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.


What is Inbound Marketing?

Most people these days have heard the term ‘inbound marketing’ but many will still be unclear as to exactly what it is and how it relates to their marketing strategy or small business. At Fi Darby Freelance we like things to be simple so we have given you a few answers to the question, ‘What is inbound marketing?’.

Definition: inbound marketing attracts prospective customers before they even know they want to buy something

Inbound marketing pulls customers in by providing stimulating content (visual, audio or written) that shares a brand message and makes them want to find out more.

Inbound marketing is not the same thing as outbound marketing

Outbound marketing (what we know generally as ‘advertising’) relies on a business sending its marketing message to a defined audience. TV adverts, mail campaigns and posters would all be examples of outbound advertising.

Inbound marketing uses online media to attract your audience

Have you ever clicked through to a website because you like their Instagram video or checked out an online shop because their blog post made you laugh? If you have then you have been the subject of successful inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing works because people (potential customers) don’t like adverts

Most of us get exasperated with advertising. It interrupts our viewing, appears through our doors and pops up on our social media pages. Inbound marketing is more subtle, if we like a video we want to find out more, if we read something that makes sense we are interested in the company.

Inbound marketing techniques are varied

Inbound marketing is vibrant and techniques are ever evolving they include videos, blogs, giveaways, e-books, social media quizzes and influencer marketing.

Blogs are a great example of inbound marketing

By including a blog on your website you will not only attract new customers, you will build up a loyal following, convert that following into sales and improve your SEO.

At Fi Darby Freelance our inbound marketing speciality is blog writing. We provide high quality, keyword centred blog posts to global clients. We will take on any topic in either American or UK English and are skilled at weaving essential keywords into informative, grammatically correct and entertaining posts. For more information and a free no-obligation quote please contact us.

To find out more about Fi Darby Freelance, take a look at our freelance portfolio here.

Freelance Portfolio

UK English Versus American English

With the continuation of globalisation and the rise of the gig economy most blog or web article copywriters will find themselves with clients from all over the world. This is great news because diversity makes our job much easier but the version of English required by clients can vary from country to country and subtle differences in spelling, word meaning or grammar can catch the unwary copywriter out and irritate clients. We look at some of the key differences between UK English and American English.

Choose the right version of English

If you aren’t sure whether your client wants you to write in UK or American English be certain to ask. Mainland USA obviously uses American English but so do some of the areas of the world that the USA frequently trades or has historical connections with such as Japan, South Korea and Jordan. Most Caribbean countries also opt for American English but those that are part of the Commonwealth prefer the UK version.

American vocabulary is not always the same as English vocabulary

Most of us are used to understanding some of the common USA/UK vocabulary differences. Word interchanges like ‘tap’ and ‘faucet’ or ‘football’ and ‘soccer’ are well known. However, when you are a busy copywriter it is easy to slip up and miss some of the more subtle vocabulary differences. For example, if you are writing a travel post and use the sentence, ‘The coach arrived late’, there is a chance that your audience might be searching for a previous reference to a sports instructor. If you are ever unsure, considering checking with your client which version they prefer. If you don’t want to do that, there is help out there on the web. Oxford Dictionaries, for example, have a fairly comprehensive list of British words and expressions alongside their American equivalents. Some that you might want to watch out from a content point of view include:

  1. ‘car park’ (UK) and ‘parking lot’ (USA)
  2. ‘aluminium’ (UK) and ‘aluminum’ (USA)
  3. ‘current account’ (UK) and ‘checking account’ (USA)
  4. ‘estate agent’ (UK) and ‘real estate agent’ or ‘realtor’ (USA)
  5. ‘pay packet’ (UK) and ‘pay envelope’ (USA)

Learn the common differences between English and US spelling

Whilst it is possible to check any UK and US spelling differences online (Grammarist is a great place to do this) or alter your word processor’s grammar setting to the country of your choice, it will speed up your writing and help you avoid mistakes if you learn some of the basic spelling differences between English and US spelling.

  1. Word ending in ‘ise’ or ‘yse’ in UK English will be correctly spelt with ‘ize’ or ‘yze’ for an American audience. For example, organise/organize.
  2. UK English words that end in ‘our’ will typically be spelt with ‘or’ in USA English. For example, neighbour/neighbor.
  3. Words that in UK English end in ‘ce’ are often written with ‘se’ in American English. It should be noted that the rules for these in UK English can be complicated (usually ‘ce’ for a noun and ‘se’ for a verb).

