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Many People Want to Work from Home
Unfortunately, working from home isn’t as easy as some portray. Many individuals and companies are willing to tell you it is, if only you buy this book, program or software, their agenda is to make money from you.
A Bit about Who I am
I have no agenda other than to help people by what I have learned from nine plus years working from home trying to build a business online. I began this journey three years after retiring from a job I held with a company for thirty-seven years.
The company was downsizing and wanted older employees to retire with a package that was hard not to accept.
Because of medical conditions, my wife and I decided it was time to take PacBell up on their offer. I retired in December of 2003 and began my journey my way in February 2006.
Along my journey, I added other services because the company I was contract with asked me to edit a manuscript besides the reviews I was writing for them. Through that company, I began to contract for another company as a reader and writer.
I would read books and determine if a book was worthy of being printed and to write a review if my opinion was yes the story should be considered for publication. Almost the duties of an acquisitions editor.
I have interned as a copy editor for and online site and worked freelance from job boards. I mention this only as a bit of background of what I’ve done from home.
Work from Home
First, ask yourself why you want to work from home.
- Be your own boss
- More time for life (Family, friends … etc.)
- Something you feel qualified to do (Would you do it if you never received money for it? This is what passion is all about.)
- Make some extra money
Second, forget about life work balance if you want to grow your business and be able to afford to quit your 9 to 5 job. Until your work from home scheme is able to pay for your present lifestyle, don’t quit your day job.
Third and perhaps the most important, how many hats you are willing wear in your business.
Hats? Yes, hats. Let me list a few hats unless you have deep enough pockets to outsource them.
- Office manager
- Business plan writer
- Content writer
- Data Processor
- HTML manager
- SEO manager
- Social media manager
- Web designer
There may also have to wear other hats that may crop up while running a business. You must be quick on your feet and flexible. There are always challenges and opportunities to learn more about being a contract employee.
There may be state, county, and local licenses and taxes that may be required to run a business from home.
As a work from home freelancer, you will be responsible for health insurance, business insurance, records, keeping books for the IRS if you are in America. You will be paying quarterly taxes.
How will you conduct your business? You will need to consult an attorney to make a decision to be a DBA (Doing Business As), LLC (Limited Liability Corporation), or an S or C Corporation.
Each has pros and cons. I highly recommend you consult an attorney to explain the differences to you so can make an informed decision.
What do you need to Work from Home?
- High speed internet
- Computer with sufficient RAM and Hard drive space for business only
- A dedicated business telephone line
- A dedicated workspace free of distractions
- A separate business bank account
As you can see, working from home is far from as simple as some think. It is hard work and long hours to create a thriving home based business.
It is not all downside; there are many benefits to working from home, one needs to look at the reality of working for themselves in a home based business.
Any business is hard work and long hours to make is successful.
If you decide to go into business, think about what I’ve said here and be clear about what your motives for going into a home based business are.
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing
Being retired and living on a fixed income I don’t have the funds for other than DIY learning. One can read all the books in the world and practice but not learn the nuances of writing for readers, according to Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Easy reading is damn hard writing”. I am willing to put in the time to learn but some feedback in a course would be immense help in furthering my passion for the written word and possibly helping others in their writing journey, as I believe in paying it forward and do not believe that age should be a factor in one’s desire to be a writer.
I write reviews, blog, and answer any questions about freelancing or writing that I can and resource for what I don’t know all in an effort to pay it forward.
I like editing and reading. I would love to be a better writer, suffer from the dreaded inner critic, and build confidence in what I write with the goal on capturing the reader’s attention for a blog post, article, or daring to dream of the possibility of writing a story someday.
The real question is “Why do I Want to Write?”
For me, it is not a question of why, it is more that fact that I need to write for my own sanity. Something special calms the inner beast when the creative muse visits and allows me to exercise the mind and the creative juices deep within the recesses of the soul. When I am out driving, putting out the trash, lying in bed, or just about anywhere I am, thoughts of lines or plots just seem to come out of nowhere. When I am out running errands or just out with my wife, I notice people, places, and things that may be something to focus on for a story or poem.
I feel the need to write just as we need to breathe to live. Writing is life, life is writing; they cannot be separated. When I am not writing, I get depressed. There something about the solitude of being at one with nothing but language and how to use it to elicit emotions and thoughts by how the words are used that the reader can relate to and experience from the words on a page as they read the story created by the author.
