How to sell your brain – the rise of the freelance worker

Who would have guessed back in the days when the boss was in charge and employment meant set hours, set wages and a set of frown lines to match, that freelance working would experience such an unprecedented rise across the UK. There are some that would argue, of course, that the disadvantages of freelance working by far outweigh its advantages but, like it or not, it would appear that freelance work in the UK is here to stay (at least until the next employment trend).

‘The number of self-employed increased from 3.3 million people (12.0% of the labour force) in 2001 to 4.8 million (15.1% of the labour force) in 2017.’

Across the UK, self employment numbers are up but, in a workforce with such diverse experiences, this presents a simplistic picture. For example, in the years between 2001 and 2016, the number of people reporting self employment but working with employees fell whereas the number of people reporting self employment either alone or with a partner increased from 2.4 million to 4 million. We Brits, it would appear, prefer our own company to that of other people.

How much do UK freelance workers earn?

The simple answer to this question is, ‘less than people who are employed’ but again the picture is more complicated because both freelance and employed wages vary over time. When you compare the most common level of earnings (the modal level) of freelance and employed workers, those in employment earn almost double the weekly wage of their freelance friends (2016). Just like employed wages, freelance wages vary across the UK, with London freelancers being the best paid and those in the North West the worst. The rewards of freelance work, it would appear, are not always found in the wage packet.

Do UK men and women both do freelance work?

Both men and women are engaged in full time and part time freelance work in the UK, however the pattern for each gender is different. For example, the numbers of full time, self employed male workers has not increased anywhere near as quickly since 2001 as the number of full time, self employed female workers. Part time self employment is on the increase for both genders. However, as in the world of the employed, freelance males often earn more than their female counterparts.

How old is the UK’s freelance workforce?

You might presume that freelance working is more prevalent amongst the younger working population but, although this group has seen increases, the UK age group that has seen the biggest rise in freelance working is the 65 and above bracket. Thus proving that you are never too old to make a career change.

Which freelance jobs are people doing?

You only have to do a quick internet search to find out the breadth of jobs that are now being undertaken on a self employed basis. Our first search suggested that writers, recruitment consultants, building surveyors, TV casting researchers, animators, event crews and even Christmas lighting engineers are all in demand. For one lucky person, with a varied and very unusual skill set, that could mean a very busy freelance work life!

There is more to tell of course, managing a freelance workforce is not always easy (there are freelance jobs out there that require you to do just that) and we have a lot to learn about work life balance both in and out of self employment. Media coverage of high profile cases such as Deliveroo’s payout to a group of 50 of their couriers and Uber’s temporary regaining of its London operating licence, demonstrate how volatile the legislation situations are around UK self employment. This is a moment in UK employment history to watch… and if you work as a freelancer, you will be able to pick your own moments in which to do just that!

This article is just one example of the type of writing we at Fi Darby Freelance could be doing for your organisation. Quality content is the key to a solid web presence. Take a look at our portfolio to see more of what we do, then get in touch to chat about your requirements. We look forward to hearing from you.

Statistics – ‘Trends in self employment in the UK’ – ONS

My website needs a blog – where do I start?

How can bloggers improve their website ranking?

Top Tips for Would be Travel Writers

The great news for travel writers or those who would like to get into freelance travel writing is that, with the increasing importance of inbound marketing, there are more opportunities to write about travel than ever before. The bad news, if you want to be a travel writer, is that the growing popularity of travel (according to ABTA, 31% of people plan to spend more on their holidays over the next 12 months)  and the well-published attractions of the digital nomad lifestyle (in 2016 the UK boasted 311,000 freelance workers in ‘Artistic, literary and media’ occupations)  both mean that there are also more people out there trying to make a living out of travel writing. Here at Fi Darby Freelance we regularly put our talents to writing about just about everything, but our real passions are travel and the outdoors. We have five top tips about how to get into travel writing.

Start doing some travel writing

With so many travel writers out there, clients are looking for authors with experience, who can show a flair for the task. If you want to be a travel writer, the chances are that you like travelling, so get out there, explore and make sure that you write about your experiences. A great way to start is a travel blog, which will give you excellent opportunities to build an audience. Remember, travel isn’t all about luxury overseas hotels, a wild camping trip can give just as much writing inspiration as a stay in a luxury hotel.

