Most freelance web designers dread the unhappy client. Yet, eventually most of us will have to face one. Maybe that’s why there are so many posts out there about bad clients.
After all of your hard work and attempts to meet your client’s demands, the last thing you want to hear is that the client isn’t happy with the fruit of your hard work. You may even fear that the client won’t pay you.
Is there anything you can do about an unhappy client?
Yes, as a matter of fact, there are some steps you should take when your client is unhappy. In this post, I share five steps that you can go through to find out whether you can “fix” your relationship with an unhappy client.
Step 1: Review Your Web Design Agreement
Your first step is to look at your contract or work agreement. Review it carefully, paying extra attention to the scope and terms.
Situations like this are one reason why having a contract is a good idea. To learn more about web design contracts, read the post 5 Things to Include in Your Web Design Contracts.
As you read the contract, make sure that your completed web design actually meets the original scope (description of work) defined in your work agreement. If it does not, make a careful note of where the variations are.
Next, compare the reasons why the client is dissatisfied with the actual scope. Are they asking for new features? Again, make a careful not of any differences.
Finally, review the terms of the agreement. Did you meet the stated deadlines? Did you deliver the work in the manner specified?
As you review the agreement, also look at any phrases that the client might have misunderstood. Make a note of these too.
After you’ve completed a careful review of your work agreement, you’re ready to move on to Step 2.
Step 2: Admit Any Mistakes
If you did notice some areas of the scope that you did not fulfill, part of the problem may be yours. Don’t beat yourself up if this happens. Instead, stay calm. Everyone makes mistakes once in a while.
If the mistake was yours, admit it to yourself and to the client as soon as possible. Offer to fix the problem and do it quickly. If you’re gracious about it, most clients will understand.
However, if you’re sure that you didn’t make a mistake with the project, then you need to move on to Step 3.
Step 3: Point Out Changes
It’s not unusual for some clients to change their mind about what they want during the course of a web design project. The client may not even tell you that they’ve changed their mind until after you’ve turned the project in.
Sometimes the changes a client wants are minor and easy to implement. Other times they take a significant amount of time and effort. While you may be willing to make minor changes to a project, you should charge extra for large scope changes.
Now is the time to pull out your original agreement with the client and your notes. Point out what you both originally agreed to and mention the difference you discovered.
Here are some tips to help you approach the client about scope changes:
- Stay calm. Don’t approach the client in an angry or upset fashion. Refrain from name-calling and accusations. If you are upset, don’t contact the client until you can do so in a professional way.
- Listen carefully. Make sure that you have a clear idea of what the client actually wants and needs. You don’t want to make changes that aren’t really needed or wanted and you don’t want to misunderstand the client.
- Don’t assume the worst. The client isn’t necessarily trying to rip you off. The problem may simply be that the client doesn’t realize how much extra work it will take to make the requested changes.
Once you’ve discussed the changes with the client and you’re sure that you understand them, you’re ready to discuss the cost of those changes
Step 4: Ask for Additional Money
The client should expect to pay additional money for a large scope change to a project. I usually insert phrases in my work agreements like, “additional work will be billed at $xx.00 per hour” and “this quote only includes one round of minor revisions.”
Even without those phrases, you should still ask for more money. As long as your contract had a detailed description of scope of work and the client is clearly asking for things that are not included in that scope, you should be in a good position to negotiate for more money.
After you and the client agree on the cost of the changes, you should redo the contract or create a new one. Treat very large scope changes like a new project. Create a new contract listing the new scope and terms and get the client to sign off on it.
Step 5: Some People Can’t Be Pleased
If you’re sure you didn’t make any mistakes and if you’ve handled the matter as professionally as possible, things should go smoothly. Your relationship with the client is probably “fixed.”
However, there are always a few clients who won’t negotiate. Here are some possible reasons why:
- They could be accustomed to dealing with salaried employees. They don’t understand how important your time is or why you have to protect it.
- They could be embarrassed and not want to admit that they’re wrong. Some people have to always be right, even when they’re wrong. Such people are always hard to do business with.
- The may have misunderstood the original contract. In my profession, I’ve even dealt with a few clients who didn’t bother to read the contract before they signed it.
- They might really be trying to take advantage of you. They’re in the minority, but such people do exist and sometimes they hire freelance web designers.
Whatever the case, know that you’re not the problem. They are. Some clients can’t be pleased no matter what you do.
It may be time to cut your losses and fire the client.
State firmly exactly what additional work, if any, you’ll do for them. If you haven’t been paid, emphasize that you expect to be paid according to your original agreement. Repeat this as often as necessary until you get paid. Then, refuse any future projects from that client. In the long run, you’ll be better off.
How have you dealt with unhappy clients? Share your tips and suggestions in the comments.
How do you feel about accounting? How much do you even know about what kind of accounting records you need to keep?
If you’re like most web designers, Bookkeeping isn’t your favorite part of freelancing. But keeping accurate records is an important part of running a business.
It’s so important, in fact, that keeping good accounting records sometimes means the difference between freelancing success and freelancing failure.
Taxes are another reason why you need to keep good accounting records. If your records are sloppy, tax time will be a nightmare. (And you could wind up owing a lot of money.)
In this post, I share basic tips that freelance web designers and other freelancers should know about accounting. I also list five accounting packages to help web designers organize their bookkeeping tasks.
(Note: This post should not be considered specific accounting advice. The post is based on common United States accounting practices. If you have a specific accounting question about your own freelancing business, be sure to contact an accounting professional.)
Track Your Income
You must record all freelancing income, no matter how small. When it is time to pay taxes, you need to report all income, even if you don’t receive a 1099 form from a client.
Most freelancers who are sole proprietors (the most common form of freelancing business) will record income as they receive it. This is known as cash-basis accounting.
The alternative to tracking income on a cash basis is to track it on an accrual basis. Under an accrual basis, you recognize income as soon as you complete a project and bill a client. The income is considered accounts receivable until the client pays your bill when it is added to your cash account. (However, do not recognize income a second time when the client pays you.)
The most important thing to know here is that you must pick one method or the other and stick with it. If you recognize income on a cash basis one month, you can’t recognize it on an accrual basis the next. Very large businesses must use the accrual method.
If you are confused about which method to use, your accounting professional can help you choose the method that’s right for your business.
Track Your Expenses
As a small business owner, you must also record all expenses related to your freelance web design business. Record expenses on either a cash (as you receive the money) or an accrual basis (as the expense is incurred). You must use the same basis to record expenses that you used to record income.
Some freelancers are confused about what expenses they should record. A good rule of thumb is to record every expense that is specific to your freelancing business .
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but some of the expenses you should record include:
- Dues for professional organizations
- Health insurance (for some freelancers)
- Mileage for business-related travel
- Office supplies
- Telephone expenses
You need this information to determine whether you earned a profit with your freelancing business. You will also need the information (along with the income you received) for Schedule C of your tax form.
Set Money Aside for Taxes
One of the biggest surprises new freelance web designers face is the tax bill after their first year of freelancing.
If you’re coming from traditional employment, you may be used to having your employer withhold part of your pay to cover your income tax liability. This does not happen for freelancers. Not only that, the tax liability for freelancers also includes self-employment tax.
