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 Working From Home

work-life-balanceAs much as I love being my own boss, having the luxury of a 30 second commute, and working all day on the Internet, somedays I just feel burned out.

When I look at the past year, I can see why. I have designed over 30 new websites (99% WordPress), nutured 4-6 blogs at any given time and 4 of them have expereienced more than 50% growth over the past year, done some consulting, and managed my very busy family life. I am being to feel slightly overwhelmed and out of balance. Over the next few months I am going to be working on streamlining processes, rearranging priorities, and preparing for the the summer months when my three kids are home on summer break.

As a freelancer do you ever feel overwhelmed, burned out or discouraged? Inspired by an article from Freelance Switch which I followed via Twitter this morning, I have collected a list of additional articles dealing with burnout and freelancing.

Categories : Working From Home
Comments (9)

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)


Posted by: Char | Comments (6)

My Social Buttons

Social media is hot and its here to stay! One of the biggest trends in web design right now is adding icons or buttons for all the various social media sites you use to your web site to make it one step easier for friends, customers and potential customers to connect with YOU. So where do the designers find all these cool icons? They are all over the web and many are free, but you have to go looking for them.

Fellow designer Randa Clay and I got tired of looking high and low for the best social media icons and decided to create a single hub where you can find the best, free social media icons, buttons and graphics to use at your site. We would like to introduce you to our new website,, a one-stop resource for all the coolest social networking buttons you can use to let the world know where and how to connect with you or your company online.

All of the buttons on the site at the moment are free. Yep, free. You can help yourself. We just ask that you save the buttons you want to your computer first before you add them to your site or your clients’ sites.

msb-mousepadAnd, if you really want to show of your social prowess, check out some of the t-shirts, mugs, mousepads and other goodies we have created to go with the social movement. They make great gifts, awesome conference schwag, and they are perfect for use as doorprizes or ice breakers at corporate training sessions.

Anyhow, the site is still in beta, but we just can’t keep it to ourselves any longer! Please check it out, let us know what you think, bookmark it, share a link with your friends on Facebook, give it a Tweet, or love it anyway you see fit!!


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