Tag Archives: work as freelance writer

Research vs. Writing: Getting the Balance

As a freelance writer, it’s quite easy to fall into the trap of over-researching. ‘You can never have too much information!’ You might say, and you’re not exactly wrong, but you can spend too much time researching and end up wasting your precious working day. It’s important to get in more time actually writing, instead of all the bits leading up to it.

Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you are doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.

This quote by E.L. Doctorow sums it up. Writing is the bulk of your work! Sure, Doctorow was talking about fiction pieces, but the same logic applies.

Of course, it might be pretty important to research, especially if you’re writing outside your usual niche. That said, how do you actually get the right balance between writing and researching. Well, it depends on a lot of factors, which we in explore in further depth in this article.

So, read on if you want to make sure you’re getting things done, and not just wasting time.

What field are you working in?

Let’s say you’re a writer that specializes in social media marketing. You already know a lot about marketing and business, and if you’re an established freelancer then you already know a lot about writing, too.

If you get hired to write about social media marketing, you’ll not to research very much, if at all. If you are asked to write about search engine optimization and blog writing, then a little more research might be required, but chances are you’ll know a bit of the terminology and basic concepts already. But if you land a job writing about the best dog training techniques, for example, then you’ll certainly need to do a hefty amount of research!

This is pretty much common sense, but you basically need to make sure that the time you spend researching ties in with your existing knowledge on the topic.

How specific is the topic?

Some writers are employed to write reviews, which are obviously a lot more specific than generalized blog posts. Specific posts like require detail, including statistics and particular words or phrases, meaning that you will have to do a little more research in order to really understand the topic.

In short, the more specific the topic, the more research required.

How original is the piece?

Have you been hired to write an opinion piece? If so, you should already be pretty well-versed on the topic at hand. And the clue is in the title: opinion piece. Sure, if you’re including stats and facts to back up your opinion then maybe a little research is required, but all in all a text like this would need less research.

On the other hand, if your piece is supposed to relay facts and only facts, then you will be more or less changing the wording from other studies already out there, which obviously relies more heavily on research.

Final thoughts

Generally, research depends a lot on your confidence. The more you already know, the less you need to research. Furthermore, it depends on how much time you feel you need to plan.

In summary, there is no right amount of research, it’s down to what feels right for you. There are no set rules, but it is important to try and find a good balance so you don’t waste any time.

Four Differences Between Blogging and Freelance

In a world like today, where blogging is absolutely huge, there can be some confusion between blogging and freelancing, namely because freelance blogging is such a large sector in itself. The overlap between these two categories mean that the lines are blurred between the categories of ‘blogger’ and ‘freelancer.’

If you are a writer that earns money through their work, it is important to have an understanding of the difference between the two, lest you end up settling for subpar blogging jobs when you could be earning much more. Not only is the extra money an upside, but writing the way you are meant to is so much more fulfilling.

The Similarities

Both blogging and freelance writing can be done part-time in addition to a full-time job. Both can be done from the comfort of your own home, or whatever environment you prefer to write in. Neither require an enormous amount of education (well you need to know some basics about copywriting of course); just a laptop, internet access, and a way with words. And finally, both require a good command of the language you are writing in – who would hire a freelancer or read a blog with atrocious spelling and grammar?

So, what actually are the differences between the two?

Freelancers don’t just write blogs

Since so many company websites have blog sections these days, a lot of freelance work that is available happens to be about writing blogs. This means that, really, all freelancers should be very capable of writing blogs, but they should also be skilled in other genres and capabilities. For example, freelance writers can usually conduct research and study and be able to complete a range of pieces including blogs, articles, transcripts or manuscripts.

However, bloggers write blogs. This is just one style of writing, which tends to be more personal and stylised.

Blogs have a niche

Blogs, and in turn bloggers, often have a specific topic. In order to be a successful blog, it must have a subject that appeals to a certain audience. For example, there are blogs for cooking, blogs for pet-lovers, blogs for fashionistas, and so on. And so, bloggers also have a niche, or a field of expertise.

Freelancers, on the other hand, write on a whole variety of topics. As mentioned in the first difference, they are capable of conducting research on any given topic to produce a high-quality piece, no matter what the subject (almost).

Freelance is balanced

The thing that you will learn quickly as a freelancer is that not every job is a dream come true. Some jobs seem perfect, because they are on a topic that you enjoy or know a lot about, and perhaps the client has given you freedom of writing style. However, a lot of freelance jobs that come your way are disappointingly boring or dreary, but they are a source of income nonetheless. As a freelancer, you have to know how to write on command. Furthermore, the field is often fraught with disappointment when you get bad feedback from a client, or when you get turned down from a job.

But blogging is more about inspiration and freedom. Since the blog is yours to run, you can pour your feelings out onto a page and publish whatever you like. This is why freelancing can seem more difficult at first, but it can be easy once you get used to writing on command.

Blogs are opinionated

Similarly, to the above point, bloggers have freer rein when it comes to writing, and thus blogs tend to contain more opinions. In fact, readers often come to blogs to receive opinions and form connections with the individual blogger.

Freelancers have to be more discreet with their opinions. Since they are hired by clients, they sometimes have to conform to the ideas of the employer, and often have to present a neutral take when writing articles.