Find your travel writer’s voice

One of the great things about travel is that we all experience it differently. Quality travel writing is about telling the travel story with a unique voice that will draw people in and make them want to read more. Letting your sense of humour or your wonderment at your surroundings show is important. Lots of people choose travel destinations because they have talked to someone else who has visited previously. A good piece of travel writing will achieve the same effect.

The client is always right

Using your own voice for a piece of travel writing does not mean that you should ignore your clients’ expectations. Most travel organisations will have a format that works for them and their target audience. Finding the balance between pleasing a client and letting your personality shine through takes practice but, in  your quest to be a travel writer, you will be getting plenty of that.

Do your travel writing research

It is easy to work out what to write about if a client has made a particular request. However, when you are first starting out with travel writing, you will be deciding on articles yourself and pitching these to editors. You will need to come up with ideas that stand out from the crowd, appeal to a specific audience and, ultimately, sell either holidays or publications. Your research should include,

  • Forthcoming travel trends (refer to these in your pitch)
  • The topics of previous articles
  • The style of previous articles
  • Your own budget and travel costs

Don’t take rejection personally

This takes us back to our original point; there are lots of people out there trying to make money from being a travel writer. This means that editors have plenty of options to choose from and will definitely not choose your work every time. Your pitch (an initial idea for a piece of writing) or your article may be rejected for any number of reasons, including market trends (the travel market can be fickle), previous publications (always do your homework) or a clash of styles (think about a publication’s target audience). It would be great if editors had time to give individual feedback but they don’t so be prepared to move on, make changes or make your pitch to someone else.

What to do when you can’t find freelance work

As a freelance writer, you don’t have to work for long before the freelance work pros and cons become very apparent. Freelance working is great, it fits in with your lifestyle, you don’t have to take on jobs you don’t like and you have the type of freedom about which the employed workforce can only dream. However if your freelance work dries up, for even a short while, the whole, ‘Where is the money coming from?’ thing can get a bit scary. Such is the nature of freelance work jobs; companies employ freelancers for many reasons, but one of the most popular is that the commitment to pay a freelancer is transitory whilst the commitment to pay an employee is far more permanent. Don’t worry, we have some answers below to the question of what to do when you can’t find freelance work (as well as looking for more work of course).

Don’t panic!

Most of us are fairly good at unnecessary panic, particularly when it comes to anything to do with money. However, the truth is, for most freelancers, there will be times when the work isn’t coming in as quickly as they would like it to. Panic is a waste of time and effort, time and effort, which would be far better spent on more productive activities. One way to avoid panic when freelance work dries up is to make sure you always have an emergency fund to cover your expenses during any gaps in income. We have some suggestions below as to how you might wisely use any time made available by freelance work gaps.

Develop multiple freelance income streams

When you find a client or a niche you like, it is very tempting to send all of your work effort in that direction. This however can be a mistake, if you have too narrow a bank of work, you are putting yourself at risk should a particular client no longer need you or a particular niche lose its market value. For example, at Fi Darby Freelance, we love to write about the outdoors and will always jump at the opportunity to do so for clients. However, our policy is to be as broad as we can in both our writing topics and our genre. Having multiple income streams is healthy; as well making good business sense, it keeps your writing interesting and keeps you at the top of your writing game.

Create your own digital products

One way to increase your number of income streams when freelance work dries up is to develop your own digital products. Self-help guides, well-written e-books, infographics and high quality images can all have a market value if you target the right audience. Well thought out and carefully crafted digital products are also a great way to showcase your abilities and show both potential and existing clients just how useful you can be. They are also a useful means of collecting subscribers and opening up a whole world of marketing potential.

Take a look at freelance work patterns

As with any job, freelance often work falls into a pattern. The difference is that, as freelancers, we are often so involved with our current project that we forget to look at overall patterns of work. For example, you might want to ask yourself the questions below and take action on the answers:

  • How much freelance work comes through on a Friday?
  • Do you get sent more work at the beginning of the month or the end?
  • Is there a month when you can predict low work requirements?
  • Do you have a steady income from month to month?
  • Which of your clients provides the most steady income?
  • Has your income level from any particular clients shown a significant drop?

