Starting a business is not easy. It can be fun, exciting and scary.
I started Creative Juices in 1981. I was a mere child. There was no internet. There was no Mac. There was little competition.
Today life is much more complicated for small business owners. There are lots of things to be aware of. I’m going to list a few of the ones directly related your business image.
This is only a tiny bit of information to help get you started, graphically speaking. There’s a whole lot of other stuff you should know. My goal is to help you get your business going in the right direction.
You can never have too much information (or can you?!) Check out the following business related articles:
Here’s the latest digital media and social marketing news from Mashable:
This is part of my new series of article collections. I regularly read the latest RSS feeds from blogs related to business marketing, such as Entrepreneur, Blogging Tips, Anthony Morrison and ProBlogger. In today’s busy world it’s often difficult to find time to read.
But modern technology came to the rescue. I have my iPhone, iPad and Kindle to help me catch up with my daily search for news. My favorite place to read is while exercising on the StairMaster at the gym. Every day I climb and read for an hour. Not only do I stay healthy but I get to read uninterrupted.
The following articles cover ways to be a successful business owner by boosting year end sales, how to utilize Google+ pages for your company, how to store your data in the cloud, how to advance your website’s SEO (search engine optimization) through social marketing, and how to stay out of trouble if you’re a blogger. Let me know what you think.
Here are some helpful business marketing articles I’ve found interesting:
If you use WordPress to design your own website, checkout Premise:
Get Premise Ultimate for only $95.
Copyblogger Media just released version 1.2 of their Premise landing page software for WordPress, and it includes lots of cool new features and refinements.
Most impressive of all is the introduction of an innovative 8th landing page type — the social sharing page.
Premise Ultimate usually goes for $165, as it gives you:
1. All the landing pages you can build
2. Use on as many domains as you want
3. Access to ongoing optimization seminars
4. Copywriting advice from inside WordPress
5. 1,100+ custom graphics by Rafal
6. Unlimited technical support
7. Unlimited updates (you’ll thank yourself for this next year)
During their Thanksgiving sale, you can get Premise Ultimate for only $95. Yes, really.
Just use the code THANKS when you check out and you’ll save $70 on the best landing page software available for WordPress.
This deal ends promptly at 7:00 pm Pacific time on Monday, November 28, 2011. Hurry up and get Premise Ultimate before they come to their senses!
I regularly check out RSS feeds from Entrepreneur Magazine and other business related sites. Topics will range from running your business to marketing, social media, website design and blogging.
Check back often to my blog. You never know what you will find.
Enjoy reading these articles this Thanksgiving week.
I believe blogging is an excellent way to increase traffic to your business website. The following books can help.
Why not buy yourself or someone you love a Kindle Touch for the holidays.
Once upon a time, in the late 1970′s, I used to run a typesetting machine. It was an old Compugraphic Imagewriter, a blue electronic box with a typewriting keyboard and a display screen consisting of a single line of type. The type was all caps. A simple arrow let you know if the type was in lower or upper case.
To typeset a job you had to visualize the entire layout in your head. Or you could sketch it out, if you were so inclined. And here’s the fun part, every time you wanted to change the font, you had to open the machine and change a film strip. Each font was on a different film strip, which had to be carefully attached to a roller of sorts. And they were expensive.
Even more fun, there was no memory beyond what you were currently working on. As soon as you set the machine to process the text to film or photo paper, it was gone. Yes, GONE.
Once a job was printed out it could be pasted up on a job board, using hot wax. Corrections and changes had to be entirely re-typed and pasted up.
For graphic design companies this was great news. It meant few people would be able to design, typeset and create their own ads, flyers, forms, brochures, business cards, etc. When you wanted these products you would visit the printer or graphic arts studio.
Times have changed. Now all you have to do is turn on your iMac or similar PC type machine, select any one of hundreds or thousands of free templates and “create” your own, unique artwork. Changes are easily made and printing is at a touch of a button. Just remember, though. Free is not always better. If you truly want a professional, unique website, logo or design project, call Chuck at 310-791-5803. Just saying.
The dictionary describes a font as “a set of type of one particular face and size”.
Fonts are a breeze. Hundreds are included free with almost any program and thousands are available online, also for free. Just search and download.
Here are just some of my favorite places for finding free type fonts. Most have Windows and Mac versions.
Everybody loves Doris Day. The 1950s was a great time. Business was booming, as were babies. I was born in that era. Relive the nostalgia of the 1950s with a perky script font that says Doris Day.
