Tag Archives: work as freelance writer

Perks of Being a Freelancer

Freelancing seems to be a current trend for content creators everywhere. But why are so many people converting to freelance? There are actually a lot of perks when it comes to being a stay-at-home freelancer, despite the sometimes-heavy workload and deadline pressure that puts some people off making the leap into the world of content creation. Below are some advantages of this career path that might make you rethink.

Independence

The big one here is the massive surge of independence that you earn as a freelancer. Everybody has experienced that awful boss at a job somewhere down the line. Being bossed around all the time and told what to do is never the best thing for your self-esteem. Becoming a freelancer is a quick fix to this issue. Of course, when working with clients you still have to negotiate and comply to the client’s needs, but since it is a self-employed line of work, you have the option of declining work that doesn’t interest you and focusing solely on tasks that you deem important or fun.

A little more freedom is always desirable, particularly if it allows you to do work without it feeling like too much of a chore.

Spare Time

Deadlines are a huge part of freelancing, but if you are the kind of person that’s good with time management, then you might find yourself with a little more extra time. If you can properly juggle all your deadlines and figure out the most productive times to do work, you can set aside some additional “you” time. Whether its spending time with your loved ones, indulging in a little retail therapy, or just taking time out to get other things done, having the freedom to allocate yourself some free time is utterly ideal.

A Tailor-Made Job

As a freelance writer, there is a number of options to explore when looking for work. Some people prefer to strike up a relationship with a long-term client, working together over an extended period of time to get a lot of content out there. Others prefer one-off projects and short-term work. The best part about freelancing is that it’s totally up to you when choosing a job.

Furthermore, you can undertake more or less work depending on your schedule, and therefore choose your own hours and project-time. It’s also the perfect option for people who like to change things up a bit sometimes.

Transferrable Skills

Being a freelancer takes a lot of skill and ability. Over the course of your career, you can learn a lot of skills that are useful in other areas of work, or even just generally helpful tools in life. These include organisation, time management, motivation, dedication, and of course you get to hone your writing talents.

There are numerous benefits to freelancing, which is probably why this career path is taking off for many online content creators. To summarise, freelancing is a flexible, freeing, independent and skilful line of work.

What’s not to love?

Well you can take a look to the threats I identified when did my SWOT about working from home.

 

Brainstorming tools for content writing

Writing does not always come easy. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, ideas do not come our way. Other times, we have an idea, but also have a hard time developing it. This is where some tools would come in handy, right? Well, for this reason we have today’s post. I decided to take a look at brainstorming tools for content writing and mind mapping.

*This post was updated 12th October 2018.

We all know that brainstorming is a process in which we gather ideas, but what exactly is mind mapping? You see, in a map, everything seems connected in a way or another. In a similar manner, mind mapping is a process that uses diagrams in order to connect your ideas. Basically, you first brainstorm, and then you start mapping the ideas.

Now that you know what these two processes mean, let’s take a look at some of the programs that help us with them.

  1. Mindmeister

This program is used for ease collaboration for the processes of both mind mapping and brainstorming. In addition, its interface is both intuitive, and easy to use. The main advantage of this application is that you can collaborate live, talk about what you want to modify over the live chat, share your ideas, and many more.

You have access to your projects both online and offline, through your mobile phone. In addition, your data is safely stored with data encryption along with daily monitoring. Also, this program is cloud based, which means that you do not have to install any additional software or have to worry about any upgrades.

Price: Personal accounts from $ 4.99/ month, business accounts $ 14.99

  1. SpiderScribe

This online program is used both for mind mapping and brainstorming that makes your job easier by letting you organize your idea with the help of notes that you can connect, files, and also calendar events in the form of freeform maps. In addition, you can create both private and public maps, along with collaborating with others, given the fact that your maps are stored in the cloud, which means that they can be accessed from any place.

You have the possibility to mix many types of media in order to make a stencil, and each of these stencils can be customized by altering the colors, the fonts, size, and even formats. In addition, you can use these mind maps on your website, which is a plus.

