5 Ways to Reduce Stress Naturally

Life as a designer can be very stressful and fill your life with stress and tension, you can treat without naturally and without damaging your health.

When stress situations reach us, sometimes we feel so anxious that We try to reduce it on our own, such as self-medication, but in the long run, this can be detrimental to our health.

We have all suffered at some point in our lives, right? Sometimes it is more severe than others and the reasons can be diverse, from a client who has not paid for our designs, to family members and couples. What must not be forgotten is that this situation is harmful to both the body and the mind and can trigger serious illnesses. When we are tense, adrenaline and other hormones that are heavy for our body are released.

Stress can grow if, in addition, we are in constant contact with the environment that causes us so much tension. How to know if we suffer it? Some of the most common signs are: problems of concentration, headache, apathy, anxiety, muscle tension, anger, skin irritation, stomach problems, decreased sexual appetite and fatigue, among others.

Luckily, this alteration can be treated naturally through different alternative therapies. We tell you five that work very well:

1. Acupuncture

Stress causes tension in the body, which blocks the energy channels. The small and thin needles that are inserted in the surface of the skin stimulate certain points in the body, which disperses this blocked energy. If practiced regularly, acupuncture eliminates stress and anxiety, while decreasing blood pressure and relaxing muscles.

2. Exercise

The benefits of exercising regularly are more than known. Like acupuncture, exercise releases endorphins, the brain chemicals related to euphoria. Physical activity also “distracts” the mind from stress, urges it to deal with it better and creates a balance of its negative effects on the immune system towards better health.

3. Massage

This activity induces chemical changes that reduce pain and stress in all areas of the body. When we are under stress, the body produces a hormone called cortisol, which kills cells important for immunity. Studies in patients with a high degree of cortisol before and after a massage session have shown that these levels dropped dramatically after a good session.

4. Yoga

This discipline combines a series of soft movements and static poses with deep breathing. Most yoga classes end with relaxation poses, in addition, certain types of yoga that emphasize slow and constant movements, breathing exercises and gentle stretching that are very beneficial for stress relief. Other properties include increased flexibility, strength, balance, and resistance.

5. CBD Oil

The therapeutic or recreational use of marijuana is legal In Canada, Uruguay, Holland, Jamaica and some states of the United States. The products obtained from marijuana without THC, but with CBD are already being marketed as supplements for their beneficial effects. The oil with CBD is the most frequent presentation, although it can also be taken with a vaporizer, added to foods or as a cosmetic ingredient in creams and ointments.

CBD Oil inhibits the transmission of the nerve signal and modulates the action of several neurotransmitters. These properties explain one of the most popular uses of CBD: relieving stress and depression. Its effects are similar in efficacy to anti-anxiety medications or antidepressants but without its side effects.

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I am CBD, I am THC Video Series a Successful Storytelling Example

CBD is being talked about everywhere. With more and more sources reporting the benefits of CBD in supporting health and wellness, comes a lot of myths, confusion, and misinformation. In order to educate the public about CBD, Diamond CBD has launched the “I am CBD, I am THC” video series nationwide. The national CBD educational campaign addresses the confusion surrounding CBD with a “What Is CBD” guide and a humorous video series exploring the facts and myths about CBD and THC.

What is storytelling and Why is Relevant to Brands

Storytelling is the art of telling a story using sensory language presented in such a way that communicates its listeners the ability to internalize, understand and construct the personal meaning of it.

Customers do not buy your product or your service. They buy the emotion that you make them feel and the meaning that it has for them to get something from your brand.

A good story creates a positive emotion that inspires people to take an action. In the same way, your brand story should trigger an emotion that inspires a client to buy your idea. Above all, when you tell your story, you show your values, your virtues, and your humanity.

Be authentic and warm

You work constantly to achieve an authentic and warm connection with your clients, and little by little you will gain their trust. Diamond CBD differentiates by educating everyone how its presence has a positive impact on the world, and make clients never want a world without them.

Evoking positive emotions

The I am CBD, I am THC Video Series is a mix of humor with nostalgia for a classic ad to achieve their goal of informing the audience about CBD and dispelling the myths about its similarities to THC. In truth, CBD is very different than THC, even though it is not always perceived that way in popular culture.

Many people are still confused about whether CBD gets you high or not or whether they need a CBD supplement if they use THC. In order to break through the clutter of misinformation and educate the public in a simple, emotional and true way, about the benefits of CBD along with information detailing how it’s made, used, etc.

