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December 09 2013

13:18

Launch in One Week: Learn Flat Web Design from Scratch – Complete Course

Flat web design could be considered many things – a new trend, style, fad, movement, way of thinking, etc. There is no single and complete definition yet, what we can do is try to acknowledge the postulates, philosophy, and history that stands behind the term.

Here at 1stwebdesigner we are very passionate about flat web design. Not because everyone is talking about it so we simply can’t ignore it – no, we are actually proponents of how flat is reshaping the way we think, talk, and do web design.

Free 100 passes and hundreds of discount coupons, claim your spot now!

flat web design course

We believe that aesthetics is only the surface – flat is a whole new approach to building websites. We believe that flat web design is about showing less on the screen, but doing more with it. Form follows function. It is about boiling the aesthetics down to its essentials and focusing on the message. Flat seeks to support the content from behind by removing background distractions and amplifying the voice of the content. Flat is all about content and making the most of the medium.

However, at the same time, we are a bit concerned and, truth be told, responsible that there aren’t enough resources for young designers to master flat design, understand what is it about, and build better websites. Of course, one might argue that there is plenty of articles, inspiration, and tutorials out there. But we tend to disagree. How many of these inspiration showcases talk about the influences behind flat web design and analyze the origins of it? How many of these tutorials talk about the concept and goal behind a website and why designers build what they build? How many of them can show you the whole process behind building a contemporary flat responsive website starting with a blank sheet of paper and ending up with a usable result? We think not so many.

That is why we decided to make our own video course where beginner web designers and developers could learn what it takes to build a website nowadays. But enough of words - switch the lights off and enjoy:

This course literally takes you from very little knowledge about web design to being able to create beautiful, thorough, and problem-solving websites and get you going as a web designer. Here are the things you will learn:

  • the principles, history and philosophy behind flat web design
  • how to plan a website, think of a concept and use sketching and wireframing
  • design pixel-perfect flat designs with grid systems
  • use and take advantage of Twitter Bootstrap in your future projects
  • turn PSD into valid HTML & CSS
  • make your website responsive

By the end of the course you will be able to build your own website from scratch and apply the concepts, ideas and skills learned here to your own projects.

And now comes the best part. The course goes live on December 16th 00:00 CET and to celebrate the launch of it we are going to give out:

  • 100 coupons for 100% discount (you get the course for free)
  • 300 coupons for 80% discount
  • 500 coupons for 50% discount

All you have to do is subscribe to our email newsletter and upon launch we’ll send you an email with discount codes. Remember – Dec 16 00:00 CET.

First come – first served!

Subscribe now and be among the first to know when the course goes live and get it for free!











P.S. Be quick though. Only 100 people will get the course completely free of charge.

December 06 2013

14:00

105 Amazing Gifts for Web Designers and All Creatives

Christmas is coming and everyone is running around looking for gifts. Stop! You don’t have to worry! We collected 105 amazing gifts for web designers and for all other creatives, and just about anyone who has a geeky side in them. Best of all – all the gifts are really affordable, almost every item is in price range starting from 10$ to 100$!

If you have a friend who is a web designer or developer and you want to surprise them, you have come to the right place!

In fact, this collection is for any occasion. Birthdays, Valentine’s, Christmas, Thanksgiving, or just an ordinary day surprise to show someone how much you appreciate them.

Ready? Let’s start!

I dare You not to find something You don’t want to get or give as a gift to any of your friends!

1. Quirky Converge Docking Station for USB charging devices

001-converge-docking-station

A modern and neat docking station for charging that will look great beside a Mac computer.

2. Font Me Typography Coffee Mug

002-fontme-typography-mug

Coffee during breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, lunch, afternoon coffee, supper, and dinner? Let this Typography Mug accompany any typophile!

3. Creative Sleep Pillows

003-creative-sleep-pillows

Designer by day, designer by night, and still a designer while sleeping. This is a fancy gift to designers who are totally in love with Adobe products!

4. Browser Sketch Pad

004-browser-sketch-pad

A neat traditional wireframing tool that won’t hurt your wallet. Hand sketching stimulates different parts of the brain, and that’s exactly what creatives need! Besides, this sketch pad is more portable and faster to use than any laptop.

5. Ctrl Esc Key Cufflinks

005-ctrl-esc-cufflinks

For the classy web designer that can’t go anywhere without wearing his/her identity.

6. Mac Desk Organizer

006-mac-desk-organizer

Mac computers are neat, especially with those wireless peripherals. But do you know how you can make it neater? With this Mac desk organizer. Save space and organize any desk by hiding your keyboard and mouse underneath. Plus it will look good on most desktop colors!

7. Icon Notebook

007-icon-notebook

For designers who loves writing or sketching their ideas on notebooks. This notebook will not drill a hole in your wallet, and I’m certain that any designer would love to have one!

8. Designer Tshirts

008-designer-tshirt

Not all web designers wear pyjamas all day, right?

9. Perpetual Calendar

009-perpetual-calendar

Just another neat gift you can give to yourself or a web designer friend. Never buy another calendar for several years. Plus this looks good with the Mac Desk Organizer above!

10. Command Z Tshirt

010-command-z

For the Mac lovers. Command Z is similar to Control Z in Windows, which is the shortcut for undoing things.

11. Photoshop Fridge Magnet Kit

011-ps-magnet-kit

Ah, the epitome of being a geek web designer. I’m not a web designer myself but I definitely will buy a kit!

12. I Will Design For Money Shirt

012-will-design-for-money

Starving artist? I don’t think so. But no web designer would refuse money. Help your web designer friends veer off the “Hey, you’re a web designer, can you design a website for me for free since we’re friends?” type of conversation.

13. Command O Doormat

013-command-o-mat

Command O is the shortcut for opening files, but in this case it will be a door. It’s a neat addition to any home!

14. Chisel iPad Dock

014-chisel-ipad-dock

A great gift to iPad readers. They will thank you for saving them from numbing their hands. We’ve all been there, reading for hours, adjusting our tablets every several minutes because our wrist or necks start to hurt.

15. 8-bit iPad Sleeve

015-8bit-sleeve

Retina display here, retina display there, why not go old school by going 8-bit? It’s sleek, funny, and useful!

16. Balcony Desk

016-balcony-desk

For the fresh air and sun lovers. Extremely useful if your web designer friend has a balcony, of course.

17. MoMA Perpetual Calendar

017-moma-perpetual-calendar

Another perpetual calendar. The first one was more of a natural and retro type while this one is modern and borderline sci-fi. A perfect gift!

18. Inkling Bamboo

018-inkling-bamboo

Effective for sketching and taking notes. The best part? Every stroke you make is recorded and can then be converted for digital use on Photoshop.

19. Boogie Board LCD Tablet

019-boogie-board

I’m pretty sure that anyone who has enjoyed Etch-a-Sketch will find this gadget absolutely lovely. In fact, I just ordered one!

20. Pen Zen Bamboo Desk Organizer

020-quirky-penzen

An organized desk reflects an organized mind, do you agree?

21. Mail Icon Paper Sleeve Bundle (White)

021-mail-icon-paper-sleeve

Mail Icon Paper sleeves promise to protect your iPad, iPad Mini and iPhone from scratches.

22. Pixel Ruler

022-pixel-ruler

Pixel Ruler can be your best friend in drafting responsive design.

23. Pebble SmartWatch

023-pebble-smartwatch

For those who are always on the go! Pebble displays notifications of email, SMS, calendar, Caller ID, and your favorite apps on your wrist.

24. Cordies Cable Organizer

024-cordies-cable-organizer

You don’t need to worry again with your cables being tied together. Maintain a neatly organized work space with this product.

25. Hedgehog and Pig Card Holder

025-hedgehog-and-pig

Hedgehog made of silicon that will help you hold your business cards in place.

26. 8-bit Hands Coasters

026-8bit-hands

Keep your desk dry and your geekness too with these stylish 8-bit hand coasters.

27. Blue Heart Rate Monitor for iPhone 5, 5S, 5C & 4S and iPads

027-60beat-blue-heart-monitor

Web designers spend most of their day sitting. That’s bad for their health. Help them be healthier by making exercise fun! With this heart rate monitor, web designers will run several miles just to break their own records. Because, you know, web designers are competitive people!

28. Remote Control Trashcan

028-remote-control-trashcan

Okay, aside from being competitive, there’s a stereotype that web designers are lazy…or simply don’t have the time to deal with trash. Well, why not make the trashcan go to them?

29. There’s No Place Like Home Shirt

029-theres-no-place-home

Web designers and developers, including geeks will love this shirt. There’s no place like home!

30. Eat Sleep Design Shirt

030-eatsleep-design-shirt

For the passionate web designer who does nothing but eat, sleep, and design. That’s the dream life!

31. Eat Sleep Design Mousepad

031-eatsleep-design-mousepad

This is an alternative if your web designer friend is not a t-shirt lover. Or you can give them both.

32. Timeless Clock Coaster

032-timeless-clock-coasters

Never worry about time when you are with friends. Stacking these coasters introduces a different design.

33. Newspaper Bag

033-newspaper-bag

Simple and gorgeous for female web designers. Keeping the spirit of fancy fashion wherever they go!

34. Keyboard Coaster

034-keyboard-coaster

A simple coaster that will complement any kind of laptop or desktop on any kind of table.

35. IQ Alarm Clock

035-iq-alarm

Are you smarter than a fifth grader? If not, you won’t be able to turn off the alarm! Good bye five more minutes!

36. Logitech Wireless Trackball

036-logitech-wireless-trackball

We asked around and found out that this is a likeable mouse for designers. It has no lag, it’s very much responsive, built for comfort, and has several functions like back and forward navigations, a programmable button, thumb controlled trackball, and many more that no standard mouse has.

37. Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop Keyboard

037-sculpt-keyboard

An ergonomic keyboard to help web designers protect their hands because it’s the only pair they will have for the rest of their lives!

38. Eyestrain Reducing Computer Lamp

038-eyestraing-reducing-lamp

Take good care of a web designer’s eyes with this computer lamp. A designer who can’t see properly is a no-no!

39. Natico Ultimate Executive Decision Maker

039-natico-decision-maker

Admit it, web designers are funnily crazy, and as a friend to one, you need to feed them with more crazy fuel!

40. USB Flash Drive 64 GB – Credit Card

040-usb-flash-drive-credit-card

Finally, a flash drive that can fit in your wallet!

41. Newton’s Cradle – 4.5 Inch, Contemporary

041-newtons-cradle

Aside from Newton’s Cradle being a cool addition to any desk, it also has a calming effect, which many web designers need several times a day.

42. iPad Paper Pad

042-ipad-paper

Not an iPad, but an iPad Paper Pad. Just a cool pad to jot down anything, including paper prototyping.

43. Floppy Disk Sticky Notes

043-floppy-disk-sticky-notes

Go old school with these sticky notes! I guess this is the saying “Only 90s kids will get this.” come into play!

44. CafePress Photoshop Geek Dark T-Shirt

044-cafe-press-shirt

Daily geeky t-shirt for everyone! It’s simple but stylish enough to be a great gift to outgoing people.

45. Floating Shelf

045-floating-shelf

A great home or office decoration!

46. Photoshop T-shirt

046-photoshop-tshirt

A good shirt for everyday use or for the gym…tell everyone you know Photoshop!

47. Samsung S4 Photoshop Case

047-samsungs4-photoshop-case

Not all designers use an iPhone, you know? This will be a neat gift for Samsung users, I bet they don’t know this case even existed!

48. Stress Buster Desktop Punching Ball

048-stress-buster

Ah, yes, instead of punching a client or the boss, punch this ball instead. Or save your laptop from your wrath. Help save a friend or yourself from unemployment!

49. Portal 2 Sentry Turret – Motion Activated Desk Defender

049-portal2-sentry

Because every sane web designer has to protect their desks from intruders, right??

50. Magnetic Sculptures – Dolphins

050-magnetic-sculptures

A great toy/design to tinker around to let the creative juice flow in during slow days.

51. Moleskine Folio Notebook

051-moleskin-folio-notebook

One of the safest gifts to give to any professional, trust me. Writers, web designers and developers, marketers, you name it.

52. Rhodia Grid Book

052-rhodia-grid-notebook

A perfect pad for designers. It has subtle dots that form grids for symmetrical sketches.

53. Pantone Formula Guide

053-pantone-formula

The BEST gift you can give to any designer, especially the ones who don’t bring their computers with them all the time!

54. Macbook Stand

054-macbook-stand

I really have no idea what’s the practical use for this, but I’ll include it here since it looks sleek.

55. Mug Warmer

055-mug-warmer

Web designers tend to focus on their designs while their coffee gets cold…no more!

56. Phillips Hue

056-philips-hue

Wireless personal lighting for your office or room that can be controlled using smartphones or tablets. No need to stand up just to turn off the lights. Hue, hue, hue.

57. HTML 5 Shirt

057-html5-shirt

Another t-shirt that tells the whole world the wearer knows HTML5. Talk about walking advertisement!

58. CSS Shirt

058-css-shirt

One of the few effective web design pickup lines!

59. iPad and Note Case

059-ipad-note-case

A great gift for iPad users who also happen to love writing on their notebooks.

60. Urban Bag

060-urban-bag

A bag small enough to wear anywhere and big enough to accommodate an iPad mini, Kindle, or Nook. There are also two quick access pockets in front for smartphones or a music player.

61. Wooden Tissue Box

061-wooden-tissue-box

With this wooden tissue box plus this wooden stand, wooden organizer, wooden iPad dock, and wooden calendar, you can be certain that the combination wood works.

62. Watch Diary

062-watch-diary

Keeping track of the things you need to do has never been this easy. A journal with a working clock!

63. Macbook Airfelt Sleeve

063-macbook-airfelt-sleeve

For the classy Macbook Air user. It’s a great gift for the frequent traveler.

64. Tetris Stackable LED Desk Lamp

064-tetris-led

Traditional desk lamps are boring. But not with this Tetris-inspired desk lamp!

65. Website Stencil Kit

065-website-stencil

This web stencil kit is best for quick wireframing and laying out brainstormed ideas. Something every web designer would want to have.

66. Pixelated Hand Shaped Mouse

066-pixelated-hand-mouse

It’s very ironic for a web designer to have this, yet I’m pretty sure they will love this. Ironic how? Many designers hate seeing individual pixels on their screens!

67. Coffee Cup Mist Humidifier

067-coffee-cup-mist-humidifier

A web designer friend lives or works in an arid place? That’s bad for the skin! Help combat this situation by giving them a humidifier!

68. Cyber Clean

068-cyber-clean

Well, keyboards won’t clean themselves, no?

69. Pantone CAPSURE Color Matcher

069-pantone-capsure

Scan and capture colors and integrate on your design programs. It’s not sci-fi!

70. Sauna Boy Portable Humidifier

070-sauna-boy

A much cuter humidifier, I have nothing else to add. I want this.

71. The Web Designer’s Idea Book

071-webdesign-idea-book

From the best selling series, this third installment of The Web Designer’s Idea Book is a must-have for every web designer – from beginners to masters.

72. MOMA MUJI 36 Colored Pencils

072-moma-muji-colored-pencil

A gift for designers and young artists in general, including art students.

73. 50 Shades of Grey Poster

073-50shades-of-grey-poster

Literally 50 shades of grey. Inspired from the best-selling erotica novel 50 Shades Of Grey.

74. Calendar 2014

074-calendar-2014

A fun calendar that goes beyond the monotonous traditional calendars. It’s loaded up with one-liners that will bring a smile to anyone’s face.

75. Pivot Power Strip

075-pivot-power-strip

The problem with standard power strips is that they take too much space. You can’t bend them or mold them the way you want, but with Pivot Power Strip, it’s like playing with Lego bricks!

76. Paper Email

076-paper-email

A fancy way to send notes to friends and colleagues, but personally I’ll use it to make fun of others.

77. Social Media Pillows

077-social-media-pillows

A perfect gift for social media enthusiasts and web designers. Why? Because no one can resist these fluffy pillows in today’s social media world!

78. Terrarium

078-terrarium

Many web designers never see this mythical place called The Outside. Bring this Outside atop their desk!

79. Bright Feet Slippers

079-bright-feet-slippers

A perfect gift for both single and married people. You don’t have to turn on the lights just to go to the restroom!

80. Water Dancing Speakers

080-water-dancing-speaker

Add some flair to your music! I’m pretty sure that designers will love this gift. Music with colors!

81. RC Helicopter

081-rc-helicopter

A real flying toy helicopter. I mean, come on, I’m pretty sure that deep inside your heart you want one since you were a kid.

82. Retro Wired Headset

082-retro-wired-headset

It’s not like someone will actually use this thing, but it’s a great gift nonetheless.

83. Beer Glass

083-beer-glass

Alcohol boosts creativity, right?

84. Skullcandy Headphone

084-skullcandy-headphones

For the web designer who loves music, just take a look at those colors!

85. i-Bridge Premium Desk Organizer

085-ibridge-desk-organizer

A neat desk organizer for any office or home office. It has a cup holder, a dock for phones, two USB ports, and an amazing…paper holder.

86. Newspaper Rain Bag

086-newspaper-rainbag

Aside from the cool design, this is one of those bags that you’ll never regret having…especially when it’s raining. It’s waterproof and can protect your precious gadgets from water!

87. Book Dock & Charger

087-book-deck

Perfect for book lovers and for the office. It also has a built-in speakers that can amplify any music you play.

88. Quadcopter

088-quadcopter

Quadcopters are the cool new toys of the modern world. Everyone will want this! I bet you will get your hands on this one instead of giving it as a gift.

89. Spiderpodium

089-spider-podium

Ever wished of having an extra hand just to hold your phone where you want it to? Well, Spiderpodium solves that! You can twist its arms in several different ways to either make your phone stand on its own, cling to a railing, hang on your bike, and several more usages, the only limit is your imagination.

90. Mobile WebDesigner’s Idea Book

090-mobile-webdesigner

A spin-off of The Web Designer’s Idea Book, a best-selling series that focuses on great web designs. A book series that every web designers NEED to have.

91. The Principles of Beautiful Web Design

091-principles-of-beautiful-design

A great book for beginners and people looking for direction in the web design industry.

92. Don’t Make Me Think

092-dont-make-me-think

The purpose of every design is to make it intuitive as much as possible, not just for desktops but also for mobile devices. This book tackles fresh perspectives on how web usability should be done.

93. External Battery Pack for Most Smartphones and Tablets

093-external-battery-pack

Because running out of battery is a very, very, scary thing, right? You’ll never know when you will need one!

94. Doctor Who Vinyl Decal

094-doctor-who-vinyl

Doctor Who fans will love this decal quote in the form of TARDIS.

