James Donaghue SEO

Introducing James Donaghue Freelance SEO Consultant

This is my first blog on this website. I would like to say hello and to just add a note at how proud I am to be a part of this brilliant website.

My aim is to blog about blockchain technologies, SEO, and digital marketing. I am also open to requests. I can write about almost any subject such as business strategies, finance, management, marketing, as well as about life in general. I work as an online freelance writer and SEO consultant specialist, so there is not much I have not come across.

When I first began working as an online freelancer, I took almost any job that was thrown my way. I remember writing 50 articles of 500 words about baby changing tables for $4 an article back in the day. Not my best work at the time I am sure, but I was living in Thailand working as an English teacher not earning much money at all. The writing was a way to bring in some extra cash. I would write in between teaching lessons, on the BTS sky train on the way home, and in the taxi.

Before I was an English teacher, there was no way I would have dreamt about becoming a professional writer. I also had zero ideas as to what SEO was at the time. However, back then in Thailand, all you needed was a 4 week TEFL teaching cert and you were thrown in a classroom. Some took the job as a joke, but me, I knuckled down and made sure I knew my English language structure inside out.

I gained such a good reputation as a teacher I was invited to teach IELTS as a private teacher after school. I took up the invitation, which led me to help university students with their communication arts, marketing, and even business management degrees. It as then that my writing became extremely good, and teaching business management and marketing almost every day for 4 years has meant that the concepts involved with marketing have always stuck in mind.

After my writing skills online became so good, I could earn enough money to give up the school teaching job. I was then a private GCSE economics, business studies and geography teacher, a private IELTS teacher as well as teaching university-level business, management, and marketing.

Soon enough I would step into the world of digital marketing after being offered my first website content management and development job. As inquisitive as I am, I learned the art of online sales funnels using the content as my weapon. It was at this point around 5 years ago that I stepped into the world of SEO and never looked back.

Now I write for over 10 different blogs regularly, and I have an established team of SEO outreach professionals. I still love to write because it is my way of staying in touch with the world. Writing means researching and fact-finding. Then, when you write, it helps you organize your thoughts and the structure of the concept you are trying to write about. All this keeps me ahead in the world of SEO, marketing, business, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain technologies.

I look forward to writing many blogs on here in the future.

VPN Blog Banner

What is a VPN and Why do I Need One

In a previous VPN blog we discussed VPNs and some people seemed keen to learn more, so we are going cover the topic of VPNs once again.

What is a VPN is a common question among internet users nowadays. You may know that VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, but what it actually does might still be confusing. Before you know wat is VPN you should know why you need one because the internet today is not the same as it was twenty years ago.

Why do I need a VPN

 The internet connects all of us, no matter where we are in the world. This is very useful, but it comes with a cost. Every time you use the internet, or any public network, you are visible to other people on the network. Not only can hackers find out about you, but government agencies and even companies are using the information that they find.

Some of us might say they have nothing to hide, but even if you have nothing to hide, do you want strangers going through your personal information? Probably not. That is why a VPN is important. VPNs protect you from any prying eyes that might be lurking on the internet; stopping them from finding out more about you and also stopping them from accessing your private data.

Not only is your privacy and data security at risk, but VPNs can help you gain access to parts of the internet that you previously couldn’t. Some governments and ISPs block access to online content. For example, BBC Prime and Netflix US are only available in their respective countries. If you want to gain access to this online content, you will have to use a VPN.

What is a VPN

 The internet is a public network where anyone can look at anyone. A VPN is your way of stopping this. VPNs do exactly what their names say, they create a Virtual Private Network, for you to use when accessing the internet. This creates a wall (‘tunnel’) between you and the internet. That way, no one can see who you are, where you are from, or what you are doing. All they will see is the VPN of your choosing.

This is a very efficient way of protecting yourself on the internet and government agencies have been using them for years to protect valuable information. Military-grade encryption ensures that no one can gain access to your real identity.

Your digital identity is wrapped up in your IP address. VPNs provide you with a different IP address which protects you, but also allows you to change where you live at the click of a button – which allows you to access geographically-blocked content.

