Tag Archives: make money from home

Branding your blog

Branding is essential for your blog as it creates important messages for your clients. It helps them see how different you are from your competitors.

When you create your content it is necessary that you have in mind what picture you present to your customers.

Here are some hints to follow for the purpose of having a branded blog.

Come up with a creative and catchy blog name. Naming gives the first impression to the audience. Therefore make sure is it related to the product or service you are blogging. Also, are easy search terms included in the name?

Select a unique address. Many bloggers use WordPress.com but having your own URL is more authentic. Put a tagline as well as taglines tell more about the blog`s content. What is the blog about? An effective keyword in the tagline is a must. For example, if you have a blog on learning Spanish, you can define the type of information you present with “Actionable Spanish. “

Carefully choose the blog theme and the colours. The theme gives the overall framework of what you present and adds up to your brand name. Pay attention to the sample texts given by default and change them so that the captions look catchy to readers. Colours are an integral part of branding, so at this point keep in mind the psychological effect colours have on people`s perception and feelings. Now you can say I am not following this. It is because speed is against design and I bet in speed above everything when it comes to SEO results.

Typography is another element to be considered when branding a blog. It refers to the text in a blog and it can be incredibly influential on visitors to your blog and may have either positive or negative impact on to prospective customers. Typography expresses the general attitude about your content. The more creative and innovative you are, the more you can reinforce your personality and ideas by using the right typography.

Creating a blog brand in content writing for example, means considering the length of posts and the language that is used. Depending on the topic, you may go for longer articles, such as in language learning instructions or you may just share short notes in the entertaining business. As for the language, no matter whether you write in a standard language or in slang, good grammar and correct spelling are important.

Another authentic feature when branding your blog is to produce a voice for your blog. Remember that in the cyber world there is no real human interaction and you need to be recognizable as a brand among your visitors. Here comes the true meaning of “a brand”. Ask yourself these questions: “How do I sound to my readers? Will they recognize me? “

Finally, you need to protect your exclusiveness. You may choose one of the many public online copyright licenses.  Decide about the terms of use on your blog and whether you allow others to use your content. If you do, on what conditions they can do it. Do not forget, you are the one who is creating the brand.

The importance of fluent communication with clients

Someone once said that the client is always right. But until getting to say that your client is always right, you have to first get to know some information about who you are working for.

Why is this important?

The client is ultimately the one who decides whether he or she wants to work with you or not. Knowing who your client is gives you the upper hand. You can learn to adapt to their needs and what things to say or not to him or her.

Adapt your offer

Adapting your offer to the needs of your client is key. For example, if you are a Spanish content writer and your client is from Latin America, then you should adapt your vocabulary to that of the region, as it can be a bit different from the one in Spain.

Spelling and vocabulary are not the only things that you should take into account. For example, when applying to a job which requires technical writing skills, send them a sample of similar work, as opposed to your poems from 5th grade that you are so proud of.

Communication is key

If you are not sure what to do regarding an aspect, you should always double check with the client, as it is better to be safe than sorry. For example, if you are writing a SEO article, you should ask beforehand if the client wants the keywords to be highlighted, in bold. An other example would be whether the post should include images. All these aspects are key, because knowing them beforehand could save you a lot of work and time.

Feedback

The job ends, but your relationship with your client does not always stop here. It is important at the end of every task to ask for feedback. By knowing what you did wrong, you can improve your skills and not repeat the same mistake again. Also, you can use this opportunity to modify the things that your client is not happy with in order to ensure that you have delivered your task in a satisfying manner. It will leave both you and your client happy with the job that you have finished.

Respect deadlines

Regardless of your client, respecting deadlines is very important. Not doing so can reflect badly on your part and it can also have negative consequences such as: not being paid the full amount or the client never working with you again.

Knowing who your client is represents a key aspect in any type of business, regardless of whether it is freelance or not. You should take into account the above mentioned elements as they can take the relationship with your client to the next level. These little things make you get higher paid jobs and long lasting relationships with clients. Here is an other article that you might find useful.

