Category : Business


The Nightmares of a Freelance Web Designer and Coder

My freelancing adventure came naturally through after I finished university and I did not like at all to become a teacher, I did not find a proper translation job, I had more than one of dilettante web designing experience and I went mad about web designing. Here I am now, not even thinking of doing anything else than freelance web designing. I have gone through several web design project by now and during this time I have had more than a couple of nightmares that has made my life as a freelancer more difficult that it really is.

First Nightmare: By this time I had designed several website at the local market and I had been payed in cash. I didn’t find jobs enough to satisfy my needs for money and work; an website in not yet mandatory for being an successful business in my country. I decided to work abroad and I fond it thrilling. I applied. I was accepted. My fist job was a XHTML/CSS layout fix and we agreed upon that I would be payed $20 for that. It took me about two hours to finish that and I was happy to be payed for that for being the firs job abroad.

I finished the job and I sent to my contractor my PayPal account email. And off course I received the money. No, I am joking, I didn’t and I haven’t yet. No, I was not scammed, it was PayPal, it did not provide money receiving service to Albania, my country. This is not the worst news, the worst is the fact that I did not grasp this immediately, but about 1 month later. During this month, I called PayPal and waited in the line for 10 minutes after I could speak the the first human talking-machine of whom I could not understand a word. Then they made me speak with a more moderate English speaking person. They tried to help me a lot and pissed me off a lot too as they told me to click on links and buttons on my PayPal account which did not exist at all there.

Every time I made a change into my Paypal account, I asked my Australian contractor to make a try to send me the $20. More was I interested to make sure that my PayPal account worked, than I was interested in the money itself. And every time he tried, and I thank him a lot for that, he could not do it. This situation went on until one day when I decided to upgrade to Business package at PayPal. I did it and, as always, I asked my contractor to make another try. He did and copy-pasted to me the following code: “Currently PayPal accounts in Albania are only able to send payments. This recipient is not eligible to receive funds.” I sent another email to PayPal with the above statement in it and at last they said to me that I could not receive money in Albania with PayPal. This as a really painful relief for me.

Second Nightmare: During the time I had been fighting to make PayPal work, I was considering other payment methods rather than bank transfer, as it was too slow and to expensive comparing to PayPal. I made several searches and concluded that I would be using MoneyBookers. I registered even there and I really liked the way it worked, but I had to receive a snail mail letter with a code in it in order to fully activate my account. This was a bad news for me as my house has no address, I mean, it is somewhere, but it has no official location because this is how my country is, full of new buildings everywhere and which have no address because they are built privately without having an legal permission in advance.

Being it this situation, I decided to receive the letter at my university’s address where I have received several letters during my studding there. They said that the letter will be arriving within 2-3 days and this was fear enough for me. But the other bad news is that I am now in the second month of waiting and no letter has yet arrived, this is at least what my fellow students say to me, as they check if it has arrived or not regularly. I am still hoping it is on its way …

Third Nightmare: People in my think I am jobless. Well, I keep saying them I do web design, but they keep asking “Who do you work for?” or “Who is your employer?“. They think that having a jobs means being employed by someone or having a shop and stay all day inside it, no matter what you earn. This has been a problem even with my parents, as they expecting me to have a regular job after graduating, but when they saw I earned something, they realized that I was serious about it. Others still do not grasp what I do as the culture of freelancing is completely unknown in Albania, especially the web freelancing because internet is not that widespread yet.

These are my obstacles in my freelance career that many of you do not have or even imagine to have. Let’s say I am a little less fortunate at this point. This was my story, thanks you for reading it.

PS: Please keep in mind that I suffered these problems at the time I began freelancing in web desing and development abroad. Right now I have overcomed most of these problems and things are going fine. 🙂

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10 Bulletproof Strategies for Promoting Your Blog

Every blogger has to promote their blog to get into the market and reach their goals. Blog promotion might seem a little scary, but it is not that difficult to promote your blog. Find below ten promotion strategies that will work for you to make your blog well-known and profitable.

1. Write fresh, qualitative and unique content to make visitors read, comment and refer to your articles. Not only will worth-reading content keep visitors coming back, but it will make others come at your blog through referring links. Good articles will rise the authority of your blog and will make you a well-known author.

2. Post at regular bases to keep the interest of the visitors active and make them come back to get more form your blog. This will find it worthy to subscribe by email or get the RSS feed of your blog to stay tuned. And the most they subscribe and come back to your blog, the greater will your blog grow and so will your fame and revenue.

3. Interact with your visitors through fanatically responding to their comments. They will translate this into a welcome and will feel comfortable at your blog. Once you give them pleasure and make them feel important, you will have them come back, if not for your posts, for your good company. This is a good way to make keyboard (the time of pen is done) friends; remember. friends are there in good and bad times.

4. Comment in other blogs of the same niche regularly and try to say as much worthy comments as you can. This will make you an authoritative commenter out there and curiosity will push more and more people to visit your blog through the link under your commenting name. This will bring you a good number of visitors, including the blog owners. The same as you do with your commenters, don’t you? As a matter of fact this is a social give-and-take relationship.

5. Run a contest at your blog and give away some money, free ad space or something else valuable for bloggers. Make this in exchange to a blog post in their blog about the contest you are running or ask them to subscribe to RSS feeds or by email to your blog or both. This will boost your traffic and bring a lot of people at your blog. Remember, do not run a blog contest yet unless you have a good number of articles that visitors can browse through the content and not be the contest post the only post that they read.

