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Structure and Organization of the Online Freelancing Guide
The Online Freelancing Guide contains
as much information as a good-sized book, but is organized in a very
different way. It has been designed from the ground up for electronic
viewing, and so dispenses with traditional print-oriented structures
in favor of a system that is more suited to online reading.
One problem with traditional books
is that they use a “flat” structure: a set of chapters, each
covering one topic or area of interest. These are usually just piled
into the book one after the other, with the reader having to figure out
how they relate to each other. Publishers also don’t like chapters
that get too big, so in lengthier works, authors split up big chapters
into smaller ones—even if the larger chapter would make more logical
sense. This often compounds the issue, making it more difficult to get
a good handle on the subject matter.
The Online Freelancing Guide uses
a different approach: a hierarchical structure that allows the
Guide’s information to be presented to you in a way that I hope
you’ll find easier to understand. At the top level are seven chapters,
each of which contains any number of sections. Each section can
in turn contain one or more topics, which are generally where
the bulk of the actual content is found. Topics are selected so that
each thoroughly covers a particular subject; in those cases where topics
become very lengthy, they are broken up into multiple numbered pages.
The seven chapters of the Online Freelancing
Guide are each dedicated to a high-level subject area. For those of you
who are familiar with my earlier writing, I have broken with my past
tradition of writing up a guide in its entirety before putting it online.
The initial launch of the site contains two of the seven chapters; the
remaining five will be published serially as they are completed.
Here’s a brief description of
each of the chapters, with links:
- Introduction - Online Freelancing Overview,
Options, Opportunities and Challenges:
This chapter introduces and describes online freelancing; it will be
especially useful for those new to the subject. I define online freelancing
and compare it to traditional employment and conventional freelancing.
I look at what disciplines make the most sense for online freelancing,
and help you understand whether this is a good fit for your line of work.
I outline some of the challenges associated with being a successful freelancer,
examine alternatives for establishing a freelance career, and present
important trade-offs for you to consider.
- An Analysis and Review of Popular Online
Freelancing Marketplace Sites: A
very big part of being an online freelancer is understanding how to select
and effectively use online freelancing marketplace sites. Accordingly,
this large chapter contains the most thorough analysis and review of
popular online freelancing sites ever published. Each of the “Big
Five” sites—Elance, Freelancer.com, Guru, oDesk and vWorker—is
analyzed in extensive detail using a set of thirteen standard criteria.
I also grade the sites in each of the thirteen areas, and analyze how
much each site costs to use in a variety of freelancing scenarios. Shorter
reviews are also provided of several other sites.
- Planning and Managing Your Online Freelancing
Business: This chapter will tell
you everything you need to know about setting up and running a typical
online freelancing business. This includes deciding what work categories
to focus on, setting up an office or workspace, finding and scheduling
time for work, helping your family adjust to your new career, and much
- Finding and Evaluating Online Freelancing
Projects: As a freelancer you must
find your own work, and as an online freelancer you’ll be doing
this mainly via online freelance marketplace sites. This chapter is devoted
to providing information on this process, helping you to define a search
strategy, learn how to assess clients and projects, identify danger signals
in project listings, and handle special situations.
- Writing and Pricing Internet Freelancing
Proposals: This important chapter
will contain dozens of topics devoted to helping you write effective
proposals that get you selected by clients. Subjects include general
information on writing effective proposals, understanding client
requirements, using templates, understanding factors that influence project
value, and optimal pricing strategies.
- Managing Online Freelancing Projects and
Clients: This chapter is devoted
to the practical aspects of managing projects and clients once you have
been chosen for a job. You’ll learn how to schedule and prioritize
tasks, deal with clients, handle change requests, manage problem situations
as they arise, finish a project, and ensure that you get paid.
- Developing Your Freelancing Career: Last but certainly not least, a successful online freelancing
career is more than just a series of projects. In this concluding chapter,
I will look at important elements in building a freelancing career, with
topics such as how to manage your profile and feedback ratings, the importance
of client follow-up, how to develop your skills and expand your offerings,
and ways to build both your business and your relationships with the
greater freelancing community.
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The Online Freelancing Guide (http://www.FreelancingGuide.net)
Last Site Update: December 13, 2011
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