Do You Need Project Management Software As A Freelancer?

project management software

I love lists. I really do.

What I love even more, though, is crossing shit off lists.

Maybe I’m easily pleased, I don’t know. But it honestly gives me immense satisfaction.

These past few months, I’ve been using my love of checking off tasks to my advantage, with resounding success. Every week, I make a list of tasks I need to do; and I cross each item off once it’s complete. For some reason, it’s been a powerful motivator; and my productivity has skyrocketed.

So I decided to take things up a notch.

I downloaded project management software.


4 Freelance Contract Clauses You Should Always Include

freelance contract

Whether it’s a small job or a major project, you should always have a freelance contract in place.


There are various reasons for this, some of which I’ve touched on before. However, I think the most important one is that a freelance contract sets out everyone’s expectations in writing and makes each party’s duties and responsibilities clear from the get go.

Now, let’s be clear. No-one wants things to go awry. And most of the time they won’t. But deliberately ignoring the possibility is not only short-sighted, it’s downright stupid. The one time things go wrong, not having a contract WILL come back to bite you in the ass. You can take that to the bank.

A contract avoids a lot of unnecessary strife because – guess what? – you can’t argue with a signed document that sets out in plain language exactly what’s going to happen.

Unsurprisingly, contracts are routine in most business transactions; and they should be routine in your freelance business too. A serious client will have no problem signing a contract. In fact, they might just suggest one themselves.

But, you may be wondering, what types of clauses should you include in a freelance contract?

Let’s have a look.


Defeat Writers’ Block And Nail Your Writing Assignment In 5 Easy Steps

writers' block

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a complete newbie, at some point it’s bound to happen. You’re going to find yourself in front of your laptop screen, staring at a blank page.

The cursor will blink accusingly at you.

The whiteness of the page will threaten to blind you.

Meanwhile, you’ll keep stealing glances at the clock on the top right of your laptop screen, feeling the pressure and trying to stop yourself from breaking into a cold sweat.

You guessed it, my friends. I’m talking about that most nefarious of mortal enemies, aka writer’s block.

Unfortunately, if you’re a professional writer, waiting for that pesky Muse to get the fuck back here and do its bloody job isn’t going to cut it. You’re going to have to find a way to power through this.

You’ll be happy to learn that this isn’t as hard as it sounds.

Read on for my proven five-step approach to stop writers’ block in its tracks and nail every assignment.


Signs A Client Won’t Pay You (And What To Do About It)

Freelance Client Payment

If you run an online business (or any other business, for that matter) there’s a good chance you’re going to have to deal with at least the occasional late payment. While this is unfortunate, it’s also completely normal. More often than not, the client is in good faith and the matter can be resolved quickly and amicably. No harm, no foul.

Unfortunately, though, there are times when, whichever way you look at it, the client was in bad faith. Perhaps they tried to talk themselves out of paying you with a variety of excuses. Or, even worse, they simply went AWOL the minute you delivered the work.

It’s a sad fact of life that there are unscrupulous people who take advantage of the veneer of anonymity the Internet provides to score free work. And, if you’re not careful, you could end up putting in a lot of time and effort into a project without getting paid what you’re due.

Thankfully, it’s very easy to weed out these people from legitimate clients and to nip any potential problems in the bud. Here’s how.


Why #teamfollowback Won’t Work For Your Business


Back in the late 90s and 00s, I was very much involved in my local Metal scene.

It was a really exciting time. The rise of Nu-Metal had made the genre mainstream again. There were a ton of great bands playing every week to big audiences and a sense of brotherhood and camaraderie between the fans and musicians (Also I had a full head of hair and could barely grow a goatee. Oh how the times have changed!).

With that being said, there was one thing I used to have an issue with; and this was the attitude of a handful of bands.

I’m going to be brutally frank here. These bands sucked the big one. But instead of taking responsibility for the poor turnout at their shows, they’d blame the fans and accuse them of “not supporting the scene”.

I believe my objection to this kind of ass-backwards reasoning should be self-evident. But just in case, I’m going to spell it out. “Support”, or fandom if you will, isn’t – and shouldn’t – be a given. You need to earn it. Why should anyone be your fan unless you actually have something appealing to offer?

Which brings me to my point.


What I’ve Read In 2016 So Far – My 5 Top Picks

At the beginning of this year, for the first time ever, I decided to set myself a reading challenge. Last year I read 32 books, so I figured a target of 35 books for 2016 was realistic.

