Optimizing Images to Enhance SEO and Usability

You probably go through a dozen or more articles and web pages on a daily basis. Among these, the ones that typically catch your eye will be the ones with good graphics, relevant images and occasionally, illustrative visual material. In other words, an article with an image is better than an article without one. This is especially true today, when the sheer amount of content online has reached dizzying proportions. Thus, adding the right images is important if you really want a user to pay attention to your online content.

Good images are not just eye-candy for the reader. They also serve a critical purpose: that of enhancing your website’s search rankings. If you use an image in the middle of related text, the image will help strengthen the SEO of the text, and at the same time rank higher in image search rankings. The simple truth is that search rankings reflect user preferences. So if users like your image-optimized article, Google is sure to like it as well.

The key question is how to use images that truly enhance your website’s content and improve its SEO standing. Here are few vital ways of accomplishing this:

Use Proper File Names: If you use a generic, unrelated or random filename, this is job not well done at all. The image, even if relevant, has a name that doesn’t correspond to the page text. As a result, users will not be able to search this image, and search spiders will not know that this image is about the topic. If you would simply change the image’s name to something relevant, it instantly becomes searchable both for the users and for search engines.

Optimize for Size and Speed: Users want web page to load faster, and so do search engines like Google. If you are offering great content but have a clunky website that loads slowly, this is going to turn off your users. So when using images on your website, make sure to optimize them for size and speed. You can do this by using compression that optimizes for web rather than print use. You can manually resize images or increase compression with most image editing applications. If you are using a limited number of images on a daily basis, this can work. But if you are going to use a lot of images, head on to the next pointer.

Automate Optimization through Front-End Optimization (FEO):If you have a huge volume of images and you don’t want to minimize file sizes manually,you can automate the whole process with FEO using techniques such as progressive rendering or dynamic image resizing.

Dynamic image resizing optimizes the size and load speed of your image in real-time. Progressive image rendering is another technique that offers an excellent balance between speed and image quality. It essentially loads a lower-resolution version of the image immediately, and then progressively replaces it with a series of better-quality versions. At the user end, it appears as the image has loaded instantly and quickly gone from slightly hazy to top resolution.

Progressive rendering can be achieved easily with the help of content delivery networks who help in optimizing image presentation through front-end optimization. Not to mention that they come with the added benefits of improving page load speeds and enhanced security for your website. In simpler words, CDNs can serve as your all-in-one solution for your image optimization needs in particular and speed optimization needs in general. You can read this guide, which focuses on using CDNs to achieve better front-end optimization.

Optimize the Use of ALT Tags and Captions: ALT tags are descriptive tags for images in the back-end HTML code. These tags help search engines discover what an image is about. So if you have uploaded an image depicting a new watch or Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, it is highly advisable that you use “alt=’Tissot Navy Blue Opal Glass Watch’” or “alt=’Da Vinci Mona Lisa’” in the ALT tags. Aside from the captions being helpful in describing the image, it also helps in the indexing of the images.

Use Image Sitemaps: If you use straightforward images with descriptive captions and the right ALT tags, you can make do without an image sitemap. But if you are using JavaScript galleries or any other way of displaying images, it can become hard for search engines to know what your images are about. The easiest solution for this is the use of Image Sitemaps. Sitemaps essentially help search engines crawlers to find out the location of your images and their descriptive tags. You can read this XML guide to get a more detailed guideline on implementing great Sitemaps for your website’s images.

Use the right tags to optimize OpenGraph and Twitter appearance of images: If you share your post on Facebook and the post contains an image other than the main image of your post (such as your website’s header image), you lose the great potential audience that you could attract with the right image. It goes the same with Twitter. In order to make sure that social networks pick the right image from your shared links, be sure to include the right meta tags. Here’s an excellent guide on how to create the right tags for your website’s social media appearances.

Conclusion

Images add great value to your website’s content and are absolutely essential to attract readers from search engines and social networks. However, you must know how to implement images effectively so that they both attract users and help you improve your site’s SEO at the same time. If you already have an image-laden site, you have to ask yourself this: are you doing it

SEO: 7 Essential Metrics You Need to Monitor

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be a very powerful strategy for driving traffic to your site. Once visitors land on your site, they can then be converted into leads, and eventually customers. However, to be sure that your SEO efforts are worth it, it is very important to measure your results on a regular basis. Interpreting your metrics correctly will give you an idea of what is working and what needs to be improved.

