All posts by oswebmasters

Get Paid to Do the Work You Love: A Case Study of Freelance With Fiverr

People like case studies, which are basically “people watching” with better details. Hearing how another person has managed a real-life situation is more informative-and interesting-than a list of facts. I would like to write about freelancing with sites like Fiverr, and, since I have personal experience working there, I want to briefly share some of my discoveries and a little about what might await you.

Hello, I’m Dr. Ron Masa. I’m a Jungian psychologist, now retired from private practice. I’m also an artist, having sculpted in stone for many years and sold nearly a thousand small paintings online. I began freelancing with Fiverr in 2013. I wanted to learn to make professional-quality voice recordings from my home.

In the 1960s, I had worked as a TV Director for the NBC affiliate, KVOA-TV in Tucson, Arizona. I got to do a little bit of voice announcing then, and I loved it. I have wanted to do more voice work ever since. My first inclination was to locate a formal training program for voice-over education. Fortunately, I learned that they charge thousands of dollars a year! I say fortunately because that cost, plus the delay before I could do real voice work, convinced me to try something new.

I decided to “adventure” my way into freelancing with Fiverr. I read several books about voice work, found a plastic microphone lying about, and created my first gig on Fiverr.com. You, too, can start very simply and upgrade as you learn and earn. I grew a little with every job. I made mistakes. I learned how to correct-and eventually avoid-them. As I gradually improved my voicing skills, I also upgraded the microphones and software involved.

Choosing to work limited hours, over three years, I was paid more than $7,000 to learn voice-over work by actually doing voice-over work from the first day. I completed 450 professional audio jobs! To my surprise, they earned 100% satisfaction ratings. I did cancel a couple of “difficult buyers,” but nearly everyone else was great to work with. Buyers know they’re getting a great deal, they want the services to work, and they are typically very understanding.

In addition to recording traditional voice-over scripts, I discovered that I especially love voice acting. Who knew? Yes, self-discovery is one of the rewards for designing and doing work that you love. I was soon the dramatic voice of insistent reporters, troubled and brooding presidents, creepy evil villains, kindly loving fathers, disturbing alien predators, and a variety of WWII generals and battle-weary soldiers. These recordings, and hundreds more, now appear throughout movies, TV, video games, the internet, and corporate audio systems on several continents.

I also discovered that I love doing educational narration for kids about whales and stars and dinosaurs. I performed endless commercial messages. I even got to narrate several entire books. One influential classic by Dale Carnegie was far ahead of its time. Another book taught financial planning and insight. The book that I felt most honored to record was “A Summary of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.” It summarized the life and novels of the powerfully inspiring “father of African literature,” Chinua Achebe.

I loved being able to leap right into real voice work and learn the craft by doing real projects. And I particularly liked being paid to learn. If I count the $15,000 I saved on formal training, plus the $7,000 I earned for doing voice work-this freelance path put me more than $20,000 ahead! If someone prefers traditional training methods, there is nothing wrong with that. I, personally, found freelancing more exciting and more engaging.

When you do work that you love-which freelancing invites-you are much more likely to meet kindred spirits and find related opportunities that truly suit you! There are immediate, and then secondary, benefits to following your heart in employment. While practicing voice work, I learned to audio edit my own recordings as well. I later used that experience to teach an audio-editing class online!

Now, the combination of my original voice-over training and those audio-editing skills has enabled me-has really empowered me-to teach online classes. (And, yes, they have been praised for their exceptional audio quality!) Unanticipated benefits are more likely to come your way when you follow a path with heart. I now know it is possible to bring a long-term dream to life through carefully chosen freelance work. Want to get paid for work you would happily do for free? How would you design the kind of work or service that you would-admit it now-genuinely love to do?

Ron Masa, Ph.D. is a renowned psychologist, artist and freelancer. He and Debbie Hart lead the University of Yourself, whose motto is “Find Yourself, Express Yourself.”

How to Set Up an Online Store in a Week

If you’ve got something worth selling, then with all the free tools, cheap hosting, and user-friendly store builders available at your fingertips, there’s no reason not to get started. Lots of us are familiar with the concept of selling online via the likes of eBay, but if you’re looking for a legitimate side hustle that will help you make your mark, then your own online store is the way to go. Here is a guide to getting started in seven days.

1. Figure out Your MVP

If you’ve only given yourself a week to set up your store, then you certainly don’t have time to be a perfectionist. While you may feel strongly that your online store is a reflection of yourself – and therefore has to be perfect – it’s better to have something basic that is up and running.

