Your Best Chance For Your First Upwork Contract

Are you struggling to get your first contract on Upwork? Getting frustrated with using up all your connects before half the month has gone and you’re still yet to get your first job? While patience is certainly a virtue when you are just starting out, there are a few things you should consider to make sure you land that coveted first job sooner rather than later. Continue reading “Your Best Chance For Your First Upwork Contract”

Tax Exempt – but Here, Jump Through These Flaming Hoops To Get It

Today, I have mostly spent my day trying to sort out my tax exempt status for Smashwords where I recently put up Dead Heat. The UK is one of those countries to have a tax treaty with the USA – meaning self-published authors like myself can apply for tax exempt status from our American cousins and claim all of the cut from our sales. Hurrah!
Continue reading “Tax Exempt – but Here, Jump Through These Flaming Hoops To Get It”

Advice for Upworkers: Making Your Connects Last Longer

The day is dawning soon that Elance will be gone forever and only Upwork will exist in a place once occupied and dominated by Odesk and Elance. For those of us who were with both sites before the merger, that means a significant drop in the number of applications you could send out since the beginning of the year, dropping from 140. The old Odesk used to permit 25 per week which they reduced to 60 “connects” (with most jobs worth 2 connects) and elance permitted 40. Once Elance closes, you may apply for just 30 jobs.
Continue reading “Advice for Upworkers: Making Your Connects Last Longer”

Yes, I’m Top Rated – Who Wants to Touch Me? :D

Many people initially grumbled about the changes to Upwork (formerly Odesk) and the site is still experiencing problems with most complaints centred on two general issues:

  • The awful changes made to the email system. It has switched to a chat/IM based rather than email contact method. It would be great in practice, but it doesn’t work as all jobs appear to be listed in alphabetical order – even dead contracts, which is insanely stupid. Plus, many people are still not getting notifications
  • The second is the limit to the number of applications. I thought at the time that reducing the number of monthly applications from 100 would be better for everyone and so far it seems to be. I still think that 60 connects (maximum 30 applications) is too few though, but time will tell

Continue reading “Yes, I’m Top Rated – Who Wants to Touch Me? :D”

My Three Essential Tools of Freelancing

There are a few things I thought I’d never actually need, or things I thought would be extravagant luxuries, and some things that would have been unnecessary (I don’t get the writer’s obsession with personal stationery for the purpose of branding, for example) but over the course of the last few years I have found the following items essential in my day to day work. Continue reading “My Three Essential Tools of Freelancing”

Dealing With Those Self-Employed Work Lulls


The first couple of weeks of this new financial year has been a little quiet. I’m not empty of work, but I am finding at the moment that my workload is light. A few contracts have been put on hold and applying for new contracts on elance and odesk is not proving very fruitful. I’m not worried, I still have more work than I did this time last year, but it is quiet at the moment. So what do I do when there’s a lull in work? Continue reading “Dealing With Those Self-Employed Work Lulls”

Writing About What You Love

One of the best things about being a freelance writer, in fact the thing that really makes it worth leaping out of bed with glee on a cold, wet Monday morning – is that you get to mix passion with work. I love science, though I have neglected my second blog ILPPS in recent months, my desire to write about science has not wavered – merely my time. Continue reading “Writing About What You Love”

Weirdest Odesk-Elance Consultation Experience

I had a most unusual consultation experiences today. Well, I had two consultations but one was very promising for a very big global charity (and I’m very excited about this one!). The other quickly became very suspicious. At first, the client immediately acquiesced to the higher rate I applied at, even though the rate they wanted to pay was much lower. This raised my suspicions right away. A genuine client on a low budget would never automatically roll over – they negotiate. Continue reading “Weirdest Odesk-Elance Consultation Experience”

Windows 8 and my Sexy New Laptop

The laptop I have been using for the last four years that has been my “office” for the first two years of my business, has gone to the electronic scrapheap in the sky. All the signs were there it was going and it was past its best. The down key was sticky, a one of the hinges snapped and it was no longer possible to close it without damaging the lid. It was also taking around 30 minutes to get going in the mornings and got overheated quickly even though I had a mass uninstall a few weeks ago. It was time to bite the bullet and get another one. Continue reading “Windows 8 and my Sexy New Laptop”