Here are some of the metrics you need to keep track of:

  1. Backlink tracking

Link building is an essential element of any SEO campaigns. The more links you have pointing back to your pages, the higher your website is likely to rank. Measuring your link building efforts involves looking at the quantity as well as quality of your backlinks. You will see how many links were generated by each of your SEO strategies. For instance, you might realize that out of 200 emails sent in your email marketing campaign, you got 10 links (which is a 5% link rate). In addition, tracking your links will help you build relationships with other site owners who seem to be interested in your content.

  1. Keyword ranking

This metric shows you how your site ranks in search engines for specific keywords. Measuring keyword ranking will tell you if you are targeting the right keywords, and whether their ranking is improving over time. The good news is that you don’t have to check your keyword rankings manually. There are numerous free tools out there that can come in handy. However, if you want more detailed results, it would be advisable to invest in a paid tool.

  1. Average time on page

People usually spend more time on web pages that are interesting and relevant. However, if they don’t find what they are looking for, they leave immediately. Therefore, it is very important to measure the average amount of time visitors are spending on your pages. The more time they spend, the higher your pages are likely to rank. To achieve a higher average time on-page, you need to find ways of improving your content so it can resonate better with your audience.

  1. Pages per visitor

When people visit your site, you would want them to look at other pages besides the initial landing page. This is why it is very important to measure the average pages per visitor. If the number is very low, you can improve it by inserting more internal links within your content. In addition, you could display links to related content in your site immediately after the post.

  1. Returning visitors

Returning visitors are very important for any business. Since they already know you and trust you, these are the people who are most likely to purchase your products or services. Therefore, when evaluating the success of your SEO campaigns, you should not only consider the number of new visitors you are getting, but also the number of returning visitors. You can improve the ratio of returning visitors by making your content more engaging and appealing.

Conclusion

Other metrics you need to keep track of include 404 page views, index status, traffic by device, crawl errors and page lead speed. Though measuring metrics can be very boring and time consuming, it is very crucial. Getting and analyzing the numbers will save you from wasting money and time on SEO strategies that produce a low return on investment.

Tips for Making All of Your Content SEO Friendly

With each new piece of content generated, every business expects to get more website traffic and leads. However, just creating content (even if it’s really good) isn’t enough. You need to make sure that search engines will understand what your content is about and deliver it to the result pages of users who search for it.

Making your content SEO friendly is a fairly easy task and should be done by every business out there. SEO also makes creating content a lot easier. Here are a few tips on how to make this happen.

Think of your users and you will please search engines

Modern SEO techniques have shifted greatly. In the past it was all about using a certain keyword (or a phrase) as many times as possible in your content so that search engines would crawl and understand it easily. There wasn’t any user experience involved, nor there was a need for it.

Now, you will end up in Google’s “black list” if you so much as try to use the older ways of climbing the search engine ranks. When generating any kind of content, put yourself in your consumers’ shoes and think what kind of information they expect, when searching for a given keyword or phrase. Aim to satisfy your users, and search engines will reward you.

Don’t be general, be precise

Users appreciate concrete information about their search terms. For example if a user searches for “best ways to design your home for winter holidays” he probably wants to find concrete examples with illustrations and guidelines on how to actually design the house, and not something general like why designing your house for winter holidays is important. Patientsites for example is doing a great job in terms of offering precise answers to users’ questions.

Pay attention to formatting

Again, this is all about user experience. Even if you have the most precise information about a certain topic, if users cant consume it easily, they will just close their browser. Use meaningful subheadings, short paragraphs and bullet points to highlight important material.

Oftentimes, users first scroll your content from top to bottom, scanning it for any information that will catch their eye and hint them that they found what they were looking for, before getting down to actually reading it. Your job is to make this as easy as possible.

Make sure your content is error free

Even though content is still readable and understandable for users when you have some errors in it, it’s a big blow in terms of SEO and also hurts your credibility. If you are offering a tempting deal to your consumers, but you can’t express yourself without any grammatical errors or typos, it will make users reconsider their decision: How do you trust somebody with your money, when they can’t even use the language correctly.

Post links to high authority sites and make your content worthy of sharing

As you already understood, great user experience and SEO friendly content are basically the same thing. Adding relevant links from high authority sites, will improve user experience even more and at the same time boost your search engine rankings. Google loves good link building.

In addition to this, make your content worth sharing. If users like what they see, they are very likely to share it on social media, email it to a friend and practically increase your organic distribution, which in turn, will push your content higher in search results.

