35 Tips For Freelance Writers To Earn A Lot

entrepreneur-593356_1280

A lot is a vague and relative word, so if you are just thinking about becoming a freelance writer, I’m going to get you started.  If you are earning something as a freelance writer, even as little as $60 a post, I’ll show you how to get it up to more.  If you are beyond that in the “couple of hundred dollars per article” range, I still have something for you.  If you are looking to make a living as just a freelance writer, you can benefit from the experiences of some real freelancers who are already really doing it!

1.  Believe

It is easy to believe you can’t make any money writing, because with writing, everyone is doing it…blogging, microblogging, and self-publishing.  So the first thing you have to do is BELIEVE that you can make money writing.  The second thing you need to do is BELIEVE your writing is worth money, a lot of money, because it is uniquely yours.  But you still have to build your career as a paid freelance writer brick by brick, just like a house.

2. Start Your Website/Blog

There are freelance writers without websites and social media pages, but more and more DO have their own websites.  I build websites for individuals and they are older professionals who already have been published in print or on other outlets.  They have been told by their agent or their publishing company that they have to have a website.  You need to at least go to WordPress or Tumblr or Blogger and start a free site.  Start blogging.  Get yourself comfortable online.

3.  Start Contributing

I’m sorry, but sometimes you have to start from 0, and that means self-publishing on your lonesome on your little-known website, and then from there, find websites that allow you to contribute for little or no compensation.  I’ve found some just from dumb luck, like Engaged Marriage and here on Tips and Fun but I also found websites that need freelance writers by following where other writers publish their works.

And if you want to get paid, says Professor Rich Martin of Illinois University, a professor and freelance writer, you must remember everyone has opinions and opinions are free, so doing something more akin to reporting on a subject with market value is the way to go.  Before you pitch a story, you must understand the value of the pitch to the outlet itself, adds Professor Mike Taylor of Henderson State University.   So find some outlets that pay you to contribute, but don’t underestimate.  You are still applying for a job.  Respect that.  You have to be able to point to previously published work, or what can be called an online clip file or portfolio.  The more outlets that have published you independently (even if they didn’t pay you), the more help you’ll get to land jobs that will pay.

And you never know where writing will take you!!!

4.  Promote Thyself

So you have self-published and blogged, then found a few outlets that allowed you to contribute, but you still need help getting paid.  What you need to do is demonstrate that the public likes you.  By putting yourself out there on social media and by cultivating a fan base you are bringing your name market value.  So, when people find you, can they follow you on Twitter?  Can they like your page on Facebook?  Are you G+ worthy?  Can they Linkedin? Go forth and promote thy self!  And ask family and friends to do so, too!  Also, writers scratch other writers’ backs!  So follow back, share, and promote others.

*Caution:  Don’t let social media suck you in so much you neglect your real writing!

5.  Be Professional

You can be creative and quirky on social media and in your writing, but you want a completed professional profile on sites like LinkedIn with growing lists of your previously published works.  All professional and creative writing experience is worth mentioning if it is complimentary to you career.

6.  Learn To Network

Learning to network is actually something that will not only get you more writing gigs or a permanent salaried position, but it will help BOOST number four – PROMOTE THYSELF.  High school is not too early! College is not premature!  Now is not to become NEVER.  Learn how to make contact and network.  It is a NUMBERS GAME.  And if you don’t do it, you are liable to be watching others do it, skillfully, while your dreams become dusty.

*FYI:  Did you know if you are in need of interviews, you can post a story idea and solicit experts called Help A Reporter Out?  That tip came from just talking to another freelance writer.

7.  Be Credible

It isn’t worse than underselling yourself…  but overselling yourself can hurt your credibility.  So be enthusiastic and not shy about your accomplishments, but don’t stretch them.

Also, if someone didn’t say it, don’t print it as if they did.  Making up direct quotes can seem harmless and even justifiable, but when it becomes a practice, like with the Independent’s star columnist Johann Hari, you wind up risking getting known as someone who doesn’t have credibility.  Believe me, you’ll have enough doubters and nay-sayers in your future, but you don’t want to give them the appearance of being right about you. If they are the only ones crying foul when your print goes live, then your editors and your public will have your back.  But if you are being less than credible, you’ll get blackballed.

*Tip:  If you are interviewing, ask to record and then keep the recording as backup.  Video chats allow you to record and save.  A mini voice recorder is only a few dollars.  Most computers have a jack for a microphone or have an internal microphone. RECORD asking for permission and getting consent!!!

8.  Be The Boss

No one likes to be caught making mistakes by a superior, and that is why YOU have to be the boss – or as a writer – you have to be your own worst editor, a fierce editor, if you want to make good money.  From being around professional editors, people publishing their own books, and having done copy editing on books, articles, and essays, I know mistakes can go unnoticed all the way up to print.  We all go blind to print.  Errors just don’t pop up and wave a red hand!  They don’t correct themselves.  I know there are disagreements about what is more correct, as well as there are stylistic disagreements.  And we all go blind to our writing after reading it a dozen times.  But you have to be your own fierce editor, or it will be the hordes that will notice your slip-ups.  And if you are UNLUCKY, your mistakes will erode or corrode your professional career.

*FYI: The internet promises to haunt us forever every time we publish something.  It even backs-up our mistakes!  Like with the Way Back Machine!