95. Masters of Poster Design

095-masters-of-poster-design

Very cool posters to design a rather plain room. Give that room some attitude!

96. 64GB SanDisk Memory Card

096-64gb-sandisk-memory-card

The most popular memory card on Amazon.com. Portable, it can save up to 64GB of data. A perfect gift for photographers, web designers, graphic artists, and just about anyone.

97. Car Mount Holder for iPhone

097-carmount-holder-iphone

Not all cars have mounts for iPhones. And with this holder you can now use iPhone as a GPS.

98. 8-Bit Sunglasses

098-8bit-sunglasses

8-bit sunglasses to help you protect your eyes while looking like a geek!

99. Chromecast

099-chrome-cast

Stream movies or TV series straight to your television via HDMI port.

100. Raspberry Pi

100-raspberry-pi

The cheapest computer ever at $25. You can host a server, a media box, and any basic thing that you can dream of. It can run word processing programs, quadcopters, surveillance systems, a gaming console, and many more!

101. Kindle

101-kindle

This is one of the earliest generations of Kindle, and it’s actually the best Kindle at $69. In my opinion, Kindle Fire is less useful. If you’re planning on buying a Kindle, be sure to check older versions like this one.

102. LED Fluorescent Message Board

102-led-flourescent-message-board

A great addition to anyone’s nightstand either for cheer notes or for a to-do list the next morning.

103. Robotic Ball for iOS and Android

103-robotic-ball

Something fun to have. A robotic ball that runs on Android and iOS, you can control it remotely. Purpose? Fun!

104. Pulse Wireless Activity Tracker + Sleep and Heart Rate Monitor

104-pulse-wireless-activity-tracker

Are you sleeping well? Is your heart pumping like it’s supposed to? Sleep and heart problems are common to web designers because they just sit most of their working hours…and while at home.

105. OUYA

105-ouya

OUYA is a virtual reality gaming console that will be the next big thing for gaming. For decades, gamers have been yearning for virtual reality and now it’s here. I am certain that everyone, even non-gamers, will love this. It’s the coolest item to have in this list, I swear.

To End

I hope you enjoyed this collection. If only I had the money I will definitely buy 7/10 of these. Note that I asked several web designers (people I know personally) for their recommendations and this is what we came up with.

Don’t forget to share your stories here!

Which is Your favourite item?

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20:51

November 07 2013

13:04

Free Webinar: Six Guaranteed Ways To “Close The Deal” With Tricky Freelance Clients

In case you didn’t know, we regularly hold webinars that teach people how to earn more money online by freelancing. Tomorrow, November 8, 2013, we will have another free webinar. In this webinar we will share six proven techniques to help you close any deal with your prospective clients – because we know that communicating with clients is really tough.

What: Six Guaranteed Ways to Close the Deal with Tricky Freelance Clients
When: 11/8/2013 at 11AM EDT

  • 8AM Pacific
  • 9AM Mountain
  • 10AM Central
  • 11AM Eastern

Where: Sign Up here!

Join Spence as he shows you How to Find More Clients and Strategies for closing the deal!

freelance webinars

  • The “Hard To Get” Technique – How to demonstrate that you are in demand and increase your value to your client!
  • The “Walk Away” Technique – Learn the right time to say NO to a client!
  • The “Power of YES” Technique – Learn how to apply the very powerful Japanese negotiation technique of “YES!”
  • The “Set The Tone & Rules” Technique – Learn how to take charge and not be taken advantage of by your client!
  • The “Productize Your Service” Technique – Learn how to offer bundled services for a fixed price!
  • The “Velvet Rope” Technique – Learn how to optimize client consultations!
  • IMPORTANT: If you register AND ATTEND you will receive six exclusive handbooks covering all of these techniques in detail. You will ONLY get these books if you ATTEND…so please do not miss out!

Claim Your Spot Now. It’s Free!

May 14 2013

06:45

Free Webinar: Proven 3-Step Formula on How to Get Clients

Reading this post might be the best decision you will ever do for your entire career. New Free webinar about freelance web design on how to get started and how to earn your first $300 in just 3 days. What are you waiting for?

Our method has been proven and tested, and it even went beyond expectations. We offer a free introductory lesson and a course where people can enroll on, and people are achieving success through it!

Ok…couldn’t wait to get home and post this. I got my first $600 check today (installment 1 of 2) for a site and it was from using the SIMPLE steps in the bootcamp!!!! BOOYAH. I think this is going to be a simple project with a nice turn around time and I can’t wait to have the client tell her friends and customers how easy it is to work with me. Keep you all posted. Thanks again.

- Leon Clinch, 1WD Bootcamp participant

Update: Thanks so much for coming on!

It was so much fun on the webinar last night, and I just wanted to tell, how thankful I am about everybody who actually showed up! We got close to 600 attendees this time! We decided to put up webinar slides for your pleasure – enjoy!

For those who got redirected to this page after an email, you can see slides here! I will contact you privately in email to let you know about recording, and will also explain what went wrong and how to fix it! Thank you so much for understanding! *Dainis

If you want to take action, join the community, get our newly launched membership product – Get 3 Clients in 3 Days And earn 300$! – http://1wd.com

* Dainis & Spencer

Webinar Invitation:

What: Proven 3-Step Formula on How to Get Clients

When: Thu, May 16, 2013 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT

Where: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1326235673805946368

Register now and attend the webinar to learn the secrets of freelancing!

treasuremap

Whether you’re a web designer, a web developer, or someone who wants to become one, this webinar is for you. You will  take home lots of useful stuff, all you need to do is attend. There will be a surprise at the end of the webinar, be sure to stay long enough!

Some Stats from the Last Webinar

  • Run time: 2 hours and 40 minutes
  • 462 questions asked
  • 62 part-time workers from poll
  • 42 full-time workers from poll
  • 38 unemployed from poll
  • 60% of the questions asked relates to how to find clients, how to keep a client, how to communicate

Surprising Revelation

The most surprising thing about the webinar for freelance web designers (and those who want to become one) is about how much full-time employees and those who are unemployed are thinking of taking a leap at freelance web design. Some would like to do it for a side income while some want to do it full-time, and they don’t know where to start!

The participants, including  those who have zero knowledge of web design, preferred to ask questions relating to freelancing rather than web design. It just proves that more and more people want to become freelancers, and that’s exactly what we’re doing, helping people get started!

Missed the Last Webinar?

Register now: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1326235673805946368

I don’t want to add more pain for those who missed the previous webinar, instead I’m inviting you to our next webinar this Thursday! Time to catch up.

Even if you attended the last webinar, feel free to attend this one if you have questions you need to ask from us. Although the contents will be basically the same, I’m sure you’ll pick up some new stuff again!

And there’s a surprise waiting for you at the end.

Oh and if you have any friends who would benefit from learning how to get more clients, do a favor for them and share this webinar with them! Join the conversation using #1wdwebinar special twitter hashtag!


April 19 2013

10:03

*Special* LIVE Webinar Training: Learn 5 Step Formula How To Get Clients

Get ready for the FIRST live webinar at 1stwebdesigner! Check out video inside!

Are you struggling to get your very first client? Worrying about getting more clients in your freelance career? 

I got my very first client when I understood how to look at everything through his eyes! I became a marketer, not only a web designer, and I never had to worry about not having enough work!

Using a super-simple 5-Step System, I am about to show you exactly how to become an expert freelancer and land well paying freelance gigs anytime you want! 

I wish I had someone to show me this system 5 years ago, when I started! Don’t miss out as our freelance expert Spencer Forman reveals everything in this incredible content-packed training webinar.

Sign up Now! Seats are limited so take action and don’t be left out. Seats are filling in quick!

Register now to reserve your seat and get ready to take some notes!

You will learn exactly how to leverage WordPress’ popularity, pick “low hanging fruits” – pain jobs you can solve in a short time!

You will learn how to talk with clients, how to make them respond to you and how to get paid more!

See ya on the call!

P.S. If you want more details about our course and webinar go to http://1wd.tv now!

Register now!

August 13 2012

13:00

Earn and Create Web Design/Development Video Tutorials Using LabVidz

Recently I wrote an article about how developers and designers can earn money as a side project, which included writing tutorials, recording video tutorials, writing an eBook, and creating a premium membership website to name a few a few different options.

Today, what I’m going to show you is how to combine those three to form a super website where you can showcase your talents, products, and general awesomeness.

In this post you will learn how to:

  • leverage your skills to create a product
  • turn that product into an income generator
    • using a unique tool that we’ll provide, something you’ve never seen before
    • which will absolutely require zero coding skills on your end
  • launch your products with a perfect website (absolutely no coding required!)

Why are we doing this? Because we can…and we want to revolutionize the way people leverage their skills to actually earn more on the side, even while having a 9 to 5 job.

The end-game? You could be your own boss in no time!

It’s super easy! What are you waiting for? Show me your war faces!

Videos are cool, that’s why websites like YouTube, Vimeo, and Daily Motion are the first place people go to for entertainment and education. In fact, everyone I know prefer watching video tutorials to reading a thousand-word article.

Why not do the same thing for your products?

Why Create a Video Subscription Website

This is becoming pretty common nowadays, startups introducing their service with a minute-long video with cool animation, explaining what their service is all about, the fun facts about it, and other important details. Humans are visual beings, and we’re impressed by well-presented visuals.

Now, whether you’re a designer or a developer, I’m pretty sure that by now you have amassed hundreds of techniques and have improved your skills significantly over the last year. Why not leverage that and create a product of your own?

Try searching YouTube and you’ll see loads of tutorials ranging from programming to design. Many upload their tutorials on YouTube without knowing how to monetize their content while YouTube is earning quite a lot for their page views. Now, you might say that they’re already there, and in fact these are free tutorials, how can you compete?

It’s all about presentation and better features! And with LabVidz, that won’t be a problem because everything you need is basically there!

Soon we will publish video tutorials, since there are two types of people: those who prefer reading and those who would rather watch a tutorial. Those who prefer to read are mostly our readers while the latter you’ll find on YouTube and other video websites. The goal is the same, but the presentation is where the tug o’ war happens, so why not offer the same thing?

The good thing about this is that they will be relevant for a long time, and maintenance is low once you’re done recording. All you need to do then is to market it, and when it gains traction it is effectively a passive income generator.

Ideas and Videos

I know that you have an idea lingering in your thoughts whenever you lie on your bed at 3am, or when you’re in the shower, or maybe even while riding the bus. We all have moments like this, and 99% of the time we just let them pass and never look back. Then forgotten.

This is why I advocate bringing a pen and a notepad wherever you go, two items that you can whip out wherever you go. A laptop or a tablet will definitely do too, though.

Anyway, the point is if you still have those ideas lurking inside you, now is the time to write them down and see the most viable option.

Who knows, you’ll probably be the next Sacha Greif - a freelance web designer who wrote an e-book and earned (and is still earning) $15,000 through it. But wait, that’s an e-book and we’re talking about videos here!

The concept is pretty much the same. Sacha’s book is all about UI and creating a web application. See where this is headed? The idea is simple: create a web app, document it, format it into a book, sell it. Boom! $15,000.

Now, you’re a designer or a web developer and you’d do the same but you’re not that fond of writing. It’s okay, you can still follow his steps!

Say, you are pretty good with PHP or Adobe Photoshop. Why not create a course on them?

Teamtreehouse.com’s CSS3 Typography Course

Above is Teamtreehouse‘s CSS3 Typography course. I know that by now you know what I’m trying to point out, right? Currently they have several thousands of clients/customers/students, and a lot of those only want a portion of what they offer!

If you know PHP, then create a course out of it with the goal of creating a web application. If you know how to use Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator or other software, then create a course that will help beginners rise up to your level.

By doing this you are already helping people learn new things and you can earn while doing it!

Introducing LabVidz

LabVidz makes it easy for everyone to create and monetize videos. You can try it for free of up to 3 videos and see how amazing and versatile LabVidz is. It’s responsive and has a lot of features from membership management down to managing payments and social sharing.

It’s a responsive video subscription website!

What You Can Do With LabVidz

It’s a given that you’re either a web designer or a web developer with great knowledge of your industry, so why not use that experience and knowledge to your advantage? It would be a waste to just keep it to yourself and not leverage it, right?

With LabVidz, you won’t have to worry about creating an entire website to host your video tutorials!

With Labvidz:

  1. You can create video tutorials and simply upload it on your control panel. It’s a 1-2-3 step, really, so easy even your grandma can create a baking tutorial and upload it without hassle!
  2. You can either use it as a landing page for your product, or an introduction to some service you have. Accepting payments is easy, you won’t even break a sweat!
  3. You can create the next Lynda or TeamTreeHouse where you can offer video courses.

All of this in just minutes!

What LabZip Can Do

Still skeptical? Why not read More than 150,000 reasons why you should launch a video membership site with LabVidz?

And remember, LabVidz and LabZip are 1WD approved!

August 10 2012

13:00

1WD Ebook Launch Case Study: How To Get 8000 Downloads in 3 days

Two months ago 1stwebdesigner launched three ebooks, stepping into this market for the first time. We planned our promotion in a way that we had 8,000 free downloads in three days, which resulted in $1,000 profit for the first month through Amazon. The following month we did even better, closing to $2,000 for July. The best thing about this promotion is that I know we’ll be making $1000 per month passively and if we want to make more it will depend on our own promotion. These numbers may not seem impressive compared to a $100,000 launch, but I like that this money is earned passively, it’s a nice side income, regardless of whatever we are doing. Mainly it’s because of the huge Amazon market itself, giving us a regular 500 sales per month.

Would you mind earning $2,000 monthly as side income? Please don’t read further if these numbers don’t sound good enough for you! Search for the next quote about Scamworld, where gurus will teach you how to make millions! Hell yeah – that’s what I am talking about! In this post I will reveal details how we came up with the idea for ebooks, promoted them on Amazon to get rankings and leveraged their market. My aim is to show you how you can do the same thing and possibly perform even better. When it comes to internet marketing, I love this quote “If something sounds better than it is, it’s not true“. Rarely are there exceptions, but so many people offer the promise of untold riches by revealing their big secret which will help you make thousands of dollars just to get you to buy their $200 product. The sad truth is that there is no easy way to earn money online, and writing an ebook certainly isn’t an easy way too do that, but with book digitalization – Kindle, smart phones, and tablets – there is a big demand for digital books. If you enjoy writing you should jump on board before it’s too late! Excellent reading from Verge about online marketing, this article is all about scamworld, while I do not agree with the writer’s angle, because I personally met several of these people in Underground Seminar 8, I suggest that you read this article and watch the video. It will explain a lot about how online marketing works.

Scamworld verge

The cool thing about digital books is that they are super easy and cheap to create. With printed books, you needed a serious budget to print it or you needed to collaborate with a publishing company which takes most of the profit . When I went to Underground Seminar 8, there was a big talk about how there is a big demand now for digital products – coaching, ebooks, video, audio training. And there is this window – two years, then there will be enough supply for that demand. Right now there isn’t. So why haven’t you created your ebook or coaching program already?

Note: If you enjoy creating training videos, check out Labvidz, which makes it easy to create membership websites and help you make money from them.

With this newly gained experience, last March I went back from USA to Spain, Tenerife where I was staying at the time. I thought a lot about how bloggers are in a good position, they need to create content on a daily basis, it’s a no brainer to put this content in books after a while! Here is a popular example: SmashingMagazine is already doing that with their content!

They create high quality educational articles which are published on their blog and they have a second use for that content in mind. They write articles in a way that they can put them in ebooks and earn extra cash. It has been proven countless times that people are ready to pay for products and services that save their time. You can read everything for free on SmashingMagazine, but if you buy their ebook you do not pay them for fresh information, you pay them for a nicely formatted and categorized book. In this case what are you selling, content or formatting? If you are considering starting a blog or you have a blog already, wouldn’t it make sense to write articles that you can later put in an ebook and earn some extra cash? Just think about it. There are 2 ways of writing ebooks:

  1. Work on a 300-500 page book covering one topic comprehensively by researching, and sharing, the best information possible on that topic. It will require several months of your time and money to hiring an editor and someone to format the book, but you’ll be able to charge $30-40 for that book no problem!
  2. Write several small 50-paged books each solving one serious problem or question people have. It will require several days of your time to write each book and you’ll be able to charge $1-$5 for it.

I picked the second way because I just wanted to test out the waters and see how profitable book writing is, taking the smallest risk possible. I would totally recommend this approach! It is very low risk (mainly just your time), it won’t take a lot of time or cost a lot of money even if you choose to outsource everything.

Research topics to write about – find problem to solve, trendy topics

Quora questions

The most important task before you start writing is to find a really good problem to solve and find other people’s pain point – the so called bleeding neck. How do you do it? You need to pick a good niche you are knowledgeable and passionate about. Think about your target audience – can you imagine 1,000 people who would love to have your book? I would suggest using Amazon in order find best-selling topics, there is a lot of space for spying! You can find book rankings and sort of understand how many books authors sell to understand what’s trendy right now. Here is a little cheat list for you..

  • With 15,000 Amazon best sellers rank ~300-350 books are sold per month;
  • With 20,000 rank ~200 books are sold per month;
  • With 40,000 rank ~100-150 books are sold per month.

When you are searching for topics to write about, check book rankings and calculate how many sales authors are getting. If you can see at least three books doing well in your chosen niche, you can probably expand on a topic and write a new book about it. I wanted to point out that Kindle’s book section is fairly new so there is a lot of opportunity right now, a lot of free spots you can fill! After you have your topic in mind, next you should head out to Q&A websites like Quora or StackOverflow, forums and search for the most popular questions asked there about your topic. Those questions can help you make a great outline, what you can write about. Amazon rankings

When you find a topic to write about and also have a detailed table of contents, check if you have written something about that topic already on your blog, try to leverage your existing content. That’s what we did, we picked topics and then I advised writers to try reusing existing content so they didn’t have to write everything from scratch.

Find writers if you want to outsource the actual writing

If you want, you can even outsource book writing like I did. I would absolutely love to write a book myself, but I knew it would take a lot of time I didn’t have. If you’re busy with your daily job, but can spare some money to hire a good writer – do it. I found three good writers where each was an expert on his topic. Consider using job boards:

When you are going to launch a book for the first time, there will be so much more to do than just writing – be aware.

You will need to learn:

  • how to market, promote books;
  • how to prepare them in right format;
  • learn specific tricks about platform where you’ll publish book, for example Amazon.

All of those things take time, think again about outsourcing some aspects, maybe you have friends who can help you out?

I wanted to mention another book writing approach, if you will write it strongly based from your own experience.

Here are action steps:

  • Find a good topic for a book, write down an outline
  • Having an outline in front of you, take a microphone and record everything
  • Hire some guy and ask him to transcribe everything!
  • Hire a good proofreader to check for spelling errors, read book again and it’s ready!