For the unprepared freelancer, the tax bill for the first year of freelancing can be in the thousands of dollars. That’s enough to put some new freelancers out of business.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Freelancers should arrange to pay estimated taxes quarterly to the IRS and to any local tax authorities. This divides what could be a huge tax bill into four more manageable pieces. Even if you end up owing at year-end, your tax liability won’t be as huge. Here’s a link to the IRS’s quarterly tax form for 2013. (You should also get quarterly tax forms from your state and local tax authorities.)
Of course, there are some deductions and credits specifically designed for the self-employed. For example, freelancers may also be able to take a home office deduction, which is capped at $1500 for the tax year 2013. If they have no other means of obtaining insurance, freelancers may also qualify to deduct health insurance premiums.
What If You Hired Someone?
Many freelancers hire other freelancers to work on specific projects during the year on a temporary contract basis. For example, a web designer might hire:
- A virtual assistant to catch up on routine office tasks
- A freelance writer to help write web copy for a large client
- Another web designer to help them meet a tight deadline
As a small business owner, carefully track the amounts that you pay to others. In January, you will need to send out a 1099-Misc form to each independent contractor who received more than $600 from you.
Of course, if you hired employees during the year, you have additional responsibilities. You will be responsible for sending out a W-2 to each employee. You will also need to withhold payroll taxes during the year. If you hired employees for your web design business, I highly recommend that you get professional accounting advice.
Accounting Tools for Web Designers
Does keeping accounting records for your freelance web design business sound like a lot of work? Well, it is.
Of course, you could use a spreadsheet to do your bookkeeping or even rely on pencil and paper to keep your records. But those methods leave a lot of room for error.
Fortunately, there are some tools that can help you keep up with your accounting tasks and still have time to run your web design business. Here is a list of relatively inexpensive accounting packages that freelancers may find useful (many offer a free trial):
- FreeAgent. UK-based accounting software launched in 2007. It does have a mobile app.
- Freshbooks. This is cloud-based accounting software was founded in 2003. There’s also a mobile app that will work on iOS or Android devices.
- LessAccounting. This is an accounting tool designed specifically for small businesses. They do have an iPhone app.
- OutRight. There is a free version of this accounting tool and a premium version. The company was acquired by GoDaddy in 2012.
- Xero. Xero is SaaS accounting software. It was founded in 2006 and is based in New Zealand.
How do you handle your accounting tasks?
We freelancers are well aware that there are bad clients out there. There have been plenty of posts describing how to identify a bad web design client or a bad web design project. We’ve even mentioned bad projects on this blog in this post for new freelancers. There are also plenty of posts encouraging freelancers to say “no” to bad clients.
However, there aren’t too many posts that explain how to turn bad work offers down. And turning work down is harder than you might think (as any freelancer who has ever accepted a bad project will tell you).
For one thing, we’re not used to turning work down. Everything about our business is geared towards finding clients and bringing them on board. Also, if you are accustomed to working in a traditional corporate environment, you’re probably not used to having the freedom to say “no” to a client or a project.
In this post, I provide ten ready (and truthful) responses you can give when you’re asked to do a project that’s not right for you. (Because, after all, you don’t want to spend too much time on projects you aren’t going to work on.)
Response #1: I’m Too Busy
Have you ever accepted work you shouldn’t have even though you’re already too busy? I know that I have.
It’s easy to say “yes” to a project when you should say “no” when you’re busy because:
- You may not take the time to really think about the project.
- You may not research the client.
- You may be feeling overly optimistic about your business.
If you’re busy, avoid answering an inquiry too quickly. Try to put the prospect off until you know you will have time to really consider what they are asking of you. Try saying something like:
“My schedule’s pretty full for the rest of the week. Can we discuss this on Monday?”
If you’ve had time to really consider the prospect and their project and you feel it isn’t for you, remember that being busy is a legitimate way to turn a project down.
Response #2: I’m Not the Best Freelancer for the Job
Sometimes you will be asked to do work outside of your freelancing specialty. It may be work you don’t know how to do or work you don’t have any interest in doing. You may be tempted to accept the work just to keep the client or prospect happy.
Don’t do it.
Almost every time I’ve accepted a project outside my specialty, I’ve regretted it. The best way to handle this is to let the client know that you don’t do this type of work. You can also use Response #6 and refer them to another freelancer.
Response #3: I Never Accept a Client without a Contract
This statement weeds out a lot of bad clients right away. You should make it a practice never to do work for a new client without a contract or work agreement.
If a prospect refuses to put your agreement into writing there’s usually a reason for that. 9 times out of 10, that reason isn’t a good one.
Response #4: I Never Start Work without a Down Payment
New freelancers are sometimes hesitant to ask a client for money before a project begins. However, there’s really no reason not to ask for a down payment. Professionals in many fields (including web design) already ask for prepayment.
When combined with a contract, a prepayment is nothing that a client should be afraid of. A prepayment shows good faith on the client’s part. I also make the prepayment one of the terms of my contract–as in, the work can start when the prepayment is received.
Having this policy also tends to weed out a lot of bad clients. If they hesitate to make a prepayment, they may not really be committed to the project. They may even be planning to rip you off later.
Response #5: I Charge (Ridiculously High) Amount
Personally, I don’t recommend this response. However, I’ve seen it discussed in blog posts and on forums. So, it is worth mentioning.
The main problem with this approach to saying “no” is that the client might agree to pay the ridiculously high amount. If they do, then what will you do?
Before using this approach, ask yourself if the additional pay is worth taking on a potentially troublesome project. If it is, at least you’ll be well compensated.
Response #6: Refer Them to Someone Else
It’s a good idea for freelance web designers to build a network of freelance professionals whose skills complement your own. That way, when a client asks you to write web copy you can send them to a competent writer. Likewise, if they need some programming done, you can point them to a good programmer.
Ask your contacts in related fields whether they would mind if you occasionally sent work to them. Also ask them whether they would mind referring any clients who need web design work to you.
Response #7: I Never Work for Less than $X
This is another response that tends to filter out the bad clients. In particular, this eliminates those who are trying to get by with paying very little.
Using this approach is simple. When you quote a price to this client, they typically respond by trying to get you to quote a lower price. That’s when to say:
“I never work for less than $X”
End of story. Then, it’s up to the client to decide whether they want to pay you what you’re worth.
Response #8: What You’re Asking For Isn’t Possible
You’ve probably been asked by a client to do something that really can’t be done. There are typically two reasons why something can’t be done:
- The tools don’t support it. For example, a client may ask you to design a website and request that the website users smell fresh-baked cookies each time they access the site. With current technology and tools, this isn’t possible.
- There’s a legal or ethical problem with doing it. For example, a client may ask you to design a social media platform exactly like Twitter. Well, of course there’s a legal problem with making a site that duplicates another site.
Either way, you need to be honest with the client. If tools don’t support what they are asking, let them know. If there’s likely to be a legal problem, they need to understand that as well.
Response #9: No Response
What most freelance web designers don’t realize is that no response can be a way of saying “no.”
Typically, I respond to all serious requests for projects. But some requests seem a little spammy to me. The sender may address me generically (as though they have sent out a bulk mail) or the request might seem a bit like a scam.
I tend to ignore spammy or scammy inquiries, and you can do the same.
Response #10: I’m Sorry, I Can’t Help You
Don’t forget that you don’t have to give an elaborate reason for saying “no” to a prospective client.
You may be going through a personal crisis that you don’t want to share, but that will keep you from working. Or, it might be too inconvenient to draft a longer response (such as when you’re traveling).
