Sites to check SERPs

3 tools to check SERPs
flickr photo by Robert Scoble shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

First of all, many of you might not be familiar with the term SERP and its implications. For this reason, it is important to first explain a bit what it means, and why it is important for your blog, and only then talk about some of the best sites where you can check for it. Let’s get started.

SERP is an acronym for Search Engline Results Pages. They are used by people when they want to look for something online using a search engine, like Google. You simply enter a keyword and the search engine provides you with a SERP.

It is not this simple though, because SERPs are different one from the other, even if you search for the same keyword on the same search engine. The main reason why this happens is because basically all search engines make the experience of using them unique by adapting to their users. The keyword is not the only factor, but the person’s location and browsing history are also taken into account.

Basically, if you want to see how well your latest post on your blog is ranking, then you should definitely check out for SERP on one of these websites. Let’s take a look at some of the best sites out there.

  1. SEMrush

On SEMrush you simply put your website URL or an URL of a blog post and this site will tell you which keywords you rank for. In addition, you can click on any of these keywords in order to see the keyword competition. It works for both Google and Bing. You can get a free 14-day trail of SEMrush, but you will need to register in order to use the software.

  1. Google Rank Checker

If you do not want to spend money on a SERP online checker, then you should definitely give Google Rank Checker a go. It is a great online keyword rank checker which is also free. All that you need to do is to include the domain name along with the keyword. Then you will get the position of that keyword in Google. It is quite simple.

  1. SEOCentro

SEOCentro is an excellent tool for checking keyword ranking. The best thing about this website is the fact that it allows you to check out the performance of specific keywords in more than one search engines. Among these engines we can count: Google, Yahoo, and Bing, but not only. It does not require you to create an account, but it is recommendable that you do so.

Now that you know where to check out your SERP, you can increase the performance of your personal blog. It is truly one great tool that you should take into account. After all, you do really want to get visitors on your site. This is an excellent way to find out how your site is performing. You should definitely keep this in mind when you write your next post.

Tips that guarantee success when starting an online business

Starting and running an online business is connected to many difficulties and issues that should be considered. Secrets to success vary among the individuals engaged in cyber work and tips that warrant a success may differ as well. Yet, here is a hit list of some common hints to follow.

Getting ideas

The capacity of our brain is predetermined to thinking and observations. This is how creativity emerges in the process of acquiring, gathering and storing information. You may never know when the right time is for an idea to come out of the bubble. This refers not only to places but people as well. Never avoid meeting a new face that may give you a refreshing perspective and an entirely new way of thinking. You might have come across useful tips on the benefits of searching the net for solutions, though it can be hard to remember everything we find interesting. Sometimes our mind is crowded with loads of thoughts and data. That is why keeping structured and developed tracks of the records you want to keep. It may be a diary or a bookmark folder in your browser. Something that is easily accessed when work has started.

Sell your experience and uniqueness not your items

Online business is not a physical space where customers and clients can see and touch the products or the service. You may think you offer and sell a service but it is more than that. It is an entire process which involves a range of activities based on your experience that need to guarantee success. The best way to do it is to be different and not imitating others. The more areas you are different the greater chance you have to make progress. For example, you can have a few satellite web pages or projects revolving around one venture. Though, remember that even in the most popular attraction you need to find and launch a very peculiar part that will make others follow you. Do not copy, but let others copy you.

Keep track of the community following you

Even the most successful business might fall apart unless you a constant back up from the people giving assurance that your job is meticulously directed to meet their interests. Try not to rely on your good sense or perceptiveness. What you actually need is a valid metrics to see where you are heading or whether you need to change your trends. Also, do not hesitate to cut off ideas no matter how much enthusiastic that might have looked at the beginning. Keep watching what people like or detest as there is no universal rule about leading a successful on line business. Just like scientists collect data based on field work before they have come up with a revolutionary theory. Measure your impact and keep your eyes wide open for any fluctuation in the process.

Tips for Spanish essay writing

Whether you are currently learning Spanish or already have good Spanish language skills, there is always room for improvement. You might understand it when it is spoken, you might be able to perfectly understand a text in Spanish, but how good are your Spanish essay writing skills?

