6 Tips for Budding Designers to Earn While Building a Portfolio

Posted in Freelance, Tips, Web Design • Posted on 13 Comments

Design is one of the more unusual industries to work in because it’s one of the few that often involves working for free, especially for those who are just starting out in a design career. Working for free is starting to become more and more commonplace for those new to particular industries – as this article from The Guardian shows – but for designers, who actually create something, it doesn’t need to be this way. The dangers of spec work are well-known, and this post in particular does a brilliant job of explaining why it’s harmful. The premise is that a client offers money for designers to compete with each other. One designer gets paid, the other designers don’t. It’s not fair, and it’s not rewarding.

But when you’re just starting out in a career in design, you may be tempted to work for free in order to build your portfolio. You know that you can design but you need to get clients on board, you need a good portfolio to show people and, when your portfolio is on the small side, clients may ask you to work for free with the benefit being that you get to showcase the work that you do on your site.

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How to Get the Most out of Your Design Degree

Posted in Tips, Web Design • Posted on 17 Comments

Studying design might not be the hardest thing a person can do on Earth. Studying design is actually quite easy – it’s very practice-oriented, every piece of theory is applied and there is no wrong answer. If you have good reasons for everything you do, there is no way somebody will be able to tell you that you are wrong. Hey, it might actually be one of the funniest degrees possible.

However, getting the most out of your education is something not many are good at, and especially in our business where everybody thinks they know something, finishing high and then getting a good job is something only a handful of people from each class manage to do throughout their life. So you might ask yourself how do others manage to get that dream job of theirs when they have the same education as you – the same degree that hasn’t landed you anything more than poorly paid jobs and difficult clients to handle.

Like any other business, you only hear about the successful ones, but the majority of people in the web industry are the ones who don’t really make it anywhere. Focusing on education is the only way to avoid being one of them and to have a successful design career.

There are two kinds of education in the industry: a traditional one and a practice-oriented one.

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5 Easy Things Designers can do to Generate Extra Income

Posted in Tips, Tools, Web Design • Posted on 22 Comments

There are many designers who earn extra income while having a full-time job and most of the time this extra income doesn’t even require 10 hours a week.

I know a lot of designers, for both print and the web, that are looking for different ways to fully utilize their skills to earn more. The problem is they don’t know where to start. It’s a good thing there are services and people out there that can help solve their problems.

Looking for a sideline?
Do you want to earn extra cash using your design skills but you don’t have enough time because of your full-time job?

Fret not. I’ll provide 5 easy solutions that can get you started right this instant. Most of these solutions will only take 5 hours a week to accomplish, I know you have the talent to do it.

Are you ready? Show me your war faces! Roar!

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Jumpstarting Your Startup Idea – Let’s Make Your Dream Business Come True!

Posted in Freelance, Tips, Web Design • Posted on 20 Comments

I have been doing a lot of reading lately about online startups and I thought I should share it with 1WD’s readers. Quite a lot of startups from two years ago have now taken off and made it into the mainstream, like Pinterest (Mar 2010), Codecademy (Aug 2011), Instagram (Oct 2010), and a lot more. You’d be surprised how many of your favorite online services started from just a tiny idea and now are million dollar ideas.

Do you have a startup idea that you think will definitely be your way to stardom?

What are the requirements? Should you spend thousands of dollars? How about looking for a partner?

In this post you will learn:

  • how to find the perfect idea if you don’t have one
  • the checklist before actually spending time building your startup
  • skills you need to have
  • tools to help your startup (from beta testers to launching)

So, are you ready? Show me your war faces!

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Article Marketing 101 – How to Drive Traffic to Design Blogs Using 101 Community News Submissions

Posted in Social Media, Tips, Web Design • Posted on 27 Comments

You launched a blog, filled it with jaw dropping tutorials, displayed ads on few corners, opted for an extremely amazing theme and then waited! Now what? Traffic starts pouring in but others are already running away with the goal post. In between the hugger mugger geometry of blogs smoothies are shaken, not stirred! Brains are muddled and thoughts blown away. Without the skyrocketing visitor numbers that blog proves to be a far fetched island which is overflowing with useful information but hidden from the eyes of the beholder. So, what do you do then? How do you look for the niche traffic which your blog is craving for? Well, this article won’t repeat the basics. Rather, we will go through the list of 101 Community News and Article Submission websites for design article marketing. They are worth your time. Trust me!

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How to Use Twitter Effectively to Experience its Full Potential

Posted in Social Media, Tips, Web Design • Posted on 7 Comments

Some time ago I wrote an etiquette guide for Facebook. Because the article made a lot of buzz in social media, I thought I should write an etiquette guide on how to use Twitter effectively, the other major player in social networking.

The microblogging service was launched in 2006 and employs almost 1,000 people all over the world. It has a database of 140 million active users and, in competition with Facebook, represents the most valuable place to share information on the web. Tweeting constantly and being active all the time is very important, as followers can lose interest quite fast. Although a tweet can be a maximum 140 characters, the information you can share within these boundaries can be incredibly useful. Many people in our industry share interesting links to tutorials, posts and product reviews – although written with less than 140 characters, the information can spread very fast and is very useful.

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Hey Web Designers and Web Developers, Are You Blogging Yet?

Posted in Blogging, Tips, Web Design • Posted on 56 Comments

Are you a web designer or a web developer? Are you blogging yet?

There are several thousands of web designers and web developers actively seeking new opportunities online. A lot of them are excellent at what they do, but among those many excellent designers and developers only a hundred will actually be known on the internet.

It is depressing to know that you probably won’t get noticed.

What if I told you that you can change the course of your life simply by blogging?

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How To Clean Up And Optimize Your Existing WordPress Blog Posts For SEO

Posted in Tips, Tools, WordPress • Posted on 30 Comments

So you wrote a lot of great posts over the past few years which still receive a lot of traffic from search engines, but you’re always wondering how long it will last. Or maybe you were affected by the latest Google Panda or Penguin changes and lost some traffic to that old content?

Perhaps you have noticed that you have been affected by these issues, perhaps not.

Whether you are affected or not, one question remains:  how do I clean up and optimize my existing blog posts?

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Learn How To Manage Clients Effectively And Never Miss Any Deadline

Posted in Freelance, Tips, Web Design • Posted on 8 Comments

How to Manage Clients Effectively? I already missed a deadline! Are these few of the usual sentences in your daily life? You know what? At least you should be happy that you are loaded with clients. Facing the situation positively you know. But, you should be aware of the fact that with multiple deadlines being missed, the load of these clients will soon vanish. Nobody wants to stick around with a star designer who cannot stick to pre-decided dates. So, either you take heed of this fact right away or be prepared to lose it all.

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Understanding the Business Aspect of Freelancing

Posted in Freelance, Tips, Web Design • Posted on 7 Comments

Being a freelance designer is more than just fun and games. It’s not just playing around with Photoshop and other gadgets. You need to master the harder aspect of freelancing too: the business aspect of things. Once you know the ins and outs of the business of freelance, you’re sure to be a successful freelancer. Freelance is a business, first and foremost. You have to sell yourself to your clients to make a living.

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