Diamond CBD launched the Diamond CBD education Center. This serves as a resource for information, news, videos and articles addressing every topic surrounding CBD from where it is made to how it is processed, used and sold.

This is way Diamond CBD tells its brand story allowing them to stand out from the noisy market to tell their clients, “what I offer deserves your attention.”

In summary, your Storytelling strategy must include:

  1. Your brand values
  2. An element that unleashes excitement in your audience
  3. A language based on emotions
  4. The virtues you have as a brand, those that make you different from the rest
  5. Something positive that will add value to your audience
  6. The hook to persuade your audience

Which are the steps for a good Storytelling

As I mentioned above, Diamond CBD masterfully conveys its message in a simple, emotional and true way. Also, it is credible and valid. Consequently summing 5 basic aspects of good storytelling. Let’s enumerate them one by one and see why it is important.

1 / Simple

The best things in life are simple; The best ideas are simple and the best design is very simple.

Also, the best stories are simple: boy meets girl, a worker in distress, moral conflict or period drama. Stories that are easy to understand because they are based on a language we know: that of human experiences.

If it takes a lot of time to understand the story you are creating for your brand, stop and think about how to reduce it to its most elemental essence.

You will communicate it faster, as well as helping it to be memorable.

2 / Emotional

Emotional does not mean maudlin or easy. Emotional means that it must contain emotions, such as pain, love or humor (sometimes all three!).

Which of these emotions to include? A well-constructed story will probably have all three.

If you consider on your own life or the ones from people close to you. You will discover that there are no events in which just one emotion reigns.

3 / True

Surely your audience will appreciate much more real stories than fictional ones. Why? Because the reality is easier to believe and more relatable.

It does not have to be current, it can be a tradition or a story that happened many years ago.

4 / Credible

Furthermore, If it can not be true, it must at least be credible. The story should be plausible, not a hard to believe one that would disconnect your audience from your brand

5 / Valid

Like the best business ideas, stories must be scalable, so they must work well from a personal level to a collective one.

Conclusion

Interest in the Cannabis industry is exploding. As more and more cannabis-based products make it to the market, the confusion only increases. The “I am CBD, I am THC” video series was commissioned by Diamond CBD to Creative Propulsion Labs, as part of their campaign to educate people on the uses and effects of CBD oil. The first 8 videos in the series are live now for watching.

Always remember that a story is not an anecdote. A story is a series of conflicts that lead us to change. The public will tolerate with somehow interesting anecdote, but even more, will never forget a good story.

Five Aspects of a Successful Blog Post

It’s 2018, and traditional marketing concept has shifted. We often hear that content marketing is taking the top and is the future of marketing. While content marketing doesn’t only mean blogging, blog posts on a product, service or about your business, should be a big part of your content marketing strategy. There are vast amounts of tools out there to help you improve your blogging tactics, however, a viral blog post consists of more than just great word combinations on screen.  

Blogging has become one of the best, yet certainly not the easiest ways to earn money online and promote your business. Every good business needs a website. Regardless of the concept of the business, a website is how customers these days find information and discover businesses. It doesn’t matter if it’s an e-shop, brochure website or space to showcase your portfolio, it has to have a blog. A blog is where customers go to find out more about the brand, its values, and mission. Having good content on that blog will keep your clients coming back, improve your brand’s credibility, and will allow you to share your thoughts. However, just like with any other advertising mean, blogging has its own aspects you need to consider if you want it to be successful.

Blogging has become one of the best, yet certainly not the easiest ways to earn money online and promote your business

Create unique content

With a constant flow of blog posts, infographics, articles, op-ed pieces, it can get hard sometimes to create content that no one has ever heard of or read before. To become a successful blogger, you have to create eye-catching, interesting posts, which your readers will want to read. It’s essential to make it your mission to not only create fresh and distinct content but to also, put your perspective on it even if other bloggers have already discussed the topics. Your content has to represent your point of view, your fresh angle and take on it as you don’t just want to say what everyone else has been saying already.

Naturally, unique content doesn’t only mean your unique perspective, it also means original, not copy-pasted text from another site. If you find something fascinating and want to share it with your audience, do so by creating a post of your most favored articles online, discussing the points you liked and incorporating a link to the website the original post is on. Search engines do not like duplicate content, and you don’t want to lose your SEO rankings. However, do so infrequently, unique and unread content is more likely to be shared.