How to Write reviews for affiliated products or services

Affiliate marketing is very useful to enhance sales of goods or services.  The workflow is easy:

  1. You have a website about a topic related
  2. Join an affiliate program
  3. Place adverts
  4. You get revenues from the conversions (not from the clicks)

One of the most common ways to do it is by writing reviews about products and services and adding your affiliate links in the page.

In order to be able to write a good review you need to make a solid strategy and keeping in mind certain useful information.  Although the specifics may vary for different sites there are some standard requirements.

First of all, you need to be familiar with the product or service that you present. Describe how it functions and give reasons why people should buy it.  Using the keywords users will use when researching in Google searches is an imperative. Don’t think that success is easy. Profitable affiliate programs and keywords have a great competition. It is difficult to cope with the complicated search engine algorithms and it always take time and money.

Next, your concept should be original. Offering a unique content with a possibility to engage users and leave comments is something that creates user-based signals of a frequently visited website on Google. If you do not allow users’ voices to be heard, they will soon leave your website.

How are products sold? You can use your blog to earn from affiliate marketing. Convincing your readers that the product or service is really good because you used it yourself is not enough for them to spend their money. You need to know the importance of audience size and the types of conversion rates that you may expect. Of course it is crucial to know the quality of visitors and the type of marketing you use, but numbers are important. If 100 people spend 1$, then 500 readers might bring 500 $. Easy to calculate, the more readers you attract, the more money you will make.

Speaking of blogging and making sales, unfortunately most readers expect information to be free, therefore consumable content is more attractive to people. If you write about widely used devices like cameras or mobiles, your readers are likely to buy what you write about. However, with blogs which are not about products it is more difficult to affiliate products to promote but you can often find something to sell. For example, if you write about online working you can focus on tools you use and then review them and make money from affiliated sales.

In the following link you can watch how purchase can be made through an affiliated link

You can find a number of really good product review site on the Internet with some examples on the following link.

In general, apart from the description of the product or service, you have to make an effort to show the user how easy is to get and use the product. Your objective is the reader visualizsing themselves using the product or service. Also give additional information like, niche, about the founder, what id their goal and key challenge. Name the key stats. Facebook, Twitter, Google = and so forth. Also, give a top content, some top promotions and what readers can learn from it.

I have a broad experience writing reviews for affiliate purpose. If you are looking a writer for affiliate reviews in Spanish do not hesitate to contact me.

Rules for working from home

Working from home might seem like the ideal thing for you. You have are your own boss, you have a flexible schedule and you can dress however you want. In addition, you can select your own clients and take on whichever amount of work you feel like doing for the day.

It seems almost ideal, right? Well, it is what most people wish for in their lives, but it can also go wrong if there is a lack of structure. Do not worry, because this post will help you get a bit organized and less distracted. So let’s get to it.

Below are some rules or tips (call them whatever you want to) that might help you.

  1. Set a place specifically for work

Even though you are your own boss and you can theoretically do anything that you want to do, working chaotically might not do the trick. You will still need to have the idea of a home office, whether it is simply a table in the kitchen or in the living room. If you want to go all the way and have the possibility, you can even set aside a special room for this purpose, or simply isolate a space which you use it as a working area. If you need more tips about how to make your home office a more efficient space, click here.

  1. Create your own schedule

Strict schedules might have been the thing that made you decide to start freelancing or working from home as opposed to working in a company. Well, the thing is that you do need some structure and planning in order to get things done. For example if you have an online blog, you should at least try to make a content plan for the year or at least for the month. This way, you will not be left without ideas and keep your blog up to date. If you have other tasks, it is always good to keep an agenda as this way you will make sure that you will complete all of the tasks in time.

  1. Networking is very important

Stanley Milgram once conducted this experiment known as the small world or the lost letter experiment. The subjects had to get a letter to a certain person, but if they did not know him, they had to give it to someone who they thought might know him and so on, until the person got the letter. The result showed that you need approximately 6-7 people in order to get to who you need to. This is why networking is important. The more people you know, the easier it is to get to who you need. Also, it can help your business or blog get more attention.