Writing in a foreign language is usually hard. I mean learning to write in your own language is hard as well. Just think about it. When you were little, you first learned to talk, then to read, and finally, you learned how to write. As you can see, writing is the hardest thing to do. So, regardless of if you are writing an essay in Spanish as a Spanish native, or as a Spanish learner, below are a few tips for Spanish essay writing that will improve your skills.

  1. Use words that you know

 

Writing in a new language does not mean opening the dictionary every couple of minutes just to use fancy words and sound smart. It also does not mean that you should not open a dictionary when you do not know a word. What I meant to say is that you should mostly rely on the words that you already know. Why? Because in writing you are also applying your grammar skills and trying to perfect them. In addition, using words that you do not really know might result in a disaster as the words might have many different meanings that you are unaware of. Better stay safe than sorry.

  1. Think in Spanish

Thinking in Spanish will make it easier for you to write sentences correctly. Trying to compose a text in your mind and later translate it in Spanish will only create confusion and frustration. Some expressions are hard to be translated. Other times, writing a text in Spanish as complex as the one that you are thinking about might not be possible. Why? Maybe because your Spanish skills are not that developed and you might end up disappointing yourself.

  1. Take accent marks seriously

As mentioned in a previous post, accent marks play a key role in the Spanish language. They can make or break a sentence and they can change the whole meaning of a word. It might take a bit of time to master accent marks, but in the end, I guarantee you that they are worth the effort. Accent marks contribute to the correctness of your text and show that you have the necessary skills.

If all of this seems like a lot of effort, do not panic. There are still some things that you can do. For example you can hire an essay writer to do the work for you and this way you will have a correctly written text in no time. If however you want to write the text yourself, but also want it to be correctly written, there is also an option. You can hire a proofreader to make sure that your Spanish essay has no errors in it.

The Importance of Deadlines

As a freelancer myself, I know how important it is to stick to your deadlines. Of course, deadlines are important in most if not all fields of work, but in the self-employed sector they can be even more crucial.

Impressing Your Clients

In a broad sense, deadlines are important because they are often set by or agreed upon with your client, in which case they will be expecting to receive your work by this date. To avoid being selfish, you should always complete work by the agreed deadline to minimise any negative effects that a missed deadline may have on either yourself or your client, or even on a third party.

If you freelance via freelancing sites such as Upwork, meeting deadlines may be even more beneficial to you, because previous clients can leave ratings or reviews. Efficiency level can be a huge factor in achieving a good rating, which is vital in drawing more attention to your skills. More attention and a high recommendation makes finding clients a whole lot easier, facilitating the process of gaining work online.

Suffice to say, you don’t always have to hand in work on the deadline. Getting your pieces in early can improve this rating even further, which leads us onto the idea of setting your own deadlines.

Self-motivation

The final deadline is the end goal for you to work towards; the finished piece to be submitted by a particular time. However, you can set yourself several smaller deadlines, or milestones, in order to make the workload seem more manageable.

It is essential to set plausible deadlines so that you don’t cause yourself more stress trying to cram in an unfeasible amount of work. That said, if the mini-deadlines are appropriately set, they can really help you to build up towards the end goal (the final deadline) without there seeming to be too much work at all.

The final deadline is, obviously, the most important, but setting these smaller goals will almost certainly aid you on your efficiency levels.

Be Strict with Yourself

The key to meeting any deadline is discipline. You have to stay motivated and disciplined in order to meet any goal you have set for yourself, because this will help you stay on task.

Staying motivated and focused is a skill which you can develop through a variety of ways. There are apps and desktop tools to keep you focussed, and practices such as mindfulness and the trait of determination will help you to stay motivated. Of course, if you enjoy freelancing and like what you do, it is much easier to remain dedicated to your work.

The discipline side is more down to you being strict with yourself, setting goals and sticking to them. You may choose to set small rewards for yourself, so that after each milestone you pass you receive something nice; this is a very good way to keep yourself going, because you will feel a better sense of accomplishment.