9.  Get The Bible

No, I’m not talking about religion, but I might as well be, because different organizations whether they are online magazines or newspapers or publishing houses, they have what are called writer guidelines or just style guides.  The more academic the writing, the more tricky and sticky the guides can become.  On a copy editing assignment, the draft of the book I was to copy edit came with a book of its own – the publishing house’s style guidebook.  And yes, I did have to refer to it.  I even had to use the copy editing symbols per their instructions on the hard copies.  It was like learning another language, a short and symbolic little language from tiny little people with pointy heads.

I think that was the year my vision got worse…

10.  Take Care Of Your Eyes

Along with taking care of your brain and the body that houses it, just know, that the more screen time you take on, the more of a strain your eyes can be under.  If you want to be a writer and a writer that makes money, take care of your eyes.  Get the glasses with the better coatings – glare is bad.  Buy UV protection, too.  The ability to focus on near and far objects begins to diminish at age 40, but don’t accelerate the process.  Other things to help alleviate the strain of screen time are keep your screen within 20 to 28 inches of your eyes, adjust lighting to reduce glare, and look away from the computer for 20 seconds or longer every 20 minutes.  For comfort, keep your eyes hydrated.  For more tips, check out the American Optometric Association or Google “Computer Vision Syndrome.”

11.  Become A Follower

I’m not talking in the cultist, drooling-zombie sense, but you need to find writers you like, love, and admire, then follow them and their careers.  Check out successful writers’ websites.  Pick-up their tips.  Mimic some of their tricks.  If they have successfully contributed to X, Y, or Z, then why not you?  Follow the breadcrumbs.  After researching the outlets, apply and pitch stories.

12.  Be Organized

Start bookmarking and revisiting the articles, writers, and outlets that you like and love.  Find apps and extensions that will help you keep your stuff however you need.  You’ll develop a system that works for you, and this will make you faster and less frustrated.  No two people have the same system, but if a friend has one you like, try it.  If a knew app comes out that is getting a lot of positive feedback, check it out.  And just because it works for others, don’t think it has to work for you.  The most important thing in being organized is that it works for you!  I liked to fold paper length ways in half to write notes.  I even have a special way of underscoring that is more aesthetic than anything.  But being organized MY WAY has been great for me.  It isn’t a matter of HOW.  It is a matter of just DOING.

13.  Start Specializing

Sometimes a theme picks you and sometimes you pick a theme, but when it happens, recognize that you might be able to build a career out of it.  Right now, people who can write about apps seems hot, just like it seems hot for people to be able to create them.  If the technology thing is your thing, great, go for it!  If you are more into all things cats, then maybe you need to focus on outlets that have a cat fetish, too.  Writes get known for certain topics.  I know a writer who makes a living writing about Southern American authors only.  She loved Southern literature and it just evolved into a career for her.  One gal loved action movies, so she started the blog  Action Flick Chick –  she blogged her theme into a career.  Alex Langley loved all things geek, so he turned them into a writing career and sells books and more!

14.  Become The Expert

After you specialize, you need to become THE expert – or as near to it as possible.  This mashes up with CREDIBILITY.  If you write a lot about health and medicine, you don’t need to be a doctor, although that would be GREAT, but you need to be able to converse comfortably with doctors about health and medicine, then break it down for the general public to understand. With a topic or theme like running, maybe you should train for a marathon to get a real expert understanding of the topic.  You don’t need to have a medal in the sport, but you need to have a deeper than average understanding about what you are writing about – then you need to demonstrate your expertise all ways possible.

15.  Write  WRITE  WRITE!!!

It is cliche, but as Billy Crystal said in Throw Momma From From The Train, “A writer writes – always!”  (check out minute marker 2:44) Like with any skill, it gets honed with use and challenges.  I’ve read the prose and cons of writing everyday.  I’ve read opinion blogs that claim minimum word counts each day are imperative.   I can’t vouch for that.  I do know that when the muse is with me, I have got go with it and write my heart out; because when the muse is gone, and I am staring at the blank page of death, I’m going to need all the skill I have to defeat it.  Learn what loosens you up, like journaling, or poetry writing, or even a DEADLINE!

One of the sayings I’ve come to believe in is “Deadlines make writers.”  So take on assignments even when you feel the muse is slipping away.

But while you are writing, you might as well be getting paid, so look into content mills:  Text Broker, iWriter, Skyword, Zerys, Constant Content.

And look into Reddit For Hire.

The more places you can be found on the internet, the larger that online portfolio becomes, the more credibility you have.  So write, Write, WRITE!

Now, you have started something. You are a contributor.  You’ve gotten paid.  And you write Write WRITE!

Now it is time to aim higher because you have become a professional, built-up a network, a career, and have credibility.

16.  Ask For Testimonials And Endorsements

Just like with “Promoting Thyself” you need to ask people for some testimonials and endorsements.  These you place on your website, but you also need them on your very professional LinkedIn page.

Be prepared for people to ask you what you want them to say.  It is OK to have something prepared.  Some people just need to know what you want to highlight.  Be polite, but persistent.  You are probably asking for the endorsements of people who are successful and therefor busy.  But you need them none-the-less.  Don’t bug them everyday.  But tapping colleagues on the shoulder once a week or every two weeks isn’t bad.  You may be better off asking them when you know their workload is lightest.  But get those endorsements in writing  IN WRITING!

