Life Update

I realised that I’ve not really posted anything about myself for a few months, but today it is time for an update!

I created this blog to be useful – I wanted to help other people in lots of little ways. However, I’ve started to get more followers, and I thought I should let you know a little bit about myself, too.

 

I’m a freelance writer/editor/transcriptionist, and I’ve been freelance since I finished studying Journalism at University. I write for Lifehack, Thought Catalog, The Talko, Simple and Bloomwell – lots of different publications doing different things!

Some articles are motivational, such as ”30 things you can do today to make yourself feel better.” (All of the articles I mention here are linked at the bottom, if you want to read them!)

I really enjoy writing list articles, or anything to do with productivity or motivation. It feels like I am being (semi)useful in the world. I (very occasionally) get an email from a reader thanking me for helping them to achieve something, and that makes me feel amazing.

Others are more educational. I write scientific articles for Bloomwell, a family legal company. For instance, I recently wrote “Your daughter’s brain and soccer: here’s what you need to know.”

Simple is a mobile banking service, so I write articles about saving money. I also write budget articles, such as “everything you’ll need to run a triathlon.”

I also run the newsletter, blog and social media pages for online dating website Date British Guys. I recently wrote a piece for the Queen’s birthday – “10 things you didn’t know about the Queen.”

I love writing for Date British Guys, as I manage some interns – so I actually have co-workers! Hurray for social contact with other people. 😉

 

I also do a couple of hours of transcription each week, and I write for a few other publications (but not as often).

Are you a freelancer? Would you enjoy freelancing? Let me know with a comment!

 

http://thoughtcatalog.com/amy-johnson/2016/06/30-simple-things-you-can-do-today-that-will-make-your-life-better-tomorrow/

https://www.bloomwell.com/blog/your-daughter%E2%80%99s-brain-and-soccer-here%E2%80%99s-what-you-need-know

https://www.simple.com/blog/first-triathlon-gear

http://www.datebritishguys.com/blog/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-queen/

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We Debunk 5 Popular Myths About Working From Home

We Debunk 4 Common Myths About Working From Home

Do you work from home? If you do, you may have encountered these common myths about working from home. Here we debunk 4 of the most popular myths surrounding working from home.

The myth – There isn’t much money in working from home.

The truth – There are many legitimate websites offering jobs you can do from home, such as Odesk or Elance. The pay may not be great to start with, but if you work diligently and build up a portfolio, you can decide how much you want to charge. Being freelance means you can choose your own rates – but if they aren’t realistic, you may not get many clients.

The myth – It is difficult to stay focused while working from home.

The truth – It can always be difficult to focus on work, whether you work from home or in an office! If you have an office area you only use for work, getting dressed in the morning and sitting in your work space will often get the creative juices flowing. If you’re still struggle to focus, social media can be the devil – but most freelancers I know love their jobs too much to stay distracted for too long.

The myth – Most work from home jobs are scams.

The truth – There are thousands of scam jobs online – and thousands of legitimate jobs, too. Peopleperhour offers legitimate jobs, and you can find clients in your area who are willing to pay you real money for your work.

The myth – My clients won’t take me seriously if I work from home.

The truth – As long as the product you’re creating is good, your clients won’t care where you’re working from. It is very rare you will even discuss your working environment with clients – normally you will only discuss the work you are completing for them, just as you would in an office environment.

Do you work from home? What are the most common misconceptions about working from home that you have heard? Comment your suggestions below!

8 TIPS FOR WRITERS

4 Unexpected Distractions When You’re Working From Home

Do you work from home? Many people who work from home are extremely productive for various reasons. For instance, you don’t have to commute to work or deal with office gossip, but there can be some downsides to working from home.

Check out 3 unexpected distractions that could ruin your productivity while you work from home.

Food

Working from home means you rarely have a set lunch time, which actually means many people don’t eat a proper lunch. Many people who work from home forget to plan lunch and end up grabbing something quick from their fridge, which won’t satisfy your appetite and could leave you feeling hungry and distracted later on in the day.

Decide what you’re going to eat for lunch in the morning to guarantee a productive day. Good options are salads, sandwiches and cold pastas, as they don’t take too long to prepare and they will give the energy you need to have a proactive day. Try to set a time for lunch, so you know to stop and refuel.

Music With Lyrics
Many people listen to music while working from home to help make their work more pleasant and enjoyable. However, music with lyrics can actually make it harder for you to focus fully on your work. If you like to listen to music while you work, listen to music without lyrics for the first hour while you get into your stride. Good options are jazz or classical – then you can switch to music with lyrics once you’re in the working zone!