In short, don’t obsess over optimizing your content for SEO. Obsess over optimizing your content for user experience. Yes, there are still a few technical things that you need to take care of (like keywords in the headline, Meta descriptions, etc.) but that’s basically all there is to do. Focus on solving a consumer problem with each piece of killer content you generate and you will be in a good shape.

Three Ways Using Excel Can Boost Your SEO Potential

Managing a successful SEO campaign without the use of any tools or external resources is like trying to buy 50 bags of groceries without a shopping cart – it won’t be long before you’re overloaded with more than you can handle.

As in every other advanced profession, the art and science of SEO requires certain equipment, often in the form of software, advanced data management methods, and in some cases, services that assist with the completion of tedious tasks.

One of the most essential tools in every SEO expert’s arsenal is Microsoft Excel, which lets you utilize spreadsheets and formulas to facilitate powerful analysis and planning. If you’re not convinced that you need Excel to achieve optimal SEO results, consider the following:

1. Saving Time By Centralizing and Organizing Analytics

When you’re using multiple analytics tools to gather data, switching between interfaces can be confusing and time-consuming. This is why most tools (i.e. – Google Analytics, OpenSiteExplorer, etc.) let you export data into .CSV, .TSV, and other Excel compatible formats. Once the data is exported you can open it up in Excel, and with the use of Pivot Tables and VLOOKUP you can combine data from multiple sources into a single spreadsheet that can be rearranged and sorted to suit your analytical needs.

2. Helping You Understand the Most Important Attributes and Statistics

By using Excel to bring all of your important SEO analysis under one roof, you’ll be able to better familiarize yourself with the attributes and statistics that matter most in each campaign. To gain a full understanding of how Excel can be used to master SEO, it would be wise to read up about using Excel for SEO. This will help you not only help you improve the rankings of your own sites and the sites of your current clients more quickly, it will also give you an essential skill set that is listed as a requirement in most SEO job descriptions – proficiency with Excel.

3. Simplifying Strategy Development

Excel spreadsheets make it easy to compile and sort lists of keywords, titles, topic ideas, inbound links, Page URLs and anything else that you might want to work on to build your rankings. Instead of jotting primitive notes down in a text document or on a piece of paper, consider the advantages brainstorming with Excel.

Every SEO Specialist Should Know How to Use Excel

If you’ve ever read job descriptions in the field of SEO, you’ve probably noticed that most of the positions require you to have at least a basic understanding of Excel. There’s a reason for this – along with Google Docs, Microsoft Excel is the industry standard for formula and spreadsheet-based data analysis. If you really want to be able to say you’re a master in SEO and have the skills to back up this claim, there’s no way around it, you’re going to need to learn how to use Excel.

SEO Makes Content Writing Easier

There are plenty of blogs out there which are one-person shows. The blog owner serves as his or her own webmaster, creates all the content, and makes all of the design and development decisions upon which the appearance of the site is based. It’s easy to tell, the first time you see a new blog, what aspect of this process a sole proprietor is best at. Some blogs are created by people who have worked in advertising or some other related field. These people tend to create technically functional blogs, with an emphasis on monetization and SEO. There is another sort of blog runner, who comes out of creative fields. These people tend to be focused on the writing itself, thinking (not necessarily naively) that good content and word of mouth will turn the blog into a success.

This approach isn’t necessarily wrong. But it takes quite a writer, with a lot of amazing things to say, to pull it off. Writing, on its own, must be truly exceptional to break through the noise of all the other writing on the internet. There are plenty of strong writers on the web, and within the niche you inhabit. Unless you prove yourself to be a guru, there will be someone out there who can write on the same subject as well or better than you do.

So rather than try to smash out masterpieces five times a week, why not find another way to make your material perform better? The way, of course, is with SEO. Search Engine Optimization is the way that content creators craft material that is likely to be found by search engines. The major search engines, most notably Google, has all sorts of ways to find the most relevant content for their customers. These algorithms are changing all the time, and they’re proprietary, so Google isn’t going to come out and tell you how to write the most relevant material.

But there are some recognized best practices that people have found which work to attract search engine attention. This is a deep topic, one which you would do well to research. But generally speaking, relevant content is content that is rich in important keywords. Keywords are the short phrases which regular people type into their search engine in order to find information. You can find out which specific keywords are relevant to your topic with minimal research. Or you can simply try to think like the readers you are producing content for. What are these people trying to learn? How will they search for it? If you write material which contains the phrases people use in this hunt for knowledge, your material is much more likely to pop up when Google is trying to supply its users with answers to questions.

