How to Succeed (and Survive) as a Freelancer

Become A Freelancer
Become A Freelancer
Being a freelancer in the modern age might be easier in some ways, but unfortunately, the hard parts have only gotten harder. The market is flooded with competitors who can undercut you on cost and quality, and it seems like you can never quite get your foot in the door even with your ads in all the right places. How can you expect to survive as a freelancer when everything seems to be against you? There are a few tips to follow to help you keep your head above water, and really start going with the best of them.

Remember: You’re Your Own Boss, So You Have to Manage Yourself

This is the biggest mistake that freelancers of all stripes make. When you work for yourself, no one can screw you up or make you succeed more than you yourself can. You get to bask in your own successes, but have to own up to the fact that your failures are all on you as well.

Be Self Employed And Answer To No One But Yoursef
Be Self Employed And Answer To No One But Yoursef
Time management is what most freelancers wind up having trouble with, even though it’s perhaps one of the easiest-to-control factors involved in freelancing. Don’t forget that freelancing is your job, and you’ve got to treat it as such. Just because you can work from home and make your own schedule doesn’t mean that you get to spend all day watching cat videos on YouTube. If you just can’t seem to manage your time with traditional methods, there are a variety of computer and phone applications dedicated to assisting in focus. As an example, the Google Chrome app StayFocusd will block recreational websites of your choosing (or even all websites, period) for set periods of time. After a while, you’ll be able to function without these tools with training.

It’s not just about not getting distracted – it’s also about setting a reasonable timeline for getting projects done. Work with the client to get firm answers on what is due when, and draft a rough outline for yourself on what needs to be done daily until that date. Don’t push yourself too hard to knock out too much work on one day. Set reasonable expectations of what amount of work needs doing each day, and feel free to do more than what’s required if time permits. Steady work will win the race, and is far preferable to a last-minute rush.

Since You’re Your Own Boss, You’ve Also Got to Market Yourself

When you freelance, you’re several roles all in one. Not only are you your own boss, but you’re also your own publicist. Marketing yourself is a vital part of obtaining work, and you can’t always just let people come to you, especially when you’re just starting out.

Social media is, as always, a vital part of marketing. Create an account separate from your personal ones to keep your work and play separate, and be certain that they do not link to each other. Update regularly, and network with companies and clients to get your name out there, especially on professionally-oriented sites like LinkedIn. A simple search of standard job sites will drum up plenty of freelancing jobs with the correct keywords – remember, in the age of the internet, there’s always a market for people willing to write and design for the thousands of sites updating daily.

As the Boss, You’ve Got to Protect Yourself, Too

Start Freelancing
Start Freelancing
Flat out, don’t fall into the “for exposure” trap. If a company’s not going to pay you cash to freelance for your site, no amount of “exposure” is worth the time you’d waste on them. This is perhaps the hardest thing to learn and put one’s foot down about when freelancing – you are selling a product, and you cannot just give that product away for free to companies who don’t appreciate the work that’s gone into it.


For a new freelancer, it’s hard to turn down work when it comes along, even if it’s not paid. However, it doesn’t pay the bills, and the only thing you’ll get exposed to is more companies who only want to pay in more exposure. Allowing companies to get away with slave labor and continue to offer nothing but vague promises of word of mouth won’t encourage them to stop these dishonest practices, so do a solid for the whole freelance community – it’s cash or nothing.

Why You Should Avoid Society6

Society6 Is Not As Good As It Seams
Society6 Is Not As Good As It Seems

Society6 is skyrocketing in popularity these days, and some even say it might surpass Etsy. This site allows people to sell their art without paying for an account, and all in all has better functionality and better management than Etsy. While it might seem like this site has it all from first glance, a lot of artists end up getting on the site and really regretting their memberships. In case this has piqued your interest, there are a lot of reasons you should be steering clear of Society6 and all the people on there.

The Hype

This site is popular because they do the work for you. Your account is free, setting up a store is free, and you don’t have to work as hard as you would on Etsy to sell things. You can list your products for sale on multiple items, such as phone cases, art prints, t-shirts, and even pillows. Once people buy these products, the site will print and ship them for you. It sounds great, right? Sadly, while you do have the benefit of not printing things yourself, it’s not as amazing as it seems at first.

Why It Hurts Artists

You Have No Control Over The Product Quality Control
You Have No Control Over The Product Quality Control

While it cuts out the work for the artists, the site also takes a huge chunk from them for the process. When listing products on Society6, artists have to jack up the prices a lot. This isn’t because they hate you and want you to have to pay a ton of money for their products. This is because the site is going to take half of the money and they still need to make a profit. Don’t be shocked when you go on here and see people selling small prints for $20 or more. It’s also bad for artists that the site does all the printing itself and ships it out. When you print something in person to ship out, then that means you can do quality control by yourself. If the site’s doing the printing for you, then you have no idea what your client is going to get. The most the artist can do is hope for the best, and if the client is unhappy with the product, it falls back on the artist. The store is given a bad review and the client is unhappy, despite the fact that the artist had nothing to do with it. The site also only pays its artists for every six months’ worth of sales, or any amount made over a set amount, which is ridiculous. Other sites will filter the money directly into an artist’s PayPal account, and not make them wait until they decide to send out a check.