One of the perks of freelancing is that you can say “no” to work that you don’t want to do, so don’t be afraid to exercise that perk.
Have you come up with another way to say “no” to web design projects you don’t want to do? Share your responses in the comments.
Are you independent? A self-starter? Do you love to be in complete control of your projects?
If you just read that and you thought “yes…yes…yes,” then you have a lot in common with many other freelance web designers.
We freelancers are known for our independent ways. We tend to be self-starters. And one of the big pulls for many of us is the chance to exercise more control over our work.
Do-it-yourself can be a good way to run a freelancing business…for a while. But eventually, there will come a time when you can’t handle everything you have to do. This post will help you deal with that time.
In this post, I’ll explain when you need to look into getting some help. I’ll also discuss the pros and cons of five alternatives to doing everything yourself.
When to Get Help
There are times when you can’t do everything yourself. It may go against your natural inclination, but you know it’s time to get help when you:
- Consistently have more work than you can do
- Don’t have the skill set to do all or part of project
- Face an unexpected crisis
- Need to schedule time off, but can’t due to your heavy workload
- Could accept more work, but don’t have the time to do it
- Would like to grow your business larger
If you can relate to one or more of the previous bullet points, it may be time to move away from doing everything yourself. It may be time to get someone to help you with your web design business.
No matter which help alternative you choose, it’s a good idea to formalize your agreement with your helper in the form of a written work agreement or contract. Make sure to spell out who is responsible for what and how finances (and in particular, pay) will be handled.
Option #1: Find a Partner
The first option to doing everything yourself is to find a partner. You can team up with another freelance professional on a long-term basis, or you can team up for a project or two. (The first choice involves changing the structure of your business.)
There are several advantages to working with a partner:
- It provides another set of eyes to review work.
- The partner’s skills may complement your own.
- Now two people are marketing the business.
- It expands your professional network.
- There’s increased accountability when someone else is involved.
However, you also need to consider these potential problems with having a partner:
- Your partner may disagree on major issues.
- The partnership work may not be shared equitably.
- Circumstances may change for one or more partners.
When partnerships work well, they can be wonderful. At the same time, when they fail it can be devastating for both partners. Nearly everyone knows some friends who got along great–until they started working together.
Option #2: Outsource It
A partnership is not the only way to go if you are thinking of sharing some of your workload. Outsourcing is another alternative.
Here on Vandelay Design Blog, we’ve discussed the pros and cons of outsourcing in detail in the post titled Pros and Cons of Outsourcing.
A few additional points to consider if you decide to outsource all or part of a project include:
- Price the project high enough so that you can afford to hire someone else.
- Allow yourself time enough to manage the project. This includes answering questions from both the client and the worker you hire.
- Select your workers very, very carefully. Review their portfolio and any testimonials they have.
- Thoroughly review all work before you turn it over to the client to ensure quality.
- Pay enough for the project to attract quality workers.
- Turnover tends to be high among those who do outsourced work, so plan on hiring fairly often.
- If you go through a job board to find your candidates, remember that some boards charge a percentage to applicants.
- Depending on how much you pay your contractor and where you live, you may need to send out a 1099 form at the end of the year.
Option #3: Collaborate
Another alternative to doing everything yourself is collaboration. With collaboration, you work closely with another professional in your field to complete a project.
The other professional may be someone selected by the client, or even one of the client’s employees.
For collaboration to work smoothly, be sure to clarify who is responsible for each aspect of the project before your start. Communication is key to collaboration. So make sure to communicate with your collaborator(s) clearly and accurately. You may also need to schedule some additional time for group meetings.
Here are some advantages of collaborating:
- A good team may come up with better and more inspired work than an individual.
- The right collaborators will stimulate each other’s creativity.
- There are many great tools out there to make collaboration even easier.
A couple of disadvantages to be careful about:
- Personality conflicts
- Who gets credit for the work
- Getting stalled
Option #4: Hire Someone
A more permanent solution to not doing everything yourself, is to hire someone (like a virtual assistant) to help you. This is a good idea if you find yourself bogged down by routine tasks.
Here are some advantages to hiring an employee:
- Frees you up to work on higher level tasks directly related to your profession
- May increase your freelancing income as you take on more billable hours
- Allows you to spend more time on personal projects or with friends and family
- Can provide you with peace of mind that tasks you dislike are getting done
However, there are some disadvantages:
- You’ll need to pay an employee even when things are slow.
- In the U.S., you’ll have to deal with some tax issues (such as withholding tax and sending out a W-2 form).
Option #5: Give a Referral
A final option to doing everything yourself is to refer some work to other freelancers. This is a particularly good option if you are asked to do something outside of your field.
The advantages to giving a referral include:
- Maintains good will with a client or potential client
- The other freelancer may eventually return the favor
Of course, the disadvantage to sending work elsewhere is that you do not typically receive any income from work you refer to others. For that reason, many freelancers are hesitant to do it. (Rarely, one freelancer may pay another a small finder’s fee for referred work.)
Are you a DIY freelancer or have you turned to others to get help? Did I forget any advantages or disadvantages?
Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.
As web designer, you already work hard. You may feel that you’re doing all that you can possibly do. And that’s perfectly all right.
But many freelancers are taking on side projects–sometimes for fun, and sometimes for money.
Besides the obvious opportunity to earn extra money, there are several reasons why you might want to start a side project:
- Gives you something other than your work to think about
- Helps you meet people with similar interests
- Keeps you busy during the slow periods
- Provides the opportunity to learn new things
In this post, we’ll describe thirteen side projects you might want consider starting. These are all projects you can work on at your own pace. Put as little or as much effort into them as you wish.
Project #1: Write an eBook
Many freelancers choose to write an eBook. This especially true for web designers who also have some writing ability. Or, you can hire a professional writer to help you put your ideas in book form.
If you write an eBook about web design, it could help your freelance business by:
- Enhancing your authority in your field.
- Connecting you with colleagues.
- Bolstering your online reputation.
You may choose to sell your eBook, or you may wish to give it away as a free premium on your website in order to build your mailing list. If you want to publish your eBook on Amazon, you’ll find The Ultimate Guide to Publishing Your eBook on Amazon’s Kindle Platform from Paul Jun on CopyBlogger to be helpful.
Project #2: Sell a Premium Theme
Creating and selling premium themes puts your web design skills to use and can earn you some extra money. This is a very popular side gig with freelance web designers.
The main advantage is that you create a high quality premium WordPress theme once, and it has the potential to earn you money for months (although you may need to upgrade your theme from time to time). This is especially true if your theme becomes popular.
The disadvantage, of course, is that there are already a lot of premium WordPress themes on the market. Your theme may never get noticed.
You can sell your WordPress theme from your own site, of course. Or you may want to use a popular marketplace like ThemeForest or MojoThemes. If you use a marketplace, be sure to read the fine print. Most WordPress marketplaces take a percentage of your sales income.
Project #3: Serve as a Coach or Mentor
Coaching can be side gig, or even an alternate career path. Many entry-level freelance web designers are looking for someone who they can trust to get their careers started.
If you have years of successful experience as a web designer, you may be able to help someone who is just getting started in the field by serving as an official or unofficial mentor.
Coaching or mentoring can help you meet others in your field. It can also help to build your authority as an expert in your field.