 

Structurize everything you write

The structure is one of the most neglected characteristics of a blog post. How many times you have stumbled upon an article, that might be informative, but due to lousy structure, lack of imagery or interactiveness, you left the page. If it happened to you, it happens to your readers too. Protect yourself by incorporating a clear structure to every piece of writing. Every good article should have an introduction, body, and conclusion. The body part of the article is the essential part of the text, so make sure you have clear headings, paragraphs, and imagery or even a few bullet points to support your words if possible. Good article structure will not only maintain your readers’ attention for longer, provide a flow, but also keep them coming back for more.

 

Include a call to action

Call to action button is the ingredient that will bring every piece of content together. You have come up with a great topic, planned out and executed impeccable structure, included images, links and bullet points, so now what? Now, ask your readers to take action.

Every blog post should have a call to action. By the time a reader is finished reading your compelling copy, it is persuaded to take action. You should make it clear what is it that you want your reader to do. Whether it be a download of an e-book, a review of your product, subscribing to your newsletter, the action to be taken further should be clear and concise. A call to action button is key to the engagement and more conversions, so create your impeccable copy, but don’t stop there, create an action-worthy CTA too.

Call to action button is the ingredient that will bring every piece of content together.

Use keywords

Every blog post and piece of content is created to be read and engaged with. Without people being able to discover your content you won’t gather a readership. Your audience is what makes you successful, therefore extensive, yet the healthy use of keywords is essential. After you’ve come up with your topic, but before starting to write, do a keyword research. Think of the phrases your readers will put into Google search when looking for the topic you want to write about. Google Keyword planner comes in very handy here. You can discover your keyword’s difficulty and search volume with it, as well as find out related search terms and include variations of that keyword in your text, this way making it more discoverable by your readers.

 

Apply search engine optimization

A big part of your content being visible is not only keywords but SEO as well. This includes on-page as well as off-page SEO. On-page SEO involves factors such as meta tags, URL, internal linking, site speed, and the originality and nature of your content. Depending on you the platform, your website is hosted, you might either need to perform these functions yourself or get it done by your developer. WordPress CMS offers YeostSEO plugin which when integrated, makes on-site SEO procedures effortless. Without the help of web developers, you’re able to set meta title and URL yourself. For websites hosted elsewhere it might be more difficult, but yet essential. Off-site SEO includes such factors as backlinks to your website, mentions of your business online, and social media presence. You might want to invest some time into creating a buzz about your brand and business online, just for the sake of your website ranking on Google search engine.  

 

Conclusion

Creating content, later organizing, publishing, and promoting it is an exhausting process, but one that rewards. But make sure that you have the best web hosting as your partner in order to avoid “unpredictable” issues with your website. As said at the beginning, blogging is no easy job. However, it pays off. If you do your best implementing those few steps discussed above, you can be confident that you are on the right path and soon, you will have established a loyal readership.

 

Wix Video — a great marketing tool for any website.

Increases time on page and boosts engagement with your site

Thanks to the ever-increasing internet speeds, videos are in high demand. Right now, video is everywhere on social media, websites, and apps. We are watching them on all our screens, desktops, tablets, phones and smart TVs.

It is expected a growth in video content up to three quarters for this year of all web traffic. Yeah that much, haven’t you notice how video rules right now? — And the world-acclaimed Wix Website builder, WIX, is keeping up with this trend with a new feature: Wix Video. This new tool gives us the option of choosing to share and sell videos online.

This video and hosting service enables customers on the platform to manage their video content either it is stored on the Wix servers or on third-party providers like Youtube, Vimeo, and Facebook. The basic free options offer bulk upload, while the premium option adds extra storage and activates the e-commerce functionality for just $9 a month.

Usually, when you add video content from other platforms it removes the customization options, keeping the distinctive look of each third-party video provider on your website and affecting your site aesthetics. With Wix Video, video content can be added from several providers and still maintain a consistent look on your whole website. The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is even more true with video!

The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is even more true with video!

Video is an undeniably powerful tool to engage visitors with your site. It conveys information and emotions with less time and effort than with text and images. It allows you have an actual experience with your product and brand. But also, it can be resource hog in terms of bandwidth and screen state, so it should be used wisely

Meet the Wix Video App Features  

Wix video covers all your bases, with its always free video hosting, it offers all you need to display wonderful video content on your site. In a blink, you can create your own video channels and captivate your audience’s attention directly to your films, how to’s, video reels and many more.

