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By the year 2022, the ratio of freelancers will be increased significantly above 50 % in the United States. In the present era, there are about half of the millenary involved in freelance marketing both for the full time or as a side hustler.

Gone are the days when providing the freelancing services were taken as a form of being an unemployed person. Freelancing helps normal person such as a housewife, a retired person or a teenager to start any freelance business online. Freelancing is commonly referred to as a self-employment prospect where any person can start providing the services at which he or she is good at. For example, if a person is good at taking photos, then he can become a freelancer in providing photographic services to the customers over the globe via online platforms. 

In case a person needs to get hired as a freelancer, he or she needs to have certain skills in himself or herself. Let’s have a look at these set of skills which are in demand to become a successful freelancer in the coming years:

Tensor Flow

One should be aware of the open-source library of software applications for machine learning. TensorFlow is one of that software libraries. Developers who know the basics of this software are in great demand on the list of various employers in the coming days.  

Voice over artists 

Nowadays the voiceover artists are also in great demand. With the arrival of podcasts, narrative videos, and audiobooks where narrating holds great importance is good news for the story-telling or narrative artists. There are numerous hiring opportunities available on the websites nowadays relating to narrating the children’s storybooks, for a video letter or online learning tutorials. 

Blockchain services

Bitcoin transactions are in good demand in this era. A blockchain is a database which is based on Bitcoin Protocol. The database is shared by various participants taking part in it. In short, blockchain is the advancement where cryptocurrencies are produced. Not only technology experts demand blockchain freelancers but also various consultancies are also hiring the blockchain service providers. 

Subtitling skills 

Nowadays, there are tutorial videos available on every website online such as, makeup-related tutorial videos, travelling related videos, health-related or numerous other topics. So, this area needs both good writing skills as well as technical skills. So, this occupation is also in great need in this contemporary era. 

Augmented reality 

It’s the next fast-progressing job demand for freelancers. Augmented reality is a technological service that changes the user’s vision of the physical world with various audio or visual special effects. This employment is also on the list of various prospective employers in the coming years. 

Video Editing skills

Freelance video editors are also grabbing most of the attention of the employers. Thanks to the various video-oriented websites such as YouTube, Instagram or Facebook. The people who have good video-editing skills and are providing freelance services in this area, they can have the chance of hired back by most of the big business organizations.

Copywriting skills 

Copywriters are those who write content for various web pages. They are quite different from content writers. They specialize in writing the descriptions for a number of products and services for the webpage. The charges vary depending on the level of experience and skill of the freelance copywriter. 

Social media managing skills 

There is a massive opportunity for those who provide freelance social media managing services to established market brands and companies. The prominent companies and the corporate world always look for the authentic social media managers who can promote their products and services online and help them in generating remarkable profits for those. This is another occupation in demand for 2020 for the freelancers. 

Amazon Dynamo DB specializing skills 

Various corporates are looking for the freelancers who can work with Amazon’s NoSQL database platform. 

Art skills 

The design studios or the art employers look for freelance writing services in the art field also. Freelancer providing art services can also be hired by various art studios. 

Content management skills 

The people who provide freelance services in managing the blogs, podcasts, videos or other content on the internet in the most productive way, they will have the highest demand in the employment sector and also now these freelancers are in great demand. 

Microsoft Power BI specializing skills

The people who know how to use the Microsoft Power BI to create reports and dashboards and provide freelancer services related to that have higher chances of getting selected by the various Corporates worldwide in 2020. 

Media purchasing 

The freelancers who provide assistance in buying the media online from other companies have higher chances to get selected by the companies globally. Buying the media includes buying ads from other websites, newspapers, magazines, etc. 

Instagram API 

Instagram has recently launched Instagram API to secure the people’s information from the Facebook data breach and it is the highest freelance job service in demand nowadays and will rise in the coming years. 

Information security skills 

The companies are also seeking the information security specialists who can provide the information on how to back fit the privacy procedures and how to use EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is coming in the future. In general, the various cybersecurity experts are great in demand and the demand will rise in future for these experts. 

These are some of the jobs that the freelancers can acquire in the future. It has been estimated that in the future, all the digital market will be based on freelancing services. These freelance services will generate a higher amount of profits for prospective companies. 

Read more on Freelancing: Freelancing vs Agency Life: which one should you choose?

