If you’re a freelance writer or a blog owner, you can relate to this: you’ve put in a lot of hard work in writing your article, no matter if it’s a 500- or 3,000-word post. You’ve created well-researched content full of substance and value, and written in a compelling yet easy-to-understand manner but you’re still not getting the desired number of readers. How to get traffic to your blog is a perennial problem for the likes of us. Sounds familiar? [Read more…]
How to Design Infographics With Ease
Thanks largely due to the fact that more information is at our fingertips now than at any point in human history, we’ve entered into an age where both of the following statements are true:
- People are consuming more content online than ever before, and
- Fewer and fewer people are actually willing to spend time reading that content.
As freelance writers, we have to work on a myriad of projects – from content writing to blogging to content marketing. When it comes to blogging and content marketing, visuals are more important than ever.
The State of Modern Day Marketing
According to a study reported on by Slate, roughly 38% of people who click on an article or blog post online don’t actually make it past the headline. Of those that remain, a further 5% only ever read the first paragraph – IF they don’t have to scroll, that is. If they do have to scroll, they don’t even make it that far. [Read more…]
Blog Post Ideas: How to Identify what Your Audience Wants to Read
Content is probably the single most important thing when you are content writer, blogger, or a content marketer. This is why so much effort is poured in by people in those niches every day to make it as good as it can be. However, creating brilliant content is only half the battle. You need to make sure to promote it properly and get it in front of your target audience.
But what if that fails? You’ve written a post which you are proud of, and you’ve done a hell of a job promoting it across all social media platforms, only to receive a lukewarm response from your audience.
The Case for Running Your Own Blog While Freelance Writing
First of all, don’t beat yourself up, because this sort of thing is quite common. Bloggers will often work hard to put out truly brilliant content, which they think their audience will want to read, and end up with meager results.
The problem with this approach is that just because you think your audience will love the topic, doesn’t mean you are right. So, in order to engage your audience, you need to figure what it is they are going to love. Here are 6 effective ways to get the right blog post ideas. [Read more…]
Due.com Review: Why It’s a Freelancer’s Best New Solution for Invoice Management
Invoices have always kept freelancers on their toes and holding their breath. Everyone deals with invoices, yet there are not many options out there to help you stay organized. While PayPal can cover most invoices, not everyone uses that system because of the fee that PayPal takes out per transaction. This means that as a freelancer, you probably have several PayPal invoices pending, checks in the mail, or even Venmo invoices mixed in with all of your personal transactions. It can get confusing, and for large businesses, it can make it easier for invoices to fall through the cracks. This is where Due.com comes into play.
As you’ve probably already guessed, this is a tool that was introduced back in June of this year that helps you manage invoices, and it is finally getting some recognition. So is this the answer we’ve been waiting for when it comes to invoice management? We decided to launch a full review, so read on below.
Cloud Storage Options for Freelancers
I don’t think it’s necessary to emphasize just how important it is for freelancers (or any business relying on storing data on computers for that matter) to back up their files on a regular basis. From pending articles to book manuscripts to invoices – all of these documents are essential to running your freelance business successfully.
Imagine your hard drive suddenly crashing. You know how that goes.
Thank goodness for technology that offers storage that makes it easy for anyone to back up data, and not only does present technology make it easy, it offers more security as well.
So I ask you this question: when did you last back up your hard drive?
If you don’t really pay attention to this task – which should be done on a regular basis – maybe this article can serve as a wake-up call. [Read more…]
Why You Should Considering Submitting to a Blog Directory
Online portfolios are necessary for freelance writers, and one way to build an online portfolio is to have a blog. As discussed in an archived post, Why You Need an Online Portfolio, a blog is not the only means of showcasing your work, but it is one of the most efficient and easy ways. It can also be part of your website, a dedicated section for your thoughts and experiences as a writer.
Where does a blog directory come in all this?
A blog directory is a website that lists blogs, provides information about them, and links back to the blogs. It’s much like a high-tech version of a phone directory, except that, in this case, there are other benefits to submitting to a blog directory.
What do you get out of a blog directory?
It is rather straightforward.
First of all, you get a link back to your blog. Link building is one of the ways to get authority, which means you get Google to like you more. The key word is “authority”, because it’s easy enough to get links, but that doesn’t mean they’re from quality and trusted sites. With blog directories that have high authority, you are sure that you get a quality link back.