Find time for networking

Networking, particularly if it is done face to face, is a great way of gaining a trusting audience and letting people know exactly how you can help them. As a freelancer you have an advantage because lots of people are interested in freelance working. When you find yourself with time to spare look for business networks to join and start making online contact with possible new clients through a social media that will suit your demographic (if you haven’t already created a LinkedIn account do so asap). Don’t go for the hard sell but make yourself available to answer questions about what you do and be as helpful as possible.

Teach someone else your freelance skills

Teaching freelance skills doesn’t just mean standing in front of an audience, although we do recommend this as a confidence boost and a really good way of putting your skills out there. Teaching can also be done online or via individual tutoring, so have a think about how you can open up your horizons by providing hints and tips about your niche or experiences. The great thing about teaching is that it immediately puts out the idea that you are the expert. You may well surprise yourself when you find out how much you know about your topic.

Tidy up your freelance systems

Freelancers are often very busy people and, as such, can sometimes let their organisation systems slip. If you have a period of low work levels, take the time to improve your systems so that they make your life easier when you are busy again. For example you might like to consider:

  • Creating a spreadsheet to record of all your freelance work
  • Brushing up on the latest VAT and tax information
  • Contacting previous clients and re-offering your services
  • Streamlining your invoice and receipt systems
  • Updating your contacts list
  • Creating a website portfolio
  • Updating your own blog
  • Checking and updating your social media profiles
  • Scheduling social media posting via an SMMS such as Buffer
  • Working out how to implement the latest SEO advice

Whatever you decide to do if the freelance work dries up, make sure you do something productive, that you will be pleased you have done when the freelance work picks up again… because it will do… we promise!


How to choose your blogging niche

Blog writing within your niche

Most bloggers start blog writing within their niche, in other words writing about a topic that they enjoy and know something about. In my case this blogging niche led to a career as a very successful outdoor blogger and later as a freelance copywriter. Here are my three top tips on how to choose your own blogging niche and maybe end up with your own new blogging career.

Choose your blogging niche carefully

There are 3 important factors to take into account when choosing your blogging niche, here at Fi Darby Freelance we recommend taking some notice of each of them.

  1. What do you enjoy doing? If you like doing something it will be easy to do more of that thing and provide yourself with more material for your blog.
  2. What are other people blogging about? Do your research and think carefully about choosing a blogging niche in an already saturated market (see a niche within a niche below).
  3. Realistically how much time will you be able to give to your blog? By choosing a blogging niche that fits into your busy schedule, you will give yourself far more chance of success. If you choose, say, Travel to China, and can only go to China once very two years, you may struggle with your blogging.

Consider a niche within a blogging niche

If you really want to write about a topic that is already well covered by the blogging community, do some careful research and work out what sub-topics those people are writing, and maybe more importantly, are not writing about. If you can pick a niche within a niche that is new, exciting and without too much competition, you will have far more chance of standing out amongst the crowd. For instance, there are lots of bloggers writing about health and fitness but maybe not so many about health and fitness whilst travelling (and maybe even fewer about upside down beach exercises for health and fitness whilst travelling!)

Ignore all the above blogging niche advice

Life and careers don’t always follow a set plan and sometimes you can start a venture without even considering where it might take you. If you are a planner, the advice contained in points 1 and 2 will help you consider and refine your blogging niche options. If you are more of a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ type of person, you might find that the ‘see where it takes me’ approach to blogging works best for you. The great news is that blogging has become a niche of its own, once you have perfected your art as a blogger, why not do a bit of meta-blogging (as in metacognition rather than meta tags) and teach other people how to do it?

It seems to be working for me!

How can bloggers improve their website ranking?

How to be a Digital Nomad

My website needs a blog – where do I start?

Why does my website need a blog?

If your beautifully designed and eye-catching website isn’t presenting itself on the first page of Google searches (SERPs) then you have a problem; most people don’t look beyond this key first page, which means that most people aren’t going to even see your website. Including a blog on your website can make a big difference to your Google ranking, a blog achieves several of Google’s ‘I like this page’ goals,

  • A blog allows for increased, natural use of keywords
  • A blog keeps your website regularly updated
  • A blog increases the number of pages on your website
  • A blog encourages website visitors to stay for longer
  • A blog is a key inbound marketing tool

What is a blog?

A blog is a short and interesting article that serves two main purposes,

  1. It attracts interested parties to your website and keeps them interested while you deliver sales messages
  2. It helps the Google search engines to rank your website for important keywords

Can I write my blog posts myself?