What is VPN pricing

 Not all VPNs work the same, so you should consider what VPN you are looking for. Do you need privacy, internet speeds, or the ability to access a specific country’s server? When shopping for a VPN, consider buying a subscription. Free VPNs are risky as many of them aren’t as secure as they say. Some even log their client’s information, which defeats the purpose of using a VPN.

Pricing usually varies between packages, with monthly, semi-annually, and annual packages available. Generally, the prices range from $3 – $12 a month, with single month subscriptions costing the most.


Prosan Delivery

Five Essentials to Running a Smooth Facilities Department

One of the key areas in any business is managing the facilities department for the building in which operations for the company take place. In this piece, we will be talking about some of the key areas a facilities team will concentrate on in order to help the employees work more efficiently. Remember that efficiency means productivity, which is why we have decided that this month we will be covering this subject.


  • Secure Deliveries

If your company takes a lot of deliveries, then the facilities management team should be responsible for the secure delivery of all items. Some businesses have large loading bays in which all deliveries will pass through. This could be anything from new computer systems, suspended ceilings, building materials, office furniture, and of course office as well as other building supplies.

Once the deliveries have passed through the security team, they will then need to make their way to the correct department. Either the security team can be tasked with making sure that the delivery reaches its inhouse destination or in larger businesses the facilities manager will have a specific team in place to make sure everything arrives in the correct place at the right time.


  • Security Team

Facilities managers are responsible for organizing building security. There is a good reason for this too. As everything and everyone that comes in and out of the building are the responsibility of the security team, which as they are looking after the best interests of the building, the facilities team should take responsibility for this department.

This is in cases in which the company hires security on its own or whether the company uses a third-party security company to supply them with a security team.


  • Security Cameras and Alarm Systems

In fact, anything that is electronically operated, aside from IT system, should come under the wing of the facilities team. This means taking responsibility for the alarm and security equipment such as CCTV. Testing fire alarms and intruder alarms are extremely important because should they fail and a fire or a break-in occurs, then the insurance premiums for the business could in fact double.

This is because the insurance company will have already discounted annual premiums because of the systems in place, but if they prove to be ineffective, then the company will be put in a higher risk band.  IT can take years to come off what is like a blacklist imposed by insurance providers.


  • Electrical Systems

We just mentioned CCTV and alarm systems. These are included within the electrical systems but deserved their own section. In this section, we cover the entire electrical system of a building. Electrics comes under the wing of the facilities department. That means plug sockets, lighting, electrical circuits, electronics in the building kitchen such as microwaves and kettles. Also, bathroom electronics such as hand dryers and all other washroom equipment that is electronically operated.

With all that being said, generally, any IT equipment is not the responsibility of facilities as long as there is an onsite or third-party IT team looking after this side of the business. However, the facilities team will be responsible for the electrical circuitry that runs to the IT equipment. Lastly, all aircon units, as well as heating equipment in the building, are also part of the electronics system that must be maintained by the facilities department.


  • Water Supplies

Last but not least is the plumbing works leading into and through the building. This can include fire sprinkler systems, making sure all kitchens and bathrooms are supplied with water correctly as well as dealing with issues such toilets or sinks overflowing, broken faucets on taps and making sure the cleaners are able to access to a water supply in order to mop floors. The cleaners will also need access to a place where they can hygienically dispose of the dirty water.

VPN Info

VPNs Overview

Following on from our previous VPN topic, if you don’t already know, it is becoming increasingly important to focus on your online security, privacy and anonymity. In fact, you could say that ‘important’ might even be an understatement. One could easily get away with calling the situation dire. Every day, there are new attacks to personal freedoms, hackers are getting smarter and more sophisticated, governments are infringing on the rights of their citizens, and the list goes on and on.

You might be asking yourself how everyone is able to cope with all of this and keep themselves safe, and you would be right to do so. The answer, of course, is the ever-increasing popularity of virtual private networks (VPNs). So, what is a VPN, or as they ask in France, “Qu’est ce qu’un VPN”.