Second, you get more exposure for your blog. This is corollary to the first point. If you get quality links to your blog, the higher the chances of ranking well in Google. That means that more people can discover your blog when they conduct a Google search. Additionally, depending on the blog directory, blogs are highlighted so that its visitors can discover new blogs as well.
Recommendation: EatonWeb blog directory
There are many directories to which you can submit your blog, but one of the oldest and most reputable is EatonWeb.
Much like other blog directories, EatonWeb provides various categories so that it’s much easier to find relevant blogs. As you can see from the screenshot of the homepage above, there are sub-categories as well.
So why EatonWeb out of all directories out there?
More than listing blogs and placing them under categories, EatonWeb has its own special sauce. It ranks blogs based on 3 metrics.
The Strength Metric
This metric is calculated by looking at various web sources to see how strong a blog is. When browsing EatonWeb, you will see the strongest blogs first.
The Momentum Metric
This metric is calculated by looking at the growth of the blog over time. A blog may lose visitors and authority or it may gain them over time. This way, you can easily see the rising stars and the “dying blogs”.
The Overall Metric
This metric combines the two metrics above to give viewers an general view of how a blog is performing. It takes into account the age and growth of a blog.
Take a look at how the blogs are displayed based on the metrics.
So you have a blog…
What are you going to do about it?
For sure, you write a lot of great things that other people would want to read – whether they’re fellow freelancers or just individuals who like connecting via blogs. They can even be potential clients, whom you might not find even if you look at freelance writing job boards.
Don’t let your writing go to waste when you can get more exposure by submitting to a blog directory.
3 Ways Graphics Affect Us: An Infographic
As writers, words are our tools – maybe even playthings.
We choose them carefully. We hear how they sound in our heads. We see them in our mind’s eye. We weave sentences together and connect those sentences to send a message perfectly.
We focus on words.
It is thus understandable that, sometimes, we underestimate the power of graphics. In this age of writing for the Web, we just can’t afford to do that.
If you’re a content writer or a copywriter whose client only wants text, then that’s a different situation. If you publish for blogs or online magazines, however, you know just how crucial graphics are.
Images can make or break a blog post or article.
Infographic Resumes for Freelance Writers: Use Words and Images to Attract Clients
It is thus useful to understand the ways graphics affect us, how they affect our readers. As they say, you have to put yourself in your readers’ shoes in order to give them what they want and need.
To aid you in understanding the ways graphics affect us, here is an infographic (how meta!) that gives us a look into the psychology of graphics. It covers the early use of graphics in history, their different types and uses, as well as how our brains react to different colors.
It really is an interesting visual aid that will help writers for the Web in selecting images, videos, and other visuals.
Click here to see more infographics from Bigstock
Did this infographic help you understand the use of visuals better? Why not share your thoughts and experiences in the comments?
Write Your Way to Distraction-free Blogging With Typed.com
The life of a writer working from home is a life full of distractions, and this is not the first time we’ve talked about it. We’ve covered this topic so many times – and for good reason.
There’s just so many things going on, both online and offline, that sometimes, it seems impossible to get work done.
Putting aside the distractions that the real world keeps throwing at remote workers, we can’t even begin to think about all the “shiny” things the Internet has to offer.
There is Facebook, Twitter, and instant messaging – just to name a few.
If you blog – whether for yourself, for a client, or for a network – then you’ve got even more technical details to deal with.
Thank God for ready-to-use blogging platforms, right?
The thing is, not all blogging platforms are made equal.
If you’re starting a new blog, and you’ve asked around for advice, WordPress is probably the first thing that people recommend. That’s understandable. WordPress is the most popular blog platform these days, it’s relatively easy to use once set up, and it has a lot of plugins (maybe too much) which you can download for customization.
However, WordPress has developed so much that it has become more than a blogging platform, making it a pain to manage at times. Now, this isn’t a huge issue if you’re technically blessed.
But what if you’re not, and you just want to write without being distracted by all the technicalities?
If you’re nodding as you read, then you’ll be happy to know there is a new blogging platform on its way: Typed.com
Typed.com is being brought to us by Realmac, a dev shop which has already made a name for itself with simple, easy-to-use, and beautiful software. They actually have an app out called Typed, which was created for writers – again, with the goal of distraction-free writing. In case you’re wondering, the difference between Typed and Typed.com is that the former is merely an app while the latter is a blogging platform.
So, back to the Typed blogging platform. Why would any writer want to go for it if there’s WordPress or Blogger, which you’re already used to?