Unfortunately, I had some trouble at first (I’m still in a “finish every book you start” phase, for reasons I’ve gone into a while ago. This is a view I’m finally starting to reconsider, because I’m not getting any younger and life is too short to read books I don’t like. Anyway.)

Until last month, I was a whopping seven books behind schedule. Incredibly, I turned this around in a little over a month – I even read four books in eight days – so now I’m bang on track. Yay me.

Anyway, seeing as I’m halfway through my reading challenge and it’s also halfway through the year, I thought it fitting to share the high points of my journey so far.

Read on.


Demystifying Twitter: A Beginner’s Guide For Freelancers

twitter freelancers

I’ll be honest with you.

Until quite recently, I emidn’t get Twitter.

And I know I wasn’t alone. Lots of people don’t get it.

Let’s face it. Twitter isn’t exactly the most user-friendly and intuitive social network around. In fact, I’d say it’s downright hard. There’s definitely a learning curve.

I must also confess I’ve always viewed it as more “business-oriented” – a place to network, if you will, rather than a place to hang out. Because of this, I never really bothered to figure it out.

Of course, all this changed when I started my freelance writing business.

Once I was up and running, I started focusing on building passive leads. Very quickly, I realised Twitter was one of the keys to achieving this. I needed to understand it and start using it to my advantage.

Here’s what I learned.


How To Find Financial Stability As A Freelancer

freelance business finance

While I do love me a good gangster movie, I have to admit I was never much of a Sopranos fan when it was on the air.

Don’t get me wrong. It did have its moments, sure. But for some reason it never really grabbed me.

Funnily enough, though, as I dealt with the cataclysmic fallout of Brexit this week, I found myself thinking a lot about it; and about one scene in particular.

I believe it was a sit down of some sort, and this one mobster was complaining that, because of the economic recession, he wasn’t making as much money as he used to.

As I remember it, Tony Soprano was up in arms in characteristically hilarious fashion. He countered that this just wasn’t possible, because “certain aspects of show business and our thing have been recession-proof since time immemorial.”

Which brings me to my point.


I’ve been freelancing full-time for 5 years. Here’s what I’ve learned

Milestones are funny aren’t they?

The date I sat down at the desk in my dingy London studio for my first day as a full-time freelance copywriter — Monday 2 November 2015 — is etched in my memory.

But don’t ask me what I did that day. I haven’t got the faintest idea. 

What I do remember are the two days that came before it. My last, intensely busy Saturday night shift behind the bar at the Hollywood Bowl in Finchley. And Sunday afternoon at Ikea, debating whether I should spaff some of the little money I had on a pen holder and asking myself: “Will this work out? Or will it fail like my other zillion attempts at starting my own business?” 

Well, five years later, here I am. 

I feel incredibly lucky. I’m consistently busy. I earn more than I did in any of my full-time jobs. And sometimes I still pinch myself when I think this is how I pay my bills. (You’ll also be pleased to know that I bought that pen holder in the end). 

how to become  freelace writer
Absolute scenes of my pen holder in its natural habitat

That’s not to say it’s been easy. I’ve had dizzying highs and rock-bottom lows. And I’ve learned loads along the way. 

To celebrate my five years of freelancing, I thought I’d share the biggest lessons I learned.

Strap in, it’s going to be a long one.


What I Learned Spilling Coffee On My Laptop

Coffee Spill

It wasn’t a fun week.

I’d just been back home for a friend’s wedding, some catching up and a spot of r and r; and I had a hell of a time getting my ass back into gear.

Sounds like a pretty standard case of holiday blues, right?

But then, last Friday, things just flew up the scale from not fun to complete and utter disaster.

As I sat at my desk to start my day, bleary eyed and still half asleep, I accidentally spilled a whole mug of steaming coffee.

All over my laptop.

After staring at it for a few seconds in abject horror, I rushed for whatever I could find to mop up the bloody mess.

Having been blogging for a cleaning company for quite some time now, I should have known better than to rub instead of just blot the damn spill. But, in my panic, rub I did; and I think I made matters way worse.

My screen went crazy, and I couldn’t get the laptop to co-operate. So I shut it down, used the hairdryer on it, and tried to switch it back on. But, alas, nothing happened. My laptop was in a coma or, even worse – gasp – dead.

Which brings me to the moral of my story.