There are many other aspects of SEO. Large firms like WSI are equipped to produce excellent material that performs at the fullest with SEO. But if you are producing this material on your own, read about optimizing WordPress (or whatever you use) for SEO, and make sure that relevant keywords appear throughout your material, and you should start to see your best material begin to perform much better.

Top 5 best SEO plugins for WordPress

There is no doubt that one of the most famous content management systems is WordPress. WordPress offers its users the capability to easily create and manage their own blog site. Its success can be seen in the fact that among the million websites in existence in the World Wide Web, most of it are powered by non-other, WordPress. Thanks to WordPress, users can browse through different themes to help them in designing the physical appearance of their blog, which is an important feature of any website. The most important however, is the content of a blog and how this content can be made readily available to all those who browse the internet. WordPress supports many different plug-ins made for helping you boost your SERP rankings in the different Search Engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Ask.com. By utilizing these SEO plug-ins, a user is not only increasing the chances of his/her blog getting discovered and linked to search queries but he/she is also choosing to make his/her blog function better.

According to company provides local SEO services, to help you with your blog, you should try tools that can undoubtedly help the performance of your blog. The top SEO tools for WordPress are those, which offer wholesome services and specialized amenities for creating a blog. Note however that there is a difference between paid and unpaid services offered by the SEO plug-ins.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

One of the most famous and complete plug-in for WordPress is the WordPress SEO by Yoast. This plug-in offers most of the services that you will need in creating your blog. With its many features, you can tinker with all of the little details that need to be adjusted for your site’s performance. It helps you create templates that can help you in utilizing your Meta descriptions and titles which will help you in indexing the contents of your blog. Aside from this, it also offers many other optimization options for the different needs of your blog. You can also avail some of its premium add-ons for other special needs.

ALL-IN-ONE SEO Pack

This SEO plug-in is one of the most wholesome plug-ins that offers almost the same services as WordPress SEO by Yoast. It covers all the basics for making your own blog proving that it is indeed an all in one pack product. It is very user friendly and can be very much trusted and utilized even for beginners. One special thing about ALL-IN-ONE SEO Pack is that it is the only plug-in that offer SEO Integration for e-commerce websites. This is an advantageous feature for those you would like to utilize commercial transaction of information through the Web.

SEO Friendly Images

Having a blog with images means that you, as a blogger, should update your images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes in order for them to be more discoverable by improving the flow of information traffic from search engines. SEO Friendly Images does that thing in particular which greatly affects how your images match search queries for the accurate picture involved. SEO Friendly Images is a “must have” for all types of bloggers who incorporate images into their blogs.

WP Social SEO (Pro)

One of the most popular media for disseminating information is non other but the social media. This paid plugin will help your blog become optimized socially and can help your blog attain Social Media Optimization. WPSocial SEO helps you optimize the content of your blog for it to be optimized within social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus and many other social networks. This plugin is also one of the best for easily acquiring a Google Authorship and Publisher Status for your blog.

SEMrush

If you are a Digital Marketing Professional, then SEMrush is the WordPress plugin for you. This plugin was specially built to help Digital Marketing Pros to keep up with the digital statistics of their digital marketing competitors. SEMrush helps you to strategize your marketing by allowing you to look at the data of your Search Engine Optimization and your competitors’. SEMrush also prides itself with its SEO keyword search tool.

Dominate Local SEO with These Link Building Tips

Links from other websites are vital when it comes to improving your SEO and your website’s visibility in the search engines. However, building links can be a time consuming and difficult process, especially if you’re not too sure about what you should be doing. As a small local business, though, taking the time to improve your local SEO will almost always pay off. So keep reading for some tips on how to improve your website’s position in local search.

1. Forget about Page Authority, Domain Authority and Page Rank

When link building first became an SEO technique, people would focus solely on the page authority, domain authority, and Page Rank of a website. And whilst this can sometimes give you a good idea of the status of a site, it’s not what you should be focusing on for local SEO. Worrying about these things is not going to benefit you. Instead, you need to focus on reaching out to local and industry relevant sites, regardless of what domain metrics they have.

2. Use Press Releases

Although Google’s Matt Cutts has advised webmasters to use no-follow links in press releases, they’re still worth sending out. Why? Well, often local news outlets will make use of press releases, and when they publish them, they may include do-follow links to your website. The more press releases you issue, the more backlinks you could obtain from local high authority websites. Press releases can also help to make your brand more visible to the local community, so does it really matter if they have no-follow links attached?

