5 Quotes To Inspire You To Work Harder

The work week has just ended. Friday tends to be a “happy pill” to many. It marks the beginning of relaxation and free-time.  But do we really have to feel bad about the mountain of tasks lined up for us? Or should we keep a pocketful of sunshine thinking that more work means better pay?

So to shrug all negative thoughts about working hard and finding yourself exhausted, here are 5 of my favorite quotes about working hard and actually being happy about it.

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The Man Who Thinks He Can (poem)

by Walter D. Wintle

If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don’t,
If you like to win, but you think you can’t
It is almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost
For out of the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN!

The Relaunch

It took me days to convince myself to write. Why? I needed enough time to swallow the bitter reality, and admit once again that it’s time for a relaunch.

Closing doors, starting again, and meeting new people sound crazy at this point. I’ve become too complacent; I built my everyday through habits. I created goals using the resources I had. I built dreams thinking that everything will last, only to wake up one day with nothing else to do but to start again.

Losing long-term clients is always painful. And while I’ve been in this arena for almost 1/3 of my life, I’ve never been immune to that feeling. It’s always painful to know that you are letting go of a routine, especially something that you really love.

But reality must be faced.

So here I am once more, I am opening The Web Assistant to possible clients who like to hire a fulltime or project-based virtual assistant.

Backed with 8 years of experience in web services, I am a reliable Virtual Assistant whom you can count on. I have excellent skills in written English communication, proper training in Search Engine Optimization, and I am a handy helper for your Social Media Management needs. Let me organize your business affairs, answer emails, and update your website.

Here are the services I can offer:

- All-around Virtual Assistance

- Provide you with fresh and relevant contents for your website

- Manage your WordPress account

- Update Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, and other social media avenues

- Email handling

- Do Affiliate Marketing

- Chat support

- Keyword Research

- Basic Photo Editing

- SEO

Shoot me a message at vinness.bilon(@)gmail.com

Basic SEO Tricks for a Portfolio that Rocks the Online World

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works like a Holy Grail, something that is commonly pursued by online entrepreneurs. While traffic alone cannot guarantee income, but it’s a first step before a sale. Now, the same tactic can be applied by freelancers, particularly when building their portfolio online. How do you do it? Let me walk you through the basic steps in SEO.

Find a Niche

Being a generalist is a hard game to play in the online world. First, general keywords are often already used by other popular and long-reigning websites. Secondly, it will be hard for you to target your audience well. And you will likely attract a general audience too, which may or may not convert into possible clients.

Keyword Research

Before website building, keyword research should come first. It is a must that you buy a domain name that cannot just represent your industry but will also work for your search engine reputation. I recommend the use of Google Keyword Tool because it is free and it does the job well. Go for a long tail keyword and play with the terms. Find keyword suggestions with high amount of searches but with less competition.

Build a Website

Building your own website is now made easier with the coming of WordPress and Blogger. If you have some extra cash on hand, you might want to consider getting your personal domain name too. In building a portfolio, it is a must that you add these pages below:

  1. About Me- This is where you want to tackle everything about yourself. It won’t hurt to get a little personal here, crack some jokes if you may or talk about your favorite film because these can help build rapport with your audience.  Be sure to moderate the personal talking though because more than anything, you want to appear professional. Talk about your passion, your dreams, and ambitions. Discuss past works, your strengths, and your dream projects.
  2. Portfolio- This is a great place to discuss your past accomplishments. Give sample write-ups if you are a freelance writer or links to the past websites that you created in case you are a web builder.    If you are a Search Engine Optimization expert, then show off proofs of your accomplishments. It also helps to ask for feedback from previous clients that you can display on your portfolio.
  3. Personal Photo- Since you are selling yourself to possible clients, you want your website to look real by displaying your recent personal photo. So brush up, wear your finest, and book a pictorial to a nearest studio.

When building the website, optimize it by using the keywords that you’ve previously researched. Avoid keyword stuffing; it is important that the flow of words still looks natural despite your SEO efforts.

