The best advice I can give any freelancer.

There is a ton of advice I can give, and have given to freelancers.

But I think the best advice I can give is this:

Always put aside an emergency cash fund equivalent to about two months of earnings.

Why? Because there are always ups and downs in the life of a freelancer, whether you are just starting out, or have been freelancing for years.

It doesn’t matter whether you are just doing OK as a freelancer, or you a superstar. You will always have an occasional month that doesn’t deliver the money you need to cover the bills. Or maybe one month you have an unexpected expense. Or maybe you are sick and can’t work.

You need to have a cash reserve to make up for those months. This is a simple business practice. It’s called cash flow management. Every company, large or small, has to manage its cash flow.

When you have good months, you put some money aside for your cash reserve.

Why is it so important? Well, the first and obvious answer is that you need to pay your bills. But, just as important, you need to KNOW you always have enough money to pay your bills, and have some extra cash left over. You need to FEEL relaxed about your money.

When you are short of money in your business, or even coming close to being short of money, you will feel the stress and become distracted.

As soon as you feel stressed and distracted, your productivity will suffer. You may also start making bad decisions about which jobs to take on – simply because you are feeling desperate.

That feeling of desperation will then undermine your ability to do a good job estimating for projects. You will submit low estimates, just because you need some cash coming in quick.

When you estimate too low for jobs, you undermine your feelings of self-confidence, and undermine your brand.

Suddenly you find yourself in a downward spiral, low-balling on your estimates and having to work even harder to make enough money.

Yes, this is a bad place to be.

For this reason, it is essential you create that cash reserve. Do it before you pay off your credit cards, before you buy the flights for your next vacation.

As soon as you have a cash reserve, everything changes. You dip into it during bad months, and build it up during good months.

Most important of all, you never feel desperate for work.

This means there will be no negative pressure on your productivity, and you can always remain focused on building your business, and seeking out the best, high-paying engagements.

If you don’t have a cash reserve yet, make it a priority, and start working on it today.

Websites are looking more and more like children’s books.

Maybe you remember the first time you picked up a book and – oh my – there were no pictures!

Maybe you put it right back down. Or perhaps you bit the bullet and read your first text-only book, and discovered that a good story helps your imagination create its own pictures.

Switching over to the web, we seem to seeing that process in reverse.

Fifteen years ago most site pages were all text. The images that were included tended to be small, primarily to accommodate slow dial-up connections.

Then broadband came along and we discovered we could not only add more and bigger images to each page, but we could also include multimedia.

There is an important point there: we COULD include more images and multimedia. There is no requirement, it’s just something we can choose to do.

But if you look at today’s websites and blogs, you might be excused for thinking that it was a requirement. No blog post seems to be complete without an image, even if the image in boring and barely relevant.

You know the kind of image I mean. Someone writes a post about working from home, and then they go to an image bank and grab a photo of someone sitting on a beach with a laptop, jumping ecstatically into the air with a blue sky background, or holding wads of cash with a stupid grin on their face.

These images don’t add any real value or meaning to the post. They are visual clichés, and merely decorative.

If an image doesn’t work for you, how about a chart or, even better, an infographic?

Yes, sometimes charts and infographics can add real value. But often they don’t. They are added to the page as eye candy.

Or how about forgetting the text altogether, and shooting a 7-minute video?

Again, for some topics a video can communicate your point more effectively than text. But very often they are used for the wrong reasons, and are either too amateur, or too slick and over-produced.

We can argue about the relative benefits of text versus multimedia, and we probably should.

But regardless, am I alone in seeing a dumbing down of web content?

I’m guilty of this myself, in so far as I deliberately write online content in a way that makes it easy to read.

But are we perhaps going too far?

In our attempts to attract and hold readers, are we making everything too simple and too easy? Are we underestimating the intelligence and attention span of our readers?

I ask, because, as I noted at the beginning of this article, websites are becoming more and more like children’s books.

Lots of images and multimedia, and not too much text.

After all, we can’t expect the poor dears to stay focused if we fill the pages with too many words.

BTW – Before you respond, I do know that images, infographics and video can add enormous value when done well, and used in the right circumstances. And I do know that adding other elements to a text-only page can give you some SEO brownie points. And I do know that multimedia can be a big draw when promoting your pages through social media. I know that stuff.

But even so, I resent having to search far and wide to find a quality writer who has taken the trouble to write a high-quality page.

As with that first book without pictures, a well written text-only web page can stimulate your brain into making all the necessary connections without any extra help.

No pictures of happy, leaping people required.

Finally, I’m bringing all my writing under one roof.

I first published this site in about 2001, and then, over time, created a bunch of separate sites.

In spite of my always advising other people not to do this, for some reason I decided it would be a good idea to create a new website for each new topic area I began writing about.

Looking back, I should have followed my own advice and published as much as possible right here, at

Well, I’m mending my ways. As of now, pretty much everything I write will appear here, on my blog, on the home page of this site.

In my own defence, back when I first created the site, there were no blogs. And when blogs did appear, there was no way to incorporate them into your website. That’s why I created my blog on Typepad.

So my mistake is that I didn’t change with the times, and bring the blog over here sooner.

What can you expect to find here?

All the stuff I like to write about, which includes…online copywriting, writing web content, SEO, freelancing, social media, and more.

Yes, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. And maybe that mixture of interests was an influence behind my creating a new site or blog for each new topic. I didn’t want to confuse everyone.

Does it make it tougher to build a clear brand if you write about multiple topics? It probably does.

But this is who I am. I do have multiple areas of interest and experience. And it’s crazy for me to keep creating new sites and updating them, each time I find a new topic to write about.

This is it. This is where I’ll be writing from now on. You can follow the navigation links at the top to find my various programs, books and ebooks.