The Huge Value of Work-at-Home Freelance Forums

Work at Home FreelancerBy Katie Elizabeth

If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent a lot of time working in media industries or other ”outsource-able” job markets, and you know that there are a large number of work-at-home jobs available to stay-at-home moms or other women who want part-time or freelance work.

I’m here to say that a lot of these jobs require complex negotiations and timetables that can be challenging for the freelancer. Work-at-home contractors like me have found that freelance workers often have limited power in their industries. Without long-term contracts and job benefits, you may be subject to unfair treatment by clients. Non-payment is one issue, but extremely late payments and other workflow delays are really endemic in these industries.

So what can we do when we experience these problems?

One tool that work-at-home women and other freelancers do have is the ability to talk to one another about their work. In addition to the excellent work-at-home information on The Work at Home Woman, being a part of a larger freelance community has helped me understand certain client cultures better, develop better negotiation and pricing models, and generally speak up for my own interests.

Barriers to Freelance Collaboration

While communicating through work-at-home forums can be a great way for freelancers to gain information, there are some practical obstacles. As a freelancer, you may also be bound by the terms of NDAs that bar you from talking specifically about a particular client. Even comments about workflow can be construed as breaching these contracts. I’ve found this out the hard way in consultations with client reps!

Another natural obstacle is a tendency that many of us have as freelancers to play it close to the vest when talking to other professionals. Because work is often hard to come by, insider information can be extremely valuable. However, there are a lot of situations in which communication between freelancers can be mutually beneficial. Many of these situations involve the kinds of problems mentioned above, for example, where a company hires a large number of freelancers and fails to pay them or subjects them to disagreeable working conditions.

Find Your Effective Work-at-Home Support

A forum can be helpful to work-at-home women and freelancers. These forums can provide additional advice on how to market freelance services and how to successfully set up a working business. They can also be a means of last resort for when freelancers need to warn each other about a work-at-home scam or other potential dangers within the industry.

No matter what you’re writing about, whether it’s a credit score service, a New York boutique or a Carolina eatery, having some of these resources and tools on hand can help you to profit in the long run and to sustain an enjoyable career online.

Katie Elizabeth is a work-at-home freelance writer and social media consultant. She enjoys writing columns for the Communities (an affiliate of the Washington Times) and writing content for alcohol rehab centers in Florida. Follow her on Twitter.

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