Project #4: Give a Webinar or Training Session
If you like helping others, you might also wish to consider giving a webinar or training session. Online training sessions are popular, and many freelancers are willing to pay to enhance their skills.
You might even be able to develop a course and sell it over and over again. And of course, training others enhances your own professional reputation as an expert in your field.
Some tools to help you present a webinar include:
Project #5: Start a Subscription-Only Site
One way that some freelancers earn extra money is by starting a subscription-only site. Members pay a small monthly amount to access premium information like training, interviews with experts and other high-quality resources.
While owning a subscription site may seem like a good way to earn extra money, keep in mind that you need to provide value to sell memberships. Consider carefully what information and services your site will provide for members. Make sure to allow yourself enough time to maintain and update the site.
Project #6: Start a For-Profit Blog
If you love blogging and are willing to update your blog often, you may be able to start a for-profit blog.
The truth is that most for-profit blogs are owned by organizations that can afford to hire a team of writers. Most blogs do not earn a profit. However, that does not mean that it’s impossible to make a profit from blogging.
Blog owners typically earn money through selling advertisements on their blogs. However, you must have a fairly large reader base to attract advertisers. They can also earn money by selling products through their blog (affiliate sales).
Keep in mind that there is more to blogging for money than just updating your blog with new information. You must also promote your blog. This likely means having a very active social media presence. You may even need to advertise on other blogs or submit guest posts to popular blogs to attract a larger audience.
Project #7: Buy and Sell Collectibles
Many freelancers love to collect things. Buying and selling can make a great side gig, especially if you’ve studied and know which pieces are valuable and which are not.
The choice of what to collect is almost unlimited. For example, all of the following are popular with collectors:
- Rare books
The trick is to specialize mainly in one type of collectible so that you can learn all about it.
If you decide collectibles will be your side gig, be prepared to spend some time at thrift stores, swap meets, and garage sales. You can also look for deals online on sites like eBay.
Project #8: Make and Sell Crafts
You’re a web designer, so you’re probably pretty creative.
Do you also make craft items? If so, you may be able to turn your creations into extra cash. Handmade crafts are popular gift items.
Two sites that are popular with crafters looking to sell their artwork are:
Project #9: House-Sit for Friends
This is a side-gig that takes practically no effort on your part. It’s also ideal for single freelancers or students who live in a small apartment.
Many vacationers prefer to have someone stay in their home while they are gone. This discourages break-ins and the house-sitter can also pick up the mail and make sure that routine maintenance tasks (such as watering houseplants) are done.
All you need to do is let your friends and family know that you are willing to house-sit while they are on vacation or traveling. If you’re serious about house-sitting, you can sign up with a service like HouseSitters America or MindMyHouse.
Be sure to specify that you must have access to an Internet connection. It’s up to you to decide if you are also willing to watch the homeowner’s pets while you are house-sitting.
People are often willing to pay a daily amount to make sure that their property is safe while they are gone. Just be sure to get any agreement between you in writing.
Project #10: Raise Animals
If you love animals (and have the space), you may want to raise animals on the side.
Which animals you decide to raise is totally up to you. If you have a lot of outdoor space (and if it is allowed where you live), you could raise farm animals such as chickens or even horses.
You could also raise pets. For some animals, such as purebred dogs, you can also show your animals in competitions.
If you choose this side gig, be sure to check the laws where you live. Many areas have restrictions on the number of animals that can live at one location.
Project #11: Start a Garden
Freshly grown produce is a great way to enhance any meal. Imagine your favorite recipes, with fruit and vegetables you grew yourself.
Or, you may choose to grow flowers.
Many people also claim that gardening reduces stress.
Project #12: Take Up Digital Photography
Do you love to take pictures? Are people always complimenting you on your photographs?
Digital photography might be the side gig for you. You may be able to sell your photographs through your site, or even sell products (such as tee shirts and mugs) that feature your photographs.
Just remember, digital cameras are extremely popular. So, if you are trying to earn money by selling your photographs, expect the competition to be fierce.
Project #13: Volunteer for a Cause
You won’t earn money through volunteer work, but you can get a non-monetary reward from knowing that you did something to make a difference in the world.
Volunteering is also a great way to build your social network.
The important thing to remember about a side gig is to pick something you enjoy. That way even if you didn’t earn much, at least you had fun.
Do you have a side gig? What is it?
You may think that as a freelance web designer you don’t need to worry about public speaking. What you don’t know is that there are plenty of speaking opportunities for web designers. Here are just a few of them:
- Professional organizations
- Client presentations
With all of these opportunities, public speaking is great addition to your marketing arsenal. It’s also a good way to establish yourself as an expert in your field.
The fact is that giving a talk in public is good for business. Yet many web designers have no idea how to make a presentation.
In this post, I’ll take you through the public speaking process and give you tips to get you through each step–a total of 16 tips in all.
What you do before your speech is almost as important as the speech itself. Preparation is 90% of the effort. If you’re not prepared, your audience will be able to tell.
Here are five tips to help you prepare for your speech:
- Know your topic. Choose a topic that you are already familiar with, but don’t stop there. Spend some time catching up on the latest changes and trends for your subject matter. If you will be demonstrating a software tool, spend some time with the software.
- Organize your speech. Don’t try to speak off the top of your head. Even if you are very comfortable with the topic, you need to organize your thoughts. It’s too easy to ramble or lose your place if you don’t. An outline of your main points is a good way to get organized.
- Prepare visuals. Presentation software like Microsoft PowerPoint or SlideShare can help you add visuals to your presentation. A benefit of using visuals is that it takes the focus away from you. You can also use the presentation software to create handouts for your audience.
- Practice. It’s a good idea to run through your talk several times before you present it. If you can do it in front of a friend or family member, that’s great. If not, try giving your speech in front of a mirror. Be sure to time yourself to make sure that your presentation is not too long or too short.
- Dress appropriately. You want to convey a professional appearance, but not appear overdressed. If you are a member of the organization where you will make the presentation, you may already have an idea of the right things to wear. Otherwise, ask.
Once you’ve prepared your speech, you’re ready to give it. The first step in giving a speech is the opening.
Breaking the Ice
Don’t worry if you’re a little nervous. That’s normal. Traditional advice says to picture your audience in their underwear to overcome stage fright, but that doesn’t always work. A better tactic is to pick two or three spots (such as pictures) on the back wall, directly behind the last row, and give your talk to those spots. The audience won’t really know that you aren’t looking at them.
The first thing you need to do when giving a speech is engage the audience. Here are three tips to help you break the ice:
- Humor. Telling a joke is the traditional method of warming an audience up. This works great if you’re good at telling jokes (keep it clean, of course), but not everyone can tell a joke effectively.
- Location. Another method of warming an audience up is to comment on the location. For example, if you’ve travelled away from your hometown to give the presentation, comment on how much you like a local attraction.
- Weather. If you’re totally at a loss on how to open your presentation, you can always make a few comments on the weather. Nearly everyone in your audience will be able to relate to your reaction to rain, heat, or cold.
Once you’ve got your audience’s attention, it’s time to move on to the main portion of your talk.
The Body of Your Speech
As you move into your main topic, remember the following:
- Stay calm. Sometimes the transition between your opening and your main topic can be difficult. Remember to stay calm. Breath slowly and regularly. Don’t speak too quickly.
- Use notes. You don’t want to read your speech verbatim, but you also don’t want to forget what you were going to say. I recommend using an outline of your main topics.