It’s easy and beautiful.
I don’t know about you, but I think these two qualities are important in any tool I use for writing. Okay, so beauty may not be that important, but it helps create the right mood.
Additionally, when the developers created the platform, they wanted to make something that anybody would find easy to use. They got rid of unnecessary features/tools that would make the platform sluggish. They created something that only requires one thing: writing!
It has all you need.
As simple and easy as Typed.com is, it does not take away the features that a blogger needs from a platform. One thing it is not: a crippled version of other platforms. If anything, it’s an enhanced version thanks to useful features minus the bloat.
It makes adding images less of a hassle.
We’re writers, but we also know how important images are when it comes to blogging. While you still have to find your own photos and images, Typed.com makes it really easy to add images to your post. All you need to do is drag and drop. That’s it!
15 Places to Find Stock Images for Blog Posts and Websites
It fits all screen sizes.
Two words: responsive design.
With people going online using laptops (with a hundred different screen sizes), smartphones (with just as many different screen sizes), and tablets (with maybe fewer screen sizes), it’s just impossible to make sure that you design a blog that will display properly on any screen. You’re a writer after all, not a designer!
Sure, you can pick out responsive themes for existing blogging platforms, but with Typed.com, you don’t have to even think about it. They’ve done all the work to make sure any blog hosted on their platform will work on any screen size.
You just do what you love to do: write.
If you’ve gotten this far, then you probably are – and you should be!
With WordPress dominating the scene and getting a lot of flak due to a variety of reasons, maybe it’s time writers get the blogging platform we really want and need.
And, that’s why Dan Counsell and his team at Realmac have created Typed.com.
They launched this project on Indiegogo and have exceeded their initial goal by staggering amounts, which I think is proof that writers and bloggers want something new.
The project is still ongoing, though. It ends on the 14th of March, so if you are interested in getting your foot in, there is still time to do so.
As with all crowdsourced projects, different perks are assigned to each level of backing. To learn more about what perks you’ll receive for what amount, visit Typed.com on Indiegogo. Alternatively, you can click on the widget below and get started on distraction-free blogging.
Three Ways to Fight Plagiarism Easily
Having worked online for almost a decade, I do believe that there is such a thing as accidentally plagiarizing. After all, how many times and/or ways can a subject be written about? At some point, an online writer might find himself writing the same words and ideas that he has read somewhere else – without the intention of copying. But, the road to hell is paved with
adverbs good intentions, right?
Then there’s the other side of the coin – other people copying your content. You may think that it won’t happen to you, but believe me, there are so many unscrupulous people out there who would go so low just to make a quick buck. Some may not care about other people copying their work, but I think that if it does happen to you, you just might not like it.
So how do you fight plagiarism – from both sides? Here are three “easy” ways to do so.
List down all your sources/inspiration for every piece you write.
Some of you may already have this habit – good for you! It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your idea is 100 percent original, but we know that we get our inspiration from all sorts of places. For special pieces of content, especially, research is required, and the best way to ensure that you do not end up plagiarizing your sources is that you carefully take note of all of them and cite them in your work.
This is a very basic concept, but also very easily overlooked.
Use plagiarism checkers.
Once you’re done with your work, you can use anti-plagiarism software. There’s a host of them available, some for free, some for a fee. Obviously, the results that you will get will differ depending on the service and whether it is free or not. You can also try contentplagiarismchecker.com, which gives you one free check upon registration.
Whether you’re checking if your work is totally original or you’re checking if someone else has copied your content, these tools will give you a starting point to fight plagiarism.
This is by far the most important thing, as far as I am concerned. Sure, there may be occasional slips – everyone has them, even seasoned journalists. At the end of the day, however, if you are true to yourself and take pride in your work, creating original content is in your blood. You will not have to worry (for the most part) that you copy other people’s work simply because that is not you.
How do you fight plagiarism? Do you have experiences that you want to share?
Building Your Freelance Portfolio with WordPress: Essential Plugin Pack
There are many reasons why many freelancers choose WordPress for building their portfolio of websites: It’s easy, reliable and flexible (thanks, of course, to plugins). Okay, maybe you will occasionally be told that Tumblr or Blogger is the better choice especially for those looking for a more casual blogging experience. But for the professionals, WordPress always comes out on top — and for good reason, considering the number of features, tools and free plugins you can access to customize and monetize your content. [Read more…]