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5 Ways I Find Freelance Work

One of the most common questions among new freelancers (and even one that folks much more experienced than I am, frequently discuss) is how to find freelancing work. It’s not like working at a traditional job – work doesn’t just pile up on your desk when you’re out of the office.

So, how do you find work as a writer or an editor? Continue reading…

You Need Your Own Domain

My dad once set his own pinky after popping it out of place during a karate class. It still sticks out a little funny. Just because you CAN do something yourself, doesn’t always mean you should.

When starting a business there are things that it’s possible to skimp on by doing it yourself–building a press list and doing PR, for example–but not having your own domain name and website isn’t one of those things. A big part of creating a successful start up is about image: telling clients confidently that you can solve a problem they have better than your competition, even though you may be new.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you may recall when I switched from a wordpress blog to a self-hosted site; and you probably know I recently found a new hosting service and redesigned my personal website. A website has been and I believe should be one of the most important pieces on becoming a freelancer. In the words of P.S. Jones: “OMG You Need a Website!”

However I strongly disagree with a number of recent business articles like the one by Heather Allard, at The Daily Worth, writes that startups should postpone their custom website, and instead start a blog on wordpress or blogger.

Here are just TWO of the reasons it’s a bad idea:

It’s a pain in the rear to switch– You’re bound to lose readers/customers when you eventually choose to switch. My traffic dipped significantly when I first made the change. Also, free hosting services have a limit to the number of page views you can get a month before you have to pay for hosting. Otherwise they wouldn’t make money.

Free hosting sites include their URL in your URL. So, for example, when I was hosted on wordpress my site was That’s bad for two reasons: First, it’s less professional. It makes it clear to customers that you are still only a start up. Companies with their own domain name natural give visitors a sense of legitimacy and create a sense of trust. Second, it’s longer and harder to remember, which is bad from a marketing standpoint.

BUT that doesn’t mean you have to spend oodles of money in order to have a website.

Continue reading…

An Honest Review of Site5 Hosting

So even though you can’t see it, this week I made the biggest change to that will be made: I changed hosting services. The site is now hosted by Site5.

I agreed to do a honest review of the process in exchange for $5. So they’re totally going to credit me five bucks in return for this – no matter what I say. That disclaimer given, I promise this is a 100% honest review.

I decided to switch hosts for a variety of reasons, namely because I was having a few issues making regular, necessary upgrades and updates to my wordpress platform. Initially I had signed up with my previous hosting company because I knew the owner and we had done business together before – he offered to host my sites for free in a barter / services exchange. But I don’t know the backend stuff from the ground up like I should (though I’m working to remedy this). So updates required help from my fantastic tech friends.

That led to a decision to change hosting services. Danny, who I have mentioned before (he’s kind of my secret weapon for all things web-related…because he’s just that awesome) recommended checking out Site5. There were several points from the get-go that made them a good choice for me. First was their price point. As someone who is still in the launch phase of her freelance business, I don’t have a ton of cash to sling around. Site5 offered a solid plan for about $15 a month. For that price I get unlimited websites, bandwidth and disk space. I also got a free site migration. And they have 24/7 live chat customer support.

Now, to be fair, I was going from hosting I didn’t have to pay for to hosting that I would pay out of pocket. That meant I had/have high expectations. I ran into a few glitches (almost inevitable when making major changes), but their customer service was responsive, got back to me quickly and I was thrilled to be able to get someone on live chat late at night on a Thursday.

That said, I think it would be really helpful to have one person per shift handle my ticket, so that I would be communicating with the same person rather than requiring each new person to acquaint themselves with my issues (which I believe is what led to the email issues / mix up described in detail below). So far, their hosting services have been solid (no downtime that I’m aware of). Their customer service has been really good (quick response time, good follow up). They offer great add-on features (like the free migration), an affiliate program and all sorts of interesting backend features I’m in the process of learning how to use. Overall, I’ve been very pleased with them so far and have already recommended them to several friends (one of which is now using them too). Continue reading…

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