17.  Target Your Pitches

You want to make money?  By now you need to have some idea of who to target so you can write for money.  Then you need to decide who has the money that you want to make.  This requires researching the companies or outlets as well as just going for it on a whim.  Trust your instincts. But you need to be writing and targeting your pitches for profit.  Know the market value of what you are pitching.  Know what the outlet values that you are pitching to.  Pitch a lot and often adds Professor Taylor.  Few pitches get accepted, so develop a thick skin.

18.  Name Your Price

No, you’re not worth a million dollars yet, but you aren’t chump change anymore.  Ask yourself how much you are worth.  You can approach this from two ways – by thinking of your competency and amount of time  OR  what you think they are willing to pay.  It is a good idea to consider that you could get paid more doing short fluff pieces you bang out in 15 minutes versus the heart and soul research piece you did about your passion.  Sometimes there is payday.  Sometimes writing will b barely worth the effort if it wasn’t for that annoying desire to pen something.

You will be worth more than you are ever paid.

$250 – $500 per gig shouldn’t be unrealistic for a decent story.

Blog posts seem to be hovering at $60.

19.  Build Your Skills

Do you know what SEO is?  Do you know what a hashtag is?  or trending refers to?  Or are you #clueless?  You can’t be.  You shouldn’t be.  It’s time to learn.  Get on a browser and start asking questions.  Find some books and read.

20.  Self Promotion and Marketing

This is beyond “Promote Thyself” and “Ask for Testimonials and Endorsements.”  There is a level of sophistication here that will have you reworking your website and social media pages.  You are a brand.  What is your brand saying?   You may have lucked into a sweet spot because you are a character and can bra-ring it!  You were born a social butterfly.  Your momma was Paris Flippin Hilton and your daddy was JayZ.  You get paid to dine at clubs because you are so poppin.  You are current and trendy or deep and soulful.  But if you are socially challenged, this might be the hardest pill to swallow.  It isn’t good enough to be good enough.

You have got to be somebody BEFORE you can be somebody.

And somebodies get paid.

21.  Ear to the Ground

By now you have to have a network worth listening to, and word of mouth is going to become more and more important.  Yes, some of these same people are going to be your competition, but at the same time, they are leaving breadcrumbs.  When people talk, listen up.  When people are getting hired, bookmark the outlet.  When someone else’s star starts to rise, what were they doing and who are they with now?

22.  Time to Move

One thing I have noticed, even if it is an internet world of interconnectedness and telecommuting, the rising stars are still the ones that can live in the hotbeds of media consumption.  New York.  Paris.  Chicago.  Atlanta.  Miami. Dallas.  London.  Sydney.   Looking at job listings for freelance work, you may start seeing that what sites are looking for aren’t just bits of content about your dairy farm or maple syrup forest or your vampire fetish or love of Depression Era glassware.  You want to write and write for big money?  Is that seriously going to happen from your bedroom in your pajamas with the topic and themes you’ve picked?

Professor Taylor does caution that moving IS NOT NECESSARY even in rural areas, but you may have to look at outlets with interest in your area like a state outlet or specialize in a way that complements where you live and how you live.  A friend of mine makes money writing about hunting and fishing and lives in the country near a lake with bass fishing competitions.  But if your interest or specialty is New York crime, it might be best to be a New Yorker.  Decide if your interest is regional enough to require a move.

23.  Connect More Seriously

You’ve built a following, but how do you make it mean more?  You take your social media connections and ask them to link with you on LinkedIn by giving them your email address.  You have been a follower, but you need to start showing as worth following, and that means beefing up those numbers on the networks that matter.  Where are your clients coming from or where should they come from?  Susan Johnson blogged about it on her website, The Urban Muse.

24.  Group Participation

Maybe you hung out in the back of the classroom and wore your hat low over your eyes to avoid being called on, but the cool kid or shy kid routine isn’t going to work – any longer.  When you are on LinkedIn or another platform, you need to be in professional groups, and you need to participate in a professional manner.  Then you need to take your successful interactions to build your connections, self-promote, and find better gigs.


I know, it would be great if the jobs would fall out of the sky (check out minute marker 10:18), but it seems only bird poop and acid rain REALLY does.  You are going to have to stick your neck out and get real.

25.  New Networks & New Horizons

Once you have exhausted a network or have just hit a wall on how else to exploit it to your advantage, it is time to find a new one.  Think about Freelancer Union or any other site that allows you to connect with others.  Have you heard of something new or better?  Then go for it.  Facebook is very much alive and kicking, but it doesn’t mean that it is the best thing if you want to continue to grow.

26.  Guard Your Sleep Time

Maybe before you were not writing as much or for much, but now that you are, you need to protect your A game!  And if you are 30 or over, you may start to feel a bad night in even more pronounced way.  Don’t expect editors or readers to understand a slackening in you writing standards or theirs.  You still have to deliver.  You’ve made writing your priority and your goal of writing for money a reality, and you want to make more money, so make sure you are sleeping well.  The clearer your head, the faster you can work.