To be able to write something that is like a child in a way, and share the joy, sorrow, place and time of the story. To give the reader an escape from their life for a few minutes or hours, where they are transported via the magic carpet of words on a page is what I as a writer hope happens.
The poems I write are a slice of life as I see it through creative eyes. I wrote a poem about a specific thing, yet readers saw different concepts of what the poem was about for them. I feel I did my job. They each got something out of it as their life experiences led them to an emotion. That is what a poem should do as far as I am concerned. To put into words life experiences and have the reader relate in some way that makes them feel something. The same goes for prose.
It is by writing that the authors fulfill some inner sense of themselves. At least for me, I find a sense of calmness that nothing else brings quite the same feeling. When I am writing, the rest of the world disappears and a unique place and time enters in its place. It is this strange sense of calmness that rejuvenates the inner grounding of the soul. I have literally spent hours editing, reading or writing without any sense of time passing.
There are stories to entertain, cause discussions, escape the pressures of real life, and more that comes from reading the works of authors. In the fast-paced world we live in, there is nothing better than to take some time to read a good book. Being a voracious reader myself, I may be slightly biased.
I write, therefore I am a writer. I had a short story published in a local weekly the “Osborne Joy” in Osborne, Kansas. Does this make me a writer?
If you have read to this point, I appreciate your time and hope my writing has engaged you.
Many people in business on the internet have heard the term “Content Marketing” but may not completely understand what the term means.
“Content Marketing – Formal Definition
Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
A content marketing strategy can leverage all story channels (print, online, in-person, mobile, social, etc.), be employed at any and all stages of the buying process, from attention-oriented strategies to retention and loyalty strategies, and include multiple buying groups.
Content marketing is comparable to what media companies do as their core business, except that in place of paid content or sponsorship as a measure of success, brands define success by ultimately selling more products or services.”
This may be a bit too formal for some. My definition of Content Marketing is this:
The creation of value added content (any medium such as a blog, website, social media, networking, etc.) that explains what you as an entrepreneur, freelancer or small business owner have to offer that is of benefit to your customers.
I would also like to add the definition of the term “copy” which I use quite often when writing about blog posts, articles, press releases (PR), etc.
According to the definition found in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Eleventh Edition “Copy” is:
4 a: matter to be set esp. for printing.
b: something considered printable or newsworthy – used without an article
c: text esp. of an advertisement
Copy is anything suitable for printing. Is a blog post suitable for printing? When you hit the post button, your post is electronically printed. Therefore, anything created that involves text is copy.
Content consists of video, eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, etc. Content is any media that positions you to drive traffic to your business with an audience looking for what you have to offer.
In subsequent posts, I will be covering more about the marketing aspect of content as it relates to your ideal customer.
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing
What do I mean pay to play?
Facebook, created years ago, has a growing membership in the multimillions. Facebook frequently changes their algorithms, with subsequent algorithm changes, organic page likes fluctuate as does post reach, unless an account holder pays for expanded reach. The more you pay the greater the reach, these costs for expanded reach range from five dollars to two hundred dollars. The more you are willing to purchase reach the greater the reach. Promotion and advertising reach will cost you whatever you can afford. The more you can afford the greater the reach.
What is Reach?
Reach simply put, is the number of people that will see your Facebook post or advertisement.
Is Pay to Play Right for Your Business?
First, no business should go into debt, to fund their business and reaching out for new customers and advertising. Going into debt to fund your business is one way you quickly go out of business.
NOTE: Never spend more than you can comfortable afford on your business from revenue.
If you are an entrepreneur, freelancer, or small business, how much can you budget for paying to play against revenue to run your business is an extremely important equation. This is part of your marketing budget expense. What can you realistically afford without leaving the business short of funding and operational expenses? All businesses must know this number at all times. Put your account hat on and keep a handle on your working capital and budget items.
Whether entrepreneur or freelancer, you are a business, this is something that you must keep in mind. You must also realize that the business income is not your money; the money belongs to the business for operation and growth, not for paying personal living expenses.
Under funding, is a major cause of businesses closing down. Can you afford to spend money you don’t have? Most people who spend more than they make are soon in deep financial trouble. Don’t be one of them!