So these are only some rules for working from home. Here is another article that might interest you and it has more rules that you should consider when working from home. I hope they are useful and maybe you already apply them.

3 Tools for developing Marketing Strategy

3 marketing tools for online marketing
“New Tools” New Tools flickr photo by Mark Turnauckas shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

The new technological advancement nowadays can make it rather difficult to stand out of the crowd in marketing. You need to constantly think about how to grab the attention of your customers as the market is really competitive. Though, also thanks to technology you may be able to use a great variety of tools to map out your strategic planning.

Woobox is a useful tool for those who are engaged in social media marketing as it helps to customize tabs and see the number of likes and comments received for posts. Also, information can be downloaded into a spreadsheet. Assuming that you have a Facebook page, Woobox can be pretty helpful for promoting from a single location without taking many additional steps. The tool is available in free and paid versions. If you choose the free version you will have no limits on fans and pages. You can add custom tabs for Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Twitter in the menu. There is one disadvantage when using this platform which is having knowledge of HTLM use. If you want to create a page displaying an image for your users to like your page before seeing it, you will have to add the HTLM code by yourself. This may be a bit uncomfortable for some users who have no idea what HTLM is.

If you opt for paying for Woobox, you will have access to a number of promotional items like sweepstakes, polls, rewards, and group deals. The prices vary depending on the number of fans you have.

Nuvi is a marketing platform that helps you manage all your social media tasks such as monitoring, analyzing, reporting and publishing. Nuvi enables you to monitor more than keywords. You can reach the users through group and topic monitors to see commentaries and the impact of each post. Conversations can be easily led and responded. Keywords, hashtags, URLs can be easily detected to find relevant posts across various channels like Facebook, Instagram, Google+ or Twitter. The tool provides you with competitive analysis and less time spent on reports by customizing the reports and coordinating the data and the visuals. Content publishing is done from one platform and the level can be personalized for tailored products.

Pricing is not defined but is set through contacting for a quote instead.

PlanBold is another tool for developing marketing strategy which gives a unique visibility into the marketing planning process. It gives you an accurate picture of the suitability of each marketing idea to the general strategy. PlanBold leads you carefully through the desired plan by collecting data to organizing knowledge. Collected information is stored in different formats in one place and is easily accessible. Moreover, you can build personas regarding your target customers to know their channels, plans decisions and other important details.  Posting ideas and voting can be done by everyone in an organization and the best options pop up in the top and give further marketing tactics. PlanBold can facilitate the entire marketing process.

The Importance of Domain Age

Speaking of search engine optimization, beside the well-known factors that improve website’s ranking, Domain Age is a less common feature taken into account. Though, the role of this feature may considerably contribute to the overall ranking. Domain Age is the length of time that a website has been registered and active and gives trust to website visitors and to the search engines.

It is said that the longer you have the domain, the better its performance will be in the search engines. As a result, trusted websites have older domains which show they that offer quality content. Having a new domain brings suspicion among users as usually spam websites have a newly registered domain. This is why spammers have started looking for older domains to put their spam on. In other words, it is no longer true that old domains are trusted sites and new ones are less reliable. You can start your business on a fresh domain, your website may be legitimate, yet it may look like a spam to search engines. So, when it comes to checking the age of a domain it is necessary that you check their history too.

How is Domain Age used by Google to measure the ranking through algorithm?

It is believed that the first thing Google takes as important is the date of the domain`s registration. Then all the documents are validated and related to the registration date of the domain. Thus, the website has more chances to reach a higher rank for certain keywords using the Google search engine.