27.  Get Better At Math!!!

If you are serious about supporting yourself as a freelance writer, you are going to have to get better at math.  You need to understand how much you get paid and how it breaks down.  You have to understand how taxes, health insurance, and retirement should be factoring in.  Have you joined a union?  Do you need to join a union?  Do you have an accountant?  Is your paperweight of a dead laptop or smartphone NOW tax deductible?!    You love to write, and you’ve proven you can make money and you can make more money, but can you support yourself fully?  Read what other writers are saying and go check out some books.  Talk to an accountant.  Interview some accountants.  If you want to make this your living, this is the point of switching gears.

28.  Renovate Your Online Website

We’d all like to think we could launch a professional and perfect website right out of the gate and that is what we should do, but it might be a good idea to at the very least to update your websites (yes, plural) and give them a face lift.  Look at what other relevant, in the now freelancers are doing, how they are projecting themselves.  Go and be in awe at their professional websites.  Then HIRE whoever did one of your favorites and get your overhaul done!  You can’t do it yourself.  It would be like defending yourself in court or doing your own taxes.  Even if you have skills, you need a team of professionals with the full toolkit at their disposal.  And you have to use your time to grow, promote, and WRITE.  So hire experts.

29.  Realize That This Is Your Day Job

You aren’t moonlighting or part-time.  Decide and commit that this is your day job, your career, your life.  You are taking off the training wheels.  You have even saved up for six months of unemployment and have insurance in case you are injured and can not work.   This is the moment of complete realization.  YOU DID IT!  Now, don’t go screwing it up!!

30.  Know Thyself

One of the things you will notice when people pitch their business ideas is they have done market research and know their numbers.  Do you know your numbers?  One freelance writer had herself broken down in charts as to where her work came from and who her readership was.  She came with clout.  She owns her numbers.  She knew where her referrals were coming from.  Do you?  At this stage of the game, how many Twitter followers do you have?  Facebook likers?  G+ uppers?  Can you SEO and metadata like a champ?  You are a business.  You are a brand.  Know thyself, put it out there, and don’t be in the game, play it like you mean it.  Where is your clout?

31.  Be Ready to Diversify

Yes, you are a freelance writer, but has it become a springboard for something more lucrative?  Is there a service or a product that your writing career has enabled you to take advantage of?  Many writers have websites that hosts ads and sell their own books.  The trend that has evolved is this:

Step 1) Write online about a topic.

Step 2)  Get guest writing spots about the topic.

Step 3)  Get book published about the topic.

Step 4)  Get better paying gigs to write about topic and promote book and self.

Step 5)  Land a sustainable job related to writing, the topic, or both.

32.  Never Underestimate Technology In Changing The Game

The freelance writers I spoke to began publishing online when the internet was new, 1992. Technology has changed not only the pay scale, but the requirements of the outlets.  Rules changed.  Long form writing became short form. Pictures and visuals became big.  Interaction is now huge.  These changes were all forced by technology.  Learn what the results are, like with Snow Falling, a form of writing that is a mash-up of text, visuals, and interactive graphics named after a story that personifies it.

33.  Rock the Boat

It might be safe or comfortable to do what you have always done, or to do what all others have done before you, but if you are going to leap ahead of the herd and feast on greener grasses, you’re going to have to break some eggs, shake a tail feather, go for the golden ring!  In a nutshell, these mixed metaphors are trying to tell you that you need to do what hasn’t been done or do what has been done DIFFERENTLY.

Be the king or queen of reinvention.

34.  Keep Growing

Once you’ve had a blog, once you’ve grown your portfolio of by lines, once you clip file has gotten fat, ask yourself, can you turn a blog into a book?  Because you have published and gotten attention and have a crowd of fans to prove it, you’ve already PROVEN to PUBLISHING COMPANIES that you have something worth publishing!  Easily accepted, you publish, get promoted, grow a larger, new fan base, and then GET MORE WRITING ASSIGNMENTS!!!  And for more money!  YOUR STOCK KEEPS GOING UP! And this wonderful cycle is the one you need to shoot for – check out writers – real writers – with careers – and you will see a book!

35.  Stay Thirsty My Friends

Ambition will keep you thirsting for accomplishment.  Setting new goals will keep you thirsting for accomplishment.  Finding more fascinating things to write about will keep you thirsting.  Being in competition with other writers will keep you thirsting.  Being in competition with yourself will keep you thirsting.

And staying thirsty will keep you and your career alive.

Love this article? Share it with your friends on Facebook

Advertisements

10 Freelance Jobs Anyone Can Do To Easily Make Extra Money

freelance

Whether you have a great job you love that just doesn’t pay a lot, you need to find a new job or you need some extra money to tide you over during a tough time, freelance jobs can be a great way to make up the difference. Believe it or not, there are a lot of ways to make extra cash and very few of them require any special skills or training. Depending on your interests and what you have available to you, you can try a few different things or concentrate on one. Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up with a new career.

1. Social Media Guru

Believe it or not, your time on Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites can actually pay off. Offer your services to businesses as a social media expert — assuming you are one and understand the types of social media out there – you can write blog posts, Facebook posts, Tweets and other messages for companies that don’t have time to keep up with their social media platforms. Check out just what you need to be a social media guru here. A social media guru can charge per post or per month, often as much as $150 per brand per month.

2. Yard Work

Post a sign on the board at the grocery store, post in groups on Facebook and let everyone know that you can weed, mow, weed whack or whatever. Those who do yard work for a job often charge by the job, so call around and find out what others in your area are charging and adjust your prices accordingly.