Price:  Free for personal accounts, Pro accounts at $ 5/ month, business accounts $ 25/ month

  1. XMind

This program is an excellent open source tool that is used for mind mapping. Among the things that you can do on this app are: to clarify your thinking, manage complex information, but also organize and brainstorm. In addition, it lets you both gather ideas and craft them in a logical form, which enables you to identify critical information, relationships, and even priorities and trends.

A great aspect of XMind is that it gives you the opportunity to have a seamless collaboration, by letting you export your mind map in a multitude of formats, such as PDF, TXT, HTML, PNG, JPEG and not only. In addition to enabling you to make a mind maps, XMiind offers you tree, logic, and also fishbone charts. It also has, a built in spell checker, and even lets you take audio notes.

Price: The account prices from free to $79/ year.

  1. Coggle

This program gives you the chance to collaborate with other people.  In addition to dragging and dropping images onto your diagrams, you can also view what changes you have made and keep track of them. In addition, you can change the colors of each project that you make.

A positive aspect of this program is that it gives you the opportunity to export your projects both in PDF and PNG format, and even create private links. In addition, you can share your mind maps on social media, and also add clickable links. The program also works on mobile devices.

Price: Free

  1. Text2MindMaps

This program is a useful tool for organizing your thoughts. In addition, it is easy to use. All you have to do is to type some text in the indicated area, and then you can use the tab key if you want to indent text lines. Then, you click the Draw Mind Map button, and it evolves.

Each line of text represents a separate node in your mind map. In addition, you have many options to style the mind map for your requirements and taste. You can also use various keyboard shortcuts, and every map can be exported in either PDF and image format, and you can even email it.

Price:  Free

  1. Bubbu.us

This program is a great online brainstorming and mind mapping tool. In order to start a tree, all you have to do is to type a central topic. After that, you can write another idea either at the same level or as a sub-level. You can either move the bubbles around manually or the program will reposition itself automatically.

The tree can be customized in order to suit your style, and you can do this by changing the color and size. In addition, the program has an auto save feature, which is extremely useful, and you can also share your project either as a read only file or allow other people to edit it. In order to work on the same tree, other people need to have a Bubbl.us account.

Price: Free

  1. GroupMap

This program makes team activities easier, by providing a unique platform in which you can build a mind map, using any parameters that you want. In addition, you can either select a map or create your own.

Each person can add their contribution to the brainstorm, and then they can vote and comment, making this process both open and efficient.

Price: The accounts on this website range from free to up to $ 100/ month if you want a professional account.

8. Ideaboardz

This is an excellent tool that is web-based. It lets you create a virtual board in which you can invite other people to work on it. You can make sections for the various things that you want to brainstorm for. Let´s think for example that you want to plan a party: you can make a section for ideas of places, for food and drinks, and let´s say music. After that, anybody can add their sticky notes with their ideas.

In addition, this brainstorming tool comes with a vote function. This means that participants can give a thumbs up when they support an idea. You can then use a keyword to filter ideas, and even sort them from the ones with the highest number of votes to the ones that do not have any votes. You can get creative. Oh. I think that I forgot to mention the fact that it is completely free.

9. Realtime Board

This brainstorming tool is like a whiteboard space that uses sticky notes. You can either use a blank sheet to start from or choose to go for a premade template in order for you to make an outline of what you want to do.  In addition, you can import files, pictures, and even documents from your Google Drive, or choose to upload them from your PC. After that, you can export the file as a presentation.

This brainstorming tool is basically free. However, there is also a premium version for $40 per month, that has many more features than the basic one. The free version allows three people to work on the presentation, and it gives you the possibility to create up to 3 boards. However, the presentation can be seen by an unlimited number of guests.

10. Freeplane

This program is great for both managing knowledge and mind mapping. The software includes many different structuring tools that are great for brainstorming your ideas. You do not have to connect your ideas, just type them in. After that, you have the possibility to use different lines and pictograms in order to organize them. In addition, you can use filters if you want to see something specific, or simply to sort out the ideas.