Author Bio:

I, Lucy Zara, A very keen content writer, loves writing articles and assignments on various niche. The students in Australia also ask for ‘write my essay’ as I also provide essay writing services to them.

As a freelancer, conducting a UX audit may be essential for improving your website. But what is a UX audit and how will you benefit from this? We gained some insider information from a professional UX designer who has kindly shared 5 pointers about a basic UX audit that may help you with improving your online presence.

Why do you need to do a UX audit?

The process, usually conducted by a UX designer, uses various methods to pinpoint areas of a digital product that need improvement, to help increase your users’ conversion rates. It usually involves the client, as well as the UX team, to come up with goals, generating reports, and creating action steps to improve a website, app, or software, to achieve a better return on investment (ROI).

Done right, even a basic UX audit can greatly improve user satisfaction and website navigation, among others.

1. Clearly define the goals

To start things off, you need to write down some goals that you want to set. This will help you set the KPIs and the timeline of your project. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. Does the project have a purpose?
  2. What are the product’s goals?
  3. What is the ideal complete overview of the product?

Knowing the answer will help you out when getting started on the UX audit.

2. Set a timeline

Keep everything on track by setting a timeline. The sooner you finish the UX audit, the sooner you can reap the rewards but you don’t want to make careless mistakes. Set milestones for specific dates as well as individual timelines for the audit. Make sure that you set aside a couple of hours a day between your other projects and focus on completing the UX audit.

3. Know your target clients/users

Who will be using your website, application, or software? Who are your target clients/users? What are their goals? What are your goals? Knowing your target users and how they will use your product is one of the most important hacks to improve conversion. It will help skyrocket user satisfaction and achieve their goals.

Use various UX design tools to research the habits of your target users. Here’s a quick list of tools you can use:

Hotjar – This online tool will help to discover user behaviour. It will answer questions such as: which pages do your users visit on your website? Hotjar offers a free version but has limited functions. Pricing for this tool starts from USD89 to USD589 per month.

Mixpanel – Another tool that you can use is Mixpanel. It helps you collect accurate data, identify trends, and set goals based on user behaviour; so you can take the appropriate action to improve your website.

Google Analytics – One of the best free tools you can use to gain valuable data for your UX audit is Google Analytics. By applying its install code to your website, Google can track user behaviour for each page and give you a detailed report on page visits, bounce rates, and other key performance indicators (KPIs), to help you formulate a better website design.

By using these tools, you gain a better understanding of how your users navigate your website.

4. Note down your findings

You can obtain plenty of data from a simple UX audit that can help improve your website. The insights you gather can help improve the UX of your website for future updates.

Take time to note down any findings such as vulnerabilities, problems, and the strong points of your website, app, or software. If you don’t know how to make a report, HubSpot has a sample that you can take inspiration from.

5. Look for trends

Aside from reporting your findings, use the data to search for trends and tendencies that your target users are doing. This will help you come up with data-backed findings from which a strategy to optimize the UX can be made.

Use a heat map to find out which parts of your website each user has been clicking. Meanwhile, a scroll map will give an idea of how far down a page your user scrolled. Both of these will provide important insights and trends regarding search terms, visitor sources and other elements.

Clickheat – This is a downloadable tool that can show your visitor’s mouse activities. It can show you where the hot zones are, i.e. areas of a page with many clicks. It can also show the cold zone or areas of a page with fewer clicks.

Crazyegg – Founded by digital marketing expert Neil Patel, Crazyegg is an online tool that can show you a heat and scroll map. You can get a free 30-day trial upon sign-up. Paid packages start from USD29 to USD189 per month.

UX Check – This is a Google Chrome extension that helps UX designers spot usability issues through its comprehensive evaluation. UX Check identifies issues using Nielsen’s 10 heuristics or creates a custom list to identify issues within a website.

Continue reading articles on how to improve your website:

How would Aristotle have designed your website?

About the Author:

“I am a futurist who spends most of my time monitoring social behavior in search of new consumer trends. I use the information to create viral and useful content as part of the new media strategy. I’m interested in technology, market behavior, new media, environment, sustainability, futuristic scenarios, and businesses.” Kimberly Grimms

When I first delved into the professional world, most of my time went into deciding whether to opt for a fixed agency or choose to freelance. If you have just graduated from your University or planning to start working soon, then you too will have this same dilemma at some point in time. According to Forbes, 90% of companies hire freelancers. On the other hand, other sources indicate that there are almost 132.15 million full-time employees in the United States. Therefore, choosing either of them needs a close evaluation of all aspects. And that’s why I penned down this blog.