Sitting Directly In Front Of A Window

Don’t sit in a dark room with the curtains closed – it may make you feel slightly insane – but sitting directly in front of a window can be a big distraction.

Birds chirping, people talking and the day getting darker can distract you very easily. When you’re really in the zone, you don’t notice the day getting darker, but you can’t help but to notice when you’re sat in front of a window. Instead, sit somewhere where you can enjoy natural light without looking directly outside.

Can you think of any other distractions for people working from home? Please let me know – they could be distracting me as I type! 🙂

I hope you all had great weekends J

6 Problems That Freelancers Can Face

6 Problems That Freelancers Can Face

Are you a freelancer? I love my job – I find my work fulfilling, fun and challenging. Every day presents something new to me, and I learn new skills all of the time. However, just like all jobs, there are some downsides to working as a freelancer.

Check out 7 problems that freelance writers can face.

1. Working In Separate Time Zones

One of the best parts of freelancing is being able to work with anyone in the world, but there are downsides too. If you are working in a separate time zone to your client, you will regularly experience 4AM Skype calls and working through the night. The hardest part? Having to stay awake the next morning so you can still speak to your clients who are in the same country as you. Sleep – who needs it?

2. Finding Your Own Clients

Promoting yourself and finding new clients can be a difficult part of freelancing. You feel like you spend every day bigging yourself up online to attract clients, and sometimes you wistfully consider buying your own billboard to let people know you’re available.

3. Avoiding Procrastination

Without a boss hovering over your shoulder, you realize how remarkably easy it is to procrastinate. Facebook, Instagram, Netflix and Twitter are your worst temptations, and on bad days, you have to force yourself to work. Where is the productive fairy when you need her?

4. Working Alone

You used to hate the office gossip, but after a few months of working alone, you start to miss the company of others. You speak to your clients regularly, but they don’t want to talk to you about the latest gossip in your life – which surprises you, because you know how interesting it is. 😉

5. Managing your finances

Many freelancers don’t have a set income, so it is important that they know how to be thrifty and save up. Also, doing taxes. Am I right?

6. Finding The Work/Personal Life Balance

If you live with your family or housemates, you will know the struggle of working while they are at home. Often you have to set out clear working hours, so you don’t offend them – and sometimes you have to fight the temptation to put the work down and go hang out with your loved ones.

Despite all of this, I love my job – I just thought this would be a funny read for any other freelancers. Can you think of any more downsides to freelancing, or working from home? Let me know your ideas 🙂

Yesterday - A Day In The Life Of A Freelancer

Yesterday – A Day In The Life Of A Freelancer

Hey everyone! I thought I’d do a bit of a different blog post today; a day in the life of me! When I tell people I am a freelance writer, I get all kinds of questions about what I do each day – mainly from people who assume my life is much more exciting than it is.

So here is a fairly boring account of yesterday. Behold – the very normal life of a freelance writer! I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

6AM – My alarm goes off and I switch it off. I roll over and pull my trusty laptop into bed with me. I switch it on and log onto my email; 16 emails – 7 spam messages, 5 messages about current writing projects, 3 emails from my transcription client, and one super important email about a future project. I reply to all of the messages that are not spam.

6.30AM – I jump in the shower and loudly listen Aerosmith’s album 9 Lives. I always listen to music in the shower to wake myself up. I’m not sure if this actually works though, as I trip over the bathmat mid-yawn.

I make a cup of tea and sit down at the desk in my bedroom.

7AM – I start transcribing audio files for my client’s family history book. I love transcribing the files – it is so cool to listen to his family’s conversations and slowly piece together their history. I like transcribing – I think it is peaceful and time passes quickly without me even realizing.

10AM – time to make a second – much needed – cup of tea and actually get some breakfast. I settle for Marmite on toast and a glass of orange juice. I take this through to my desk and continue transcribing until 12pm.

12PM– Lunch time! The best time of the day. Sometimes I go for a run or a swim, but at the moment I’m reading Gone Girl for the first time. I love the writing style, and so I sit in the back garden and read for half an hour.

12.30PM – I make myself a bean burger with spinach and seasoned chips, and take into the back garden. Delicious… Although the pages of Gone Girl are now marked with bean burger smudges.

1PM – It is such a beautiful day, so I decide to take my laptop in the back garden with me and work from there. It is quite hard to see the screen, but totally worth it for the possible tan I could get. I start writing an article for Lifehack about avocados – yeah, you heard. I love avocados and I have a lot to say about them! 😉

2PM – I’m starting to feel quite warm and sleepy. I take a Facebook break to see what my sisters are up to. I won’t be on for more than 10 minutes – I just want to see if there are any cute new pictures of my niece.