3. Ask for Testimonials

Google has placed greater importance on testimonials in local search, so it’s a good idea to ask your current customers or clients for some honest reviews of your company. It’s no longer good enough to place testimonials on your website – many of these were often made up by the website owner – so ask people to review you on Facebook or Google Places. The more positive reviews you have, the higher your site will climb in the SERPs. Just make sure not to pay people for reviews, as this could harm your position if Google finds out.

4. Comment and Guest Post on Local Blogs

Both commenting and guest posting have been flagged by Google in the past for being spammy SEO techniques. However, if you make sure that your guest posts are high quality and that your blog comments are actually relevant to the post in question, then you shouldn’t have any issues. Where possible, try and focus the majority of your commenting and guest posting on local blogs in your niche, as these are what will help you most in local search. Make sure to include a link to your website with your comment or guest post.

All of these practices will help to improve your local SEO, but make sure to think of the community over links during every step. By doing this, you will see your search engine position rise without fear of penalisation.

Five Web Design Blogs You Won’t Regret Reading

The design of a business’ website can have a direct impact on the success of that business. To compete in the digital market, a small business needs to have a website that is relevant and up-to-date, and that incorporates the latest developments in web design. To start assessing what you need to do to your website to make it current, read these five blogs for guidance.

  1. DesignCoral features a great post on the 3 Ways to Adjust Your SEO Strategy for Mobile and Local Search. It is projected that in 2015, searches done on mobile device will overtake searches done on desktop computers. It is critical then that business owners develop a strategy for local and mobile search as part of their wider search engine optimization campaign. This post details the main ways to make sure that your business takes advantage of the traffic growth in mobile and local search.
  2. TechKoW features a helpful blog on 7 Ways to Achieve a Great ‘About Us’ Web Page Design. The ‘About Us’ page is the second most visited page of a business’ website, after the homepage. Prospective customers are keen to know about the individuals that run the company that they are considering entering into business with. The ‘About Us’ page is where the prospective customers will visit to find out this information. This post provides key pointers on how to present yourself on your website and ‘About Us’ page.
  3. The Top 3 Ways Your Website is Directly Impacting Your Business explains how website design impacts on your business’ success. This post concentrates on the three main facets of your business website that you need to get correct if you want to get your website to act as your number one salesman.
  4. BusinessBlogs includes The 7 Deciding Factors of DIY Vs. Custom Website Design. Part One: Budget, which examines the quandary experienced by many new businesses that need to watch their budget. It’s a common decision faced by business owners of whether to contract a website design company to build a custom website for the business, or to make the website themselves using DIY software. This blog sets out both the advantages and disadvantages of custom website design and of DIY website design.
  5. On Slashdot, Let’s forget some of the web designing trends and adopt the new ones in 2015 lists the website design trends that we all need to overlook. This blog explains that past web design trends, such as ribbons and unrealistic group images, need to be forgotten. Instead, businesses should adopt some of the new, fresh web design concepts that are emerging.

Web design’s impact on the success of a small business is significant. To get your website to work as an effective and powerful tool to raise your business above the competition, take on board the excellent web design recommendations detailed in these top blogs.

Introduction to SEO

Have you ever wondered how more people can find your website? One of the best ways to do this is what’s called search engine optimization or SEO for short. We would like to tell you how you can maximize the use of SEO so that you can improve the web traffic of your website that would benefit your business or company.

As of today there are over 130,000,000+ registered websites out there in the internet. And to sort all those, most of us depend on search engines to find what we are trying to look for. These search engines has become so good, that 90% of the people on the internet use it to find things. Now there are a lot of search engines out there but majority worldwide uses Google for their researches. So we’ll focus on that, but keep in mind that everything that we’ll talk about applies to other search engines too.

When you search something on Google, you get back with a results page. This shows you a lot of websites Google found relevant to what you’re looking for. Companies can pay Google to place ads so when people search for particular things their website will still come up. But that is not what people care about.  It’s the result that contains what you’re looking for, and you can notice that there are thousands of researches. Here’s what most people do and by most we mean 90% of people who uses search engines, they usually just check the first page! So are you guilty about that? Because I am and that is something I do too, like when I can’t find the particular item I need in the first page, well ill close the tab now or perhaps adjust the search terms and start from scratch. You only have to click on the next page for more results, however the farther you get, the less relevant the results will be. For those people who only check out the first page, they get caught in the golden triangle, it is the first 3 results and 63% of the people just click in there.