The basics

In a nutshell, a VPN is a service offered by a company which is intended to protect the connection and data flow of their users. VPN services create encrypted connections between user computers and the VPN servers. Through that encrypted connection, users are able to send requests to the internet and receive responses without governments, ISPs, and hackers being able to see any of their online activity. Because the connection is encrypted, even if someone were to access the data flow going to or from the VPN servers, the information would be unreadable and, therefore, unusable. One thing to pay attention to when first starting to compare VPN services is the quality at which the VPN service handles that encrypted connection. Some, naturally, are better than others.

Types of VPNs

There are many types of VPNs available today. You can find many free VPN services which are supported by ads and often owned by questionable companies, you can find moderately priced VPNs which provide good basic services, and you can find full-fledged security-focused solutions which turn complete anonymity and security into child’s play. As with many other things in life, the quality of service you get is often tied to the amount of money that you pay for the VPN. However, there are many fantastic options available that will not break the bank.

What to look for

One of the main things that you want to consider when shopping for a VPN what you’re going to be using that service for. Some VPNs are perfect to have running all the time to secure everything you do online and do not slow you down in any noticeable way. Some VPNs are more robust, and tend to be a bit slower, but offer far higher levels of security. There are even some VPNs that are focused on streaming geo-blocked online content, as well as services geared towards downloading torrents. If you happen to reside in a country which works hard to block Internet access, there are also VPNs which help get through countrywide firewalls.

Which type of service is right for you?

Settling on the perfect VPN service for your needs comes down to a simple equation. How advanced are your needs, where do you live, and how much per month you are willing to pay for online privacy. The good thing is the VPN market these days has become so competitive, most of the top tier VPN services offer complete packages at very fair prices. Our advice to you would be to read through reviews for your preferred service before paying the subscription. That way you can be sure you’re getting the perfect VPN for your needs.

Social Media Mobile

The Importance of Facebook Likes for Your Online Business

We highly doubt there are very many people on the planet that have not heard of Facebook but it holds so much more power than just being a place for people to stay connected. It has now become a hugely powerful marketing tool for businesses which are able to have business pages listed on the platform for people to find, follow and converse with.

If you know Facebook then you are likely to know about the Facebook ‘like’, a thumbs up that people can give to posts, comments and pages on the platform. If you are running a business, when you get these likes given to you, you are getting more than just one happy person – you are potentially finding many more.

How a Facebook Like Can Help Your Business

When that person likes your business page he will automatically subscribe to any future posts that you make. This means that straight away you have one more set of eyes that could see what you are posting. Secondly, if that person were to share any posts that you make, that number of eyes potentially has the chance to multiply.

Each and every fresh like that you get has a big chance of doing the above so before long you could have hundreds or even thousands of likes as your content is shared from friend to friends.

Likes Build Trust

Another big benefit to having plenty of likes on your pages is that any new visitor that is thinking about purchasing your products or services but is unsure about you or your company will be able to see that you are popular. They kind of work as a barometer and give you a much better chance of sealing a deal compared to a business with very few likes.

Getting Likes in the First Place

The trickiest part for most businesses is starting out on Facebook. It can be difficult to get those first few links other than those achieved by asking your real-life friends and family to like your page – which as we know, these are not really your target audience.

To get more likes, you have two options when starting out and should probably use both if you really wanted to start to build up genuine likes. The first is to concentrate on quality content when posting so that there is a good chance of it being shared. Second, you could decide to buy a thousand or two likes from places like https://fastlikes.fr .

Doing the latter will at least give you a base number of likes to start with and will give that added trust to any new visitors to your page. Of course, good quality content is how you can really attract ‘real’ likes – so always make sure you are creating content that is going to be received well.


Zone Telechargement Technology

Making the switch to Zone Telechargement

When last have you actually paid for a download? If your answer is ‘recently’, then you might be interested in reading about Zone Telechargement.

Before the internet, we were forced to have to go to a shop to make a purchase. As soon as the internet came out, vendors started selling their products and services online. These were very successful and some of the largest shops in the world are currently only online. The only problem with the digital content is that it can be pirated.