There are many tutorials for using this awesome brainstorming tool, and it has many other features that can help you, such as dealing with scripts, and the best part about it is that it will not cost you a thing, because it is free.

11. 750 Words

An excellent way of brainstorming is by writing down everything that comes through your mind. It does not matter whether the ideas are complete or whether what you are writing makes any sense at all. It is like a place where you write whatever comes to mind. You do not need to add tags, or update your status, and the best part is that everything that you write is private.

I guess that you are probably wondering about why the name of this tool is 750 words (approximately three pages). In addition, this tool is kind of like a game, which makes it even more fun. You get points for writing, for reaching 750 words, and even for writing consistently. Also, you get to see statistics for the time you spent writing, and even what themes you mostly write about.

12. Blog Topic Generator

It sometimes just happens that you already know what you want to write about, however, you are simply stuck when it comes to generating a title, or knowing where to start. This blog topic generator might just be the tool that you need to get you out of your writer´s block.

All that you need to do is to type three keywords, and this tool will simply give you five possible themes or topics for your post. And if it so happens that you are not happy with the options that you are given, you can always try again, and you will be given five more options.

13.Twinword Writer

You know when you are writing and writing and suddenly you get stuck. You think about that word, but it simply does not come to mind. You try searching on Google for a synonym, but you just end up getting frustrated.

The best part about this tool is that if you ever get stuck on a word, it will send it.  Twinword Writer analyzes the context of what you are writing, and then a box simply pops up and it gives you some alternatives that you can use.

It is quite annoying when you simply run out of ideas. Maybe you do not know where to start from, like what title your post should have. Other times, you might just think of a word and forget what it was. There are solutions for every type of writer’s block. Luckily, you can find most of them in this blog post.

Now you know, whenever you are stuck trying to see what word comes next or where to start, you can always come back to this article. It can be your little helper that can save you in moments of need. Just save the link and always come back whenever you need it.

Oh, and if you ever just want some help with you Spanish content writing needs, I am here to help you.

Sticking to the Point When Writing

When writing any article, no matter the topic, length or audience, it is important to stick to the point. For obvious reasons, going off on a tangent and writing down irrelevant information is not good at all.

Firstly, it is highly possible for the reader to lose interest. Readers will often get annoyed by information they deem unnecessary getting in the way of their reading. Furthermore, rambling during an article can make it much longer than it needs to be, another quality which is likely to deter readers. Many people have a fairly short attention span, and because of this, your article should always be fairly succinct.

Secondly, as a freelancer it is important to comply with the client’s request. Therefore, delivering a high-quality article that meets the criteria they asked for is essential. Going off task and fluffing out the piece with boring information is likely to earn you a lower rating in the freelance world. Reputation matters!

How to Avoid Writing Off Task

Before you ever start writing an article, a bare minimum that you should have is an idea of what you want to put into it. Ideally, you should have a plan. This plan will help you to stay on task by reminding you what the important bits are and where to include them. Think of it as a map: the plan helps you to navigate your way through the piece and link all the pieces together without distraction.

People prefer to plan in different ways, and it’s important that you find a way that works best for you and your mental processes. If you have no idea where to start, below is a brief outline to follow:

  1. Introduction: this should be a very brief summary of the content of the article. Do not go into detail here, just write about the topic.
  2. Main body: this relies a lot on the type of article you want to write. Generally, it should be split up into separate paragraphs. In the plan, include the subheadings you may want to use and describe in brief what you will discuss in that paragraph. For other types of articles, you may just want to write small reminders about what to include, such as links to other websites and things you need to remember.
  3. Conclusion: some articles come to a conclusion naturally, but if you are including one then again, make it brief and just summarise everything you have written.

As you can see, the main body is the most vital part of the plan and will take up the majority of planning. The plan does not need to be detailed, but it should encompass the general points. Using bullet points in the plan is a good idea.

Checking Your Work

Of course, even the best of us get distracted at times. If you have a specific word count to stick to, it can be easier to avoid going off task – if you exceed the word limit, you are forced to cut certain bits out.