  • Deliver your videos in beautiful desktop and mobile layouts, stream them in all their high-resolution glory
  • As we said above you can easily add videos from YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook or upload directly to your free hosting
  • 100% commission free, e-commerce, so you can sell, rent and offer subscriptions to your clients keeping all the revenue.
  • Sync all your third-party video hosting providers with your website instantly  
  • Showcase 360 videos from YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo
  • Keep Track of your KPIs with detailed statistics.

Why should you include video on your website?

To increase time on site

Studies have concluded that sites with video content add up to two minutes in time spent by visitors, compared to sites that don’t. It also increases your chances to be on the first page results on Google up to 53 if you have video.

Rank Better in Google

As we just pointed out, it is a fact that videos extend the time spent by visitors on your site. Guess what? Dwell time in your online property it is one of the signals Google has to rank your site on the SERPS. The logic behind this is, that if visitors are spending more time on your site is due to quality content. An excellent way to grabs your visitor’s attention is to provide a short, compelling video.

Increase engagement rates

When you include videos on your website you can expect 3 things to go on the rise: Engagement rate, click-through rate, and conversions. In fact, up to 80% of visitors who are exposed to a video advertisement will recall it even a month later,  and more than 12% will surely buy the advertised product.

Showcase Your Brand’s Personality

We are progressively migrating more and more of our lives to the digital world. Shopping, working, dating, etc. This can be very convenient. We can be more productive, doing more in less time, but it also means we are losing the human contact. The emotional experience is almost missing in digital venues. Video is an effective way to humanize your brand, providing as close to a face-to-face interaction. Our emotions are key in our decision-making process in order to take some action, so the use audiovisual stimuli appeal to all our senses diving to every visitor a distinctive brand experience.

Taking advantage of video content to showcase your brand’s personality allows visitors to get a complete picture of who you are and what are your brand’s values. This builds an emotional connection with your business leading to trust you more. Ultimately, is that emotional connection is what keeps customers coming.

Conclusion

Undoubtedly video is a key component of the content market strategy and everything points out that it will become more essential.

More than half of the businesses use video content to promote their products —this number is expected to climb up to 70% in the near future— you can stand out from the competition by telling compelling stories about your brand and product. Grab this opportunity by making use of this powerful marketing tool. Use it to introduce your brand to new clients, to answer questions, to connect emotionally with your audience, creating a long-lasting favorable impression on them.

Star Wars Playing Card Deck

I am huge fan of the universe of Star Wars, it is amazing how vast and detailed this it can be. I am also a lover of the playing cards designs, you can big array of topics from sexy to nerdy ones. Just like this ones, a complete set of playing cards based on the Star Wars Characters.  

See AlsoFree Vector Playing Cards Deck

My favorite the R2D2 one. Whats yours?

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Building Your Website All Alone

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 1.20.01 PM

Whether you have created a brand new company, or you’ve been around for a long time, if you do not already have a website, you are going to have to put one up as soon as humanly possible. According to the website Mashable, online shopping accounted for $231 billion in sales in 2012. This means that any company not willing to create a website and use an eCommerce setup to sell its services is losing out on an enormous amount of money.

read more…

240 Basic Icons Vector Freebie

Flat design is everywhere. Nowadays aesthetics is a lot more simple. No more glossy buttons or gradients background, or what a about the shiny table effect every client asked for?.It is all gone now. In favor of a more “undesigned” look a back to basics trend.

Following that idea the guys at your favorite resources repository, Freepik, made exclusive for the readers of S2O a very handy Basic Vector Icon pack. With more than 200 icons. Covering a wide arrange of categories, from ecommerce to UX. Made with very simple yet alluring lines.  read more…

Little Details That Matter on a Mobile Website

Free-Mobile-UI-Kit-PSD-l

Oftentimes, the focus on mobile websites isn’t on adding as much information as possible or even as much detail. It’s all about making the mobile viewing experience as simple and enjoyable as the web designer possibly can. People who use their mobile devices for browsing and research do not have as much time or patience as individuals on a laptop or desktop. In many cases, they are actually surfing the web in between meetings, sitting on the bus, or in other places where they may be interrupted or have limited time. But in the process of streamlining your site, make sure that you don’t forget about the little details that actually do matter on your mobile website.

The Logo

When you are trying to cut space and loading times, one of the first things you may look at removing is the logo. But don’t do it. The logo is an essential part of your brand. It increases recognizability as well as your professional appearance. Removing it only saves you a little space, anyway. Instead, just make sure that you change it to a thumbnail size or the appropriate size for the mobile website you were designing. It doesn’t have to be as large as it is on your traditional website. You can also flatten the image or use a flat spectrum palette, removing shading, beveling, and other features that increase the loading times.

