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The Surprising Secret To Freelancing Success

secrets of succesful freelancingReading Time: 2 minutes

 

Stop doing one thing and do it all.

There’s a story about a guy who set up a student magazine. Having developed a sweet tooth for businesses, he moved on to running a mail-order record business that led to a chain of record stores. Following the unrelated trail, he later set up a brand that housed an airline, space flight and broadband — just to name a few. His name is Richard Branson.

 

Have you figured out the secret yet?

It took me a year and a half to find a tidy answer to the ‘so, what do you do’ question.

Are you a successful freelancer who maintains a consistent stream of business through one skill? Respect.

I’m not one of them.

I can’t honestly say that Richard Branson was my template. But what I can say is that all of my businesses formed quite naturally around me. But now as a full-time freelancer, I always have something in my pipeline without needing to work too hard at filling it.

How?

I break down my professional history (and hobbies) into the smallest marketable segments I possibly can.

 

Let’s see it in action…

In 2004 I graduated from my Computer Science degree. I took a gap year and went to college to qualify as a hairdresser and make-up artist.

I’d built up a small client base for my beauty business but kept it as a side hustle while I carved out my full-time career as an IT Trainer.

Now I deliver freelance corporate training — in addition to running my hair and make-up business.

But there’s more.

I joined the dots and delivered hair and make-up courses too.

After six years of IT training, the market wasn’t looking too good so I switched to secondary school teaching. But I needed to supplement my trainee salary with something. That something ended up being content writing. Over the years I have developed my skills and am now a freelance writer.  My portfolio career also includes a sprinkle of private tuition.

While all of this was happening, I pursued my hobby-of-a-lifetime — music. I joined some open mic nights, made some musical friends and started performing as a singer.

No two days are the same. But I earn money from something every day.

 

How can you do it?

 

Read my full published article on Medium.

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A Step-By-Step Guide To Starting A WordPress Blog

wordpress blogReading Time: 4 minutes

 

This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission if you use them.  I only recommend tools and products that I use and trust.

So, you want to start a WordPress blog?  Great! I’ll show you how.

Blogs are great for businesses, entrepreneurs and people who love writing.  If you are using it as a marketing tool to generate leads, blogging is a sure-fire way to:

  • Showcase your expertise
  • Gain credibility in your niche
  • Spread your message
  • Practice writing
  • Build a portfolio

My blog also helps me get freelance writing jobs.  It is an easy way for me to showcase my skills to clients.

Why a WordPress blog?

The short answer: because it is easy.

The longer answer: because you can easily integrate it with your website or, set up a website on WordPress.com.

The even longer answer: because with inbuilt themes and SEO plug-ins, you have control over the design, can optimise your digital content for search engines and have your own domain names.  Just to name some benefits.

Let’s get started.

Set Up Your Account (5 – 10 minutes)

  1. Go to the WordPress.com website.
  2. Click on ‘Get Started’ (circled).

wordpress blog

3. Complete the details following the instructions below:

Create wordpress blog

What would you like to name your site?  This will be displayed as the site title but you can change it later.

wordpress blog title

What will your site be about?  This will influence the sorts of themes you will see as a priority.  Again, this will not limit your options so don’t worry if you think you might change your mind later.

What’s the primary goal you have for your site?  Like the previous question, this helps WordPress personalise your experience but is no way limiting.

How comfortable are you with creating a website?  Choose your level.

4. Click ‘Continue’.

5. Enter some keywords to help WordPress give you ideas of domain names.

A domain name is your website’s address.  For instance, mine is freelancewritingteam.com.

You will see a list of free and paid options.

wordpress blog domain name

Free domain names – you can select one of these to get started.  But this will not serve well for SEO purposes (if you want your online content to show up in Google search results).

Paid plans –  select the plan that is right for you.  I started with a Personal so that I could have a custom domain name.  Now I have a Business plan to have access to:

  • All of the design themes
  • Control over my design
  • Plug-ins, especially Yeost SEO and JetPack (keeps content safe and gives me performance data)

6. Choose your domain name and click ‘Select’. This takes you to the plans page.  You can either select a plan or ‘Start with free’ (circled).

wordpress blog paid plans

7. Complete the details to create your account and click ‘Continue’.

wordpress blog account set up

8. Click ‘Continue’.

Start Blogging!

Congratulations – you have set up your WordPress blog!

Now you can start blogging. The great thing is that you can add as many blogs as you like under the same account by simply setting up a new ‘site’.

  1. From the menu on the left, select the ‘Add’ button next to ‘Blog Posts’.
  2. Give your post a title and create your content.
  3. When you are ready, press ‘Publish’ and your blog post will be live (you will need to have confirmed your email address to publish).

To set up your user profile, complete your details in the ‘My Profile’ section.

start wordpress blog

Controlling How Your WordPress Blog Looks

There are a number of ways to customise the design WordPress blog.

Themes

Themes are in-built design templates.  You can customise certain elements if you are on a free or Personal Plan.  For full control, you must have a Business plan.

  1. Log in to your WordPress.com account.
  2. From the left side select the ‘Themes’ button.

Here you have access to free and paid themes.  You can choose to have a live demo before activating on your site.

Each theme has further customisation options.  These can vary from theme to theme.

Plug-Ins

Installing plug-ins (only available on the Business plan) are a great way to have further control over your website’s design.

Some that I use are:

  • Akismet Anti-Spam – a great way to protect your blog from spam.
  • Hummingbird – as I have used WordPress.com to create my entire website, this helps me compress files to speed up load times.
  • JetPack – allows me to view my site’s performance, enable sharing on social networks and customise my design.
  • Reading Time WP – to display an approximate reading time above posts.
  • Redirection – this helps me keep my links tidy and re-direct any links that I have changed.
  • Title Remover – I use this to hide titles from my website pages.
  • Yeost SEO – a great tool that helps me optimise my pages and blog posts. Includes connection to Google tools like Analytics and Search Console.

I hope this has enabled you to get started with blogging.  WordPress.com is a powerful tool that provides much more than a blogging platform.  This has been a quick run through but for a more detailed guide take a look at these 5 steps to set up a blog:

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Office space vs working at home – Which is more productive?

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When running your own business, one of the decisions you need to make is where you will work.  Many prefer working from home, whilst other prefer to rent office space.  Either way, your business needs should drive your decision.  Here are some of the things you should consider whilst making your decision.

 

Space

Working from the comfort of your own home can offer flexibility which renting office space may not offer in such abundance but, in order to be productive, it is important that you have enough and, the right amount, of space to work in.  Things like background noise or even the environment at home may be distracting in which case renting an office space may be more suitable for you.

In addition to the space you need to work in, you may also need storage space in which case considering renting this may be more effective than trying to find space at home and/or spreading resources over multiple locations.

 

Workforce

If you work as part of a team or manage a team, you should decide whether it is most effective for you to do this remotely or face to face – or even a combination of both.  If you think that face to face arrangements may be needed then working from home as opposed to renting work space may not service these needs in which case you should consider renting office space, even if you do not utilise it  on a full-time basis.

 

Meetings

Does your business require formal meetings?  You can of course rent meeting rooms on an ad-hoc basis if meetings are few and far between, which works well if you are working from home.  But if this is a more frequent requirement and /or you want to offer clients a branded environment, renting meeting rooms on a longer term basis may be an option to consider.

 

Do you have all you need?

Things like internet and telephone access are usually essentials for any business and although this may not be a problem when working from home, it may become one if say, you have to provide this for your staff.  In such cases, renting an office space may be a better option for you.

 

Work-life balance

Although working from home is a luxury that many people enjoy, it can be hard keeping work life completely separate from home life.  Some people are disciplined enough to do this well.  If however this is a struggle for you, renting office space is a good solution for this – it is nice to end the work day and go home to an environment which is not associated with work.

 

If renting office space, meeting rooms or storage facilities is something you feel would be useful for your business Send Business Center is one to take a look at.  They offer reasonable prices and flexible options which makes finding a solution that specifically meets your business needs easy and cost-effective.