Credits to Stuart Miles of freedigitalphotos

Credits to Stuart Miles of freedigitalphotos

 

Other SEO Practices:

  1. Try blog commenting- Visit the website of other freelancers and give a sensible comment on one of their posts, do not forget to add the link of your site at the comment box so others can follow the link. Aside from this, linking is a great way to build your reputation online and it can work great wonders for your search engine ranking.
  2. Post among forums- Find forums that are related to your niche. Signup for an account. On the signature box, add the link of your site. When posting among forums, remember to act professional. Avoid bashing and adding negative views about certain topics.
  3. Join freelancer’s support group- Try searching for these groups on Facebook. By joining, not only will you be able to surround yourself with people that lift you higher towards becoming a full bloom freelancer but you also build traffic to your website. Encourage them to visit your page. Furthermore, support group is a great place to find available freelancer gigs through referrals.
  4. Try Social Medias- Facebook and Twitter are great place to advertise yourself. Create a page and be sure to like other pages too that are related to your niche. Comment on their pages and encourage a conversation. Add posts linking to your website too. Social Medias are among the most effective way to rocket your website into great search engine placement.

These are just some of the basic SEO efforts that you can do. Search Engine Optimization is a wide field, there are plenty of room to grow and try. But for now, the above tips will suffice any beginner’s effort to rank a site.

Stress Management for Online Workers

stress

Ever found yourself sleeping in front of your computer? This happened to me a bunch of time when I was still starting with my online works. Regardless of how many cups of coffee I tried to consume in a day, stress always takes over me. And when I couldn’t take it anymore, I loaded myself with perk-me-upper drinks that lead me confined in a hospital for a week because of Premature Ventricular Contraction.

Now, I graduated from such stage. Through the years of working online I now learned how to balance work with my personal life. It wasn’t easy; in fact, it took me loads of sacrifices. I had to give up some work and the financial gratification that comes with them in order to find this “balance”.

So if you are starting an online career or you are on the verge of giving it up because you think that stress in this kind of profession is just too much, let me help you with these practical tips below:

  1. Wake up early, and go to work early. One of the perks of working online that I tend to abuse back then is the idea of being able to work anytime of the day. I would wake up at 10 am and start work only after lunch. At the middle of my working hours, I try to catch some breather and go back to work at 8 in the evening and then I sleep at 3 in the morning the following day. It was good while my body can take it, but later I realized that such lifestyle made me susceptible to common colds because of the weakened immune system.
  2. Take one at a time. When I was freelancing, I enjoyed taking loads of works because it means having a fatter wallet at the end of the month. But then, the bitter truth finally caught me and I find myself not being able to take care of my personal life. My finances were up but emotionally, I was down. So this is when I decided to get fulltime work. I had to make this firm decision to give up some of the works so I can work better.
  3.  Set a time for working. Commit to such schedule and never be tempted with the idea that you can always work in the evening. It’s not a secret but scheduling your daily work is one great way for me to keep sane. I normally start my day writing my to-do list for the day and when I am able to tick most of what’s written on the list, it gives me the extra benefit of feeling accomplished after the day.
  4. Take some vitamins, and never try any quick fixes like a perk-me-upper drink. It’s best to opt for something “natural” to build up your body’s defences against stress. And never drink any quick fixes that promise you a day filled with energy. If you are meeting a deadline and you want to work longer hours, schedule your time well. How about waking up early in order to finish the work earlier too?
  5. Learn to relax. It’s okay to take a breather after work. Reward yourself after a week of hard work through a massage or a slice of that red velvet cake you’ve wanted to try for so long. Also, promise yourself not to work during weekends by completing all your assigned tasks during the weekdays. Admit that you are just like any other human out there who needs a time off.

Best Lenten Practices to Kill Stress this Holiday

The Holy Week has just arrived. Yesterday, we busied ourselves with palms on our way to churches and the next coming days promises a deeper experience for the devout. And while our faith calls us to do series of sacrifices for the season, the week also gives us the ability to take a break from work. Thursdays and Fridays are considered holidays (so go on and remind your boss right now).