Another important outcome of using domain age by Google is to determine which site is legitimate and which is not. The explanation is that authentic website owners would pay for the domain for a longer period of time, maybe several years. Normally, if you are a quality content writer, for example and would like to establish a confident brand, you would choose to protect your business with a long term registration of your domain.  Contrary to this, illegitimate domain users would not spend their money on registration for longer time. They would rather watch for domain that is expiring and not taken care of. The main point here is that if you value your business and work really hard to get high ranking, you should consider having a legit domain registered in advance.

We can say that despite we may neglect the importance of Domain Age, it does matter. It is natural that  a lot of young domains will struggle in the competitive cyber world but being patient and waiting for the right time may be worthy at the end. There is not much difference between, let`s say a domain that is five months old and the one which is twice as much older. You may have less backlinks also which is normal, but as long as you are active on your domain age ultimately will definitely bring you benefits and find your way on the top of the ranking.

Tips on how to make your home office a more efficient space

tips to work from home - productivity
creative commons licensed ( BY-ND ) flickr photo shared by marksaplenty

Working from home may be at times relaxing, but it can also prove to be stressful, if the environment is not suitable.If you do not have a separate room for your office, there is no problem. There are still things that you can do in order to make it a more efficient working space. Below are a few tips that can help your home work environment put you in the right mood to get work done.

  • Isolate your desk from the rest of the room.

If you do not have a separate room to use as your personal office, then making your own fort walls around your desk will keep you from getting distracted from outside disturbances.It would be like creating your own cubicle.

  • Proximity is key.

For example if you know that you will use a dictionary, or that you need post it notes, you need to keep them close to you. It will save you a lot of time, as you will no longer need to look for them around the house.

  • Listen to white noise.

According to some recent studies, the wavelengths of different sounds reach key areas in your brain, which can lead to higher concentration, greater creativity. You should choose ambiance music which best suits you or put some white noise in the background to make your home office a more efficient space.

  • Organize your desk

Making sure that your desk is organized is very important, because a messy work environment might make it harder for you to concentrate and to find the things that you need. By keeping it organized you will know where everything is and will not get distracted by a paper that you thought you had lost a while ago.

  • Organize your computer

Your desk is not the only thing that should be organized, but also your computer, because in the case of content writers and proofreaders, it is the main tool that is used. You can start by eliminating all the useless icons on the desktop and believe me, everybody has those ´just in case´ shortcuts that they never click. Also, delete useless mail. Hoarding mail is not a good option, however, if you do have important mail, organize it into a different folder.

  • Comfort is key

Nothing is more annoying than a chair with a shorter leg than the other three that starts shaking from one side to the other, trying to find balance. Also, keep in mind that you will be sitting on the chair for a couple of hours. Do invest on your desk chair as your back will be thankful for it.

Your home office is very important as it is where you spend most of your day in. You should take into account these tips in order to make your office a more efficient space. If you are looking for more tips, click here and if you are looking on how to choose a room for your home office, click here.

Types of survey questions

Maintaining your online business requires that you understand well the needs of your customers or users visiting your webpage. Developing reliable questionnaires is a great way to identify information that can help you make more knowledgeable decisions. The questions in a survey may come in various formats which can get you an accurate image of your customers and the important issues related to your work.

Types of survey questions

Multiple choice questions:These questions provide given answers, related to the given question. The number of answers may vary depending on your decision. For example, you may want the respondents to select one or more than one answers from a list of options to the question `Which are the most appealing topics for content writing in your opinion?` You should include a category named `other` as users may come up with ideas that you may have not thought about.

Rank Order Questions: Sometimes you would like to know which specific attributes or characteristics are most valued by your users. It can be done through dragging or star rating the chosen items. For example, if you need to know whether podcasts on your website are as useful as the content for your customers you can create a question such as ` please, rate the following`, and providing categories like `podcasts`, `videos` and `posts`.

Open-Ended questions: Look for the qualitative, more comprehensive points of a certain topic or issue. In this case the respondent is free to give a detailed explanation. Open-ended questions are more predictable than most of the other types of questions, though they are time-consuming therefore you should not use them frequently unless you need to clarify ambiguities. Examples of this question format are comments and suggestions provided by users or website visitors.