However, even without a word count, you should always read back over your work and be harsh with yourself. Is all the information relevant? If not, cut it out.

With these tips in mind, it should be fairly easy to stay on task. And if you’re ever in doubt, ask a friend to read over your work and give you some feedback. Happy writing!

Back to Blogging Basics

There is a plethora of articles out there now to do with blogging and writing articles. They all give various writing tips and tricks on how to expand your career as a blogger or freelancer. The multitude of topics covered in these articles ranges from writing with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) writing to useful formatting tips. A problem, then, is that people often focus so much on the extras that they forget about the simple things.

Start from the Bottom

Writing can be like baking a cake – there are layers to it. Without the most fundamental ingredients, it isn’t a cake at all! And so sometimes, we just need a little reminder to add in the flour, sugar, butter and eggs before we start with all the garnishes.

In this way, drafting is an extremely useful technique. Writing a terrible first draft that just crams all the necessary information in can help us to build upon the base layer. Start by drafting out a structure and a first piece to use as the first layer of your cake. The second layer is the second draft, with a few more ingredients added (such as better vocabulary, adverbs, new sentence structures, etc.). Only then can you add a sprinkle of flare to the piece, icing it with all the extras.

The Fundamentals

Despite being able to split up the ‘layers’ of an article like this, there’s still a lot to consider just regarding the base. There is first of all the structure: how will the article be set out? How many paragraphs are necessary? Are there subheadings? This is the first thing to think about. Then, what is the topic? If there are any particular keywords that should be used, try and work all of them into the first draft somewhere. Of course, they can be moved around in later versions, and any that seem more difficult to include might appear in later drafts. In general, though, it is important to have the topic in mind throughout the whole process and try to include keywords the whole time.

The Audience

Some people will be thinking about the audience from the get go, and that’s great! However, for some people it is better to bang out a first draft and get all of their thoughts together before adapting it to be audience-specific. Because of this, it is included in layer two.

After the first draft, try to read through and alter everything to suit the audience. This involves thinking about how sentences are structured, vocabulary and readability. In addition, this stage involves some degree of editing. The second draft should always be an improved version of the first.

Garnishes

Once you are more-or-less happy with your text, then you can start to think about the ‘decorations.’ This might be adding a little bit of flare to the piece, to make it more ‘you.’ Or, it might be formatting it (if that’s part of your job) to make it look amazing on the site. Whatever this means to you, always leave the fancy parts until the very end, so that you can focus on producing a high-quality article.

How to Get Paid from International Clients

Working as a content copywriter in Spanish I am experienced receiving money from international clients, and it is always important to know the best ways to do and receive a cheap money transfer.

When you give a budget or price to your clients, it is important to take into consideration the fees you will need to pay because of currency exchange and the money transfer service. Clients expect to have a final price, and they do not want to see how the price increase a 5 or 10 % or even more, due to the money transfer. So if when you give your budget you give the final price including all the costs and explaining them you will seem more trustful.

Since I am based in Spain, international clients from European Union are not a problem. They work in euros and bank transfers are cheap and most of the times free. But when it comes to clients from USA, India and other countries things are much more difficult.

PayPal is usually the best-known tool among the ways to send money. Problem is it’s fees are not very transparent when you work with different currencies. They sometimes charge slightly more than 3 % and sometimes the micropayment fee that is a 5 %.

Since you don’t want to overcomplicate things when you are talking with a new client, having a PayPal account is a must because it is likely what they are used to use.

However, when your payments are above 200 € there are much more efficient ways to send money.

Nowadays there are websites that allow you to receive local bank transfers in many different currencies.

To avoid PayPal’s fee you need a way to do money transfer to a bank account with cheaper costs. I have found TransferWise

If your country’s currency is for instance euros, it allows you to set up a bank account number that works in dollars.  In other words, you can create your USD account and give them the bank account number, so they will just need to proceed as they do when paying people with a bank account in the US. This way, your American client’s can send you money paying the costs they would have had if they were making a bank transfer to someone else in the US. These costs are usually much lower than international bank transfer costs, besides they are more used to them so they won’t be a bad surprise.

