Use the Many Computer Tools Available for Freelancers
by Chris King

As free agents, independent professionals and freelancers, we all make, or should make, continual use of computers. Whatever range our careers span, we can find many helpful tools to increase our incomes right at our fingertips (using our mouse and keyboard). However, I don't have big bucks to spend at this time. As a result of this and other e-newsletters I receive on a regular basis, I have discovered and rediscovered some truly useful links to exciting, informative and useful websites. In this article I am going to share a few of them with you. Some you may know of already. Some won't fit in with your goals. But, I do hope that some will be of use to you.

Have you ever wondered if you are really cut out to be an entrepreneur? I have been receiving several of the weekly newsletters generated by http://www.monster.com for months. After having fun taking some of the tests, do take time to click on some of the other links listed. I think you will be, as I have been, quite pleased with all of the useful information and well written articles housed on this huge site.

Visit this excellent site with legal information, books, software and forms.
As I get busier and busier, and wiser and wiser, I realize the importance of having good contracts and legal backing for the decisions I make. To find topnotch legalese visit http://www.nolo.com. Not only do they include a whole section for independent contractors, they also list many other useful books, forms and tools for small businesses. I found that many of the books that interested me included a sample chapter, all of which I read and proved to be enlightening. The book I found to offer timely advice was Working for Yourself: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Check it out.

This almost overwhelming site offers more information for freelancing than one can even imagine.
You will find it at http://www.allfreelancework.com. You will not only find lots of jobs posted here, there is a plethora of other freelancing information included. We could easily spend a week playing and learning here. Another small business site that is well crafted, but appears to lack recent updating, is http://www.soho.org.

If you want to sell a product on your website, but aren't ready for the big-time shopping cart, here is an easy alternative. Look into PayPal if you're going to handle only a few sales online. For a small fee, the folks at PayPal http://www.paypal.com can handle all the details of your getting paid, and you won't need to set up a credit card merchant account. PayPal accepts your customers' credit card payments and transfers the money to your bank account. The PayPal system was originally created to process consumer-to-consumer transactions for people using the eBay auction site. But PayPal now handles business transactions as well. Small Web-based businesses with modest sales find PayPal suitable. They provide a free pdf manual with directions for easily setting up your shopping cart. I plan to use them until I get so big it becomes too much to handle.

Need help with marketing your services?
Be sure to check out this site. I would be remiss if I didn't include Robert Middleton's Action Plan Marketing site located HERE . Be sure to sign up for Robert's weekly More Clients e-newsletter. It is excellent. I have learned more about marketing from this man than anyone else.

Want to send out an opt-in newsletter, but don't know the fine points, then visit this site. Have you ever wondered why some of your newsletters come across easy to read, well organized and without glitches while others have words all over the place? If you go to http://www.databack.com you can sign up for a free e-mail composition class that will appear in your e-mail. This highly recommended group provides list management for your e-newsletters, which I may not need immediately, but which as I grow will be the list management system in my future.

You are probably wondering whether any of the above sites will be of use to you. All I know is that they made me start imagining many new areas and ideas to explore. I plan to keep visiting them and others on a regular basis to keep me on my toes and fingers.

I suggest setting aside some time every day to investigate and learn something new that is available to you on your computer. You will be amazed by what you will discover. You might even make a killing money-wise!

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