3. Trash to Treasure

Do you have a flair for turning something old into something new? Start refurbishing old furniture and other items. Add knobs to old dressers, paint them bright colors and resell them for a profit. You’d be amazed at how much you can make at a local flea market doing something like this. An old dresser you buy for $20 at a yard sale can turn into a $200 item.

4. Teach

Can you play the piano? Knit? Take brilliant pictures? Offer classes. Talk with someone at your local library or community center and set up class times. Piano or other music lessons are frequently about $20 per half hour. If you’re not sure what to charge, look up similar classes in a nearby town.

5. Babysit

Parents always need extra help in this department. If you have some time available in your day or night, you could offer babysitting services for local families. Make sure you are familiar with first aid and CPR first and then hang out your shingle. If you want to do something more permanent or long-term, check with your state about laws for child care. Babysitters make different amounts in different areas but can charge between $5 and $10 an hour depending on where you live and how many kids you are watching at once.

6. Petsitting/Walking

Dogwalking is a great service to offer those who are away for a long time during the day. It’s also a great way to stay in shape. You can also add petsitting services and if you’re not squeamish, dog poop scooping services. Dog walkers frequently get about $20 per hour, depending on location. Petsitters often charge per visit – usually about $20 per day depending on what your duties will be.

7. Head to the fair

Summertime is fair and festival time. Do you have a craft you make that you would be willing to make a lot of? Do you bake or make fudge? Try your hand at making fudge and bring it to the fairs and festivals in your area. You could make hundreds of dollars — maybe more — over a weekend, depending on the festival. Make sure to investigate your state rules first regarding cottage food industries if you are making edibles.

8. Tutoring

Were you a math whiz in high school? Do you understand the intricacies of chemistry? Many students could use a helping hand in a lot of these subjects and you might be just the person to help them out. You could make $10 or so an hour and be a real boon to a student who is struggling.

9. Videographer/Photographer

Have a flair with a camera? From weddings to parties to receptions of all sorts, many organizations need someone to photo or video their events. Become familiar with your equipment and offer to do the first one or two jobs for the cost of gas and you will have a portfolio upon which you can build.

10. Running errands

Moms, seniors, folks that work out of town often, frequently need someone to help them get those little things done. You could drive senior citizens to appointments or go shopping for or with them. You could pick up someone else’s dry cleaning while you drop off someone else’s prescriptions. Put up flyers, post on Facebook and Craigslist. You’d be amazed at how much people are willing to pay for an extra hand now and again. Start by charging a basic rate – $5 per errand, for example, depending on the errand – or $20 for an hour of shopping plus delivery. Adjust your rates as you run more errands and find more need for your services.

Love this article? Share it with your friends on Facebook

Make More Money: 5 Amazing Ideas That Will Help You Prosper In 2015

makemoremoney

I’m a huge advocate of making extra income and dabbling in entrepreneurship. In some cases, this side income can make enough to quit a bad 9-5 job and open up some new possibilities. From there the fun begins as we take a hold of our own lives and experience financial freedom!

So here are 5 ways you can make more money in 2015.

1. Rent out your car, bike, boat, outdoor equipment & extra land

If you’re not using it then why not make money off that asset? You could be making $250 a week from that nice bike you bought last Christmas or rent your extra car out and make an extra $2,000 a month!

For your bike, snowboard & surfboard:

spinlister

For your car:

relayrides

getaround

For your boat:

boatbound

For your outdoor equipment:

outdoor

For your extra land:

gamping

2. Renting out your space

People always need storage. You can charge people to store stuff at your house – a spare bedroom or basement would work perfectly.

You probably have a friend or family member that needs your help with this right now. A few boxes in an area of the house you’re not using are a perfect idea when you need some fast cash. Think about those self-storage places; they make an absolute fortune! You would be solving a huge problem for people and creating an easy flow of income. Cha-ching!

Try posting an ad for this on Craigslist and start interviewing or try this:

  • Roost (Predominantly in San Franciso, California but expanding nationwide. Make $3,000 a year)

roost

  • Sparechair (Launching soon. The twist here is people can use your space to work at home without being at home. The company is looking to help people network by making coworking fun and profitable. You can charge $10-$20 a day)

sparechair

  • Peerspace (If your space is creatively designed and can allow for groups of people to work then consider this)

peerspace

You can even rent out areas of your home to filmmakers and producers:

  • Setscouter (If a director selects your home you can make up to $4,500 per day)

setscout

3. Drive people around

The days of investing money to purchase a taxi business have changed. Today you can freely partner up with a driving company and make $200-500 a day driving people with your own car. If you’re worried about insurance these companies take care of it all. The cool thing about this is you can be a driver whenever you want or treat it like a regular job and make approximately $65,000 or more a year.

Wondering where you’ll find paying customers? It’s all in the mobile app which you can download and check out now. For more information visit:

  • Uber (Available in most major cities)

uber

  • Lyft (Just like Uber but with a cute pink mustache)

lyft

sidecar

shuddle

4. Voiceover

There’s a chance your voice is the type someone is looking for in their online or radio commercial. You’ll never know until you try. So find a quiet room away from distraction, stand up to project your voice, and record some samples. You don’t need the most professional equipment right now. Just use your mobile phone or computer microphone. Try these website’s for voice over work:

voicebunny

voices

5. Writing blog posts

There are more than a few blogs that you might follow. How much have you learned from reading, liking, commenting, and sharing this information? Quite a bit, I bet! If you enjoy it consider offering to write articles for them.