There are lots of successful bloggers out there; most of them are self-taught and have learned their writing craft from the bottom up. Anyone can learn how to write blog posts and it can be very enjoyable but before you embark down the self-written road for your business website, you might like to consider the following points,

  • Regular blog post writing is required for SEO success (at least once a month)
  • Excellent grammar and spelling skills are a must for blog writing
  • Search engines are fussy and meeting Google’s requirements takes skill

Can a professional writer understand my market?

The answer to this question is definitely yes! A professional copywriter or blog writer will know how to ask you the right questions about your business and your requirements and will have the skills to translate this information into attractive and successful blog posts. Here are some of the skills a professional copywriter should possess,

  • Solid research skills around a given topic
  • The ability to suggest suitable blog topic titles
  • Excellent communication skills
  • An understanding of SEO services including keyword planning, keyword density and keyword placement
  • Writing skills that can weave the above together into a blog post that will leave your readership looking forward to the next post and boost your sales

Where can I find a professional blog writer?

Well done, you already have. At Fi Darby Freelance we have a proven track record of successful and effective blog post writing both for ourselves and for clients. Take a look at our portfolio to find out more and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if we can help you with any of your copywriting requirements.

How to be a Digital Nomad

How can bloggers improve their website ranking?

Whether you write blog posts for pleasure or for clients (at Fi Darby Freelance we do both) learning how to blend great writing with effective Google SEO tools is a vital skill for any blogger, one which takes time and experience. The purpose of any blog, even one belonging to a digital nomad, should be to gain readership then encourage either further reading or clicks through to sales. With that in mind you need to make sure as a blogger that you, a) consider Google ranking, b) make sure you create readable and informative content. If you follow these maxims and post regular blog content, with an eye to Google ranking, you will find that, in time, your website (or the website of your clients) will move up the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Today’s blog post is aimed at bloggers who are new to Google SEO and keyword research, in order to prevent things getting too confusing, we have our three top answers to the question, ‘How can bloggers improve their website ranking?’

1. Be a committed blogger and make regular posts

You were probably expecting something more technical for our first Google SEO improvement point but upping the frequency of your blog posts can be one of your most simple and effective SEO tools. There are several reasons for this,

Increasing the number of pages on your website is important for Google ranking

More blog content means more opportunities to apply your keyword research

A good blogger can inspire higher Google ranking through longer website visits

Good blog content encourages inbound links, which are one of the important SEO tools

2. Do your keyword research

Keywords are the words used during internet searches and one of the most important tools for Google SEO. For example, if you were looking for a blog post about website ranking, you might choose the keywords ‘Google ranking’ or ‘website ranking’. You should select a few keywords but put your main focus on just one. The good news is that there are free Google SEO tools out there to help you with keyword research, a couple of examples would be KWFinder and Moz’s Keyword Explorer. These give you a set of metrics for each keyword related to a word or set of words of your choice. For a blogger the two most important metrics are,

Keyword monthly volume

This tells you how many times a keyword (remember these can be more than one word) has been used in internet searches. Using popular keywords can improve your website ranking. Look for keywords with high monthly volume.

Keyword difficulty

Keyword difficulty puts a numerical value on how difficult it is going to be for your site to compete with other sites using the same keyword. Look for keywords with lower values for keyword difficulty.

3. Use your SEO tools carefully and check your keyword density

Keyword density is not something the average blogger thinks about when they start their blog but as a blog following grows and opportunities to make money from it materialise, most bloggers’ thoughts turn to Google ranking. Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase occurs within a piece of web content (e.g. a blog post). The jury is out on what exactly the blog post keyword density should be but if you aim for around 1% – 2% for each keyword you should achieve a blog of which the search engines controlling your website ranking approve, but your readers still want to read.

As with keyword research, there are free Google SEO tools out there that will tell you the keyword density of a piece of blog writing or a web page. These include, Small SEO Tools’ Keyword Density Checker and the Live Keyword Analysis tool.

It would be impossible for all bloggers to have top Google ranking and there are many more elements to Google’s algorithms and search engine optimisation methods (these are always changing). However by trying out the three SEO tools suggested above; being a committed blogger, using effective keyword research and checking keyword density, you will be taking steps towards being one of those bloggers you envy, whose posts always come up higher than yours in the Google ranking. One word of warning though, SEO tools are not everything and informative writing with consistently correct spelling and grammar is just as important, even for the most technically minded blogger.

