How To Hire A Quality Copywriter

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/IYDfQ) It takes a lot of time to write something, which is why most people opt to get the services of a ghostwriter. By definition, a ghostwriter is someone who writes under your name. To make this possible, that person has to be able to put their frame of mind into yours and live life in your shoes. To hire someone to write for you is not as easy as ABC, so to speak. You have to make sure that this person is capable and talented enough to meet your requirements. The good news is, the Internet is saturated with young, talented, and capable individuals who are more than willing to lend their services. All you need to do is research. See how you can get your money’s worth and at the same time, not sacrifice quality over big savings. If you have decided to get the services of a ghostwriter, then here are a few guidelines you might want to note just to make sure that you don’t embarrass yourself with the outcome:

  1. Check out the person’s resume and see where they graduated from. If you’re not familiar with the school, do a little bit of research in the web and check its reputation and rate of success of the graduates.
  2. Ask for sample articles, this will help you see the person’s writing style and grammar. Choose one that comes closest to yours. After all, this person will write under your name, so it is therefore your reputation at stake here.
  3. Interview this person, this doesn’t have to be done face to face. Over the phone or via Skype (or whatever it is you use) will do. This step gives you the chance to know the person’s work attitude and level of enthusiasm.
  4. Observe how often this person gets in touch with you, a person who easily replies to your mails makes the ideal ghostwriter. Constant communication is required here, and without it, the entire house of cards can collapse.
  5. Check their rates & the important thing here is that you are giving them what they deserve. Compare the rates that they give against the quality of their work.
  6. Ask them if they are willing to do research & if they say no, then the research has to come from your end. This can be very time-consuming on your part. Is this worth it?
  7. Ask the ghostwriter if they are familiar with SEO a search engine optimized article will help your website’s writing. It is imperative that the writers themselves research on this.
Now that you know what to look for, you can most likely find a ghostwriter who will get the job done quickly and to your liking.

Tips On Working Remotely With Clients

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/nk39Z) So many people are happily working from their own home. You can do this too if you know where to look. More and more employers are seeing the benefits of having employees work remotely with some even hiring you as an actual employee. However, majority will still hire you as an independent contractor. These independent employees are called freelancers. By definition, this is someone who lends out their skills for a specific project. If you build a reputation for good work and meeting deadlines, you will often get offered other jobs. For a successful remote work relationship, you need to have the following traits:

    1. The 3 P’s: professionalism, patience, and persistence; believe in yourself, meet your deadlines, and research constantly. Finding the right job can be taxing, but with time and resourcefulness, you will find that there are actually so many opportunities available out there.
    2. Frequent and honest communication there has o be trust between client and employee. This is the basis of any successful relationship. If both parties know that the other will deliver, quality of work will increase. It is also important for one to be able to easily reach the other if questions were raised. Because people don’t often see each other face-to-face with home based businesses, it is imperative that there are various means of communication. Instructions can better be understood if the lines are kept open.
    3. Avoid assuming what clients want with limited communication, it is easy to assume things. You have to avoid falling into this trap. Instead, ask for feedback. At least you’ll know how they feel about each output. If they have something they don’t like, you can act on it and make corrections immediately.
    4. Be honest: trust increases when the clients know that you are not hiding anything from them. As mentioned earlier, trust is the basis of any successful relationship. If this is the foundation of your working relationship, you’ll know that it is headed for success.
    5. Use web applications to facilitate communication there are widely used web apps available. Get one without all the extra bells and whistles, thus making it simple and easy to understand. Good programs are Basecamp, ConceptShare, Adobe ConnectNow, and BlinkSale (when you want to employ a professional method of giving your statement of account).
    6. Use design documentation think of the many ways you can document the entire process. It is easy to track your development this way. Avoid confusion and know where you’re exactly at in the process.
For your guidance and information, here are a few of suggested web documents that can be helpful with your home based work:
    1. Creative briefs: it gives you the overview of the projects while supplying you with various strategies the will develop the website. Your questions will be answered by acting as a guide all throughout the process. You will be given a target with which you have to meet and will provide you with a step-by-step process as you work towards reaching a certain goal.
    2. Sitemap: it will give you a clear idea of what the clients want. The visual guide provided will be there to serve as your roadmap. You will know what is needed in each step and what is required of you while you complete each task.
    3. Wireframes: this is a visual representation of the actual webpage. This will help show the relationship between content pieces without brining all the other aesthetic aspects into it. This helps the client from getting distracted on design issues while working on other things.
    4. Content Matrix: This is an Excel spreadsheet that will give you the overall view of the entire process while supplying you with notes on what needs to be done. You will have a clear picture of what has been done and what is yet needed.
    5. Notes on mockups: Adding an area where your client sees your opinions behind each decision helps a lot with the development. This also helps you tell your story so that the client will get to understand you better.
The secret to a successful remote work is to equip yourself with the right tools and attitude. Depending on where your specialty lies, your client has to know that you are able to deliver. In the end, this is what makes you successful in your online venture.

