Careers for Freelancers by Shannon L. Buck - Interested in building a career from the comfort of your own home? Or expanding on the career you've already created?

Careers for Freelancers (eBook)

Interested in building a career from the comfort of your own home? Or expanding on the career you’ve already created?

Written with you in mind, this edited and updated 2nd edition of Careers for Freelancers has more ideas for you, updated explanations, and estimations on how much can be made within each career choice.

Learn about new career options and side hustles. Then decide what interests you. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

There are many opportunities out there. Which one(s) will you choose to further your career and earn a bigger income?

11 page eBook

Only $4.99 (ePub)

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let-your-teen-help-ebook-coverOrganize Your Space and Stuff by Shannon L. Buck Organize Your Space and Stuff provides take-aways such as ideas for organizing projects and record keeping, as well as keeping track of successes. Your Freelance Business by Shannon L. Buck Discover many ways to green your business activities as well as your office.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2016.

Join the Financial Planning Challenge

I’ve already mentioned my freelance goals, but I have others as well. Personal finance goals. I, among other writers, am not yet to point where I’m making a great deal of money through my writing efforts. Finances are a bit wishy-washy, so it isn’t always easy to plan for things. My ‘day job’ can also be a bit wishy-washy, on the number of hours I get to work, but I’ve been told I get to stay at 40 hours during the slow season this year, so I get to look forward to that money.

I have two specific financial goals that I’ve posted on my blog, Frugal is Fabulous!:

  1. Finances – Researching Little Ways to Invest
  2. Finances: Separating Expenses

I’ve decided to also join the 30 Day Money Cleanse, put out by Personal Capital, and would love it if all of you would join me in the challenge. Read all about it on my blog Single Mom Family. Of course, the challenge is not only for single moms, it’s for anyone wanting to learn more about their situation. Let’s each get a better idea of what our financial situation is, and how to make our finances work for us for the future.

Where are you with your financial goals? Do you know exactly how much money you have coming in? Exactly how much you spend? Are you investing in your future?

Are you with me? Head on over to the 30 Day Money Cleanse post and read the article through, then let me know on that blog if you want to join us.

Happy New Year!

Shannon L. Buck

New Purchases. Yay!

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2013This tired, old laptop has done much for me, but really needs to be replaced. It doesn’t play video so well anymore, reminding me of those old kung fu movies where there lips are moving but you hear them start to talk half way through their line. Then they are talking even though their lips are no longer moving. You know what I’m referring to, right? I always found it annoying, and apparently still do. I hate trying to watch Netflix and dealing with that kind of thing. Then it started happening with YouTube videos and workshops.

So the first thing I did with my income tax refund was buy a new laptop, and that should arrive in a couple of days. I have a few other things I’m getting next week for my ‘office’.

I need a printer, because I want to make hard copies of my manuscripts. So I ordered one, along with ink and paper. I have minimal space, but I’m sure I’ll find a place for it.

I’ve been needing a desk. I had a great one, with two 2-drawer file cabinets and a hutch. Plenty of storage. But I had to leave it behind when I moved. The only place I have for a desk now is in front of a huge window, and a desk with a hutch would block out too much of the natural light and the view.

While I still want some amount of storage, need it really because I have such a small space, a large desk unit will not work. So, I opted for a craft desk. I do scrapbook, so this desk will serve two purposes storage-wise. Organizing writing stuff and some of my scrapbooking supplies. It will be great.

Luckily, I purged all my files over the last couple of years, and had to cut back on the number of office supplies I keep on hand when I moved into my place. I know this new desk wont hold all my scrapbook supplies, but it will hold the tools and keep the paper neat. Better than the system I have now; a suitcase filled with scrapbook stuff.

I’m very excited about this desk. It has a few drawers at the front, and shelves on each side. It’ll hold most of what I need it to.

And, I’m getting a stool for the desk.

