Friday, December 28, 2012

The (Weekend) Writer's Gift Ideas

Personally, I prefer receiving travel gears and knick knacks for the holidays. So when asked for my wish list for the office Christmas party give away, I gamely listed the Bobble (highly innovative, envi-friendly water bottle), headware, and some book from Witty Will Save the World. I honestly forgot about the other part of me that also needed some upgrade - the weekend writer.

What are the stuff we really need that we never really had the chance to purchase/get? Here is my list of gifts that we word-weavers would love to receive.

Computer and Gadgets

Yes we're in the 21st century and jurassic computers? typewriters? Are anybody still using those? If you love a writer with their worth, some indispensable, pricey tool such as a handy netbook or laptop would the be perfect gift for them - make sure it's has a fast processor too. Slow internet connection is one thing, slow processor and timely hang-ups is an entirely-frustrating-other matter.

For me, getting some sleek gadget such as 1TB external hard drive would be a neat add-on and convenient tool for working on tasks wherever I go. And a reliable wireless mouse is also an essential tool I cannot do without!

However, something that is hugely sitting on my writer's wish list is an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5. I've dishing out the fact that I would actually need it and now I'm in a rush to apply for an unli-data iPhone plan from one of strongest networks in the country! Why iPhone by the way? I realized that many of my clients now are contacting me via FB messaging and while on the move, opening the lappy or accessing FB via my qwerty mobile can be frustrating. With an iPhone or similar smartphones I can also create content for my blog while on the road. Isn't that neat?!

If I get an iPhone, would I still need an iPad or similar tablet computer? Maybe not, but having one can be quite fun too. Paired with some bluetooth keyboard, iPads can easily replace the role of lappy for mobile computing. (Truly tempting!)

Some Pretty Knick-Knacks

A lot of writers are coffee or tea drinkers.  I'm sure your writer friend would also appreciate quirky coffee mugs, or mug warmers that will keep their java fix within easy reach.

Another worthwhile gift that you can give to writers, bloggers or author friends is a nice and durable notebook or journal. I carry one at all times and jot down notes whenever I remember or think of something. Even if I have 2 right now, another one would be highly appreciated! :)

Gift cards and some cash bonus are also great gift ideas from clients to their writers, ghostwriters and contracted writers. I'm lucky to have such thoughtful clients ever since and for this season, I got enough from bonuses to book another RT airfare to Kota Kinabalu in February.

So, have you thought of anything to give the writers in your life yet?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Work on the Road: Choosing Hotels with Wi-fi Connection in Kota Kinabalu

I recently took a 4-day trip to Kota Kinabalu to spend time with Baba. I booked flights from Clark, Pampanga to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in after considering if I should grab cheap flights to Atlanta by using promo code FL15 on CheapOair instead. AfterwhichWhen travelling to another country, wi-fi availability of great importance especially if you carry with you online tasks and assignments. So this is my number 1 requirement when I looked up hotels for my first ever trip out of the country.

The three accommodation arrangement I made are:

1. City Park Lodge at Jalan Pantai

Among the three choices, I wasn't really sure about booking this because of the "Pleasant" rating it has on Agoda, but arriving here was really a "pleasant surprise." The place looked clean and well maintained. The staff were all friendly and the wi-fi connection is really good! They charge from RM 64-73 per night and wi-fi is available at the lobby/reception and public areas. I actually gave this hotel a very high rating (8.7)

2. Borneo Gaya Lodge

We were a bit disappointed with our stay here though the wi-fi connection is good enough to reach the rooms. I booked a double room from Agoda for RM 68, the pictures looked nice but we were given a room without a window and the hot shower wasn't working. If it's not located centrally in Jalan Gaya, I wouldn't give it a passing rate. Next time I visit Baba in KK, we won't be coming back to this hotel.