If you are strict with even the little goals, you will find that the completion of the end piece will come much easier and much faster.

Conditional in Spanish language

Si clauses, which are the equivalent of if clauses in English, are quite hard for most people who are trying to learn Spanish. One of the main reasons why it is not so easy to learn them is because of the beloved “subjuntivo”. However, there is no need to panic, because this article has got you covered. Arm yourself with a pen or a pencil, a notebook or a piece of paper, and let’s get started.

  • Si + present indicative=?

When we use this structure, the actions that we are talking about are possible. The condition has a high chance of being fulfilled. In addition, it is important to know that the two parts of the sentence “si clause” and the result clause, can be interchanged in terms of which comes first, without changing the meaning of it.

If in the “si clause” we have present indicative, then in the result clause, we have three options:

  1. Present indicative

Example: Si nos vemos hoy, te doy el libro. (= If we see each other today, I give you the book).

2. Future

Example: Si tengo dinero, viajaré a Paris. (= If I have the money, I will travel to Paris)

3. Imperative

Example: Si me desmayo, dame agua. (= If I faint, give me water).

  • Si + imperfect subjunctive =?

When we use this structure, we think about a hypothetical situation, which is impossible to happen. If in the “si clause” we use the imperfect subjunctive, then in the result clause, we will use the conditional. Write this down: we never ever use the conditional after si. Contrary to all expectations, si is never found near the conditional.

Example: Si pudiera volar, viajaría por todo el mundo. (= If I could fly, I would travel the world).

  • Si + pluperfect subjunctive

 When we use this structure, we talk about the opposite of what happened. It refers to a hypothetical situation, in which things would have turned out totally different. We have three options for this situation:

  1. Past conditional

Example: Si hubiera ganando la apuesta, habría ido al concierto. (= If I had won the bet, I would have gone to the concert).

2. Simple conditional

We use this structure when the result clause is still valid in the present.

Example: Si hubiera aprendido hablar inglés, entendería mejor las películas americanas. (= If I had learned to speak English, I could understand American movies better).

3. Pluperfect subjunctive

We use this structure mostly in the spoken language.

Example: Si hubiera tenido un hermano, no me hubiera aburrido tanto. (= If I had had a brother, I wouldn’t have gotten so bored).

You see? Si condicional clauses, are not that hard after all. Apply three magical formulas and you have learned your lesson. Try it, it is fail proof. Your Spanish will improve in no time, and if you learn these magic formulas, then you will have demystified the Spanish language. Spanish grammar, is easy if you find some simple tricks. Go ahead, test them out.

Working from home -how to boost your self-improvement

Home working can be an amazing experience for everyone if you have in mind the commodity and flexibility of doing your job. In comparison to the office work, homeworking offers your more flexibility but probably less competitiveness. You are on your own as you dictate your pace without any stress produced by the environment. However, you should know how to become more productive and catch up with the latest trends.

The first thing that pops up in mind when talking about home working is “time”. Creating a schedule according to your needs can be awesome but it can also lead to procrastination and laziness. If you don`t have to wake up at 7.00 am to catch the bus for work, it does not mean that you can`t keep the habit when you work at home. Setting your working time and sticking to it is important to develop good working habits.

Dress code is something that you are bound to in your company so why not to go on with the habit. People often say it might be fantastic being able to stay in your pajamas during work but wearing the clothes that bring to your mind rest and sleep would not make any good. There is no need to dress up but some casual everyday outfit can cheer you up and break the monotony of the day.

When you work from home you are not stuck to work hours as you would be in the office. Though, you should set your specific working hours and stick to the schedule. Find out when you are most productive. Some people do better early in the morning, while others are night birds.

Make sure you set aside a specific place for work. No matter how handy is using your laptop it does not mean you can crawl around your home with it. Being disciplined when working from a particular place can make you get in the working stream right ahead once you enter this realm. It does not have to be a room- a small, cozy corner in a room is enough to be named “my office”.

