Articles Tagged with Freelancing

E-cards With a Difference… A Very MOM-y Christmas 2014

MOM Xmas Tree imageLast year marked my first Christmas as a self-employed freelancer with my own clients… which meant that I approached the whole idea of sending out Christmas cards in very much of an “oh F*@K!” manner: I hastily bought a box of cards, wrote in them in my hilariously horrendous handwriting using a dark green biro (to match my business’ branding) and fired them off to my clients’ postal addresses.

It was a sucky effort.

Even before December 2013 rolled by, I had the idea of doing something different… something special in place of traditional Christmas cards. Now I ain’t no fancy designer, so creating a slick, physical, deliverable item was out of the question. I always liked the idea of doing something that involved an online/digital element though.

This year, I put more thought into it and created Christmas e-cards in the form of custom landing pages on the morganonlinemarketing.co.uk website, which took on two different aspects…

Type 1 – Individual e-cards for clients & other folk

So, as mentioned above, the main aspect of the e-cards took the form of custom landing pages for individual recipients. They’re all orphaned pages (meaning that nothing else is linking to them, internally or externally) and they’ve also been noindexed, meaning that they won’t be picked up by the search engines.

Here’s an example of one. Each one contains a personalised message to the recipient – which beats having a generic message across the board.

MOM Individual Xmas card example screenshot
(Click to enlarge)

So far I’ve created about 20 of them. Beyond clients, they’ve also gone to people who’ve referred me work and who have done me favours or helped me out over the past year. I can also quickly knock one up if someone sends me a card or e-card, so I can potentially avoid that awkward moment that can happen where someone sends you one and you don’t get chance to send one back. Quite handy.

Type 2 – The "welsh ice bauble" challenge…

I also created another e-card page, but this one wasn’t addressed to anyone in particular. It had a secret, ‘Easter egg’ quality to it (and no, I’m not getting my holiday seasons mixed up)…

One of the guys/gals at Welsh ICE (my office/co-working space) came up with the brill idea of giving every member/company a Christmas bauble for the ICE Christmas tree to decorate and customise ourselves. Some people tied it in with their business: e.g. SPORTTAPE wrapped theirs in some of their tape and RecRock covered theirs in branded plectrums.

I wanted to follow suit, so I decided to create a page for it – similar to the above individual/client e-cards – except that this one could be indexed by Google…

For my bauble, I coloured it orangey-gold and drew green lines on it (to try and match the revised logo – the star of the tree) and stuck a label on it with a Google logo and the phrase: "welsh ice bauble"

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The Business Of Web Design Conference 2014 – An SEO’s Perspective

Yesterday I attended The Business Of Web Design 2014 (#tboWD), which was held on my doorstep in Cardiff. Although I am not a web designer, I could see from the conference’s talk topics that a lot of it would relate heavily to SEO freelancing – and I was right.

The question “how much does a website cost?” is so similar to the question “how much does SEO cost?”, when you’ve not even been told the prospect’s industry, their goals (e.g. whether they want to rank for a really tough keyword or a few less competitive keywords) or even the URL of the site. Determining how to price yourself as a consultant – whether it be on a basis of time or the potential value/ROI offered to the client – is applicable across both industries. And getting a client to say “yes” to things can be just as tricky in SEO as it is in web design.

In addition to eight fantastic talks, there was a panel Q&A at the end, and to my terror (but also delight), the wonderful world of SEO was debated. I spent the first few minutes of my recent unified.diff talk tackling the subject of SEO’s terrible reputation – especially in the eyes of the web design/development community – and have previously blogged about how one of the best compliments I’d ever received was from a highly-respected local developer. Fortunately, while there were some stirrings of the typical “SEO is evil” type talk that we’re so used to seeing, I was really surprised and pleased to discover that the debate was handled really well. I’ll go into more detail below.

(Note: for those where it says “[Slides TBA]” for now, I’ll update the post with the slide deck embeds as-and-when they all become available.)

1) How much does a website cost? – Sean Johnson

[Slides TBA]

Sean Johnson photoSean (@seanuk) kicked things off with the question from prospects that often causes the most chagrin: “how much does a website cost?” Why? Because the answer is always: “it depends!”

What’s your industry? What are your goals with the website? Do you need eCommerce functionality? Does it need a blog? This applies to SEO so, so much: What’s your industry? What are your goals? Is the site brand new? Is the site even live yet? Has SEO work been carried out before, and if so, were spammy tactics involved? How can a web designer or SEO quote effectively without knowing that type of info first? The answer is: not very effectively. Not very.

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Why I Named My Freelance SEO Business “Morgan Online Marketing”

One year ago today, on Tuesday 7th May 2013, I took the plunge. I thought I’d mark the occasion of my freelance SEO & PPC business’ 1st birthday by answering a question I’ve been asked a few times by a fair few people: why “Morgan Online Marketing?”

Morgan Online Marketing logo
First things first though… One year. Wow. It’s flown by. I’d like to take this opportunity to say: to the person who told me that “[I] wouldn’t last a day in self-employment,” not only did I prove you wrong, but I’ve done so 365 times over. How do you like that? Thanks for driving and inspiring me.

Anyway, now that that’s off my chest… Back to the name. I’ve had a range of feedback, from people telling me it’s strong and respectable, to a local business advisor simply declaring “nah, not sexy enough…” when he first heard it (which pissed me off at the time, but now, looking back, I just find it really funny).

Now I ain’t no fancy branding expert, but I put a lot of thought into the name. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I came up with it, but when I did, I decided that it’d stick – that I wouldn’t be changing it. Here’s a few thoughts on why I went with it…

Why not SEOno?

The first thing someone said to me was: why didn’t I call my business “SEOno” after this very blog? After all, the blog had been around for years before and some people (him included) see SEOno as my ‘brand.’

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3 Things I’ve Learnt 3 Months Into Self-Employment

Cappuccino imageIn early May I took the plunge – I left my full-time job at an agency to do something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time: become self-employed as a fully-fledged, full-time freelance consultant.

Now that it’s early August, it means that I’ve just hit the 3-month mark. My first observation is just how quickly the time has gone (blimey!) but I’ve also learnt a great deal already, which I felt inspired to put into writing.

So here are 3 things I’ve learnt in the first 3 months…

1) People love saying “yes” (but they may let you down)

Fortunately I already have quite a strong network of contacts in South Wales. In fact, the reason I made the leap when I did is simply because I had a fair few people asking me if I did freelance on the side (in addition to my full-time job), but I didn’t. I thought if only a few of those came off, I’d be set. But it was even fewer than I’d expected.

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