Sell your ebook on your own site! How? Keep reading!

Kdp select

If you have a good existing site with a great following you definitely should launch an ebook on your own site first. Personally I am not sure if I made a mistake or not, but I started with Amazon, driving all traffic to Amazon and of course they took their cut. I did it because I wanted to increase sales as much as I could in order to get better rankings there.

The higher you are in the rankings, the more people will see your work and consider buying it! Amazon is awesome if you are starting out fresh! After I fully tested ebooks on Amazon, I used Sellfy to check how well we can perform on our own by selling books directly to 1WD readers without 3rd parties (Sellfy takes just 5% from each sale). The Sellfy app comes in handy because you can start selling digital products in 5 minutes, they accept Paypal and encourage social sharing. If you are curious about how it looks like, here is our Responsive ebook’s Sellfy page.

sellfy application

It is super easy to sell books through Sellfy: you register, upload books and immediately receive a button that you can embed on your site. The hardest task is to create a good landing page which converts.

What to include on your landing page:

  • book cover
  • description
  • testimonials from people who bought your books
  • table of contents
  • free chapters if possible, look inside preview images
  • short intro about author
  • …and obviously call to action button.

If you can create a video preview, definitely do it! Images are more powerful than words and videos are more powerful than images! Besides, you can use Youtube and work to get a good position with it on Google! Google owns Youtube and they love videos! Use Fiverr to promote your videos! Here is my channel, I spent $100 on Fiverr to get comments, views and likes. We aren’t in the first position yet for our keywords, but those videos are definitely helping!

Okay, let’s move back to the landing page. Once we had the landing page we used the following elements to drive traffic to site:

  • Hellobar which pops right on top of the site,
  • sidebar dynamic element,
  • we published an article announcing this news (as you may know already),
  • used social sites,
  • existing mailing list

This is how well we did on Sellfy first month:

  • 1753 product views
  • 160 sales
  • $731.13 in revenue

I think we have quite low conversions, but we also don’t have a very good landing page…yet.

Sellfy sales
It is much easier to launch when you control everything yourself, like I did with Sellfy. But let me expand more on Amazon and tell why I chose it in the first place.

Selling books on Amazon

Selling books using 3rd parties make more sense if you don’t have an existing channel yourself.

I chose Amazon because I heard a lot of praise about how powerful a channel it is and KDP select Kindle publishing is still very new, so there isn’t much competition right now.

Amazon stats:

  • Latest web design trends sold 146 times
  • HTML5 Basics – 185 times
  • Responsive web site design – 245 times
  • Total earnings for 2 months – $2,000

What I like with Amazon is that after the first month’s active promotion, the second month I didn’t promote these books at all, but still was able to earn $1,000. This result made me say: it is passive income, where you can leverage from Amazon’s internal network and promotion. Pretty cool, you just need to do the first round of promotion, then you can forget about books and have nice side income!

The only thing I disliked was how hard it was to navigate through their system and how much you need to learn about their promotion. That’s what you get when you use 3rd parties – you need to play by their rules. You need to learn how to:

  • get testimonials and ratings – super important, people will look at these numbers and actual reviews in order to decide whether to buy this book or not
  • how to format Kindle book, how to create working table of contents.
  • how to get into “Customers Who bought this also bought” section, kind of like related reading
  • how to create good cover, good book title, and how to test them.

I personally learned everything about Amazon from this awesome 94-paged book Kindle CashThe Beginner’s Guide to Creating, Marketing, And Publishing On The Amazon Kindle. Originally I wanted to cover all these steps myself, but I understood it’s not possible to put everything in one article. If you enjoyed this article and are serious about creating a book to sell on Amazon, read that book!

Key takeaways from ebook launch


Now I will list what I found to be the most powerful and important techniques which made this launch successful:

  • Having a good designer to design unique covers, format PDF book – what many books lack is a really unique book cover that stands out. This is especially important in the Amazon market with countless ebooks competing. The same goes for the PDF book, presentation makes or breaks the reading experience.
  • Having a friend knowledgeable in SEO to help in keyword research – I am quite skilled myself, but just asking for some help and advice on book titles helped a lot. Each ebook we published we wrote down like 20-30 title variations to pick from. Remember, book covers and titles are sometimes even more important then whole book. Sounds crazy, but the same way article headlines are read and shared just because of a good title, same applies to books. Google Keywords is your best friend at this stage.
  • Planning – if I wouldn’t have planned everything, I could have easily gotten lost and the ebooks would have taken several more months to be released. Focusing on the right things at the right time helps so much, understand your strong points and outsource your weak points. If you aren’t a good writer, but you are an excellent marketer, it will be so much cheaper and faster to hire a writer and not be bothered with the painful process. If you are not good in keyword research, find a friend to give you a hand, reach out to forums! Before you start, plan every big step and stick to a schedule!

Mistakes I made, what I would have done differently

Ok, you read a lot of “smart” advice, now you want to hear what I did to mess up in this launch? It was my first launch so there were still a lot of little mistakes:

  • Not using my existing readership first – as you know, I started the ebook promotion on Amazon, and I gave away 5,000 free copies at first just to get good rankings there. While it helped, I think I would have made much better profits if I would have offered the books for free for a day and then sell these books directly on my site. That first big promotion I did all went to free downloads. I didn’t hear too much appreciation for this step unfortunately, which means next time I will give the books away free for just one day and leverage my own network at first.
  • Underestimating product price – this is tough point and there is very good discussion ( two case studies) between Sacha Greif and Jarrod Drysdale. Sorry Sacha, but I took Jarrod’s side, where he suggested to focus on making more money from fewer sales. At the start I was very hesitant about putting a specific price on these books. I started with $0.99. The problem with low pricing is that people don’t mind too much if they pay one or five dollars. If price is just a buck they think it’s low quality. Don’t undervalue your product! Test how much you can increase your book price versus sales, you will never get it right the first time. I certainly didn’t.
  • Bad landing page – previously I listed tips on what makes a good landing page. Unfortunately I didn’t create one myself the first time. We had it planned, but when Amazon books went live I put my whole focus on promoting them, so my landing page didn’t get properly designed and filled. Now I am putting a lot of time in designing the perfect landing page for books, will A/B test it and hopefully it will improve conversions. Oh, and if you’re too lazy, Amazon is a good alternative, they are famous for their crazy A/B testing everything.
  • Formatting Kindle book – when I wanted to publish a book on Amazon, I automatically assumed they accept PDF books. I was surprised that they do not and you need to create book in .mobi format. I browsed the internet desperately to find a good guide on how to create those kindle books and unfortunately for me, not many Kindle authors use Macintosh. Also I wasn’t aware of how hard it is to create a working table of contents, by working I mean, that you can click on the navigation and it takes you to the right section. In the end I was grateful to find a paid Mac application Abulafia, which thankfully made the whole formatting process easy.

How did we get 8000 downloads in 3 days?

And finally let’s get to the most exciting part! At first I thought we got 6,000 downloads, but then I remembered I need to also check UK, DE, FR, ES and IT stores! So there it is, 6,000 downloads from USA Amazon and 2,000 more from the other stores! Here’s the exact steps we took:

Once we got all books completely ready to publish for Amazon, we started to build some interest on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and sent an email to our 20,000 subscribers. It was a week before we actually published those books. We started building interest by telling them, that after seven days, we will release the ebooks for free for three days to our loyal subscribers. We prepared the newsletter to let people know a bit about those books explaining what they will be about and what’s inside. Valuable Free Offer From 1WD You Don’t Want To Miss: Watch Your Inbox On Monday! – this is the email subject we used. We received good interest from subscribers and on social networks – who doesn’t like free stuff? After a week, the ebooks went live and we sent a second email, and a day after one more follow-up email to those who did not open the previous emails:

  • Obtain Your Copies of Three Free eBooks and Gift Inside! – here we gave links for free download on Amazon, offered even one more gift which was our video course on how to create animated video previews. After that we politely asked for help to spread the word and show their appreciation that they get all of this valuable stuff completely free. This email got 4,747 opens and 2,413 clicks on links.
  • Warning: Three Ebooks From 1WD Just For Two More Days! (+Surprise Gift Inside) – after one day I sent one more email to all unopened mails with a different headline letting people know those ebooks and gift will be available for only two more days. I am glad I did that, because the second email got 1,532 opens and 812 clicks on links.

I can gladly say that these two emails gave the most downloads and helped to spread the word! It’s basically 3,200 clicks from doing just that! Ask again, why you don’t have email list yet? It will help kickstart each launch and promotion you want to do!

Ebook landing page

What else did we do to promote those books?

  • Posted an article on 1stWebDesigner showing in detail what’s inside books – Super Hot News: Get 1WD Three Quick EBooks Now For Free Just For Three Days! This post alone got 161 tweets, 70 Facebook likes and 42 comments. I carefully followed the conversation there to find any problems people may run into. This article received 906 visits throughout these three days!
  • Shared article several times on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ asking people to retweet. Throughout these days I think we tweeted about these books ten times to make sure everybody who’s interested will see them.
  • I asked all my friends to download the ebooks on Amazon, like them and leave testimonials. Downloads, testimonials and likes are important to get higher on Amazon’s best sellers rank as well as individual categories.
  • Submitted ebook landing page on Reddit’s /r/web_dev, where it got 47 up votes and developed healthy discussion with 29 comments. We tried submitting it to /r/web_design so that people will receive the eBooks for free, but their mods didn’t like the idea of giving free ebooks to their subscribers.

Here is summary of the biggest traffic sources for our ebook landing page:

  • Direct traffic – 1,618 visits (probably from emails)
  • Twitter – 796 visits
  • Reddit – 681 visits
  • Facebook – 281 visits
  • Google – 255 visits (no idea how Google got into list)
  • 1stwebdesigner article – 102 visits
  • Google Plus – 56 visits
  • Pinterest – 45 visits (submitted there too, but even with a large following people don’t seem to be eager for books there)

Ebook analytics

What was challenging is that it was hard to decide which page we should really promote – the article on 1stwebdesigner, the ebook landing page or the Amazon links. In the end we put our focus on the landing page because that’s one link compared to three on Amazon.

I wanted to show these numbers because as you can see there isn’t that much traffic from all social networks and even from 1stwebdesigner or the mailing list itself! How the hell did we get those 8,000 downloads?

I’ll let you know in a moment, because I still have some secret tips to share with you!

The reason why we chose Amazon in the first place was to test their internal network, to understand how powerful their system is.
Amazon best sellers

This is the Amazon Best Seller list. Usually when people are searching for new books to read they often use best sellers lists! Thanks to our promotion all three books got on the prestigious web site design Top 100 free list. All these books shared the first three places!

Amazon has it’s free promotion on KDP Select, where every three months you can offer those books for free to bump up sales numbers! If you get high on this list you can easily get more downloads, testimonials and likes!

While there is the best sellers rank, there is also very useful section Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought:
Customers bought amazon

With more downloads you have a better chance to appear in this list. Similar blogs have related reading, this list is great for conversions to related sales!

Only downside is that Amazon doesn’t offer detailed analytics about conversions, they don’t show you where your sales come from, so it’s really hard to understand what exactly worked. And that’s why I suggest now to try to leverage from existing readership first, where you can check traffic sources, test everything, create funnels.

But if you don’t have a readership, you can see Amazon is an excellent starting point! When you launch just make sure you notify all your friends, family members to gain more downloads and testimonials!

Conclusion – Is book launch profitable vs efforts?

When I was doing research about other people book launch case studies I noticed a lot of discussion how profitable book launch actually is. While it’s cool to have a book published with your name on it, calculate your time carefully and make sure you do your research at first.

Jeff atwood quote

Jeff Atwood says:

In short, do not write a book. You’ll put in mountains of effort for precious little reward, tangible or intangible. In the end, all you will have to show for it is an out-of-print dead tree tombstone. The only people who will be impressed by that are the clueless and the irrelevant. And here’s the best part: you can always opt to create a print version of your online content, and instantly get the best of both worlds. But it only makes sense in that order. Writing a book may seem like a worthy goal, but your time will be better spent channeling the massive effort of a book into creating content online. Every weakness I listed above completely melts away if you redirect your effort away from dead trees and spend it on growing a living, breathing website presence online.

Before you start you must understand how expensive book writing will be for you in terms of money and most importantly – TIME. If you can earn $3,000 monthly, and you spend one month writing an ebook, it will cost you $3,000 to write full-time! What I recommend is to do what Jeff suggested – write blog posts, which you can later convert to a book. Or you can do what I did – start out with smaller books, create 50-page books that answer a few questions in detail!

Sacha Greif, for example, wrote an ebook about UI design, where he designed an open source chat app from start to finish. That’s not that hard right? But now you have a product to sell! Sacha Greif reached $10,000 in profits in his first month!

Here is full case study about his launch.

Sacha greif ebook

Have you ever thought of writing a book? If you wrote it already, what did you learn from your launch? If you have always dreamed about writing, but never started, what discouraged you? I’ll keep a close eye on the discussion and will try to help you find answers to inspire you to get started! What mistakes did you notice from this launch? What would you do differently? Let me know in comment section!

July 13 2012

13:00

Responsive Web’s Message to Mobile Website Creators: “Rest in Peace”

If I were to begin this article by telling you that the mobile web has arrived, and it has taken our world by a storm, and it will most likely change the way we create and use websites, it’ll probably be a waste of time and effort. We all know that the future of the internet lies in mobile – if your website does not cater to mobile solutions or devices and focuses entirely on desktops, you are sure to lose a good deal of visitors. Whether or not we decide to give up our desktops and laptops, at some point of time in our daily routine, we do surf the internet via our smartphones and tablets, and trust me, nothing is more annoying than having to browse a non-mobile friendly website on a cramped screen.

One may ask, if mobile is the future of the internet, mobile website creation software must be selling like hot-cakes, right?

Actually, no.

There used to be a time when mobile website creation tools were very popular. In fact, a lot of premium software for mobile website creation had become synonymous with web design itself. However, as of late, they have fallen out of favor.

Why?

Well, this is what we shall be exploring in this article.

Mobile Website Creation…What?

The fact that I have to include this segment, before starting off with the real topic itself, simply shows that what I’m saying is right — mobile website creation tools are indeed dying.

Seriously, if I were to write about “WordPress is dying” (Oh God, No!), would I need to tell you what WordPress is?

But anyway, for the sake of clarity, we shall name some major mobile site creation tools before we actual start predicting their demise.  So here they are:

  1. mobiSiteGalore
  2. mofuse
  3. bMobilized
  4. ConvertWebsite
  5. Mobify

The above five aren’t, by any means, better (or worse) than the others. It’s just that these are the most popular of the lot, and counting their pros and cons is another story.

Now that you probably know what type of ‘mobile website creators’ I am talking about, let’s proceed with the article.

So, What is Killing Mobile Website Creation Software?

To cut the long story short, responsive web design.

Let’s read it again, slowly:

RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN IS KILLING MOBILE WEBSITE CREATION SOFTWARE.

How? Read on!

1. Evolution of Mobile Internet

Let’s face it: the world of the internet (or even technology, for that matter) is ever changing. We had floppy disks, and now even DVDs are becoming obsolete. A decade and a half ago, animated GIFs were the norm, but today, well, seriously, animated GIFs?

Similarly, mobile internet isn’t untouched by this evolution either. With the rapid evolution of browsers and technology, the manner in which we browse and interact with the web is changing overnight. With a concept such as responsive web design, a developer/designer can keep pace with the changing trends in a better, more organized manner, as compared to mobile website creation software.

Image Credit

In simple terms, relying on responsive design means you need not wait for your software provider to give you that HTML5 patch or update.

2. Need for SMART Uniformity

Ok, so when you visit a website on your mobile, say that of a government agency, what do you have on your mind? Chances are, you want to quickly get that piece of urgent information, such as check the status of an application that you filed, or read the latest tutorial of your favorite design blog, and so on. You probably won’t marvel for hours at the nifty hand-crafted awesome social sharing buttons in the sidebar, will you?

However, when you are browsing that same website via your laptop, you can afford to spend some time enjoying those social sharing buttons (like, clicking the “Tweet” button to your left, you know, I mean…like, share this article.)

Image Credit

Many mobile site creation tools focus too much on uniformity across mobile and desktop versions of a site. In fact, this usage of the term “version” itself is the culprit here – it simply leads to a misnomer such as “why should my website’s MOBILE VERSION be lacking in any manner”? Responsive website design, on the other hand, retains uniformity of content rather than appeal.

3. What is ‘Mobile’, again?

Quick, define “mobile device”.

Having a hard time?

Actually, with the rate at which new devices are evolving, it has become impossible to classify or define ‘mobile’ in rigid terms. What is mobile today, maybe a bulky mess tomorrow. This is what causes the problem – most mobile website creation tools rely on strict definitions – how often do you read “create websites optimized for phones in minutes”? Such claims are nothing but an assumption that the phones of today are going to stick around tomorrow, and will probably not be replaced by tablets (or, if you are innovative, a small screen dangling to your television remote).

Image Credit

Ideally, at the rate with which mobile web is evolving, responsive design is the best solution to design websites catering to the mobile audience.

4. Generic Recipe for Success (Failure?)

Before the advent of responsive web design and progressive enhancement (as well as disclosure), there used to be a generic recipe when designing mobile websites: this is mobile content, that is not. Most mobile web creation tools still stick to a modified form of that recipe. However, our mobile phones have now developed to an extent that you cannot really limit mobile content to a formula in particular. Truth is, we are still only learning to employ responsive and adaptive design in practice.

To understand this fully, visualize this: assume you have launched a book in two variants: hard cover and paper back. Now, since the paperback is the cheaper alternative, will you strip out a chapter of your book, because, after all, your hard cover version is the ‘bigger’ one?

I guess not.

(On an unrelated note, I shall now include a picture of a manuscript: just to facilitate “visualization”).

Image Credit

This is what being ‘adaptive’ means: for your book’s paperback version, you will retain the content in totality, but will also find an alternate place for the author bio or info on the hard cover’s inner jacket. Responsive web design makes allowances for such adaptation; many mobile website creation tools do not.

5. Adaptive, not Adapted

A few years back, whenever you visited a website via mobile, you were often greeted with a footer text (often annoyingly placed in the header, within the content, and five other hidden places like an Easter egg): “Switch to the full site.”

What? Full site?

So, you mean, this mobile site that I am browsing is half-baked? Incomplete? Semi-finished?

Placing such a demarcation between desktop and mobile sites, one being full and the other being, well, “half”, is a disaster. You are telling the world that your mobile website is not adaptive web design; it is, in fact, an adaptation of your “full” site.