Project Management Tools To Help Get Things Done

(My Original Blog Post: http://remoteworkmate.com/project-management-tools-to-help-get-things-done) Project Management is the ability to oversee and manage a project of whatever magnitude. Small and big projects alike can benefit from an Effective Online Project Management. The variety of Project Management Software can help you to manage your project efficiently. There are a massive number of tools that can help you with your task. Some of them are general purpose applications that are aimed to service more than one kind of industry. Some, on the other hand, are more particular and specialised, and were created to serve a certain kind of business. Many of these project management apps have some of the following features:

  • Code repositories and subversion browsers built in or around them
  • Built-in bug and issue tracking
Because the makers of these kinds of software recognise the need to make everything relatively simple, the way around the technology is relatively simple. Listed below are 15 useful project management applications. Web developers and designers can highly benefit from these tools. 1. Basic Project Management Apps These applications target project management. There are features added to help the manager with organization and tracking. Basecamp: considered to be the best project management and collaboration platform. It offers features such as: to-do lists, milestone management, users management, task assigning, time tracking and live chat.  Clients can be added as users so they can track progress on the project by themselves as well. The Basic plan is only $24 per month and includes up to 15 active projects, 3 GB of file storage and unlimited clients and users. The Max plan is goes as high as $149 per month, but this includes unlimited projects, 50 GB of file storage, time tracking, SSL security and a free Campfire Premium account. Lighthouse: this app takes note of timelines and milestones while integrating emails from the entire team. You are also able to manage your beta testing by making tickets and milestones available to the public. Starting a project is uncomplicated and straightforward. All you need to do is fill out a project title and description.  You can show tickets based on a variety of criteria such as date, state (open or closed) and person responsible. You can attach files up to 50 MB in size and is much easier than an email. Moreover, permissions are easy. You can simply invite users via email. The best features of Lighthouse are its Beacon and API integration. With the API, you can customise tickets, projects, change sets, milestones, messages and more. The APIs make everything more useful by enabling you to customize it to fit your current workflow. Springloops: Counts a unique AJAX code browser and Basecamp integration as one of its varied features. Tabbed navigation provides easy access to the log, source and deployment information. You can add users via email and create usernames and passwords for team members. This can also be integrated with Basecamp. This is also available in freeware and allows you 25 MB of space, 3 projects, 3 deployments per day, roll-back capabilities, subversion, and unlimited number of users. If you decide to get the paid version, you can choose from a range of Flowerpot plan at $9 per month (including 1 GB of space and 10 projects) to the “Forest” plan at $96 per month (including 18 GB of storage, unlimited projects, automatic deployment and secure SSL encryption). Jumpchart: this is a website planning application that allows you to plan the navigation of your website by creating, dragging and dropping pages into the entire plan. This is especially helpful for web designers because you can add text and formatting to pages and then export your CSS files and site map when you’re finished. It has great mockup and planning capabilities, even if hacks are needed to make it more advantageous and favourable to full project management. The free version offers 1 project with 1 MB of storage and a maximum of 10 pages and 2 users. The paid version ranges from the Simple plan at $5 per month (which includes up to 5 projects, with 25 pages and 5 users per project, and 100 MB of storage) to the Deluxe plan at $50 per month (which includes up to 30 projects with unlimited pages and users and 5000 MB of storage). CreativePro Office: this app comes completely free. It has the usual tabbed navigation, including tabs for clients, projects, time sheets, finances and team members. It comes with a dashboard that presents a calendar with forthcoming proceedings, a list of your projects, outstanding