American punctuation is not always the same as English punctuation

Apart from the obvious issues surrounding the cultural differences between ‘full stops’ and ‘periods’ American punctuation is very similar to English with a couple of key exceptions:

  1. Americans tend to use double quotation marks whereas single ones are more common in English (both are acceptable although not in the same document).
  2. In USA English it is usual for a comma to be placed before the ‘and’ at the end of a list. In UK English this would be incorrect.

We have only picked out a few of the differences between UK English and US English. It is important not to be put off a job just because you will need to write in the version of English that is no so familiar to you. Instead, spend some time reading related blogs and articles in the same version. You will find that this will help to familiarise you with language and grammar expectations. Set your spelling and grammar checker to the version you require and it will do most of the hard work for you. Language is not a static beast and in a few years time, these rules may well have changed. At Fi Darby Freelance we say embrace the differences, they may not be with us for much longer!

For a friendly and experienced chat about web content development for your project in either US or UK English please feel free to get in touch with us at Fi Darby Freelance.




Will artificial intelligence replace human content writers?

As a species we’ve made a mess of a fair few things but we’ve proved ourselves to be adept in the field of invention. We invented wheels to stop ourselves walking, we invented steam engines to put ourselves out of work and now we have invented artificial intelligence to help us avoid the strain of thinking. As I type I’m aware that there is a high possibility my content writing will be the tool that eventually puts me out of a job. To explain I examine the question of whether or not AI will ever replace human content writing.

Computer generated content writing is already with us

Almost all blog content you currently read on the web is human written but once technology perfects the art of rewriting existing articles, this will change. At present it is likely that if you read sports or financial reports, at least some of these will have been written by computer. You won’t be able to tell because these formulaic snippets of text don’t require much variety of language.

If you think about it, machine written content could even be better than human written. Computers have far quicker access to existing information than humans and can assimilate it in a fraction of the time. Computers now also have the ability to judge their audience and write accordingly. Something many of us content writers would love to get right every time!

Computers are learning how to write

Today the Internet has an estimated (nobody actually knows) 50 billion web pages. This number will have grown by tomorrow, and the next day… This represents an awful lot of writing and all of this writing is already used by programmes like Google’s search algorithms and Siri’s language generation to conduct machine learning into language patterns, styles and responses, all of which will lead to more ‘human’ computer generated language. This is known as Natural Language Generation and is progressing fast.

Should we be worried?

Well if you are a content writer like me then the answer to this is ‘yes’. Pundits predict that by 2018 20% of web content will be computer written. If you are planning to retire next year then fine, otherwise you might want to start learning a few alternative skills. There are questions too of course about the impact of machine writing on the quality and innovation of language, vocabulary and style, and computers have already been proven to ‘learn’ bias such as gender stereotypes from existing web content. The debate is interesting and one I shall certainly be watching.

For now though, quality human written content remains the best way in which to reach your web audience, build a relationship with them and promote your products or services. For a friendly and experienced chat about web content development for your project please feel free to get in touch with us at Fi Darby Freelance.

We don’t bite, we write!

Choosing Keywords for Your Blog Post

Whilst a few blogs are written to keep a personal record of events, most have a public purpose, usually to either deliver an opinion or drive web traffic towards a website in order to sell a product or service. Whichever reason we have for blogging it is important to make sure that our blogs are picked up in search engine results (search engine optimisation or SEO). Choosing and using keywords correctly is a big element in search engine success:

What are keywords?

Keywords are the triggers that search engine spiders and algorithms look for in order to determine the importance of your webpage with regard to a certain niche topic.

When somebody enters a Google search, Google looks at previously stored indexes to pick out the relevant pages. It then uses algorithms (pieces of problem solving program code) to decide which sites are the most likely to answer the given search question.

The correct use of keywords in your blog post will help Google and other search engines to index your website for that particular topic.

How do I choose keywords for my blog post?

The easiest way to think about this is to ask yourself which search you would do to find your own page. For example if you wrote a blog post about employment trends in the UK, the words ’employment’, ‘trends’ and ‘UK’ should all be mentioned throughout the post.

It is also important to use keyword research tools to check that you are using the optimal keywords for your topic. For example you might find for your employment trends blog that the phrase ‘job trends’ is just as important as ’employment trends’. Both Yoast and Serps offer free keyword research tools but if you are already using Google Adwords we recommend their own tool.

What is the difference between long tail and short tail keywords?

Broadly speaking short tail and long tail keywords perform the same search engine function. However they need to be used in different ways depending on what type of web traffic you want to direct towards your site.