Actually, this is arguably the single biggest reason why mobile website creation tools are failing: they tend to place a line of distinction between mobile sites and desktop sites (often blatantly referred to as “mobile version” and “normal version”). Exceptions apart, most mobile site creation tools believe in such demarcation.

Image Credit

True, a mobile site is different from a desktop one, but that doesn’t mean it is ‘separate’, does it? Being different here is a necessity, but being separate is a travesty. Responsive design, on the other hand, ensures that the website adapts to the user’s screen resolution, rather than leaving the mobile “version” an adaptation of the actual site.

In the End

Coming back to the question, are mobile site creation tools dead? Not totally, but yes, they are a dying breed. While it is possibile that newer mobile development tools which cater to the changing trends may come into vogue, overall, responsive web design has handed the pink slip to mobile site creation tools.

What do you think? When creating a website, do you prefer using a mobile site development software, or simply opt for responsive design? Feel free to leave a comment!

April 28 2012

13:00

1stWebDesigner’s Life #6 – Social Media and a CD Portfolio

This is the link to the original article creator of this site, if this message appears to another site than 1stwebdesigner - Graphic and Web Design Blog - 1stwebdesigner is a design blog dedicated to bloggers, freelancers, web-developers and designers. Topics focus on web design and inspirational articles. it has been stolen, please visit original source then!

The Boss has finally decided to get into this social media thing. Well, you know that can’t be good for our superhero, Webster, right? Also, he’s been doing a great job on a portfolio for his company, do you think The Boss will like it?

Our cartoons were awesomely designed by Jamie Sale. If you need to hire a cartoonist, just call this guy, seriously. Also, if a friend of yours asks for an advice on cartoonists for hire, you know who you’ll recommend, right? Well, I think you got it :)

Social Media

Portfolio copy

Is email social media?

Mass mailing is kind of media, and kind of social (since it includes groups of people). So, why can’t we just call mass mailing social media? I know, I know, that’s because people can’t reply back to the company, right? What about mailing lists or mail groups? People can reply and have their own profile. How does that differ from Twitter or Facebook?

I know it’s a joke at first, but have you ever thought about the power of email? I mean, the Internet is full of social media hacks talking about how you they can get you the most exposure on social media. The main thing is, are you delivering the right marketing message? Because if you are, even if you have just a newsletter people often spend the time to hit “reply” and drop a line. Even if you just wrote an article, people will try to talk to you (as I hope you do via comments ). Everything can be social, if you let it.

This is something that works for me, but I reply to every single comment I get. I try to get back to everyone so people will know that they are talking to real people it also opens the line of communication.

So, my question to you is, why aren’t you making more things social?

Spreading the word offline

Ok, ok, you don’t need to make CD copies of your portfolio and send it to clients. But, unless you spend 100% of your time in front of your computer you’ll need to, at some point, do a little networking, deliver a few business cards, talk to real people.

There are so many digital coupons out there that when I receive something cool via traditional mail, whether it’s coupons for Google Ad Words, or something equally as cool, it really catches my attention.

I’m not saying that you need to write a fancy letter to each of your clients, just that it would be nice to send them something ‘real’ every so often.

Now it’s your turn!

Hope we didn’t get too philosophical this time. But share your thoughts and funny stories with us!

April 21 2012

13:00

1WD’s Super Collection of Web Design Posts

This is the link to the original article creator of this site, if this message appears to another site than 1stwebdesigner - Graphic and Web Design Blog - 1stwebdesigner is a design blog dedicated to bloggers, freelancers, web-developers and designers. Topics focus on web design and inspirational articles. it has been stolen, please visit original source then!

Nearly three and a half years ago in 2008 an idea was born. An idea based on love and passion about design. Couple of mockups, sleepless nights and cups of coffee and a blog was about to come to light. Little by little with hard work and ambition the blog grew bigger and bigger and attracted more and more designers from all over the world. Yes, that’s the story of 1stwebdesigner. Now being the third largest design blog and attracting over 3 million monthly visitors we can truly be proud of the success we gained.

A couple weeks ago we reached our thousandth post. One thousand, really? Can you imagine a pile of a thousand books, a thousand ideas running through your mind for a thousand nights? We’ve managed to achieve that amount of articles in three years. Ideas come and go, trends and technology change, but there are still some articles that have been, and will, stick around. With this post we’d like to start a new series of articles – 1stwebdesigner’s unique pages. We will gather the very best content from 1stwebdesigner reaching as far as the beginning. The series will cover all the major and popular themes such as web design, tutorials, WordPress, jQuery, freelancing, inspiration and many more. We’ve gone through dozens of pages, reviewed your comments and choices so these series are basically chosen by you, our dear reader.

For the first article of the series we’ve chosen an important topic. The beginning web designer’s guide to a successful career. This blog has helped many designers with insightful articles, useful tips and brilliant tutorials. Thus, we decided to compile the best of the best. This article contains all the basics you need to know about web design and also some basic development stuff since knowing that will just make your work a lot easier. The article is divided into sections so you can start from the very beginning and gradually move up. Good luck with the learning and stay tuned for more articles.

Basics

I will have to sadden you if you thought that you’d open Photoshop and start creating stunning websites from the get go. Before diving into the intricate and advanced aspects of web design you need to learn the fundamentals of it. Starting with history and moving up to some basic tips. If you’re absolutely new to web design this is where you should start. This section contains some of our best beginner and explanatory articles on fundamentals and basics of web design. Study the history, get to know the modern trends and learn from examples.

1. 11 Essential Tips Every Designer Should Be Aware Of

Essential-tips-beginner-intermediate-guide

Almost every profession requires never-ending learning and self educating, but especially it’s important in design field – new software, websites, tools come out every day, it’s your task to keep up, evolve your view and find the best ways to do specific tasks. This article contains some essential things every growing designer and not only should keep in mind.

2. 20 Reasons Why Your Website Design Sucks Part 1

Design-sucks-beginner-intermediate-guide

No matter how good or bad personal style is, the truth is that everyone has one. However, when design conventions are left out of a project, the result will be a bad or uninteresting design. That is exactly what happens with those terrible clients, when they try to implement their personal style without knowing anything about design conventions. This post will cover 10 common beginner pitfalls in web design and how to avoid them.

3. 10 Basic Visual Web Design Mistakes

Visual-mistakes-beginner-intermediate-guide

No doubt, all of you has so many experiences of seeing so many web design when surfing in internet. It often happens that you see more bad web design layout than a good one. This article covers 10 basic visual web design mistakes and tips to avoid them.

4. Ancient Website Design Practices That Beginners Should Avoid Part 1

Ancient-practises-beginner-intermediate-guide

This article is intended for beginners in the field of web design and development. It talks about old design practices that have died off several years ago, but up to now some are still being used. The goal is to discuss why these practices are bad and to instill in the minds of budding designers and developers that doing the right thing even if it’s hard to do and hard to learn will greatly pay off in the future.

5. Ancient Web Design Practices that Beginners Should Avoid Part 2

Ancient-practises-2-beginner-intermediate-guide

Part one mostly talked about the errors designers and developers make, here in part two you will also have the chance to read about the problem with what “webmasters” or website owners do to sully their names. Also be sure to read the comments because, very often, the gems are hidden there.

6. Things Web Designers Do That People Love

People-love-beginner-intermediate-guide

Web designers and web developers often wonder what kind of things they should do so that their audience will love them. This article will talk about those little things that create a big impact on people throughout the internet.

7. Web Design History: From The Beginning

History-beginner-intermediate-guide

The history of the internet is short, but so much has changed within that time. It has radically changed how we live our lives. More importantly, the internet has created thousands of jobs that did not exist a decade ago. These include jobs in SEO marketing, online telemarketing, freelance writing, blogging and of course, in web design. In this article you’ll find out how everything evolved and turned out the way it is now.

8. The Elements of Design in Modern Web Design

Elements-modern-web-beginner-intermediate-guide

The elements of design are pivotal in creating an eye-catching, harmonious design that speaks to your audience and shouldn’t be overlooked. They are the fundamental elements of design which can be called upon when you reach a tough part of the design process. Becoming familiar with these elements means you have the knowledge to make sound decisions in regards putting a design together.

9. Future of Web Design – Facts and Thoughts

Future-beginner-intermediate-guide

Web design has changed tremendously in the last few years and it’s still changing. More than changing, web design is evolving and evolution is bounded with complexity. Although the industry is not in danger some web designers are. Sounds contradictory right? Not really. The truth is that the web design industry is healthy and growing, new jobs are being added, more clients are emerging and consequently more agencies and companies related to the business.

10. 20 Reasons Why Your Website Design Sucks Part 2

Design-sucks-2-beginner-intermediate-guide

Like the previous article, this one’s focusing on another 10 mistakes that can transform your website design into an unpleasant place to be. However, this time you won’t see extremely bad layouts that make you laugh, instead you’re going next level and will focus on bigger mistakes that good designers make.

Design tutorials

Photoshop still is designer’s tool of the trade number one. You have given it a try but aren’t quite sure about the results and some commands still confuse you? In this section you’ll find some of our most successful and instructive tutorials that will teach you how to be a solid web designer.

1. 1st Photoshop Web Design Professional Layout Tutorial

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This tutorial will guide you through the process of creating a beautiful, clean and professional business type web design.

2. Learn How To Create A Clean Layout In Photoshop [Very Detailed]

Clean-layout-beginner-intermediate-guide

In this Photoshop tutorial you’ll learn how to create a clean looking website layout, you’ll also be using 960s grid system to keep everything aligned. This is very detailed tutorial, so if you have basic knowledge about Photoshop you should be able to easily keep up and let the tutorial guide you through this layout creation process.

3. GD Auto Service: Learn How to Create an Awesome Landing Page in Photoshop

Auto-service-beginner-intermediate-guide

In this tutorial tutorial you are going to create an awesome landing page for GD Auto Service as an example. The template will have a cool logo, search bar, navigation, slider gallery, login panel, blog, services, testimonials and footer.

4. Burnstudio: Create An Amazing Personal Website From Scratch Using Photoshop

Burnstudio-beginner-intermediate-guide

Have you ever had a hard time designing your own personal website? Thinking of what elements, shapes, font styles will suit your design? This tutorial wil guide you in creating a stylish personal website. You will be using mostly shapes, layer styles, and fonts to create a new personal website.

5. 9 Etiquettes And Tips of a Photoshop Rockstar Designer

Etiquettes-rockstar-beginner-intermediate-guide

With the abundance of online resources, tutorials, blogs and articles which keep on excavating the trade of photoshoping, anybody with passion and readiness to work hard can become a pro over time. But what does it take to transition from just a pro, to ‘the best’? Why are there some designers who are always the best? Check out this article to find what it takes to be a rockstar designer.

6. 1st Ideas: Create a Stylish Design Agency Website [Very Detailed]

Design-agency-beginner-intermediate-guide

In this tutorial you’re going to be showed how to create a stylish agency website. This tutorial will be quite long, yet don’t be afraid. The techniques and tricks learned will be invaluable. You will be using tools gradients mostly, combination of light and dark colors.

Development tutorials

The title says this is web designer’s guide however as already mentioned in the introduction if you want to be a rockstar web designer you do have to know some basics of this. Knowing how to slice your design into a functional HTML/CSS will just make your work a lot easier. This section is just right for those who already are a bit familiar with the designing process yet are willing to bring their designs to the life. you. Below you’ll find some of our best basic coding tutorials to get you going.

1. How to Create a Minimalist and Typographic Blog Layout From Scratch

Typographic-blog-beginner-intermediate-guide

Typography is probably one the most important and powerful design element ever, so in this you will learn how to create this minimalist theme scratch including XHTML, CSS and WordPress.

2. 9 Inspirational Website Effects Deconstructed

Effects-deconstructed-beginner-intermediate-guide

As you may know, there are lots of great tutorials out there which can definitely help you practice, learn and achieve amazing results. The good thing about having so many tutorials to learn from is precisely that – you have a large variety of sources to choose from. Sometimes though, the tutorials aren’t clear, or difficult to understand or you just can’t apply it in the real world. The purpose of this article is to provide you with resources and insights about how you can learn from your favourite websites, learning and taking advantage from real implemented effects and functionalities.

3. 17 CSS/HTML Effects with Cross-Browsing Alternatives

Css-html-effects-beginner-intermediate-guide

We surely have a lot of different ways to achieve similar effects and with CSS the hardest part is to make it look good in almost every browser. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time, if you get one good snippet that does what you want (and you understand what is happening) you don’t need to reinvent it every time you need a simple round corner, right? Thus, the point here is to collect some cool CSS effects that you should be using.

4. How to Create an Awesome Blurry Menu Using CSS

Blurry-menu-beginner-intermediate-guide

Today you will get a perfect and simple blurry menu effect via CSS. In addition to it, you will get a useful multiple borders effect. To achieve this effect you will need to have a basic understanding of HTML and CSS. You will work with IE filters and text-shadow, but there is no reason to worry if you have never used it, they’re all well and simply explained.

5. Convert Burnstudio from PSD to HTML [Very Detailed]

Convert-psd-html-beginner-intermediate-guide

In this article you will learn how to convert Burnstudio Personal Website from PSD to HTML in a detailed step-by-step tutorial. You will learn how to create this layout by using a CSS framework, some CSS styles and JavaScript. When you’ve completed this tutorial you’ll have a valid HTML/CSS, cross browser compatible and dynamic layout.

Inspiration

Inspiration is an inalienable part of every type of art. Web design is not an exception. While working you’ll often find yourself in situations where you’ll want to look how others have resolved this or that problem. Having a lot of inspiration sources will lighten your creative work and help to find your own uniqe style. In this section you’ll find some neat and inspirational articles to keep your creative flame buning. Also be sure to check out our Inspiration section out to find some fantastic things.

1. Web Galleries as a Source of Inspiration for Designers

Web-galleries-beginner-intermediate-guide

There are a number of web galleries that feature inspirational web designs. These web galleries serve a purpose, and that is to update people on new trends and showcase sites that are pushing the boundaries. It is important, as a designer, that you know what the latest trends are and see how other people are pushing the boundaries. In this article, you will find some of the best web galleries that you can reference for inspiration.

2. Inspiring Videos For Designers & Developers

Inspiring-videos-beginner-intermediate-guide

Whether you’re a motion designer, front-end developer or economy student – you have to keep up with the times and constantly increase your knowledge and broaden your professional viewpoint. One of the best ways to do that is by watching videos from professionals and experts in your field. Videos don’t have to be strictly instructive. A good and gripping video can inspire you for the rest of the day. In this article you’ll find a compilation of 40 awesome, inspiring and valuable videos varying from entrepreneurship to web design and self-motivation which will help you to develop new skills, gain a bunch of inspiration and simply look at things from a different perspective.

3. 30 Sources To Get Your Web Design Inspiration

Sources-inspiration-beginner-intermediate-guide

If You are developing web designs, then you know there is times when you struggle without any ideas. That’s the time when these web sites becomes handy. This post contains a nice list with some of the most known web gallery sites showcasing and listing well design sites into different categories, letting you to promote and demote all designs.

4. Great Art Movements That Inspired Modern Web Designers

Art-movements-beginner-intermediate-guide

The first modern designers are, of course, inspired by traditional and classical art. We designers, as a whole, get our ideas of beauty and aesthetics from by viewing paintings, sculptures and artworks from the most powerful art movements in history. Here are among the top art movements in the 20th century that helped shape how we view art and beauty.

5. 33 Excellent “OUT OF THE BOX” Ways for Creatives to find Inspiration

Out-box-inspiration-beginner-intermediate-guide

Feeling uninspired? Running dry on inspiration is normal. We all get there at some point and none of us feel very comfortable being there. Every one gets tensed when having no inspiration. This article shares some great tips to get back to the creative corner. Some tips may seem funny but seriously give them a try and you will love them.

Resources

Resources and assets are on of the most important things in web design. Learning how to use premade resources and enhancing your workflow is a huge part of being a web designer. Sometimes finding these resources may be quite time-consuming but that’s where blogs like this come to aid. In this section you’ll find almost every resource you’ll need when starting off.

1. 45 Online Generators For Designers And Developers To Do The Job Faster!

Online-generators-beginner-intermediate-guide

Online generators can be extremely handy for creating small details or saving time writing code. Whether it’s a striped background, a pattern or an advanced CSS3 text effect, online generators can surely make your workflow go smoother. This post presents 45 of the best and latest online generators for designers and developers. The emphasis has been put on CSS3 generators since CSS3 is quickly becoming the new progressive web standard.

2. 50 Superb & Free PSD Files From Dribbble To Learn From The Best

Dribbble-psd-beginner-intermediate-guide

Either for self-promotion or simply for goodwill and to help others, the truth is that finding free resources and inspiration can be a really easy task. If you are an experienced designer, you know the best way to learn is by just looking and studying other people’s work. PSD files can be a powerful way to learn and fulfill your work expectations. This collection includes some fantastic UI kits, a lot of assets for web and graphic design, as well as a few cool icons. These PSDs are as perfect for learning as they are for your future projects.

3. 30+ Best Websites to Download Free PSD Files

Websites-psd-beginner-intermediate-guide

PSD files are very useful resources for learning purpose because you can see all the layers and also what techniques have been used to create the work. In this article you’ll find almost all possible websites to find free high-quality PSD files.

4. Photoshop WebDesigner Toolbox: All the Resources You’ll Ever Need

Photoshop-toolbox-beginner-intermediate-guide

If you’re using Photoshop daily it’s essential to have an asset library. Having a pre made toolbox or asset library can be extremely handy. While you could spend countless hours making your own resources, usually there’s no need to do that. Nowadays the web is full of pre made high-quality resources. This post contains various resources, sites and tools that can considerably boost your workflow, free up some time on your agenda and simply enhance your projects.

5. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel – 100+ Links of Design Elements and Resources

Design-elements-resources-beginner-intermediate-guide

Have you ever thought that every day, while you are busy doing your work, there are a lot of people doing almost the same thing as you? And they are releasing it. For free. And sometimes we just forget all this stuff and lose a lot of time doing things that just didn’t need to be done. Someone else has done it for us. Why should you start from scratch if you can get some cool things and just make them better? So, this is a post with a lot of links to resources and comments about them.

6. 18 Wireframing, Mockup And Prototyping Tools To Plan Designs

Wireframe-tools-beginner-intermediate-guide

Many beginners usually forget how important it is to plan your webdesign, sitemaps, draw flowcharts,wireframes before actually starting to design a functional and beautiful design. If paper and pen ain’t for you check out this article and find some useful tools for wireframing, mockuping and prototyping.

