Getting Realistic As a Freelance Writer – Now Offering 2 Blog Posts a Month (Plus 1 “Jolly”)
As I wrote in my recent post at The Pen Thinker, being a mentally and physically ill freelance writer is hard, but nothing makes life (and a career) harder than not setting realistic goals.
That was my failure for a long time: because other freelance writers were happily producing a post per week, I assumed I could work around my health issues to be that productive, too.
I was so wrong!
Life actually works the other way round (adapting a career to one own’s health challenges) and I wind up paying the consequences: a less stable mind, more intense physical pains and an overall struggle in producing quality work.
Well, I don’t want this to happen again, nor I want to feel guilty and depressed because I can’t give clients what they deserve on these terms.
Time for a (Realistic) Change
I’m going to have to cut down some workload to keep stress levels low, as high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) greatly impact my overall health, and the quality of my work as well.
I’ve beeng seeing doctors and a psychologist, and we’re working toward a therapy that will patch up both mental and physical imbalances, but a change in the way I handle my project is urgent, too.
4 Reasons Why I Advise Clients To Use WordPress For A Website Builder
Note: I no longer offer web design services as of January 1, 2017. However, I still provide website creation advice as part of my consulting services.
More often than not, my web design clients don’t know how to manipulate HTML code.
Nothing wrong with that— once upon a time (back in 2002) I was also a beginner and I used Microsoft FrontPage to create my first website graphically.
Nothing fancy, but it helped get things done.
FrontPage is no more, but other website builders have come up over the last decade.
Weebly is an example most of you will recognize. If you don’t know what is a website builder, you can find a brief overview here.
However, if a client asks me what to use for a website builder, I would say: WordPress.
Partially Closing Business In 2015 – Here’s Why
“What?! Is Luana closing business this year?!”
If you were thinking that when you saw the headline popup, worry not— I’m definitely NOT going to close business! 🙂
Only partially. And it means what I wrote on the homepage:
NOT accepting new clients between March 2015 and September 2015 due to severe health issues.
In short, because of these health issues, I’m almost unable to work.
I said ‘almost’. It means I can still work, but I can’t clutter my schedule or work full hours.
I can currently work up to 3 hours a day, sometimes 4. Then there days when I just can’t work and I’m bound to bed, and days when I can work 9 hours plus some hobbies because I have so much energy to spend.
This is an erratic time in my life, so I have to cope.
The good news is that I’m under therapy, so this Luana should be a stronger, healthier and more energetic person in September. 🙂
If you are interested in my services but you hit my website between March and September, you can still email me: I will refer you to a group amazing freelancers in my network, or I will offer you to begin our collaboration in October 2015 if you’re not in a rush.
Thanks for checking in on me!
Image Credit Pascal
A Quick, 11-Step Recipe To Creating A Great Website For Your Business
How many times have you stopped doing what you were doing and thought, “Ah, if only I had a website…”
Perhaps you created a Facebook page for your business, that you maintain regularly. Or a LinkedIn profile that lists all your achievements in your industry. Maybe add a LinkedIn page for Business to the mix and you have built quite a platform.
So why do I keep reading questions on business forums such as—
“Do I need a website?”
“Where can I get started with a website?”
“I’m on a low budget! Where do I find inexpensive hosting to start with?”
You see, the website matter is a hot one after all. Many freelancers or business owners like you feel that having a website is a great asset to make business online. Perhaps you are one of them, since you are here.
I’ll tell you– getting started with a website is really, really easy after all.
Here is a quick recipe to make a great website for your business:
- 1. Take some time to study websites in your industry. What do they offer? What kind of business image do they portray? Is there immediate value for the prospect, way before they request a quote?
- 2. Write down your mission statement and the structure you want your website you have. This is a very important step, don’t overlook it! It all begins with your mission statement, because you have to have a purpose for your website in order to lay out its structure. For example, my mission for LuanaSpinetti.com is to show prospects not only what work I’ve done and what I can offer, but even HOW I do it and WHY, and the person behind all of that. So, my business website is a virtual reflection of my persona and the way I would interact with my prospect if we were in a face to face situation. If I can’t speak with my mouth, I will speak with my website.
- 3. Structure your content. After you have your general structure ready, it’s time to work on your content. Don’t worry about producing full pages for now, just plan your content in a way that helps your prospect find what they’re looking for in an easy, almost conversational fashion (it’s easy to move between topics when you chat, isn’t it?)— and then leave some room for a good CTA (call to action).
- 4. Hire a good designer or design a simple web template yourself. If you have the skills, you can easily produce a simple, uncluttered web template in HTML 5 and CSS 3. Or you can hire a web designer to do the job for you. Either way, get the thing done and create your homepage and navigation links for now.
- 5. Write your homepage text. Unless your prospects are coming from a search engine or a link from a blog post or an article, they’re more likely to land on your homepage the first time, that means your homepage can be your gateway to a great lead, or the failure of it. That’s why your homepage text is the first piece of content you should write! If you’re not a writer or feel unsure about your writing skills, you can hire a copywriter to write your homepage text for you.
- 7. Register your business domain name. You can pick an affordable registrar such as NameCheap or Name.com for your business domain name. These registrars generally charge $10-$12 per year for your domain, so they are quite inexpensive. Another option is to register your domain name with your web hosting provider — sometimes for free. See #8 below.
- 8. Signup for a hosting package at an affordable, but safe, hosting provider. This is easier said than done, because there are hundreds of web hosting providers online, not all affordable, not all reliable. But this step can open your eyes on what you really need for your website: if you opted for a static website, a simple, inexpensive web hosting solution can do the job for you. But starting small will help even if you have a big, dynamic website in your plan. Start small, then upgrade.
- 9. Upload your website. Easy step: just upload your template and website pages on your hosting account and see your site go online. If your website is static (HTML files), all you need is an FTP client such as FileZilla to upload your files. If your website is dynamic (e.g. WordPress-based), you will work from within your software administration panel.
- 10. Add analytics to your website. You can use Google Analytics or open source solutions like OWA or Piwik. What’s important is that you have a way to monitor traffic to and from your site.
- 11. Add a blog. You can write blog posts yourself or hire a freelance blogger for your blog, but my suggestion is that you don’t miss out on the opportunities that only a blog can bring to your table: a close relationship with your visitors, readers and prospects, a way to leverage your offers and send out “in-house” press releases, and a way to keep your content fresh and your ideas flowing to your audience.
Got questions? Ask in the comments below! 🙂
I also recommend you read the sweet Top 10 of things your website needs by Entrepreneur.com as it’s specific to small businesses.
Do you have a business website? If you do, how often does it bring in leads and sales?
Image credit: Chasing Daisy (Creative Commons)
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