Samar Owais

Samar is a freelance writer, blogger and social media enthusiast. She offers rock solids tips for freelance writing success on her blog, The Writing Base along with a free 10-Step Guide To Turning Prospects Into Clients.

10 Highly Used and Abused Twitter Trends that are Not Cool

Posted in Blogging, Social Media, Web Design • Posted on 50 Comments

Twitter is the next best thing since sliced bread. We get it. We know. Since sliced bread was pretty easy to figure out, you’d think Twitter would be too. After all, it’s only 140 characters, right? Wrong.

The amount of Twitter abuse going around the Twitterverse is mind-boggling! Some offenses are worse than others. While we can ignore a few of them, there are some that we just can’t.

Don’t get me wrong. Twitter isn’t a cutthroat place where you make one mistake and people unfollow you. But Twitter is not a nonsense place (despite the Justin Beiber craze you see there some times).

We realize that you may be new, that you may be finding your way around, or simply trying out the myriad of new Twitter services that crop up. But what you need to realize is that your Twitter followers need to be treated with respect. Don’t go filling their timeline with one-word tweets that read ‘Lol!’ It makes you look like a bit of an idiot to be honest. Like that person on the train who laughs out loud in the middle of the crowded train. No one’s going to ask, what’s so funny? They’re going to give you a look and then ignore you.

The above scenario is what’s happening to you on Twitter if you’re using and abusing the following Twitter trends.

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How to Take a Sick Leave as a Freelancer

Posted in Freelance, Tips, Web Design • Posted on 9 Comments

I’m going to let you in on a little secret which will shock, dismay and maybe even anger you.

You’re not invincible. Some day or other you’re going to get sick and will be unable to meet a deadline. When that happens, the world won’t fall apart and neither will your or your client’s business. No matter how much you believe it would.

I can see from your expressions that you’re stupified. Horrified. Even terrified.

So was I the first time I realized that. I was ill and wasn’t going to be able to meet deadlines and *gasp* the freelancing world as I knew it didn’t end!

My clients all understood, my reputation remained intact and my business didn’t suffer at all!

The thing with a freelance business is that there isn’t any paid leave. There are also no sick days and no vacation time. Many freelancers end up panicking when they fall ill. Who is going to complete the project? I can barely stand on my feet, how will I meet the deadline?

Unfortunately, cold and flu don’t give a warning before attacking. You may wake up feeling fine in the morning but by the afternoon, your throat would be aching so much you can hardly swallow and your eyes would be burning. And as much as you want to continue working, you simply can’t.

To avoid the panic, you need to have a backup plan. A system you can put into place soon as you feel the first sniffles. Schedule your work around the possibility that you may fall ill.

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Using Social Media To Establish Your Brand Online

Posted in Social Media, Tips, Web Design • Posted on 9 Comments

Everyone has a brand, including you. You’re a freelancer, that right there is the start of your brand. If you are involved in social media at any level, whether personal or professional, you have a brand. Think about it, every time you interact with someone or say something in public, you’re establishing your brand.

Did you help someone out? You just established yourself as a helpful person and that adds to your brand. Do you complain a lot? You’ll become known as a whiner. Are you the go to guy in your field of work? That’ll add to your brand too.

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Organizing Your Freelance Business Before Going on a Vacation

Posted in Freelance, Tips, Web Design • Posted on 6 Comments

If I told you that you were to take a two-week break right now, what would your response be? I’m willing to bet that none of you jumped up in the air and screamed ‘Yes!’ much less fall to the ground in thanks.

Your first thought probably was ‘I can’t take a vacation. I have work to do!’

The most annoying thing about freelancing is our inability to take vacations. Sure, theoretically, we can take them. Practically, it’s nearly impossible. After all, who’s going to run the business if we’re on leave?

Running a freelance business means that there is no paid leave. If a freelancer wants to take a vacation, he can’t just pack his suitcase and leave for two weeks. There are clients to answer to after all!

Unfortunately, if you don’t take a break, you’re going to burn out faster than a tire on a race car. And to avoid burnout you need to– you guessed it – take a vacation.

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How To Stay In Love With Freelancing When Things Get Tough

Posted in Freelance, Tips, Web Design • Posted on 27 Comments

Full time freelancing requires a commitment equal to marriage. One doesn’t make a leap of faith for an affair; they do it for a marriage.

I bet in the beginning, you felt all warm and fuzzy when you started freelancing. After all, you didn’t have to answer to anyone, could work your own hours and best of all – you had creative freedom! You were full of enthusiasm and zeal and your business was off to a great start. A honeymoon couldn’t have been more perfect.

A few months later, reality begins to set in. You realize that instead of your boss, you now have to answer to your clients. Working your own hours now translates into late nights and creative freedom is dependent on your client’s vision. Suddenly, it doesn’t seem as great as it was in the beginning.

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Be Healthy: Simple Exercises for Freelancers

Posted in Web Design • Posted on 7 Comments

Sitting in a chair working for most of the day is never healthy. If you’re a freelancer, it means you’re pretty much glued to your chair since there is no getting up and going over to a colleague’s desk to talk about a project, walk to a meeting, elevator or across the street for lunch.

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10 Most Common Health Hazards of Freelancing

Posted in Web Design • Posted on 35 Comments

For most of us, freelancing is a dream come true. We work from home, set our own hours and are our own boss. The flip side of this however isn’t all that attractive. What we don’t realize (read choose to overlook) is that freelancing involves working more hours than a conventional desk job, there’s no difference between a weekend and a weekday and there is no paid leave.

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