Miscellaneous Questions: Are designed to collect personal information from users such as name and surname, address, zip code and phone number. Time selection and year range are also displayed for the respondent to choose.  Other questions may refer to certain niche functions as `Calendar box`, `File Upload` and `Image question`.  These types of questions will help maintain an organized compilation of all survey user data.

Matrix Tables: Similarly to the multiple choice questions, they allow respondents to answer among questions listed to the left and answer choices across the top of page. The format is two-dimensional arranged like a table. There are three types of Matrix Questions: Dropdown Matrix that allowing participants to select one answer per row, Checkbox with multiple answers per row and Spreadsheet Matrix which provides textboxes for freeform input.

There are three kinds of matrix questions: Multi-Point Scales / Dropdown Matrix restricts participants to select one answer per row; Checkbox / Multi-Select Matrix allows multiple answers per row; Spreadsheet Matrix provides entering often numerical data for specific questions. These questions work well when evaluating specific financial amounts. Series of questions in Matrix format may vary from `Poor- Excellent, Disagree- Strongly Agree, or even Not Likely- Very Likely`.

Demographic Questions: are used for identifying characteristics such as age, gender, income, race, geographic place of residence, number of children, and so forth. They may help to differentiate between users and non-users. For instance, you may find out that the greatest number of your customers come from Western Europe, are between age-40-55 and have a similar amount of income.

No matter what question format you will use, you need to keep in mind the goal of the survey, your reasons and hopes for accomplishing it, as well as the way you will use the collected data.

 

SWOT analysis of working from home: Weaknesses

freelance Spanish writer for original texts
creative commons licensed ( BY-ND ) flickr photo shared by a.drian

Today we will continue our SWOT analysis of freelancing from home with a special focus on content writing. This article is designed for writers who are about to start their careers and will likely be working through freelance platforms. Let’s take a look at the weaknesses:

  1. Finding Clients   

The biggest draw back in freelance writing is that there are already a large number of writers out there vying for the same jobs. It’s entirely possible that you are a good writer, meet all your clients’ requirements and are still having problems finding someone to hire your because of the large amount of writers in the market. This is why many freelance writers specialize in niche writing. If there’s something you’re passionate about put together a portfolio on that subject, and that subject alone, and sell yourself as a specialist. Many better-paying clients are looking for writers who actually know what they’re talking about.

  1. Will They Really Pay?

Unlike other fields like programming or web development, clients do not pay you part of your fee early. They receive your articles, analyze them, and then pay you if your work meets their requirements. Some clients may go AWOL after you’ve sent them a huge amount of work. If they were your main client for the week or month, this can be a huge loss for you. However, working through freelance platforms can provide some amount of security from this.

  1. Rejection

Sometimes your article may get rejected for whatever reason. You will have to learn to deal with things like this. Instead of getting upset, learn from your mistakes and make sure that your writing reflects what you’ve learned. On the other hand, there will be clients who reject your articles so that they do not have to pay you, but then turn around and use them anyway. This is, unfortunately, an occupational hazard.

Likewise, if you write directly to your audience, say through your own blog or series of eBooks, it may be that your work isn’t reaching the right people and, therefore, isn’t making any money. This risk is one of the reasons why freelance writers often choose to write for clients instead of for themselves. That way, even if the work doesn’t do as well as planned, you still get paid your flat fee – if you have a trustworthy client, that is.

  1. Writing Styles

There are various styles of writings and it’s important to have some knowledge of all of them. While you may specialize in a particular subject, you might have to write about it in a variety of tones, whether for a blog post, or an online newspaper article, etc. And then there’s SEO writing which is different yet again. All of this requires a lot of time, research, and, above all, practice.

  1. Loneliness

Because you will be working from home, you will often find yourself on your own. There won’t be any other co-workers to help you solve your issues and it will take a lot of self-discipline to sit down and get to work. To combat loneliness, try working in a co-working space or getting together with other freelancing friends for a work date at someone’s house or a local café. Just remember to stay focused!

