Essential Keystrokes is…

where I share my favorite tips, tools, reviews and commentary on web design, marketing, blogging, new media and related topics. For more about this site and the voice behind it, check out my About page.


SubscribeFollow me on TwitterLinked In Stumble Upon What I Digg Email me

Archive for Contests


Prizes to be Had

Posted by: Char | Comments (2)


Randa Clay, one of the most talented blog designers and bloggers I know (and creator of these cute Twitter graphics), is currently celebrating a blogging anniversary at her site and has been giving away great prizes at her site. It’s not too late to get in on the party and win some awesome prizes like:

Stop over, enter to win, and check out her archives for some really helpful information!

Categories : Contests
Comments (2)

Birthday Bash Winners

Posted by: Char | Comments (6)

I’d like to thank everyone for entering and helping to spread the word about Essential Keystroke’s birthday bash. The winners are:

I will be getting in touch with everyone via email to coordinate getting your prize to you. Have a great weekend!!

Categories : Contests
Comments (6)

happy-birthday.jpgOh, how times flies! Just a mere two years ago I decided to start on my blogging journey as a form of research and have I learned a lot (and keep learning)!

During this site’s first year, I spent much of my time building essential relationships through commenting, guest posting, and hosting my Essential Tools series. The second year has been more about educating through tutorials and my lucky number 13 posts, being social, and learning how to run my sites like their own businesses.

Performancing Metrics Blog StatisticsMy list of essential tools for online success have changed dramatically too. When I first started I thought Awstats would give me all the info I needed to know about how my sites were doing – but now I rely on pMetrics to give me up to the moment information about who is on my site, how they got there and how they navigiate the site.

HighriseThen I kept all of my contacts, project notes and such in a combination of spreadsheets, notebooks and scrap pieces of paper! Now, I am uber-organized and have all the information I need about a project at my fingertips whether I am in the office or on the road thanks to 37 Signals Highrise.

freshbooksAs a freelancer, invoicing is my least favorite thing to do each month – I wish I could just work for Karma. For 11 years I have done things the same way – using Excel and Word – to invoice clients each month. It was time consuming, tedious, and I just dreaded it. Dawud introduced me to the very slick, easy to use Freshbooks and moments after I used my trial account I was HOOKED. It was easy, clients can view their invoice online, pay online or via check, I always know how much is still outstanding, can see when clients view their bill, and can even track different tasks for a single client quickly.

A birthday isn’t a birthday without gifts – and since I have everything I need (except a few spare hours in each day), YOU get the presents! I am giving away (thanks to my awesome sponsors), the tools I have come to rely on:

How do you enter?  I am so grateful to have “met” so many wonderful people through blogging and appreciate every comment left, I am going to make this one easy! All you have to do to enter to win one of these 13 fabulous prizes (did you figure out 13 is my favorite number) is leave a comment (use your first name please) on this post telling me what your favorite online tool(s) is, how things have changed since you first started blogging or let me know what kind of content you want me to feature in upcoming posts.

You must leave your comment no later than midnight on July 13, 2008 (my birthday – not my blog’s) and winners will be announced later that week.

Bonus prize!!!! Spread the word about my blogging birthday bash on your own site, via Twitter, Plurk or other social means and you are eligible to win a blog analysis/critique from Chris Garrett (this one is priceless!). Make sure you leave me a comment letting me know the URL of your post or when you made the social announcement so I can get you entered.

Categories : Contests
Comments (40)


Team Training NE Celiac Family