4PM – Uh oh. Probably time to log off Facebook.

4.30PM – Seriously – Do some work! I log out of Facebook and go downstairs to make a cup of tea. I need to write a lifestyle article for The Rich Daily before I finish today, so I start to think of a good angle for my piece. I am still mulling over this in the kitchen at 4.15PM when my housemate arrives home.

5PM – I had a catch up with my housemate, and now I am locked in my bedroom. I can hear her listening to to music and dancing in the kitchen – Must. Resist. Temptation. To. Go. Downstairs. I put on a relaxing acoustic album and start writing.

6.10PM – Finished! Now I can go downstairs and – Wait, I should really check my emails. It’s been a while.

6.15PM – 11 new emails?! Okay…

6.57PM – Aaaand…sent. Time to pour a glass of white wine and dance around the kitchen to loud music with my housemate.

11PM – Wait…. Did I reply to the email about a past writing project? I should go check.

11.03pm – No I didn’t. Better do that now.

What did you guys think of this post? I might do similar posts again, when I have more interesting days, such as days when I interview people or hire people. Let me know if any of you would find that interesting – or anything else you would like to see me blogging about!

Have a great day everyone 🙂

4 Ways People Mess Up Telephone Interviews

Have you ever had a job interview over the phone? Most people have been through a few, but there are many pitfalls to phone interviews that most people don’t consider.

Check out 4 ways that people mess up telephone interviews.

They Are Unprepared

Many people answer the phone to interviewers when they are halfway through cooking dinner or looking after their children, making the interview stressful for everyone involved.

It is better to not answer if you are busy, and to simply call back later. Interviewers will leave their name and number, so hold off if you are busy and give them a ring back when you can give them all of your time and attention.

They Forget The Important Details

This has happened to most people at least once – they have answered their phone to a job interview, and because they have applied for so many jobs, they have no idea who they are actually speaking to.

This can be tough to deal with, but a good way to do so is to keep notes on all of your applications. Note down important phone numbers, and when you get the call, it is much more likely you will know who is on the end of the line without having to ask.

They Sound Disinterested

As the interviewer cannot see your outfit or face over the phone, you have to use your voice to seem interested, enthusiastic and professional.

Many people struggle with either sounding disinterested or fake and over the top – a good way to deal with this is to take a deep breath to calm you down before you answer. Focus on being clear and coherent, rather than agreeable or excited.

They Don’t Do Their Research

When people first apply for jobs, they often do some research into the company and what they do. In interviews, they use this knowledge to make themselves appear interested and keen – but many people forget to do this during phone interviews. While phone interviews often seem much more casual, it is still important to seem like you are interested in the people you may be working for in the future.

Try to do some research into the company you are working for, and write it down. This way, if you receive the call, you can simply pick up the piece of paper with all of the information you need on it. Good luck!

Do you have any tips to help people improve their telephone interviewing skills? Thank you – as always – for checking out my blog and reading my posts! 🙂

5 Well Paid Jobs You Can Do From Home

Translator

If you speak two languages, translation is a job option for you to consider. You can set our own hours and choose your own work, but the work can be a little monotonous!

Skills you need: You need to know a second language – and you need to be able to speak and write in this language to a high quality level.

Being fast at typing is also a useful skill for this job. As you are often paid by project, rather than by the hour, typing quickly means the same amount of money for less time.

Statistical Analyst

This job is perfect for anyone who has worked with data. You can choose your clients or just work for one company. You will interpret data for research purposes, and it is helpful for you to have a specific area to specialize in, such as health or economics.

Skills you need: Proper statistical training. This job requires some qualifications, or at least previous experience analyzing data.

Travel Agent

There are more and more home-based travel agents joining the workforce. You can work for many travel companies from home, dealing with customers and solving their queries.

Skills you need: You need to have previous experience as a travel agent, or have experience in a similar area.

Writer

If you are skilled with words, there are many magazines and websites that are willing to pay you to write for them. A good way to break into writing is to blog or to write for free initially as a hobby – once you have proof online that you’re a great writer, you won’t struggle to find paid work.

Skills you need: You need to have a good grasp on the English language, as well as punctuation and grammar. It is helpful to have an area of expertise to write about too, such as travel, finance or cooking.

Transcriptionist

Transcriptionists type up audio files for clients, and they can either work for a company or as a freelancer. You can transcribe medical, law or general files.

Skills you need: You need to be a very fast typist – many companies are interested in people who can type between 60-100 words per minute. You also need to be great at spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Can you think of any more well-paid jobs that people can do from home? Thank you for reading! 🙂