3. Cititel Express

For our last night in Kota Kinabalu, I choose a nicer hotel and though there are several complaints on the small-ish rooms, we were quite satisfied and really had a great stay here. I booked a sea-view room for RM 103 and we paid an extra RM10 for 1 day unlimited wi-fi connection. The hotel was a short walk to the waterfront and surrounded with shops and restos. Baba and I decided that this hotel was really a great choice, though we wish that wi-fi will be free next time!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Que Horror: A No-Internet Connection Horror Story

Recently, I took a vacation to my parent's hometown in the sleepy island of Ticao Masbate. With the crowd of people taking the time off as well, it was a rough ride going there. I looked into the possibilities of taking freelance online writing jobs but decided against it. I know how backward the island is, and reliable internet connection will only be wishful thinking.

I finished all my assignments before heading out and travelling all of 16 hours via ordinary bus plus 2 hours sea travel via an outrigger boat and 30 minutes of motorcycle ride to finally reached my destination.

I discovered there is some-sort-of-an-internet connection via my mobile phone and made do browsing facebook and messaging/chat through it. I had a few relaxing days with my son and explored the beach in the afternoon. I got a message from one of my clients on facebook a couple of days before I'm due to travel back. I thought it was an easy task and I only need a few sources to come up with the article required so I accepted it. I brought out my alternative broadband stick(Smartbro) and a bunch of patience for I know it's going to take some time for each page to load. I retrieved the tasks the night before I left the island and started my search. Started working on it, sent it out after finishing and turned of my lappy.

The next morning, I work up extra early for my trip starts at 5am. While on the boat I checked my facebook messages and surprised that I need do a couple of changes on one of my articles. I replied and promised my client the revised article after 2 hours because I was still on the boat. When I finally reached Bulan port in Sorsogon - I almost cried! No internet connection available! Que Horror! Really it was crazy and I don't know what to do.

These situations should be expected but I didn't expect it this time. I hastily send another facebook message using my mobile and informed the client of the situation and asked for a couple more hours extension. I hurriedly hopped on the next bus to Legazpi and after 3 hours, I was able to finally send the article to my client.

How about you, what freelance writing horror stories do you have? Did power shut down or unreliable internet connection also disrupted your schedule and your work?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Understanding the Role of the Ghostwriter for Blogs

I have recently been accepting on-demand ghostwriting jobs for several bloggers and I'm starting to like it. For one it pays really well and there's not much technicalities to the articles required.

The key to being a successful ghostwriter really is about understanding your role in the process. You are writing for someone else and you have to put yourself into their shoes most of the time. In most cases, I read about my client's blog first to understand how they write. I have to set aside my own ideas in approaching specific topics and learn to keep my ego in check. I may be the one writing it, but really the client still has the last say.

Collaboration with the client is also important as you need to regularly check whether your material really captures the voice and ideas of your client. You need to do researches and provide output that puts your client on the active voice. Being flexible helps a lot when you work as a ghostwriter, with this you can develop long, productive working relationship with your blogger clients.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Online Work beats the Traditional!

The latest survey from oDesk shows a significant increase in online hiring as more and more now prefer such time saving, money saving and hassle free method over the inconvenient traditional ways. oDesk presents us with an infographic on how online work has disrupted the traditional ways of hiring:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cost-Effective Tools Newbie Freelance Writers can Use

There is an overwhelming number of freelance writers today. You can't ignore the fact the many will even under price themselves to get a project. How much harder it is for these newbies to purchase freelancing tools then?

As newbies to the world of freelance writing, there are still tools that you can use to upgrade your services for free or inexpensively. These are my top tools for working more productively and write more effectively:

1. Netbook and wifi connection. These of course, are important tools for wandering freelance writers. Those who have a home office already set up, you may still want to consider getting a netbook for those times when you need some change of scene to boost you creativity and writing power.

2. Online Thesaurus. Aside from the synonyms and antonyms that you can use via MS word, there are other online thesaurus and dictionaries that you can use to help you as you struggle to find the right words. There are free sites but there are also those that require a subscription. The Visual Thesaurus for instance gives a free trial so you can decide if you want to push through with their monthly subscription.