Easy to Recognise Buttons and Links

The average mobile device user does not have a stylus, and that means that all of the buttons and links are pressed with a finger. This means they need to be large enough to recognise, and they need to stand out from non-clickable text. It helps if you make sure that your buttons and links for all devices are at least the size of the average fingertip. While a responsive mobile website is important, bear in mind that it may make some links and buttons too small to click on. You can use your mobile analytics to get an idea of the general types of devices that are being used to access your mobile site, but don’t stress about this too much.

Contact Information

When cutting out nonessential information, you should not remove your contact information. In every mobile web design, one page should exist for contacting the site owner or a customer service representative. You never know when one of your customers may want to get in touch with you. Make sure that happens. Contact information should not take up too much space on the mobile website as a whole. In fact, it will probably load just as fast with or without it, so keep it on there.

The little details do matter in your mobile website design. Make sure that you keep the logo up. Even if you condense it, it helps to increase your recognizability, and that will help you out more in the long run. Make sure that all the buttons and links are easy to recognise and click. Also be sure to provide contact information, no matter how brief you want to make the site.

Freebie: 264 Vector Audio DJ Pack Icons

Icons packs are among the most desirable freebies around. There are several out there, going from a wide array of topics from user interfaces to personal finance. But sometimes you can find some rather unusual but clever additions to the icons universe.

This Vector Audio DJ Pack is a nice example, brought to you exclusively by the guys at Freepik, has 264 vector based icons. With lots of clever music and DJ related glyphs great for any groovie design project.

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10 Cool & Free Mobile Wallpapers

Guys, great news! Our friends at Freepik has released exclusively for s2o readers 10 Cool & Free Mobile Wallpapers in several awesome styles. They come in AI, EPS and jpg files.

The wallpapers are easily resizable for any kind of mobile —or any other project ;)— so you can adapt them in a no time using Illustrator or any other vector editor thanks to the ESP provided.

Please download them with the link below.

10 Cool & Free Mobile Wallpapers

 

Download

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

 

How Can Designers Start Self-Marketing Themselves Using Wix — In Four Easy Steps

Designers tend to reduce marketing to a hard sell. It is much more than that when it comes to Branding and promoting you. I will let you know about my personal experience with the subject and how I used Wix to achieve it.

When was the last time you updated your online portfolio? Do you even have one?

I have been working as a graphic/web designer for more than I can remember or willing to admit (Just to give you a hint, my first design software was Coreldraw 3 running on a Compaq Presario 4122). So yes, it has been a while. However, I still don’t have a decent portfolio nor a proper business card, and please don’t ask me about that online store at creativemarket  I never got around to set up.

Yes, I suck at marketing. Or maybe, I have just been neglecting for years now.

Two months ago, I decided to give my professional profile a change. So, I embarked in a Digital Marketing Specialization and I updated my CV accordingly. This led me to land my first job -officially- in a digital agency. As I was revisiting my work experience over the years, I noticed how I was indeed rather good at marketing… but for others.

This is a very young company. They hired me to support their digital marketing division. Just at a quick glance, I could identify their weak points and opportunities in terms of their online properties and social networks. By the time I had my interview, I already had a tsunami of ideas for them on how they could grow their business and enhance their branding.

But why could I do marketing for them and not for myself? What was stopping me from achieving those goals that I earnestly recommend to others?

It was the shame.

Yes, I was secretly considering marketing beneath me. It was ok for others to show their hunger to sell, to make money. But not for me. The geeky introvert that I am, felt that marketing was the spoiled chubby daughter of capitalism.

Now, after working on a Digital Agency for two months I have realized that marketing permeates every activity of a business the same way that it does for yourself and your personal branding. Delivering a good product is marketing. Giving great customer experience is marketing. Presenting yourself under the best light is marketing.

Ultimately, marketing is for me the sum of all actions needed to accomplish a tangible goal — In business and in life.

Love yourself as your most valuable client. The one you pamper and the one whose business you want to see grow and be successful. To make you proud.

So, here is the thing. The process can be as simple as following these 4 consecutive steps. And, my weapon of choice is Wix as always. I have been a fan of them since the beginning. They have the most eye-catching design and easy-to-use website builder. Plus, a plethora of tools to grow your business. I will mention some of the most fundamental ones, but I encourage you to explore beyond that.