- Not too long. Make sure that your speech is not too long. If there’s not a clock on the back wall, ask someone to silently signal you when you have five minutes left.
- Break it up. If you’ve been assigned a fairly long time slot, break it up with visual aids and handouts. If you can think of ways for the audience to participate, that’s good too.
Once you’ve completed the main portion of your speech, you are ready to wrap it up.
The closing can be one of the most important parts of your talk. Sometimes it is the main thing that your audience remembers about your presentation after they leave, so it is important to plan it carefully.
Here are four elements to include in your closing:
- Summary. Your summary is simple. Just list the main points that you just made in your presentation.
- Call to action. If you would like the audience to do something (such as buy your product), ask them to do it.
- Questions and answers. Set a limited amount of time aside at the end of your speech to answer any questions that the audience may have.
- Thanks. Last, but not least, thank your host for inviting you to give your talk. Thank the audience for spending the time to listen to you.
Public speaking is truly a skill that improves with practice. The more often you speak in public, the better at it you will be. With practice, you will also become more comfortable preparing and giving presentations.
There are several ways to gain experience as a public speaker. Here are two of them:
- Toastmasters International. This is an international organization dedicated to improving the public speaking skills of its members. Once you join, you will be given opportunities to speak in public and also receive constructive feedback.
- Community College. You can also take a public speaking course at a local college. You will be assigned an instructor who will teach you the basics of public speaking and who will grade your presentations.
Have you added public speaking to your skillset? If so, how has your freelance business benefited? Share your thoughts in the comments.
This post was originally published in 2007, but since then much has changed in the world of internet marketing. As a result, most of the content and options listed in the original post were no longer relevant. We’ve totally revamped this post and started from scratch. If you’re looking for some ideas on how to monetize your website or blog, take a look at the topics and resources listed here and I think you’ll find some great options.
One of the most popular methods of monetizing a site or blog is to sell advertising space, usually banner ads. You could manage this manually, but it is much more efficient to either use a network or a plugin/resource that will automate much of the process.
1. BuySellAds – A popular network that manages advertising for publishers and advertisers.
2. BuySellAds Pro – A professional-grade advertising solution from BSA.
3. OIO Publisher – Probably the oldest and most-used WordPress plugin ($47) for managing ad sales.
4. WP AdCenter – A popular and comprehensive ad management plugin for WordPress ($49).
5. AdSanity – Another popular and feature-rich WordPress plugin ($29) for managing ads.
6. AdPress – A premium WordPress plugin ($35) with advanced ad management features.
7. Banner Manager Pro – A WordPress plugin ($18) for selling and managing banner ads on your site.
8. The Deck – An long standing invite-only ad network that targets the web design industry.
9. Carbon – An invite-only ad network, now owned by BSA, that focuses on the design and development industries.
10. Fusion Ads – Also and invite-only network that is owned by BSA targeting the creative community.
11. Yoggrt – Another invite-only network from BSA that targets the creative community.
12. Smaato – Mobile advertising network.
Placing ads within the content of your pages is also an option.
13. AdSense – Google’s contextual advertising solution is one of the easiest ways to monetize a website or blog.
14. Vibrant – In-text, in-image, and display ads.
15. Infolinks – Infolinks is a popular option for in-text ads.
16. Kontera – A contextual advertising solution that has been around for years.
17. Result Links – Focusing on in-text ads.
18. Yahoo Bing Network Contextual Ads – Contextual ads powered by Media.net.
19. Clicksor – They offer inline text ads, banners, popunders, and more.
Affiliate programs can be extremely lucrative to top earners, and one of the great perks is that there are affiliate programs available in just about any industry or niche you can imagine. You can sign up to promote specific products by joining the affiliate program of particular companies or websites, but large networks also represent a huge number of companies and products. Affiliate networks make it a little bit easier to manage because you can get all of your links and stats in one place, plus payouts for all programs within the network will be combined.
20. CommissionJunction – A huge network with options to promote products in just about any industry.
21. ClickBank – The leading affiliate network exclusively for digital products.
22. Amazon Associates – While it’s not really a network, Amazon sells so many different products that their affiliate program can be used by just about any website or blog.
23. ShareASale – Another large affiliate network with many products to promote on your site.
24. ClickBooth – Offer CPA and CPC options.
25. LinkShare – A major affiliate network that represents many leading brands.
26. Neverblue – Another popular affiliate network with a lot of options.
Selling products at your own website is one of the best ways to take your monetization to the next level. Here are some great resources for getting your own shop setup.
27. Shopify – A super-popular and feature-rich hosted e-commerce platform.
28. BigCommerce – Another popular and feature-rich e-commerce option.
29. Highwire – A hosted e-commerce platform that includes features like selling on Ebay and Facebook.
30. Magento – An extremely popular open-source e-commerce platform.
31. osCommerce – Another popular open-source option.
32. DPD – A simple e-commerce system that is great for selling digital products.
33. E-Junkie – A popular option for selling digital products, although you can use it for tangible products as well.
34. WooCommerce – The leading free WordPress plugin for e-commerce. You can purchase option add-ons from their store to add specific functionality.
35. WP e-Commerce – Another popular free WordPress plugin with premium add-ons available.
36. Cart66 – A premium WordPress e-commerce plugin. They also offer Cart66 Cloud which is a combination of a WordPress plugin and hosted e-commerce.
37. Easy Digital Downloads – A free WordPress plugin for selling digital products.
38. Gumroad – Gumroad makes it easy to sell your digital products.
Launch Your Own Affiliate Program
If you sell your own products, adding an affiliate program is an effective way to increase sales exponentially. You’ll allow others to promote your products in exchange for a commission on any sales that they refer. Most affiliate software options offer many of the same features, so I won’t list details, but here are several options.
WordPress Affiliate Plugins
If you use WordPress for your website there are a number of plugins that can help for setting up your affiliate program.
- 44. Affiliates (free)
- 45. Affiliates Pro ($50)
- 46. WPMU DEV Affiliates ($19)
- 47. Affiliate Royale ($85)
- 48. Magic Affiliate ($89)
Selling memberships is another excellent monetization option. You can generate recurring revenue by offering members access to exclusive content or resources.
49. aMember – The most popular software for managing membership websites ($179.95), aMember integrates with a wide variety of CMSs and platforms.
50. Wishlist Member – Probably the most popular WordPress plugin ($97) for managing a membership website.
51. Restrict Content Pro – A solid membership plugin for WordPress ($42) that doesn’t include extensive features but is very user-friendly.
52. Member Mouse – A robust membership plugin for WordPress (starts at $19.95 per month).
53. MemberWing – Another membership plugin for WordPress ($199.95).
There are also a few resources that help you to make money by selling access to premium content on your site or blog.
54. Pivotshare – Sell premium video content.
55. TinyPass – Build a revenue stream based on payment for access to premium content.
56. Cleeng – Sell premium content including videos, e-books, live events, and newspapers.
Sponsored reviews and blog posts used to be more popular a few years ago, but there are still some options for leveraging your blog to make money from publishing sponsored content.