So I have compiled here series of Lenten practices that we can do to both deepen our faith and to give us a breather:

  1. Attend recollections or retreats. Shrug the idea that recollections means spending thousands to travel into the mountains and live with the faithful for a week or two. Most churches would give free recollections this Lenten season. Just check with your parish for schedule.
  2.  Do Visita Iglesia. It’s visiting seven churches. I normally do this with the whole family. It offers a chance for personal reflection and can help build stronger bonds among friends and family members. If you are stuck with work 24/7, now is your chance to reach out with the people around you.
  3. Read a self-help book. I recommend setting a deadline to finish the book before the holiday ends. You can find several suggestions for a good reflection book online. Some of my personal favourites are written by Normal Vincent Peale.
  4. Write a journal. Isn’t it amazing how the simple act of writing your thoughts and emotions on a paper can somehow give you a sense of fulfilment from all your personal questions? So go on and get your childhood diary back. Write emotions and problems you may have. After which, check how exactly you can manage all these problems. You will be amazed how answers can start pouring in.
  5. Give yourself a treat. You can treat yourself into a massage or a holiday—you know you deserve it. Just go on and take a break from the computer because you are bound to feel refreshed and invigorated after. You will be readier when Monday comes and the workloads start to pile up.

There you go. I wish you have a fruitful and meaningful Lenten celebration with your family.

Choosing Your Computer and Internet Plan

This is it! I’m going to guide you through the process of starting an online career. So expect series of articles that tackles ways and means on how to get started in the virtual arena in the coming days. For now, let us start with your computer and internet connection.

PC or Laptop?

I had my fair share of using both laptop and personal computers for work. During the advent of laptops, I swayed myself to using one for work. At first I love its space saving ability and the fact that you can go around the house while working. Later I realized that it tends to diminish my productivity level. It cannot handle the constant pressure of my hands banging the keyboard, of downloading too many files at the same time, of installing new software every now and then, and so forth.

So I still recommend getting a personal computer if you are planning with starting an online career. Plus, a PC sits nicely on your workstation so it somehow does the extra job of putting you at the right mood for work.

Depending upon the work that you intend to do online, you might need some additional programs and software installed on your computer. Some clients are kind enough to buy you their preferred software. But I recommend that you do the extra work of acquiring them your own. Your readiness and knowledge about certain programs might help you become a cut above the rest.

Also, I recommend that you pick a good quality and brand for your tools. Believe me; you will thank yourself later on if you do. Computer tools are not always the sturdiest and they sometimes have the habit of breaking down exactly when you need them the most.

What is the Best Internet Connection?

Lucky enough, you have a wide variety of choices when it comes to your internet provider.  Here I created a list of plans from the top 3 players in the market.

  • SmartBro  
 SmartBro Plan 999 Unlimited surfing hoursBuilt-in Anti Bill Shock Feature*Surf with speeds of up to 5 Mbps 999 pesos Free
Smart Power Plug-it 50 surfing hoursBuilt-in Anti Bill Shock Feature*Surf with speeds of up to 7.2 MbpsBalance display to track usagePlug & Play Installer and Launcher 499 pesos 800 pesos
  • PLDT Plans
PLDT Landline Plus Unlimited Internet& Calls to PLDT Landline 1,299.00 pesos 2,300.00 pesos (initial cash-out)
PLDT Plan 1314 Up to 2MbpsUnlimited Internet& Smart Bro Plug-it 1,314.00 pesos 1,314.00 pesos (initial cash-out)
PLDT Plan 1614 Up to 2MbpsUnlimited Internet+ Smart Bro Pocket WiFi+Tablet 1,614.00 pesos 1,614.00 pesos (initial cash-out)
PLDT Plan 2214 Up to 2MbpsUnlimited Internet+ Smart Bro Pocket LTE Plug-it 2,214.00 pesos 2,214.00 pesos (initial cash-out)

 

  • Globe Plans 

All broadband bundles come with 
FREE unlicalls to Globe and TM and FREE router.