3. Skype (YM, Gmailchat, etc). Skype has been one important communication tools that's cost-effective. When an Aussie asked me to become her VA for a short time, we used skype all the time. It allowed us to make calls for easier guidance and better work relations through effective communications.

4. Copyscape. This paid tool is actually my favorite. It helps ensure that my work is plagiarism or duplicate free. You can also subscribe to help protect your writing or type in a URL to check a specific document.

5. MS Excel, Google Spreadsheet. I don't have any invoicing device so I just use a spreadsheet to create my own invoice. Sometimes google spreadsheet is also an excellent invoicing tool where I update it and share it with my client so he/she can also check it and make necessary changes.

There are so many tools that you can explore to help you work more productively as freelance writers. With these simple tools you can upgrade the quality of your output and gain more satisfied clients. As you move along, you may also start more effective and extensive tools which require subscriptions and fees.

Great Tips for (Solo) Working Moms

Filipinos have close family ties and most families are very patriarchal, meaning the father is the head of the family and decides for everyone. Mine was a bit like that, but I was too mule headed to stay and listen. Like any new graduate, I wanted to discover the world and start a career to earn my own money. So, despite his non-acceptance on my decision to work, he wasn't able to do anything. 
Now with the freedom I experienced also came some sticky situations where soon I found myself on the way to motherhood. And with the very conservative culture of Filipino families, I decided to pursue a more stable career away from home. It was difficult at first, but I know many will agree, when you feel that little being slowly growing inside you, you'll feel utmost responsibility for it and find all means for both of you to survive - he will give you strength in body, mind and spirit.
As a young, solo, working mom, I implored other moms in my circle for tips to make working and mothering go well together.  It's no secret that single parents are sometimes looked down upon in many companies here in the Philippines, lucky for me, I got a welcoming working family who supported me all through out. Here are some tips that my "mommy's nook" gave me in my struggle to thrive and survive being a solo, working mom. 
1. Build a Network of Moms

This I did offline and online. Mother's where I work had been more than helpful with the things that I should expect as I progress with my pregnancy and even after I gave birth. I also started reading fora and mommy groups over internet along with my search for inexpensive hospitals and other baby stuff. I gained friends and confidants who made me feel stronger despite my situation. I received trinkets and useful advice and information ranging from breastfeeding, baby formula, food and a lot more! These moms from both online and offline worlds provided constant support all throughout. 
2. Build Stronger Family Ties

Despite issues that arise over my untimely pregnancy, my parents were insistent upon providing me all the help that they can. Yes, they were nagging, they have a right to be. Well, we are Filipinos and you know that your family will always be there for you no matter what happens. And we let bygones be bygones and started with thriving yet happy days with proud grand parents and strict tita doting over the first baby boy in the family (Welcome, Teloyskie!)

3. Find an Exceptional Yaya (nanny)

For those who don't have their families or relatives in close proximity, finding an exceptional nanny or yaya is very significant in being a career mom. Even if Teloyskie was with my mom, we were still lucky to find someone genuinely caring for him. Yaya Eden was someone that we can trust our home with and one whom we can easily communicate with. Having her during the critical 2-3 years was simply a blessing!
4. Set boundaries that you can stick to.

Work and family time should be well managed. When my son is with me, I try hard to finish work at 5pm so I can be home at 6pm. Once I get home, I won't be available for work related calls until my son sleeps. I guess I am also lucky to find a moderately demanding work where I can have some time off and it's very rarely that I need to work beyond 5pm. 
5. Do what you love and Relax

If you don't love your job, then you'll only be spending the day wishing you are home with your child. It's hard enough to be a working mom, so find something that you love to do so it feels more rewarding. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Freelance Writing and Location Independence

I wish I could easily claim to be location independent when it comes to my freelance writing job. Though I love to write, I still love my full time job so still I stay where I am. The biggest benefit of having freelance writing assignments for me is that it allowed me to take vacations, have the funds to pay for them and work tasks and jobs while I'm somewhere sunny and sandy - that's as close as I can get to being location independent i guess.