7. 20+ Useful CSS3 and HTML5 Frameworks, Tools and Templates

Html5-css3-frameworks-beginner-intermediate-guide

Everyone of you has heard about HTML5 and CSS3. And you probably are cognizant with the features these two offer. However, you may be asking yourself – Is is time to change? Should I forget everything I know and dive into this new world? Well, actually you don’t have to. There a lot of tools that make that transition to new and better technologies safer and smoother. Frameworks are really helpful with this. They’ve already been tried, tested and proven. Of course, you can always make them better, but they are a really good starting point. This article will talk a little about frameworks and other tools, like generators and templates.

8. 10 Useful Tools For Cross-Browser Compatibility Check

Compatibility-check-beginner-intermediate-guide

Something that makes a website great  is when it is compatible in multiple browsers regardless of version. Technically this is referred to as cross-browser compatibility. This can be a struggle for developers throughout the creation of their websites. If a user cannot view your website properly, he will not blame the operating system or his browser, he will blame the website itself. In this article you will find ten useful tools that you can use for your cross-browser compatibility check.

Going Further

So you’re now cognizant with all the basic stuff and it’s time to go further. How to redesign a website, what’s UX and how, for instance, your typefaces will effect it? This section will take you into the next level and discuss things like responsive web, redesigning, preparing for a project etc.

1. Beauty vs. Function: On Redesigning

Beauty-function-beginner-intermediate-guide

The thought of producing the best possible design, either from scratch or redesigning something, gives jitters to the heart of many designers. Even professionals in the field can’t quite balance beauty and function. In this article you’ll find things to take into consideration when planning a redesign.

2. A Brief Introduction to Web 3.0

Web-3-beginner-intermediate-guide

For many, Web 2.0 is characterized mainly by the ability of users to share information quickly with others, which has been developed into the phenomenon that we call social media. From Twitter to Facebook to YouTube and to all sorts of other kinds of communities, Web 2.0 is all about sharing and seeing. Now if you recall or were around during what is now known as Web 1.0, information was put up on a website and that was it–the best way of sharing it was privately through e-mails and such. There was little to no communication and if you wanted information, you had to go to the source for it. Can you imagine such a harsh internet? Now with Web 2.0 on it’s way out, the obvious question is, what in the world is Web 3.0 going to be?

3. 15 Most Influential People in Web Design

Influental-people-beginner-intermediate-guide

The web design industry is continuously changing and there are many people who are setting the bar higher every day with their incredible work and contribution to the web design community. Here is a list of just a few of the people who are responsible for changing the meaning of web design with their awesome work and concepts.

4. Preparing For a Web Design Project

Preparing-project-beginner-intermediate-guide

There are several stages during the process of a web design project, and every stage is important to achieve a positive end result. In order to proceed to the research phase, you need to gather information and know what the project is about, which technology is required, the target audience, goals, content, etc. Every professional designer or developer work in different ways, however, this article’s goal is to give you good insights about how you can prepare and deal with some practical aspects of a web design project.

5. 4 Reasons Why Designers and Developers Should Learn to Write

Learn-write-beginner-intermediate-guide

If you are using the internet to gather and share information you really must learn this secret. What is the secret, you ask? The secret is that everyone should learn how to write in order to advance well. The days of people who focus only on one skill is numbered. Slowly, and steadily, a rise of designers, photographers, developers, and anyone who knows what a blog is are starting to write. This will be harsh for people whose desire is to focus only on their trade. People in the online community will soon eradicate specialists, the internet will be filled with Jack-of-all-trades and if you are not one you won’t get noticed. Learn why it’s good to master writing skills and how to do that.

6. Redesign Process: Taking Small Steps for a Better Website

Redesign-process-beginner-intermediate-guide

This is an experimental article, where you will see whole redesigning process behind the scenes and read different way of thinking. In this review you will be leaded through necessary steps needed to get successful redesign.

7. A 5-Step Checklist for Mobile Website Designs

Mobile-checklist-beginner-intermediate-guide

As the number of people browsing the web from mobile devices increases, the demand for websites that respond to those devices surges. And still there are websites that aren’t equipped with the tools necessary to respond to those changes, whether it be lack of information or just not having the time or money to upgrade. This article will walk you through five fundamental checkpoints to keep in mind in the creation of your mobile website.

April 14 2012

13:43

Google+ Gets a Make-over: Will it Become the Apex Social Network?

This is the link to the original article creator of this site, if this message appears to another site than 1stwebdesigner - Graphic and Web Design Blog - 1stwebdesigner is a design blog dedicated to bloggers, freelancers, web-developers and designers. Topics focus on web design and inspirational articles. it has been stolen, please visit original source then!

Ever since its inception, Google+ has had its share of (rightfully deserved) attention. Hailed as the Grim Reaper for the likes of Facebook by some, and another (soon-to-be-abandoned) experiment like Google Buzz by others, G+ has always been in the spotlight, ever since day one of its existence.

Now, loving (or hating) a particular social service depends on personal preferences. However, that does not mean we can take the goodness that G+ brings to the table, away from it. Recently, Google+ has undergone a massive revamp, facelift, redesign. Here at 1WD, even though we aren’t generally intrigued enough to denote an entire article to a particular website’s redesign, with the level of attention that G+ tends to receive, it makes sense to take a deeper look at it.

However, before we take a look at the new G+, let us first spend some time discussing the old one. As most of you must’ve seen, earlier, G+ was divided into three columns – and a horizontal bar on top for search, profile, etc. Clean, simple, minimal – and so on. Truth be told, the old Google+ reminded us of Facebook’s layout, of course without the blue color.

The Redesign

Layout

Unlike the older design, the newer look of G+ does away with traditional layout. Now, the interface is packed with buttons, that provide both menus and sub-menus (on hover). Shades of gray have been used to complement the white interface – overall, the new look does well, and is impressive. Plus, the buttons and menus ensure that there exists a properly defined hierarchy on pages.

Actually, the new layout of G+ is way more complicated than the older one – you have the chat segment to your right, adjacent to the suggestions/trending sections, the navigation buttons on your left, and of course the main content stream right in front. Links about your circles sit in a horizontal bar on the top of the main segment, but below the extra-large search bar.

The new G+ Layout

The new G+ Layout

Speaking of colors, the primary portions are in white while the secondary portions are in gray. Also, Google+ comes with its own Nomenclature:

  • Navigation strip on the left: RIBBON
  • Buttons on the Ribbon: APPLICATIONS
  • The main content region: CARD
  • Region under each post with comments, shares, etc.: ACTIVITY DRAWER

Icons

The older Google+ had simple, abstract icons – the newer one retains the simplicity, but has added some amount of gradience and subtlety. The icons in general are not prominently colored, but they become full colored as soon as you hover your cursor over them. In fact, this color-on-hover effect is visible all throughout the new G+ interface.

Icons in G+

Icons in G+

Sidebar

Right between the main content region and the chat section, lies the sidebar, containing useful stuff such as ‘Trending’ (popular hash-tags), ‘You Might Like’ (people/pages that resemble your interests) and ‘You Might Know’ (people you might be knowing). The sidebar is neatly organized and yes, the hover effect is visible on the links.

G+ Sidebar

G+ Sidebar

Profile

Once you open your profile page, the first thing that will meet your eyes is the cover image – an obvious import from Facebook. However, unlike FB, G+ has also placed a default cover image with, well, bubbles. The profile picture, unlike the previous layout, is now placed on the right hand side – and is bigger as compared to the profile pictures on Facebook.

Profile in G+ with Cover Image

Profile in G+ with Cover Image

Drawbacks and Criticism

Nothing is perfect. While the redesigned Google+ does have many interesting features, it has also received its share of criticism.

For a start, the website is a good example of minimal and responsive web design done incorrectly. If you are on a large display, you will be greeted with an awkward level of whitespace. There is a patch for the same, but it exists only for Google Chrome users – if you are using a different web browser, get used to the whitespace, until it is cured. Alternatively, you can try being innovative, and share some hilarious laughs owing to the whitespace:

A G+ whitespace meme

A G+ whitespace meme

Source

And another one:

Another G+ whitespace joke

Another G+ whitespace joke

Source

You can check out some more similar jokes here: One | Two | Three

Apart from that, certain features of G+ redesign look blatant imports from FB – apart from the cover image, the chat box is now on the right (with names and profile pictures), and so on.

Google+ – Present Promises, Future Dreams?

Google have had their share of experimenting with social networks in the past – Wave, Buzz and even Orkut – all were launched/adopted with a lot of hype, but fell out of favor quite soon. At the moment, Google+ has over 100 million active users. Compared to Facebook, this user base is relatively small, but keeping in mind the 140+ million user base of Twitter, G+ surely has a good chance to be the second most used social network. Obviously, Google does not seem to have any thoughts of abandoning G+ like its previous experiments.

With the new redesign, Google+ is trying to stand apart. The aim is not to project itself as an alternative to Facebook, but instead, to carve an identity of its own (much like Twitter has done). The new interface is surely fun to use, and has certain interesting innovations. The initial hiccups can and will certainly be taken care of, and once that is done, G+ can propagate itself as a social network with its own distinct identity, not merely a clone of Facebook.

The above aim is well highlighted in the new look of G+. The design gives prominence to features that are identified with G+ – Hangouts, for instance. While features such as cover image for profiles are clear imports from FB, overall the design is refreshing.

What are your thoughts about recent Google+ redesign – love it, hate it? Why?

February 24 2012

10:00

1stwebdesigner Survey – Answer To Win 1 of 3 1WD Sidebar Ads For A Month!

1stwebdesigner will soon undergo great changes, and you can help us mold it by answering our survey! Last year was a great year for all of us, the site redesign was greeted by millions of smiles and in turn we have doubled the articles we publish. Several great designers, developers, and writers have joined us to bring you the best reading materials, and hopefully many more will come. But this is not the end, we are raising the bar this year by introducing a new platform and by improving your experience with 1stwebdesigner by redesigning it to suit your needs.

For this we need your help. You can assist us by answering our survey. After the survey period we will randomly draw 3 respondents and feature their website on our sidebar for a month. Wow! That’s $400 worth of advertising and you’ll have the chance to get it for your website for free!

Just to be clear about placements, those 3 ads will be little smaller than 150x150px, to make it able to put all banners on one line in sidebar.

A few things you need to know before answering the survey.

  1. The survey will take only about 10 minutes to answer.
  2. We will use your answers to improve 1stwebdesigner and its upcoming products.
  3. Only individual web designers, web developers, marketers, social media experts, and writers may answer. No companies.
  4. The majority of the questions will deal with how you promote/market your website. Which means you’ll need to have a website to participate and win the Grand Prize:  Your website will be featured on the 1stwebdesigner sidebar for a whole month! This is a $400 value, and your site will be seen by hundred of thousands of people.

Click to start the survey

What is it for?

We are currently working on some great products that you will definitely love. But we need your input on things so that we can focus more on your needs and wants.

For now all we can say is that we’re expanding our reach! :)

February 10 2012

21:00

ACTA: The Global Attempt At Anti-Piracy

Today it is not a common occurrence to have powerful nations across the globe to act on a single issue, outside of war and relief for a tragedy stricken country of course. However, there seems to be a need to add countering counterfeiting goods and enforcing copyrights online of course. This past month there was nothing more popular Stateside on the net than SOPA and PIPA. These bills were of course met with a great backlash to the U.S. House and Senate, even more so for those that originally proposed them. However, it is quite troubling to find out that these bills are actually just a small fraction of the global government attempt at stopping online piracy. Well since the introduction is over, let’s put no more time rambling in the introduction. The point of the article is ACTA(Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), and by the end hopefully you will be more informed on this matter.

The image above is from this YouTube clip, summarizing what ACTA is all about.

What is ACTA



*Image Credit: mind on fire

A lot of thoughts should be running through your head right now, especially considering the consistently negative feedback similar items have received in the past. However little to the knowledge of everyone, the past legislations aimed at targeting the same things as ACTA were really just pieces of a bigger puzzle. Okay so before getting into any of that, looking at ACTA and its aim first would give a better understanding of how this is so.

ACTA’s Background

Starting out, the first thing that should be known about ACTA is that it was completely arranged in secrecy. At its time of creation, or as I know of, there was not one Intergovernmental organization that was involved in this. The only information that was available until now about ACTA were the few leaks that popped up online from 2007 up to now.

Originally, ACTA first began in 2006 and was drafted by the United States and Japan. As time progressed, more nations began to join these in the finalization of ACTA and began giving their nations approval for it. These nations including: Canada, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Morocco, and the European Union (who signed off with 22 non-represented states present). Other countries, like Mexico for example, have been involved in talks but have yet to sign on it. It is also important to note that the people involved in these talks are not democratically elected officials. The top four contributors for 2006 are  Time Warner($21,000), News Corp($15,000), Sony Corp of America($14,000), and Walt Disney Co($13,550). The top two industries are TV/Movies/Music($181,050), and Lawyers/Law Firms($114,200).

What is ACTA Really About

Well, its time to get going with explaining how ACTA will start to affect people. Starting with internet users, there won’t be too much time spent here because this has been explained in an earlier article by me and the connection will be clearer in the following section. In a nutshell, ACTA will give the internet service providers the responsibility of monitoring your online activity for pirated material. This will then turn internet providers into something like censorship boards. They are most certainly not willing to take the fall for something one of their customers does online, so there will defiantly many precautions made on their end to ensure nobody has the opportunity to be classified as an online pirate.

Outside of the online spectrum, let’s go into the physical world. ACTA’s attempt at counterfeiting patents had been met with widespread discomfort, especially considering its aim at targeting generic drugs. Due to how well ACTA aims to be a protector of materials with patents, the people behind this act didn’t realize that they could quite possibly be seriously damaging the health of citizens everywhere. Well everywhere except for countries like Canada, who provide free health care for all citizens.

Where Does SOPA and PIPA Play Into This



*Image Credit: jugbo

Currently as an American citizen, which was a co-founder of ACTA, it is important to see how the chain of events really started and to show just how discrete government officials really are when they need to be. Let’s start by looking at the timeline of events.

  • ACTA was first started by Japan and the U.S. in 2006
  • SOPA started out as the PRO-IP act of 2008 and then came about in October of 2011
  • PIPA started out as the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) of 2010, and then came about in May of 2011

Now, read this quote I pulled directly from the ACTA documentation:

Each Party shall give effect to the provisions of this Agreement. A Party may
implement in its law more extensive enforcement of intellectual property rights than is
required by this Agreement, provided that such enforcement does not contravene the
provisions of this Agreement. Each Party shall be free to determine the appropriate
method of implementing the provisions of this Agreement within its own legal system
and practice.

So, the framework for PIPA and SOPA were originally set in place by ACTA. As earlier mentioned, this is why the need to discuss in detail the affects of ACTA in more detail for a second time is not necessary.

What is Happening in Europe



*Image Credit: imaginedhorizons

Right now the European Parliament is planning on holding a vote on ACTA in the near future. As seen with the similar situation in the States, this act can’t go through with enough KNOWLEDGEABLE public disgust to oppose it. There is a planned ACTA global protest  for February 11. Now there are a lot of things everybody can do to keep informed, knowledgable, and active about ACTA.

  •  ACTUALLY READING ITS DOCUMENTATION!!! The main problem with SOPA and PIPA opposers was that most didn’t even bother to read the actual bills, rather relying on blog posts. While this is a good source, if you find the right post, it is best to read the actual documentation. It is quite long, but very worth the read.
  • Contacting INTA. This organization is currently creating a report on ACTA, and it is vital that they know all the harm it can cause. Also, what type of precursor this act just might be for the rest of the world.
  • Read up on it at Wiki Leaks. There is a lot of information to be learned from this article, must read!
  • Sign an online petition. These are always helpful, showing statistical numbers is a great way of improving impact.

Resources:


What is ACTA? 

Say No To ACTA

Crafters of ACTA To Blame For Confused Reaction

‘Anonymous is the ideal of direct democracy in practice’ says Czech activist Great Troll

Google Search On ACTA

STOPACTA.info

January 26 2012

10:00

Is Web Technology Rapidly Progressing or at a Standstill?

Take a moment and realize how far our industry has come from where it originated. It seems like centuries ago since IE6 was considered the top browser and when being able to use CSS in conjunction with HTML was groundbreaking. Remember when the use of tables was a best practice? It is easy to see that there is an amazing amount of progress that has been made and even more amazing is the rate at which it is all constantly happening. Many of the problems those early pioneers had to deal with seem to be far removed for anyone who wasn’t around at the beginning. Or have they just changed form?

Ask yourself, what are the main grievances a web professional has today? Of course great advances like HTML5 and CSS3 show our immense progress, but can these technologies be used without having to worry about cross-browser compatibility? Are we still having to question ourselves over what qualifies as good semantic code for HTML? Is there still a debate about whether you should design and develop different tailored experiences or one responsive universal one?

These same questions have always been brought up, just the scenarios they are used in has changed as we have advanced. Maybe the web community really is  just standing still, watching as the environment around it moves. Let’s do a more in-depth analysis to better understand this perspective.

Universal Solution Vs. Tailored Solutions



*Image Credit: Clearwaters

When it first became apparent that different browsers displayed websites somewhat differently from one another. Of course the question that arose from this would be one of practicality: would it make better sense to create a uniform website that worked the same on every browser, if possible, or create tailored experiences for each browser so they will display as close to a uniform user experience as possible? Of course the answer ended up being tailored experiences having a clear edge here, credit for this goes to IE.

Today however, IE is not much of a thorn in our sides. Microsoft has begun a campaign to push users still using older browser to upgrade and more modern browsers support the latest development techniques. Without IE would there even be a discussion? Well IE may be for the most part a non issue going forward, but mobile platforms are becoming the main way web users are browsing today. This really is looking at both sides of a coin, so to speak. This analogy is perfect when you consider most people browse the web one of two ways on mobile devices, either using a browser or an app. Now an app isn’t technically browsing the web, more of a dedicated, tailored experience for mobile devices to make browsing said provider’s website easier on them, this is what puts it in the browser category here.

Responsive design has never been more popular, and there have never been so many cool frameworks and tutorials available to ease web professionals in its use as well. Sadly though, everything has a limit. Responsive design works great for simple, more minimalist websites, but what about the more robust ones? Will that give mobile visitors the best experience?

What Is Proper Semantic HTML



*Image Credit: nist6ss 

Not too long ago Smashing Magazine published a good read questioning the point of pursing semantic value, which lead to a response post, and not too long after that another post on the subject. If you have no clue about semantic coding and what it is, then take a look at this article we published a while back. Remember to take your time, there is no rush here :n)!

Now talk about semantic coding has always been a part of developing for any programming language, and it is never going away. Remember when div tags first rolled out, and all the great coding that could be done with CSS? Well I don’t because I’ve actually only used tables once, but you should. There was this huge transition, suddenly people had tableless design or tableless coding in their resume. This was of course done to show that they were current with the latest trends and professionals who were eager to keep up with the pace of our industry, sounds a lot like putting HTML5 in your resume now. Just like now, there were good and articulate debates arguing for good and bad times to use both.