Potential Theft Risks

Society6 Keeps Complete Control Over The Images You Post
Society6 Keeps Complete Control Over The Images You Post

On top of all of these issues, there’s also the problem of art theft on the site. Society6 reserves the right to do what they wish with their users’ images, which means they could very well be selling them out to other companies. Many stores have been called out for featuring artists’ works on their clothes without paying said artists for their work to be shown on clothing. This is becoming a bigger and bigger issue with the rise of art being posted on the Internet. It’s clear that the site doesn’t care at all about its users, and that’s why it’s sad that it’s become so popular over the past couple of years. There are plenty of other sites that are easier to use and much less damaging. If you’re an artist, stay away from this site. If you’re a patron of the arts, do the same thing because you aren’t helping any of these artists by buying their products on this site.

5 Date Locations That She Will Despise

Don't Take Her To Meet Your Family On A First Date
Don’t Take Her To Meet Your Family On The First Date
It’s one thing to get a woman to agree to go on a date with you, but it is another thing entirely to actually impress her once you’re on the date. You need to pick your date location carefully so that you can still make a good impression and possibly score a second date with her. Otherwise, you may as well have wasted your time and effort. There are some date locations and ideas that women are just going to automatically hate. These are the ideas that you should avoid as much as possible when you are trying to pick where to take her and what to do. As long as you don’t do these sorts of dates, you stand a much better chance of getting to go out with her again.

1. Meeting Your Family or Any Family Events

You might think that there’s nothing wrong with taking her to meet your family, but you would be dead wrong. There’s nothing more awkward than being forced to meet a guy’s family the first time you go out on a date with him, or even if you’ve already been out on a few dates already. You should always discuss family events and parties with your girlfriend carefully before taking her to any of them. Chances are, she doesn’t want to meet your family just yet. Even if she’s okay with the idea of meeting your family, there is really nothing worse than being forced to listen to a family’s inside stories and jokes while you have no way to escape. It’s pretty much the opposite of romantic, even if it’s a wedding. there’s just no way she would want to go to one of these events, so try to avoid this if you can, or you could wind up wasting all the effort that it took to get you to that point with her.

2. Anything at a Sports Bar

Sports Bars Are Good For Hanging Out With Friends
Sports Bars Are Only Good For Hanging Out With Friends
You might think sports bars are amazing, but chances are that she doesn’t share that opinion. If there’s a game you just have to see, then you should reschedule your date – don’t try to drag her along to a sports bar to watch the game there. Even if she’s into the sport, the point of a date is to get to know each other, not struggle to get your attention over the game that you’re watching. It’ll be too crowded and noisy to really get anywhere with her, and there’s nothing romantic or sexy about having to scream over everyone else to be heard.

3. Taking Her to a Strip Club

Go To A Strip Club And You Will Loose Her Forever
Go To A Strip Club And You Will Loose Her Forever
If this isn’t obviously a bad idea, then you might need to reconsider your life choices. Taking a woman to a strip club on a date is about as bad of an idea as you can possibly come up with. She will definitely not appreciate having to watch you slobber over other women, so this is definitely something you should never do. If you’re looking for an alternative, then the only possibility that isn’t downright terrible would be a burlesque show. It’s almost the same thing, but it’s more sensual and she might actually enjoy it.

4. Doing Stuff with the Guys

Going on a date with your friends should seem like a bad idea to you automatically, but if it doesn’t, we’ll spell it out for you. You’re not going to get anywhere with your girlfriend if you’re busy entertaining your buddies, and she’s not going to appreciate having to compete for your attention. It’s really not a good way to date, so try to avoid inviting anyone else with you if you want to go on a date with your girlfriend. She might want to hang out with your friends, but not when she’s expecting a nice date that she can use to get to know you.

5. Taking Her to the Club

Clubs are not where you should take dates – they’re where you should find dates. You won’t have much fun shouting over each other and trying to be heard, and it’s just not a classy place to take a girl you’re trying to date. Consider going dancing somewhere quieter and more exclusive, if dancing is what you want to do. Otherwise, take her to a classy place with live music, but not a club. Clubs are just too hectic to really get anything done on a date, and she’ll hate the idea of it. It’s not a good idea if you’re trying to get to know her or get close to her.

Saving Money by Replacing Your Printer

Choose The Best Printers
Choose The Best Printers
It’s one of the most important accessories you have for your computer, and it can also be one of the biggest technological money pits you own: your printer. Being able to convert your electronic data into a physical hard copy is necessary, especially if you have children who are constantly printing things off the computer for school or just for fun. Have you felt the frustration that comes when you’ve discovered someone has used your printer to run off hundreds of pages without telling you? Suddenly, you’re getting "low ink" warnings on your computer, and that’s going to mean a costly trip to the office supply store. If you feel like your printer is eating up your money right from your wallet, you should consider replacing it. There are plenty of ways in which swapping out your printer will actually save you more money after the initial up-front cost.