Being location independent allows web-savvy professionals to work anywhere they want by setting up a virtual office. However, not every job can be taken anywhere, thus I stay weekdays to report to my office. For those who have the capacity, training and opportunity start a mobile office, kudos to you.

Location independence greatest allure is the promise of travel and adventure while you keep your job. But I think it's not all pros of course. The shift into being a virtual worker should be taken slowly. Unlike me who keeps a full time job, freelance writers, web developers, researchers and so forth can easily tweak and turn their schedules to accommodate tasks and jobs even while they're exploring the ruins of Angkor Wat or testing the sweet waters of Maldives.

But freelance writing for me is more of past time, a hobby and a way of putting thoughts into words. I love writing and travelling, and I'd place a lot of consideration on being a location independent full time researcher if I lose my job. Presently however, I love my job the way it loves me, and I won't be losing it anytime soon.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Freelance Writing: Realizing When Less Means More

One of the worse mistake that freelance writers can probably make is to bite off more than they can chew. One can easily get hung up, (not to mention burnt out) with the lots and lots and the more and mores.

Big project are not always good especially if you talk about the quantity of the projects that you single-handedly write and edit. In many instances, fewer is actually better. But can fewer projects be better in terms of earnings? While most new freelance writers complain about not having enough projects, what many of us really need is a lot less but gives us more earnings.

Quality vs. Quantity
An online writer's monthly earnings can go for as much or as little as possible. Let's imagine that you aim to earn P25,000 in a month as a freelance writer(just a figure i thought of). There are many ways you can earn this in a month's time. Depending on the clients you have, there are some situations for earning that are more desirable than others. (Figures are on an average)

  • Short Articles. You can write 25-30 short articles (100-150 words) and earn around P60 for each.
  • Mid-size articles and blog posts. You can write around 10 articles of 300-350 words long for P150 each.
  • Full page web content and SEO articles. These articles range from P250-300 each and you can write at least 5 articles per day to achieve your target earnings for the month.
  • Many established freelance writer also offer bundles writing services and high-end-turn-key projects for 2-3 clients in a month and earns as much as P25,000 on each client.

But can you really handle all the requirements of the job to reach your desired earnings and more?

Until you're drowning with too many projects at a time, when you'll realize that having too many writing projects is in fact, bad. Having too many writing projects and juggling a number of clients at a time can -

  • Lower output quality. Because you're rushing to get things done and reach the daily quota you've set for yourself and earn enough, it's highly impossible for you to maintain your quality of work.
  • Less time to find high-end clients and market their talents. Freelancers working on multiple projects at a time are usually left with every little time for themselves much less for marketing their skills and talents to other high-end clients.
  • High Impact of break-ins. For freelance writers relying on their daily quota, missing a single day of work can significantly impact their targeted monthly income. 
  • Stagnation of skills. Because of a freelance writer's commitment to high volume of assignments, they also have very little time to update their talents.
  • Burn outs. Happened to me and can happen to any freelance writers churning out volumes of work everyday just to reach their goal. I can say that your target figure can work as a motivation, but for many it just ain't enough. 

Focusing more on the quality of work for quality clients is the better way of doing freelance jobs. You get a better working environment and you provide better work results for your clients. Many freelance writers choose to work on multiple project types in a month, but hopefully, more would be enlightened to work more for quality than quantity.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Researchers and Writers Don't Catch the Punchline Right

I work as a full time researcher and this puts my online writing on the side lines. I didn't realize recently how serious the role of researchers are in our field of work. Being one of the newest in the department and having no experience in research analysis at all, I find myself always at lost when the "older" ones discuss work matters. I think, if it wasn't for my writing abilities (which is actually more on creative and free-form) I wouldn't be placed were I am right now.