57. PostJoint – Accept paid content for your blog.
58. SponsoredReviews – Get connected with advertisers looking to pay for blog reviews.
59. SocialSpark – A marketplace find advertisers who want you to review their products.
60. Giveaway.ly – Make money by hosting sponsored giveaways.
Hosting Affiliate Programs
One easy way to make a little extra money is to join the affiliate program of whatever company is hosting your website. Almost every host offers an affiliate program and you can place an ad or link on your site that says “hosted by ABC Company”. If you’re looking for a new host you may want to consider one that has a great affiliate program.
61. Bluehost – A very popular host with an extremely popular and effective affiliate program.
62. HostGator – Another leading host with a generous affiliate program.
63. WPEngine – They specialize in managed WordPress hosting and they feature a high affiliate commission for referrals.
64. MediaTemple – A leader in the hosting industry with a potentially-lucrative affiliate program.
65. Eleven2 – Our current host also offers an affiliate program.
Add a Job Board to Your Website
Another option is to create an industry-specific job board on your site, and charge companies to post a job listing to be seen by your audience. The following options will all make it easy to setup your own job board.
Create and Sell Access to Online Courses
Online training and education is a huge industry. You can leverage the expertise and reputation that you have developed by creating and selling your own courses.
- 70. Udemy
- 71. OpenSesame
- 72. Digital Chalk
- 73. Pathwright
- 74. MindBites
- 75. ProProfs
- 76. Course Merchant
Many bloggers also publish podcasts, and podcasts offer some additional opportunities for ad revenue and sponsorships.
77. Podtrac – Podtrac connects podcasters and advertisers.
You can sell products via auction using these WordPress plugins and themes.
WordPress Plugin for Monetizing a Site
For those of you who are using WordPress, there are a number of plugins that don’t fit perfectly into any of the categories before. Each of these plugins has it’s own unique functionality that helps you to make money in some way.
81. Sabai Directory – This plugin ($25) allows you to add a directory to your site, and it integrates with PayPal to accept payment for directory listings.
82. Page Peel Pro – Use page peel ads on your site with this plugin ($13).
83. WP Adshare Revenue – Use this plugin ($10) to share AdSense revenue with authors and editors. It’s a great way to encourage others to produce content for your site.
84. Advert Flap Pro – Create unobtrusive ads that will get your visitors attention by using this plugin ($13).
85. Interstitial Ads – Use this plugin ($18) to show ads that your users will see between pageviews.
86. Wp-Insert – A free plugin that will insert ads into specific locations within your content.
87. Google AdSense – A free plugin that makes it easy to implement AdSense into your WordPress website or blog.
88. WP Auto Affiliate Links – This free plugin will automatically create affiliate links within your content based on keywords and affiliate programs of your choice.
89. Amazon eStore Affiliates Plugin – Use this plugin ($31) to build a store featuring Amazon products.
90. Paid Downloads Pro – Sell any digital content easily with this plugin ($18).
91. Social Deals Engine – This plugin ($15) allows you to get daily deal site functionality, and it integrates with WooCommerce.
92. FooBar – Add a notification bar with this plugin ($14) to get more attention for an affiliate link or a link to one of your own products.
93. attentionGrabber – Another popular plugin ($12) for adding a notification bar.
94. WP Header Bar – This plugin ($13) allows you to create responsive notification bars with a lot of different features.
95. Nice Notifications – A notification bar plugin ($14) with a drag-and-drop composer.
96. WP Pre Post Advertising – This plugin ($10) shows an ad before the actual post/page. The ad includes a countdown and when it reaches 0 the page/post will be shown.
97. 5sec Link Remover – This plugin ($8) allows you to show links only to registered/paid users.
98. Pretty Link Lite – A free plugin (premium version also available) that is great for shortening your affiliate links.
99. Simple URLs – Another free plugin for creating shortened links.
100. WP125 – This free plugin allows you to manage and rotate banner ads.
101. AdRotate – A free plugin for managing ad spots on your blog. A pro version is also available.
What’s Your Experience?
Please feel free to share your own preferences and experiences in the comments.
When designing a website, one of the most common challenges is to develop an effective color scheme. In many cases the sites color scheme will be determined, or at least influenced, by the existing branding of the company. However, when you’re facing decisions on color there are plenty of options. While it is always an important part of the design, color can be used to make a website stand out and attract attention.
Here you’ll find 25 examples of web designs that use a lot of color.
For more design inspiration please see:
For those who primarily focus on web design, designing for print can be a little bit intimidating at first. If you’ve been wanting to design your own business cards but have been hesitant to make the jump to designing for print, you may find it to be helpful to follow a tutorial. There are a lot of tutorials available that will lead you through the process of designing a print-ready business card. Following a few tutorials will teach you the basics, and then of course you can use that knowledge to create a more personalized design of your own.
Here you’ll find 25 different tutorials (for Photoshop, Illustration, and even InDesign) that teach the essentials of business card design.
To see some great business cards please see:
Business cards are a great resource for anyone looking to market or promote their business. While social media, blogging, and online marketing get most of the attention these days, some old-school in-person networking can also do wonders, and business cards are an essential resource for effective networking.
If you need to save some time or don’t have the experience to design your own cards, templates can be a great option. Many printing companies offer templates to choose from (although the quality will vary greatly), and you can also find others available from different sources. In this post we’ll feature 33 templates, 10 are free and 23 are premium. The premium templates generally cost less than $10 and can be well worth the expense.
Free Business Card Templates:
For business card design inspiration please see:
Do you have a dream of selling an app you designed? Maybe you want to publish a book about web design? Maybe you’d like to turn your freelancing design business into a full-fledged agency?
What’s the biggest obstacle to your taking the next big step towards your dreams?
Often the obstacle to following your career dreams is money. It can take money to really develop a good business idea and make it a reality. Sometimes it takes a lot of money.
Finding money for a startup or a new venture used to be hard. Either you had to convince a bank to loan you money, you had to find an investor, or you had to finance your idea yourself.
Fortunately, there’s another way to obtain funding for your dream.
While it’s still a lot of work, many entrepreneurs are making use of crowdfunding sites. Crowdfunding sites allow a large number of people to contribute small amounts towards a project.
In this post, I list sixteen crowdfunding sites for web designers and other freelancers with a dream.
List of Crowdfunding Sites
If you’re looking for funding for your idea, here is a list of crowdfunding sites you may want to check out (in alphabetical order):
- Appbackr. This crowdfunding site reaches out to the developers of mobile phone apps. There are two parts to the site. Xchange is the portion of the site that allows developers to market their apps wholesale. Marketplace lets developers can obtain crowdfunding for their apps.
- Appsfundr. This international site also provides crowdfunding for app developers. Developers can also pitch their app to industry experts from this site. The site partners with a marketplace where developers can buy and sell code.
- Appsplit. This site actually offers three different services to app developers: crowdfunding, a marketplace where apps can be sold, and a way to connect to talented developers.
- Bolstr. This crowdfunding site allows investors to support small businesses in their communities. Businesses must be approved to participate. The site also includes a network of attorneys to help small businesses with the legal issues and regulations associated with starting a business.
- Crowdcube. The British-based equity crowdfunding site was founded in 2010 and features businesses in the UK. It offers ordinary people a chance to invest in new businesses. The site also points out the risks of crowdfunding.
- Crowdfunder. This site connects entrepreneurs with investors in exchange for equity. Crowdfunder also sponsors live events. According statistics on the site, they have over 29,000 investors and over 1,000 companies registered.
- CrowdTilt. This site enables participates to group fund a variety of projects, including fundraisers for non-profits. The site recently announced a mobile app so that participants can launch a campaign from their phone.