First: Please change your mindset! Stop being a condescending smartass with your carrier, get rid of the isolated tormented genius archetype and get to work -for real- on your self-promotion. You can be a genius and commercial self-promoted success at the same time. There is nothing wrong with that!

Second: Set a platform to showcase your astonishing work. Get yourself a nifty portfolio. That’s the cornerstone. Curate your work, ask for help with that if you can’t decide on what to display. Remember that is always about quality. A well-balanced portfolio it is not the one that has a vast amount of work but one that -even if small- shows great diversity and it is exciting to an audience. After that, you can pick an eye-catching template — I know, I know, why would I use an unworthy template when I can fabricate the most amazing one from scratch just for me. Newsflash: you won’t! You will procrastinate ad infinitum.

Then take that awesome html5 website templates and customize it, make it your own. It will look beautiful with your own stuff. Believe me. Think of it as a foundation, not a finished product. Wix has refined their aesthetics over the years. Just look just at these lovely examples below, imagine them with your own images. Customizing them is a breeze with the Wix website builder. It is so easy that you will start being an advocate of their service with your friends and clients, believe me.

Third: You need be discovered. So, you have already curated and published that portfolio. You feel very proud, you even ask yourself -“How come I haven’t done that before? it wasn’t that hard” Now, get discovered! You can have an amazing idea (yes, maybe the next best thing), but if nobody knows about it won’t get anywhere. All that you will see out there is the same pretentious mediocre work done by other designers who get paid large sums of cash. Leaving you saying, “I could have done that, and better!” And most probably, you could. But… you didn’t.
Having said that. You must also check the SiteBooster and the GetTraffic app. SiteBooster will send your details to top notch sites and directories making it easier for your site to be indexed and rank better. And GetTraffic will create customized web ads that target your audience.

Fourth: Engage with your audience. Once you have your platform and your audience you must engage with them. Interact, converse, amplify your message. For this, you will need the Wix Social Media Integration. From Facebook posts to Instagram updates, you can have all those streams directly integrated to your site. Boosting the interaction with your business and your social media presence.

Conclusion

As you can already see, using Wix will provide you with a comprehensive, cost-effective, and easy solution to your promotion needs. You have no more excuses, get your hands dirty. There is nothing wrong with putting yourself under the best light. There is nothing wrong with feeling proud of your work and promote yourself. There is nothing wrong to grow professionally, that doesn’t make you superficial sellout. You can be both, the genius and the commercial success. It’s ok, trust me. Become your own best client.

Want Freelance Clients? Here’s How to Find Them

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No matter your industry, be it online or offline if you’re a freelancer there is going to come a time in your career where you need to find clients. It might be out of necessity or it might simply be that you fancy a change. Whatever your reasoning, you’re going to need to know how to go about it and specifically where to look.

Whilst the scope for such a subject as finding freelance clients is undoubtedly huge, this article is going to focus on finding freelance clients for web based/online work. Whether you’re a web design, programmer, online marketer or content creator this article should have something for you. I hope you enjoy the read and hopefully, some of the sources I’ve documented below will yield you the fresh clientele you desire. So without further adieu, let’s get started.

Forums

Typically, forums have a bit of a stigma attached to them. In the past, they’ve been almost looked down upon as a place where the low ballers hang out trying to broker themselves a cheap employee from a third world or emerging country. Whilst this is true and the statement is not completely unfounded, there are users of specific forums who still have a good budget and are willing to pay a correct and fair price to get the job done.

In my opinion, the various freelance forums around the web contain primarily two groups of people. Firstly, it’s the low ballers as mentioned above but they also tend to be a great source for first timers who have never hired a professional freelancer before. Sure, there is also everything in between but these two groups are the majority.

Forums such as DigitalPoint and Warrior have long been a great resource for both freelancers and there would be clients alike. Whatever your industry, you’ll find sub forums and people looking to buy and sell their wares across all niches via simple, well-categorized offerings. You just need to learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff and have a thick skin to rebuke the low ball offerings.

Freelance Websites

Freelance websites such as Freelancer.com or PeoplePerHour.com are fantastic resources for freelancers looking to find work. The popularity of sites such as these, especially over the past few years has exploded. Previously it used to be limited to extremely experienced individuals doing the hiring and that meant that in order to compete you had to be significantly better than the next guy. These days, every man and his dog are hiring workers at all levels via sites such as these which has really opened the market right up.

