globe. The scenario: employees losing their jobs and graduates leaving college in uncertainty. Unfortunately, nobody is safe from its consequences; even clueless students.

Now, you may not entirely believe this notion as you may feel that students are not directly affected by this problem unless they work part time- you are wrong. Students will face one of the biggest burdens on this issue and that will be their inability to provide for themselves yet. Students will usually be entirely dependent to their parents- and their parents are not in any way safe from employment recession. Similarly, the job opportunities and the industries for whom they are studying for is never secured from this unfavorable employment situation. Thus, their future is affected and the need for them to be even more competitive for the industry and job for which they are preparing for is augmented.

If you are a student, you may already be frowning in sadness and in doubt now, but we assure you that there is no need to fret YET. Unless you don’t do something now, you have the virtual world of freelance jobs to back you up in this relatively difficult point in your life. Freelancing will not only allow you to have a source of income, but will also provide you with work experience relevant to your studies. This prepares you for the competition that you need to face right after you graduate. Afraid to plunge into the deep waters of freelancing? Here are 4 valuable tips to help you jumpstart your freelancing career in no time.

Have a CV handy.

A lot of people think that working on freelance jobs meant working in pajamas all the time- this is so untrue. Your distance from your client is no reason to be unprofessional. It is critical that you realize that you are a worker and you need to act like one whenever you transact with clients. This doesn’t only hold true in good grooming, but in client correspondences as well. Be it a simple chat or an e-mail, you will need to be a professional communicator. In this sense, you obviously need to start with a good CV and a cover letter! No job seeker will bag an opportunity without these essentials.

There are freelance bidding sites that will require you to complete a profile instead of submitting a CV. In such cases, you will need to complete your profile in the same manner as you would your resume. You need to make it as true, detailed and impressive as possible. These documents are a way to get your name and services out there. Therefore, make sure that they speak the best of you.

Your efforts not paying off yet? – No need to fret. Simply keep trying. The virtual world of freelance jobs is as competitive as the employment arena of the real world- you will be constantly asked for a relevant work experience. However, there are always ‘excellent firsts’ and it will be entirely up to your skills how you are going to be able to convince the client that you can provide them with such a positive experience.

Value client relationships.

As implied earlier, an impressive resume and a professional cover letter are your tickets to landing your very first freelance job- and once you have already jumpstarted your freelance career; expect to enjoy a constant stream of work from then on. And when that happens, the challenge starts. How does 4 freelance jobs while studying sound to you? Exciting and exhausting, probably. You may end up serving one religiously and neglecting the other. Worst, you may end up hurting your feedback score and overall ranking as a freelancer. This is a challenge, but you may choose not to be in such an unfavorable situation. All you need to do is to simply accept freelance jobs that you can handle and those that fit your schedule. Staying organized will also help.

Have a work time and a break time.

Similar to a regular job, all work with no play is no fun! Freelance jobs can occupy so much time PLUS your studies. You’ll need some slack time off work. In the same way, you also need to have your work time. Keep your schedule balanced and stick to it. This way, you’ll be able to avoid missed deadlines and burn out.

Learn, learn and learn!

A work experience in your resume alone is not enough to prepare you for the challenges of employment that you will have to face after you graduate. Acquired skills and good references are more important than a visually appealing CV. Therefore, take each freelance job as a learning opportunity. In fact, your ability to apply, to land and to keep a freelance job is already a valuable education that you get to keep for a lifetime.

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21 Sep

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Work at Home Moms on Spotlight

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How is it to be torn between a freelance job and a toddler?


The boost in internet and technology has given birth to a new breed of independent moms who have learned to earn despite being Stay At Home Moms (SAHM). This is through freelance jobs made available by freelance bidding sites and blogging. Now, they would be on our spotlight- not just to let them know that we salute them- but also to take into account why they are worth a spot on this page and how is it to be torn between a freelance job and a toddler.

We can never deny the fact that being a mother is a full time job that no woman can get away with. In this job, excuses and missed deadlines are fatal so extreme caution should be consistently exercised. Furthermore, being a mom alone is already difficult and exhausting. How much more if you are a woman working full time as a mom and working part time as a freelancer? How will you keep your sanity?

Stay At Home Moms (SAHM)

There are a lot of reasons moms already moved out of their comfort zones and tried their luck in the virtual world of freelance jobs. Three of the most common are boredom, a need for self-fulfillment through a career and a need for a source of income. Whichever amongst these may be a mom’s reason for staying at the comforts of their home while maintaining a career despite the difficulties that they encounter along the way, one thing is for sure- they have found that being a value provider for freelance jobs is a rewarding career and there is no way they are letting go of these opportunities.

We are proud to be Freelancer SAHMs!

I am a freelancer SAHM myself and I can attest that it is not easy to live the life of one. You have to be able to creatively juggle among your responsibilities to your husband, your children, to yourself and to your clients! Well, I consider this a challenge. In fact, taking my bath on time has also been a challenge to me ever since I started working on freelance jobs, but I am not complaining. Time management has been my constant companion throughout my work hours. After months of struggle, I am now able to find time for everything- from my daily bath, breastfeeding my baby up to working on both hourly and fixed price jobs. Therefore, it is to be noted that being highly organized is a skill that a freelancer SAHM has to develop. This is one of the advantages of being a ‘mommy freelancer’. Each challenging day is a learning opportunity which in itself is already self-fulfilling. The career and the attractive compensation for the hardwork are just a bonus.

Who wants to join?