- FanBlaze. This new crowdfunding site is aimed at the creative market. It connects creative individuals like artists and entertainers with their financial supporters. There’s also a game-like element for supporters, who can earn points for prizes and also be named a top fan.
- Fundable. Participants using crowdfunding on this site can choose to offer equity or rewards to their investors. Fundraisers pay a $99 flat fee each month, but the site does not charge a percentage of the amount raised.
- GoFundMe. This site is not just for business ventures. It allows you to find almost anything, ranging from business concerns to weddings. If you need to raise money for a non-business related venture, this may be the site for you.
- IndieGoGo. This international site started serving the film industry in 2008, but was expanded in 2009 to include projects from all industries and even from nonprofits. Campaigns can run for up to 60 days.
- Kickstarter. This crowdfunding site launched in 2009. It is geared to filmmakers, musicians, artists, designers, and others. However, it does not allow charity fundraising. Fundraisers must be in the U.S. or the UK.
- PeerBackers. Your campaign must be reviewed and approved before you can use this site to raise funds. It’s geared towards business startups. It does not allow backers to own equity in a project, but rather requires fundraisers to provide a reward such as a tee shirt or even the product itself in exchange for their support.
- RocketHub. The crowdfunding site has partnered with the Project Startup television show on the A&E channel. Entrepreneurs who raise money through this site have a chance of being selected for the show. The site also features a series of videos to educate those who are new to crowdfunding.
- Seedrs. This UK-based crowdfunding site is targeted to entrepreneurs and other small businesses. Investors do receive a return on their investment if the enterprise is successful, however copy on the site is quick to point out the risks involved.
- Upstart. This very unique crowdfunding site helps recent college graduates (called upstarts on the site) get a professional start. Upsarts who participate must share a percentage of their annual income (up to 7% ) with their backers for a period of up to ten years (paid in monthly installments). Could this be one way to pay back those student loans?
Other Things You Need to Know
Most crowdfunding sites are in business to make a profit. For that reason, the crowdfunding site may take a percentage of the money you raise (sometimes even if you didn’t meet your goal) or charge you a fee to start a campaign. You may also be charged payment processing fees. Each crowdfunding site has different terms of service, so make sure you read the terms of any site you choose to use. .
Some crowdfunding sites require that you provide equity (partial ownership) to investors or offer investors a return on their investment. In the United States, equity investors must be accredited.
The crowdfunding site may also place a limit on the number of days that your campaign can be active.
Finally, it’s up to you to promote your crowdfunding campaign. This can mean a lot of hard work. You may need to do any or all of the following (depending on your campaign):
- Create a profile on the crowdfunding site
- Share your campaign through social media
- Blog about your campaign
- Take pictures of your idea or creating images to share on the site
- Create a video pitch for your campaign
- Update your campaign profile frequently
- Create or purchase premiums (like tee shirts) to give to your backers
Do you still have questions about crowdfunding?
Here are two more helpful resources:
- Eric Markowitz recently published a fun infographic on Inc. to help you choose a crowdfunding site based on your need. The infographic lists 22 different crowdfunding sites, although some may not be of interest to web designers or freelancers.
- Chance Barnett explains how the SEC rules relate to crowdfunding in his post, SEC Finally Moves On Equity Crowdfunding, Phase 1, on Forbes. Chance is the CEO of the crowdfunding site, Crowdfunder.
Have you tried crowdfunding? Share your experiences.
This post was originally published several years ago. As technology and trends have changed over the years, the content of the post became outdated. So we’ve updated the post with all new examples that will be more relevant for modern design and development.
jQuery Image Gallery/Slider Tutorials:
This tutorial by Jake Rocheleau is a re-make of a popular tutorial originally written by Soh Tanaka. Jake has updated the code used in the tutorial to include some new user-requested features.
This tutorial from Mary Lou teaches the process to create an awesome slider that is great for displaying products or other items.
In this tutorial from Mary Lou you’ll learn how to create a slider with a cool 3D effect.
This is a very in-depth tutorial by Patrick Kunka that is a great starting point for anyone looking to code their own slider.
Thoriq Firdaus shows how to create a slider that will be user-friendly for visitors on touch devices.
In this tutorial Mary Lou shows how to create a slider with a parallax effect to slide different backgrounds.
Mary Lou shows how to create a unique slider with a twist in this tutorial. The images slightly rotate when sliding.
This tutorial by Valeriu Timbuc shows how to create a basic slider with jQuery and CSS3.
Another tutorial from Valeriu Timbuc, this one explains the process for creating a responsive slider.
Many times the best slider to use as a starting point is a basic, simple slider. This usually will make it easier to add your own customization. This tutorial by Paul Mason shows how to create a basic slider.
This tutorial by Kevin Liew shows the process of customizing the jCarousel plugin, which can be really helpful if you’re needing to customizing an existing slider plugin for your own site.
jQuery Image Gallery/Slider Plugins:
This is an experimental 3D gallery that uses CSS3 3D transitions to create a unique effect.
Gamma Gallery is an experimental responsive gallery.
SlideMe is a responsive full-screen slideshow plugin. It uses CSS3 and is customizable.
StackSlider is an experimental slider that flips through the images in 3D.
Perhaps the most popular slider plugin out there, Nivo can be easily customized and even comes as a WordPress plugin (premium).
Unslider is a lightweight plugin that doesn’t have a lot of fancy effects, but it looks great and can be a good starting point.
bxSlider a responsive slider with advanced swipe/touch support. It uses CSS transitions for slide animations.
Slicebox uses a cool 3D slicing effect during slide transitions.
This plugin uses some cool and unique 3D effects during the transition of slides.
Royal Slider is a powerful image gallery and slider plugin. It is responsive, touch-friendly, and customizable.
Juicy Slider is a responsive and lightweight slider plugin.
SlideJS is a responsive slider plugin with touch support and CSS3 transitions.
Flexslider is a responsive slider plugin from WooThemes.
Blueberry is an experimental open-source slider for responsive websites.
For more resources please see:
In recent years as it has become easier and less costly for people to set up their own websites, more and more websites have been used for providing information about weddings. Because WordPress is free and simple for anyone to set up with most web hosts, it is naturally a popular choice for engaged couples wanting to provide information regarding their wedding.
Wedding websites typically include many of the same features and content types, including bios of the couple, engagement photos, directions to the wedding and reception, hotel information, and sometimes the option to RSVP through the website. Sites are also used in some cases to showcase wedding photos after the big day to share them with attendees and those who were unable to attend.
With WordPress, setting up a basic website to provide this type of information is pretty simple, and a number of themes have been developed specifically with weddings in mind. These themes often include some enhanced functionality, and they typically feature a design that fits well with wedding websites.
In this post we’ll take a look at 31 WordPress themes that are great options for wedding websites. Most of them are premium themes that must be purchased, but there are some free themes included as well.
Premium Wedding Themes:
A responsive theme available at ThemeForest.
Just Married ($49)
A responsive theme with an RSVP module and other features.
Wedding Album ($40)
This theme is intended for showcasing your wedding photos after the event.
A popular photography theme that has a lot of design options, Photocrati is a good choice if you’re looking to showcase your wedding photos.
A responsive wedding theme with a clean design and layout.
A responsive and retina-ready wedding theme with 2 color variations and multiple background patterns.