  1. Processing Fees

If you use freelance job portals to find jobs and get hired then that site will charge a specific percentage per job as a processing fee. While this is annoying when you are completely dependent on that money for your livelihood, these sites also help to find work and provide some amount of pay protection. Once you have steady clients whom you trust, you can always leave the platform and get paid directly.

  1. You Get Paid for What You Write

You will only get paid if you work. If you need to take off a day due to sickness, or other personal reasons, then you will lose your income for that day. Even more importantly, you will often not be able to get weekends and holidays off, especially if you’re writing for someone from another country who celebrates on different days. If you want to pay for health insurance, or you need to save for an upcoming trip or holiday, then you will need to work extra.

  1. Keeping Clients

Like any job, online writing needs regular updates. If you take a week off it may mean that you lose a client forever. If that happens, you will have start the search for a reliable client all over again after coming back from your holiday or after recovering from your illness, which will mean hours spent working that you will not be getting paid for. One way to avoid this is, when you have a long-term relationship with a client, set up pre-arranged holiday time in advance so that the client knows you will be gone.

 

SWOT analysis of working from home: Threats

work from home has its own threats
Scary Pumpkin!creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by peddhapati

Going from an office job to working from home as a freelance writer can sometimes threaten your already established career.

Content writing is a very cool profession that will let you work from home. At the same time, establishing yourself as a freelance entrepreneur can change your approach to writing entirely. Therefore, it’s important to analyze the threats this shift can bring to your career and your writing. The more you know about the threats of a freelance writing career, the better able you will be to protect yourself against them.

  1. The Internet and Its Many Distractions

If you can just get down to business without getting distracted by the technical side of things then this isn’t a threat for people like you. But if you’re easily distracted by new information (which leads to more new information, which leads to still more new information…) working as a freelancer can be a bit tricky. Since there will be no one hounding you to get back to work, you’re free to follow links all day – and then scramble to meet your deadline at the very end. To avoid this, make sure you come up with a method to keep yourself focused and on track.

  1. Society as a Threat to the Entrepreneurial Content Writer

One major fear people have about becoming a freelance content writer is the fear of society and its lack of respect for the profession. Because this kind of work is usually done from home, many people think of it as more of a hobby than a respectable career. For many of us, working in a field that lacks “respectability” can be very hard, as there’s a lot of pressure from society to have a “normal” career. It can make Christmas dinner with you relatives or parties full of strangers pretty awkward if they don’t think of your work as a real job.

  1. Almost Everybody Wants to Work from Home

And this means that if you’re scrolling through an online freelance platform looking at jobs, then there are countless people eager to get exactly the same job. Of course, there are lots of people who are just bunglers hitting a keyboard, but there are also great writers out there, and you will need to stand out among them.

  1. SEO Writing is Constantly Changing

Keeping yourself up to date is crucial and will help you stay ahead of the game. Failing to do so, on the other hand, can be very detrimental to your feelance writing career. Many clients want content with SEO to make their websites stand out. If you can’t provide this, you will be passed over for someone who can. Luckily, the internet is awash with guides for SEO writing. Schedule yourself some time to familiarize yourself with the concept and its implementation.

  1. Some Clients Don’t Believe Content Writing is a Real Job

Like I mentioned when talking about society as a whole, you will find that some clients also think that online writing is just a hobby – and not worth paying much for. If you ask me, you just need to avoid this type of client. If they don’t respect you or your work and don’t pay you what you deserve for it, then do yourself a favour and find someone with whom you can build a lasting working relationship.

  1. Currency exchange

You always need to be aware of changes to currency rates. Because you work online, you will have clients from all over the world and it is better if you can charge them in their own currency, if that’s what they want. On the other hand, many clients and contractors use American dollars or Euros as for simplicity’s sake. If you’re charging in dollars or Euros, make sure you know what that translates to in your own currency and in your client’s.