Short Tail Keywords

Short tail keywords are three words or less long. They can answer a high volume of search questions which is great, but this volume makes it difficult to achieve high rank. For example if you used the keyword ‘camping’ in your blog post, your page would be listed by Google but the list would be so long that your page would disappear into it. In other words short tail keywords are great for generating volume but, unless you are an international company, are unlikely to get sales conversions.

Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are more specific and contain more than three words. If you use a long tail keyword it is going to answer a lower volume of search questions but this lack of volume means that the list of results will be shorter and you have more chance of being a first page result. To continue our example you can see that, ‘top camp sites Devon UK’ would bring up more specific results.

The great thing about long tail keywords is that they are far more likely to bring people to your page who are looking for what you have to offer, this in turn leads to a higher conversion rate (clicks that become sales).

How often should I use keywords in my blog?

There is much discussion on this topic and Google like to keep such information under their algorithmic hats. However, the key to good keyword use is to avoid stuffing. Keyword stuffing is when you use your keyword phrase so many times that it renders your blog difficult or annoying to read.

The suggested rate of keyword usage used to be 1%-2%, for a 500 word blog post this would mean using your keyword between 5 and 10 times. We would suggest writing your post first and then checking your keyword usage. Google can check semantics (the meaning of language) so making sure that your blog post is well written is actually more important than the number of times you use a keyword.

Where should I use keywords in my blog post?

To speed up its processes and save data space, search engines such as Google will look for keyword data in certain places on your web page. As far as possible, try to use your researched keywords in:

  1. The title of your post (H1 Tag)
  2. On image tags (rename your images to include your keyword)
  3. In internal links (if you are linking to another page on your site)
  4. On site navigation links
  5. In meta data (information that is in your page’s code but can’t be seen)

When you first start thinking about keywords things can get a bit confusing but it is important to remember that good quality writing will almost certainly already contain important keywords. Our tips above will help you to hone your writing so that it remains easy to read but also achieves great search engine results.

Do you want to be part of the gig economy and work from home as a freelance writer? Fi Darby Freelance share their tips:

Fi Darby Freelance offer a wide range of blogging, copywriting and editing services. For a friendly chat about your needs, feel free to contact us.



5 questions people always ask about working from home

The gig economy is on the rise; in February 2016 the University of Hertfordshire undertook research which suggested that a quarter of women in the UK have sought to work from home via online platforms and a quarter of all gig workers use this work as their sole income.

Let’s say you have done your research, chosen your line of work and given up your day job. Whether you are doing copywriting, web design, graphics work or coding (all of these are common ‘work from home’ jobs) there are some questions you are bound to ask:

Do I need to set up a home office?

The answer to this one is ‘yes’ and ‘no’. If you have a laptop, it is entirely possible to work from home, at the kitchen table or even in the garden. However, although these are great for a quick change of scenery or if you are watching the oven, long-term you are going to need a space in which you can shut yourself away from the rest of the world.

Do I need to work normal office hours?

This really depends on what type of work you are doing. The gig economy is global so you might find that clients expect you to work during hours that suit their timezone. The great thing about freelance working from home is the flexibility. It would be a mistake not to sometimes take advantage of this, but if you want your new business to be a success, you will have to be fierce with yourself; if you take an hour off to go for a swim at midday, make yourself work that hour either early in the morning or in the evening.

How can I keep myself motivated?

There are lots of ways to do this but here at Fi Darby Freelance we find the following three things work:

a) Remind yourself regularly what it was like when you worked set hours and weren’t in control.

b) Keep daily records of how much you are earning. If nothing else the reality of bill-paying is a great motivator.

c) Set yourself mini targets every day. This could be a written to-do list, a target number of blog readers or even an interesting piece of research; anything that will give you a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day.

What can I do about feeling lonely?

It can be a social shock going from the workplace to home working. In many ways the solitude is a pleasant change, but you should also be aware of your mental health; we all need contact with other humans. Keeping in touch has never been easier via social media but getting out and actually meeting people is important too. Try to find other people who are working from home, attend business networking events or go on a course that will help you to make contacts.

Am I going to enjoy working from home?

The answer to this one is entirely up to you. Most life experiences are what we make them. Like anything else, there are pros and cons to working from home. Being responsible for your own wage takes a bit of getting used to and finding your initial clients can be daunting. Once you settle down however, you will find that the world is literally your oyster; which is great if you happen to like oysters!

Interested in finding writing work online? Here’s one place to start.