As mentioned above, these websites are popular from a customers perspective but because of that, you can expect a lot of competition. Especially if you’re in a field with a vast array of competitors such as content writing or online marketing. The whole process can be a bit of a dog eat dog experience but like with the forums, you have to learn to take the rough with the smooth, to rebuke the low balls and be willing to compete for the better projects.

Your Own Website

This might sound obvious but a lot of the freelancers I know don’t even bother with a website offering their services or at least offering a portfolio illustrating their capabilities. I recently read this guide which doesn’t mention running a website at all, which is surprising to me as personally I think your own website if built correctly can yield more potential customers than any forum or freelance referrer website could. If nothing else it can be used to provide more information to would-be clients.

If you do go down this route and consider putting your own site together, make sure it’s loaded with content. By that I meant whatever service you offer, even if you’re not massively experienced at such, make sure it’s on the site. Who knows what it could yield.

Referrals from Existing Customers

I call this turning one into two. By that I mean if you’re lucky enough to land one customer, do everything in your power to make sure that not only do they come back to you the next time you need something but they’re also willing to pass you on to someone who needs a similar service. How many people do you think need a web design or a piece of content but don’t know anyone in their life who needs the same either currently on further down the line? If you do a good job for one person there is no reason they wouldn’t pass you on to someone else and those, in turn, would referrer you also. If you’re good enough you should only need a handful of clients to get the ball rolling.

Finding clients doesn’t need to be difficult. If you know your capabilities, know where to look and can take a knock back on the chin you’ll no doubt be able to find enough work to survive. In truth finding the client and negotiating the deal is often harder than the work itself. If you’re serious about freelancing you can’t afford to fall at the first hurdle or wind yourself up into a frenzy if someone doesn’t want to pay your quoted price. And don’t even get me started on the non-paying clients who unfortunately plague every industry and who you’ll undoubtedly come across.

Freelancing can be fun and profitable if done right, you just need to know where to look and have to be mentally prepared sufficiently to take it on.

How to build the perfect landing page for free with Wix

landing

Why are they important to your business, and how to build a great one that converts?

But first, what is a landing page? – Know the facts

According to Google analytics glossary:

The first page a visitor views during a session; also known as the entrance page.

And according to Wikipedia:

In online marketing, a landing page, sometimes known as a “lead capture page” or a “lander”, is a single web page that appears in response to clicking on a search engine optimized search result or an online advertisement. The landing page will usually display directed sales copy that is a logical extension of the advertisement, search result or link.

We can see that we have two definitions of the subject; the first one references an initial page a visitor sees during its session and the second one explains it as a single page you get after clicking on a link that is part of a marketing effort in order to obtain a lead or a sale. read more…

22+1 Awesome Pop-Up Books For Designers

Still looking for the “coolest” gift for a the creative guy? What to give as present to a design geekk? who surely has from the latest drone to the fancy GoPro? What about a long forgotten medium: A Pop Up Book! well not the Peppa one, I am talking about real manifestations of paper engineering. Marvelous expressions of creativity and art. Here is a list of 22+1 Pop Up books for the that inner child that refuses to die, and will probably eat macaroni and cheese until the end of its days.

The alphabet has never been so beautiful, quirky or creative as in this astounding novelty book. Buy at amazon.
Ten magnificent pop-up sculptures that challenges readers to find the one red dot. Buy at amazon.
Readers are challenged to find all 600 black spots within the paper sculptures. Buy at amazon.
Search beautiful, modern pop-ups to discover the hidden yellow square on each spread. Buy at Amazon.
A beautiful cacophony delighting everyone! in each of these spectacular pop-up sculptures. Buy at amazon.
White Noise is an explosion of startling shapes and colors and subtle sounds. Buy at amazon.
SPOT THE DOT hidden in lift-the-flaps, turn-wheels, pull-tabs, and a giant pop-up that leaps off the page! Buy at Amazon.
A triumph of pop-up artistry and a sure conversation-starter, these bouquets burst forth with color, joy, and lasting beauty. Buy at amazon.
These marvelous paper constructions allow us to appreciate the artist’s impossible geometry and his themes of infinity and paradox. Buy at amazon.
Surreal paintings from the inimitable Salvador Dalí, brought to life through spectacular pop–up pages. Buy at amazon.
Celebrating the great director by devoting a spread apiece to seven of his better-known suspense films. Buy at amazon.
Celebrating the great director by devoting a spread apiece to seven of his better-known suspense films. Buy at amazon.

Telltale hearts will tick-tick-tick oh-so-fast as you read the four terrifying tales.
Buy at amazon.

