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.


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Archive for Doing Business


UPrinting Business Card Giveaway

Posted by: Char | Comments (10)

UP_LogoSummer is coming to a close which means not only are the kids going back to school, but it is time to get back to business! What a better way to rev up your business than with some shiny new business cards? As a sponsored blog, we are giving away not one, but two sets of 500 high-quality business cards in the winner’s choice of three business card sizes – a great way to make your card stand out.

So, give your current cards a check-up!! Do they represent your current business offerings? What about the contact information? Name, email, phone, web address? What about social media profile? Whether you need to start from scratch or just update a current design, now is your chance to do it for free!

What Will Two Lucky Readers Win?

  • 500 Business Cards
  • Choose size: 2×3.5”, 2×3”, 2×2″;
  • Choose paper: 14pt cardstock (matte or gloss coating) & 13 pt cardstock uncoated
  • Choose Color: (4/4) Color both sides; (4/1) Color 1 side , B/W backside; (4/0) Color 1 side, black backside
  • Shipping must be paid by Winner. Offer Valid for UNITED STATES SHIPPING ONLY.

How Do You Enter?

  • Leave a comment on this post telling us how some shiny, new business cards will help you grow your business this fall or how you might use them. For example, I will be launching a new off-shoot of my Keystrokes Design & Marketing business this fall and need a separate set of business cards just for that purpose. I am thinking of going with one of UPrinting’s unique die cut business cards (however, this giveaway is just for their standard business cards).
  • Get a second entry for being social – use any of the buttons at the bottom of this post to spread the word about the giveaway. Leave a separate comment telling me whether you tweeted, stumbled, or otherwise shared this post using one of the social buttons. Or you can post about the giveaway on your own blog.

Contest Rules

  • You may enter by leaving your comment(s) below until midnight on Friday, September 11, 2009.
  • You must use your real name and email address in the comment form below. If you don’t we can’t contact in the event that you win.
  • We will be using to select two (2) winners.
  • Remember, the cards and printing are free if you win, but you will have to pay for shipping only.

Need some inspiration? Take a look at some of these very slick business card design round ups:

No time to waste! Get your business on the fast track this fall and start by entering to win some slick new business cards.

UPDATED: The giveaway is now closed. The winners are Heather and Jane.

Categories : Contests, Doing Business
Comments (10)

Tax Tips & Tools for Web Workers

Posted by: Char | Comments (7)

589848_tax_formsFor the first few years that I worked for myself, I did my own taxes. Each year we bought Turbo Tax, plugged in our numbers and boom, we were done. Then we added a rental property, my business grew, and we added a few kids to the mix. I was feeling overwhelmed so I hired an accountant to help me do my taxes.

I was amazed. I was paying someone a lot of money to do exactly what I had done myself the previous years. He asked all the same questions the tax software did and I gave him all the same answers. He even complimented me on how organized I was! Right there is the secret! Get organized, know what you can deduct, and you may not really need that accountant.

The next tax season I fired him and went back to doing things my way. After almost 13 years of working for myself, from home as a freelancer, I have learned a few things. Read More→

Comments (7)

Free Business Advice Today at TotallyHer

Posted by: Char | Comments (0)

Business Advice DayDo you have a Marketing, Social Media, Tax, PR, Market Trends, Branding, Life Balance, Business or Legal question you want answered for free?

Today, January 20th, 2009, TotallyHer is teaming up with some of the smartest business women on the internet to bring you a community service project in honor of President-Elect Obama’s Inauguration Day.

B.A.D. :: Business Advice Day

Join the following business pros and get your questions answered for free:

Liz Strauss, Anita Campbell, Kelly Phillips Erb, Jessica Smith, Kelby Carr, Susan Payton, Miranda Marquit, Elizabeth Potts Weinstein, Kelly McCausey, Lucretia Pruitt, Char Polanosky, Barbara Jones & Wendy Piersall.

For example, some of the questions you can ask me at 2:00 p.m. (EST) include:

  • What do I need to do to get a website up and running?
  • What is the best way to customize a WordPress template?
  • How can I get web design or development clients?
  • How much should I charge or how should I quote web design projects?

For complete details on how to participate (free), more information on each of these ladies, and the day’s complete schedule go to and visit the B.A.D. feature.

Categories : Doing Business
Comments (0)


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