They don’t even need to create a TranferWise account!

If you have the account, that’s enough.

Once you have received your money in USD you can change the currency to EUR or whatever currency you use (well check in TransferWise if they work with your currency, but they work with a lot of them). This has a cost, but when you receive money in PayPal there is also a currency exchange fee paid by you or your client, so in this case both ways to send money are equal.

Having an account in TransferWise you can also send international bank transfers much cheaper than usually. So it is also very helpful if you hire foreign freelancers.

Ther are other services like Skrill or Payoneer, but I personally find that PayPal and TransferWise satisfy all my needs.

3 places to check for SERP

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.

Creating a Freelance Portfolio

A good way to attract clients for freelancing is to create an online portfolio. This is relatively easy to do, even if you are new to freelancing. A good way to do this is through a website of your own. The website should look professional and modern, so if you are unfamiliar with website building then consider hiring someone to create one for you, or alternatively use one of the many easy-to-use website-building tools available these days.

What Should the Portfolio Include?

The website should not only showcase your talent and give examples of what work you can do, but it should also provide an easy way for clients to contact you. Furthermore, a portfolio should include a brief description of yourself so that the client can get to know you a little better before asking you to work with them. This can make things a little more personal, and makes you instantly more trustworthy.

Something that a lot of freelancers miss out on is explaining their work. Many people decide it’s better to show their work rather than say much about it, but taking the opportunity to explain the project and what you actually did may help to swing some clients in your favor.

Showcasing Talent

The portfolio should put on display your best work. This means that you should include a variety of pieces in your portfolio to show off the various things you can do. Include a range of topics, a variety of writing techniques and try to include pieces that use different layouts. This will attract a wider variety of clients and thus more work.

Another thing to note is that you can include unfinished works or snippets from pieces. As long as the excerpt shows off your writing skills, it is a valuable thing to include in your portfolio.

In addition, try showing off any results you have achieved. If you have been involved in social media management and content creation for sites that show number of likes and shares, screenshot the results and post these somewhere on your portfolio. These make for a very attractive strategy that will draw in more clients.

What if You Don’t Have Much to Showcase?

New freelancers can still create a decent portfolio. How?

Well, you could start by creating pieces for imaginary clients. Write a few example posts of your own, on any topics you fancy, and post them up as an example of your writing. Another way to rack up some new content is to guest post on other blogs, and use these writings as proof of your talent. Alternatively, you could do some unpaid work just to get your feet off the ground, although the first two options may be much more appealing.

Keep in mind that these new posts should still be explained in your portfolio, so your potential clients can see exactly what you did.

Final Tips

It is important to always keep your portfolio updated – it should grow with you. As your career flourishes, your portfolio should expand too. Building a portfolio is definitely worth it for freelances wanting to turn over more work and attract new clients. Try getting started now!

How best to use Feedly

Feedly is a relatively new application for web browsers and iOS and Android mobile devices and also as a cloud based service. Through gathering feeds form many online sources, it enables users to customize and share with others. Feedly is a powerful tool that helps you organize, read and share contents of different sites.

Feedly offers a number of convenient features. It is particularly useful for bloggers, content and copy writers as it enables arranging favourite blogs, news sites, podcasts and Youtube channels with the possibility of accessing them easily by keyboard shortcuts. Moreover, it allows transformating websites into smaller cards and save articles and share them via   Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest.

Helpful hints for using Feedly

Follow the link https://feedly.com/i/welcome and move to the left side bar where a new tab appears with the `Get started` option. By clicking this button you will be able to create an account through any of the given social networks. Whichever you chose you need to provide your personal information to log in, username and password after which you are directed to Feedy page.

