Category Archives: advice

Increasing Productivity as a Freelancer

Working from home as a freelancer can an exciting career. Whether you’re a ghostwriter, graphic designer, or a virtual assistant, living in the freelance world can open the door for more time spent with family, working in your pajamas, and getting to sleep in everyday. Unless you’re a perfect human being who never gets lazy, you may find being consistently productive working at home to be troublesome. Getting all of your worked done and finishing every project at its deadline can be difficult if you aren’t productive and efficient.

How to Increase Productivity as a Freelancer

Change Your Location

Do you use your living room coffee table to do your work? Consider moving to your patio or any other location to give your brain the boost it needs. As humans, we crave to be stimulated. Your surroundings and atmosphere can play a huge role on your productivity levels. Just a quick move from one place to the other can make a difference.

Set Up A Work Timer

It’s time to set up a work timer. This tool is going to maximize how you work at home so you can work with uninterrupted energy. Simply set up a timer to work with no distractions for 30 minutes straight, and then give yourself a solid 5-10 minute break before you go another 30 minutes again. Feel free to edit the time frame to best match what you can do, but this technique is a powerful way to remain productive and get stuff done without burning you out.

Lighten Up Your Workspace

The Future Workplace did a Workplace Wellness Study in 2019 and found that seven out of ten employees rated environmental wellness to be their source for overall well-being. Harsh artificial lighting, a dim workspace, and high intensity glares can all cause stress and migraines. Strive to get natural lighting in from the windows or even lightbulbs and lamps that try to mimic the outside world.

Distractions Should Be Put Away

It’s vital that you understand the power of outside forces like your phone, television, Netflix, children running around, and other external energies that can dictate how you operate at home. Its different working in an office where everybody is dedicated to their work and must remain attentive to show the boss that you’re working, but at home, you get to decide what you do and when you do it. Keep phones silent for certain periods of time, turn off the radio or television, and find time when the kids or dogs aren’t at their most energetic.

Create A Schedule and Develop Routine

Building a schedule for the next day’s work plan is a great way to be on top of your work life in advance. It’s the best way to guarantee that you are fitting in the must-do’s for your work day. A routine of when you start certain projects or when you respond to emails is a good habit to build for longevity and productivity down the line.

Being productive is about having a plan of action. You get 24 hours in a day. Be smart and plan how to use them effectively. Figure out what works best for you. Are you most productive in the early morning or during the evening hours? Do you find yourself busy during certain times of the day to care for your family and dogs? As a freelancer, you have the ability to change up your entire schedule to what fits your lifestyle the most. Use that to your advantage and find the time of the day that allows you to be at your best. These tips put together can help you reach your fullest potential working at home as a freelancer.

How Freelancers Can Better Collaborate with Their Clients

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Endless revisions, missed deadlines, and failure to deliver on the client’s expectations are some problems that affect a freelancer’s career.

Almost all these issues could be attributed to a lack of communication and inadequate collaboration between the freelancer and the client. This could be due to time zones, misguided assumptions and incomplete or incomprehensible project briefs.

To ensure seamless collaboration with your client, you and your client need to be clear and strategic about your collaboration process.

The following are tips on how freelancers can successfully collaborate with clients and convert a one-time task into an ongoing project.

Communicate Your Plan Clearly

Clients often complain about being left in the dark, especially when it’s a big project, and when pre-approvals are needed every step of the way. Understanding what, when, and how to communicate with the client and integrating their expectations and ideas can get messy sometimes.

This is where you need a streamlined process to remain on top of the entire project without creating confusion. A concept map maker is a tool that helps you clearly outline the ideas you need to act on, delineate the project scope, and systematically lay out client approvals.

With the help of a concept map maker, you can easily create connections between different project ideas and your client’s expectations. This way, you and your client will be on the same page, and you can convert them into a returning client.

Set Clear Collaboration Goals From The Start

Many clients don’t know what they want or have difficulty articulating their requirements. This is why it’s important to let your clients know how and when they can reach out to you. This not only nips all the collaboration issues in the bud, but it also keeps you organized and helps you deliver projects on time.

At the start, you must maintain complete transparency with your client. Communicate how you will manage the project by offering clarity on the entire scope and asking for feedback. You can also personalize your collaboration process through vocal communication for more genuine conversations to learn about the client’s expectations.

This establishes a foundation of seamless collaboration between you and your client so that you can put your entire focus on delivering a high-quality project.

Pitch Your Ideas Effectively

Before you start the project, understand what your client is expecting from you as the outcome. Even if, as a specialist, you think that your ideas are more important for the project, that’s hardly ever the case.

It’s important to strike a balance and to learn how to express your ideas, while also respecting the client’s expectations.

You can pitch your ideas as potent alternatives and explain them by creating mockups to illustrate your ideas to the client. Unless your client is an expert on this project, they will understand your knowledge and appreciate your guidance.

Use Written Communication For Follow-Ups

Freelancing, especially in the digital age, gives you more options when it comes to the channels you and your clients can use to collaborate. However, for more serious matters such as project scope, client approvals and ideas, you need to leverage the power of written communication if you want your collaboration to run smoothly.

