This is my second in what will probably be a series of articles on how to get some really great stuff for free
while being a freelancer.
We all know that the heart of owning a small business is being frugal and making that profit stretch as far as possible. I, personally, love my money. Nobody makes enough, and so I like keeping what I earn safe and warm in my back pocket.
One thing I do while working -- other than drinking wine and occasionally scratching in unmentionable places -- is listen to my growing music collection on iTunes. I'm definitely one of those people who has a big collection and has to upgrade his iPod due to music overkill. I'm really into contemporary folk, singer-songwriter, and adult alternative. I generally dislike big-label artists. Their sound has been genetically modified for your pleasure. I really enjoy the smaller labels. They have the gumption to get the new people and have them succeed on their own merits. You have to respect that.
I signed up with eMusic
a few weeks ago
and I really have enjoyed my membership. Just signing up -- which is FREE -- gets you 50 free songs that can play on any MP3 player, including the iPod. And if you enjoy what you hear, the most basic membership is $10 for 40 songs. That is a hell of a lot cheaper than iTunes music store ($0.25 per song). It's not like Napster in which you are just borrowing music. You actually own the music you buy, and the artist actually gets paid. It's legal, it's FREE
to just try out, and if you love it (like I do), it's cheap.
I wrote in a previous entry on the wonders of open source software.
Go to this website
where you can download a CD image file with over 100 great, FREE
open source programs. If you are like me, you may already have a few of these applications. But you can pick and choose what you want as well, so no need to feel overwhelmed by it all.
On one CD, you'll find applications for desktop utilities, educational software, games, graphics, internet, server utilities, sound and video programs, and miscellaneous utilities.
Open source is different from shareware (or freeware) in that it isn't a trial version or a shortened version. It's the whole pie, and it is constantly being upgraded and improved. Many people believe open source software is better than commercial for varying reasons. Go give it a try.
I hate giving out my email address. If you register with any site that requires you to use your email address as verification, you risk that information being sold to people pushing little blue pills and things that make your anatomy grow to sizes that will land you a role in certain movies you wouldn't have your grammy see.
I used to keep a "spare" email address that I would use as my registration email. But it all gets confusing: I forget to check, I use the wrong email address accidentally, the wife thinks I am using it for less than honest reasons, etc.
Lately, I have been using Spambox.info
as my junk email. The idea is simple: you have your email on record. You get a temporary email address from Spambox when you register on a site. You specify how long you want that temporary email to last. Once you have gone through the whole process of verifying your email address and you are registered on a site, your Spambox expires and the email address you used to complete the registration process no longer exists.
Give it a try. It'll save you from some headache when you check your email every day.
So, there you go. Some more free stuff to help you stretch your freelancing dollar. Free music, free software, and free email advice. What more could you ask for?