In this case, you need to ask yourself, what is your Minimum Viable Product? Remember that you can always improve the store as you go – all the while growing your customer base and learning what works and what doesn’t. Start with the minimal features you need to get going, which include:

* A product to sell – plus images and descriptions
* A company name and domain – check domain availability here
* A reliable ecommerce platform
* A plan for managing order fulfillment
* A content and marketing strategy

2. First Things First: Building a Store

Once you have a niche and a business plan, you’re ready to start creating a website. Your storefront will be a reflection of your brand, so choose an option that comes recommended for ecommerce. If your website is too basic then you may find it hard to scale later on.

Easy online store builders work well because they are designed for people just like you. They take care of all the complicated parts of setting up a website, so you can focus on the bigger picture. Store creators are ideal for those who are looking to build an ecommerce website from scratch.

The other option is to use software like WooCommerce, which will integrate with any WordPress website. This is a good route if you already have a blog and you want to add ecommerce functionality. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of free trial periods, and keep in mind these key tips to build your first small business website.

3. Decide How You will Handle Inventory

Getting the right logistical framework in place is key to making sure you are able to scale as your business grows, but you also need a system that’s manageable when you’re just starting out.

Handling inventory is a lot of work. For this reason, many merchants choose to work with a dropshipper. This means that the product goes straight from the supplier to the customer – cutting out the middleman. Do your research to find one who is reliable and will allow you to apply your own branding. If you’re new to dropshipping, check out this guide on dropshipping your way to financial freedom.

If you plan on handling the inventory yourself, you can opt to save costs on storage rent by looking into shared warehouse deals. Some entrepreneurs choose to start by storing inventory at home, but you should have a plan in place to scale the order fulfillment side of the business when orders start dropping in larger numbers.

4. Create a Content Strategy

Content production should be a central asset of your online business, so be sure to treat it accordingly. It’s a good idea to map out all your content needs for the first year and create an editorial calendar to follow. If you need to hire part-time copywriters or freelancers, then do.

Plan for the seasonality of ecommerce sales, and invest more budget at times when you’re likely to get a higher return on your content investment. Don’t forget to factor in your product and category descriptions. Remember that unique and compelling copy will help you rank better, so don’t just copy and paste your manufacturer’s description.

If this is your first time working on a content strategy, then learn from other businesses who already do it well. Follow other online merchants on social media and read through their blogs to see what they’re putting out there.

5. Put the Word out

Maintaining a steady online audience is a lot of work, and you shouldn’t expect a flood of customers to arrive in the first week. But as you get going, here are some other methods for you to try:

*Social media is about give and take – but you should always give more than you take. Offer real insight and commentary, and only go promotional right at the end. Consider which platforms are going to work best for your brand before diving in – they are not all alike.

How To Get Started As A Freelance Writer Online

Freelance writing is a great way to earn an income online. People will always need content for their websites, blog posts, articles, eBooks, reports and more. There will be plenty of demand from customers once you start to build your reputation. You can pick and choose from paid online writing jobs that really appeal to you.

Having said that, it’s important to differentiate yourself in some way, so that client’s pick you and not somebody else. Let’s look at how to get started as a freelance writer on the internet.

Determine Who You Are As A Writer

What services will you offer as a freelance writer online? Will it be producing articles, reports, eBooks, sales copy, etc. Which packages are you going to offer? How will you get clients? Why will clients seek you services rather than someone else? You need to create your USP, or Unique Selling Proposition. Remember that there’s a lot of competition out there and you can’t offer the same old thing everyone else is offering.

Who Are Your Clients Going To Be?

Draft a list of characteristics your ideal client has. Then, consider where you might find clients like this. Where do they hang out? What are their top needs? What will convince them to hire you? Your client base will go up and down over time. When you’re first starting out, you’ll feel like you just want to take any work you can get. That’s okay because it’s a learning process. Just make sure you don’t take on too much too fast.

What Makes You Different?

There’s going to be something that sets you apart from other freelance writers out there. Maybe it’s your experience, background, the packages you offer, your speed or consistency. Perhaps it’s your ability to innovate or be creative. Whatever it is, figure it out. Why would a client hire you? Remember that businesses aren’t just hiring you to write for them. They’re hiring you to produce results.

Get Better, Fast!

What if you don’t have much experience as a writer yet? What if you are experienced but need a refresher on what’s working now? You have to be on top of things for your clients.You need to do some fast research and fast practice. Find one small but high demand type of writing you can quickly learn and offer to businesses. Concentrate on a subset of a skill and then you can work on getting better at the skill overall.

Set Up Shop

There are always freelance writers wanted on websites like Freelancer, Upwork and Fiverr. But these sites will take a cut of your earnings and the sooner you set up a website for yourself, the better. You don’t need to be a tech-wizard to set up a website these days. There are plenty of online platforms that can get your website online quickly and easily.