If you plan is having money and time to be free by starting a business, don’t. For a business to be viable, you will be spending many hours, weeks, and months devoting both to the business.
There is a dramatic learning curve to creating a startup. Most startups cannot afford to outsource many of the day-to-day operations. In the beginning, these operations are up to you until the business can afford the costs of outsourcing which isn’t cheap.
This is what true pay to play is all about. You want to freelance, or create a startup; it is going to cost you to join the ranks of entrepreneur. Don’t spend what you don’t have from the business.
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Read the rest of this entry »
Working as a freelancer, I have found freelancing frustrating, depressive, and irritating to the point where I have thought of saying, “I quit!” This is when I need to walk away, regroup myself, and get back to learning more about marketing my services while working on any outstanding projects.
Most potential clients already have someone whom they trust offering the same services I do, so how do I find people willing to work with me, because of finances, there is less than a shoestring budget to work with. When living on a fixed income, there is never enough money to work with a mentor, purchase programs, travel expenses to conferences, lodging, food, and price of the conference ticket.
In hindsight, there are many things I would have done differently, age should not stop anyone wishing becoming an entrepreneur. Just do not quit your day job until freelancing will allow you to keep the lifestyle you are accustomed to.
Freelancers are independent contractors; you pay taxes, purchase insurance, need a space to work, pay for any licenses to run a business. Freelancers are entrepreneurs running a business, and the money is not yours, it belongs to the business and your business pays you a salary.
Freelancers need an accountant, or learn accounting to keep clear concise records in case of an IRS audit.
All entrepreneurs are liable for paying taxes, employee withholding, Medicare, sales tax, state taxes, business licenses, and possibly medical, dental, and vision insurance. This in itself can cause entrepreneurs more than their share of frustration.
Another thing that can cause freelancers ulcers is pricing their product or services to be competitive. When outsourcing, you will have to train your virtual employee to work the way you would.
If you would like help making your copy better, a review of your copy, or have any questions about working with a freelancer, please use the contact form.
The University of Hard Knocks teaches many lessons if one is open to learning.
At this stage of life, I have come to realize I just do not have the money needed to allow me to reach some of the goals I have set for myself. Therefore, I have made the decision to continue my writing journey while putting my services on the back burner; since I am not willing to create debt, I cannot afford to see what might happen, if anything does. It has not yet.
If I can help someone with my knowledge so their copy is the best it can be, I am more than happy to do so. There is no free lunch though, my services as editor writer will be available after proving how I might help a manuscript, or web copy.
I have always been inexpensive. For me, it is not about the money, but in helping someone to improve copy where needed.
I have edited manuscripts, worked as a copyeditor for Celebrity Café, written SEO web copy, ghostwritten articles, edited and written PR (Press Release).
Since my money is tight, DIY is the way I have been learning the intricacies of PR, marketing, book promotion, and freelancing from startup. The posts on this blog are about some of the lessons learned.
The posts are about being a freelancer, and running a business with limited funds. Unfortunately, my funds are limited to the point that I must apply my energy and time to the pursuit of my own writing.
I have writing projects that need my attention:
- A book about freelancing
- A book of quotes for writers
- A book of resources for writers
- A Sci-Fi with a hint of paranormal
- My four blogs
- Other subjects floating in my head
- Getting back to free verse
This post is neither a rant nor sour grapes about my life as you might think; it is a reality check by the person that is Robert Medak Freelance Writer, who tries to live a life of honesty, integrity, and a unique moral code, unique to me.
I try to live a life that has meaning for me, for I am the person that sees his reflection in the mirror every morning, faced with one provocative question, “Am I satisfied that I did my best the day before?”
Each day is a day to pay it forward and to help people rather than chase the “almighty buck.”
Can I improve my writing with each piece I write?
When I began writing, I would compare myself to other writers. That was a huge mistake on my part. I am an individual, and my writing will never be like someone else. That does however; mean that I should not strive to improve every time I put my posterior anatomy in the chair.
I can only compare me to myself, and I can demand I improve daily as a writer and a person.
Therefore, I shall move my writing to the front burner and work on my WIPs (Works In Progress).
If you need help making your copy better or have any questions, please use my contact form and we will work together.