Monday, March 17, 2008

My #1 Tip for Getting More Done During the Day as a Freelance Writer

Last week was hell week. In last Wednesday's post, I likened it to finals week during college.

Because I had such a hellish week last week, which continued through today, I created a series of Quick Tips for Freelance Writers for the week. Well, here's one more, and it's something I'm going to start doing on a regular basis because it works so well.

Today's Freelance Writing Quick Tip

Usually, the first thing I do when I log on to work is check email. I've trained myself to be pretty disciplined, but it can still get me off track some mornings, depending on what's waiting for me in my inbox.

I've stopped doing that. Instead, I get right down to work -- writing that is. Whether it's updating my blog, knocking out a few articles for clients or working on my ebooks, I write a little before opening the email bandit.

How to Get Through Chunks of Work & Feel Accomplished for the Rest of the Day

I've found that I get absorbed in what I'm doing and usually am able to get through a chunk of work -- which makes me feel immediately as if I've made a dent in my workload for the day. Sometimes I'll spend a half hour writing, or it may even stretch to two hours. But I usually finish a project, or a part of a project, before checking email.

In the short time I've been doing this, I've noticed that I'm not missing as much as I think I'm missing by not checking email first. I was in the workforce before email became the norm, so I remember what it was like to go to work and, well . . . get down to work. There was no checking email or other various online accounts first.

What this has taught me is (i) you're not missing as much as you think you're missing (you've only been trained to think so); and (ii) marrying old ways of working with new technology can create a perfect balance.

Try it, and let me know how it works for you.

Yuwanda Black, Publisher
How to Start a Successful Freelance Writing Career Newsletter
P.S: Want to learn how to make at least $250/day writing simple 500-word articles? Read how here.
Today’s Freelance Writing Jobs / SEO Writing Jobs
Note about job listings: All of today's freelance writing job leads come from the Public Request Section of (Read more about this here).

Title: Photography Articles
Description: I need a series of articles about different types of photography. I need full rights and to be the exclusive buyer (e.g. if someone else buys a usage licence first I will have to pass). I have indicated a $50-$100 price range but only because the request form wouldn\'t let me be more broad - I\'ll also consider cheaper and more expensive articles. Articles can include general information, history, techniques, common equipment, etc. I will consider buying supporting photos/illustrations as well (especially if they are quite unique), but generally I prefer to spend my money on words rather than images.
Price: $50-100
Article amount: 20 - 40
Content length: Preferably 500+, but fewer is okay in some cases.
Subjects: First of all, I DON'T need these topics: Aerial Black & White Kirlian Pinhole Stereoscopic These are some examples of topics I do need, but I'm open to others as well: Astrophotography Commercial & Advertising Digiscoping Documentary Event Forensic Infrared Large Format Macro Medical Microscopic Modeling (i.e. for 3D) Nature Night Panoramic Paranormal Satellite / Spacecraft Scientific Sports Stock photography Travel Ultraviolet Underwater Urban, Industrial Time-lapse
Notes: I tend to like articles that get to the point quickly (I'm not a fan of waffly introductions). I will be much more likely to purchase if I can preview at least 75% of the article. If this goes well I will be in the market for more photography articles, especially tutorials, tips, etc. I am also considering hiring a photography blog writer.

Title: MS Exchange
Description: Need article that is SEO optimized that gives an overview of MS Exchange Messaging platform, Its key features and Why its a good choice for small and mid sized businesses to integrate into their already windows environment. The advantages of hooking Exchange to the domain and single sign on for network resources and communications. The article must be technical enough that a web visitor can read and understand the concepts, but yet feel that they need to hire and engage a company like ours to do the implementation with a call to action to pick up the phone and call us or to click the click2call button to allow us to call them back. The article must also discuss the pros and cons of using exchange
Price: $150-250
Article amount: 1
Content length: 1500 or more
Subjects: Small Business Communications and Collaboration with MS Exchange
Notes: Article must be very to the point and not filled with fluff. We are looking for a direct approach to educating and enticing the visitor to engage. time is obviously money when it comes to retaining a web visitor. So can't stress enough about to the point and detailed enough to build creditability. As with all content requested. must be unique and for our exclusive use and ownership.