People were getting so caught up with being tableless that they forgot that a div tag will not always be as effective as using a table. Reminds me a lot of how some developers get so caught up in HTML5, they forget that in semantic coding a div tag is actually your go to tag when you don’t know which one to use.

Is it too Early for the Cool New CSS Features?



*Image Credit: schmilblick 

Isn’t it horrible when you’re the kid with that brand new toy right in front of your face, but your parents refuse to let you play with it? Their reason being something silly like waiting will make you appreciate it more, and you will have more fun with it. CSS3 is kind of like that toy, and your parents are those people who refuse to upgrade their browser to one that supports the latest developments. You want to just go into your stylesheet put some cool code in it to give you some rounded corners, drop shadows, gradients, etc., but you then realize the limited amount of browsers that actually support it. You then rethink your stylesheet strategy.

The best example of this way back when that comes to mind is transparent PNGs, also how IE isn’t necessarily the best in image resizing but that will turn my post into one bashing IE users for the years of headaches they caused. Moving on, back when transparency became available for use it was like a bright new day in the way images were used on the web. Only one problem, some browsers didn’t support them at the time. So a hack had to be made through a very well-known filter to get them to work and appear as close as possible to how the up to date browsers display them.

Why is this a Good Thing


After reading this, you are probably wondering how any of this is actually a positive aspect of our industry. Well earlier I mentioned that the web industry might be one that just stays in place and watches as everything around it goes through crazy changes. Isn’t that a good thing? Our industry may recreate all the same issues and headaches, to a much lesser degree, but unlike other professionals we are not afraid to take on new ways of handling things and addressing problems. If you look at many of other industries today, you’ll find professionals clinging onto old outdated practices that they learned half a century ago. Now compare the current success found in ours to any industry like the aforementioned, we are looking pretty good huh?

Our rapid progress may still find us in somewhat of a standstill, dealing with new variations of old problems, but it’s perfectly acceptable considering being in a standstill gives us a permanent stronghold.

November 21 2011

21:00

60 Beneficial And Great Looking Premium Background from Graphicriver

Background is an essential yet often overlooked element of any artwork. A suitable background can turn good design into a great design and correspondingly moderate one into a good one. You can come up with a perfect background within minutes or squeeze something out in days. A good background has to be balanced yet giving the complete look to the artwork. So where to find those neat background for your next project/product presentation/print design and avoid yourself with messing in Photoshop?

Again Graphicriver is the answer. With just over 2000 backgrounds in sales you can be sure you’ll find the right one just for your needs. In this article we’ve compiled various backgrounds ranging from subtle textures and patterns to abstract desktop wallpapers to splendid lighting effects. Large part of these background are print-ready so you can use them in almost any way you can think of. Continue reading and check out these 60 useful and neat premium background from Graphicriver.

1. 101 Web 2.0 Backgrounds ($5)

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Pack include 101 nice and clean web 2.0 style backgrounds for you site templates. 101 Jpegs + 1 PSD with all groups, organized layers, easy to change gradients, size. 150×800.

2. Wavy Abstract Background ($3)

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This is a background in 6 different colors. The files are at height resolution and you can use it anywhere you like. There is a PSD file included so you can change the colors very easy.

3. Light Trails ($4)

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5 unique and fully flexible light trails with 3 different colour variations per trail and 2 examples of how these light trails can be added to your graphics.

4. Extremium Lights ($2)

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Modern backgrounds pack contain fuly customizable backgrounds, 1800×1000 resolution, fully layered PSD file, 7 background colors. Ready to be used for any web. project or aplication.

5. Lighting Backgrounds V2 ($3)

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Lighting backgrounds, especially suited for use in web pages, twitter pages, or any type of project. The way these BG are made it, can enlarge them without losing quality. Changing colors is very easy, you can make the color combination that you like.

6. Backgrounds Web Kit ($4)

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This file was created for every web designer that wants to work less when designing a web site, plus it can help you build an big number of web backgrounds.

7. Carbon Fiber Backgrounds ($9)

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A collection of 20 exclusive background of carbon fiber, ready for the web.

8. Torn Paper Backgrounds ($3)

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You can find included in the package 5 .PSD files (all the themes are separated in a diferent file) and 5 high resolution .JPG’s. CMYK, 300 DPI.

9. Space Web Backgrounds ($4)

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Backgrounds especially for use in web pages, twitter pages, or any type of project. The way these BG are made it, can enlarge them without losing quality. Changing colors is very easy, you can make the color combination that you like.

10. ScratchBG ($2)

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A collection of modern style grunge backgrounds, suitable for use on websites, banners, posters & more.

11. Venera Night Sky ($3)

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Venera Night Sky is abstract background and you can use it anywhere you like. There is a PSD file included so you can make change very easy.

12. Infinite White Floor Spotlight ($5)

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Six modern High resolution Web backgrounds 3000×1875 px 72dpi. Modern and fresh design great for faking a spotlight and photographic ambient.

13. Stylish Mosaic ($2)

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Come’s complete with 7 pre-set color versions for you with an easy to change background to create your own variations.

14. WORN PSD Background ($2)

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A set of six distressed PSD backgrounds in earth tones for you to use in your designs

15. Awesome web 2.0 incorporated clouds ($3)

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Massive, beautiful and peaceful cloud background. Works great as a website background, artwork background, print, anything. Massive resolution of 3508×2480 at 300 dpi.

16. Shape Shift Background ($3)

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Included is a full layered PSD file and 7 different colored JPG images. 3000x2250px.

17. Silk Light Abstract Background ($2)

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4 color variations. Hi-res resolution. There is a PSD file included so you can change the colors.

18. 60 Retro Stripe Grunge Backgrounds ($2)

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This set includes 60 retro stripe textured backgrounds for your design projects. Use them however you like to give your projects a professional look and feel. 1600x1200px.

19. Abstract Background ($2)

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Beautiful backgrounds that are great for desktop wallpaper, web background, mobile phone wallpaper, etc. 3300x2550px, 300 DPI.

20. Beautiful Floating Islands Scene ($6)

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Floating Islands Scene v1 is a page background that can be broken up into many segments and re-arranged completely for a unique look. Ready to go right out of the box. 3000x1230px.

21. Paper Backgrounds ($3)

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Photorealistic pack contain 4 jpegs good quality and 1 PSD to change color and to edit structure of backgrounds. This backgrounds good for templates, blogs and other your stuff. 2700×2072 res. 300 dpi.

22. Vintage Wallpaper ($4)

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Included in the zip file you will find a psd file that contains the illustration and an ai file that is the wallpaper pattern in vector format so you can use it in any way you wish.

23. Studio Backdrops ($3)

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Simulate a realistic studio photo shoot with this 7 backdrops/backgrounds. Great to showcase your products, images, posters, webpages or any type of work. It can also be used for web backgrounds. 4000×2500 px 72dpi.

24. Grunge Old Paper ($2)

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High resolution –  2827×4000px, layered PSD file where you can adjust the intensity of the texture and/or the intensity of the dark edges, 2 JPEG files saved from the PSD, optional torn edges.

25. Vintage Tileable Wallpaper Pack ($11)

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Inside the zip file you will find a full set of individual jpg files of all the tiles for tileable backgrounds for your websites or whatever use you see fit and  a photoshop pattern file which you can load into your photoshop from the preset manager and use them as pattern fills.

26. World Map ($4)

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This is clean layered psd world map classic black / white and lined version included. 4500x3000px.

27. Retro Rays Background ($2)

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12 colors, high-resolution & quality backgrounds – 2400×1680px.

28. Premium Vintage Backgrounds ($5)

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Classic look with an awesome style to use in any design project, website backgrounds, twitter accounts, desktop wallpapers, blogs, etc.

29. Abstract Waves In Colors ($3)

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Abstract Waves In Colors #2 is abstract background at hi-res. There is a PSD file included so you can change the color very easy. 4000×3000, 300 DPI.

30. light & bokeh backgrounds ($4)

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8 amazing colored backgrounds. Very nice light and bokeh effects. 2 styles (with & without lite noise effect).

31. Metal Backgrounds ($4)

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6 Metal backgrounds, 1024×768, jpeg.

32. Massive Abstract Backgrounds ($3)

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Massive Abstract Backgrounds 4 Light Effects. 3 Style of Background (Bokeh,Clean,Dust) 8 colors each. 2560x1600px.

33. Underwater Backgrounds ($2)

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Clean underwater backgrounds at 2 variations, 4 colors, 2560×1600 res, 300 dpi. PSD included and well organized.

34. Retro Paper background ($2)

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Retro Paper background. Full HD resolution (1920×1080px). Background to use in your web design projects andor as your desktop background. Pattern included (200×200px).

35. Faux Leather Textures ($7)

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A collection of 5 faux leather textures perfect for backgrounds, 3D modeling and design projects. Images are all in JPG format sized 3000px x 2000px. Each graphic/texture has been rendered separately, meaning that each texture is unique.

36. 6 Darken Wood Backgrounds ($3)

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6 HQ Wood Backgrounds, 2000×1500 px

37. Halloween Night ($3)

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Scary Pumpkin within a graveyard. Background for designs.2524×3774px.

38. Linen ($2)

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2560x1600px, PSD file included, easily changeable colors and saturation.

39. Abstract color waves ($5)

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Abstract color waves that can be used for a website, presentation or print. Clean colors, well-organized and easy to edit. 2000x1500px, 300 DPI.

40. Plume Background ($3)

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Layered PSD file – 3000×2250px, 72dpi, 5 color variation backgrounds included.

41. Backgrounds Pro 2012 Bundle ($5)

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This file is a Bundle/Collection of 22 different professional backgrounds. These backgrounds come in handy when designing different stage environments to display products, photos and text. 3000x2500px, 300 DPI.

42. Fresh Grass Meadow and Tree ($3)

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A fresh summer morning with mist and a solo tree.

43. Explosive Background ($4)

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Full layered PSD File and 7 different colored jpg images. 3000×2250px.

44. Hi-res Textured Background ($2)

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really textured and detailed. comes in 8 different colors. 2500x2000px.

45. Abstract Aurora Backgrounds ($4)

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Abstract Aurora Backgrounds. 5 Backgrounds, 3 colors each, 15 variations. Use for print, web or design. 2500x1600px.

46. Background 5A ($2)

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Ultra-high quality backgrounds that are great for desktop wallpaper, web background, mobile phone wallpaper, etc. 2 fully editable PSD files, 2400x2000px, 300 DPI.

47. Interior Backgrounds ($4)

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Simulate a realistic studio photo shoot with these 18 background possibilities (3 clean interiors and 5 light set-ups). Great to showcase your products, images, posters, webpages or any type of work. It can also be used for web backgrounds. 4000×2500 px 72 dpi.

48. Paper Holes ($3)

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4 Paper Hole Backgrounds. Including PSD and JPEG at 3072×2304.

49. Denim Background / Texture ($2)

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PSD File Included in 2560×1600 resolution, customizable colors, customizable patterns and effects.

50. Hill and villages ($5)

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Hill and villages with beautiful landscape. PSD included, 300 DPI.

51. Jute Wrap ($2)

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Available for several common resolutions including i-devices, psd included for easy customizations, change color in one go.

52. 10 Retro Graphic Backgrounds ($3)

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10 colored high-resolution & quality backgrounds with halftone elements. 3200×2267px, layered.

53. Vintage Floral backgrounds ($3)

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Vintage Floral backgrounds in 6 colors 2448×3264px.

54. Subtle Wallpaper ($2)

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5 JPEG with different color variations, layered .PSD file, 1920x1080px.

55. Stripes Vintage Background ($2)

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Looks awesome for product presentation, 4 colors, various resolutions up to 2560×1920px.

56. Fabric Backgrounds ($2)

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A palpable background resource for your premium websites or any graphics project.

57. Urban Backgrounds ($3)

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1200×720px, 300dpi.

58. Geometric Grunge Pattern ($2)

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A set of geometric pattern backgrounds with grunge effect (not tileable). Layered PSD file, 4167×2917px, layered vector geometric pattern included.

59. Patterned Paper Set ($3)

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A set of high quality patterned papers. Ideal for use in backgrounds, designs, presentations, wallpapers etc. 3000x2300px.

60. Worn-out Carbon Background ($3)

Worn-out-carbon-premium-backgrounds-graphicriver

The file can be transformed into clean carbon by hiding the “dirt” layer. Layered PSD, 2560×1440px.

November 16 2011

21:00

50 Practical And Time Saving Premium Product Mockups From Graphicriver

Which is more important to you – the content or the package? No doubt, it’s a discussable question but the compromise we might agree on is that both are equally important. Package and product design plays a massive role in marketing and consumer alluring. Yet we shouldn’t forget about the web – product showcase is important here as well. And especially when consumers aren’t able to touch the goods – the design and presentation will be crucial.

As we continue our series of articles featuring items from Graphicriver today we’ve prepared yet another great array of items – product mockups. Although more suited for web than real world you’ll also find some print-ready items for your posters or packages. Items collected here range from simple business card mockups to clothe mockups and even a vinyl record template. Continue reading and check out these 50 outstanding and practical premium product mockups from Graphicriver.

1. Great Business Card Mock-up Pack ($6)

Business-card-pack-premium-product-mockups

Best way to present your business card in 4 fancy & different styles. All you have to do is copy and paste. Your flat graphic files magically turn into 3D (print simulation) with impressive angles and lighting. Best for print preview and advertising.

2. 3D Asymmetrical Web Page Display ($3)

Web-page-display-premium-product-mockups

Perfect for displaying templates, web pages, photos etc. Each image is a smart object so editing the images is super easy. No need to worry about placements and reflections, it’s all done automatically.

3. 5 Realistic Logo Mockups ($6)

Realistic-logo-premium-product-mockups

Create a realistic display for your logo in few seconds. These PSD files uses the Smart-Object feature, so you can replace the mockup content easily and quickly.

4. Mega Pack WEB Mock-Up 3 ($5)

Mega-pack-web-premium-product-mockups

This innovative package mock-ups is especially designed to show your web sites. in an elegant and attractive way, giving such a unique and real.

5. 3 Fold Brochure III ($6)

Fold-brochure-premium-product-mockups

A design that breaks the traditional tri-fold design for brochures, giving a truly modern and original style all your ideas. 11×8,5.

6. Magazine Mockups – Closely Version ($5)

Magazine-closely-premium-product-mockups

Magazine Mockups – Closely Version is a file, specially designed to create presentations of magazines designs, wanting to show these amazing designs an elegant, sophisticated and beautiful way.

7. Tee Mockup ($6)

Tee-mockup-premium-product-mockups

This t-shirt mock-up file can be easily used and opened in Adobe Photoshop CS or higher. Place any image/logo or whatever on the mock-up, and place it on your website or shop.

8. Smart 3D package box ($4)

Smart-3d-box-premium-product-mockups

Elegant 3D box elements that will enhance your graphic and web projects alike to make it further visually appealing. The boxes are Smart Objects that requires jus placing your image and the box will be updated automatically.

9. Poster Mock-up Templates ($4)

Poster-templates-premium-product-mockups

4 psd template files with 3 different poster sizes. Very easy to modify. All you have to do is copy and paste your image.

10. Sleek Screen Mockup ($5)

Sleek-screen-premium-product-mockups

Layered PSD file of a sleek display in 16:9. The file comes with four different screen resolutions to choose from.

11. Sleek Phone Mockup ($6)

Sleek-phone-premium-product-mockups

Layered PSD file of a sleek phone. The file comes with two different screen resolutions to choose from on three different groups of phones and 8 single phone layouts.

12. Corporate Design Mock-ups ($11)

Corporate-design-premium-product-mockups

A spectacular mock-ups collection unprecedented, with photo-realistic effects and high-definition, Designed especially for presenting branding on different promotional pieces.

13. Sleek Laptop Mockup ($6)

Sleek-laptop-premium-product-mockups

Pixel-perfect image that are perfect to show of your latest wallpaper or homepage layout. Works with any background.

14. Album Cover CD Mock-Ups ($3)

Album-cover-premium-product-mockups

Display your album cover design with these mock-up files. Simple to use with just a copy and past to edit both the cover art and background textures. Jewel case and digipack mock-ups included.

15. Set of 2 billboards ($4)

Billboards-premium-product-mockups

This is a set of two isolated billboards, with interchangeable backgrounds (3 included), smart objects for one-click editing and effects for a realistic photography look.

16. Mobilisimo Mobile Phone & Mobile Pad Mock-ups ($9)

Mobilessimo-premium-product-mockups

Perfect to show your latest wallpaper, website or app. Works with any background.

17. Hands on tablet ($3)

Hands-tablet-premium-product-mockups

4 hands templates which are holding the tablet, which can be easily applied with your application screenshot. The hands are the different layer, so you can move, rotate, combine them, or anything that gets on your mind.

18. Mega pack Brochure ($7)

Mega-pack-brochure-product-mockups

This innovative package mock-ups is especially designed to show your creations in brochures or three-fold. in an elegant and attractive way, giving such a unique and real, let your works be seen truly spectacular.

19. Shopping bag mockup ($4)

Shopping-bag-premium-product-mockups

Give your graphic creations another look by testing in real objects the design details which cannot be visualized from the initial drawings and sketches.

20. Bottles and Ice cool Mock-Up ($5)

Bottle-ice-premium-product-mockups

This very useful graphic template is a great showcase for drinks, cocktails, toothpaste and every product that needs to be showed on a frosty cool scenery.

21. Stand Display Mockup ($5)

Stand-display-premium-product-mockups

This PSD item uses the Smart-Object feature, so you can replace mockup’s content easily and quickly. The item includes a view from three different angles for optimal display.

22. 3D Google Map Mock-up ($5)

Google-map-premium-product-mockups

Quickly illustrate a stylish 3D arrival map mockup. Place your own map or a Google map. You can add any background or use transparent one.

23. Business card mockup display ($4)

Business-card-premium-product-mockups

You can use this file to display the front and back of your card or to show 2 different cards together. The PSD file uses the Smart-Object feature, so you can replace mock-up content easily and quickly.

24. AutoFrame ($2)

Autoframe-premium-product-mockups

This item automatically generates a frame of your image without action. Just edit and save the smart object. Frames can be resized.

25. Paint Can ($4)

Paint-can-premium-product-mockups

Layered PSD file of an paint can that uses Smart Objects to create the labels so they can be created in separate files.

26. Computer & Monitor Set ($4)

Computer-monitor-premium-product-mockups

All items are in resolution 2400×1680px and highest quality. Everything is able to change (color, resizeable shapes).

