Any review of the technology you’ll need in place to be a successful home-worker would be useless without beginning with your E-mail. Finding a powerful, flexible, and easy to use solution for your e-mail should be step number one on your to-do checklist.
Why is e-mail so important?
To start with, you’ll need to provide your email to prospective employers. If you want to be taken seriously, you need a serious email address. After all, emails that look like “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org” or “email@example.com” just don’t portray the professional image an employer will be looking for.
Its also important to have a powerful email solution. Being able to process dozens, eventually hundreds, and likely thousands of emails per day is a requirement for anyone who is actively searching for home employment. And its likely over 90% of what you get will be “spam” or unsolicited email. Its vital to have a solution that allows you to quickly identify the important email while removing all the junk.
You’ll also need to consider getting away from using email addresses that identify you as an “amateur” internet user. Ask anyone who is experienced with making a living on the internet, and they’ll tell you that someone with an AOL address, for example, is someone who hasn’t taken the effort to get out of their comfort zone to move beyond the “starter package” that came with their new computer. Other freebie email accounts can have similar image building results.
So what’s the answer? A simple and inexpensive solution can be setting up your own domain. Its very easy to register a new domain name and host email. We’ve been very happy with the DreamHost company that hosts our website. Simply figure out what domain you want to use (stick to .com or .net if possible) and setup a single email address to check mail. Remember, make your email professional (example: firstname.lastname@example.org)
That’s a great solution for creating a professional email address, but what about handling all that email you’ll be getting? Gmail is a terrific solution. Their powerful email interface provides accurate spam processing that learns what’s important to you. With filters, you can have the system automatically mark your important emails. You can have their system check other email addresses, or you can download your Gmail account using a pop email program.
Now using a Gmail email account can still look professional, as long as you choose an appropriate username. However, they have an option allowing you to host your own domain name with their service, giving you all of the power of Gmail on your domain! This is a terrific option, and really easy to do. Simply register your domain, then register at Google Apps for your Domain. You can even use other Google services, such as documents and websites, with your domain.