You can start by adding favourite sources by clicking `+` on the left upper corner. If you subscribe to a lot of sources you can put them into categories. Feedly allows the `today` and `saved for later` button to sort the items according to your interest. You can also mark as `read` any of the current items. The `saved for later` feeds enables `change layout and filtering` by clicking the  sun icon on the right near the `search` tab.  Here you can assign the right layout to each source, like different views to different sources. Learn about the keyboard shortcuts if you want to navigate around the content. Just type `?` in Feedly to see the list of the keyboard shortlist. This option may not be available depending on the operating system on your computer. Additionally, sharing contents and participating is possible in cases you want to recommend something you find interesting. If you have accounts on Facebook, Twitter or a personal webpage you can use the built- in sharing features to communicate more effectively with other users or clients.

Feedly is particularly useful if you blog and want to optimize your feeds.  In Word Press, for example, you can do optimization in dashboard-settings-reading and change the feed option to a bigger number. Make sure you use short pieces of a whole article so that users who find them appealing they will click through to your site to read the rest. Image, size and author`s name are important features when it comes to how your feed displays in Feedly. Visuality is important, as well as using a nickname instead of your Word press username. As soon as you have adopted the basics of Feedly, start tagging your content to get more traffic to your website. Don`t forget to add quality comments on articles you have read. This may be a great way to get referrals as your comment may lead the reader to click your link. Detailed and coherent comments are the best to provide desired links.

Feedly may be one of the best options for your online business strategy for many reasons. Some of the most beneficial features are the quick access to information and easy customization without manually searching the Internet. Though, the best part is that it is free.

The ins and outs of Guest Blogging

For a while, bloggers and writers alike stopped using the practice of guest posting. The technique picked up an infamous reputation, because it became abused by spammers and click-bait writers. But guest posting is back and better than ever, and is actually a very useful technique for those wanting to boost their ratings and appear higher up in the search engines.

What is Guest Posting?

One of the things search engines take into account nowadays when ranking sites is the links that direct traffic to the site. This is similar to academic papers, in that a paper references by many other scholars is usually considered a better paper, because it has made more of an impact on the community.

Here’s how it works: a blogger will offer to write content for other similar blogs in their industry, as a guest blogger. In return, the blog posts a link to their own blog, providing them with an opportunity to promote their own brand.

The aims of guest blogging are threefold. Generally, bloggers want to build up their reputation as a well-known name in the industry, direct traffic to their site, and build a network of backlinks to their blog.

Using Guest Posting to Build a Rep

There are several guidelines to follow when using guest blogging in order to achieve the maximum result. These will be explored below.

First of all, the link should always be of some value. When writing a guest post, it should always still be of valuable content. Some people abuse the guest posting system by writing very short, vague posts, or even those that could be considered spam. Clearly, these posts were written with the sole purpose of getting a link, and add nothing of value to the community whatsoever. Any links included on the site should definitely be high-quality and worth clicking for the readers – this is the most effective way to optimize search engine results.

Any links included in your blog posts should also be completely relevant to the content being published. The reader should be able to gain more by clicking on the link. So, the links should not only lead to high-quality work, but also pieces that will further what they are reading and give them a good reading experience.

Another thing to bear in mind is that you should only write guest posts on a site you’d be willing to write for without anything in return. Links should not be a primary marketing strategy, nor should they be your sole goal in writing guest posts. A few years ago, the crash of guest posting came about due to this very thing: many bloggers saw their demise thanks to a link-hungry attitude that encouraged them to make too many guest posts. Quite obviously, their content began to suffer because of it. Don’t make the same mistake, and ensure that any work you complete can still be high-quality and avoid sounding ‘spammy.’ Other than links to your site, guest blogging can help you to position yourself in front of a new audience and sound like more of an expert in your chosen field. Therefore, links are not the only advantage of guest posting, and should not be the be-all and end-all of your posts.

Additionally, guest posts should not only link back to your own site. It can be tempting to stuff in a lot of backlinks to encourage visitors to your blog, but it is also important to include links to other sources and high-quality sites. The blog owner (and perhaps worse, the readers) will realise that you have only written the piece for the links if you cram in too many backlinks. This is a dangerous strategy, because it has the opposite effect of good guest posting in that it ruins your reputation. Good luck getting asked to guest post again! A general rule is to never link to your own site more than 2-3 times on a long article. In fact, it’s even best to include a few internal links as well, just to please the blog host.