Note – The five keywords I chose via keyword research for this blog post all had a keyword density of between 0.8% and 2%. See if you can work out which they were!


How to be a Digital Nomad

How to be a Digital Nomad

In truth I am currently somewhat under-qualified to describe life as a digital nomad because this is my first day of freelance writing combined with remote working and I still have a home office, but I like to think that I am on my way to the wandering freelance work life of a digital nomad (at least for part of each year). You would think, wouldn’t you, that now I have a camper, and with Devon having so many beauty spots from which to choose, I would have selected, for my first remote working session, somewhere more scenic than a garage car park in Newton Abbot. Needs must, however, the camper needed to visit the garage and I couldn’t wait to have a go at this freelance work, digital nomad lark.

I have been working as a freelance copywriter for over a year now. To say things are going well would be an understatement. I have the freedom to go wild swimming, walking, wild camping, help out with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, run navigation workshops and travel, all with next to no notice, and I am still making enough money to save… for example for this camper van.

It has just started raining outside and here I am dry and comfortable inside the van. I have everything I need right here (see my first ‘what does a digital nomad need?’ list below). In, fact I just typed a sentence whilst being driven around to my next ‘check the van out’ position (seatbelt in place of course). I am writing this blog post and am about to post it onto my freelance website, I have a cup of tea and the equipment to make another one and my feet are warm in my ‘van slippers’. Life is good; I have maybe not yet reached the dizzy heights (and beaches) of a digital nomad but I am on my way and if I choose to work on Dartmoor tomorrow and on the beach the next day, I can… and probably will.

So now to that ‘what does a digital nomad need?’ list. I am fairly sure I am going to discover a few more needs, but for now this is what I have:

  1. A campervan – I have tried working from other vehicles and it can be really hard work. A camper van offers the opportunity for refreshment, a comfortable seat, a desk and an afternoon nap.
  2. A laptop – for me, this will always be Apple and I am not talking about iPads. My MacBook Air does the job admirably, it is lightweight, easy to use and can easily be stashed (in its own bubble wrap and dry bag) into my rucksack instead of being left in the van.
  3. Camping facilities – most of us like a cuppa during the working day so my double burner stove, sink, and running water are a real bonus. I don’t have an onboard loo but there are always bushes and a change of scenery for public toilet is no bad thing.
  4. WiFi access – this is a big one and maybe a sticking point for some contemplating the digital nomad lifestyle. I am learning about WiFi access all the time. McDonalds’ car parks are an easy option but I hate the smell of greasy burgers and can see that being brave enough to ask for access is going to be important. I am looking forward to finding out more about mobile hotspot devices such as Skyroam.
  5. A thirst for adventure – no worries there, I love an adventure be it solo, with my husband or with friends. With the right attitude, a day working in a pub car park can be as much of an adventure as the next day’s mountain ascent.

So there we have it. My first piece of work (albeit unpaid) in the new camper and maybe the first step towards being a digital nomad. Now, all we need to do is to find some freelance design work for my husband and the world will be our roaming oyster.

5 tips on Choosing the Right Freelance Writing Job from an Online Jobs Board

If you don’t want to use up precious writing (and money earning) time seeking out freelance writing clients and pitching ideas to them, then online jobs boards can be a quick and easy way to find writing jobs that allow you to work from home. Jobs boards are also a great way for new freelance bloggers to find work and start to build up their freelance writing portfolio. When you first look at an online jobs board, the amount and variation of work can be confusing and often daunting. We give you 5 tips on choosing the right freelancing writing job from an online jobs board.

Choose your online jobs board carefully

There are definitely jobs boards and jobs boards. Take some time to look at the type of work on offer, the prices offered for jobs and the level of protection that the board offers their writers. In our experience, the smaller the board the more likely you are to find quality jobs that suit your style of writing, but this comes with a caveat; small jobs boards such as We Like to Work offer great opportunities but these don’t come along as often as you might like.