You don’t have to be a literary giant. Your thoughts are your thoughts and they’re valuable – treat them as such. You should get about 25 bucks per article which can take roughly 30 minutes to research and 30 minutes to write. If you write 40, you’ve got $1,000 – just like that! This is like working a 40 hour work week while staying in the comforts of home.

Here’s one source writers can make $30 a short blog post and $65 a long blog post:

scripted

You can find more options here:

elance

odesk

If you liked these ideas on making money then you’ll enjoy this: 8 Great Ways To Earn Extra Cash For Nigerians Only

Love this article? Share it with your friends on Facebook

5 Extremely Easy Ways To Backup Your Computer

computer-problem-152211_1280

One surefire way to ruin a day is to find that your laptop/computer has been compromised. The culprit could be an accidental spill, drop, or even a virus, but all of a sudden your life is gone. All emails, pictures, jokes, projects, and bookmarks that make your life easy—Gone! In order to be ready for this crisis, it is necessary to make backups of the information you love and cherish. Here are a few ways to make sure all is not lost.

1. Cloud Programs like Crashplan, Carbonite, & Backblaze

The most effective backup method is via cloud service, which protects your information in cyberspace. Another more traditional method is through a restore function within your computer or a hard copy backup of all your files. The reason the cloud services are more effective is that they update often without any work on your part. This type of backup is more inclusive. The likelihood of having different components backed up, such as photos, music, bookmarks, saved emails, and files is significantly higher. It simply provides the most up-to-date info accessible through an internet connection. You can also be selective of what you want to backup. For example, you could opt to never have temporary internet files backed up. This may be a good thing if your source of the crash was a virus downloaded via an internet app or email.

A major drawback to this type of backup is that cloud drives can be susceptible to hacking. The data is stored in cyberspace, where it may be at risk. This is something that needs to be researched with any cloud service. Each company has a security protocol, and it would be wise to find out if that company has ever been hacked or how it is rated among all the other cloud services out there. Like every industry, there are always good ones and then better ones.

2. Internal Backup

Most operating systems now have a “time machine” function where you can restore your computer to an earlier date. When you shut down each day, your computer saves all the programs and updates through that date. Being able to go back to a prior date might allow you to work around a suspicious file that has been downloaded that may be a virus or some other malware. This also is the simplest way to restore all your information. Internal backup systems on both Windows and Mac operating systems have become much more user-friendly over the years.

The downside of this is that other files may not be saved. Peripheral data obtained via the internet or files downloaded after the restore date may no longer be accessible. This could be very frustrating if, for instance, you collected many diverse sources for a project and then had your computer crash. Some of the research or even the breadcrumbs that may have led you to sources may not be readily apparent, and you risk having to reinvent the wheel.

3. External Hardrive

Investing in an external drive to store major files may be a good idea. This is sort of an old-school but comfortable way to have privacy and protection. This is what most people have seen IT departments use to restore computer function in the past. There are many who trust this alternative more than any other. It is user-dependent, since what is saved is what you consciously backed up. It has known parameters without external factors (relying on software or security) to protect your information.

The downfall is that if you have not backed up information recently, you might lose necessary or vital information and programs accessed since your last backup. This is the biggest problem with this sort of backup—it takes diligence to remember to backup information. It is common for people to forget to backup or save their work, and that human flaw can make your life harder if you depend on this method.

4. CD Backup

This is a more primitive method of system restore. Burning the inventory to a CD will, of course, provide you access to those files up until the date of it being burned; however, you have multiple discs to contend with as well as errors in burning that you may not have caught at the time you backed up those files. It may be unreliable to a degree. This sort of safety net allows for a great deal of issues, such as having incomplete copies of programs, glitches within the burning process, disk defectiveness, and human error. These all could be factors in making your day much more complicated.

5. Thumbdrive Backup

The most basic of backups of only prominent files to a thumbdrive is the most limited form of backup. Thumbdrives have relatively limited space and thus can not store much data. However, this is a very easy way to save information that came be taken anywhere at any time. You can take your entire desktop on vacation via a thumbdrive. The only drawback is the space capacity of the drive itself.

Using one or varying combinations of these sorts of backup methods will help to save you time and frustration when your computer crashes. It is better to be prepared, despite the cost of and amount of thought and energy needed to make such alternatives viable or more practical for the amount of information, the level of security, and the accessibility that you personally feel comfortable with. Each of these ways provides the basic remedy for the problem of a computer that has crashed. It comes down to personal choice, preference, and comfort. Which way works for you?

Love this article? Share it with your friends on Facebook

7 Reasons You Won’t Start Studying Until It’s Too Late, And What To Do About It

141025-flickr.com-UBCLearningCommons-studying

For most of us, the experience of studying for an exam can be captured in one word: panic. You’ve got 18 hours, exhausted, and sitting there staring at an equations sheet full of gibberish. Whyyy? Why didn’t I start earlier?

Believe it or not, there are forces acting against you, pulling you away from starting early enough so that you can comfortably learn new material. Here are 7 of the most insidious reasons why you don’t start early, and what you can do about it.