Zone Telechargement’s beginning

One such way to download online content for free is through zone de telechargment. The website started way back in the early 2000s as a means for French speakers to download popular content, mostly with French subtitles/translations.

There were many places to download content for free, but Zone Telechargement was different in that it didn’t require P2P (peer-2-peer) downloads, but used DDL (Direct Download Links) instead. These links were categorized and their website, and took users away from their site, to the actual site where the download takes place.

This took some of the risks away from Zone Telechargement as they were not personally responsible for any pirated content. They were simply a form of a library for other sites that were allowing free downloads.


Naturally, there were people who weren’t happy that a website like Zone Telechargement was running. It was at this time that many online piracy sites, like PirateBay, were receiving a lot of attacks from government institutes.

The site fell under the radar of the officials and very soon they were shut down. Three arrests were made, two of which resulted in short jail terms. The site has never been the same since then and has gone through multiple reformations. It is unsure whether the original founders are actually involved in any of the new Zone Telechargement spin-off sites that have popped up over the years.

However, even though the website has experienced its ups and downs, there is still a version of Zone Telechargement that is up and running, allowing the direct download of various paid-for content.

Using Zone Telechargement

Whenever you use an online downloading site, whether it be P2P or DDL, it is recommended that you make sure your privacy and data is secure. There is no way to be 100% protected at any time, but there are a few steps that you can take to improve your security.

The first one is obvious and it requires you to have an up-to-date antivirus/malware software. You never know if someone has tampered with a download, putting in various malware or viruses. In order to protect yourself, make sure your antivirus software is regularly updated so that nothing get’s past your firewall.

The next important software to get is a VPN (Virtual Private Network). These programmes allow users to hide their IP address, and therefore their identity, behind a fake IP. This ensures that you are protected from any prying eyes that are trying to find out who is downloading illegally.

Finally, make sure that you are clever about things. It is impossible for you to know for sure whether or not the link you are using is secure, but do some research before jumping into it. Find out which links are recommended by other downloaders and try stick to these ones. Any new links should be analyzed before using.


4 Ways To Motivate Yourself For Work

I work online, but I have also worked in offices I the past. I know how hard it can be to motivate yourself for work whether you work online or offline. Sometimes I wonder if I should take an office job as I battle with working on my own – although I do have people I can speak to on Skype etc. However, I have taken even part-time office jobs and found the struggle for motivation to be just the same.

Here are 4 ways I motivate myself:

  • Make sure I have a plan for the day


Having multiple tasks but no plan is one factor that contributes to procrastination. I have bee guilty of this, and by the time I do decide which task I am going to do, I usually end up making an excuse to do something else like make a tea, get a sandwich or something that delays me from starting the task in hand. However, I started to organise my next day at the end of my workday. i.e. if it is Monday, then at 6 pm I will organise Tuesday.

This helps me focus from the moment I wake up. I know exactly what my first task is for the day and so I can shower, make my tea, have breakfast then crack on with it.

  • Take regular breaks


This is not always easy in an office environment. I actually started smoking one time because it seemed smokers managed to get more breaks than regular smokers. Bad idea because this actually made more tired, so smoke breaks actually don’t count. However, you should plan to work 50 minutes, then take 10 minutes to relax. If your boss is stingy, then go to fetch some water, speak to a colleague, make a cup of tea, or go to the toilet. There are plenty of ways to get your 10-minute break.

For me, just that quick break helps my mind reset. This is as opposed to finishing one task and moving straight into the next with no break. I sometimes find myself sitting there for a minute while my brain catches up on several occasions, and that is because I did not have a break when I should have.

  • Drink plenty of water


You may be thinking why would I even say this. You would be surprised how many people drink tea of coffee instead of water. As the day goes on dehydration will negatively affect their thought patterns, slow them down, and slow their mind. You may have experienced this and put it down to being tired from working. However, a lot of the time you are only working 6 hours a day on an 8-hour workday.

Consider this. You have 1 hour for lunch leaving 7 hours. If you take around 5 breaks of 10 minutes and consider the 10 minutes to log on and get started when you arrive, you can cut out 2 hours from your workday. This is not bunking off work, it is productive break times that increase your productivity while working.