Being in a place accessible and needed to use by all the family members is not a good idea so you need a quiet space and the possibility not to get interrupted. Make it clear to everyone around your household that you are working seriously and you need your privacy and complete concentration. If it is difficult, use headphones and pick up some good ones with sound cancellation option.

Finally, you can`t work without a break, so go ahead and use your time for a nice cup of coffee. You can do it even better, take the opportunity to stretch your legs and go to the nearest coffee shop. Just as in a regular office when having lunch time.

Remember-you can always change your workload, but always think about ways you can work smarter not easier or harder.

10 Useful Writing Tools for Content Writers

Useful writing tools
072 – Keys flickr photo by LaMenta3 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

One of the keys to success in the world of freelance writing is definitely making sure your use of language is good. Of course, you probably have a pretty good grasp of your native language anyway, before you start writing for your career. However, this is not to say that everything you produce will be perfect. There are always ways to learn and improve. Unfortunately, not all the tools in this article are free, but sometimes the cost is worth it if it will help you propel you further in your work.

Focussing

Even the best of us sometimes have trouble sitting down in front of the screen and just starting. We might get distracted by our favourite social media sites or YouTube videos, but luckily there are some tools out there to help us.

Write or Die is available as both a web version and an iOS app. This tool allows you to focus on writing by setting up consequences that happen when you take long breaks. You can set a word goal and write in-app to ensure you stay completely on task.

Cold Turkey is an amazing app for your computer and your phone that blocks various websites. If you try to access websites during the time limit, you will be met instead with a motivational quote to keep you on track. Not only can you block websites, but also every other distraction from games to email clients. Additionally, they have a ‘White Listing’ option which allows you to exclude certain websites from the block. And if you have trouble forcing yourself to take regular breaks, you can block yourself from your laptop for a designated time limit.

Ommw

riter offers a distraction-free environment while you write, creating a tranquil space in which you can write freely. There are natural, neutral backgrounds, soothing audio tracks and sounds when you type to keep you calm and relaxed during the creative process.

Forest app is not only a great tool to help you focus, but also an incredibly innovative and wholesome app. Whenever you decide to focus, you plant a tree in the app, and it grows for as long as you leave it on the screen. If you leave the app, the tree dies, but if you keep the tree alive you can plant it in your own virtual forest. And when you reach a certain number of points, Forest gives you the option to plant a real tree, thanks to partnership with Trees for the Future. Your productivity can save the planet!

Proofreading and Avoiding Plagiarism

A large part of writing is the proofreading. It’s a dreary task, and often one we don’t particularly want to do. However, there are now online tools to help us as we go along, saving time instead of worrying about it all at the end.

Hemingway seems to be a popular choice amongst writers nowadays. This app, available as a desktop app, allows you to write clearly with a variety of formatting options, and marks your work as you go along. You receive a grade that tells you just how good your writing is, and the editor highlights your work in various colors to show different things: red shows where sentences are too lengthy and complex, purple shows where a shorter word can be used, and so on.

Small SEO Tools Plagiarism Checker. Assuring you have avoided plagiarism is extremely important, especially if you have written about a product or done some research before starting your piece; sometimes our brain tricks us into using dangerously similar wording. This free plagiarism checker tool can help you avoid that!

Quetext is another plagiarism checker, with a slightly more professional layout and deeper search capabilities.

All-in-One Apps

These tools are useful for writers in that they help you gather all your pieces, build portfolios and better organise your work.

Scrivener can help you to organise your work better, allowing you to edit multiple documents at once, store certain works in various files and take ‘snapshots’ of your work that save an earlier version while giving you the confidence to edit freely without fear of losing your work.

Ulysses allows you to create a focused workspace by hiding their advanced tools until you need them. Additionally, the exporter tool allows you to take plain text from your mobile and format it properly into word documents and other files for a cleaner look.

Mellel is a tool is described as a tool for “serious writers”, due to its ability to handle long, wordy documents. It allows you to focus and handles all the formatting for you, including footnotes and references.

There are a variety of tools out there designed to help writers. These are just a start to help you in improving your writing. After all, practice makes perfect, and these apps are simply there to offer a helping hand.

I hope that these tools help you in your work. Happy writing!