invoices, notes and search functionality. A client name and project name is required as you fill out the URL page. This comes in handy for those who work with lots of different clients because it has features where you can keep track of your multiple clients. It could even serve as a simple CRM program should you need it. Integrated invoices and financial information come in handy with the finances page giving you options for viewing and creating invoices, expenses, and reports. No Kahuna: this is a simple project management and issue-tracking platform. It’s excellent user interface gives you features wherein you can include task and activity tracking and collaboration tools. No Kahuna is excellent for basic project management and ticket tracking. There aren’t a ton of features, which can be a very good thing. It’s very quick to get started, also a big plus. If your projects accumulate more than 30 open tasks, you will need to upgrade it to the paid version. They are, however, reasonably priced, ranging from 3 projects for $9 per month up to 100 projects for $99 per month. 2. Wiki-Based Project Management Wikis are another option. One of the solutions below is geared to complete project management and includes additional features, while the other is just a wiki and is appropriate for project management and other utilization. Trac Project: This is based on wiki functionality that includes a subversion browser, a timeline, ticket tracking, a road map (showing milestones and the number of current open and closed tickets) and builds status tracking. There are plug-ins for Web administration, authentication, code documentation, file management, ticketing, testing, user management and version control. This comes totally free and licensed under a modified BSD license. PBwiki: It is one of the easiest free wikis out there to use. You can share files with other users, set access controls for individual pages and folders, add other users to your wiki, monitor and track version changes and more. Setup can be done in less than a minute. Its interface is very intuitive where creating and editing folders and pages is straightforward. You are also able to comment on each page and print it. There are templates for individual page content. The free plan allows from 1 to 3 users. Paid plans range from $4 per month per user (if you have more than 10,000 users) to $8 per month per user (for 4 to 999 users). 3. Bug and Ticket Tracking This is useful for dealing with bugs and issues that crop up. JIRA: It has advanced customisable reporting features, workflow mapping, and issue and project organizing. It also offers a number of plug-ins to extend its functionality, including Bamboo integration, charting, time tracking, project management, a calendar and etc. However, doesn’t come cheap. Account starts at $299 per month for up to 25 users and goes up from there (250 users costs $599 per month). If you want to download and host it on your own server, price begins at $1200 for a single project team, and goes as high as $4800 for an entire organisation. If you need an academic license, solutions start at only $600. 16bugs: a very simple bug-tracking system. You have a colour-coding system that you can use for different kinds of information. This is relatively quick and easy to use and install.  The free version allows 1 project, 1 MB of storage and Basecamp imports. For paid versions, it starts at $8 per month, paid plans include more projects (3 with the Basic plan), 150 MB to 10 GB of storage, RSS and email notifications, Campfire notifications and SSL (starting with the $15-per-month Big plan). 4. Collaboration and Conferencing If you’re working with a team, you will definitely need some online space to collaborate and meet. Here are three apps to help you. activeCollab: you can set this up on your website. You can organise your projects into groups for management and organisation purposes. Features include file sharing, forum for discussions, assignments, collaborative writing and reminders, printing and exporting, time tracking, calendar and schedule functionality, ticket management, and milestones. You can also extend this to meet your other requirements.  