Conclusion

Despite the rather large overlap between blogging and freelancing, the two are quite different when you look into it. Although both encompass a certain degree of creativity and good writing skills, blogging is more independent while freelancing is more structured.

A lot of people try both over the course of their writing career, so don’t be afraid to step out and try something new if you think it will further you in your professional journey.

Why Am I Not Getting Top-Paying Clients as a writer?

Trust me, you are not the first person to sit in front of the computer and ask yourself, “What am I doing wrong?” Freelancing can be really tough work, especially if you’re near the beginning of your career. There are so many successful freelancers making top dollar out there, so what is it that’s standing in the way of your success?

Well, there are a few things it could be. In this article, we’ll take a look at three big mistakes freelance writers often make; and tell you just how to fix them!

Mistake #1: You’re undercharging

Clients will often ask you what you charge before hiring you. If you don’t think you’re worth the money, why would your clients?! If your anxiety gets the best of you, then it’s very likely that you won’t even shoot your shot. Sure, asking for a high price is a little daunting – what if they say no? But if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

As a general rule, if every client accepts your quote, then your prices are too low. You could raise it until you get around a 50/50 conversion rate.

How to fix it: If you shoot high, then at least you have a definite answer and aren’t left wondering whether they would have paid you more. So next time you have the chance to set your price, take the plunge: just do it. A good piece of advice is to put your project price together and then add 25%, and that way you avoid any chance of underpricing.

Moreover, adding a little extra means you’ve already covered for any extra time it takes that you didn’t factor in. Perfect!

Mistake #2: You’re not confident

When interviewing with clients and communicating over price, it’s important to give them a reason to hire you. If you don’t think you’re the man for the job, then your clients aren’t going to believe it either. Uncertainty will shine through no matter what you do, so it’s essential to make sure you project the utmost confidence.

How to fix it: Remember to give yourself a pep talk before you start talking to the client. Remind yourself how kick-ass you are as a writer, and why you deserve to be paid for your services. You are the professional copywriter, and you are the one who is bringing expertise to the project. If you go in with that mindset, then you’ll definitely avoid underselling yourself.

Mistake #3: You’re sending a quote

I know what you’re thinking: are you not supposed to do that?! Well, not exactly. A quote focuses entirely on price, but you should be turning the tables and thinking outside the box, making sure that clients don’t consider you as just a commodity.

How to fix it: Turn your quote into a proposal. Basically, you need to persuade clients to hire you in a document that sells you as the perfect employee. Make sure you include things like:

  • Your project objectives.
  • An overview of your process.
  • A description of your service to highlight exactly what benefits you bring to the table.
  • Your terms of service.
  • Testimonials of happy clients.
  • A call to action so that clients know what to do next.

Final thoughts

Yes, it’s that simple! If you make these three quick fixes, then you’ll be on the top shelf for earnings in no time! As you can see, everything in freelancing relies on self-confidence and an ability to sell yourself and highlight all the wonderful benefits that you bring to any team.

Now that you know what you’re doing wrong, hopefully you can make the necessary amendments. Good luck!

Do’s and don’ts of writing a blog

Whether you have already been blogging for a while or you are thinking about starting your own blog, there are some things that can help your blog either get a head start or get to the next level. The thing is, no matter how good of a writer you are, there are always some things that you might not know and get your blog noticed.

At first, or even after a while you might not get those views that everybody is longing for. This means that you need to change something and here are some tips that may come in handy.

Do’s of writing a blog

  1. Be yourself

The main difference between bloggers and newspaper articles is their voice. People read your blog because they want something relatable, they want to know the real you. Instead of writing something extremely somber, try lightning things up with something funny, maybe a joke.

  1. Use links

Even though you might want to keep your readers to yourself, you also want them to get informed as much as possible. This is why you should provide links to similar articles written by other people or if not other articles from your blog that might be of interest to them. For example, in the case of this post an example of an external link is here and an example of an internal link is here.

  1. Respond to blog comments

As previously mentioned, it is important to maintain your audience. Getting closer to your readers is not necessarily something you can do by being yourself, but also by answering their comments. People usually want a dialogue with you, not just them reading your posts. This is mainly why some of them write comments. In order to show them that you care, you should respond to those comments, even if it’s with a simple thank you.

Don’ts of writing a blog

  1. Don’t set unrealistic goals

It is important to know your limits. If it is impossible for you to write an article every day, than do not promise your audience. If you do not keep your goals nor respect the promises that you make to your readers, then your audience will lose interest in your blog.

  1. Don’t make grammar mistakes

People usually hate reading texts that have a lot of grammar or spelling mistakes as they sometimes denote a lack of education. If you are not native, tell your audience this as your readers might be able to understand you. However, it is best for you to hire a proofreader or use applications such as Grammarly to both correct and improve your writing.

  1. Don’t use bright colors

Bright colors and strange looking fonts might be hard to read for the audience and thus your readers will soon lose interest in your blog. In addition, even though the content is good, elements such as colors and fonts might damage it.

Above were just a few of the things that you should and should not do for your online blog. I hope they are useful and help you improve.

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.