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Archives for July 2010

Would You Risk Losing 90% of Your Blog’s Visitors by Switching to a Paid instead of a Free Model? I Would and Here’s Why

Yesterday on Twitter, I had an interesting exchange with a fellow tweeter. She’d tweeted a link about the Times losing almost 60% of its readership when online readers were asked to sign up/register on the site in order to access material. …

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Writing for SEO: Is It Better to Cultivate a Niche, or Not?

A couple of weeks ago, I received the following email from a, shall I say, frustrated SEO writer. She wrote:…

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Freelancing Internationally: A Freelance Writer from the UK Works from the Caribbean as a Travel Correspondent for an International Company

Original Title: Freelancing Internationally: Travel Correspondent for an International Company (Working for the United Kingdom)

As I’m now working abroad as a freelance writer from Jamaica, I dug into Inkwell Editorial’s Freelancing Internationally series for today’s Throwback Thursday post. I hope you find it inspiring.

Publisher Note: See all articles in the Freelancing Internationally series.

Freelancing Internationally: Working for the United Kingdom from the Caribbean

Tapping into writing gigs overseas is generally not an easy task to achieve, so when job ads appear from countries abroad that beckons to a writer’s soul, the best thing to do is to send a query and see what comes of it.

My assignment as a travel correspondent for a UK-based travel company came as a favorable response to an ad I saw advertised in one of my writers’ ezines.

travelling-freelance-writerI sent a tailor-made query detailing my experience in the field of travel writing and in particular quoting some of the big names I had previously worked with; along with my resume and some published clips. I received a response from the UK editor and after some to and fro on availability and negotiation, I got the writing gig.

The time difference did factor into the weekly deadline and meant that I either stayed up late the night before to meet the deadline (if I hadn’t got the work done by then) or got up in the wee hours of the morning. It was then that I realized that the time was going to be a problem, so I queried the actual time they needed the work by and had my deadline extended to midday GMT instead of 9am GMT.

The pay was better than a U.S.-based writing gig, as the pound is usually stronger than the U.S. dollar and also because the word count was far less for what they wanted.

Being paid proved to be an obstacle that affected most of the contributors (something I learned later on); and despite the fact that invoices were sent on a monthly basis, the pay which was sent out via check never arrived on time and was generally late by 3-4 weeks, which caused a back-up of money owed.

The language was not a problem and they accepted American spelling rather than insisting that I write the Queen’s English.

One of the unforeseen challenges was meeting the deadline — only initially though, as I really had to work according to the time difference. The other thing was the pay issue. The accounts department was a pain to deal with and insisted on issuing checks rather than an electronic form of payment.

On the whole though, it was a good experience and gave me the ability to work for the UK travel company for a year and a half, which inevitably opened more doors in the travel industry and was a sterling addition to my resume. (No pun intended)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nadia Ali (nadia@freelance-worker.com) is a Freelance Writer whose niche is in the travel industry. She has worked for Northstar Travel Media, Wcities, International Living and Time Out London.

©2005 – Nadia Ali. This article may not be reproduced in any manner whatsoever, in any form, for any reason, without the express, written consent of the author. Violators will be prosecuted.

P.S.: Submit a Guest Post: This site and its sister site, SeoWritingJobs.com, now accepts guest posts.   Get the guest post submission guidelines.

Yuwanda
make-money-on-backpageP.S.: Want to start a successful career where you have the mobility to live and work where you please? Visit our freelance writing bookstore for a ton of opportunities (freelance writing and internet marketing) to get you started.

P.P.S.: Want an easy, fast way to get started in affiliate marketing, making as much as $50, $100 or $150/day? Get How to Make Money Placing Ads on Free Classified Ad Sites (ie, Backpage.com). If you want to make some easy money promoting affiliate products on free classified ad sites, this ebook is for you.

Copyright © 2010: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without my written consent (linking to is fine).

Note: This post was originally published on September 15, 2005.

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A Freelance Writer’s Life Abroad: Inside Peek at My Life as an American Living in Jamaica for a Year, Part XIII

In the last post in this series on living and working in Jamaica as a freelance writer, I promised to discuss how I prepared myself financially to live abroad – and some things I wished I’d done.

Freelance Writers: How to Financially Prepare to Take Your Career on the Road

My move to Jamaica came over a year earlier than I had expected it to. I had planned to move in July of 2011. So although the seed was there, the finances were not quite what they should have been. So . . .

Save, Save and Save Some More

freelance-writing-saving-tipsI’ve been a freelance writer since 1993. Living a feast or famine existence has long ingrained in me the need to save. So this was something I was already doing – which made moving over a year earlier than planned possible.

