A Step By Step Guide To Writing About Stuff You Know Very Little About

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There’s absolutely nothing wrong with writing only on a handful of topics, but what if a client asks you to write on a topic you know nothing (or very little) about? Can you afford to turn down work?

Before you find yourself in a position where you have to say no to a client, why not practice a little?

Here’s what I suggest:

1. What Will You Write About?

First, find something you’re not comfortable writing about. Yes, something you know almost nothing about. This can be anything from “how to earn money blogging” to “how to lose weight”. Anything goes, for as long as it’s something you’re not too familiar with. [Click here to read more →]

Popular and Better - Synonyms or Misconception?

In today’s society, where image is everything, it’s definitely easy to get carried away and end up thinking that a popular product or service is automatically better as well. Let’s try to look beyond the surface and ask ourselves if popularity should really be an important factor which needs to be taken into consideration when judging the quality of a certain product or service.

Popularity - An Important Variable?

On the one hand yes, assuming that, if a lot of people are using a certain product and are talking about it as well, it has to be good is common sense. Indeed, in most cases, popular products or services tend to be at least decent as far as quality is concerned. [Click here to read more →]

How To Balance Freelancing With A Full-Time Job Without Burning Out

It is possible to effectively balance your full-time job with freelancing - without going insane or burning out. I do it, and in this post, I’ll tell you how you can, too. Many of us begin freelancing while we are still employed in full-time jobs.

Here are some requirements and tips for staying sane while working the 9-5 and freelancing on the side.

  • Get help from others
  • Calculate your total work and billable hours
  • Become an efficiency ninja
  • Take care of yourself
  • Write blog posts in advance
  • Keep your two jobs separated
  • Take mini vacations

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Ten Ways to Optimize Your Software Experience

Today, software is an integral part of our lives – whether we are working on the web or on a school or business client-server environment that has all of the applications we must use. The following article features ten ways in which you can maximize your software experience, making order out of seeming chaos that can take place in the world of Information Technology:

  1. Install the default version of the application. Unless you have special needs, the default version of the software application should have everything you need. Also, in the download or installation process, the vendor has considered the best way to install the application on your machine, which means better performance.
  2. Install a Start Menu and Desktop Icon. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to locate the program you just installed on your machine! I have seen a few applications get installed into a deep directory within Program Files, and unless there is a Start Menu or Desktop Shortcut Icon, it is practically impossible to find the basic executable file that runs the program.

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Web/Graphic Designers Interviewed On VandelayDesign

Hi folks, just a quick post to let you know that Steven at VandelayDesign interviewed 10 web and graphic designers, some of them you probably already know. You can read the whole post on VandelayDesign.

Who got interviewed?

Hope you enjoy the interviews! Thanks to Steven for putting all this together and for inviting me :)

2008-03-23 Sunday Links Folder

Hi folks, how was your week? I hope you were able to meet all your deadlines and there’s not too much left on your to do list. I read many great articles this week that I’d like to share with you. Please take a minute to read these posts, I’m sure you’ll find them interesting.

But before we get to the list, Steve Mullen of StartUp BizCast is having a contest with some very cool prizes like:

  • A coupon code worth $360 that can be used toward a news release distribution from premier online press release newswire PRWeb.
  • A website SEO evaluation plus one hour of consultation from NetSearch Direct, a search engine and Internet marketing firm based in Richmond, Virginia. The value of this prize is $800!

[Click here to

Ten Great Technical Writing Tips

Technical writing is a skill that will not only help you to better understand a software or system that you are working with, but also will help you to build credibility before others in an organization, especially as a knowledge expert regarding the topic or areas you are covering in your documentation. Here are ten tips for improving your technical writing skills, and these may be applied to not only software, but also to internal processes and procedures that define how a company operates:

  1. Identify your writing goal. Many times when someone is explaining a system or a software functionality, he or she gets lost in the details of the system and the reader is not able to assimilate the details with the final goal of the documentation you are writing. Stay focused, and if you need, include a comment or two reminding the user of their final goal in reading the documentation.
  2. Keep screen shots small. Sometimes, technical writers or support personnel capture a whole screen when there is only a part of the screen that needs capturing. This will help the reader to assimilate the button or field you are discussing with the screen.

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Online Entrepreneurs And Responsibility

As far as more than a few online entrepreneurs are concerned, someone else seems to always be at fault. They blame others for the fact that their projects haven’t turned out as well as they had initially planned, they blame others for each and one of their flops as well as for the fact that they can never seem to catch a break. Is this really the way to go?

Let’s just say that for online entrepreneurs who seem to think that they are never at fault and are always finding other people to blame, success is not exactly around the corner. I’m sorry to break it to you, but you will be the only one losing out as a result of living in denial. Sure, you can choose hide in that fantasy world of yours, but your problems will not run away and you will, at a certain point, inevitably have to face them. [Click here to read more →]

What To Do With Dirty Money

Dirty MoneyThere are times when taking people’s money – even for a job you worked hard on – just doesn’t feel right. Some clients get a break because they needed help and you wanted to be generous or kind, but sometimes…

…sometimes a client wants to give you money and it just feels dirty.

You almost want to give the money back. “No, keep it. Thanks. No charge” you might say. You just want the project – and the client - gone. Come on. You know the jobs I’m talking about. Every freelancer has at least one memorable working relationship that leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

Think back. Think about the overly difficult projects that extended far over the original scope, the clients who just couldn’t be pleased, or ones that asked you rush and work overtime – and you did.

Think about those rare relationships when you really didn’t like the client’s attitude but felt obliged to do the work. How about when you said yes to a job just because you really needed the money? [Click here to read more →]

3 Simple Productivity Hacks For Web-Working Freelancers

When your freelancing business keeps you in front of a computer screen for most of your working day, it’s easy to fall victim to some of the time-honored productivity drains that have reduced many an entrepreneurial income. If you’re not careful (and just a little bit vigilant), things that don’t seem like such a big deal can really hose you at the end of the week when you’re under a looming deadline, wondering “Where the hell did all the time go?” Let’s take a quick look at three simple things you might already know about but just aren’t doing - and let’s quit leaving so much money on the table each month.

Hack #1: Create Your Cone of Silence

It goes without saying that when you’re interrupted, your productivity takes a nosedive. You get less done. So simple wisdom would tell you that keeping yourself from interruption is a sure way to improve your time “in the groove” … yet so many times we don’t take this to heart. We let email reminders pop up constantly. Instant messaging windows are up and running without an “away” or “busy” status. We check our stats. Again. Every time you’re interrupted by one of these drive-by communiques, you’re losing momentum. It takes you longer to get things done - and that makes your rate per hour drop through the floor. [Click here to read more →]