The thing is that both freelancers and agencies have a set of pros and cons. Therefore, I have made a list to clear your doubts, so that you make the best decision for your career. Let’s dive in.

The life of a freelancer:

pros and cons

Americans tend to spend more than a billion hours in freelancing per week in 2019. Thus, it proves that more and more companies are hiring freelancers to get their job done. Even Brian Greenberg, the CEO of True Blue Life Insurance, stated that he created nine businesses with the help of freelancers.

The perks of freelancing:
  • Better Earning Potential 

Freelancers earn more money than salaried employees. Fixed working teams in an agency usually earn 125$-250$ per hour, whereas freelancers charge approximately $35 for an hour. But, freelancers do not have to share their salaries with anyone. A team, on the other hand, consists of sales executives, managers, marketers, etc. Therefore, the individual members of the team receive comparatively less money.

  • Top-notch expertise in one person 

Freelancers are expected to have their own area of specialisation. Say you are a freelance paper help expert and you have been working in this field for over three years now. You can find jobs in your niche only by showing relevant samples of your work. No other qualifications required.

  • Flexible working hours and location 

Freelancers have the freedom to work whenever they want to. You don’t have to remain confined to a cubicle or stringent working hours. You can discuss the project with your clients and work as per your convenience. Your employers will not bother you as long as you deliver the work prior to the deadlines.

All that glitters is not gold, right? Similarly, as my experience and qualifications grew, I realised the cons of freelancing as well. Check them out.

The drawbacks of freelancing:
  • Sharp pangs of isolation 

Working from home or freelancing can be isolating. You do not get to interact with office staff or other employees. There will be no office games or after-office parties for you to attend. Eventually, it becomes a frustrating task to work all alone and the frustration can affect productivity.

  • No health insurance, 401K or vacation pay

Freelancing pays you as long as you work. If you don’t work for a day; you don’t get paid for that day. It is as simple as that. You don’t receive health insurance, 401K, employee funds and vacation pay like other salaried employees do.

  • Inconsistent workload and cash flow 

It is difficult to predict the workload and the income for freelancers. You as a freelancer will have your own share of lean and peak seasons. You can’t expect bonuses, employer recognition or other awards for your work as well.

The life of a freelancer is pretty easy if there is a consistent income from multiple clients. Studies have also shown that almost 51% of freelancers are most likely to enjoy the lifestyle they want. However, the above-mentioned pitfalls can make things go really wrong for a freelancer.

Agency Life: what are the pros and cons?

Working in an agency is more than just sitting in your cubicle and day-dreaming. It is about doing the things that you love without worrying about behind the scenes work. Say you are a graphic designer. You only need to focus on graphic designing and not on content writing, paperwork or SEO.

Perks of being a part of the agency life:
  • Job security 

The most important benefit of agency life is its job security. In this case, you know that you have a regular source of income. You don’t have to worry about specific clients or hourly work. You work in a team and have the liberty to share your workload in case of urgent deadlines.

  • The ‘Fun’ Factor

The ambience at the office is way livelier. You can talk, crack jokes and laugh with your colleagues to relieve the stress. You can also go to parties, movies and enjoy sports games or day trips with your office friends.

  • Rewards and health benefits 

Agencies usually tend to provide incentives or other forms of monetary benefits to employees who have outdone themselves. Benefits such as movie tickets, vacation pay, sick leaves and health insurances are provided. You can not only push yourselves in the creative field but also get rewards as signs of appreciation.

Disadvantages of working in an agency:
  • No flexibility 

Unlike freelancing, you don’t have the freedom of choosing to work only when you want to. You are bound to follow a strict 9-5 schedule from Monday to Friday in an agency. That means you can’t turn down a client just because you are not in the ‘mood’ to work.

  • Less control 

In an agency, you have to work under a boss who tells you what to do and what not to do. You may also have to get your work approved before the final submission. Thus, you will have less control over your work as compared to the freelancers. Things may not turn out that bad in an agency if you have a good boss who helps you rise higher in the ranks.