1. You’re anticipating hard work

289973996_6f179e9b58_o

Procrastination is generally viewed as this guilt-ridden character defect shared almost universally by all students. The problem is, this is exactly what we should expect to happen from an evolutionary perspective.

Humans are known to be cognitive misers: we conserve mental resources whenever possible, especially when facing tasks not viewed as “essential to our survival.”

In other words, we put off studying until the last minute because (1) we know the work is hard and will require a lot of mental energy, and (2) until there’s the threat of actually failing the exam (and therefore potentially being humiliated publicly) we’re not in enough emotional pain to motivate us to start studying.

Additionally, when your brain anticipates multiple outcomes that are all viewed as “painful” (the pain of studying vs. the pain of failing out of college) you become immobilized, unable to choose the lesser of two evils, and push off the work even further.

Schedule in time for yourself first and then fill in the gaps with study time.

As Niel Fiore discusses in bestselling classic, The Now Habit, part of the reason you procrastinate is because you see no end in site.

Think of the difference between a 100 yard dash and a marathon. In the first case you’re able to give maximum effort because you can see the finish line and know it will be over soon. The marathon runner is not so lucky. They know there’s a long road ahead filled with pain and exhaustion, and subconsciously conserve their effort to ensure they can make it through all 26.2 miles.

This is all to say, if you know you get to go hang out in your buddy’s dorm room and goof off for an hour after you study, you’re much more likely to want to invest that energy.

As a side benefit, you end up taking advantage of Parkinson’s Law. Because your work expands to fill the time allotted, by scheduling less time for studying, you actually become more productive and focused.

2. You’re sleep deprived

6961676525_ab7f545fb2_b

Who in college isn’t pounding the caffeine?

Students who force themselves through weeks upon weeks of 4-6 hour sleep nights, are significantly deteriorating two aspects of their mental performance critical to studying for exams: motivation and vigilance.

Studies show that poor sleep negatively impacts motivation. But really, no one needs a study to tell them how much worse your outlook on life is when you’re low on sleep.

And vigilance, the ability to maintain concentrated attention over prolonged periods of time, is also significantly reduced during a period of either acute (staying up all night studying), or chronic (cutting sleep short for multiple days) sleep deprivation.

Set yourself an end-of-the-day alarm.

Yes, studying more consistently for shorter chunks will allow you to spread it over a longer period of time; therefore, preventing the need to deprive yourself of sleep just to get your coursework done. But really, it’s a psychological issue.

There are a million things we’d rather stay up and do, than go right to bed after a full day of classes, only to have to get up and do the same thing over again. This is a chicken/egg problem: if I don’t get sleep I procrastinate studying, but if I go to bed I’ll just have to get up and study. Again, lose-lose. We need to break the cycle.

Set yourself an alarm. But not in the morning. Set your alarm for 45 minutes before when you should get to sleep and allow yourself to sleep for a full 8 hours. If you adhere to that you’ll be surprised how many hours of free time seem to materialize.

Study time + free time + sleep = happy and successful students.

3. You have a false sense of security

Photo credit: funnfun.in

141025-funnfun.in-how-to-take-notes

You may think you’re being a diligent student, sitting there in the lecture, listening intently, copying down page after page of notes from the professor. You might even be following along and raise your hand here and there. But there’s a big difference between feeling like you understand something, and actually being able to reproduce it on a test.

This is what we call passive learning, and it’s the best way to ensure that you’ll spend a lot of time and effort trying to learn new material, without actually being able to retain any of it.

Quiz yourself.

Don’t be fooled by your professor’s overly logical explanations. This dude already knows the material, so it’s easy for him to explain it in a way that others find understandable. The real challenge is whether or not you can do the same.

If you’re wondering if you actually understand something, quiz yourself. Or better yet, explain it to someone (or yourself, but be warned: people tend to stare).

As Einstein liked to say, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

By routinely quizzing yourself, you’ll get a dose of reality of whether you actually know the material or not, instead of what most students do: assume they know it until the night before the test, when they proceed to freak out because they can’t do any of the practice problems.

4. Not all study time is created equal

4838276667_3b0e17a02f_b

Fact: seven hours of studying over 7 days is much more effective (more learning per time spent) for understanding new material than 7 hours of studying in one chunk. This is especially true for technical courses with new jargon you have to internalize.

Chunk your study time.

The brain uses a ton of energy (20% of our resting metabolic rate), and there’s only so much you can expend per day. To maximize your retention of new material, you want to take advantage of both active learning and recovery.

Because the brain consolidates new neural pathways during sleep, particularly during REM sleep, the more sleep cycles you intersperse between your study hours, the more likely it is that you will retain the material and be able to whip it out on test day.

This also allows you to take advantage of spaced repetition. Instead of having to constantly review your material to keep it in the forefront of your memory, you can follow a cycle of ever-increasing time intervals between review sessions (the “forgetting curve”), decreasing the overall amount of time needed to re-learn material you might have forgotten from the beginning of the semester when the final rolls around.

5. The planning fallacy

Humans systematically overestimate what can be accomplished in the short-term, and underestimate what can be accomplished in the long-term.

Ironically (and sadly), we only have this problem evaluating our own tasks – providing a pretty accurate picture of how long things will take when evaluating someone else’s situation objectively.

“Dude I’ve got this Calc final covered. Just need a couple days before to go over my notes. But you’re screwed for your Orgo class – better head to the library now or you’re never gonna pass.”