6. Get your blog reviewed by someone who has a niche blog and offers blog reviews. Make sure you ask this to someone who has a well-known blog and gets a lot of traffic. Don’t forget that generally you get what you give, so prepare for different prices in different authority blogs. This will bring to your blog a lot of traffic and brand your blog a little bit out there.

7. Submit your blog into directories to have some extra traffic time and again by people interested in your niche. This is a good away to get traffic and it it mostly free, even though there are some payable directories. Choose what you think is best for you and submit.

8. Blogrolling, link and banner exchanging is another great way to get traffic. While blogrolling might be a natural result of your good content and/or the good friendship you have with other bloggers, you can always ask blog owners in whose blogs you have an interest for link exchanging or banner exchanging. I would consider this a very good way of promotion and branding. Also there are several sites out there that offer banner exchange so prepare some banners for your blog and go hunt there for niche blogs.

9. Use your blog URL in your signatures such as forum signatures and email ones. After you do that go posting in your preferred forums and reply to emails even to say thanks – thanking is virtue. This will be helpful.

10. Make use of relevant keywords and description Meta tags. Go to your template files in which case 99% you will be using WordPress so go directly to header.php file and edit the META keyword and META description with the right info about your blog. This will help you get indexed in search engines. Also, when posting a new post, make sure to chose the most piquant keywords of the post and submit them to the tags field just below the post text area. The tags will be individually indexed by Google, isn’t this a great news.

Now move you lazy guy, get to work to implement these strategies and boost your traffic, your income and your authority out there. Good luck and do not even think to NOT give me a feedback of what you read here; this would be the implementation of strategy number 4, right?

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Why I’m Against Selling Established Personal Blogs

First let me be clear; I am not against selling web property, including blogs, what I am against is selling your own personal blog where you write about subjects you are fond of and make a little (or more) money out of it. This is the case of The WWW Observer which is for sale by its founder and posts’ author. Well he is selling the blog for his own reasons, which I am not going to discuss here. What I am going to discuss here are my own reasons why I wouldn’t take the step to sell it.

a) I would not sell my blog as it is very dear to me. I find a blog as a baby; first it is an idea in your mind, than you begin working on its implementation, than you suffer as it is growing up, then you are very happy when you see it growing bigger and making your life better. It is very related to you.

b) When you write a blog and establish it, you make a lot of friend-readers. You share thoughts together and write about each-other. You visit each-other’s blogs and have a nice commenting chat sometimes. Well, be prepared to lose those friends. If they do not mean much to you, it might be OK, but friends are always dear people and it can be painful to lose them.

c) You can make money out of your blog. When you sell your blog and get rid of it, you get something to reduce the pain for sure, a good sum of money perhaps – its selling price. At the same time, if you keep it, write less frequently, not having much time for it and keep your readers, you can yet make some money to justify the time you spend on it. This money in 12 months can be more than what you sell your blog for.

d) When I finished this article (without this paragraph) and decided to take the sixth advice of the Super Blogging Tips article 8 Ways to Write a High Quality Post about at least proofreading once a least, the article I chose to share with you at this week’s article of my weekly series 5 Articles a Week, I found this advice very helpful again. But this time I put proofreading off for later. As I was walking down the street and thinking of my draft article, a wonderful idea came to my mind. So you don’t have enough time to spend on your blog. Right? Than you can rent it for a while, can’t you? This while can be as long or short as you want. As for the renting terms I would suggest that it can be a share of revenue between the renter and the borrower, if this is the right term. Other conditions can be set, such as publishing frequency and topic nature. I find this a great way to spare time and still keep your blog up and running.

I consider this post to be subjective in nature. You might find it more emotional than argumentative, but I still can dare to share these thoughts with you. Drop a line, if you think I am wrong or in case you have something to add. Thanks for reading!

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Top 10 Websites Where You Can Find a Paid Blogging Job

So you are looking for a blogging job, or you love to be an online writer/ blogger and make a living with it? Fine, let’s have a look at the following sites; they are a big chance to find what you are looking for.

1. BloggerJobs.Biz

This is a good start. BloggerJobs.Biz is a site which you should visit daily for the fact that it is updated almost daily. Go there and browse through. You can apply even for the past positions; there might be a chance and you do not lose anything.

2. Jobs.ProBlogger.Com

In the neat list of blogging jobs at ProBlogger.Com you might find for sure something that will suit you. List this to your favorites and check it as frequently as possible.

3. Performancing Blogger Jobs

This is a considerable list of blogging jobs to consider. Make sure to favorite it and check it frequently.

4. Indeed.Com

Search it as ‘blogger’ (or click the link above) and you will find yourself before a long list of blogging jobs. Good choice so check it out.

5. Jobster.Com

For short, do the same as at Indeed.Com.

6. SimplyHired.Com

Not difficult, try the same as above.

7. Forum.AuthorityBlogger.Com

In the Want, Need and Offer of the forum (click above) you will find a rich list of blogging jobs. Browse through and apply; there are really good offers.

8. Marketplace.SitePoint.Com

Of course, the largest marketplace in the world would be a good place to look at for a paid blogging job. Go at the ‘Looking to hire’ section of the MarketPlace and brows through the rich content; you will find a paid writing job there of sure.

9. Jobs.SmashingMagazine.Com

Another powerful resource for finding paid blogging jobs is the ‘Jobs’ section of Smashing Magazine. It is a more general job listing, but there are a lot quality blogger jobs for sure.

10. Jobs.WordPress.Net

The last and perhaps the best place to look for a paid blogging jobs would be the the WordPress jobs board. It has a specific category for writing jobs and as WordPress is the most widely spread blogging software, it is worth checking.

Good luck to all of you!

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