SOHO Freelance Writing… Getting Business From The Internet

When it comes to marketing yourself as a freelance copywriter, it’s important to bear in mind that virtually everything related to copywriting has gone online! Any copywriter who has been around for longer than five years or so will know that new copywriting business used to come from mail-shots, small ads and the dreaded ‘cold calling’. Nowadays, the only realistic way to raise your copywriting profile is via the Internet.

Most copywriters would be in total agreement with that. The question is: have they done anything about it? And the same question goes to new and wannabe freelance copywriters.

So what CAN you do about it? If the phone’s stopped ringing and your e-mail Inbox is full of nothing but unopened spam – it’s time to take stock. The first question is (and it seems almost quaint in the year 2006): Do you have a website?

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It Takes Discipline!

Working from home is no easy task at all. Many people admire others that run their business from the basement or upstairs in their bedroom. Psychologically, it’s a hard thing to do and as a SOHO business, you must take into consideration many factors while doing the best service that you can give to a person.

There is no supervision. SOHO owners don’t have bosses telling them what to do or looking over their shoulder. This is a shock for most SOHO owners because when they start their business, they are expecting a partner to come along and boost their mentality.
This calls for having the discipline to work by yourself and being accountable to yourself.

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Using Basic Email Client Software

There are two basic email client software packages that are good for checking email. If you don’t want to use full suite or integrated packages, then these clients should be fine for your SOHO.

The first email client is Microsoft Outlook Express and the name says it all. It’s a quick way for you to get in and check your email without all of the extras.

Microsoft Outlook Express supports POP server technology for businesses that have their own web server. There is an accounts function that asks you everything about your POP server and all you have to do is input the information that you’re ISP gives you concerning your POP server account.

MS Outlook Express has an address book function to load or import addresses to. You can also export addresses to other formats also and it also has a format to convert addresses to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

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Your Web Presence Is Important – Part 3

Let’s go over the preliminary items or tasks that should have been accomplished by now. As a SOHO owner who has never embraced internet technology, these are some of the things that you should have thought about or contemplated so far:

1. GET RID OF THE FEAR! – Nothing to be scared about in joining the web community! Think of it as gathering new friends and new clients!
2. View sites that are the same business as yours! See how they’ve structured their site (what are the most frequent colors, how their home pages, what grabs your attention?)
3. If you’re a non-programmer or web developer, find a web developer and tell them your ideals.
4. Once you found a web developer, ask them to do a “mock up” drawing of your site.

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Using Voice over IP Phone Systems

If you have cable or DSL internet in your SOHO business, you may want to check out a new technology called Voice over IP or VOIP. It’s an effective technology that can save the start up business owner a lot of money and is indeed a great investment for people that are conscious about dollars spent on technology equipment for their business.

VOIP technology has been around for over five years and it’s simply a phone system and an internet system both using the same line to communicate with a customer or view a web-site. The technology integrates the passing of voice and data through the same internet line.

When you buy a VOIP system, you will receive a specialized modem to hook to the back of your computer. What this modem does is decode whether you are calling a telephone device or if you are trying to view web pages on the internet. This device is called a VOIP hub.

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Setting Up SOHO Operations – Part 1

Now that you have defined your executive responsibilities and created your mission statement, it’s time to concentrate on the operational goals and objectives of your business.

This part is simple because it plainly states how you are going to operate and what systems are you going to use to enhance your operations. This includes the best hours to operate your SOHO. Since the majority of SOHO’s are small home based businesses, more discipline is needed to separate home from business.

If you had a storefront and you posted a sign that it would open at 9:00am, you would be there at 9:00am. With most SOHO’s, you can roll out of bed, go into the next room and start doing work but you still need the discipline to ignite yourself daily to get your responsibilities and tasks accomplished.

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The Use of Search Engines

For the SOHO small business owner, there is so much information on search engines. People want to get the best search engine ranking so that people can see their site. Many internet advertisers promise you the moon and stars concerning search engine placement. Some claim that they know secrets and free sites to load your site information up to so that you can get a high ranking for your site. Is this possible?

First of all, your web-site has to be optimized and carry certain keywords for it to be ranked anywhere. There is no magic trick to working the search engines because many search engines have their internal rules on how a site should be index and that index happens according to keywords.

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Establishing Your Automated Accounting System

For any SOHO business, accounting and keeping track of financial data is important. Many of your financial accounting packages are easy to use because of Graphical Interface User (GUI) technology. In other words, point at the picture in the program and it will basically prompt you on what the module does.

There are two programs that are leaders in the small business technology industry that SOHO business owners need to be familiar with. Let’s do a review of QuickBooks and Peachtree Accounting.

QuickBooks is the most common package that SOHO’s use. There are many different configurations for QuickBooks. There are versions for non-profits, versions for small office networks and versions that come with software that integrates into cash registers but we’ll talk about the basic small business version.

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Your Web Presence Is Important – Part 5

The web developer is almost finished with your site. You have the URL or name of your site but you need to attach that address to an invisible home out on the Internet.

How would you do that?

It’s simple; you contact a web hosting company that specializes in providing web servers to put your internet site on. Think of hosting servers as a plot of land that you build your house (web-site) on for people to see. You’ve already bought the address so now, you have to buy or rent the land that the address will represent.

Hosting servers actually allow the web developer to load the site up to a specific designated spot on the internet by using a File Transfer Protocol (FTP). The developer uses FTP software to load your web-site up to the address that you have selected. It acts as a piece of software that takes your developed site from a computer and puts it in cyberspace.

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Starting A Home Based Business

Home based businesses are forms of employment which are increasing in number annually. Individuals favor this type of employment as they are able to work out of their home and make a living by doing so. There are many beneficial factors which make engaging in serious home based business opportunity a wise decision. Some of these include being able to stay home with the kids, eliminate a work commute and be your own boss. There are various factors which equal a serious home based business opportunity and some of these will be discussed below.

A great home based business opportunity is one which allows individuals to make a good living from their self-employment. As opposed to part time jobs from home, one who engages in a serious venture will be able to pay the bills and have money left over to spend on other items as well. Some may even find a home based business that they can pass down from generation to generation.

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