Freelancing has indeed become an irresistible option for a lot of moms out there who are looking for something worthwhile to do while they spend their ‘loving time’ with their family. If you are one of these awesome moms and you think you are up for the challenge, feel free to visit freelance sites. After all, your ‘loving time’ is not supposed to be spent to your family alone. Self love is still an available option for a devoted wife and mother like you.

Happy Freelancing!

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15 Sep

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Global Freelance Market Trends – Aug 09

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If you are to consult a fortune teller just to be able to tell the future of freelancers, she will surely give you one ‘predictable’ answer— there shouldn’t be any worries at all on these home based workers’ end as earning opportunities through freelance jobs are here to stay. We suppose you remember this exact line from last month’s Global Freelance Market Trends – July 09′ post— well, we are surely not in a lost of words. We are just simply trying to put emphasis on an important fact: Freelance Jobs are a great source of stable income provided that you know where to get projects when you want them. Below are the lists of Top Demanded Skills and Top Searches for the month of August that will help you determine where your freelance career SHOULD be heading now.

50 Most Required Skills

There has been a sudden turn of events for Data Entry as it was replaced by MySQL on its spot on Donanza’s last month’s Top Demanded Skills. MySQL proved to be a rising freelance job as it moved from the sixth spot to the fourth on our current list. SEO also gave way to it by moving from the fourth spot to the fifth. Indeed, freelancers who are skilled on database management, particularly on a system such as MySQL, are undeniably in for some more freelance job opportunities in the coming months.

The movement in the trend is not that drastic at all that it is best to refer to it as a shuffle. This only implies one thing: If your skill is on a high-demand now, it is highly recommended that you continue to hone it in order to be a better value provider for the freelance jobs available for your skill rather than to consider a shift to a different skill that you find interesting at the moment. This is of course just an intelligent suggestion to a freelancer who wants a constant stream of work and income. However, if you do freelance jobs for the sake of being able to use your skills and to self-gratify, this piece of advice won’t really be for you.

DoNanza’s Index Skills Trends – August 2009
#Rank Skill #Rank Skill
#1 PHP (-) #26 Illustrator (+4)
#2 Website Design (-) #27 XHTML (+8)
#3 Graphic Design (-) #28 C/C++ (-3)
#4 MySQL (+2) #29 Blog (-2)
#5 SEO (-1) #30 XML (+2)
#6 Flash (+1) #31 Data Processing (-9)
#7 Data Entry (-2) #32 Research (-4)
#8 CSS (-) #33 Excel (-)
#9 Copywriting (-) #34 Script Installation (-3)
#10 HTML (+1) #35 Sales (-6)
#11 WordPress (+1) #36 iPhone (+1)
#12 Javascript (-2) #37 Link Building (-14)
#13 Photoshop (+1) #38 Proofreading (-2)
#14 Logo Design (+2) #39 e-Commerce (+3)
#15 Joomla (-) #40 ASP (-2)
#16 AJAX (+1) #41 Technical Writing (+35)
#17 Marketing (-4) #42 Video Service (+2)
#18 .NET (+1) #43 Linux (-4)
#19 Content Writing (+7) #44 Facebook (-1)
#20 SQL (-) #45 Drupal (+8)
#21 Web Promotion (-3) #46 Lead Generation (+5)
#22 Social Networking (-1) #47 Telemarketing (+1)
#23 JAVA (+1) #48 Internet Marketing (-7)
#24 Advertising (+23) #49 Animation (+23)
#25 Article writing (+9) #50 C# (+34)

You may be wondering what the green and red numbers across each skills are for. These numbers are the movement determinants. Through them, you will be able to tell which skills made tremendous leaps on freelance job demands (the green ones) and which ones failed to maintain a good standing on clients’ needs. Amongst those who have made noticeable improvements are technical writing, c#, advertising and animation which number climbed up our list by 35, 34 and 23 slots respectively. Temporary poor performers for this month, however, surprisingly include link building, data processing, internet marketing and sales which demand dropped from our list from the relatively high number of 14 down to 6. This should be no cause for any apprehension though because as it was already mentioned; freelance jobs are here to stay. A favorable trend or a sudden decline on a demand for a skill is perfectly normal— what’s not is you taking it against your own career. No matter how limited your skill has to offer, you are still the manager of your profession. Look for work; they won’t look for you.

10 Most Popular Searches

10 Most Popular Searches
#1 Graphic Design
#2 Writing
#3 Software Dev.
#4 Web Dev.
#5 PHP
#6 Translation
#7 Web Design
#8 iPhone
#9 SEO
#10 Multimedia

Now, we’ve come to the moment of truth. What do you think is the best way to determine if your skill has its appeal to clients? Check our month’s Top Searches! Similar to Donanza’s August Top Demanded Skills list, our Top Searches list has not had much movement. It has just been literally shuffled. It is, however, notable that admin support has been replaced by multimedia on our top ten, but this does pose any possible source of worry to admin support freelancers at all. This simply appears to be a ‘seasonal’ movement to be expected from time to time. After all, freelance jobs never promised stability.

Constant stream of work and earnings are still highly dependent on the freelancer’s competitiveness and resourcefulness. Needless to say, no matter where your skill is on Donanza’s Top Demanded Skills and Top Searches list, it is still entirely up to you to be able to find and ‘bag’ freelance jobs and gigs for yourself. Therefore, equip yourself with the knowledge and proficiency your career field requires— and explore bidding sites such as www.donanza.com which collectively gives you all the opportunities available across the web— and you are surely going to be staying the world of freelancing for a long time while loving it.

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