  • Involvement of office politics 

No matter how ignorant try to be, you can’t keep yourself out of office politics. It’s just some silly stuff that goes down in an office almost every day. Office politics can lead to a sharp decline in the sales and productivity of an organisation. It can also ruin your mental peace and prevent you from working in the agency with the utmost attention.

All in all, agency life is not that bad if you have your heart in the job. Working in an agency provides you with guaranteed income and other monetary rewards. I have already shared the odds of working in an agency. If you can beat the odds, then working in an agency may prove beneficial for you.

My Verdict

In my opinion, freelancing is best suited for people who are more interested in working under flexible working hours without the guarantee of a monthly salary. If you have a strong profile to grab the attention of your clients, freelancing might be the right career for you. However, if you haven’t gained enough experience yet, consider working in an agency as your career option. Agencies will teach you new concepts in your field of interest and you can explore your possibilities of creativity.

Read more on Freelancing: 10 Questions you should ask yourself before becoming a freelancer.

Author Bio:

John Mark is a part-time career consultant at a reputed firm in Australia. He also provides paper help to students at Allessaywriter. John likes to watch movies and listen to songs in her spare time.

Freelancing is a convenient career option for people who hate a 9-to-5 job. A freelancer is their own boss and can work from the comfort of their home or any other place-of-preference. Many freelancers earn a higher income than people who are employed full-time as they deal with the clients directly and have lower overhead costs. However, freelancing is a roller-coaster ride and those who have chosen this type of employment may find it difficult to earn a steady income. Many freelancers make mistakes that inhibit their progress in the long run. We’re going to bring to light the freelancer’s 7 deadly sins and suggestions to overcome them.

1. Compromising on productivity

Many freelancers risk a fall in their productivity due to procrastination. Freelancers tend to procrastinate when they have a longer timeline or if they become distracted by their surroundings. Unlike many full-time employees whose incomes are generally not impacted by their productivity, any reduction in efficiency for freelancers leads to a fall in their income. It may become a real challenge to remain productive during holiday months when everyone around you is enjoying a break. Nonetheless, do not procrastinate, follow your regular schedule but include more breaks and take extra days off. In doing this, you won’t feel too left out and you can still enjoy the holidays as well.

2. Missing deadlines

Meeting deadlines is very important for a freelancer. Clients don’t want you to miss a deadline as it can adversely impact their workflow. Frequently missing deadlines will reduce the credibility of a freelancer and may impact their online ratings. Many freelancers make the mistake of taking too many project. This may lead to requesting a deadline extension or even missing them all together. Avoid taking on too many projects at once and try to stick to a schedule. This will help you meet your deadlines and keep your client happy.

3. Failure to take care of your health

Freelancing offers freedom in life but it can also lead to lack of discipline. Not having a daily structure can impact the health of a freelancer. Working long hours, not getting adequate sleep, not maintaining a healthy diet are just a few examples of what a freelancer is known to do. It is very easy to work all hours of the day when you can work from home. To avoid these bad habits, set out a block of hours during the day for work and avoid working past those hours. Take regular breaks and include them in your work schedule. Take time to cook yourself a healthy meal and snack on fruit and vegetables – avoid the junk food.

4. Failure to communicate with clients

Freelancers work remotely, that’s why it is very important to communicate well with clients, regularly contacting them with updates. Client’s like to know the progress of the project so always keep them in the loop. An unhappy client may mean they won’t hire you again or even lead to a contract being pulled early. Do not wait for your clients to come to you asking questions. Instead, act proactively, stay in touch with them regularly, and deliver the work to a high standard.

5. Overpromising

Freelancers need to stick to their core competency and refrain from making empty promises while accepting new projects. Overpromising and under delivering may lead to a low quality outcome. Rather than trying to take on every project that comes their way, concentrate on working on the projects that you know you will excel at.

6. Failure to update skills

In an ever-changing world, freelancers need to learn a new skill. Freelancers should stay on top of industry developments in order to succeed. However, many freelancers fail to work on and expand their skill set to stay on top of the fast-paced industries. This may lead to a freelancer falling behind their peers, limiting their chances of winning a project. Moreover, the more skills you have to offer and the more advanced you are in those skills, the more eligible you are for a higher-paid job. Updating skills and improving the skills you already have should be undertaken constantly by investing time and other resources to stay relevant. Consider investing in workshops and online courses and learn from the professionals.

