Being a Freelance Writer

Being a freelance writer (following my last post SpanAir Plane Crash in Madrid, by the way) as well as working hard at my own Internet Marketing business means working long days, especially for a disorganised person like me. Most people in this position would then go on to write about how important it is to organise yourself and to prioritise your work, manage your time more efficiently etc.

Poppycock!

How many of these people actually follow their own advice? What do I care whether they do or whether they don’t? Ok, I admit it. I don’t care what other people are doing or thinking or saying, because they are other people and I’m me. And being me, I’ll do as I please and if it means starting a sentence with an “and” I’ll go right ahead and do it…

Likewise, if I want to organise my freelance writer working time into long periods of procrastination and daydreaming, then I’ll go ahead and do that too.

You see, working for yourself and even more especially from home as a freelance writer in a situation where there really isn’t the same level of pressure as there is working for a slave driver boss in an office, or wherever allows you to do things the way you’re most comfortable with. I’m comfortable with working for a while on one thing, such as building a website, or blog host, then switching to another when I get bored with the first thing, then switching to something else when I get bored with that. Maybe my attention span is shortening as I get older, or maybe I was always like this but was always forced into working against my own grain which ultimately resulted in less work getting done because I rebelled against being forced to do things in a way that is not my way.

Work all that out of you can and you’ll probably conclude that there is either a genius at work here or a lazy sod! Ok, I admit I tend towards the lazy side of life and do not believe in putting additional effort when it is either not directly for my own benefit or is superfluous to the job at hand.

I worked for many years for the IT section in a bank and was constantly frustrated by certain individuals who probably meant well but had no idea that what they were often asking to be done was an inefficient use of my particular skills, or duplication of effort as my colleagues were usually working on something similar to me and we would often overlap.

So lets get back up to the present and push all those old memories back in their box where they belong.

Being a freelance writer gives me the freedom to work from home and set my own working hours to suit me. As long as the work is done within the allotted time, then who cares if I take a day off at zero notice and then spend another day working for 16 hours? Not that I would spend all of those 16 hours working on an assignment. A big chunk of that would be spent flipping back and forth between the assignment and building and populating my own websites. Its a lot of effort but its all for my own benefit which is a good thing from my perspective both as a freelance writer and an Internet Marketer.

For achieving a position when they finally produce all my financial needs is the ultimate goal. Then I can take my foot off the gas a little and let all the hard work that I’m putting in now pay off in the (near) future. And then I can keep starting my sentences with “and” and I won’t have to worry about the hours I work (or don’t) and no one can tell me how to do things .

Actually, no one does that now…

Terry Didcott

Write On The Money

Its high time I followed my last post Who Unleashed that Blogger?, with something else as time is beginning to pass with greater spans between entries in my flagship blog here. So I shall write on! The money part of the title is just a play on words, as we shall see…

The subject that will soon be on the tips of all bloggers typing fingers is Google Page Rank. Yep, its that time again!

I’ve already noticed the green bar that mark my sites are a changing on some of them. So far, it seems nothing has lost any PR and quite a few have gained a notch. Most notably are some of the expired domains I bought a few months ago with page rank that lost it all in previous page rank shake-ups. A few of them have been recognised by Google and given a PR1 – ok it won’t set the worlkd alight, but its a start as it means Google acknowledge their existence and maybe some of their in-links are starting to show up again. Time may well restore their original page rank.

As it’s early days, its probably not worth speculating on all my many sites just yet, as I’m sure the meter will bounce around a bit for a few days before settling on their final ranks for the next few months until the next change.

Which brings me to the subject of in-links or back links as they are more commonly known in Internet Marketing and SEO circles. It’s pretty clear that in order to make a mark on the search engines’ indexes you need a lot of good quality, one way inbound links to your site. As much as we all know that, the getting of those links is a lot of laborious work that unfortunately has to be done if we want to stand a chance at competing for that first page, never mind the first place on it.

Two problems have evolved from my own program of online business expansion.

The first is my ever growing menagerie of websites, self hosted blogs, free blogs, squidoo lenses, hub pages and the rest. They all need to be tended in order for them to grow, but the more I acquire and develop, the tougher it becomes to keep up with them all. My tally of domains has now exceeded 50. My subdomain sites are now 14. My free blogs tally exceeds 60. My squidoo lens tally exceeds 40. I’ve only just started on hub pages, but have 5 of them already. They all need content and with around 170 individual sites ourt there now, its a real problem getting them all updated with fresh content, never mind writing additional articles to submit to article directories and of course let’s not forget my income generating freelance writing work that takes a big chunk of my day!

Admittedly, a lot of the free blogs and squidoo lenses are there to augment and drive traffic to the main websites, as well as provide additional links and promotional material that will help the main sites to grow. So they don’t need to be updated quite as often as the main sites do. My problem is that now the main sites have grown in such numbers that they themselves are becoming difficult to keep up to date with fresh content and ever more links.

I know that there are software tools that can generate links for a site and they are tempting to use to boost up the sites’ in-link tallies, but those links are very low quality and are only any use simply because of their sheer quantity. How much use they will be in the long run is anybody’s guess. As I’m working for the long term and not short term gain, I’m content to take it at a more natural pace, obtainingthe necessary links I need raise the authority of a smaller selection of my main sites, so that they, in turn, can be used to bring up other sites as I acquire them.

So now the task doesn’t seem quite so daunting as it first did. The sheer number of free blogs (which, incidentally will continue to grow) do not need a great deal of inbound links in order to be useful, as they will probably never need to attain high page rank for themselves as they are not necessarily there to make money for themselves. Also, they are what they are – free blogs. I don’t own them and cannot therefore ultimately control their ultimate fate. They belong to the blog host as does their content, so it make much more sense to me to be working towards getting good page rank and SERPs authority for my own hosted sites as they fall under the category of cyber real estate that I can sell at a later date should I wish to.

Someone made the analogy that I think fits nicely here.

Your own hosted websites and blogs with domains that you own are like a house that you own. You can improve it and then sell it for a profit and buy a better one if and when you choose. Free hosted blogs are like an apartment that you rent. if you want to move to someplace else, you just up and go. If you make any improvements, the owner of the property benefits in the long run, not you.

So while renting has its advantages, like you don’t have to invest money in the property, you also don’t get any of the benefits of its rise in value over time. While you have to invest in your own home on the other hand, you get back the value of any improvements plus it gains in value over time, which you also benefit from.

Just the same as buying your own domains as opposed to renting a free blog. The free blog has its advantages, but you can’t sell it later after you’ve put a lot of work into it to make it great, wheras the same work put into a domain/website that you own will benefit you in the long term with a hefty profit shoudld you decide to sell it.

Food for thought!

Terry Didcott