How much should you save? Realistically, 6-8 months worth of living expenses. For me, that meant money for keeping up two abodes (my home in the states and my new studio apt in Jamaica). 

If you don’t have financial obligations in two places – all the better. That’s less you’ll have to save.

What I wished I’d done differently in this department: Saved more! As I talked about in this post on living in Negril, it can get expensive living here because you’re out so much more here, you can spend almost as much per month as you’d spend if you were living at home.

Also, things we take for granted that are cheap in the states can be expensive (according to what we pay) here. For example, in the states, I shop at the Dollar Store for a lot of household items, eg, soap, toothpaste, toilet tissue, washing powder, bleach, etc.

Literally, you can get months worth of essentials for just a few dollars. But here in Jamaica, you pay “retail” for these items because there is no Dollar Store. There aren’t even real grocery stores. They’re more like Minimarts here – and some items are outrageously expensive. Like mosquito spray is about $5. At home, I can get that in the Dollar Store for . . . $1.

Multiply that by the number of essentials you use in your daily life, and you can see how it can get expensive (even though living accommodations here in Negril, Jamaica are relatively cheap compared to the states).

Cancel Accounts to Save Money

freelance-writer-moving-abroad-tipsBefore moving to Jamaica, I cancelled my car insurance, cable and internet service because I wasn’t going to be there to use them (and the house sitter could get them in his name if he wanted to). This saves me a couple of hundred bucks per month.

When I’m home (depending on how long I’m home), I can easily have all of this turned on again – and quickly.  

Switch Phone Plans

My cell phone plan was about $70/month. But since I’m living in Jamaica, I switched to a prepaid plan. This way, I eliminate a monthly bill. I have a Jamaica phone (which is a prepay as well) and I use it to call my phone in the states to check voice mail.

Of course, all essential parties were given my Jamaica number. But as most of my friends and business associates communicate with me via email anyway, this has been waayyy less of a nuisance than I thought it would be.

And, that’s another $70 per month saved.

“Barrel Ship” Essentials

barrel_shipping-to-the-caribbeanThere are some things that it just pays to ship here, eg, bedding, cookware and household design items (eg, rugs). They don’t have the selection here in Negril that we do in the states. And, what they have is butt-ugly (in my opinion) and expensive.

I’m told that you have to go to large cities like Kingston, Jamaica to get the really nice selection that we’re accustomed to in the states.

FYI, they have a thing called “barrel shipping” from the states to a lot of the Caribbean islands. For around $100, you can ship as much stuff as you can fit in a cardboard and/or plastic barrel. Learn more about barrel shipping to the Caribbean.

Note about Barrel Shipping: A good friend from Boston who’s lived here fulltime for 4 years and has been coming here going on 30 years says that no matter what they tell you, it’s going to take 4-6 weeks for your barrel to arrive. I was told 14 days from when it was shipped by the company I used, but she said – in her native Boston drawl, “Don’t believe it. It’s going to take longer; it always takes longer.”

As the Jamaicans say, “Soon come.” BUT, their soon could be two days . . . or two months (as I’ve quickly learned).

Freelance Writers: One Thing That Will Save You a Heap of Money When Living Abroad

Give yourself a daily budget. I don’t care how much you swear you can live on $10/day, for example, you will always go over budget – at least during what I’m calling the “getting settled period.” For me, this has been about a month (I’ve been here about six weeks now).

Just in the last couple of weeks have I been able to reign in my spending here in Negril to where I don’t get nervous.

To explain, I’m notoriously frugal by nature (again, being a freelance writer for years, I have that feast-or-famine mentality). So when I spend money continuously, I get nervous – even if I have sufficient savings. To spend money “like water” is just not my personality.

And that’s what it felt like I was doing the first month here. Every time I left home it seemed like I spent gobs of money – taking taxis, having a beer with a friend here, buying lunch at this little beachside café, a rum punch at this little out-of-the-way pub, etc.

As I talked about in this post on living abroad as a freelance writer in Negril, Jamaica, this is why it pays (literally) to settle into a routine as quickly as possible. Not only will you not spend so much, you’ll be able to maintain (perhaps even increase) your income.

Final Thought: The One Thing I Wished I’d Done Differently before Moving to Jamaica

freelance-writing-tips-on-living-abroadPrepared myself mentally for the differences in culture. I’m struggling with that a bit now, which can affect finances.

My sister accuses me of being “bourgeois” (or as we say in slang “bu-jee”). I miss the comforts of home, as I talked about here. And on days when the internet is out, clients have been slow to pay (tends to happen during the slow summer months for tons of freelance writers) and I come home to find that there’s no electricity so the one ceiling fan I have can produce no cool air – I feel like crying.