Felling pretty blessed this refund season 🙂 I’m getting four things that will be useful, and make me happy. Though I’ll tell you something. I’m kinda feeling some anxiety about spending so much. I try to be as frugal as possible. I’m determined to let myself enjoy this!

Are you doing anything for your freelance business with your refund? Comment below, or email me at I love hearing from you, and always reply.

Shannon L. Buck

Multiple Streams of Income (And a Goal Met!)

Photograph/Bookcover by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015 via’ve read it is important to have multiple streams of income. I’m seeing the value in this more and more, as time goes by. It used to be easier for me to just concentrate on one thing at a time, either fiction or nonfiction goals, but I am learning how to juggle more than one project, plus I have a day job.

It can seem overwhelming at times, but I’m getting better. You will too, if you decide to create multiple streams of income.

I have a couple of things I’d like to add to my repertoire, though I’m not ready to discuss them now.  The trick is going to be in having the time to do all I want to do. Here are some things I’m doing that are freeing up time for more projects:

  • Simplifying processes.
  • Organizing my space, including my home, is a manner that will need less time for upkeep.
  • minimizing material possessions so I’m not wasting extra time cleaning things I never really use.
  • Organizing my work supplies and papers, etc., so I don’t have so much to do.
  • I don’t really watch television, so much as use it for background noise. This actually helps me accomplish more in a shorter period of time.
  • I learned in 2015 that if I work at the cafe up the road I get a ton of stuff accomplished, again due to the background noise.
  • I’m getting pretty good at ignoring social media these days, checking it quickly during natural breaks – if I feel like it. I think people are getting used to not hearing back from me immediately all the time. I do use it for personal stuff still, as well as professional.
  • I’ve learned to turn the notification sounds off on my phone when working. Otherwise, I feel the need to check it every time it makes noise. Not good for productivity.

Things aren’t taking as long as they used to, which I’m grateful for. This frees up more time for other things, other ventures.

What does this mean for you?

  • For starters, I have a book I’m publishing over the weekend. Organizing Your Space and Stuff is all edited and ready to be sent to Amazon to be published. I’m just waiting until I’m done with the biggest part of the promotions for Hidden Camp. A couple of day break will help me to feel rejuvenated for the promotion of this book.
  • Some epic articles with worksheets for this blog. I’ve been working on them over the last month, but there is still more to do. Plus, more articles.
  • And a series of eGuides I’ll start putting out during the second half of the year. I’ll introduce these eGuides with more epic articles here on the blog.

It will be a good year for work on this blog, plus I’ll have time for fiction writing (my first love!), and other things I want to do that I’ll (hopefully) be able to earn money from.

This is my year of courage, after all.

And what goal did I achieve so early in the year?

I published a series of short stories on Amazon, and I want to introduce you to my author page before the publication of Organizing Your Space and Stuff, so you’ll know where to go. Feel free to follow me on that page, and to subscribe to this blog (in the sidebar) for other updates.

The #CampSeries is four stories that I wrote years ago, and finally found the time to edit properly and publish. I’m pretty proud of this accomplishment, and felt I had put it off too long. There will be more stories to come, of course. The entire series includes published stories, as well as diary entries from the main character, a child named Jessica, only found on my fiction blog at this time. The stories get darker in nature as you progress through the series. This is the order they should be read:

The Bear (Diary Entry 1)
Rascal (Short Story # 1)
I Told (Diary Entry 2)
A Trip to the Outhouse (Short Story # 2)
An Uncle, A Dad, and a Boogie Man (Diary Entry # 3)
Auntie’s Boyfriend (Short Story # 3)
Hidden camp (Short Story # 4)

I’ve been a busy bee between getting these stories, Organize Your Space and Stuff ready for publication, the promoting of the stories, and planning for the upcoming eGuides.

There are so many possibilities! Limiting ourselves would be such a shame. Why not try one or more from the list below, or something you’ve already been thinking of trying?