2 Mbps 1,099 pesos
3 Mbps 1,299 pesos
5 Mbps 1,599 pesos
7 Mbps 2,499 pesos

Some Tips to Consider When Choosing Your Internet Plan

The performance of your internet connection somehow relies on your location. So it is best to shop around first to determine the right option for you. When applying for any internet plan, please do read the fine prints. Most of them can come with a lock in period wherein you cannot discontinue their service during such time span. Be wary about any rule that the company can impose towards you. This is the reason why you need to carefully read the terms and conditions before signing up for something.

Check your internet and see whether you are getting the amount of speed that you are paying for.  I personally recommend doing the test through SpeedTest, the service is free and its a very reliable website.

See to it that customer service is responsive enough to act upon your concerns. Working online means that a reliable, steady, and fast internet connection is handy. So you do not want to be waiting long hours or days just to get the system fixed.

I hope you get something from this article. Start searching now for your preferred internet plan and ensure that you have a well-performing computer.

 

Every Freelancer’s Guide to Nailing a Job Interview

The process of working for the web is much more like getting an 8 to 5 kind of job.  It entails resume submission and that intimidating interview. If you are like me who tends to see a job interview as a bitter pill to swallow, relax for you are not alone. Do you know that people’s number one fear is public speaking? So a job interview is much more like talking in front of a public, but this time around you are asked to put your best foot forward to impress an unknown boss.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

While it may sound like cliché, there is really no better thing to do to prepare for a job interview than by practicing your spiel. Anticipating questions that may be thrown at you is like building your self-confidence a notch higher. Recall a past job interview mistake and plan how to turn it around. Learn as much as you can about the new company and back up your claims of why you are suited for the job offer.

Work Place

As a starter, check your work place. Find a quiet place inside your house where you can position your desk and computer unit. Too much noise can annoy a job interviewer so inform family members about a scheduled interview beforehand. You need to designate a work place; somewhere you can get that boost of creative juice. Having the interview on your bed is possible but it can make you feel too comfortable that you might forget to turn your body into “work mode”.

Tools and Equipment

Ready your microphone and web camera. Many job interviews are done through Skype so be sure that set your profile before you add the prospective client. Choose a professional looking photo and avoid offensive status messages.  Some clients settle over a voice interview while others prefer a video call. Either way, just be sure that you are prepared. Primp yourself up by wearing a good suit. While you are not expected to be on your office attire but please do not show up in your pajama or provocative tops.

Internet Connection

An online worker lives and breathes through an internet, hence it safe to say that you should avail of a good internet plan even before you decide to hunt for a job. It is even sound to get a supplementary internet connection just in case the first choice isn’t working.

The Actual Interview

  1. Learn about the company and your future boss. Start the whole process by understanding the basics of the company. Get ready to explain why you are a handy choice for an interview and discuss knowledge or experience that you can contribute for the growth of the organization. If you will be working for a boss, say why you are a sound candidate for the position. What exactly can you do for him? How will your boss benefit from your knowledge and expertise?
  2. Think of a creative way to introduce yourself. You can start by building rapport hence discuss something personal. Tell him about your name, your hobbies, what you do on a weekend, the books you love, and so forth. Keep the introduction short yet entertaining. Then, talk about your professional background; what you know about the company, why you are interested to apply, and discuss why you are a cut above the rest.
  3. Do not look at the past with criticism. A potential client will be interested to know why exactly you left your previous boss. Now, you need to be honest in here but compose yourself well so you do not sound sarcastic. The question of why you left your previous company can sometimes lead to negative answer but you need to turn it into a positive response.  
  4. Be prepared to ask. Asking the interviewer is a good way to keep the ball rolling. It gives the impression that you are actively participating in the interview. Just avoid questions that are too easy to answer or may be irrelevant with the job you are applying for. After all, giving the wrong questions may lead the interviewer to think that you are too lazy to research for answers.
  5. Discover your strength and weaknesses. One of the common questions in an interview is about your strength and weaknesses. So how exactly are you going to answer this? When discussing your strength, be confident but never sound like you are bragging. And when it comes to talking about your weaknesses, make it look like you are actually handling it well. Turn your weakness into something positive. Like if you tend to a perfectionist, say that it actually helped your co-workers become more careful with their outputs.

