Category Archives: Make Money

How to start a freelance business the right way

freelance business

The typical 9-5 office job lacks the glamour it once had. It once provided the income, prestige, and fulfillment that once defined the American Dream – not anymore. These days, stagnant salaries, 12-hour work days, and piles of soul-crushing work are becoming the norm.

Is that all there is?

No. There are people who still enjoy their careers in 2018, but many have chosen to build theirs from the ground up. The freelancing revolution is in full swing – by 2020, 43% of all workers in America will be self-employed.

Want to join them? Below, we’ll talk about everything you’ll need to address before you can make your favourite coffee shop your new office.

Find an overlap between your skills and what the market needs

Writing, graphic design, web development – these are just a few areas in which you can specialise as a freelancer. To succeed, though, it is vital to research your target market’s needs. Or maybe you like being in front of a camera and create a Youtube channel.

If hundreds of writers in a specific region are churning out the same content, it will be tough for you to make ends meet.

On the other hand, finding someone who writes quality ad copy can be difficult. Specialise in this niche, and you will be able to earn much more per project than lower skilled writers.

Whether it is writing technical documents for oil & gas companies, coding SaaS apps, or creating covers for e-book authors, a lucrative income can be found at the intersection of your skill set and the needs of the market.

Name your price

The temptation to undercut the competition can be overwhelming – don’t do it. First, most established freelancers are too well-connected to worry about having future work opportunities ‘stolen’ from them. Second, underpricing oneself can create a poverty trap that can be tough to escape from.

To figure out a fair rate for your skill set, research the websites of colleagues who do similar work. If their fees aren’t displayed, contact them as a ‘customer’. This may feel awkward but remember – successful freelancers get dozens of e-mail messages every day.

You will be far from the first person who ghosted them after sending over their rate card. If this bothers you, be transparent about your intentions – many freelancers are happy to help out their brethren.

Create a high-quality website

It is not enough to be on social media. A website gives self-employed professionals a platform to sell themselves to clients around the world. On it, you can break down the services you offer, showcase your work in a portfolio, display testimonials, and more.

Don’t think you have the technical prowess to set up a website? It has never been easier for everyday people to get their own web portal up and running thanks to WordPress.

Web hosts like Bluehost and HostGator offer a streamlined installation process that usually takes less than five minutes – you don’t need to be a nerd to set up a website these days.

Can’t afford to set up your own domain? Establish a web presence for free on WordPress.com or Blogger. While we recommend having your own space, this is a quick way to get on the web for no cost.

Once you are ready to show your site off to the world, optimise your site’s SEO, buy some Google Ads,  get on social media, and print business cards – these steps and others will make it easier for clients to find your home on the web.

Learn about taxes

taxes

As an employee, taxes are something you never have to think about. Every two weeks, the payroll department automatically deducts local and federal taxes, as well as entitlements. When you work for yourself, though, this responsibility falls squarely on your shoulders.

A newly-minted freelancer’s first tax season can be a painful one; not because of the amount they owe, but because they forgot to budget for it in the first place.

Make an appointment with an accountant before sending out a single invoice. They will educate you on the records you’ll need to keep, quarterly filing dates (if applicable in your area), tax breaks, and so on.

At minimum, calculate your effective tax rate and deduct this amount from your daily gross earnings. At month’s end, transfer everything that is owed into a segregated savings account. This way, you’ll avoid spending money that isn’t yours.

Prospect for clients

Now that you’ve learned how to set up, market, and run your freelance business, it’s time to get some clients. With any luck, some may have already reached out via your website. If not, it’s on you to find them.

But before calling or e-mailing every company in your area, take a second to think about the work you want to do.

You may be an ace at building websites, but if banking bores you to tears, taking on clients in finance might not be the best idea. If you constantly check out houses on your morning jog, though, designing sites for real estate agents might be a better fit.

Next, draft a solid pitch. Feel free to reuse it for multiple prospects, but leave plenty of room for customisation – nobody likes to receive a generic pitch e-mail they’ve seen dozens of times before.

Cut to the chase – quickly explain what skills you bring to the table, as well as the specific value you intend to deliver.

Keep a record of every business you contact. This way, following up unanswered pitches becomes easier. Most successful entrepreneurs are busy – sending them a gentle reminder two weeks later will increase the likelihood of a reply.

Cut the cord

Unless you have six to twelve months of expenses saved up, we don’t recommend quitting your job to start a freelance business. Instead, leverage your free time outside of work to build your practice on the side. This way, you’ll avoid having financial stress influence your decisions.

Once you have built up an income you can live on (as well as the six to twelve-month buffer mentioned above), schedule a meeting with the boss and turn in your two-week notice – the real work is about to begin!

Gamble Smarter, College Boy!