7. Over and under charging the client

Freelancers should charge their clients reasonably irrespective of their skills and experience. Overcharging is a sure way to lose clients in a hyper-competitive market. There are hundreds of freelancers in any given field competing for clients on every major freelancing website. However, undercharging clients is wrong as well since freelancers might earn less than their true potential. Freelancers should charge the average price quoted by their peers with a similar profile. Quoting the average price will keep their services affordable to a large number of clients and increase the number of projects available.

Read more on becoming a freelancer: 10 questions you should ask yourself before becoming a freelancer

Freelancing requires greater responsibility than a full time job. Many people who dream of becoming freelancers and leave their regular jobs end up suffering from mistakes made. These 7 deadly sins can help both new and experienced freelancers in staying committed to their work and delivering high-quality service to their clients. Excelling in what they do, updating skills regularly, and staying committed to their clients and the project at hand is a sure fire way to success.

Author bio

Ellie Richards is an online Marketing Manager for PhD Writing company Original PhD. She specialises in research, content and article writing on various topics, including Education, Marketing, and Technology.

Working parents find it difficult to balance family-life and work-life in this hectic world and the same applies to parents working from home. Raising little ones is a very demanding job and requires a lot of attention. Of course, the same can be said about a career.

Working from home could be a solution that will fulfill the demands of both parenthood and your career. If you successfully find the balance between the two, then you will find content in this sweet equilibrium.

However, the line that you can draw easily between your personal life and work when you leave for office every day is missing when you start working from home. Therefore, it is up to you to draw that line.

Believe it or not, this sweet equilibrium is achievable but it’s up to you to put in some effort. Although working from home allows for a lot of family time, you will surely be faced with a few work-life balance issues.

To balance between work-life and family-life on a day-to-day basis, parents must make thoroughly thought out choices.

Here are just a few areas are the hotbeds of potential conflict that such parents need to overcome:

Establishing some ground rules.

If you are working from home, make sure you have ground rules for everyone at home. This will apply to your children and all the other people living under the same roof.

You have to make it clear to all at home what merits as interruption while you are working. While kids tend to forget these rules, the adults feel that it does not apply to them. It is important that you make the rules clear to all.

However, the ground rules for working from home does not stop there. The biggest distraction will be yourself. Always remember that it takes self-discipline to be successful at working from home, so you have to establish some ground rules that also apply to you.

Quality versus quantity.

Let’s focus on quality versus quantity based on the view of our own life. This is very much like a trade-off that people experience most of the time. Working at home will perhaps help you balance your responsibilities better if you mindfully make the choices.

As a parent working from home, you will be able to spend a greater period of time with your child than if you were working from an office. However, actually being present in a situation does not mean that you are dedicating yourself to your child.

A good idea would be to take frequent, scheduled breaks from work to spend time with your child. When you have to work, lock yourself in a quiet room and focus solely on the task at hand. Avoid any type of multitasking – that will only mean you’re giving both your child and your work half the attention that they deserve.

Work from home parents have to multitask most of the times, but they must learn to multitask smartly. A few tools might come in handy in this case. Canva is such a tool which can help one create designs in a jiffy. Be it an infographic or a presentation, with Canva you can really get it done quickly so that you have more time to spend with your child. The tool offers a great store of templates and is a cakewalk to use.

Babies and conference calls may collide with one another. It could be a good idea to consider having another adult in the home if you know that there’s an important meeting scheduled.

 

Plan out your family schedule and kids activities.

Generally, when kids are small, parents have more involvement in their lives. This is an advantage for working parents as they can carve out a little time from their schedule to play and spend time with their kids. But as the children grow up, constraints come from both the parents and children. Parents can’t carve out the schedule for their children nor can the children do the same for the parents.

As seen in many cases, the burden usually falls on the work-from-home parents to maintain the schedule for the children and to work around the daily house chores. Such parents can be seen juggling duties like making phone calls, answering emails and taking care of their children. While this is manageable for some parents, for others it can create a lot of issues.

A way has to be developed so that the parents who work from home do not crush under the pressure.

Creating a weekly schedule that includes both family activities and work commitments, you will be able to manage your time more efficiently. Make sure that you take at least one full day off per week and plan a family activity so you can really enjoy your children.

Read our next article: E-commerce: the product copywriter and the photographer.

Author bio:

Prince Kapoor is a seasoned Marketing Analyst and Blogger. With his skills, he has been helping fellow marketers and brands worldwide.