Telltale hearts will tick-tick-tick oh-so-fast as you read the four terrifying tales.
Buy at amazon.

Encyclopedia Prehistorica

An awe-inspiring tribute to the world’s most beloved extinct animals.
Buy at amazon.

Inspired by the Emmy® Award–winning credits sequence that opens each episode of the hit HBO® series. Buy at amazon.

STAR WARS: A POP-UP GUIDE TO THE GALAXY with Lucasfilm.
Buy at amazon.

Heroes, and villains of the DC Universe in this ultimate 3-D masterpiece!
Buy at amazon.

Shift, change, and rise to battle in this spectacular interactive pop-up adventure
Buy at amazon.

STAR WARS: A POP-UP GUIDE TO THE GALAXY with Lucasfilm.
Buy at amazon.

A legendary sci-fi epic as you’ve never seen it before.
Buy at amazon.

The Avengers must reassemble to combat the robotic menace of Ultron
Buy at amazon.

Star Wars: A Scanimation Book

This is not exactly a pop up book, it is indeed a Scanimation or Kinegram — an acetate overlay containing vertical stripes over a specially prepared image and slowly moved from right to left. But I though it was such a great way to end this yet awesome list of pop up books for the children of all ages.

Imagine: the first Star Wars book that actually moves, bringing to life the most memorable scenes from the epic.
Buy at amazon.

WIX unveils its new web editor and it is gorgeous

3052016-slide-s-1-wixWhen it comes to DIY web editors, WIX is the first thing that pops in to my mind. Well, maybe because I am one of their early adopters several years ago and long time fan. I must confess I never really like their flash templates – Never were fond of flash indeed. It seemed like a gimmick to me. But when the world started to point their heads to the HTML5 direction these guys were no exception. They jumped into the wagon, saying goodbye to our convoluted friend.

And they don´t stop moving. The cloud-based web development platform, with more than 72m users, have rebuilded its website editor and its faster, looks great and has tons of new feature – and off course it remains free.

This is their mayor improvement since its move from the now almost forgotten flash to HMTL5 back in 2012. Now in 2015 they have revealed a totally revamped web editor with the help of React javascript technology from Facebook.

New editor builded for the wow factor

The all new wix website editor sport some stunning trendy features, and plenty of industry specific templates or if you feel creative you can built your very own. The user experience feels very snappy must be for the React Js and the point and click editor continue to be enjoyable and simple. In fact when my friends or a client comes to me with relative small project, asking me for a quotation to accomplish it with WordPress. I do tell them, you don’t really need it – its true believe me. You can achieve a great looking sites for a fraction of my quote or even free with WIX. And they always thanks me.

Fullscreen videos or Video Backgrounds


This one of my favorites things, it immediately adds an edgy looking to your business. It can be shown to convey a message or use it as a background – My personal favorite, as you can see on the header of this blog. There is a selection of videos to chose in their library and you upload your own.

Parallax scrolling


I still remember the first time I saw this. It was back in the 80’s playing for the first time Asteroids – I believe the very first space shooter. For the 90’s kids the reference would be Super Mario Bross World for the SNES, I loved it. Besides my old-school nostalgia, I really like this one, because it give a sense of depth to your design. Your content looks gorgeous with this layer of 3D feeling. Not to mention it makes your site looks like the A-list ones.

Pint to screen

Make an element of your website persistent to you visitor, so it will alway be visible. Like social tools or newsletter forms, that way they can be accessible all the time. This is a great way to increase conversions in your site.

Conclusion

The only drawback I can point out, is the inability to export your site in html and place it in another hosting. Something that would only affect the more advanced users, but wait, they are should be doing their site themselves.

Other than that The new WIX web editor confirms the well earned place as the top of mind of the DIY, code free editors on the web. Whether is a small project or mid size business this is your best choice if you are on a budget or just want to do it your self. Even if you don’t have any prior experience in design or code. You will achieve professional looking results.

Design tips for building a mobile site

If you’re building your first mobile site, you may be unsure of where to start in your design. What’s more, you might be worried about messing things up or making the site difficult to use on mobile. Luckily, we are here to help you with some hints and tips for designing your mobile site!

To begin with, it’s never too late to start planning for the future. Mobile design advances very quickly, and you want to be a step ahead of your competitors. Therefore, study trends within the mobile design market and come up with designs which work both for current models and in anticipations for the future. This way, if you do need to redesign your site in the future, these redesigns will be minimal, cheaper and more efficient. read more…

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