  • fiction writing
  • nature photography
  • publishing
  • copywriting
  • coaching
  • consulting
  • providing scrapbooking or card making (or both!) classes
  • selling your crafts online
  • publishing a magazine

What do you think? Will you be adding another stream of income? If so, please talk to us about it in the comments, or email me at I always respond, and love hearing from readers.

Shannon L. Buck

What do you Hope to be doing in 5 Years? 10 Years? 20 Years?

Photography by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015I don’t know about you but I’ve been steadily working toward my goals this year. With a series of fiction books published to Amazon, and an upcoming nonfiction book, I feel I’m well on my way to achieving my long-term goals.

What is most important in your life? What do you want to accomplish most? The ideas are endless, really.

Don’t know yet? How about setting aside a day or weekend to think about it. After all, goals are more attainable when you know what you want and have an idea about how to get there.

I like to do things in a colorful, creative way, so I have a notebook with goals and such in it. (See photograph.) You can follow suit, or keep it simple. Whatever makes you happy. Feel free to decorate the first page any way you wish. Draw and color it, scrap it, whatever makes you happy.

Title the next page Goals in 20 Years, or something like that. Then list the things you want to be seeing in your life at that time. For me, those goals look something like this:

  1. Have debts paid off.
  2. Have enough in savings to last two years.
  3. Have a retirement account.
  4. Have unlimited time to spend with my daughters and grandchildren.
  5. Be creating.
  6. Have my small home, and be homesteading.
  7. Be helping others in a big way.

I have some lofty goals. There are more, but you get the idea.

Once you know what you ultimately want, you can break things down. Think about the things that will need to be done in order to meet those goals. On the next page write a title such as Goals in 10 Years. At this point, you should be about half way to your ultimate 20 year goals. Mine look a little like this:

  1. Have debts at least half paid, if not more. Pay off any that are low enough to handle all at once. Then reassess anything that is left and try to make payments in bigger chunks.
  2. My savings will be enough to live off for at least one year.
  3. My retirement account will be double that of five years ago.
  4. At this point, if my children still live away, I’ll be spending at least two weeks a year with them at their places. If not, now is the time to up our visits.
  5. I’ll be getting creative whenever possible, hopefully as a full-time career. If not, then what can I do now to push me to that point?
  6. I’ll have my land, and be working toward getting my small home built. I may already have started the homesteading process by this point as well.
  7. I’ll be helping to fund research for Lupus, Osteoporosis, Abdominal Epilepsy, and Breast Cancer. Not to just anywhere. I’ll have searched out places that will actually use all or most of my money for research, rather than administrative costs. At this point, I want to be working toward helping the hungry in our own country.

As you can see, I want to be well along my way to  my 20 year goals by now. I’m really hoping to have all debt paid off, but am not setting myself up for disappointment in case I can’t reach that goal by the ten-year mark. That kind of blow would not help me in reaching the rest of my goals. Medical related debt can seem crippling.

The next page can be titled Goals in 5 years, and the goals that are listed here will be the ones we notice first. They are stepping-stones to the 10 year goals. Here are some of mine:

  1. Have at least 20 stories published.
  2. Have at least 15 nonfiction books published.
  3. Have a slew of podcasts published.
  4. Have videos published, especially for the food blog.
  5. My savings will be enough to live off for six months.
  6. Start a retirement account, if I haven’t done so already.
  7. Have at least 1/4th of my debts paid off.
  8. Be sure I’m spending at last 10 days per year with each of my daughters at their places, if they are still living away.
  9. Have at least half the money for my land.
  10. Choose one charity to donate to for research, where most if not all the money will go toward that research and not administrative costs. Lupus, Osteoporosis, Abdominal Epilepsy,  or Breast Cancer.

By the 5 year mark, I expect to be on my way to financial freedom. I know it’ll be a lot of work, and I’m willing to put in the effort. This is where the happiness factor comes in. From following our dreams. From realizing them.

How about you? Are your long-term goals worth working toward? Feel free to go further with this activity? Where will you be in three years? Two? How about in 30 years? Now is the time to start working on our goals, if we aren’t there already. Please comment on this post, or email me personally at I always answer, and I love hearing from readers.