It makes it hard for me to focus – which of course means it takes me longer to churn out whatever I’m working on (eg, a blog post, an article for an article marketing campaign, research for some client SEO articles, etc.).

But luckily, a run on the beach and a rum punch/cold beer usually cures my momentary blues. Then, I’m back to not regretting moving here to Negril, for every day, I work at an internet café literally right on the ocean. I see boats passing, waves crashing and an all around good vibe that is tiny Negril. This will be an experience I’ll forever cherish.

Submit a Guest Post: FYI, this site now accepts guest posts.  Get the guest post submission guidelines.

Here’s hoping your finances are “set”,
Yuwanda
P.S.: Want to start a successful career where you have the mobility to live and work where you please? Visit our freelance writing bookstore for a ton of opportunities (freelance writing and internet marketing) to get you started.

P.P.S.: Want an easy, fast way to get started in affiliate marketing, making as much as $50, $100 or $150/day? Get How to Make Money Placing Ads on Free Classified Ad Sites (ie, Backpage.com). If you want to make some easy money promoting affiliate products on free classified ad sites, this ebook is for you.

Copyright © 2010: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without my written consent (linking to is fine).

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Backpage Auto Poster Software Changes Detailed

Note: This page was updated on 2/6/2015.

Consumer Alert: Backpage Auto Posting Software Scam.

Summer 2010 Backpage Auto Posting Software Update

Free, unlimited use of the backpage software has been discontinued by the developer. You see, you used to be able to purchase the software from independent marketers (like me), install it on your system and use it for free at any time you wanted.  Many independent marketers sold it for anywhere from a low of $5 to a high of $65 or $70 (I’ve seen it sold for as much as $100). In short, marketers were free to charge whatever they wanted. I was charging $14.95.

But again, this was discontinued by the developer (be sure to see scam warning at the top of this site). BUT …

YOU CAN STILL PLACE HUNDREDS OF ADS DAILY

How? You’ll also see ads for this all over the place on the web, eg, backpage ad posting services. These are companies/people who will post ads for you on backpage. If you really, really don’t want to deal with posting ads yourself – and you have the budget to keep it up continuously — it may be something you want to consider. But remember, advertising is not a one-hit wonder. You have to CONSTANTLY do it for it to work.

Also you must be careful and do your research on the person/company before hiring them — and check the ads once the person says they’ve been placed.

Finally, placing a couple of hundred ads manually doesn’t take as long as you’d think once you get used to it.

So if you can’t afford to pay someone to CONTINUOUSLY post ads for you, I advise doing it yourself until you can. That’s just my 2 cents.

Good luck however you decide to proceed.

Submit a Guest Post: This site and its sister site, SeoWritingJobs.com, now accepts guest posts.   Get the guest post submission guidelines.

make-money-on-backpageP.S.: Want to start a successful career where you have the mobility to live and work where you please? Visit our freelance writing bookstore for a ton of opportunities (freelance writing and internet marketing) to get you started.

P.P.S.: Want an easy, fast way to get started in affiliate marketing, making as much as $50, $100 or $150/day? Get How to Make Money Placing Ads on Free Classified Ad Sites (ie, Backpage.com). If you want to make some easy money promoting affiliate products on free classified ad sites, this ebook is for you. I’ve personally sold tens of thousands of dollars of e-products (my own and affiliate products) doing this since January 2009.

How to Subscribe to This Site

Note: As of April 6, you must be a subscriber to read some posts on InkwellEditorial.com and its sister site on SEO writing, SeoWritingJobs.com. New content includes all posts written after 4/6/2010 (4/7/2010 on SeoWritingJobs.com).

free-freelance-writing-adviceTo subscribe, simply look for the subscriber box to the top right-hand side of the page. There’s one on every page of the site.

Of course, your contact information is protected — it is never sold, rented, leased or compromised in any way. It is used solely to send you information from InkwellEditorial.com (and its sister site, SeoWritingJobs.com) about freelance writing.

Why Subscribe? Get Real, First-Hand Advice from All Types of Freelance Writers

Week in and week out here, you get first-hand “freelance writing stories from the trenches.” I routinely relay my freelance writing experiences — everything from setting rates, to how to market, to knowing when to say no to a project. Also, I answer questions – in great detail (no fluff here!) — from other freelancers writers (new and experienced).

Recent posts you may have missed by not being a subscriber include:

Why I Turned Down a $2,000 – $3,000 Freelance Writing Job That Could Have Led to Even More Work and

How to Land More Clients by Making Your SEO Writing Stand Out from Others.

I look forward to having you as a subscriber.

Yuwanda
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