Title: Retail Router of Professional Grade Linux Router
Description: We are looking for an Article that will discuss the pros and cons of retail routers like the linksys, netgear and so forth over a linux based router supplied by our company. The article must discuss that advantages and disadvantages of buying a OTC (over the counter) firewall from circuit city, best buy... etc.. and the advantages and disadvantages of a Linux firewall supplied by our company. As with all the articles we request. We are looking for the article to be technical enough to build our creditability without loosing the web visitor. The article must also speak of why it is important for a business to have a CISCO grade firewall at price that is in between retails OTC firewall and Cisco. Must focus article on our firewall features: flexibility, expandability, Security and monitoring. HARDWARE FEATURE are as follows: Up to 4 NIC (LAN, WAN, DMZ and Wireless) more available for custom applications. Runs off a 2GB Flash Card, so easy upgrades from our company and easy restores in the event of failure.Low watt power supply. 1u rack mount chassis or desktop cube appliance. FIREWALL FEATUREs are as follows: Static Routes, Firewall rules for each interface, Inbound and Outbound NAT rules, Inbound One2One IP NAT, Inbound Server NAT, or can be used in combination. QoS for traffic shaping and prioritizing, Aliases for ease of management of groups of equipment. SERVICE FEATUREs are as follows: DNS Forwarding, Dynamic DNS, DHCP Server, DHCP relay, SNMP, Proxy ARP, Captive Portal, Wake on LAN. VPN FEATUREs are as follows: IPsec, PPTP. ROUTER/FIREWALL MANAGEMENT FEATUREs are as follows: System status, Interface Status, Traffic Graphs for all Interfaces, Wireless management. DIAGNOSTIC FEATUREs are as follows: Logs, DHCP Lease management, IPsec Management, Ping / Trace route for each interface, ARP Table, Firewall State, Backup and Restore Configuration, Reboot and Restore to Factory Defaults. I\'m out of breath now.. as you can see a lot to write about.. the focus is our hardware firewall. .Static Routes stats, VPN, DHCP, Captive Portal, QoS, NAT, One2One IP Mapping, Server IP Mapping, Logging locally or to a network Logging server, Secure web based access from LAN, WAN or DMZ. Wireless capable (Optional Extra) so that you have one device that handles everything. No moving components and build on solid state technology to extend life of appliance. Comes in a 1U rack mount form factor or a cube box for desktop mount.
Price: $150-250
Article amount: 1
Content length: 2000 or more
Subjects: Professional Firewall or Retail Fluffwall.
Notes: As with all articles that we request. This article must be detailed, to the point, engaging for the visitor to read and follow a call to action prompt. Article is for outright ownership with exclusive rights to do as we please with no redistribution by the anybody other than us.

Title: Case Study - Hotel Client
Description: I am looking for someone with case study writing experience to write a case study on one of our clients. The case study as with any will discuss the problem, the solution and the result as well as an overview of the client and why they chose our company over another. The details of the case study are too much to write down.. it is easier said then done.. however here is a brief overview: Our client had management and functional challenges in their org. They were conducting business the old fashioned way which required more manpower and cost more money. the net result was that they were bleeding to failure. We engaged with them, Identified the problems and proposed solutions that the company agreed to. We did what we said we would and at less than the original quote we had estimated. The client was no longer bleeding and we took them from spending over a Million a year to Less than $300,000 per year with up front setup costs of $50,000 invested in new technology. The long and short of this case study is that we are not just another computer consulting company that fixes technical issues, but are savvy enough and experienced to identify business failures as a result of improper use of technology.
Price: $100-150
Article amount: 1
Content length: 2000 or more
Subjects: Anyone can fix a computer or install a printer, we plan, design and impement technology solutions that will improve your bottom line.
Notes: Unique and captivating story telling is what we looking for. Exclusive use content with full ownership. Must hit pain points of potential reader to allow them to relate to their own problems, sparking a need to pick up the phone to see how we can help them. MSUT BE SEO driven.. Do a good job on this one and expect more Case studies.

Title: Installing, Configuring and Securing Windows 2003 Server
Description: Looking for 3 comprehensive articles on how to (1)install, (2)configure and (3)secure a windows 2003 server for use in a domain in a business setting. The purpose of the article is to provide reader with just enough information (short of doing an actual install =])to lend creditability to who we are as a company and entice them to engage by calling or clicking on an click2call link on our web site. The article must be optimized for SEO usage.
Price: $150-250
Article amount: 3
Content length: 1500 or more
Subjects: Subject #1 Why Have Win2K3 Installed Professionally over DIY Subject #2 Business Impact of a Poorly configured server Subject #3 Business Impact of an Insecure Server.
Notes: Subject #1 - Will discuss why it is important to have windows server installed professionally over doing it your self. The article to discuss basic installation step without giving away all the info to turn potential DIY client into a client because the article describes the overall install procedure but leads the reader into believing that they will be over their head, which is a waste of their time and money when the should be doing business functions. Subject #2 - Will discuss the overview of how to configure a server and once again give the reader the impression that they not only will be over their heads, but also their efforts may be the beginning of an ongoing support nightmare and the high cost of supporting a poorly configured server Subject #3 - Security. Security. Security. This article to cover Server hardware security, Server Security at OS level and Server security from outside threats. Once again overview on how to secure without giving away the fort. Lead reader to reconsider DIY and reach for the Phone or our Click 2 Call button. As with all three articles... They must be technical... I am looking for Unique content with outright ownership to do as I please... A well done job will lead to more articles...
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