You’re a freelance writer, which means you’ll be doing a lot of typing and shaping of the written word. However, the landscape for writers is changing rapidly. Before you know it, the ability to write might not be enough anymore. Whether you’re interested in blog writing jobs, content creation, grant writing, or other forms of writing for a career, there may come a time when you’ll need to know basic videography. [Read more…]
Why It’s High Time to Spring Clean Your Digital Life
With rising numbers of identity theft and cybercrime, ensuring that your online life is organized and secure is more important than ever.
This season, give your digital life the same kind of spring cleaning you would do in the physical world.
Here are the fundamental digital areas to focus on cleaning up. [Read more…]
A Guide to Part Time Working in Retirement
Looking back just a few decades, by the time most of us reached the state-designated retirement age, we were more than ready to put our feet up and relax with a cup of tea.
Today, however, we’re more active, healthy and raring to go than ever before, and we’re not quite ready to hang up our work clothes just yet. The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service reports that there are now more than one million workers in the UK aged 65 or over – will you be one of them?
Is it Legal?
Absolutely! Just because you’re drawing a pension, either a private pension or a state pension, doesn’t mean you can’t work if you want to.
Working part time during retirement is completely above board, although there are laws that both you and your employer will need to adhere to. For retirees, any payments received through the supply of products or offering of services need to be logged with HM Revenue & Customs, even if you’re earning below the tax threshold. The exception is if you’re completing casual work such as online surveys, as payments from these count as ‘rewards’ rather than payment for services.
On the employer side, companies have an obligation to pay all workers, including retired part time workers, in accordance with the minimum wage guidelines – currently £6.31 per hour for anyone aged 21 or over.
What Sort of Work Can I Do?
There are more opportunities for part time workers in retirement than you may think, ranging from more casual work right through to formal contracts. Anything from delivering leaflets and cleaning homes through to administrative duties and accountancy.
The Office of National Statistics reports that nearly one third of retirees are self employed, which provides a good combination of the freedom that comes with retirement and a steady income. Opting to go self employed opens up unlimited opportunities. Some cake and sell cakes at local farmers’ markets, some sell paintings, some knit or crochet clothing and toys, some blog from home… if you’ve got a skill, then someone, somewhere, is willing to pay for it!
Why Would Anyone Hire Me?
The question is – why wouldn’t they? There are many benefits for employers when hiring older workers, and the Department for Work and Pensions reports that employment of those aged 65 and over has almost doubled since 2001.
With no dependents, older workers can offer more flexible working hours, taking on tasks that those with childcare commitments are sometimes unable to, and older workers also have much more working knowledge than those coming straight out of school. Providing you’re reliable and professional, and your skills match the job in question, there is no reason why age should have any influence over an employer’s decision.
Will I Need to Pay Tax?
This depends upon how much pension you’re drawing, and how much income you’re generating through your part time work.
All pensions, whether private or state, are taxable, as are any payments relating to part time work. You’ll need to add up these incomes, along with anything else you receive that is taxable, such as rent payments from properties, or some benefits such as Carer’s Allowance.
The annual tax-free income ranges from £9440 to £10,660 depending on when you were born. If your taxable income totals more than this amount, you will need to pay tax. On the plus side, you won’t need to make National Insurance contributions!
Are There Financial Implications?
Part time work during retirement is an excellent way to either delay your drawing of a pension fund, or bring in a little extra pocket money for luxuries. Overall, if you have the ability and inclination to work after you retire, then financially it makes sense.
However, there may be some minor financial implications if you have previously been receiving benefits related to living in a low income household. If you begin earning, you may no longer be eligible for benefits such as pension credit, council tax reductions, or housing benefit. It’s worth weighing up the pros and cons of losing out on this sort of financial assistance before taking on any work in retirement so ensure you’re doing what’s best for you.
This post has been written by Acorn Stairlifts, the first stairlift company in the world to be awarded the Ease of Use accolade by the Arthritis Foundation.
How to Deal with Late Paying Clients
The freelance world can be a bit difficult from time to time. You spend hours seeking out jobs and writing the perfect articles, but what happens if you don’t get paid? It can be stomach turning for the end of the payday to arrive and not have received payment. While you may get angry, or sit there in complete shock, there are a few ways to deal with late paying clients.
Give Them the Benefit of the Doubt
It may look fishy to not receive payment, but things happen. Your client may have internet problems, been in an accident or simply forgot. Regardless, the best way to handle the situation is to contact the client. In most cases it was a simple error or the payment was just delayed. By approaching the situation professionally, you can prevent losing your client by going off the handle.
If you’ve tried emailing the client and haven’t gotten a response, it may be time to escalate the issue. A quick phone call can give you a better idea of what’s going on. You can usually find the contact information of a client that has paid you through PayPal in payment details. If the client seems to be avoiding the issue, or won’t take your calls, you may have a serious problem.
Know Your Rights
If you are selling the client the rights to your work, remember that he only has those rights once you’ve been paid. If your client doesn’t pay up, publish the content elsewhere, if possible. If the client uses the content, send them a cease and desist notice explaining that he does not have the rights to the content because he did not pay for it.