Shannon L. Buck

Saving Money on Freelance Supplies

DSCN07077063I’m a frugal person most of the time, always looking for deals on items I need in my personal life and my writing life.

My top savings last fall were from three different places. These hardcover composition books were DSCN07137069DSCN06957051Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015found at Wal-Mart for only .50 each. They will be perfect for planning projects. They didn’t have a regular price list, but I’m guessing they were at least a dollar.

I also found this 3-pack of erasable highlighters at K-Mart for only $1.50. These highlighters are usually $3.29 a pack, so it was a good savings. More than half off.

Then, while visiting my daughter Skye in Fort Kent, we took a shopping trip to Madawaska. In a thrift store, I found these: 4 pens and 5 highlighters. I paid only .10 each, and am still using them. I knew the pens were practically brand new. I guess the highlighters were as well.

I love finding a good deal on something I know I’ll use, and I stock up when I find those deals. This saves me quite a bit of money over time. I have a cubby for all the notebooks and journals I buy, and this tote is where I store all the extra pens and other supplies. Isn’t it lovely? My sister, Sheila, made this tote, and it holds a lot! She and Katie filled it with all manner of things for me. I am blessed.

Are you a deal finder? What deals have you found on supplies for your freelance business? Let us know, or email me at I always answer!

Shannon L. Buck

Feeling Overwhelmed Financially at the Holidays? And a Challenge

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014.There’s so much going on during the holiday season that it is common to feel overwhelmed financially and otherwise. It is a shame, really, that we have to feel this way during a time when we should be concentrating on family and friends.

Clients pay late (sometimes even after the new year) for various reasons, from needing to get gifts for their regular employees to being on vacation at the time invoices arrive in their inbox.

The cost of gifts for your own family, as well as small gifts for important clients, can also add stress at this time. As can the cost of throwing the annual Yule or Christmas dinner.

Utilities, groceries, and other daily needs also need to be taken into consideration.

But how to avoid this stress?

Well, for this year I suggest taking some time for yourself. Try to cut costs where possible. Relax and remember you will be getting that money, even if it is late.

I also suggest you set up a plan for next year that will eliminate most of the financial stress you feel at this time of year. If you follow the plan in the coming year, the next holiday season wont seem as hard.

Create a Budget

A budget will help you to get through the holidays without over spending. Decide how much you’ll spend on gifts for each person on your list, as well as things such as:

  • Secret Santa gifts
  • Gifts and food for your childrens’ holiday parties
  • Craft items needed for gift making and decorating
  • Wrapping and decorating needs
  • Your holiday menu needs
  • The cost of pictures with Santa
  • The clothes needed for pictures
  • Batteries

Whatever you can think of. Set spending limits and stick to them.

Write Your List(s)

Once a budget has been created, make out your list. Some things to consider:

  • What holiday items did you realize you wanted or needed for next year as you were decorating?
  • How many Christmas cards will you need, and what will it cost for postage?
  • What might people like for gifts? (This is just a general note item, you may find something entirely different for some people. Record favorite colors, scents, etc.)
  • How many batteries, and what sizes, will you need? (This includes extra batteries in case gifts needing them are bought.)
  • What will you serve for the holiday meal next year?
  • Do you want to set aside money for craft fairs? For lunches out during shopping days?
  • How about for charities?
  • Will you need wrapping paper, gift bags or boxes, tags and ribbons, or tissue paper?

Set Aside Money

Decide on a certain amount from each payment you receive that will be set aside for the holiday season. Or you can do this per week or month. Whatever is most comfortable for you.

For example, if you set aside $50.00 a month from January to November you’ll have $550.00 for your holiday needs including gifts and cards.

This money can be placed in an interest earning account that you will start adding to again after the holidays.

(Note: It is okay to use the money in this account any time, as long as it is for good deals on gifts and other holiday items you need. By not limiting yourself as to when the money can be used, you might save a great deal.)

