The very basics of freelancing
More companies are seeking to cut costs by outsourcing certain jobs to people with specialist skills without hiring them as permanent staff. Many people desire to increase their income, start and grow their own businesses by freelancing.
Before you decide to go into freelancing, you must be sure of what your reasons are for wanting to freelance. Think about it and carefully decide what your aims are. Do you want to specialize in a particular area in which you have expertise? Are you in it to earning more money?
Once you know why you want to freelance, you then must understand and decide if you possess the attributes of a good freelancer. These attributes include marketable skills, good organizational skills, flexibility and ability to meet deadlines, entrepreneurial skills, experience, good communication skills and the ability to keep calm under pressure. Compare these attributes with those you possess and identify areas where you may be lacking, so you can try to improve on them, or reconsider freelancing altogether.
You will also need to do some form of a budget, where you set out how much money you will be spending on freelancing and other related costs, and how much you are prepared to personally get by on. Do a monthly budget and stick to it.
One important thing you must quickly decide on is, whether or not you will be working from home. Depending on the type of freelance work you will be doing, your location will be affected. If you are a freelance writer and you get jobs through a freelance website you will find it easier to work from home. If your freelance work requires you to manufacture products, then a different location would be appropriate.
When you have decided on your location, you then decide on the equipment you will need to do your work. Do you need a desk and chair, fax machine, computer with Internet access and a printer? Make sure you carefully consider your equipment needs, you do not want to start freelancing and then find out you are unable to do a project because you lack an important piece of equipment.
Consider also, whether or not you are going to work for a set number of hours. Freelancing allows you to set your working hours, and when doing so remember that you have a family you will need to spend time with. Once you set your hours, it is important to stick to it. There is nothing worse for a potential client than trying to reach you when you say you will be working and being unable to.
You now have to decide how you are going to find work. You can begin by contacting companies that need your kind of expertise. There are also agencies that can source work opportunities for you. A good place to search is the Internet; there you will find many freelance job sites.
When you are negotiating for work, charge your client according to the work that needs to be done. Be sure your price covers your costs and makes you a profit.
Being a Webmaster: Things you must know
If your desire is to be a Webmaster, you must understand who a Webmaster is and what a Webmaster does. One definition of a Webmaster is, “someone who is responsible for designing, management, and development of a website and its’ content”. The Webmaster also has responsibility for the websites connectivity and the human resources needed for its’ maintenance. Webmastering is considered a fairly complex job and knowledge of many different areas is required.
You will need to have an understanding of web development, knowledge of website development and ability to use all or most of the tools available to create and develop websites from scratch. Solid knowledge of the more popular softwares like FrontPage, Dreamweaver and ColdFusion is important. You will also need to be able to produce codes, install, trouble shoot, modify, fix and alter scripts. You should also know the difference between valid HTML and invalid HTML.
Another important role that a Webmaster plays is that of a Database Administrator. Many times companies use database administrators to manage and organize all aspects of their database. You will need to have knowledge of Structure Query Language (SQL), which allows webmasters to write queries to a database. Be able to use a database with any scripting language, since you will be writing a lot of database code for things like login code, forums, news, ad servers, and searches.
Having a working knowledge of what a Network Engineer does, including networking technologies, hardware and security will be to your benefit. The Network Engineer is also responsible for the hardware and software, server operability, connectivity, and security. Having certifications in MCSE, CIW, and CCNP would be a good place to start.
As a Webmaster, you must be able to maintain an existing website. Most websites go through many changes, from script to new and improved graphics. These changes have to be effected by the Webmaster.
One of the aspects of website maintenance is its’ content. As a Webmaster you may be called upon to be a writer and provide quality written content. You may be required to provide articles, newsletters, write copy for products and written responses to customer inquiries.
Knowing how to design, develop and maintain a website will mean nothing to you unless you have the tools available to perform your job. Owning or having access to all the required software and programming applications is a must. You must also keep abreast of the new and improved software that becomes available each year, to see how they may improve your capabilities.
Many Webmasters have to take on the role of Website Marketer. As the name suggests, you will be responsible for marketing and promoting the website using search engine optimization. As a Webmaster you should have an understanding of how to employ a search engine strategy that is successful.
Finally, you will want to be employed or work as a freelancer. Whichever path you take you can search for jobs by contacting companies that have a website or is looking to develop one. You can also use freelance sites like and search for freelancer work. When you go to these freelance sites, for example, spend some time searching for jobs that meet your skills.