There are 2 editions. The Small Business edition includes source-code browsing, plug-in support, themes, discussions, milestones, checklists, files, project templates, a mobile interface and localization support. It’s priced at $199, with support and upgrades being an additional $99 yearly for the first time. The Corporate edition has also includes calendar, tickets, time tracking, pages with collaborative writing, a project explorer, and status updates. You are allowed unlimited projects and users for both editions. For an additional $199, you can have the Copyright removal license at the footer of each page. DimDim: this is ideal for conference and online meetings. It allows you to share your desktop with those you’re meeting with. You are given Whiteboards and a built-in voice-over-IP and teleconferencing capabilities. The free plan offers the complete feature set, with support for meetings of up to 20 people. Its pro version also offers plus custom branding and up to 100 people in a meeting for as low as $99 per year. Mikogo: For online meetings, you can install it to your computer and get to enjoy the following with the team: screen sharing, switching presenters, pointers, pause transmissions, application selections, file transfers, scheduler, voice conferences, and more.  This comes entirely free and is relatively quick to install.  Mikogo is also available for Mac users with a Beta version for an upgrade.  What sets Mikogo apart is that you can integrate it with your Skype account. Vyew: you can add life and movement to a presentation with its PowerPoint-like capability. You can include real-time desktop sharing, whiteboarding and drawing tools, embedded comments, built-in voice over IP, free teleconferencing, built-in webcam video support, text chat, dedicated rooms and direct URLs and more. It’s complete solution has a number of plans available. The free plan includes unlimited meetings, SSL secure log-in, up to 20 participants and 5 VyewBooks (presentations) with up to 50 pages each. There are two paid plans. The Plus at $6.95 per month also includes up to 25 participants (or 5 with no ads), and up to 25 VyewBooks with up to 100 pages each. The Professional at $13.95 per month enables you to have up to 45 participants (or 15 with no ads), and up to 100 VyewBooks with up to 300 pages each. 5. Invoicing For billing and account statements to be more professional, here are a few apps to use. Blinksale: the ultimate choice for online invoicing. Comes with tagging, recurring invoice templates and the ability to integrate with Basecamp. You can style various elements of your invoice customise it with the included templates. The paid version allows you to integrate your customised template. Simply Invoices: integrates with Basecamp, More Honey, Tick and Harvest to invoice. You base your invoices on time that you track with those programs. Included here are invoice templates, unlimited invoices, the ability to save invoices as PDFs, and invoice tracking. A free plan includes up to five invoice templates and SSL support. Paid plans start at $9 monthly with ten invoice templates, a custom logo, and link-free invoices. The $25 monthly plan adds an unlimited number of templates to its features. Less Accounting: It simplicity is its best characteristic. It includes proposal creation and tracking, mileage tracking, sales-lead management and expense tracking. You can import your existing Wesabe.com account and invite your CPA to view your books. A weekly email serves as an update on the status of your accounts. The free plan includes up to 5 invoices, expenses, sales notes, deposits, proposals, monthly mileage logs, SSL encryption, reports, and bank-account integration. There are paid plans as well. The Even Less plan at $12 per month includes invoicing, expenses, contacts, SSL encryption, technical support, deposits and reports. The More plan at $24 per month includes sales notes, bank accounts, proposals, mileage logs, bank reconciliation, support for multiple types of sales tax and more. There is a 30-day free trial once you sign up. 6. Time Tracking For billing purposes, you will need the following. LiveTimer: it works on both your computer and iPhone. You are supplied with a daily ledger, daily or weekly bulk time entry, customisable classifications, multiple currencies, custom billing rates, intelligent report filters and a developer API. It is priced at only $5 monthly per active user. There is a 50% discount and a 30-day free trial. fourteenDayz: this is made for teams with a day-by-day time sheets, exportable reports in either PDF and Excel formats, and drag-and-drop categories.  There are no limits set for users.  There are 6 different plans offered, including a free account which includes up to 4 active projects/clients, 10 project categories, an unlimited number of users and reporting functions. The paid plans range from the Personal at $5 monthly to the Platinum at $99 monthly.  With the highest plan, you can enjoy unlimited active projects/clients, unlimited project categories and subcategories, XLS/CSV exportability and SSL connections.