Use the 50% rule.

Estimate as conservatively as you can, how much time it’s going to take to study for your exam, assuming you start early and work consistently.

Done?

Okay. Now add 50% to that estimate.

This will give you a more accurate picture of how much time you really need to allocate to starting studying.

6. You think you have more study time than you do

141025-study-definition

Pull up your Sunday schedule. What do you see?

Oh looks like I’ve got a big chunk of free time from 4pm to 10pm. Perfect, I’ll just squeeze in 5 or 6 hours of studying and then call it a night.

Try again. It’s more like 2-3 hours.

This is another type of planning mistake: overestimating how much productive time we can extract from any given period.

Things we tend to forget: we need to eat; we need to sleep; there will be interruptions (yea right like you’re actually going to shut off your phone).

But another thing we fail to account for: the body goes through 90-120 minute activity cycles (called the Ultradian Rhythm). So even though you may be sitting there, highlighting your textbook for 3 hours straight, you really only have the ability to absorb material for 1.5 to 2 hours before you need a period of rest.

Cut your estimated hours in half.

If you think you have 8 hours on Sunday after the game to study, forget it. You actually have 4 or less when you take out time for eating, breaks, and normal daily activities.

7. You can’t get motivated or focused

A lot of us tend to sit around and wait…

Waiting for the wave of motivation to strike us to finally get started on the homework assignment due in 24 hours, or studying for the midterm.

Here’s the problem: motivation comes and goes, but the demands of school and learning and everyday life don’t. And if you’re relying on your motivation to keep you focused, everything you’re doing is going to be in a perpetual state of lateness and last-minute-ness, because there’s never enough motivation to go around.

Focus on the process, with the end in mind.

Why are you in school? Why do you want a degree? Get clear on exactly what your motivations are.

But thinking about the future is not enough. That vision of the future that drives your emotional intensity needs to be linked to your daily activities. (e.g. “Each day I study for Calculus brings me one step closer to being a doctor and making a difference in people’s lives.”)

What is the one set of activities each day that will virtually guarantee success in your coursework?

And what can you do to organize your day, set up incentives, quit things that don’t matter, etc. to virtually guarantee you will do that one set of activities day in and day out, despite motivation?

This Is Why You Need to Stay Motivated Every Morning

stay motivated every morning

It is early morning and you wake up and suddenly you realize that you don’t want to leave your warm bed. You cannot think of a reason to get up and go. There’s something amiss.

Do you know what is it that is missing?

It is the power from within; the spark that keeps one going.

But you might ask, “Why does one need motivation in the first place? Can’t we function without it? Can’t we just keep up a routine without being enthused?”

Actually, you can! But the problem is that you just cannot excel at anything if you are not motivated enough.
Why do we all need motivation?

We, as logical beings, need a reason for performing any action. If money attracts me, I will work. If I want to become a published author, I will work on polishing my writing skills. If I want to lose weight, I will control my calorie intake. So on and so forth.

So you see, there is some goal or target that keeps you going. Without that, we would not want to work or exert our energy on any type of work.

A very important aspect of motivation is that it can disappear easily. One thing that motivates us right now might not remain the same in the future. Goals change, desires diminish and things simply evolve over time. Nothing in life remains constant and thus we need motivation constantly.

Each morning we need a flame that motivates us from within.

Now the million dollar question:

Since being motivated is so important, how do we keep ourselves motivated enough to keep working on a goal and not get tired of it?

The answer to this million dollar question:

Don’t worry. We have the answers ready for you here.

There are many ways of keeping yourself motivated, but we will focus on the most important and practical ones here so that you stay motivated to follow this advice.

1. Know what you like doing.

If one knows what they like to do, it is highly likely that they will keep doing it. Writing is what I love to do; that is why I keep doing it and do not just get bored of it. Everybody has different interests, likes and dislikes. A person just cannot keep doing something for long if they don’t like it enough.

2. Choose and focus.

Most of the time, the reason behind our failure is that we do not focus. We like doing too many things or have a lot of varied interests. Due to lack of focus, one becomes a jack of all and master of none. Each morning, we need to set our priorities and focus on them. We have limited time and energy and it is put to best use if we know our forte and focus on it.

3. Think positive.

It might sound like a cliché but this is a must!! When you wake up in the morning, try to think about at least three encouraging things in your life or from your previous day. This will set a positive tone to your day and you will see for yourself how productive your day turns out.

Tip: To combat depressing phases in my life, I keep a notebook and jot down my achievements (big or small) or positive happenings in my life. When I feel low, I read it and become totally rejuvenated.

4. Begin your day early.

You might hate me for this one but trust me: it makes a lot of difference when it comes to your productivity. You are at the best of your energy levels for the day. Your mind is clearer and you are refreshed from the previous day’s hectic events. Try this for a few days and you might even end up liking the early morning environment and the energy that it brings with it.

5. Practice the above suggestions daily.

Yeah, that’s the most important tip! Nothing will work if we don’t follow it regularly. Only perseverance brings out great results!!

The above tips might sound simple but that’s the trick. They work due to the simplicity. Try for yourself and let us know about the results!!

Stay motivated everyone! Why do you need motivation?

To Stay Connected For Motivation And Life Style Tips Sign Up Here

%d bloggers like this: