pregnant woman with laptop

How I Juggle 2 Kids And A Thriving Freelancing Career

pregnant woman with laptopMy freelancing career is still thriving – and I intend to do the same for this blog.

Yes I know, it had been 2 years since my last post and to give an update (and to explain why I had been absent for so long), my husband and I just had baby number 2. The second pregnancy was tough and I had to put a lot of things on the side. Unfortunately for this blog, it was one of the things I had to give up.

Well giving up was not really what I had in mind. I intended to continue with the blog because it is my way of sharing my experiences as a freelance writer. Now that I am back, I intend to keep on contributing my thoughts and experiences through this blog.

So how have I been juggling 2 kids and a freelancing career: with a lot of discipline and self-control.

I have a pre-schooler and a 1-year old and these two can be a handful. Any mother can attest to that. How some can take care of 4 kids is beyond me.

If taking care of the kids is not hard enough, earning an income through a full-time freelancing career makes it even more challenging. Although my mind and body would like to devote my every waking moment to motherhood, my wallet tells me that I cannot afford it. So I need to pull out that SuperWoman cape and do multiple tasks all at the same time.

I have found that discipline and self-control help me juggle full-time motherhood and a freelancing career.

Discipline is my way of describing how my week starts with a well thought out meal-plan, writing schedules, planned chores, etc. Everything about my family should be planned because if not, we will miss out on a lot of things. I will probably find myself writing in the wee hours of the morning and catching only a few hours of sleep to finish everything on my to-do list. Of course, my family deviates from the plan most of the time – something that I have no control over. But it still gives me a sense of control about everything that this growing family needs.

Self-control, on the other hand, is my way of keeping myself from burning out. I tend to overexert myself – which I know is not really healthy. So I need to exhibit self-control to force myself to enjoy my kids and give myself a break every now and then. A massage, spa treatment, facial, and a trip to the hair salon usually does the trick for me.

These two, discipline and self-control help me juggle this new life that I am leading right now. It took a while for the dust to settle after baby number 2 came into the picture but I am proud to say that I have been able to survive all of it.

The struggle is real. That is my favorite line for now. If you are a mother of more than one kid and you hold a full-time job – I salute you. We all have to encourage each other and I hope this tidbit of information that I shared with you can help you survive this crazy combination of motherhood and freelancing career.

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Important Qualities of a Successful Writer Part 2: Flexibility

In part one of this article series, we talked about how your stamina plays an important role in your freelancing career. Even if you are just sitting in front of your laptop and working your fingers to type your ideas, you need to physically command yourself to be in top writing form when you need to.

Now that we’ve talked about that let us go on to the second trait that Rebecca Garland mentioned in her article.

Important Qualities of a Successful Writer Part 2 Flexibility

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The second trait that was mentioned is flexibility. She stated that this career changes over time. You need to be able to ride all those changes and be ready to adapt if you have to. I started with just my writing skills but now I can manage websites, publish articles, research data and upload graphs. I still have a lot of things to learn and I need to continue adding to my skills so that I have something new to offer clients. If you want to grow in this field, you need to grow your skills as well.

I can also say that this flexibility includes the type of niches that you will choose to write about. Freelance writing, especially online, is quite a competitive career to be in. You have to be flexible enough to be able to write about any niche – regardless if you believe in it or not. It’s not really a matter of how knowledgeable you are about it because you can always do your research. There was this time when I had to write about hypnosis – which is personally, I find to be quite absurd (no offense to those who have been helped by it). But I was pretty new and I wanted to grow my portfolio so I still took the job. That was a bit tough to accomplish – writing a piece that would convince others to believe in a topic when you don’t even believe in it yourself. But I did it anyway and just focused on the facts and did a lot of research about it. These are the times when your talent will really come into play.

Ms. Garland also mentioned being able to marketing your skills as a writer. Since you are a freelance writer, you are probably working alone. You need to advertise what you can do so clients will come to you. I have written an article about how you can market yourself as a writer. You may want to check it out here: How to Market Services Online.

Find out if you have both stamina and flexibility and you should have what you need to succeed in this career.

Best of luck!

Important Qualities of a Successful Writer Part 1: Stamina

I came across an interesting article at All Freelance Writing regarding what is most important when you are a freelance writer. It was written by Rebecca Garland and she just made an interesting comment about the qualities that one needs to be successful in one’s writing career. She actually mentioned three points but I think I will just concentrate on 2 (as I have previously written an article about the third). Let’s split this article in two so you can focus on one trait at a time.

The thing about freelancing is there is no certainty to the compensation and the stream of projects. One minute you are full of projects and another you have none. You need to work hard every step of the way because unlike corporate jobs, you don’t get paid vacation leaves or any other benefits. When there is no work, there is literally no pay.

I still believe that it is a great career but you need to have the determination to make it through. You don’t just sit around waiting for someone to hire you. The key is to have the following traits as discussed by Ms. Garland.

Important Qualities of a Successful Writer Part 1 Stamina

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The first trait that she mentioned is the need to have stamina – which I agree 100%. She mentioned having to wake up at 4am because it is the only quiet time at home. I do the same thing but not as early. I wake up at 6am everyday because I want to do as much as I can before my son wakes up to wreak havoc at home. (That’s an exaggeration of course. My son is a complete angel and he’s well behaved.) But nevertheless, you need to be able to make the proper physical sacrifices to be able to achieve your maximum earning potential.

She also mentioned that having the ability to write well is one thing but it is not enough. If you want to build your career around your writing skills, you need to be able to write well on command. That is very important and I completely agree with it. If you are the type of writer who needs inspiration and all that, you may find it hard to get the creative juices flowing when it matters the most.

In the next article, we will discuss the second trait that you have to possess: flexibility. In the meantime, exercise your stamina so you get to maximize the potential of your writing career.

Importance of a Blog for a Freelance Writer

Our society today is constantly coming up with various ways to make our lives convenient. The great thing about these modern times is that we have the technology to make it into a reality. That may be the microwave ovens that we use to heat our food in a matter of seconds. Or it could be that simple remote control that enables us to sit lifeless on the couch and still be able to flip through channels.

Importance of a Blog for a Freelance Writer

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Or it could be this blog that I am maintaining for my professional career.

I was writing a finance article the other day about the importance of tools in keeping your accounts in order. I suddenly thought about the tools that I used as a freelance writer.

We have a lot of tools that are essential in writing. That includes our laptop, reference materials, dictionary, thesaurus, grammar and spell check programs, Copyscape and a lot more. To be successful as a freelance writer you need to possess the right ones to help you create high quality output.

Of all the tools that you need, I realized that a blog is one of the most versatile and useful in helping me with my professional growth.

As a writer, we all need that journal-like tool that can we can use to store our thoughts and ideas. That is what your blog can be for you. In truth, it can be anything that you want it to be. You can post your own opinions, your photos, and even what you ate for dinner. And you have the freedom to share your personal thoughts about your professional life as a writer.

For me, I use my blog, earnathomeph for a lot of reasons. If you are a writer who wishes to be a freelance writer, feel free to browse through the different uses that I have for by blog.

My online portfolio. Initially, I set up my blog to be my portfolio. Most clients would want to see a sample of my writing so I need an online presence that will allow them to view my articles anytime they wish.

Sample protection. Not to scare you or anything, but there are sneaky clients who ask samples from you and use it without paying you for it. Be wary of them. If I have to submit a sample, I always pick one that is already published on my blog – and it is usually in PDF. Some of them ask for new samples based on their preferred subject. I usually do not agree to submit unless it is paid. If they simply wish to see my writing style, my blogsite should suffice for that.

Professionalism. Another use of my blog is for me to appear professional. My clients will not think twice about my credibility as a writer.

Earn on the side. My blog can also be a source of extra income. Advertisements can be placed on blogs and your visitors can click on them if they wish. You can earn through PPC commissions.

Help others with your experiences. This is my favorite of all the uses that I have for my blog. I have directed friends and acquaintances to my blogsite if they wish to know more about freelance writing. Although my blog does not have hundred of articles (yet), I can assure you that my posts are based on my personal experiences and topics that I know will be useful to freelance writes like me. I hope that people who come to my site can learn valuable lessons from what I have gone through.

These are only few of the reasons that a blog can be useful to you. Feel free to explore the possibilities that a blog can bring your professional life. If you need a tip, wordpress is the easiest platform to create a simple site. Click here to learn more about creating a blogsite.

SEO Tips from Google

SEO Tips from Google

Website owners have got their hands full trying to look for the latest SEO tipsthat will get their sites back on the search engine map. For the past couple of years, Google changed their algorithms repeatedly as a response to user’s request for quality search results. They came up with the Panda and Penguin algorithm changes that was meant to provide users with the information they are searching for. These two changes rocked the traditional world of SEO and the websites that used to rank well in searches are now found to be at the latter pages.

SEO Tips from Google

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While Google is not the only search engine but it is the most prominent compared to Bing or Yahoo. This is why every website has to get on the good side of this search engine for them to drive in the traffic that their site needs.

If you will adhere to the old SEO tips, your website will not rank. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become a tricky technique to keep up with and it remains to be one of the driving forces that will get your online business to succeed.

So the question remains, how do you conquer the algorithms that Google placed upon their search engines?

Google’s Advice on SEO

Matt Cutts of Google has one advice: stop focusing on discovering SEO tips and concentrate on delivering quality content.

For a long time now, site owners focused on making sure that search engines will notice them by placing keywords strategically on their content. While this still works, Cutts advices against it. Content is still king and here are the major points that will make your website get ahead.

  1. Feel free to use the synonyms of your keywords or keyphrase. The search engine crawlers of Google are programmed to recognize synonyms. For instance, if your keyword is “doctor”, the words physician and medical professional will be identified together with the main keyword. Using all three will tell Google that your content is all about doctors.
  2. Do not be too technical about it. The new algorithms of Google will be able to view the totality of your content to pinpoint its relevance to a user’s search.
  3. Focus on quality and not what the search engines are looking for.

These are the new SEO tips that you should live by when creating your content. Be true to the information that you will be providing your readers and Google will see just how relevant your website is.