What is Crowdfunding & Can It Help You Fund Your Side Project?

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Like many designers, you may have a side project. You may even be sure that your idea is a really good one.

The trouble is, it will take money to really pursue your idea. That’s the end of your really good idea and your side project. Or is it?

There are many funding options for business startups including the bank, investors, and begging for money from friends and family. Thanks to the internet, there’s now another source of funding for business startups.

Crowdfunding made big news recently when open source developer, Ubuntu, got into the crowdfunding arena with their planned entry into the already crowded smartphone market. You’ll find the Ubuntu Edge on the popular crowdfunding site, Indiegogo.

Is crowdfunding a great way for designers (and others) with big ideas to get their ideas to market? Or is it just another fad?

In this post, I’ll examine crowdfunding in more detail. I’ll also list a dozen crowdfunding sites. If you liked this post, you may also like How to Evaluate a Business Idea and What to Do Next.

Let’s Talk About Your New Microstock Agency

I heard a friend say the other day that web designers measure time in deadlines. Maybe that is an overstatement, but time is of the essence. They need to get a high quality job done as fast as possible. For the most part, a designer’s working process involves the use of acceptable images, and I believe I’ve found a great resource for this purpose: Stockfresh, coming from the original founders of stock.xchng and Stockxpert.

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You can take your pick from a vast array of high-quality graphic images. Last time I checked, there was a handsome amount of 2.5 million images in their vaults, and it’s growing at a fast rate, so by the time this article is finished, their expert team of reviewers may have approved yet another few thousands, based on qualitative, legal, artistic and commercial criteria.

 

Only the best submissions are admitted, so you need not fret over what kind of quality you’ll find. Now, this is the main concern with microstock agencies, and it simply does not stand here. In other words, you can get your supply of photos, graphics or vector illustrations in excellent resolution, and at a most convenient price.

Managing & Directing your Creative Projects with Confidence

Whether you are a freelance designer or working as part of a team, there are going to be times where you need to lead the way. Not everybody enjoys being the leader and sometimes it is easier to follow directions working towards a greater goal. But I want to share a few ideas to help teams and individuals for managing their creative projects.

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Confidence is a big piece of the process because you want the customer to understand what you are doing. Even if you may not have as much confidence in the work, keep this buried down and push through the workload. You may surprise yourself with what can be accomplished. A successful creative project requires open communication and a lot of pushing in the right direction. I do hope these tips may help other designers when building future ideas.

Top Tips on How to Stop Struggling to Get Paid for Freelance Designers

US one hundred dollar bills falling from a blue sky.Have you ever had trouble getting a client to pay you? Some freelance designers struggle to collect the money that is due to them.

From a freelancer’s perspective, getting paid is the most important part of the project. The money we get from freelancing pays our bills and helps us to stay in business.

And to be honest, no one wants to spend weeks (or even months) trying to collect from a former client. But sometimes, payment problems happen anyway.

Happily, there are some steps you can take to reduce or even eliminate payment problems. In this post, I share some tips to help you get paid including the seven steps of effective invoicing and five invoicing tools. If you enjoyed this post, you may also like The Nitty Gritty Details Freelancers Need to Know About Getting Paid.

What is Shopify? – eCommerce Websites for Designers

As I’m sure many of you are aware you can use Shopify is a online store platform. The reason this audience is going to be interested in their platform is because of the details of their stores. They give users the ability to design beautiful online stores. Designers are visual creatures. We rely on the gut feeling over the substance. Our intuition drives nearly every visual decision we make. Shopify has carefully crafted stores to give their user base some of the most eye catching and functional shops found anywhere on the web.

The stores come out of the box with lots of great features. Just to name a few:

You can choose from over 100 professional themes
Complete control over the store. They allow you to take their store and make any custom CSS or HTML edits.
Shopping cart integration provided
Unlimited hosting bandwidth
They’ve got pricing plans ranging from $14 per month to $179. See pricing plans here

Improve Your Creativity & Problem-Solving with these 7 Brainstorming Techniques

Do you allow yourself enough time for creative brainstorming?

Most designers don’t. In fact, many designers don’t allow themselves any time for brainstorming. Then they wonder why they feel uninspired.

Maybe you feel uninspired because it takes time to be creative–time that most freelance designers don’t work into their schedules. The true creative cycle looks something like this:
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But many designers act like this is the cycle:
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No one is a never-ending fountain of creative ideas. We all need inspiration sometimes. In this post, I share seven great brainstorming techniques that you can use to improve your creativity and solve problems. If you’ve ever suffered from creative block, this post is for you.

If you liked this post, you may also like My Best Ideas for What to Do When Your Freelancing Creativity Fails You.

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Articles on Longtail Keywords for SEO Strategy

When targeting search engine results you need to understand the most common strategies for website ranking. Longtail keywords are the searches which make up over 70% of Google search terms. These are often longer than 3-4 words and they can be very specific in relation to your website. This is why most visitors who search longtail will stay on your website for a long time, if you can fill their exact need(s).

google logo shadows photo keywords searching

For this post I just want to share a few alternate resources which are related to longtail keyword research. There is no perfect solution and it merely requires new attempts at different areas for driving positive traffic. Search Engine optimization is a long-term process and you must be ready to continue studying years into the future.