As the work week goes on, add water into the equation and come Friday, you will still be as productive as you were on Monday. You will still be making good decisions and be much less susceptible to mistakes.

  • Do the jobs you hate first


If you spend the entire day dreading a task, then you will probably subconsciously slow down on your other tasks or make more excuses to dodge those jobs. However, if you plan how long that job you hate will take, and then dedicate time to getting it done as early as possible, you will fly through the rest of the day!

There you have it. My 4 tips to motivate yourself for a good week at work. We don’t all have jobs we love, but we can make the best of it by reducing stress, worry, and fatigue. And if you happen to have a job you love, then using these 4 techniques will make your job even more enjoyable.

Of course, there are dozens of other points you can add to these 4 tips to motivate yourself even further. However, take small steps, like these 4 steps, then continue to discover more motivational points you can add to these for the next week. By the end of the month, you will have improved 16 areas of your work life and will find your work week more of a breeze.

My Disappointment with SEO PowerSuite

Now admittedly I have not used any of the tools that I am about to mention on my blog. The main reason for this is because this blog is my brain dump area. I can see I get around 100 visitors a month now reading my blogs for quite some time, so thanks for reading for those of you that enjoy the material I have. 
I have to be honest, I only use this blog to write my thoughts. In fact, as a freelancer, I can sometimes find it quite hard to get motivated on the morning, so a brain dump is the best way to kick my brain into gear. That is why this blog exists – as well as a good reference point if I ever forget myself. I can always go back and revisit my thought from the past that led my freelance business to where it is today. 

With that being said, the first though that came into my mind today was:

How can I make my services more valuable for my growing list of clients that are requesting an SEO health check”. 

In fact, this is a question I have been asking myself for some time, but I have never gotten around to it. Today is the first time I have started to think about tackling this issue, and hence this blog.

Why have I started to think about this? SEO Powersuite has long been my tool of choice. Nonetheless, more recently, I have started to loose my love and faith for the tool for a few reasons in particular. 

It is Expensive and Getting Worse
This tool is very powerful, but also very expensive. Initially you need to pay for SEO Powersuite, which comes with SpyGlass, Website Auditor, Rank Tracker, and Link Assistant. By all intense purposes, I tend to use them all for my day to day tasks. However, more recently I am becoming disheartened with tool. 
Firstly, you need to pay for algorithm updates on a monthly basis if you want the information you need to be accurate – this does not come cheap at all. After forking out all that cash on the software, I am somewhat put off that I have to the high monthly fees to keep these tools up to date. 

Rank Tracker
Rank tracker is the most useful tool because it is easy to track keywords from all over the world. However, recently I have not been able to get daily rankings, and rather I have to wait 2 days before I can update the rankings again. Nonetheless, daily rankings are not a must have part of my job. 

The reporting system is also great. You can customise reports to show the information you want your customers to see. You can also add explanations, so your customers have some of idea of what it is they are looking at exactly.

You can also get competition ratings and at the same time keyword research and suggestions using the Rank Tracker tool. This makes it very much a worthwhile investment to a degree. However, for these particular keyword research tools that make my job easier, the reporting system could work better with them providing the information you can see in view in a report format. 

Negatives:  What I am annoyed about is the fact that PowerSuite make you use your Google Keyword Planner account for search volumes. Now not many people know this, but unless you have a certain spend on your AdWords account, you will not be given accurate keyword search volumes. Instead of showing 140 searches per month, it will show 100 – 1,000 searches per month. Considering I have paid over $200 for the software and then $150+ per year for the algorithm update, the least SEO Powersuite can do is update this feature and give us real search volumes. 

Website Auditor
Website auditor keeps providing results that just aren’t true, so I stopped using this for my pre-analysis. I do however, love this tool for post analysis because it has the most awesome reporting system, keyword analysis tool, and more. 
When it comes to presentation, this is the best on-page tool I have ever seen or used. However, for some reason the tool over reports on certain errors, which then makes it difficult to track what really needs changing. 