27. Trade Show Boot Mock-up ($6)

Trade-show-premium-product-mockups

Fully editable Booth PSD file. To generate your own Booth replace and adjust the corresponding Layers.

28. PRO 3d Web Showcase ($6)

Web-showcase-premium-product-mockups

Best for your web designs, pictures, artwork, portfolio etc. Full layered Photoshop .PSD Files (5 styles)

29. Professional Cap Mock-up ($4)

Cap-premium-product-mockups

Quickly illustrate A cap mock up. You can add any background, edit 3 areas of colors, add a pattern, image, or a design of your own.

30. Splash Bundle ($6)

Splash-premium-product-mockups

This awesome bundle contains 4 different juicy splashes with 4 different materials of which is: water, blood, milk & chocolate. It’s all high quality 3d rendered and fine tuned in Photoshop.

31. Paper Mock-Up (44)

Paper-premium-product-mockups

If you design a page and want to show or want to see how he could now printed in a magazine or book, this mock-up is perfect for presentation.

32. The Store Maker ($7)

Store-maker-premium-product-mockups

All elements have a very detailed design and they are all editable. All layers are named and well-organized.

33. Pixel Screen Mock-up ($6)

Pixel-screen-premium-product-mockups

Ultra realistic LCD pixel screen mock-ups. A unique way to display your images.

34. Premium Product Presentation ($5)

Presentation-premium-product-mockups

Premium product presentation can be used for any of your website project for showcasing your website,products etc. Full layered,named and editable.

35. Chocolate/Candy Bar Mock-Up ($4)

Chocolate-premium-product-mockups

The file you get is set up at 3222×1812px, preview ready.

36. 3D Box Mockup ($4)

3d-box-premium-product-mockups

6 Variations, Smart Layers, easily editable, 2560×1600px.

37. All-Star Shoes Mock-up ($4)

Shoes-premium-product-mockups

Quickly illustrate a shoes mock-up. You can add any background, choose the shoes color, place your own pattern design.

38. Piecemaker Mock-up (#3)

Piecemaker-premium-product-mockups

All elements have a very detailed design and they are all vector shapes (even shadows). Double-click easy image change (change one image and all pieces are updated).

39. Professional Trifold Brochure Mock-Up ($3)

Trifold-brochure-premium-product-mockups

Display your brochure design with this professional mock-up file. Simple and easy to use with smart-object feature and hue/saturation adjustment to change background color.

40. Cosmetic Packaging Mock Ups ($3)

Cosmetic-premium-product-mockups

Layered PSD files of beauty hand cream mock ups. Add some flair to your designs with these editable files.

41. Creative Book Shelves Including Icons ($7)

Book-shelves-premium-product-mockups

Uber high quality objects with insane amount of details arranged as shelf stuff. Design agency, photographer, travel company or any private blog can use this illustrations for about page design.

42. Food-Bag Product Mock-Up ($3)

Food-bag-premium-product-mockups

Simple and easy to edit graphic food-bag mock-up with smart objects for one-click editing.

43. Grungy Crumpled Paper Mock-up ($5)

Grungy-paper-premium-product-mockups

11 Grungy crumpled paper mock-up psd templates. It’s easy to edit. It is perfect for your product showcase, for your unique gallery, for print or any other awesome project.

44. Vinyl Records ($3)

Vinyl-records-premium-product-mockups

A set of cool Vinyl Records for your project fully editable PSD build in vector layers.

45. Red Wine Bottles and Grapes ($6)

Red-wine-premium-product-mockups

This mock-up consists of one bottle in two states: brand new and from the cellar – old and decayed. The bottle is very layered and each layer is vector smart object, so the whole thing is scalable.

46. Food Packaging Mock-Up ($4)

Food-premium-product-mockups

Simple and easy to edit graphic food packaging mock-up with smart objects for one-click editing.

47. Paper Bag Mock-Up ($8)

Paper-bag-premium-product-mockups

High resolution 2000×1500. Easily editable via smart object (automatically transforms two-dimensional images into realistic three-dimensional previews).

48. T-Shirt Mock ups ($5)

Tshirt-mockup-premium-product-mockups

Best professional t-Shirt mockup pack to present your t-Shirt design and organize your online store. Changeable shirt color and background.

49. Textures Business Card Mock-up ($5)

Textures-business-card-premium-product-mockups

1000×750px, 3 Styles.

50. Pie Chart Creator ($4)

Pie-chart-premium-product-mockups

Quickly illustrate a stylish 3D pie chart mock-up. Generate graphs within minutes, change the segments size as you wish x4 shaded graph styles, x8 different colors You can add any background or use transparent one.

April 07 2011

10:00

Blogging Like A Pro: Introduction To 10-Part Crash Course

If you are involved in the blogging world in any way you will know just how hard it is to find great tools to make your work process easier and more efficient. I’ve been blogging full-time for 2.5 years already and I’ve tried many approaches and tools. Going from a PC to a Mac I needed to find comparable tools and that proved challenging, it was like starting over in some regards. It’s hard to find those nifty little, and useful tools, but once you do, you can enjoy the whole blogging!

Many people do not look for ways to make their work easier and ways to be more productive because they are so used to that old-school way using the default blogging platform panel or using Google Docs. But hey – I say you can save a lot of time and become far more effective if you make use of today’s tools and have a good mindset. It’s not even just about choosing the right desktop blogging editor or choosing which management system to use; writing is an art. I did my homework and noticed a lot of interesting upcoming start ups are offering products that are great for finding information, writing posts,, managing information and reviewing it when you’re done. I am starting to blog seriously again and I invite you to join me on this journey!

At the beginning, I thought I will create one huge article covering all the tools I use and my experiences, but in the end I understood each process in writing is crucial so I’ll dedicate several articles to this topic.

Blogging Like A Pro Series Parts 1-10:

  1. The Writing Process: Getting Ready, Getting into the writing mood and how to avoid distractions
  2. Writing: Where To Write And Start Drafting?
  3. Find Article Ideas To Write About, Write Headlines
  4. Do Your Research: How and where to find content
  5. Blog Post Formatting, make it easy to read and scan, good examples
  6. Power of headlines, Dummy’s guide to copywriting
  7. Add Spice To Post – Get Feedback, Entertain Readers With New Approach
  8. Taking Blogging To The Next Level: Guest Writers & Management & Scheduling, Proofreading
  9. How To Find And Hire The Right People For Your Business
  10. Set Up Your Blog & Make Use Of Fresh Tools To Save Time

Well, now you have an overview about the upcoming pro blogging series. Today I will just explain in more detail what I intend to cover for each of the ten parts. I am looking forward to hear your feedback and suggestions beforehand so that I can provide even better and more valuable information for you! Explain your struggles with blogging and I will do my best to find a solution or just share my experiences with what I have found to work, or not work, as the case may be.

The Writing Process: Getting Ready, Getting into the writing mood and how to avoid distractions

This part will be all about how to start writing in the first place. I cannot stress enough how important your work environment and actual writing workflow is. In this age of information overload there is always something to distract you — maybe you have turned on Skype, use an auto email checker, Facebook, Twitter, news reader – you name it!

Patiently waiting for his Dinner, Ostend Belgium

With so many guest and full time writers working for 1stwebdesigner I have encountered many problems with time management. It’s no surprise, it’s super easy to get distracted. The industry has become very effective in getting your attention in no time. Get smart and effective yourself too!

That’s funny — you were here to learn how to write and here I am telling you now how to get ready to write? Foundations are super important so we will start small and work our way up over the course of this blogging series.

Writing: Where To Write And Start Drafting?

Ok, our work environment is ready, no distractions, our mood is fully optimistic and we want to start! You could hit the ground running right now and you’d get where you wanted to go…eventually. Wouldn’t it be more effective and faster to use a bicycle, bike or car instead? That’s what I’m going to teach you how to do…get where you want to go in less time.

Writing samples: Parker 75

Image by churl via Flickr

It may not sound too exciting and finding the most appropriate way and platform to write is not always easy or fast, but it’s fully worth the effort in the long run to try different ones and find one that you like. It’s not a bad approach to start writing right away using your favorite WYSIWYG blogging platform, Word or Google Docs. It’s not a bad approach, but we want better; instead of a bicycle we would love to be driving a car right?

You’ll get what’s promised – a new, shiny car just like you wanted. Don’t worry, both Windows and Mac users will be satisfied.

  • What are the cons of your current process and tools?
  • Why it’s useful to have a desktop blogging editor
  • Comparing online and offline solutions
  • Innovative writing tools and interesting solutions

Find Article Ideas To Write About and How to Keep Up with the Industry

Step 3 – we’re excited, we have the best writing platform and tools for us to write…what now?
You guessed it, one of the biggest challenges…what to actually write about? In this article I will teach you how to:

  • Be sure your topic is exciting not only for yourself but also for your readers
  • Know what topics are currently trendy and popular
  • Understand how to learn what other people struggle with and how to find a solution for them

I’ve even seen several blogs offering article ideas for people who struggle to find ones! How do you think they get those ideas? Well, of course they have experience and great interaction with their readers and because of this, people share ideas for articles they’d like to see through email, social networks, comments or old fashioned conversation. But what you can do to understand your community in the beginning?

I’ll share just a few ideas right now with you:

  • Use social networks as Twitter and search for questions people are having there. If there are problems people need solutions for or questions they need answered you can be sure that they’ve looked on forums and search engines for just those things. Do you have an almost unfair advantage by being able to find out what problems and questions people in your community need solved? You bet!
  • Stay open minded and engaged, always be looking for new article ideas as you’re reading news, talking with people, or communicating online.
  • Read the top blogs in your niche, stay up to date with the news each day, follow people who break stories and know their industry!

Do Your Research: How and where to find content to work with

Let’s say you have your article idea already, but you really don’t know how many people have written about it, which blogs have written about it or how long ago they wrote about it? If a similar topic has already been covered maybe you can take a different angle then previous writers have. You’ll find out and realize almost every topic has been written about already, but you need to make use of it, understand what’s been done before and how you can differentiate yourself and stand out.

You need to do your research. Now.

Human Blood Under Magnifier

Again this article won’t be just about doing research to help you write articles, it will also help you to do your market research. You have a new startup idea? How do you find your competitors or similar companies? You want to be sure your idea hasn’t been done before and you don’t want to repeat the same mistakes other companies may have, right?

Learn how to research your market, no matter if it’s for an article or  a startup, everybody need to do their research. Here I will cover how to make use of search engines effectively, a typical Google search or Delicious bookmark search won’t always be enough. Sometimes you’ll want to dig really deep. I’ll cover innovative search engines and effective ways to bookmark and save information so that you can find it easily when you need it.

Blog Post Writing, Formatting: Make it Easy to Read and Scan

I may have mentioned before that it’s really important to write an article outline before writing the article. Do your research and write down the main points you will cover in article. It will make the writing process much easier later on and help you keep your articles more organized.

ilovetypography

As you write down your main points, you can work on good formatting! People are suffering from information overload so you have to fight for their attention, the best way to get it is to make your content easy to scan. Writing content that gets peoples attention is really an art which is hard to master, but with the right foundations, which I will give you here, you’ll be better informed than most  bloggers. Work to get that attention:

  • make use of good and related images
  • use bullet points
  • headings
  • interlink your content
  • enrich content with good typography and clear content structure.

You’ll also learn about good resources to learn typography and be able to analyze good examples that I’ve found!

Power of Headlines: The Dummy’s Guide to Copy Writing

I will explain the importance of headlines right now – most people won’t even read your article if it doesn’t catch their attention! Sounds scary right? The one line of text that makes up your headline can often be more important than content you worked on for several hours!

This section will be one of the most important as it will help you get both your content read and get your content indexed for search engines.

Writing for search engines or readers?

How to make the right decision? Both of them are important and naturally a reader is much more important than a search engine! However, search engines bring in the most traffic for almost every website, even for 1WD it brings more than 70% of all our traffic!

Ok, before you get too confused to give the right answer, I’ll give it to you – you don’t have to choose! You can write for both your readers and search engines at the same time…but it’s not always easy of course! That’s the reason I dedicated a whole article to this topic. Remember it’s not only the first headline that is important, all other sub headlines in an article are as important as the first!

And that’s where we’ll start the dummy’s guide to copywriting!

Add Spice To Post – Get Feedback, Entertain Readers With New Approach

Your article is finally ready to be published, you may be wondering what now? Is it finished and ready to be shown to the world? Well, yes, it is. But, and there is always a but – you’ve wrote an interesting article now how do you get feedback or a conversation going? That’s what separates a great article from a good article, the conversation that it starts. Of course it depends what you wrote about. In my experience, and from what I’ve seen, the articles that get the most attention and comments are the ones that have at least one of the following things:

  • Breaking story – news sites are getting huge attention just by being the first to announce some news
  • Controversial opinion – write an opinion piece about something popular. If you’re going to do this though, write a smart article, do your research and back up your opinion. If you write controversial articles just to get attention, you lose credibility.
  • New tools or sites no one knows about – this is new, it’s kind of related to breaking stories, but it’s all about just finding new and good solution for problem in your niche. People will be happy if offer fresh solutions to old problems rather than just writing a list of tools that other people have tried. A lot of useful new apps and websites are launching each day.
  • Basically it’s all about providing value – put enough energy and efforts into your article research and you’ll be rewarded. You’ll get what you paid for!
  • At the end I will also talk about unique and innovative social tools you can add to your blog to get extra attention,and more opportunities to interact with your readers. I was surprised how many I found, I bet you’ll notice 1WD using some of them in the very near future!
  • One extra tip – add question at the end of article to get more feedback! People want to be heard and if you invite them to share their opinion, they will!

Hands in the air - in concert

I will also cover tools like this, Apture for example is to keep readers glued to your site!

Taking Blogging To The Next Level: Guest Writers & Management & Scheduling, Proofreading

If you’re working alone and don’t ever dream about expanding, you can skip this article. If you are thinking about getting help and are open to guest writers you’ll need to work out some kind of management system – maybe at the beginning Skype and email communication may be a good solution, but it really isn’t. Skype can be a distraction, and not everyone has a reliable internet connection so sometimes even if you want to chat, you can’t. Emails rapidly become too clustered and important information and ideas disappear amongst the many email threads.

I want to offer better solutions to keep your team organized. Solutions and tools that I am using daily to take care of article scheduling, writing, and other aspects of 1WD. Growing a blogging business is not easy. It requires a lot of time management, multitasking and organization to take care of everything. This article will be for bloggers who want to grow, but don’t really know how. I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons along the way and have struggled with my time management a lot. I’ll share my experiences and show my current solutions which seem to be working, at least for now.

How To Find And Hire The Right People For Your Business

This is a really tough topic, because it can really make or break your business. I will focus on different hiring solutions including:

  • Making use of social networks to hire
  • Finding people from your reader base ( if you own a blog)
  • Traditional job boards (which ones to choose based on your preferences)
  • Innovative, interesting projects to find help

This is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to what I will cover in this article. This article will be equally useful to both employers and potential employees! Maybe you are not searching for a job in the right place, or you don’t make good use of your already established contacts or simply don’t notice job offers on sites you love already! For example 1WD is also searching for smart and dedicated people to write for us, why don’t you join the team? Many people just don’t believe in themselves in the first place, but if you aim high, you always will get something better than you expected!

Smileys - 1

And now back to hiring process – I’ll help you determine what you really need for your business – freelancer, part timer or full timer! Every one of these choices has pros and cons, let’s find out what they are so you can understand what you need for your business!

Set Up Your Blog and Make Use of Fresh Tools to Save Time

Ah, this is classic – but I wanted to write this basic foundation article to show and explain how to get started! I did this article only because I think the way you should start is changing. WordPress isn’t always the best choice and there are many great new tools to make use of when you get started. This startup boom is changing the way we do things..then why not do them better right from beginning?

I won’t go deep into explaining how to set up your blog, instead I will show what new services and tools you should be aware and make use of. For example, did you know about Jetpack, a WordPress plugin bundle giving you easy installation for the most common features you might need for a fresh WordPress blog?
Basically this article will be a little goldmine for everybody – I want to make you think, and show how you can do things, differently from now on. I like how the blogging world is slowly changing and I want to show you a bit of it.

Conclusion

the 200th mark; [PRINT EXCHANGE / GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED]

What do you think about this upcoming series? I would love to hear your feedback before I write these articles so I can understand better your needs and wants! Let me know! I am very open to, and would appreciate, any and all feedback! Are you ready to become a pro blogger?

January 13 2011

10:36

1WD Giveaway Contest Winner Announcement & Feedback

Hello everybody! We’re finally back with our contest results –  I am apologising it took so long, but wasn’t easy to gather all results from Facebook, Twitter, comments –  decide which prizes get each winner and finally putting that all together and contacting all our kind sponsors. Holiday season also didn’t help to get job done faster..:)

Huh, okay, but to move on –  finally results are announced and you can check if you’re one of the winners in the list by reading further. Don’t worry we are contacting everybody even if we didn’t get your email –  expect for Twitter private messages or Facebook message so we can be sure you receive your prize as supposed.

About contest generally –  I really enjoyed your suggestions, tips, complains about design and overall support. We are and we will listen to our readers even more and if you have any more tips or you just want to chat with me directly, please check our  Twitter profile @1stwebdesigner. I am responding there directly now, promising to be more active –  just updating what I and our 1WD team are up to, what we are updating, sharing new ideas and yes –  if you have any question to me, ask there, I will always respond to help out.

OK, now I am answering to actual complains officially and I am happy to tell we fixed several issues already:

1. Logo

As you may notice, we changed current logo to temporary one to let everybody know it will change real soon. How we will do that? Idea is to launch a new contest ( probably after 1–2 weeks) where we will ask to our own readers to design new logo for 1stwebdesigner. Of course winner will get very nice prize as 300$ + iPod, which should be motivating.

Even in case we don’t get any good submissions, we will hire professional logo designer who will design logo anyway, but I am really hoping on our designer audience –  I am sure you can come up with some great ideas and see your own designed on 1stwebdesigner daily!

2. Twitter Stream

We listened and agreed, Twitter stream was way too long so we decreased update count from 15 to 10. You may also notice we took off also our Partners and Ads section to clean up our sidebar.

3. Further Reading Related Posts

There were a lot of complains, that it takes too long to scroll down to comment section and we changed featured images from 570x300px to 150x150px images which saves space greatly now. Now also related post should be really RELATED because we implemented custom code which searches related posts after first 2 tags or we select them manually –  before we used WordPress default results and they weren’t really appropriate, because usually WP filters posts just by date.

Such problems we have also with default WordPress search –  we’re searching for solution there too.