Building Links through Dofollow Forum Signatures

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/J2xqk)

Forums are where social networks can start. So, here are a few things to take note: How Forums Work to Boost Your Site’s Position in the Search Engines

  1. Make sure you get links as votes to your site.
  2. Establish links from respected sites.
  3. Comment on a blog that uses dofollow to get one link back from that post.
  4. Submit an article to an article directory to also earn a link.
  5. Create forums so that you add a post to a forum thread.
Detecting if the Forum Will Pass Rank to Your Site
    1. Prevent spam and make sure you create a “nofollow” tag.
    2. A normal link in html looks like this: <a href=”http://www.website.com">This is your link text</a> and a "nofollow" link looks like this: <a ref="http://www.website.com" rel="nofollow">This is your link text</a> . That rel="nofollow" does a lot.
    3. If there is a rel=”nofollow” around your link, note that it is worthless for building your rank in the search engine results.
    4. Browse to a thread in the forum of your choice and make sure there are some signatures showing.
    5. To detect if a forum is using nofollow tags, first right click in the middle of your browser’s window. On a Mac, this would be Control and your normal mouse click.
    6. Depending on your browser, you should see something like “View Page Source” or just “View Source”. Click that.
    7. Determine if a forum is dofollow is just search the whole page for “nofollow”. Ctrl+F.  This usually brings up a search menu on most browsers and you can do this with source code.
    8. Push Control and F at the same time, type “nofollow” and hit enter. If nothing comes up, you are at a dofollow forum.
    9. If your search does turn up a “nofollow”, check it to see if it is around one of the signature links.
    10. To make that a bit easier, go back to the real page, copying one of the signature links, search for that on the html source (the page we got by right clicking) and determine if the signature link itself has a nofollow tag.
Creating Your Forum Signature
  1. Research for the best ways to edit your forum profile.
  2. Sign up.
  3. Click on the link so your forum membership will be activated.
  4. Add your signature and flesh out your profile.
  5. Look around on that top bar for something that says “Edit Signature”, “Edit Profile”, “Control Panel” or something similar.
  6. Fill out your whole profile so that you will get some traffic from other forum users.
  7. In your signature, put your links and a small blurb.
  8. Use good judgement when creating your signature to avoid spam links.
  9. The basics of your link are : <a href=”http://ping.fm/Qyh2e” Title=”
  10. This pops up when you mouse over the link and should have important keywords, if allowed by forum”>This is your anchor text and should have important keywords</a>
Finding Forums
  1. Find forums related to your niche. These will give your most valuable backlinks because the content is related.
  2. If you find that this limits the amount of forums you can be active on, branch out.
  3. You can also go to unrelated forums and add your signature.
  4. The members of these forums still talk about webmaster things, but their signatures point to unrelated sites.
  5. One of the easiest ways to find forums is to use a keyword related to your niche and add forum to the end of it.
  6. Another way is to use a forum search site.
  7. Here are a couple:
Some DoFollow Forum Lists Here are forums have already been checked for dofollow links:

Hiring a Virtual Assistant

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/Y3tme)

With the ongoing economic downturn, this is the ideal time to hire a virtual assistant.  Companies has to slim down their organizational charts with the people left behind doing the work of those who had to be removed. It’s now double the work for those who stayed, and though the number of staff has significantly lessened, there is work to be done. The secret to staying afloat is to outsource assistance simply because there are no overhead expenses required in this move. No infrastructure has to be built and additional work can now be allocated to the others. This is where the Virtual Assistant enters the picture. Many kinds of industry can get a help from the services offered by a virtual assistant. You can increase your manpower without having to pay a fulltime employee. Benefits and taxes don’t have to be considered here. Hiring the right person for the job is totally dependent on steady referrals. Virtual assistants are reliable when you need their service because they will give you the service you desire for a reasonable price. Virtual Assistant’s can dramatically help the budget of a business. The business owner can now worry about the core aspects of the business while the outsourcers worry about the other incidentals. Thus, the company can once again gain its footing in the industry and even surpass its competitors. Moreover, a virtual assistant can assist your business with basic support needed for your office in specialized tasks. Whether you want someone skilled in marketing, webpage design, and many other fields, you can get the support you need by simply getting the person with the ideal skill. Virtual assistants are commonly known as VA’s.  They were once professionals worked for a number of years honing their talents and have now decided to concentrate on home-based businesses. Not only can a company save significant costs, they will also find that many people out there are efficient and knowledgeable. They have the experience and the dedication that every owner is looking for. Because VA’s run their own businesses, they need to perform well to get better recommendations. Their skills are no longer limited by geography because with the dawn of the internet, people are now able to share their expertise from anywhere in the world.