Just a few days ago, I was sent to start schooling for researcher analysts. The course will be an in-depth study of our systems and aims to create effective and efficient personalities from us. Their basic requirement of course is that the student must be a writer (yey! I think I'm qualified for this --- WRONG!)

Okay, a few days after we convened, my nose is all but bleeding. I have migraines every now and then and I dread the upcoming weeks where we'll most probably have our brains squeezed out! (lol) Well during one lecture on the basics of research analysis, our lecturer kept on hitting on jokes, and almost all of us stayed serious, no reactions - nada. And not until he explains himself do we all snicker and laugh - and yeah our lecturer kept on laughing at us and keeps on mentioning that researchers and writers don't catch the punchlines right every time. I know he's speaking from experience and I'm starting to believe that it might actually be true to most if not all researchers and writers.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Coffee Sets the Mood Right for a Weekend of Writing

It's weekend again and like the last post I've written, I'm experiencing some downsides of freelance writing. We'll for one, the issue with my eyes caused me to stop accepting or applying for assignments from oDesk. My regular client for ghostwriting has a limited assignments for the time being which means that I won't be able to meet the quota I've set for the month.

hot caramel cappuccino for the weekend writer
Browsing around for potential jobs disheartening. My only pick-me-upper for today is my favorite cup of coffee from a quiet nook here in the mall. A hot caramel cappuccino that has a strong bitter-sweet blend, just the way I want my coffee. Saturday mornings makes me think of Baba and the coffee he fixes for me and the way he pushes me to start writing while he does other house hold chores. Anyways, I have to get right back to my search and some updates for ze blogs. Thank goodness for my sweet cup, nothing beats coffee for a weekend of writing.

Downsides of Freelance Writing Jobs

Working freelance and loving what you do can easily keep you motivated and passionate about your writing. It has indeed a lot of perks and advantages over any regular day jobs. But there also some downsides which you must prepare for.

Many articles and writers do rave about the perks, benefits and the great things about working online, but trust me it is not always like that. There are days that really suck! I do love writing, but well, like everything else, there's always a good and a bad side to it.

Keeping Yourself Motivated

Working without a boss or a superior can entail a lot of distractions and temptations. You are free to work at your own time just as long as you meet your deadlines and provide what your client needs. There will be no one else to tell you what needs to be done, there won't be anyone to push you around. Might be a great arrangement, but for those who are new to being their own bosses, this can be a big drawback. You must keep yourself focused and find ways to stay motivated to work for online writing jobs even during the laziest days.

Building a Clientele

Finding clients and keeping them is probably one of the most significant issues that freelancers have. You need to learn to promote yourself and handle difficult clients accordingly. Be ready to deal with clients who are not sure what they really want as well as clients who are never satisfied with anything you write. There will clients who suddenly disappears and those who will not pay for your work.

It was a lesson learned the hard way. So be cautious with whom you're dealing with and make sure you verify your clients capacity to pay, and understand what they want to ensure that you provide the best results for them.

Variable Income and Lack of Bonuses

Freelancers are not entitled to bonuses that regular employers receive from their companies. There are no awards or recognition given. Feedback may be great but they usually don't come in with any financial value.

Apart from this, you also have different income ranges each month. Depending on the flow of your assignments and your clients. Large swings in your monthly income can make budgeting difficult. For newbies in the field, earning and finding decent freelance writing jobs can be very frustrating.

Longer Work Hours

Contrary to what many people think, working on freelance writing jobs will also entail long and sometimes round the clock work hours. If you have clients from other time zones, you need to meet their schedules and probably sync your time with them as well.

Moreover, you also need to deal with marketing, billing and other administrative needs of your home business.