Daily Free Fonts The free font archive (TTF fonts for free and cool fonts)!
Famous Fonts Lot of famous fonts from TV, Movies, Music, Publications, Games, Companies, Automobiles, Sports and more.
Fontspace Free fonts from designers around the world.
MadTuts Fonts and inspiration for designers.
SearchFreeFonts The name says it all.
Urban Fonts Lots of free fonts for your use.
dafonts A great collection of free fonts covering many themes.
1001 Free Fonts You’ll never run out of fonts at this site.
Let me know if you have a favorite free font website.
Sign up for our free Juicy Newsletter. Look for lots of fun, useful and fabulous tips on graphic design, marketing and business.
You Don’t Want to Look Cheap
To be a successful business you must have a web presence. Just having your name out there is not good enough. You need to showcase your products and services. You only get a few seconds to make an impression.
Here’s five things to look for when you shop around for a web designer and why cheap is not always a bargain.
A modern, clean, fully functioning and easy to navigate website says a lot about your business. Update your content and website regularly and you’ll increase your chances of getting noticed.
To that end, why not call (310-791-5803) or e-mail Chuck at Creative Juices house of design. We create websites that fit your personality, business and budget. And we’re friendly too. (Chihuahua kisses are optional).
It’s a common practice that the header image of most websites link back to the home page. People expect this.
What if you’re using Artisteer to create a WordPress template?
Here’s a simple way to link your header back to your home page.
(Before making any changes to the page.php code, copy the original code and save it someplace. If you mess up you can always return things to the way they were.)
1. Find the art for the header. It should be located in the wp-content folder in the theme folder under “images”. It would be called “header.jpg”.
Figure out the exact url for this image, or copy it to an easier location and upload it to your server. You will have to locate this exact url, either way.
2. Log into your wp-admin account.
3. Go to Appearance in your Admin page.
4. Click on Editor
5. Find “Page Template” (page.php) on the right hand side and click.
6. Look for the following highlighted code:
7. Replace this highlighted code with the new highlighted code below:
Make sure to use your own domain name as well as the entire url address of the header art. Also include the proper height and width.
8. Update the page template.
You should now be able to click on your header from any page and it will take you home.
If you see a little box with a ? in it, that means either you do not have the correct, exact url for the header image or you did not upload it to the server.
For more details check out the Artisteer Forum.
It’s called Doris Day, and is described as “a stylish little brush script from designer Mario Arturo”. This typeface was based on a 1940 book The ABC of Lettering by artist J.I. Biegeleisen. It includes both upper and lower case letters.
Great for those vintage 1950s designs you’ve been working on. Best used for large headlines, not so good for paragraph text, though. And it doesn’t include numbers.
If you love Doris Day as much as I do you’ll find this font a must have addition to your design collection. I have been a huge Doris Day fan since I first saw her movie Jumbo in 1962. I was a mere child. Since then I had the great pleasure of meeting Doris Day in person while volunteering at a few of her animal charities. She was very friendly and gave me her autograph.
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The days of showing pretty pictures and awesome special effects are over. People want information and they want it now. A good way to lose your audience is to have them wait for a Flash splash page to download.
Today it is important to fill your website with “useful” information. Write about what you know. Show your voice and passion. Explore how to do something in your field. Comment on related news events. Review products. Create a links page that points to related sites your audience might be interested in.
Include a blog on your website. This will allow you to regularly post information related to your business, product or service. Writing a series of articles greatly enhances your search engine optimization. People, and Google, like to know the site you have is current and relevant. Plus this is a great way to get people coming back to your site.
Your website should have an easy to understand navigation system. The look of your site should be clean and simple. The text should be large enough to read clearly and should be on a white or light background. Did you know white type on a black background is difficult to read? It strains your eyes. A lot of people click “next”.
Twitter is a great way to send out mini blasts of information. Facebook is great for social networking and letting people know about you and your business. LinkedIn is also a good place to have a business presence. YouTube is great for video tutorials and product reviews.
But all social networking should lead to your main website. This is where you have room to show what your business is all about and teach new things about your business.
Adding a pdf link to your WordPress page gives a link. But when you hit the link online sometimes a new page opens, usually with a comments box. You then have to press the link again.
Here’s an easy way to avoid that.
You will then have a link. Hitting the link will either bring up a dialog box asking to open or download the file or will do either of those depending on your browser’s preferences.