This is why optimizing your websites for search engines or SEO is so important. When people search for something that is relevant to them and they see your website in the search results, they’re going to click and visit your page. Don’t underestimate these visitors because they are not just regular people trying to pass time, these people are those who are in need of exactly what you offer. So of anyone, they are the most likely to convert into your future customers, subscribers and etc.

eBizUniverse handles all the SEO that you need. If you ask them to create a website for you, they will also promote your page to ideal clients. They also do graphic design and social media marketing, a one stop shop!

Jessica McGarret is a graphic and a mural artist. Her specialty is digital design then painting it on walls, something new right?

Making a Business of Your Writing Skills

You’ve always loved to write, and you think you’ve got good skills, some creativity, and solid understanding of the various types of writing.  Now, you’ve decided to make a living doing it.  Good for you!  There is a great career in store for you as a freelance writer if you do it right, build your business with care, and commit to the responsibilities that it entails.

Getting Started – Take Anything!

A plumber, starting his own business, takes any job s/he can find, no matter how simple and no matter how small the payment may be.  You must begin the same way, finding and taking any writing task you can find.  There are a few things that you can do to be pro-active, however:

  1. Perform a Google search for freelance writing opportunities.  You will find a lot of writing clearinghouses that want you to pay a registration fee.  They will promise you the “moon,” but don’t believe it.  Find the sites that allow you to register and establish a basic profile.  Usually you will then be sent opportunities, upon which you may bid.  Do some research on typical pay for novice freelancers (usually a few cents per word) and bid accordingly.  Many people have begun this way and have developed rather permanent relationships with clients.
  2. Take the time to complete applications and take the examinations that many writing clearinghouse sites will require.  You need to have your name on as many of these sites as possible.  Some will publish writing opportunities daily, and you simply accept the ones you want and complete them with professionalism and according to the deadline.
  3. Check Craigslist regularly.  They have two categories for writing/editing, and you should apply for any opportunity for which you may be qualified.
  4. Over time, you will “pick up” writing opportunities by referral.  Always take the assignments offered, and be willing to put in long hours to meet any client’s deadline.  You can always sleep when the job is completed.  Many of your clients may be foreign – they don’t care about your time zone.  Work with theirs!

Train Yourself – Become More Marketable

Given the wide variety of web-based writing opportunities, you need to embark on an independent learning process.  Familiarize yourself with all of the current writing platforms and tools that online businesses and organizations use – for directory articles, for blogs, for site content, etc.  You cannot learn enough, and this learning must be on-going.  Are you familiar with WordPress and Tumblr? Do you know how social media can be utilized to promote businesses? Do you understand content marketing?  If not, you have a lot to do in between writing jobs!

Time Management – How Organized are You?

It is really enticing to think that you can just work in your PJ’s all day.  Think of the freedom and independence!  If you are not careful, however, it becomes too easy to turn on that television, to check your Facebook page, to retire for a nap, etc.  You cannot compromise your schedule for these things.  A few tips follow:

  1. Have a physical space set aside in your residence for your work – a space that has the “feel” of an office.  You need the psychological mindset of being “at work.”
  2. Set up a schedule that provides for work and for breaks.  Follow that schedule.  If you decide that you will take a break every two hours, stick to it!  And, if you experience downtime, without a writing task, take the time to do some research, enhance your skills, or seek out new business.
  3. Accept the fact that your schedule may be totally uprooted.  A client may have an urgent or rush order.  If that client is important to you, then you must meet the deadline, without exception.  You must be committed to long hours when necessary, even if it means cancelling social engagements.  This is the life of a small business owner!

Payment Options

Your clients may have a variety of methods of payment – check, automatic deposit, etc.  Whenever possible, choose PayPal.  The beauty of PayPal is that, at the end of each year, you can obtain a full detailed accounting of all that you have earned.

Income Reporting for Taxes

Keep careful records of payments, and plan to set aside the appropriate amount for income and payroll taxes.  But do not forget the multitude of deductions that are available to individuals who work out of their homes.  You need to research all of the tax law and regulations that relate to your situation or find a tax preparer that is really skilled in self-employment tax preparation.

A Final Word

Freelance writing can be wonderfully rewarding and can provide the variety that you so want.  If you are careful and steadily build your business, you can enjoy independence and an income that will sustain you quite well!

Bio: Eileen Archer is currently a chief editor at Essay Planet and has researched and written on a number of topics affecting secondary and university students. After obtaining a Masters in English language she decided to dedicate her time to creative writing as well as providing assistance to students.