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Freelance Writing Supplies: What you need, Where to Shop

One of the biggest benefits of being a freelance writer is that you do not need to spend a lot of money on supplies, office space, and other items. Imagine the startup costs involved with leasing office space and filling it with all the necessary items. When compared to those of a freelance writer, you will see that there is a huge difference. With that being said, there are some freelance writing supplies that you need. If you know what they are and where to shop, you should be able to load up and forget about them for a few months.

Although it may not be considered a supply in a traditional sense, every freelance writer needs a quality computer. I started my career using a Compaq laptop but upgraded to an Acer desktop after a couple of years. Both of them have treated me well, and I still use the laptop when traveling. Remember, computers are not nearly as expensive as they once were. You should not have any problems finding a quality computer, laptop or desktop, for $500 or less.

Where can you shop for a good computer? I purchased both of my units at Circuit City. Of course, this is not your only option. There are many other electronics stores, such as Best Buy, to choose from. And of course, you can shop online as well. Additionally, if you are on a tight budget do not be afraid to shop for a pre-owned computer.

To go along with your computer, you will also want to purchase a printer. This does not have to be anything special because you will not be printing a lot of documents. That being said, you definitely want to get something that is high quality and reliable. With both computers that I purchased, a printer was included for free. Circuit City is always offering deals like this, so be sure to keep your eyes open if you are in the market.

Now for some less expensive freelance writing supplies that will be sitting on or near your desk. Here is a list of the items that are surrounding me right now: pens, pencils, rubber bands, paper clips, sticky notes, printer paper, stapler, and a calculator. Of course, I may be missing a few things, but these essentials help to keep me on track day in and day out. All of these supplies can be purchased at an office supply store, or a retail outlet such as Wal-Mart or Target.

With the above freelance writing supplies you will always have what you need to make the most of your career.

3 Comments »Freelance WritingMay 31st, 2008

Freelance Writing Jobs: Can you ever be too busy for more?

What does your current freelance writing workload look like? Do you have the time to take on a few more jobs? When it comes down to it, you need to know how much work you have on your plate at all times. Believe it or not, there may come a time when you are so busy that you have to think twice about accepting new work. If this time comes, would you have the nerve to turn down a job? Some freelance writers would say yes, whereas others have no qualms accepting as much work as they can find and then working more hours to complete the projects.

Personally, I do not like to turn down good freelance writing jobs. The keyword in that sentence is good. At this time, I have a nice workload and feel comfortable that I can service each client with a high level of quality. With that being said, I am confident that I can find time to add new clients if the job is right. On the other side of things, I do not like to add low quality or low paying work if I am near full capacity. Doing this will only bog me down, and more than likely force me to spread thin.

The way that you approach this situation depends largely on the stage of your freelance writing career. As a new freelance writer, I was willing to accept as many jobs as possible because I simply wanted to build my resume and get my foot in the door with as many clients as possible. But as time went by, I found that being more selective worked to my advantage.

Generally speaking, I will never turn down a quality freelance writing opportunity if the client and pay is right. I would much rather work longer hours than tell a quality client that I have no time for them. Remember, each job that you accept is one that can turn into more work in the future. But if you turn down a job, there is a good chance that the client will never ask you for help again.

All in all, the work that you accept depends on how many clients you currently have, the amount of time that you have available, and what you are trying to accomplish. 

2 Comments »Freelance WritingMay 30th, 2008

Work Now, We’ll Pay what we want later

Have you ever seen a freelance writing ad asking for writers to submit work without any idea of how much they will be paid? These “clients” ask you to submit content to their specifications and at that point they will decide what to pay you based on how much they like your work. Over the past few months, I have noticed that more and more of these jobs are popping up on freelance writing sites. The question is: are some freelance writers really falling into this trap?

Personally, I see no possible benefit of working with a client who sets forth this guideline. The problems with this setup are simple. First off, you have no idea what type of budget the client has in mind. You may be thinking that you can make $100 for a 500 word article just to find out that the client only wants to send $2. To go along with this, most of these clients are not going to pay more than they have to. In other words, even if you submit a great piece that you researched for hours on end, you are probably going to receive the low end of the pay scale.

My advice for accepting these kinds of jobs is simple: do not do it. If a client is worried about the quality they will receive, the easiest way around this is to ask for past work samples; not to pay what they want once the work is sent. There is nothing wrong with responding to these types of ads, but you should definitely negotiate for better terms such as a set fee per article, as well as at least half payment upfront.

I have no idea why “work now, we’ll pay what we want later” is becoming so popular. My only guess is that some people have had success posting these ads, and now it is beginning to catch on among others. While it is possible that a job like this could work out in the end, it is a risk that I am not willing to take. There are plenty of clients who are willing to tell you how much you will be earning, while also paying some of the money upfront. You do not need the headache and stress of waiting to see how much money a client thinks your work is worth.

1 Comment »Freelance WritingMay 29th, 2008

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