For example, ALT texts always come out as xxx number missing, when in actual fact it is counting some images twice. It just ended up taking too much my time and I found other tools that would give me the information I needed without all the junk.

I am sure there are those that love the overkill number of errors. For me, Website Auditor is the perfect tool for after you have fixed on-page SEO. You can use the reporting tool to show a gleaming website.

What would really bring this tool to the forefront of on-page SEO analysis is the ability to use a CopyScape plug so you can search for plagiarised content on your website.  

SEO SpyGlass
Just stopped using it. It should be the best backlink checking tool ever. However, Spyglass features such as percentages of anchors has just stopped working for me, and I get nothing back from the support team despite having enterprise addition. Very weird.
At the moment, it would nice if the metrics also included Majestic, as I could use this information all in one place. This is a great tool for reporting, it is also great if you need to check for link penalty risks

Link Assistant
Finally Link Assistant, this is still a great tool. You can outreach to multiple websites and keep track of link placements all in one place. You can create custom campaigns for each project you have, keep email contacts, scrape email contact information, and check the metrics of almost any website you are considering reaching out to.

Metrics such as age, Alexa, Yandex, MOZ DA & PA, Inlink, Domain Inlink, IP address, and much more can be configured. You can even get an idea of the social metrics for Twitter, Google+, Facebook, PinInterest, and LinkedIn.  

There are some great features to SEO Powersuite, but some of the subtler things such as not being able to get exact search volumes for keywords, and the SpyGlass not working is annoying. In the end, PowerSuite makes my job easier in some respects, but has let me down in other areas. For example, having to buy a tool to get exact Google search volumes when you would have thought PowerSuite could provide considering the amount of money it costs. 

Keep a Working Capital in Your Online Business

One of the most overlooked aspects of business is the ‘Working Capital’; especially if you work online. Most people that work online don’t seem to understand the concept of working capital, which if you have not done any financial or business studies, this is not surprising. Understanding and keeping a working capital in your business can give your business several advantages.

  • No loss of reputation

There is nothing worse than hiring a freelancer that turns around after the hire and says that he/she has no money for a certain piece of software or whatever it is they need to get the job done. I hate this! It means the freelancer does not have good financial management skills and usually that worries me.

In my own business I usually charge 50% up front or if I am using UpWork or a freelancer website, then I am paying out of my own pocket until the job is delivered and all is agreed on UpWork for the payment to be approved.

Imagine this – I get the contract and then say to the client:

‘Please can you release the first milestone payment, so I can pay for the software and tools I need to get the job done’.

That may work if it is a very small job, but as I usually aim for high end work, the customer is going to think or maybe even ask:

If this guy is so successful, then where is his working capital for this type of work?’.

Firstly, I will have set alarm bells ringing in the customer’s mind. Secondly, the customer is probably not going to trust me. Thirdly, I will most likely create more work for myself because the customer will constantly check up on me as it is human instinct for people that are worried about their investment.

Last of all, the chance of repeat business may be quite low because you have already lost your reputation and looked unprofessional.

If you are just starting out as a freelancer, then no problems at all – any customer will understand. In this circumstance I am speaking about established businesses like mine that sells itself off the back of high work already completed.

However, far too often have I seen people that look as if they have a lot of business and a large business set-up, but in actual fact they are flat broke.

Think about this – imagine you were a large company looking to outsource:

  1. Would you deal with a company that appears broke for your high-end project?
  2. Or, would you deal with a business that appears to have a lot of cash already

Making yourself seem in demand and not appearing to worry too much about the money will make your business not only appear much more professional, it will also help your reputation because the person hiring you is usually an employee and assumes you are wealthier than them because you have your own business. This is where you also gain a lot of respect.

  • You always have a buffer

Now as an online entrepreneur making roughly $4,000 a month in salary living and working in Thailand, I often hire people to work for me. Freelancers are the bread and butter of my business, which overall turns over more than $10,000 a month at present. That means software, expenses, and freelancer payments cost me around $6,000 a month. Wrong!