Even though oral communication is quicker, it leaves a large margin for error and miscommuniction. This is why it’s important to confirm the outcome of any communication by  sending a debrief via email.

This serves as proof of communication on a particular topic and helps you keep your client updated on the project’s status.

Ask All The Right Questions

As compared to the in-house team, freelancers are not in tune with the ins and outs of their client’s business. Thus it is important to get as much information about your client’s business as you can.

If you are not confident with the client brief, it is important to ask questions rather than assume what your client’s wants.

Asking all the right questions about the project will show that you are highly invested in the project and desire to foster a positive relationship with the client.

In Conclusion

Effective communication, efficiency and transparency are some of the highly coveted skills successful freelancers possess. But there are certain times when the project scope can be confusing, and you cannot understand your client’s requirements.

This is where you need to ensure seamless collaboration to improve your reputation as a freelancer and thus, gain more clients. It also enhances your relationships with your existing customers and keeps them coming back for more.

How A Freelance Editor Can Help Your Book Project

Book editing services by Freelance-Zone.comby Joe Wallace

A few years ago, I was approached to edit a book by Chicago voiceover legend Jeff Lupetin. The project was still in progress at the time and while there are some book editors who won’t touch a manuscript until it has been declared more or less finished in some form, I accepted the project for a variety of reasons including the fact that I have a background in broadcast and understood where the book was going.

That’s something a book editor shouldn’t take lightly-if you aren’t as experienced in a certain kind of subject matter and don’t know where the project might go, you are potentially at a serious disadvantage when it comes to avoiding task creep.

How did I help this project and what can a freelance editor do to help YOUR book project?

For starters, I asked the author some very direct questions. Who is the intended audience? For this book, that seems like a no-brainer. People who want to become voice artists and do voiceover work. But is that all?

We managed to refine the audience type by asking ourselves as author and editor what kinds of people would be interested in this book. We came up with two basic types (not that our discussions were limited to that, mind you) including those who are gear savvy and those who are not.

So we needed to reach people who didn’t know one end of a microphone from the other, and the people who know the difference between a cardioid mic, a shotgun microphone, and a large-diaphragm condenser mic.

Knowing the business the way I do, it wasn’t hard to make suggestions about how to reach people who don’t know the technical side of things. And it was easy to suggest changes to make the book more “evergreen” so that technological advances didn’t render whole portions of the text obsolete in a few years.

But the real work was the author’s-he had to organize his thoughts in such a way that the progression of information from the introduction to the closing chapter makes sense and can help the reader make a step-by-step journey through the craft and realities of working in the voiceover industry.

What a good editor can do for your book project, especially non-fiction, is to provide the outsider’s perspective. When you write a book and devote enough time to it, it’s easy to miss some obvious things along the way. Everything from perspective on the subject to the basic ability to understand the progression of facts and information between the introduction and “about the author” can be tainted by being too close to your subject or the mechanics of writing about it.

Hire A Freelance Editor To Get A Second Opinion Or Outsider’s Perspective On Your Project

A freelance editor can be hired to do several things. One is nothing but a technical review of the book-is the grammar good? Punctuation and spelling? Does the book make sense to read or does it need formatting changes to make it easier to follow? These are all critical technical issues.

But you can also hire an editor to give you more detailed feedback. Does the book make sense in terms of its’ overall presentation of content, the structure of the information, and the narrative? This is a more subjective process and an author who hires an editor to do this needs to be ready to hear real and constructive feedback. Don’t shy away from the hard things your editor might say-if the goal is to make your book as good as it can be, the advice you get is worth considering even if you wind up disagreeing.

[Hire a freelance writer, editor, or social media manager by contacting us via e-mail with some basic details about your project. We will get in touch with you to discuss your needs.]

A good editor will be tactful but will tell you what you need to know about getting  your book into shape for publication.

If you need to hire an editor to help you format an eBook, understand that this is a completely separate process from editing the actual content of the book. Some editors refuse to touch eBook formatting and others love doing it. But the electronic book formatting process is totally different than working on the material itself.

[Hire a freelance writer, editor, or social media manager by contacting us via e-mail with some basic details about your project. We will get in touch with you to discuss your needs.]

Site Reorganization Update

The site has been up and down quite a lot in the last month due to upgrades, changes, bugs, troubleshooting, and much more. It’s great to report that we are finally getting close to being 100% up and running on a 24/7 basis! Our first official posts will be coming very soon. Thank you very much for your interest and if you have found this website because you are in search of writers or editors for a project you need help with, please feel free to get in touch via email:

We are accepting new projects for our writing team including online content writing, editing (books and other publications), articles, social media management and much more. A full list of our services and writers is coming very soon.

Thanks for reading!

Joe Wallace
Founder and Editor-in-Chief Site Reorganization In Progress

The old website cliche “pardon our dust” definitely applies to this space. The site is being overhauled and updated and in the meantime now that we are back online after a lengthy absence, there is plenty to clean up around here! Apologies in the interim for sections badly in need of an update such as Writers Groups By State and Writing Programs.

Updates as they occur. Thank you for your interest!

Joe Wallace
Founder and Editor-in-Chief