Inkjets Are Expensive; Consider Laser Printers Instead

Inkjet Printers Have Grown In Popularity And Performance
Inkjet Printers Have Grown In Popularity And Performance
Let’s face it, trying to keep your inkjet printer loaded up with all six or seven different colors it requires to print is expensive. Ink is even more expensive than gasoline if you do the math! Laser printers, however, which do not use ink but instead a powdery toner, are much more efficient, and toner is much cheaper than liquid ink. Laser printers are also much faster at printing than inkjets, and you’ll even find that there are now a number of very affordable color laser printers on the market. Consider tossing that old hunk of junk inkjet you’ve had shaking your desk for years, and replacing it with a more efficient, quieter, and cheaper laser printer. You’ll save a bundle of money after the initial up front cost.

Bad Printers Use Too Much Ink

If you’re dead set on using an inkjet printer for whatever reason, then you should be careful as to which ones you buy. Make sure that your printer isn’t simply a free one that got tossed in with the purchase of a computer or a television set. A bad inkjet printer will not only frequently jam, both in terms of the paper feed as well as the actual print heads, but it will be likely to use far more ink than is necessary. This can lead to soggy pages and, further down the road, a huge bill for you at the office supply store.

A Good Printer Will Last a Long Time

 A High Quality Printer Will Last Longer
A High Quality Printer Will Last Longer
Stop using printers that came free with another purchase or were very cheap. These are likely to break in a variety of ways long before you’re ready to buy a new printer, and then your budget will take a hit as a result. Instead, buy a high-quality printer up front, even if it might cost a little more. It will last you much longer, and you’ll be likely to get more consistent performance from it. You should always be looking to buy tech that will last for a while, instead of being disposable. Avoid throwaway printers and consider investing in one of quality construction.

Five Great Dessert Ideas (That Won’t Ruin Your Diet)

Try Some Frozen Raspberry Pie
Try Some Frozen Raspberry Pie
The worst thing about a diet is having to skip dessert, but luckily for you it’s not a necessity. There’s no reason you should give up on your sweet tooth just to lose a few pounds, so don’t bother! The key is to be careful with what you eat, and to only consume in moderation. No more pigging out on chocolate cake, but it’s okay because you still get to eat all your favorites. There are healthy alternatives to just about any dessert, and these are some of our favorites.

Frozen Raspberry Pie

If you want a nice, cool treat to help you detox after a hot summer day, there’s no better way to go than this raspberry pie. This pie combines the tartness of raspberry with the richness of chocolate, and it’s easy to make on top of that. All you need is some meringue, raspberry puree, and a chocolate cookie piecrust. You can find a low fat version of the crust at any grocery store, and the raspberries are naturally low in fat and rich in natural sugars and vitamins. Fresh raspberries will be healthier than the frozen ones, so go with those. After you make your puree, fill the piecrust and let it freeze overnight. Top it with some light whipped cream and you’ll be in heaven.

Fruit Crumble

Fruit Crumble
Fruit Crumble
Fruit crumble is the perfect way to wind down with a homey classic. It has all the comfort of fruit crisp, but with the health benefits that make it an excellent staple for any diet. Make sure to use fresh fruit, add nutmeg and allspice, and cook it down in a casserole dish with some sweetener or a bit of sugar. Top it with some granola tossed with cinnamon and sliced almonds. You can even make them in smaller dishes so that you have individual servings. It’s filling, comforting, and everything you want in a dessert.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Whipped Cream

Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
This one’s a little simpler, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing beats the simple delicacy of chocolate covered strawberries, and they’re perfect for having an at-home date on a diet. Using a double broiler, cook down some dark chocolate chips. Once they’re completely liquefied, dip your washed and dried strawberries into the pot. Don’t coat them all the way, or the chocolate will be overwhelming. If you want to add an extra special touch, dip the wet chocolate in sprinkles or some other topping. Once you’re done, set the strawberries on a sheet of wax paper and put them in the fridge to let them harden. Serve with some light whipped cream if you like (it adds a nice touch), and enjoy.

Mini Tiramisu

This one takes a little more preparation, but it’s worth it to get a taste of this Italian favorite. You just get low fat ingredients instead of the actual ones, and use ladyfingers as well as smaller portions. Just lay six or so ladyfingers out in a tray, then drizzle with espresso. Put the low fat ricotta mixture (ricotta, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract) all over the ladyfingers, and then coat with another helping of espresso. Once that’s done, drizzle with melted dark chocolate and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve it.

Mint Chocolate Bars

If you’ve been dying for some Thin Mints but have been shuddering at the fat count, don’t worry because this dish is here to sooth your taste buds. It’s all the deliciousness of Thin Mints plus the richness of cake and the freedom of being diet-friendly. It’s essentially low-fat brownies cooked in a small pan so they seem thicker, with a middle layer of mint filling and a top of dark chocolate. The mint layer in the middle is made of powdered sugar, low fat butter, skim milk, peppermint extract, and green food coloring. You can make the top layer by simply melting down dark chocolate chips. After you put it all together, refrigerate for a few hours so that the chocolate can set. Once you’re ready to serve, cut it into small squares and serve with fresh mint leaves, if you want to be fancy. If it’s just for you, though, just put it on a plate and dig in! This treat is refreshing any time of year.