Lack of Job Security

Many businesses fail within the first two years of existence so if you want to move into full time freelance writing, you might want to hold on to your regular day job first. Make sure that your freelancing is already stable with an established client base before pursuing a full time freelance writing job.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Coffee Cravings of an Online Writer: Brooks "Dripresso"

Brooks Coffee, a recently launched global coffee sensation sent me samples of their famous European coffee blend and the Japanesque Blend which is a combination of matcha and coffee. I love coffee and I got curious about the "dripresso" thing and the drip bag coffee design of their products so I hurriedly opened the European blend pack. At first I was really clueless what to do with it, and the pack has Japanese characters written all over it and I cannot find the exact instructions. Luckily there were pictures around which is what I followed through to set it correctly.

The European Coffee blend is a definite hit. It has a strong aroma and it hits the spot the way coffee shop-espressos do. Brook's has a wide range of coffee products that lures coffee lovers like me to buy and try. Based on the samples I got, their products will be worth every penny of your purchases.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Fight with the Red Eyes: Conjunctivitis and the Weekend Writer

After being down for quite a time, the weekend writer is back on track! The recent weather disturbance in the form of monsoon rains have greatly affected the Philippines. Thankfully, oDesk had been considerate enough to inform clients and employers of possible issues with their Filipino contractors. My client understood my decision to simply withdraw my application after a couple of days not being online and unable to provide his requirements.

On the other hand, I didn't take any more clients from oDesk this month. The office has been quite demanding as well not the mention that emotional stress I've gone through for the past couple of days. Yes there was flooding and heavy rains, but what I didn't understand was my out-of-season Conjunctivitis (sore eyes) which was aggravated further by a seasonal allergy and made a freak show out of right eye!

It was only after 4 days of worsening condition that I decided to have it checked. Normally, sore eyes is treated with over the counter eye drops but in my case, it didn't work, frequent washing of the eyes didn't help either. I didn't like what the Ophthalmologist was doing but I really don't have any choice and he's the expert in here so I just let him abuse my eyes and take pictures that looked like it came from some horror movie.

Finally after what seemed like hours, he gave me a prescription for 2 eye drops and advice to come back after 4 days to see how I'm going. The eye drops seemed really effective - they we're pricey in the first place. But yes my eyes improved and the redness went away just 2 days after I started using it.

my meds - gatiflaxocin and pred forte suspension

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Down Times for Freelancers: Getting Sick and Out of Work

Freelancers and online writers do get the freedom they want. As a freelancer, you are you're own boss, you work when you want and take vacations when you wish. In my case, freelance writing jobs are best for my supplementing my income. However, getting sick is another issue. Most freelancers couldn't take much time off when they get sick, why? It is simply because, for each day you're ill, is a day without earnings.

Every one is bound to get sick and succumb to illness sometimes. A couple of days of being is seems okay since you'd be able to make up for lost time and work over the weekends or a few overtimes into the evening soon as you feel well.

But if you need to take off a couple of weeks to recuperate, your freelance career could become a bit shaky. This is especially true if you have upcoming projects and you really need work your part. If you don't have any back up plans for such situations, your client may soon become an ex-client. They may decide to take another freelance online writer to handle projects meanwhile then just continue with the new writer even when you're back on your feet.

How to Deal with Sickness and Take Off from Your Freelance Jobs?

One of the best ways to take your much needed rest without worrying about losing a client is to contact other freelance online writers that you can trust. Make sure that they can provide the same level of service and satisfaction that you do. These people are the ones you can call for big projects as well as cover for you when you're sick and unable to work.


However, sickness cannot be planned ahead and your fellow freelance writers maybe busy and unable to handle more - thus you also need a small group of freelancers whom you can divvy your workload around.

Moreover, make sure that your freelance helpers don't charge less than you when they directly bilk the client!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Non-Stop Rains and Flooding in Metro Manila

August 7, 2012

Woke up with the sound of people scurrying and water being swept out. I looked out the window and noticed that flood waters have reached inside the apartment compound and is shin level already. Some neighboring apartments are quickly sweeping out water that have flowed inside their homes. We're lucky our place is about 2 steps higher so the flooding isn't felt. We turned on the news and saw a lot of other places in worse condition. There is no storm signal warning but the heavy rains caused Dams around Luzon to reach their spilling levels and soaked up the lands beyond their capacity. This kind of flooding happened before and we pray that everyone will kept safe despsite the danger.