Just remember that constant practice is a big part of your success. Ask a friend to do a mock interview with you and be sure to get some feedbacks from her. Personally, I use my phone’s audio recorder to try to listen to how I answer possible interview questions.  Most clients are kind enough not to mind the language barrier we sometimes fret about. So relax and enjoy the ride!

Basic Tips for Starting a Freelance Career

Many people choose to leave their 8-hour work to settle on a freelance job. But before you decide to go solo, ensure your audience first. Creating a blog, posting your resume, tweeting your credentials—they are all good, but they are not solely what you need to do.

Rock the Online World

Start looking for an audience that includes your potential client, adviser, and even ordinary folks who could nod with the idea you know. Your audiences are your driving ground to reach your dreams. They will be pushing you to survive the frightening world of freelancing.  Yes, frightening in the sense that if you do not build your audience first, it is typical to experience a time when you could hardly find a client to prolong your job. It is hard to work as a freelancer; hence, you need to surround yourself with people who could point you at the right direction once you met a setback.

Do not Forget the Offline Market

Do not settle on building your audience online because you could expand your grasp by looking at the offline market. Attend trade shows, local events, and meet-ups with co-freelancers. Go where the successful freelancers go. Give your business cards to possible clients. Ask friends, family members, and acquaintances to subscribe on your newsletter. Yes, most people are engaged in reading emails than actually reading their Facebook notes. Asking someone to sign up for your newsletter might help to advertise your services through word of mouth. You are trading your ideas for their attention. This might not mean cash, but involvement is a good way to start your freelance career.

 

The Perks of Working from Home

We all have reasons for choosing the road we’re treading on today and as for me, a mother just can’t go prep herself for a day at work and come home satisfied for leaving her poor babies behind. On the other hand, a friend chose online jobs to supplement her makeup expenses. Now, that’s cool!

With almost 8 years of experience working on this field, I learned to embrace all its perks and deal with its inconveniences. While my neighbor gets continuously puzzled of how a supposedly bum gets her regularly monthly income, I learned to deal with their entire question and just focus myself to all the rewards this profession has to give.

Image from nuttakit of FreeDdigitalPhotos

Image from nuttakit of FreeDdigitalPhotos

So for anyone out there who likes to find reasons to land a work online, here are some of its perks you need to learn:

Working on Pajamas

How about waking up to eventually start work? No, your regular boss won’t approve of this, but it is something you can freely do online. You can skip combing your hair for ages and no one would bother to reprimand you!

You get to save on your cash for buying office clothes and makeups that could last you a day. With clothes or none, you can work online for sure.

 

Get Full Control of your Time

Trying to catch your kid’s school meeting? No fret. Most online clients allow their employees to work on their own desired phase and time. Just as long as you finish your full shift, it does not matter if you have to take coffee breaks every hour!

 

Get Financially Satisfied

Let us get a little honest here, regular office works here in our country do not pay high, and they do not even pay fairly! You get to settle a week’s workload every day and still end up with an empty wallet. With online jobs, you are paid in dollars! Yes, dollars!

 

Look over the Kids

Get the satisfaction of watching your kid’s grow while earning cash each month to provide their needs. Online jobs are perfect for moms who like to find the balance between motherhood and work.

 

Get Challenged!

One of the biggest perk of working for the web is that you get to handle different works and niches. One day you are working for a health magazine website, and then the next week you get to play the role of a plumber for a house repair site. Think of possibilities and challenges, they have plenty of those here!