Think carefully about UK and US English

On the surface, writing in US English when you are used to UK English or the other way round is not that difficult and shouldn’t necessarily put you off taking on a job. Spell checkers can be permanently set to suit whichever mode you require and grammar websites such as Grammarist are really helpful when it comes to sorting out your ‘organisation’ from your ‘organization’. However, having to think about your grammar and spelling in a different way can take more time than you have spare (especially when you are starting out on lower paid jobs) and even the most alert of blog writers can mistakenly slip an English idiom into a US piece of writing. If your natural writing is UK English then consider charging a bit more for your time if you take jobs for the US.

Look for topics that you understand

We all have more confidence with some topics than others. For example, our writer Fi Darby has her own walking blog and loves to write about the great outdoors, she is also confident with IT because she used to teach it and family life because there isn’t much that bringing up 3 lively children can’t teach you. Freelance blog writing, however, is never that simple and, in order to keep in work, you will have to be prepared to take on at least some topics with which you are not familiar. Choosing the right writing job from a jobs board relies on you striking a balance between what you already know and what you think you can learn. As you do this more, your confidence will grow and you will embrace and enjoy the challenge of learning while you are writing.

Check that there is already information available on that topic

Nobody knows everything about everything and even the best copywriters and blog writers rely, to some extent, on information that is already out there on the internet. The trick with blog writing isn’t being able to rewrite somebody else’s blog post (you will find this boring and your writing will be stunningly unoriginal), but rather to be able to find and check available information in order to intelligently inform your own writing. The internet isn’t the only place to find information, building up a network of social media contacts can be helpful as can seeking out experts (especially ones who like talking about how expert they are!)

Don’t ever underprice yourself

It is very difficult when you start out as a freelance blog writer, to know what price to put on your writing. Too little and you will wear yourself into the ground in order to pay the bills, too much and you won’t find work (at least not until you have built up a decent portfolio). There are several ways to approach this issue, the best one is to look at how much you would earn per hour if you were in a salaried position. Once you know this and you know how long it takes you to write a 1000 word blog post, you are in a great position to make sensible decisions about your pricing. Stick to your guns on pricing, even if you end up losing prospective clients, there will always be other clients out there and the best ones will understand if you feel you have to charge more for certain jobs because they have specific requirements. Only ever consider taking on cheap jobs if they are quick, easy and fill a gap in your more serious client schedule.

At Fi Darby Freelance, blog writing is our speciality but are you sure you understand what a blog actually is? Find out more here.

What is a blog?

Are you wondering whether or not your website needs a blog post? It does… we have 5 reasons for you.

Why does my website need a blog? – We have 5 reasons


How to Get Paid for Writing Quality Blog Posts

If there is one thing we here at Fi Darby Freelance are good at, it is writing blog posts. The life of a blogger is a happy one, you get to research and put down in words all kinds of interesting facts and figures, you also, if you write your own personal blog, get to go out and do interesting things that you can write about. Making money from blog writing takes experience and practice but it can be done. Today we have 6 top blog writing tips that will help you to write blog posts that clients will pay for.

1. Write original blog posts

You won’t have to look around the internet for long to realise that plagiarism (or near plagiarism) is rife. The first thing most clients will do when they receive a completed blog post from you is run it through a plagiarism checker like Copyscape. If they find that your work is copied they won’t be asking you to write for them again (search engines like Google have an intense dislike for repeated text). Even if you don’t copy other people’s work exactly, a blog post that is a near copy, with slightly altered sentence structure and the crafty use of synonyms rarely reads well.

2. Do your own keyword research

It is likely that your client will give you a title for the blog post they want you to write. They may also give you keywords, but before you start it is worth doing your own keyword research around a topic. There are numerous websites out there to help you with this, we are currently enjoying KWFinder and Wordstream.

3. Understand the basic SEO requirements for blogs

You don’t need to be an SEO expert to make sure that your blog post writing meets minimum SEO requirements. Stick to a few simple rules such as including keywords in the title, the first paragraph and in image titles, and you will write a blog that begins to do what your client has paid for, i.e. rank high in the search engine lists.

4. Understand the call to action (CTA) and include it in your blog post

Once your blog post has achieved the goal of bringing visitors to your client’s site, it also needs to do the job of selling, inviting, informing or whatever else your client has specified. A CTA does this and is usually written at the end of a blog post. Read a couple of blog posts (including this one) to see what we mean.