Classes and work had been stopped in NCR and other neighboring provinces and Metro Manila Development Authority have issued a list of flooded areas around the Metro. 

The MMDA has compiled a list of areas considered flooded on their Twitter account @MMDA
  • Flood Alert: RMB Pureza as of 6:07 am Not Passable to All Types of Vehicles. #mmda
  • Flood Alert: Burgos Finance, Manila in-front of Manila City Hall, as of 6:10 am Not Passable to All Types of vehicles.
  • Flood Alert: Q.Ave Scout Schuatoco, as of 6:11 am Not Passable to All Types of Vehicles.
  • Flood Alert: Q.Ave Araneta, as of 6:11 am Not Passable to all types of vehicles.
  • Flood Alert: Q.Ave Delta, as of 6:11 am, not passable to all types of vehicles.
  • Flood Alert: BBB McArthur, as of 6:17, not passable to all types of vehicles.
  • Flood Alert: San Marcelino Taft Ayala, Manila, as of 6:37 am Not Passable to All Types of Vehicles.
  • Flood Alert: Q.Ave Centris EDSA NB, Not Passable To All Types of Vehicles.
  • Flood Alert: Q.Ave Brgay. Tatalon Kaliraya, as of 6:37 sm not passable to all types of vehicles.
  • Flood Alert: C5 Libis bypass Rd going to RiverBank, as of 6:47 am Not Passable to All Types of Vehicles
  • Flood Alert: Eagle St. GSIS Village Q.C, as of 6:53 am waist deep.#mmda
  • Flood Alert: EDSA Aurora and P.Tuazon Tunnels both direction, as of 6:56 am half tire.
  • Flood Alert: NLEX Balintawak, as of 7:00 am, not passable to all types of vehicles.
  • Flood Alert: Teneros Malabon, as of 7:00 am, neck deep.
  • Flood Alert: Quirino Sauyo, as of 7:04 am, not passable to types of vehicles.
  • Flood Alert: Q.Ave Maria Clara, as of 7:14 am, lagpas tao.
  • Flood Alert: Mandaluyong Maysilo, as of 7:18 am Knee deep.
  • Flood Alert: SM Sucat, ParaƱaque, as of 7:20 am waist deep.#mmda
  • Flood Alert: South Super Highway Buendia dela Rosa, as of 7:20 am, Not passable to Light vehicles
  • Flood Alert: Victory St. G.Araneta, as of 7:23 am Chest deep.
  • Flood Alert: C4 Lascano, as of 7:30 am 37 waist deep.
  • Flood Alert: Ortigas, POEA SB, as of 7:31 am half gutter.
  • Flood Alert: Capitol Balara EB, a sof 7:32 am gutter deep.
  • Flood Alert: Masaya St. Commo Philcoa a sof 7:36 am, lagpas tao.#mmda
  • Flood Alert: E.Rod Waltermart, as of 7:36 am not passable to all types all vehicles. (lagpas tao).
  • Flood Alert: C5 NB Ateneo as of 7:37 am, knee deep.
  • Flood Alert: EDSA Taft Metropoint, as of 7:41 am gutter deep.#mmda
  • Flood Alert: Mindanao AVe, and North Ave, as of 7:44 am, gutter deep. #mmda
  • Flood Report: Q.Ave Sto. Domingo as of 7:47 am knee deep. #mmda
  • Flood Alert: Biak na Bato as of 7:50, not passable to Light vehicles.#mmda
  • Flood Alert: SB and NB of NLEX Balintawak, 8:00 am, not passable to all types of vehicles.

More updates are available via GMA Network News Online. Keep safe everyone!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Where to Find Freelance Writing Assignments?