And More Money

If you can swing it, try adding up all your other expenses for one month:

  • Electricity, water and sewer, oil, rent
  • Satellite TV, Netflix or Hulu, house phone and cell phone services, internet (Maybe you don’t even need the house phone any longer.)
  • Groceries, personal hygiene needs, household cleaning supplies
  • Lunch money for the kiddos

Divide the total by 11 and set aside that amount each month. Then you are pretty much home free, if clients decide to wait to pay after the holidays.

This money should go into an account of its own, and you should put a little more than you think will be needed into it.

Look for Deals Year Round

In-store or online, if you can find deals grab them. During the after Christmas sales, you can save a lot of money. Look at your budget and your list, and see what you can do. I like to buy holiday cards, decorations, craft supplies, and even gifts at this time of year.

Then there are other sales, clearance and otherwise, throughout the year. If you can get a deal on something you know you’ll need, or a gift you want to give someone, by all means do so. The money saved can be kept in the account for unexpected expenses at the holidays. Such as when someone knocks on your door selling wreaths.

Thrift stores and yard sales may also net a few items, such as good quality holiday dresses, or a movie you can’t find in the store. Or even the punch bowl you so desperately need for your Christmas get-together.

Make What You Can

Not everyone likes to make gifts and decorations, and that is fine. But if you do, then buying craft and baking needs on sale (when possible) and spending some time making these items might save you some money as well.

Many people would love to receive a basket of homemade ornaments, or a tin of their favorite brownies.

What to do with the Money You don’t Spend

Is there really such a thing? Seriously though, if you have extra money in the account when the holidays are over you can roll it over for next year or begin your after Christmas shopping on December 26th.


Here is my challenge to you, for 2016. (Not including the And More Money section.) Set your budget, make your lists, and get all the shopping done throughout the year. If you come in under budget, and save the money until the day after your holiday festivities are complete, then you get to do something special for yourself or your family. Get yourself that latte, or buy that book no one got you for Yule. Return after Christmas and let us know how the challenge went for you.

How do you get through the holiday season without stressing? What financial advice do you have for those who need it? Let us know in the comments below or email me at I always answer comments and emails.

Happy holidays! Whatever they may be for you 🙂

Shannon L. Buck

Be Prepared for Slow Times

6355360253_30e095425d_nThere may be times when business is slow or comes to a halt, either because you wanted it that way or because there is going to be a month or two when people just aren’t buying whatever services you are selling. Perhaps you get injured, your life partner gets laid off, or your child is sick for an extended period of time.

The cause of the slow period or halt does not matter, just know that it can happen to anyone.

This is why we need a plan. Tto begin taking steps immediately to be (better) prepared for these times.

What steps can we take to prepare ourselves? Well, for starters:

  • Designate a certain amount of money to be put away each week or month, as well as a set percentage of any income tax refunds. Keep this in an interest earning account somewhere, do not remove any of the money until it is needed, and keep adding to it on a regular basis. This will be your spending money when little to no money is coming in. Spend wisely, only as necessary.
  • Have an emergency fund for medical needs, one for vehicle needs, and one for home maintenance needs. Obviously, these (and the above) are funds you will build over time but, if you happen to get a lump sum of money it can really build these funds up.
  • Stock up when you find sales, or have coupons. Or both for added savings. Make these stock-ups items that you will definitely need, such as socks, food, household items, personal care items, office supplies, and stamps for your business.
  • Pay ahead on things such as utilities, insurance premiums, mortgage premiums, car payments.
  • Charge as little as possible. None if you can get away with it. And remember, charging emergencies is far more costly in the long run than saving to cover them in advance, or even just a portion of them.
  • Become the coupon, yard sale, clearance sale, or thrift shop Queen (or King)! Or just be a frugal Goddess (or God) until you are well stocked and saved.

Having certain things taken care of in advance means we are less stressed. These situations will not tax your emotional and physical health so much. And you will be able to lighten up a bit.