I keep back $500 to $1,000 a month in my business as profit. This is basically savings for my business.  Now my savings over 7 years online should be around $70,000. Well wrong again!

It was not until about 4 years ago did I begin thinking about my ‘Working Capital’. I landed a great SEO contract on UpWork doing outreach. However, there were so many delays on my side because I had to wait for other contracts to pay so I could hire the Outreach freelancers as well as content writers.

In the end, I was writing the content myself. You can imagine – I am dealing with other customers, organising a content strategy, then taking 3 to 4 hours a day out of my life writing articles to be placed on the sites that agreed to publish my client’s content. In the meantime, I was not able to keep my eye on advertisements for new contracts.

Furthermore, I remember one of my local clients paying quite well needed regular meetings. That was a nightmare because I live in Bangkok. It would take the best part of half a day just to meet the client and go through the project with him.

Cutting a long story short, something as simple as not having a working capital meant that I was juggling money between freelancers, working in my own business, doing more hours than I needed to (such as writing), and actually if I look back at my hourly rate for that time, I was earning around $15 an hour as a business owner.

The lesson I learned was that if I keep a working capital my freelancers always get paid. When a new job comes in, I can use my savings and plant that into my working capital. My freelancers are happy, my customers know I am a professional business owner, my work gets delivered on time, and my time spent in my business is productive.

  • You will not have delays from Freelancers

If you run any business, one of the most important factors is getting your employees paid. In part 2 above I spoke about hiring a client I could not handle. The reason I did not have money to invest in getting the client’s job done was because I treated all profits as my salary.

I would get paid in PayPal, First Choice, or in my bank account, and then my profits I would withdraw and spend. This is a huge mistake for any business; especially freelancers looking to build their freelancer career, so they can live a free life outside of the 9 to 5 rat race.

So, here is where the problem of paying myself negatively affected me in step 2 above when I got my first big client. I needed software, which I bought, I also needed outreach email guys, I needed a designer, and then writers. Granted, I had to do a lot of the writing myself, and also the keyword research and reporting. However, I cannot design, and the process of outreaching to clients is really not worth my time whatsoever.

My plan was to juggle incoming contract payments, wages for freelancers hired for other jobs, as well as my own lifestyle. That consisted of eating out a lot at expensive restaurants, travelling to the beach a lot, and shopping. This is not to mention I was not a home owner, so I had rent to pay my house, pay my son’s school fees, and my wife was not working because our son was very young. The list goes on!

As a result of my juggling, I messed up. You cannot always reply on all your clients paying for renewals on contract on time, you also cannot rely on all your freelancers delivering on time, so you can send out an invoice to get paid. Several of these factors came into play and in the end there were some freelancers I was unable to pay on time – I remember 3 I delayed payment by at least a fortnight.

What do you think happened?

My unpaid freelancer’s productivity went down. I spend a lot of time answering them asking when they would get paid and reassuring them that despite them continuing the contract without being paid for the last batch of work is OK. Well the result of this was they delivered slower, and 1 freelancer just stopped and said, ‘Let me know when you can pay me, and I am happy to continue’.

Now I am a freelancer down and have 2 freelancers working at a slower pace than usual probably because they were worried I would not pay. I also look quite stupid at this point.

Moreover, the knock-on effect is causing more delays, and causing me more work. I was suffering all because I did not have a working capital in place to pay these guys.

If I did have a working capital, all my freelancers would have been paid, money from the contracts that did pay on time could have been used for the new designer and outreach payments, and the payments that were late from other customers would not have been so important. All it would have meant was that I pay myself a little later than usual.

Effectively, my working capital would have given me an extra buffer of cash to juggle during that difficult time. In reality, I had no buffer and got myself in a tough situation that added an additional 4 hours a day to work week in the end!

Why is it so hard to get reliable writers?

As a business owner and online marketer, one of the most difficult sides to my business is the content department. My biggest problem is being able to get consistent and reliable writers to produce content for me at a fast-enough rate that I can earn some good money out it. That is to say, the quicker they deliver, the quicker I can invoice and get paid.