Get a Lawyer Involved
If a client owes you a large sum of money, and refuses to pay up, it might be time to get your lawyer involved. In most cases, simply mentioning that you will take the issue to your lawyer will get the client to fork over the funds, but if not a lawyer can help you take the client to court. Remember, this tactic is only worth while if the client owes a large sum. Otherwise, you’ll pay more for the lawyer than you’ll get from the client.
No one likes to deal with late paying clients, but it sometimes happens. The key is to first understand that things happen and sometimes they are beyond the client’s control. Second, call the client in order to get a better answer. You should also know your rights and where you stand on the content that you’ve not been paid for. Last, but not least, only get a lawyer involved if the client owes a large sum.
Guest poster Diedre Fleisner is a professional writer who knows how much it can sting to not get paid for her hard work. She enjoys writing about bankruptcy and loan issues and enjoys researching sites.
5 Tips for Handling Client Complaints Gracefully
One of the most terrifying parts of being a freelance writer is the notion that at any point, a client could call, IM or email you and say something alone the lines of, “This is completely not what I want. Change it immediately.” This is especially scary if you’ve just paid all your bills and you don’t even have ramen noodles to eat. When you need the job, you need to deal with the client’s complaints. But you also have to stay cool. Clients are like dogs — they can smell your fear. The following tips will help you a lot.
Don’t Take Complaints Personally
It’s easy to think that every complaint a client has is specifically about you. It almost never is. Your client isn’t saying anything bad about you as a person, just about a particular thing you’ve written for them.
Clarify Precisely What the Client Wants
A lot of complaints come down to miscommunications. This is the best time to get specifics in writing, along with detailed explanations. This way your client can’t double back and get twice the work for a low price. While most clients won’t do such a thing, there are some who will. Only give a client one piece of free work before you cut them off for good. [Read more…]
Should Writers Support Other Writers?
Here’s a question for all the writers out there that I think of frequently. It typically comes to mind as I read online forums for writers where beginners post questions asking for suggestions of books that are helpful to read about publishing, book writing, freelance writing, and so on. I’m constantly surprised by how many writers respond to those questions by recommending that people not invest in books about writing and building a writing business, but rather they should just look in their local library for comparable information instead of paying for new books.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for saving money, but here is the question that always pops into my mind when I see this suggestion:
Shouldn’t writers support other writers?
I’m not suggesting that writers never use the library, never search for information online for free, and instead head over to Amazon and purchase every book and publication ever printed. Although I’m sure I’ll get comments on this post saying that I’m suggesting every extreme scenario one can think of, that’s not my point at all.
My point is this — if writers can’t even support each other by purchasing books, magazines, newspapers, and other publications that we’re interested in, then why should anyone else? Writers are having trouble finding assignments that pay reasonable amounts, yet the first thing I see suggested so often when a writer asks for books to help them get started is, “don’t pay for them – get them at the library or buy used on eBay or find a site to download it for free.”
Am I the only writer who is surprised that other writers advise people who are asking for book suggestions that they should not buy books but rather find any other possible way to get those books than actually purchasing them first-hand?
What do you think? Of all people, shouldn’t writers support other writers rather than suggest that people find other ways to get the same information without having to pay full price for it — particularly in response to requests for book or publication recommendations? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
Writers – What Are You Reading?
The summer is coming to an end here in the U.S., and the kids are heading back to school. That means those of us who have been trying to juggle kids at home for the summer and our writing businesses will get some more free time five days per week. Not only can we get more work done, but we can also get more free time since we’ll have more time to work while the kids are at school.
I’m looking forward to reading some great books this fall. I’ll be traveling during September and October on a speaking tour for my next book that is coming out in November, 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, so I’m already lining up a list of books to have on hand to get me through the boring times at airports and in airplanes. I’m actually considering buying a Kindle, but I’ll save that internal struggle for another post.
At the top of my list is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series by Stieg Larsson, which I’ve heard so many great things about. My husband is listening to the audio version of this trilogy during his commute to and from work, and he’s really enjoying them. I’ve been spending the majority of my time recently reading nonfiction books, so I’m looking forward to getting lost in some great stories!
What’s at the top of your reading list right now? Leave a comment and share your recommendations with the Freelance Writing Jobs audience. I’m sure I’m not the only one looking for new books to read!
Note: The above Amazon links used in this post are not affiliate links.
I used to co-blog at Kommein, a blog for community managers. It was my place to talk about social media, especially community management. The problem was, FWJ became too big for me to manage on a part time basis and most of my personal projects fell to the wayside as I worked hard to grow this network. So Kommein faltered for a while.
It’s time to dust it off.
The truth is, I miss discussing social media. I know I touch upon it here from time to time, but you’re here to learn more about writing than anything else. So I decided to revisit Kommein for those who don’t mind talking about social media all the time. I can’t promise that I will blog there every single day, but I’m making it my mission to visit it at least several times a week to talk about my other passion.
Some of it will be sharing what I learnd and some of it will be rambling as I discuss issues or news. Basically, it’s the same Deb talking about stuff I enjoy, just at a different location.
Will you join me?
I hope you’ll drop by Kommein and participate in the conversation. The name means “shared by all” and I’ve sure enjoyed sharing with you all these years.