How else might you prepare for slow business times? Let us know in the comments, or email me at I reply to all emails.

Shannon L. Buck

I Bought Myself a Present, How About You?

Each year, during the months of November and December, I think about what I might want to get myself for Yule. I am single, so I can’t count on anyone to get me what I really want. And sometimes I do not know what I want until I see it, so no one else could really know what to get for me in the first place.

Some years I may decide I want a new outfit, or possibly some very good, expensive chocolate.  Sometimes I would rather have a new movie, or even a CD.

This year I decided I wanted to have something that might help my freelancing along somewhat. This something took me a while to decide on, but I knew before Thanksgiving what it would be.

On Black Friday I ordered it from

I did not want to go into a store on that day, so I ordered it online.

What was it that I wanted so badly, but did not want to have to go out for?

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014.

A tablet.

Specifically, an RCA 7-inch Tablet, 8 GB Quad Core with a keyboard and a sexy purple case! *Purple is my favorite color 🙂 *

Regularly $89.00, I paid $49.00. I now see they are selling for $59. I think I did good waiting for the Black Friday sale, and saving $40.00.

I actually have been considering a tablet since I started working as a Front Desk Manager at the inn a couple of years back. Guests come down often asking questions about how to use their tablet with our internet. I managed to learn just the very basics of getting them online without having a tablet of my own, but that was about it.

I was wondering what all the fuss was about, and so decided I needed one. I reasoned that I could use it for aspects of my freelance activities, so this helped me to make the final decision on wanting one.

However, the price was too steep for me. I have friends who spent so much money on their tablets, and I did not want to do that. There was every chance that I was going to regret this purchase, after all.

Even though $89.00 was far less than others had spent on iPads and other such devices, I had serious qualms about spending even that much. I was so happy to be looking online and notice this one for only $49.00.

I ordered the tablet and a Wintec FileMate 8GB Swivel USB Flash Drive. Unfortunately, purple was not a choice. Black was, though. Usually $9.99, I paid only $4.99.

So, how are these helping me with my freelance activities?

  1. The flash drive is actually holding manuscripts of fiction. I love to write short stories, and am using the flash drive in case (Goddess forbid!) something happens to my trusty laptop.
  2. I am still learning the different things I can do on my tablet. I realize this could take a while, but there are a few things I know:
  • It is easier (for me) to use Twitter and LinkedIn on the tablet than it is to use them on my laptop. However, I like to use Facebook and other social media sites better on the laptop.
  • The tablet is far lighter than the laptop, and is smaller, so it is easier to carry places.
  • I can update my blogs on the tablet, though my preferred method is on the laptop. This does mean that I can update the blogs while on the go, however.
  • It is easier to listen to audio books using Audible on the tablet than it is on the laptop. I listen to freelance, marketing, and writing materials, among other things.

That is what I know so far!

Do you buy yourself a gift at this time of year? Is it a personal gift, or one for your business? Feel free to share.

I will update when I know more about what I can do. And if you have any tips, please share them in the comments below, or by emailing me at Thank you!

Shannon L. Buck

Yahoo! Contributor Network: Shutting Down

I just made a post about Helium Publishing 360 closing down, and I also have news about Yahoo! Contributor Network. They, too, will discontinue their publishing through the venue. Yahoo has indicated that:

  • will shut down on July 31, 2014.
  • Final payments will be made to contributors on August 15, 2014, just before they close
  • Some content you may have provided may still be theirs, depending on your agreement with them.
  • Yahoo! may be contacting some writers with offers to keep some of their works.

To find out more, visit their FAQ page.

I have written a lot for them over the years, and will be claiming the articles that are still legally mine. I will do a quick edit of each, and decide what to do with the articles after.

I wonder how many writers each platform had, and am hoping that each of you will forward this information so everyone is aware of what is going on. While I did receive an article from Yahoo!, I did not see anything from Helium. Thankfully, my sister let me know about the other.

Be sure to head over and claim your articles, and to see what they might owe you.