Finally, don’t forget to include a link to your site in your author bio. These links do not usually generate the most traffic, but they are undoubtedly a source of traffic to your site and therefore are still important. People clicking the link to your site will definitely increase search engine ratings thanks to the increase in site traffic.

Finding Guest Posting Opportunities

When trying to find an opportunity to guest post, the main thing to consider is finding a site relevant to your field. The blog you are wanting to post on should not only be centered around the same niche, but also have an engaged readership and an active blog owner.

A good way to find blogs on which to guest post is to do a keyword search in google. For better results, search for the keyword followed by “guest post,” or something along those lines to find a blog that will allow you to write a post for them.

If you are aware of well-known guest bloggers in your industry, try searching for their articles and reach out to the same sites.

Once you have found a site you want to write for and reached out to the owner, it is essential to get to know the blog and its content. Research will unveil what posts do the best and what the blog owner is looking for, increasing the likelihood of a successful pitch and an overall successful post.

Final Thoughts

Guest posting is far from dead, but it is also not the primary marketing strategy you should be using. Still, it is very useful for writers looking to boost their ratings. Just make sure you avoid those ever-dangerous practices such as keyword stuffing, and guest blogging might just earn you the site traffic you need to become a blogging sensation. Now you know some of the basics, get to guest blogging!

I can help you with your guest posts in Spanish, drop me a message!

Why Knowing What Your Client Wants is Important

Perhaps one of the most important things to consider when taking up a new job is what the client actually wants. This sounds obvious, but there are several things to consider when applying for a job and discussing with the client what the job specifically entails.

Applying for the Post

You should only apply for jobs you are certain that you fit. Being a freelance writer you are likely to be drawn immediately to writing roles, or perhaps proofreading. If you have a flexible writing style, it is okay to apply to several different types of writing jobs, such as blog posts, news articles or product descriptions.

This said, it is important to make sure you are an appropriate fit regarding the content. Writing about something you know about and care about is one hundred times easier, after all. Some posts may require a little research, and that is not a problem. However, if you are being hired to write about business or use plenty of legal jargon, you must ensure that this is a field you have some experience in. Otherwise, you may struggle to write the content even despite research, and this will only cause trouble with the client.

Communication is Key

After you have applied for the post and received confirmation from the client that they wish to discuss your hire further, it is vital to establish a line of communication with the client. This may be via the messaging service of a freelancing website, via e-mail, or via a voice tool such as Skype. Different people prefer to communicate in different ways, and the client may prefer to dictate where you communicate in order to facilitate business and transaction. If you ask me, even when you chat with your client by Skype, it is a good idea ask they to write you an email with the instructions, so you have a place to look at when you have doubts about such instructions.

Before you even consider starting your work, you must discuss the job thoroughly with the client to understand fully what they want out of the job. Otherwise, it is easy to make mistakes which cause a lot of back-and-forth between yourself and the client, only creating more unnecessary work. Do not hesitate to ask questions! It is absolutely key to make sure you know how and what to write before you start.

Asking Questions

Throughout the process, it is okay to continue to ask the client about something if it springs to mind. You are not pestering them; in fact, it is likely that they will prefer someone who is dedicated and keen to complete the job to the best of their abilities.

It is better to check as you go along instead of wasting time sending off various draft copies to be marked and edited and sent back for corrections. This is why establishing a good line of communication early on is so important.

Criticism

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, there will still be things that the client wants to be changed. Do not take this to heart, it isn’t personal. The client is hiring you, after all. If you have followed all these other steps and done your best to satisfy the client completely before sending off your work, it will likely only be minor changes that can be finished very quickly.

This amounts to minimal time wasted and a high level of satisfaction with the client, probably earning you a good future reference when you require it.

Fulfilling a client’s needs is far from impossible. It’s simply all about communication, creating a better way to understand exactly what is being asked of you. I hope you heed this advice and that it serves you well in your freelance career. This is not to say that every future job will come up roses – some things just aren’t meant to be!