I've been an online writer for several years now. I admire top writers and freelancers I've seen in Odesk, but I know they've also struggled to reach their status. Finding freelance writing jobs online can be a little daunting especially for beginners. My first try with some online job markets placed me on the lowermost level - with no feedback, means lesser chances of getting a job. So where can you really find freelance writing assignments that actually pays?

where to find freelance writing assignments?


Mine was a lucky start. I got referred to someone looking for writers. They seemed satisfied with the articles I produce and became a regular provider for their projects. And because they are local clients, I also got to meet them personally. I think being referred is one of the most effective way to land writing assignments that pays. Ask your friends and colleagues about writing gigs, copywriters and editors who may need writing services you can provide.
image from

Bidding Sites

After months of having a writer's block, I slowly got back to writing and finding freelance writing jobs which are very demanding. I checked out Craiglist, eBay and for possibilities. I know these are not the places where people looking out for jobs would probably check out, but I got one of the most productive job from a job posting.

Online - Freelance Job Markets

After establishing myself back and learning more about writing styles, techniques and more about SEO, I tried applying for writing jobs posted in online job markets, most specifically - oDesk. There are other job markets that have hundreds of freelance writing job assignments that you can check out such as:

Among the many online writing job markets, I am actively pursuing oDesk. I was hired for several projects here and also got re-hired by many satisfied employers. I was really happy working for their projects and they seemed to be quite happy with the output too, thus I've raised my feedback score to 4.8/5!

One thing that you should always remember is to to accept only assignments that you can do and avoid overlapping your tasks to ensure that you write only quality articles. This way you can keep your clients happy and would never hesitate to give you more writing assignments in the future.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Online Writing Jobs: How I Started as an Online Writer

Going back almost 6 years ago, I can still remember my struggles to find a decent part time job to supplement my income. I had a growing baby and I need to earn a little more to ensure that I can save despite the ballooning expenses.

I tried a couple of rackets gimmicks including:

Starting from scratch truly is frustrating and depressing especially if you don't see any results at all. I earn a little by selling used stuff, but blogging was another story. I was overwhelmed by some of the technical stuff (page rankings, back links, SEO and a lot more). I keep a personal blog and ruled out monetizing it and just proceeded with online job markets where I also failed to make some income. The competition was tough and many other nationalities offer really low prices for their services.

I was lucky enough to be offered a  writing assignment by a local client. I was referred to her by one of my office mates and for the next 3 years my writing world revolved around the assignments she sends me.

I wrote different types of content - press releases, short articles, SEO articles and more. I wrote about different topics - freelance writing, shoes, bags, health, fitness, solar and wind energy and many others. I learned about writing original content, keyword placement and densities. I loved what I do and I was happy to earn and learn with my writing.

But at one point, I also went through what many would call a "writer's block." I felt I could no longer write - I struggle with words, much more in composing articles. Nothing comes out of my brain anymore and I wasn't satisfied with my writing. It lasted for a year, may be more.

I got my vibe back slowly and painstakingly. I started activating my blog once again and wrote little by little. Travel and spending more time with my son provided motivation and ideas for writing. I started applying on local online markets - Craiglist, and eBay for content writer and got another local client with a good pay. It was a good motivation as well - money.

Soon I thought about having direct clients and tried one more time with Odesk. I elaborated on my extensive writing experience and provided some of my works. I also created a portfolio for clients to check. And this time I succeeded in getting more clients and assignments. I also got an overwhelming number of invitations for interviews and some of clients re-hire me with an upgraded contract.

But since I consider writing as a hobby and not as a primary source of income, I learned to choose my assignments and dealt only with topics that I like and I want to write about. This way I was able to give it my best and provide quality, creative and value-for-money services.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Writing and Beyond!

Hey there! This blog is about the usual day of a freelance online writer. Busy days with SEO articles on demand, zero article days, online writing markets, vents on crazy clients, coffee, cakes, foodies and trips in between!