My margin most of the time is about 25% per article. The problem I just realised I have is that maybe my margin is too big. If I paid my writers better, then there is a good possibility that they would deliver quicker. Now you may ask why would I want to decrease my profits?

The simple answer is: TO KEEP MY CUSTOMERS HAPPY

That being said, late articles and blog posts are the nature of the business that I work in. There are rarely any content companies that deliver both quality and quantity for a reasonable price by the deadline set. This is not specific to just the content business either. SEO outreach can be deadly slow one month and super-fast the next simply because more website owners replied and placed content in say month 1 compared to month 2.

However, content is a different ball game to SEO. Content has different barriers to overcome compared to SEO, and I just happen to be in both lines of work to make my income, so I should know.

  • Content can restrict your SEO progress


One major problem with SEO is that it relies so much on content. You cannot just put a link on a page with very short text and expect to fly up the rankings. SEO is all about quality and informative content placement. The cost of content writers, plus the time involved with Outreach can mean that you are not going to be able to pay your writers too well or you lose profit.

Think about it like this. In general, it really does not matter which website your content goes on, the content will still cost the same. However, the customer will always expect quality content regardless of the metrics of the website.

In the end, the customer is paying for the metrics or quality of the website’s SEO rating that you are placing the content on. Therefore, you need to balance out the cost of content across low and high metric websites.

Try explaining this to a customer. The customer is always going to see the same process of outreach = content = link. Explaining to the customer that higher metric sites should be charged at a higher rate can also lead to barriers. Mostly though, higher metric sites are very fussy about the content they allow on their site, therefore, the content is visibly better.

  • Content for blogs, news, and general content


Getting people to consistently write blogs and general content can also be a problem for some businesses or freelancers. What tends to happen is contractors will always have a time where they cannot deliver the work by the scheduled deadline. Sometimes the writer will just go missing completely. When this happens, you can end up with clients that are disappointed in your service because you are not managing the content schedule they have.

The frustration can be felt on your side because you just want to deliver to your clients so you can invoice on time. For the client, there is a similar frustration. They also have targets that need to be met and your writers being late holds your client up. The biggest danger here is losing the client and worst case scenario is the client does not pay you for the last batch of work.

How do you get around these problems?

You will always need what I call a bucket of writers. At the same time you are trying to get value out of the writers, which essentially is 2 things:

  1. Quality content that meets the client’s expectations
  2. A decent profit as you are the one with the client and managing the content as well as client

Most freelance writers will prioritise quicker paying clients or those that pay the highest. In general, I have found that the quicker you pay, the better the freelancers work. Although, there are many freelance writers out there that are not worried about being paid quickly as they have already built up a decent amount of cash to cover their month to month living expenses; in which case, the writer can prioritise higher paid work.

Figuring out whether your writer prefers quicker payments versus high payment and slow pay is something you will just get a feel for the more you get to know the writer. This is however quite complicated and something I now tend to avoid.

Here is the best way to manage your writers and deliver timely content:

Do not load up your writer’s tons of articles with deadlines set. For instance, I used to load some writers up with 50 articles of 500 words with a 7-day deadline for $5 per article. I have also loaded writers up with 20 articles of 1,000 words with a 7-day deadline. For the most part, the writers delivered on time, but there were always those times where deadlines were missed. Sometimes I would get zero content in a week despite content promises.

To resolve this, I just hired more writers and distributed the workload so each writer has less work. For instance, instead of 50 articles of 500 words to 1 writer, I would split this between 5 writers.

Here’s what I would do:

  • I would reduce the deadline to 5 days
  • If after 5 days some writers did not deliver I would ask another writer to finish them

Firstly, this meant the original writer loses out on work or can get on with some higher paid work provided. Secondly, the writer only has a few articles to deliver and if the articles are not delivered, then you can reassign them to another writer that is hungry for money.

The beauty of this strategy is that you always have a bank if writers available. If one writer fails to deliver, there is always another writer or another two writers that will be willing to do the work of the writer that failed to deliver.

In the end, you have a happy client and you build your reputation for being a reliable content supply business. You can also continue to grow your business without overloading your writers.