Gambling is one of the worst thing you could do for your personal finances as a whole. Nonetheless of you are a student who is struggling financially, or a parent that has to bear the heavy costs of college enrollment. In fact, it is scientifically proven that the “problem gambling” group (people who gamble excessively to a point it has a tremendous financial and mental costs) mainly consists of poor individuals, so the fact you have little money in your possession doesn’t make you any less prone to become an addict.

The above is my “don’t gamble, kids!” disclaimer. I am by no means encouraging anyone to wager their money through gambling (ESPECIALLY if its against the law where they live).

satanofcards

After we have established the fact that gambling can be the root of all evils, we have to withstand the fact gambling is a highly popular recreational activity, and especially for college students who are able to set foot inside a casino for the first time in their life. Although they can develop issues as a result of uncontrolled gambling, it’s no less of a risk than cigarette or drug consumption which incredibly trendy at this age.

Below are 7 tips that will help you control your gambling spending, decrease associated fees, and improve your chances of actually winning something back.

1. Use a set budget

Easier said than done, I know, but you need to have a stringent budget for gambling purposes, else even a one wild night can cost you dearly. The budget should be a number that you would make you feel comfortable to lose in one evening, if you occasionally gamble (once every few weeks or more seldom than that). If your frequency is higher than that, you should decide on a weekly or a monthly budget, but that’s far more difficult to track.

The best tip I have for you is to use cash when you go to a brick-and-mortar casino, without a debit or a credit card. This way, you won’t be exceeding your limits even if you really, really, want to.

2. Spend time playing in demo mode

If it’s boredom that drives you into gambling, and you need endlessly click to slot’s re-bet button, why won’t you play online on demo mode without risking any money? Although it turns things from gambling to gaming, some people can get to similar levels of enjoyment from this activity without putting any money at risk.

3. Online casinos offers lower stakes

Playing online casino games for real money can be quite destructive because you cannot set limits in the same way you can when going to a land-based casino. It’s also a non-social activity, unlike going out to a casino with your mates, which has higher risks of becoming addictive (or so I believe, found no evidence to that). On the other hand, online casinos offer a lot more variety. Variety of games, variety of promotions, variety of competitions, and also variety of stakes. While the average US casino had a $1-5 minimum per hand in blackjack, online casino enable lowballers to wager as little as $2c per hand.

4. Avoid credit and payment fees on deposit

If you are going to a brick and mortar casino, do not use credit card to make payments for your chips as it will incur additional costs in comparison to cash/debit. If you are going to gamble abroad, do not exchange your money in the casino, as the exchange rates will be drastically worse to a standard exchange bureau.  If you are playing online, check the casino’s specific fees for usage of different payment methods, and consider using eWallets that sometimes have unique promotions of if you use them to deposit (eWallets you can use for gambling: Paypal, Neteller, iDebit, Siru and a bunchload more).

5. Utilize bonuses and loyalty club memberships

Online and landbased casinos will go above and beyond to preserve you as a customer. This is exactly why casino membership cards are so great – they accumulate bonus points that you can use in the bar, restaurant or on the felt! The same applies to online casinos. The more you play, the more of your bonus you redeem. The more you deposit, the more VIP points you accumulate. This is free money that you should use, just be sure to read the fine print and understand online casino bonuses can also be a hassle because they limit your withdrawal if you have won any money (until you have fully redeemed the bonus).

6. Focus on low-house-advantage games

If you are indifferent towards the gaming experience in a casino and just enjoy the thrill of gambling on money, why won’t you try games that you have better chances of winning at? Of course that in the long run, you will end up losing money if you play casino games*, but if you play a game like blackjack or baccarat, you are likely to consume your funds at a much more sufficient pace than with slots.

* If you specialize in games like Texas Hold’em poker you might end up even winning! This is not a casino game but rather a skill game with 10-20% lifetime winners (who made more money than spent). Same thing applies to sports-betting – if you are an expert punter using a sophisticated strategy, you might win in the long term.

7. Don’t play to win

If you want to have a night evening out (or in your dorms) playing casino games, do it for the sake of entertainment without telling yourself you can win, because you can’t. It’s not a question of luck, but rather simple statistics. With every single die roll, statistics balance out. If you are playing blackjack that has an advantage of about 0.5% against optimal strategy (assuming you do use it), that means that roughly 0.5% of the total turnover will be won by the casino. So if you bet $10 a million times, you should be  about $50,000. That all there is to it, maths. You can win on a single night, or a week, or a month or even a year, but you won’t be winning in the long term.

 

Hope this was helpful to you young gamblers. Just note that in the USA online gambling is not only prohibited but also quite impossible. Online casinos that accept Americans aren’t the ones you want to be wagering your money in. For concluding words, I will refrain from using the banal “good luck” wish, and just advise you to gamble responsibility.