Category: Productivity

Six Tips to Keep You Productive When Working from Home

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

Staying productive and on task when you work from home can be super challenging, but, if you’re a freelancer and your home is also your office you absolutely need to nail this if you want to succeed.

Getting everything done just as you want it and on time can be one of the hardest things to get right when transitioning from office life to working for yourself at home.

When I first started working from home I’d get up just before I needed to be at my desk and then spend the morning working in my pyjamas.

I’d make regular trips to the kettle, potter around the kitchen, and, before I knew it, it was 11am which meant time for a break. I’d eat biscuits, stick on Netflix then sit at my PC to work without focusing on anything in particular.

Soon enough it’d be 3pm and I’d done pretty much nothing.

I did this for two weeks before realising I was getting nowhere and would be back in a ludicrous 9-5 office job in no time if I didn’t get my act together, pronto!

Now I successfully work from home as a freelancer and here I share my top tips for how to stay on task and be sure the job gets done when your office is also your living space. Continue reading “Six Tips to Keep You Productive When Working from Home”

EXACTLY What It Takes to Be a Managing Editor

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

Last week, I asked you, the readers, what you’d like me to write about next. The response I got most often was “What are the duties of a Managing Editor?”

That’s a great choice! But, boy – this is going to be a LONG post.

I’m the Managing Editor of both a news site and Be a Freelance Blogger. So I have some personal experience in this particular area. I’ve also seen the Managing Editors of the publications I’ve written for in action.

The basic duties of a Managing Editor in today’s online world boil down to this:

Accepting and rejecting pitches. Some publications hire a separate Pitching Editor for these duties but, most of the time, they fall onto the shoulders of the ME.

Editing writers’ posts. As a Managing Editor, you’ll not only be looking for typos and grammatical errors in the posts you intend to publish, you’ll also be making minor rewrites to get the “tone” of the overall article correct, and you’ll also be keeping an eye out for a Call to Action (CTA) at the end so that the post’s final goal is fulfilled (getting shared/getting comments/selling something/whatever).

Uploading and formatting posts. It’s your job to make the posts look pretty before they’re published. This means adding in headers, enhancing certain sentences, adding in a photo or video, etc.

Writing posts yourself. As a Managing Editor you’ll often be called upon to write certain posts yourself. Generally, when something needs to be done RIGHT – and is “too hard” for your stable of writers – you’ll have to take on the task of writing the post yourself. Or, if you’re a publication that accepts guest posts and your buffer has run dry, it could be up to you to fill in the gap in the schedule. So don’t think your writing skills are going to go to waste just because you’re an editor now!

Maintaining a uniform social media presence. Again, some publications hire a separate person to take on the duties of updating the publication’s social media accounts. But, as the Managing Editor, it’ll be your duty – if not to write the updates yourself – to at least take a peek at what’s being written to make sure it’s “on target” with the publication’s overall branding/message. You may also have to edit copy before it’s sent out.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten the “basics” out of the way, I’m going to share some helpful tips to get all you aspiring Managing Editors out there on the path to success! 🙂 Continue reading “EXACTLY What It Takes to Be a Managing Editor”

How to Meet Deadlines While Avoiding Burnout

There are a lot of things that cause freelancers stress, but deadlines are one of the worst. How do you meet them without getting overloaded?

Illustration by Ramiro Roman.
Illustration by Ramiro Roman.

Would you hire someone to do a job the night before it was due? Of course not. You’re probably thinking, “That would be unreasonable.”

However, as a freelancer, you’re bound to have a client or two who think you have an endless amount of time on your hands.

In my experience, every client thinks they’re your only client.

But, remember, they’re your client, not your boss. YOU are your boss. So YOU get to set the deadlines. Their deadlines are not your deadlines.

No matter how badly you need the money, never feel pressured to take on a “rush job” if you feel you can’t complete it to perfection. Sacrificing quality for speedy delivery can come back and bite you in the butt in the long run. You also don’t want to put yourself in a position with a client where they consider your “rush job” turn-around as your “norm.”

Note: It’s perfectly within your rights as a freelancer to charge an extra “fee” if a client insists on a rushed deadline. Just remember: You do not have to accept the project if you don’t feel right about it.

9 Tips to Meet Deadlines While Avoiding Burnout

Here are nine of the things that I do to meet all of my deadlines without losing my sanity. I have confidence that you can make these tips work for you as well! Continue reading “How to Meet Deadlines While Avoiding Burnout”

5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Mentor

Illustration by Ramiro Roman.
Illustration by Ramiro Roman.

Books and blogs are great, but you can’t ask them questions…

So there you are: You’ve read all the books, you’ve skimmed all the blog posts, you’ve subscribed to all of the newsletters, and you’ve had long chats with your peers in the freelancing community. And yet, somehow, you’re still not “ready.”

You feel “stuck” and you fear messing up. You’re paralyzed and you have no one to turn to for answers to your most “stupid” questions. (The ones your peers would scoff at and make snide comments about without truly providing answers…).

Sounds like you need a mentor!

But there are a few key questions to ask before you hire one: Continue reading “5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Mentor”