4. Social Bookmarking Sliding Sharing Bar

Sliding effect seemed to distract a lot of readers and they reported that in comments as well, so we removed sliding effect and just implemented customized Sharebar plugin, no more sliding –  no more distractions from article content!

Spacing also has been added when Sharing bar is appearing in comment section –  it should be ok on all screens now.

5. Premium Membership

Even before membership release there were complains about prizing and how useful it will be so we decided not just add usual membership, we are thinking now more about our own products like handy plugins, WordPress themes, ebooks –  maybe nifty software. Membership sites seems to be more than enough in design community already, we don’t want to be yet another design blog. Soon we’ll announce our future plans and change announcements!

Other issues and comments

About other announcements now you can also use www.1wd.co address so if you’re visiting site directly, now it should be less pain to visit our website, we are currently working on implementing our own URL shortener now!

Well, and talking about article structure and regularity –  we have hired 2 more fulltime writers and one more SEO/Social Marking person, we got also first PSD TO HTML tutorial from Ahmad, and yes –  I hope you enjoy regular Photoshop Web Layout tutorials from Michael Burns. We have also one more surprise –  soon you will see the 1st art directed post here and we will cover also some design news, review some cool new sites/services so you don’t need to visit many other sources to be aware of what’s happening in design world.

Currently I am negotiating with proofreader, I hope we’ll get one real soon so finally no-one would complain about bad language, because many of our writers, including me aren’t native English-speaking and for readers from USA and UK some article quality may seem too low –  we will solve this problem real soon!

You should also feel how our article quality is increasing, we’re spending a lot more time into article idea research and actual writing process –  spending quality time there and trying to avoid from general list posts :) There will be occasional resource articles, but not so much as before, we are mixing everything together –  list posts, educational tutorials, tips/tricks articles and some well researched case studies.
We’re working hard, but we still need your feedback, we want to create functional site, we have a team to work on new features –  help us, share your idea here in Twitter, in comments or join our Facebook group and post updates there!

1WD 2 Year Anniversary And Massive 6000$ Worth Giveaway Contest Results

Okay, enough waiting - let’s start with winners announcements! You asked for it, here it is –  congratulations to all winners, I think every loyal reader who left nice feedback got prize –  thank you all for such a huge activity and good wishes!

1000$ Worth Giftcards From CodeMyConcept PSD To HTML Service Company

  1. rorchachdesign
  2. Sergei Tatarinov
  3. Chris

5 Premium HTML Licenses Worth 500$ From SlideshowBox

  1. Martin
  2. Zachary A. Mau
  3. Thinkjayant
  4. Dumazz
  5. Romulo Aguiar Figueiredo

500 Die Cut Business Cards for 3 Lucky Winners ( Worth 250$)

  1. Demitra Mroncz
  2. Rahul
  3. Steverobillard

5 Yearly Subscriptions from Azigos (Worth 100$)

  1. Tomas Lau
  2. Shrikrishna Meena
  3. Michael @ Project Center
  4. Sarah Schager
  5. Belinda VanBuskirk

Win 100$ Off Custom Stickers : 5 Winners ( Worth 500$)

  1. Kristi Hines
  2. Zach Mau
  3. Pablolarah
  4. Kerry
  5. Clara

3 Single User Licenses From MagicMembers (Worth 300$)

  1. Thomas Varil
  2. Adim Subedi
  3. Arun Prabu

Eleven 2 GiveAway 1 Year of Free hosting To 5 People (Worth 500$)

  1. Mehdi Raza Jaffery
  2. George Elias
  3. Thomas Elkhart
  4. Nikunj
  5. Ari Arsyadi

3 Individual Theme/Support Packages of Winner’s Choice From StudioPress (Worth 240$)

  1. Tim Soulo
  2. Satrya Bima
  3. Edmund Ng

KreativeThemes 5 Themes Giveaway of Winner’s Choice ( Worth 350$)

  1. Hitgirl
  2. Yuni Ardita S.D
  3. Adam Majchrzak
  4. Kiraly Tamas
  5. Christie

Iconshocks Giveaway: 3 Bundle Licenses of Your Choice (Worth 700$)

  1. Lee Gustin
  2. Adrian
  3. Paddsolutions

3 ProThemeDesign Themes Giveaway of Winner’s Choice (Worth 240$)

  1. Irina
  2. AnotherBlogger
  3. Matt L.

5 Templatic Premium Theme Single Use Licenses Giveaway of Winner’s Choice (Worth 450$)

  1. Abdelhadi Touil
  2. Francois
  3. Sumon Seleem
  4. David Mejias
  5. Jacob S. Campion

5 GabFire Themes Premium WordPress Themes Giveaway of Winner’s Choice (Worth 300$)

  1. Ilona Andrews
  2. Digital Imagination
  3. crunchynow
  4. Bligbook
  5. Athul Jayaram

ElegantBanners Giveaway: 3 Custom Banner Ad Packages (Worth $336)

  1. M Pike
  2. PamS
  3. Stephanie Haw

Those who shared just their twitter accounts or Facebook pages, make sure to contact me dainis [at] 1stwebdesigner.com – I will write you on Twitter,Facebook directly, but I need your responses!

Congratulations to all the winners, I really hope you enjoyed this contest as much as I did!

December 20 2010

12:05

1WD 2 Year Anniversary And Massive 6000$ Worth Giveaway

Hello everybody! Finally that day has come! Which day you may ask?

Well…where should I start? –  today 1WD is celebrating 2 years anniversary and fourth (4th) version of design.

We were working really hard all summer, and if one year ago I was working all alone, now I am honored to have a beautiful team together with me including several full time writers Rean, Sheena, Jane, Michael,Charina with our main chief editor Saad Bassi and social media ninja Ligita Kluga.

Huh, also what I need to add, our actual 2 years anniversary was on August 30, but we didn’t announce it because our new design wasn’t finished. Now it’s here and we are finally ready to move on!

I was planning this new design for almost half a year,  I changed its look a lot of times and even thought of hiring a web designer – because as a designer myself I was never satisfied with  final outcome.

Finally I thought it would be really a shame for a designer, to get his own page designed by someone else and put everything aside and seriously got to work. The site you are seeing right now is final outcome, and this is how 1WD site should look from the very beginning 2 years ago!  I really hope you love it the same way as I do and you are very much welcomed to reveal your first impressions in our comment section, which is much prettier now too by the way!

Before we announce our huge giveaway to celebrate this big event and launch, I think now is the best time to look back again and show off all achievements, show what really made 1WD grow so much and how do we intent to keep it growing even further! Last year we actually did the same process, and today we will compare both years to make this even more interesting. Are you excited and cannot wait for the results? Let’s start!

Personally I think the main turning point was the moment, when 1WD got a great team –  Saad Bassi, who is our main editor and Ligita Kluga, who does all the hard work into backlink building and social promoting. I just went more in background and finally got more time to work on new ideas, try new social media promotion ways, went deeper in marketing research and of course, worked on new redesign a lot.

Besides our team, we also got huge team of regular and not so regular guest writers, who altogether allowed us to go from 2–3 articles per week to 12 articles per week! We are still working on increasing both quality and quantity, but since our readership is increasing –  I consider that article count increase is appreciated by people and we are doing the right thing.d

Archive-section-2-years

As you can see from our Archive section from Year 2010 article count started to increase and it happened because of other changes –  I finally got an office – 1WD headquarters and good workplace increased work efficiency greatly. Before that for almost 1.5 years I was working from home, it was not an easy task.

I am sure you cannot wait to see some public stats to measure 1WD growth, enough words..let’s see real numbers.

I must say once site is established, all you have to do is to keep providing constant quality and content –  1WD kept very similar mode all the time and proved to be a regular source where to look for web design related articles and readership continued to grow. Of course, article count also increased traffic from Google, more articles – more chances to be noticed.

Public Stats:

  • Now – 1,811 / Last Year – 10,780 Alexa Rank
  • Now –  5,792 / Last Year – 18,538 Compete Rank
  • Now –  2,013 / Last Year – 950 Del.icio.us Bookmarks
  • Now –  180,142 / Last Year –  25,382 Inbound Yahoo Links
  • Now – 64,095 / Last Year –  14,666 RSS Subscribers
  • Now –  23,463 / Last Year –  5,174 Twitter Followers
  • Stayed the same –  5/10 GooglePage Rank
  • Now –  more than 1,5 million / Last year –  more than 400,000 unique visits in August 2009
  • New – we created Facebook page, better later than never, which has 1,559 fans for now. Need to work more on Facebook, I know.

To put last year stats more in perspective, check out this graph, where I compare this and previous year:

Comparing-years

Interesting to analyze now, while unique visits increased –  people also tend to spend less time on page and bounce rate is actually bigger, maybe that’s because of massive social media promotion, where people are used to process huge amounts of information in short time.

What’s your opinion here? Do you have suggestions for us?

  • How do you like current article frequency?
  • Do we deliver quality?
  • Where we should grow now?
  • What kind of content we should deliver more?
  • What would you like to see change in this year?

Would love to hear your feedback if possible, with such big readership we really feel responsible for delivering only the best information to you!

How do we explain constant growth and how do you start your own one?

If there is such question, I think actually the main reason was article count increase, with bigger team we are able to do a lot more than before, where one person just physically isn’t able to write that much articles, do marketing, social media, promotion even working 24/7. I must say if you are really serious about your business, hire people to help you out once you get such chance –  they will help you to grow site to the phase you never imagined, site could reach!

Google traffic increased like 7 times, thanks to the list posts 1WD continue to have big success through Social Media sites like –  StumbleUpon, Twitter, Digg, Delicious, Facebook. Don’t underestimate the power of social networks, it’s really worth spending time to build trusted networks and readership with it.

I am investing a lot of site income in our growth, I am keeping myself just like 1/4 and 3/4 goes into development, payments, hosting expenses because I know 1WD can grow a lot bigger, I really want it to become number 1 source for each web designer. If you have a passion – you can achieve the same as I did here, just believe yourself and don’t leave your dreams too fast, give them actual chance.

If you want to go to past and see how and why 1WD began its success, read last year’s report post –  1st Year Of Blogging: Success And Achievements.

About New Site Design

1stwebdesigner-redesign-process

At first I wanted to mix giveaway, 1WD redesign process and stats in the one post, but after some thinking I decided that redesign process description need to have separate post so I would be able to explain you whole thinking behind it and show a lot of detail and power in our new design. Keep updated, new article will be out in few days!

The Most Massive Giveaway At 1stwebdesigner Ever – Prizes Worth 6000$ !!!

Well , now we are getting to the best part for you – our huge giveaway and great prizes – everybody loves free stuff right? Christmas came early this time!

We have contacted and collaborated with 15 different companies, which were kind enough to offer really great prizes! Okay, but how can you get them? Actually I will pick winners based on 2 different aspects ( the first one is the most powerful):

  1. Loyal Reader Option - You need to add a comment here or in our Facebook group (join it too if you like it)  in this article status update and tell there what you would like to win in this giveaway together with valuable suggestion, what do you think we would need to do to improve in design, content, functionality - criticize us, we really want to become better!
  2. Quick Visitor Option – You must join our Facebook group and simply share this article on Twitter adding hashtag #1wd2years and follow us on Twitter @1stwebdesigner for further updates!
    When you have done it, just leave a comment on this post what you would like to win.

As you can see number 1 option is for more loyal readers, who have opinion about what’s happening here and actually wants to help us improve.

Well and number 2 option is for all of us, who just are quickly browsing through and just wants to get nice Christmas gift for this special giveaway occasion!

And now – get you keyboards hot and start commenting and checking out our actual giveaway prizes right now:

1000$ Worth Giftcards From CodeMyConcept PSD To HTML Service Company

CodeMyConcept is the best PSD to HTML service on the planet. Their company not just don’t specialize in providing superb PSD to HTML and CMS implementations, every piece of code we write is done with love and passion, and they feel that their job is not only to provide a service to web designers and freelancers, they build relationships and they really love it!

Company’s expertise and services:

  • They do pixel perfect PSD to HTML;
  • Awesome CMS implementations in WordPress, Drupal and Joomla;
  • E-Commerce Implementations in Magento and Shopify;
  • PSD to Email and much more!!!!

When you work with CodeMyConcept you are definitely working with your best friends and they even agreed to join to our huge giveaway with some great prizes!

2 lucky winners will get $250 giftcards and 1 winner will get $500 worth giftcard to be used in CodeMyConcept services, pretty cool right?

5 Premium HTML Licenses Worth 500$ From SlideshowBox

Slideshow box is an easy to use application that enables you to create amazing Flash and HTML (JavaScript) photo slideshow galleries.

SlideshowBox comprises 24 high-quality slideshow templates that allow you to create custom photo slideshows without the pains of coding. Many new templates will be added in the near future, including more pure JavaScript slideshows.

Slideshowbox-giveaway-deal

500 Die Cut Business Cards for 3 Lucky Winners ( Worth 250$)

UPrinting is a professional online printing company that provides commercial and small business print services. Their online printing services help you print everything –  business cards, fashionable clothing hang tags, attractive door hangers, customizable folded cards, appealing greeting cards, and promotional calendars.

Die cutting options available (more about printing options you will know after winning on this contest):

  • Rounded Corners
  • Leaf
  • Rounded One-Corner
  • Half-Circle Side
  • Free UPS Shipping, Limited to US Residents only, must be 18 and above to enter.

    UPDieCutBusinessCard-giveaway-deal

    5 Yearly Subscriptions from Azigos (Worth 100$)

    Azigos is a shop that provide high quality Photoshop Brushes. With our unique royalty free brushes, we help you to enhance your personal and commercial creations. You can purchase each brushes set individually or Join the Premium Members Program and get them all with unlimited download.

    Az-banner-570x300

    Win 100$ Off Custom Stickers : 5 Winners ( Worth 500$)

    Sticker Mule prints custom stickers starting at $69 for 100.  Send them your artwork and they do the rest.  They aspire to be every artist and designer’s favorite sticker printing service.

    Stickermule-banner

    3 Single User Licenses From MagicMembers (Worth 300$)

    Magic Members is a premium WordPress Membership Plugin that turn your WordPress blog into a powerful, fully automated membership site.

    You may expect to pay $2,000 – $3,000 for such an easy to use, full-featured membership application that does not require you to switch to a different system. Magic Members is a fully integrated WordPress membership and subscription plug-in that quickly takes your blog from an ordinary blog to a powerful membership site.

    Don’t miss a chance to aim for one of 3 single user licenses!

    Magicmembers-promo-banner

    Eleven 2 GiveAway 1 Year of Free hosting To 5 People (Worth 500$)

    Eleven2 is a cutting edge web hosting companies with server locations in the US, Europe and Asia. With its speedy 24×7 live technical support, Eleven2 has grown to become a major player in the web hosting market. Starting at just $10 a month, you cannot go wrong with Eleven2.

    Eleven2-giveaway-promo-banner

    3 Individual Theme/Support Packages of Winner’s Choice From StudioPress (Worth 240$)

    StudioPress Themes take WordPress to places you never thought it would go. These Themes are a perfect solution for small businesses or individuals establishing their online presence and today we’ve got giveaway from them –   3 individual Theme/Support packages of winner’s choice each worth 79.95$.

    Studiopress-giveaway-deal

    KreativeThemes 5 Themes Giveaway of Winner’s Choice ( Worth 350$)

    KreativeThemes is a theme shop that sells beautiful, creative and high quality premium CMS themes.

    They have kindly joined to this big giveaway and offered to our readers great prizes:

    • 3 Premium WordPress Theme Single License (can choose any theme)
    • 2 Premium WordPress Theme Webmaster License (can choose any theme)

    Kreative-themes-giveaway-deal

    Flashmint Special Christmas Sale : Up To 70% Off + 3 Free Flash Christmas E-Cards

    FlashMint is a leading Flash Templates provider known to produce innovative high quality flash templates, flash XML templates and Flash CMS templates as well as such amazing products as Facebook templates and PrestaShop templates.

    On the holiday occasion Flashmint has 70% Christmas discount offer on all the templates from their collection. In addition to the discounts specially for 1stwebdesigner readers there will be also three amazing free flash greeting e-cards to be given away to every dear fan and customer of 1stWebDesigner and FlashMint. You may checkout the greeting cards from here: Free Flash Christmas e-cards for everyone!.

    Iconshocks Giveaway: 3 Bundle Licenses of Your Choice (Worth 700$)

    Iconshock is the largest stock icon provider around the web, with more than 800.000 stock icons in 250 icon sets.  Feel free to check its tutorials blog: TutorialShock and its recently launched website with lot of wordpress themes and design sets: WordPressThemeShock.

    And today they are giving 3 bundle licenses of your choice –  how cool is that?

    Iconshocks-company-giveaway

    3 ProThemeDesign Themes Giveaway of Winner’s Choice (Worth 240$)

    Pro Theme was established in 2007 by two experienced web developers, programmer Ben Gillbanks in London and designer Darren Hoyt in New York City.Emphasizing quality over quantity, Pro Theme has specialized in WordPress and enjoyed enduring popularity in the themes community.

    In order to contribute in our giveaway they are offering 3 premium and beautiful themes of choice for 3 Winners!

    Prothemedesign-theme-giveaway-deal

    5 Templatic Premium Theme Single Use Licenses Giveaway of Winner’s Choice (Worth 450$)

    Templatic, Officially launched on 10th of December 2009 is a place to get Out of the Box, Premium and Awesome WordPress Themes to fulfill your needs in different areas of Blogging and Webdesign. From a simple Blogging theme, to a complete e-commerce integrated WordPress Theme, they are releasing themes in diverse range so you can use WordPress as a CMS.

    Teplatic-theme-giveaway-deal

    5 GabFire Themes Premium WordPress Themes Giveaway of Winner’s Choice (Worth 300$)

    Gabfire Themes was founded in 2008 by Mehmet Özekinci a 30-year old independent web designer and web project consultant based in Estonia.

    Gabfire Themes is a distinguished design and development studio providing a wide range of organized and well-presented creative WordPress themes. All Gabfire Themes features an easy-to-manage and powerful theme control panel & focus on providing an unparalleled user experience.

    Gabfirethemes-theme-giveaway-deal

    ElegantBanners Giveaway: 3 Custom Banner Ad Packages (Worth $336)

    Ever wanted some high quality custom banner ads for your marketing needs? Well, ElegantBanners is for you then. They offer high quality web banner ads created to your specification, at a very affordable price, with lightning fast turnarounds! You can also check out their blog: ElegantBanners Blog, where they write about business, design, and entrepreneurship in general. Be sure to also follow them on Twitter.

    I am looking forward to your kind comments – just to remind read the rules how to join this contest&giveaway at the top of this article.

    This contest will be closed officially after a week on December 27, when I will announce all the winners!

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