5. Check your research before writing your blog post

We all understand that there is contradictory information out there on the web, what we don’t want to do is include incorrect or misleading information in our blog posts. This will make your work seem unprofessional and could cause problems for your client. The best way to avoid this is to get to the root of a piece or research, quote or suggestion and include a link that will demonstrate your meticulous approach.

6. Put a distinctive tone into your blog writing

If you are writing a blog post for yourself you should write from the perspective of your own personality. However, if you are being paid to write a blog post for someone else, it is worth reading material that they have already included on their website to find out which tone they prefer. It can also help to understand the target audience for your blog post.

We at Fi Darby Freelance love writing blog posts and have a long list of satisfied clients. If you would like to talk to Fi about a regular blog for your website do feel free to get in touch on 07794407581 or for a no obligation chat and quote.

Whilst writing this blog post we have been putting some of our own tips into practice. Read it again and see if you can spot:

  1. A title that includes the keywords ‘blog posts’ and ‘paid’.
  2. A call to action (what we would like you to do next).
  3. A unique and carefully crafted blog post.
  4. Sub titles that include keywords.
  5. A first paragraph that includes keywords.

How To Set Up a Home Office

52% of all UK businesses registered with Companies House are operated from the owner’s home. That’s 2.75 million home businesses and a significant proportion of our UK economy. Setting up a home office is an exciting prospect but, whatever your business idea, it is important to ensure that you have a space in which you know you will be able to concentrate, work and get on with being successful. We have 10 top tips to help you set up your home office and work from home in comfort.

1. Choose an office space you will enjoy being in

The simple truth is that if you don’t like a space, you won’t be relaxed in it and if you aren’t relaxed you won’t be able to work productively.

2. Be generous with your home office desk

Your desk doesn’t have to be expensive (it doesn’t even have to be a desk) but it does need to be suitable for purpose. That tiny table in the corner may make your office look big but will it really allow you adequate room to spread out your laptop, diary, paperwork and that vital cup of tea?

3. Spend a bit on your office chair

Chances are you will be spending a fair amount of time at your desk, particularly in the early days of your new business. Your quality of work will suffer if your sitting position is poor. Take some time to shop around for an office chair, it doesn’t have to be brand new but it does need to provide effective support for your back. The best seating posture is a relaxed angle of 100 to 110 degrees.

4. Think about lighting for your home office

Your eyes are going to work hard in the early days of your business so give them a chance by ensuring that the lighting in your home office is suitable for purpose. Lighting shouldn’t be too bright especially if it is causing glare on your screen, for this reason you should position your computer screen so that it isn’t directly in front of a window.

5. Build plenty of storage into your home office design

It has been suggested that clutter in a room can lead to clutter in our heads. Whilst this is not true for everybody, having a tidy office is efficient and can save precious work time.

6. Ensure adequate internet connections

Few of us can run our businesses with no internet access and we all get fed up with slow broadband and lagging websites. This sort of frustration adds to workplace stress (something you especially want to avoid if your workplace is also your home). Before you locate your home office spend some time comparing connection speeds in different rooms.

7. Add a bit of nature to your home office

Being outside is good for us and, whilst you may not have much time when you are first setting up your home business, you can get the feeling of being in the great outdoors in your home office. Make sure that you have windows that you can open and add some plants to give greenery and additional oxygen.

8. Consider noise factors

When choosing which room to use as a home office you should think about noises in and around the room that might disturb you. If you are next to the kitchen will you feel fidgety when the family comes in to use it?

You should also make sure that you have some provision for music or podcasts in your home office. Most of us don’t want to work to music all of the time but it can help when we are feeling a bit tired.

9. Ring the changes

Don’t be afraid to take advantage of the fact that you are working from home. Whilst your home office should be your main home base, enjoy your ‘home worker’ status by taking your work elsewhere from time to time. If you are baking a cake work in the kitchen and enjoy the aromas from the oven, if you feel the need for fresh air then head out to the garden. On a rainy day, you might even want to consider sending a few emails from the greenhouse!

10. Enjoy your home office

Take a moment each day to appreciate the fact that you are working from home, that you can have your lunch whenever you want to, that you can start at 5 and finish at 3 and that you can go to the loo as many times a day as necessary. If 55% of offices are at home, that leaves 45% that are not, we at Fi Darby Freelance know which we prefer.