A responsive wedding theme with a full screen photo background.
Vintage Wedding Theme ($35)
A vintage theme that also allows you to send invitation emails with RSVP functionality.
A responsive theme with a stunning full size background photo option.
The Wedding Day ($40)
A responsive wedding theme with a drag-and-drop builder.
Wedding Invite ($40)
This theme works as a save-the-date or invitation.
A responsive theme with a classic and elegant style.
Wedding Vow ($35)
A responsive wedding theme built on the Bootstrap framework.
Unique Wedding ($40)
A responsive wedding theme with a stylish design and plenty of features.
A single-page responsive theme. Wedding is retina-ready and allows unlimited color schemes.
Wedding Invitation ($35)
A responsive wedding theme with RSVP functionality and a countdown timer.
Nunta Wedding ($35)
A responsive theme with unlimited skins and more than 600 fonts.
Game Over ($35)
A responsive theme with a love story timeline, guestbook, drag-and-drop layout builder, and more.
Adam & Eve ($49)
A responsive theme with a unique layout.
A theme for announcing any big news or events, including weddings.
A theme for managing an event, like a wedding.
A child theme for the Genesis Framework from StudioPress.
A wedding invitation theme.
Save the Date ($70)
This child theme from iThemes is available in four different color schemes.
Features a responsive design and many other features than most free themes.
WordPress users know that there is no shortage of themes available to use for your own websites and for client websites. With new themes being released on a daily basis it can become a real challenge to stay up-to-date and to know what is available. Our goal with this post is to showcase a number of recent theme releases that may be of interest to you.
Whether you are looking for a theme for your own website, looking for a theme to use on a client’s website, or just interesting in seeing what new themes have been released, you should be able to find something of interest in this collection of themes. You’ll find 30 different themes here, along with pricing information and where you can find them.
Available at: ThemeFuse
Available at: Elegant Themes
Price: $39 (includes access to more than 40 themes)
Available at: CSS Igniter
Available at: Themify
Available at: WPZoom
Available at: Mojo Themes
Available at: Mojo Themes
Available at: Mojo Themes
Available at: Mojo Themes
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
Available at: ThemeForest
It almost seems that this year flat designs have taken over the world of graphic design by force, but especially in the arena of mobile apps with the first industry-shaking flat design being for the iPhone5. Reality is that flat design has been around longer than the emergence of the iPhone5, but of course it was Apple that helped to bring such cross-industry awareness to the design style.
You ask almost anyone who owns an iPhone5 or who has read about the design in the news, and they’ll describe flat designs as, well, flat. In the design world, flat indicates a design style that avoids 3D effects, animation, and other bling-bling. Most flat designs also include lots of illustration, bold use of colors, and fairly minimal layouts. Just as with any style in graphic design, however, most flat designs do not include all of these aspects. A design can be usually agreed upon as flat if it includes more of these minimal aspects and less of the “extras”.
As mentioned beforehand, you can find flat designs in almost every area of graphic design. The list below includes websites, icons, and mobile apps that most would agree fall under the “flat design” category. Most very clearly follow the guidelines, if you will, for flat, but please feel free to share in the comments below if you have found a better example.
The following flat website designs use several flat aspects in a large part of the design scheme. A few do include a bit of animation, but were so minimal that they still fall under the flat design category.
Operativnik Website Design by Felix Baky
Bedford by Samuel James Oxley
Flat icons are becoming much more abundant and easy to find as popularity in this design style has grown. Let us know if you have some of your own to share!
Flatilicious – 48 Free Flat Icons
99 Designs Icons by Northwood
Flat Icons Pack by Martz90
Circle Icons Pack by Martz90
In the app world, flat has almost seemed to become synonymous with everything “hip”. Google and Apple both seem to have taken a liking to the style, as well as the following apps and designers below.
TypeGrid by Ye Joo Park
Postcard iPhone App by Yasser Achachi
TV iPad App by Michal Parulski
Flight Search App iOS by Yasser Achachi
Flat Mobile App Music Player by Yasser Achachi
Samsung Smart Home App Concept by Ali Rahmoun
Which of the flat designs above do you think represent this style the best? Were there any designs above that you think should not have been included in the list?
You want good clients and not bad clients, but how can you tell the difference?
If you’ve been a freelance web designer for a while (and especially if you have a strong online presence), this has probably happened to you. Out of the blue, you get an email asking about your web design services from someone you have never heard of working for a company you have never heard of.
Yay! You might think it’s time for a celebration. But as an experienced freelancer, you know to be careful. You know that it’s important to evaluate prospective clients. You shouldn’t agree to work for every single prospect who contacts you.
First of all, you want to make sure that their inquiry is legitimate. And you should also consider whether they are the right client for you.
In this post, I’ll list five steps to help you evaluate a prospective client. At the end of the post, share your tips about how you evaluate clients.
Step 1: Know Your Ideal Client
It may surprise you to learn that the first step to evaluating a client is to know your own business goals better.
If you haven’t already done so, you should build a profile of the type of clients you prefer to work with. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do I prefer a laid-back client, or a more formal relationship?
- Are my clients my collaborators, or do I prefer clients with a more hands-off approach?
- Is my ideal client technologically savvy or do they need some help with technology?
- Is there an industry that I usually work in?
- What type of web design do I typically do (and what type do I prefer to do)?
Once you understand what type of client you prefer to work with, you can take steps to target that type of client in your marketing. Most importantly, you can use your ideal client profile to evaluate potential clients.
Step 2: Check the Social Profile
One of the first steps I always take when someone contacts my about my freelancing services is to look at their social media profiles. While it’s true that once in a while you’ll encounter someone who has no social media presence at all, most people do have some sort of profile on one or more of the social media platforms.
Here are the social sites I look at and what I look for:
- LinkedIn. You can learn a lot about a prospect by looking at their LinkedIn profile. You can tell what their area of expertise is, what their past employment has been, and even what their skills are. I recommend also looking for recommendations.
- Twitter. If the person has a Twitter profile, I look to see whether the profile is filled out. Do they have an image with their profile? Does their profile link back to their website? Finally, I look at what sort of tweets they are sharing. Are the tweets professional?
- Google+. Google+ is known for a more technical audience, so a presence here could indicate a more Internet-savvy prospect. Again, I look to see if the profile is filled out and whether it links back to a website. It’s also important to look at what the prospect is sharing.
If the person’s social media profiles or shares are unprofessional, that can be a red flag about doing business with them.
Step 3: Check the Existing Website
If the prospect passes the social media hurdle, it’s time for me to look at their website. Since you’re a web designer and presumably the client is interested in hiring you to change their web design, you don’t necessarily want to be too critical of their current design. In fact, they may not have a website yet.
If the client has a website, here’s what I look for:
- Domain. Does the client host the website on their own domain? It’s a huge red flag if the client website is hosted on someone else’s domain like WordPress or Tumblr.
- About page. I always read the About page of a prospective client’s website to learn what the client thinks is important about their business.
- Blog. If they have a blog attached to their website, I read a few of their most recent posts.
- The rest. You may also want to read about the company’s product or service, any executive bios they have posted, and anything else on their site that catches your attention.
As you can see, a client’s website can tell you a lot.
Step 4: Check the Online Reputation
Another step you can take to check out a prospective client is to find out what others are saying about their company. Your first line of defense is the search engine. I typically type in a phrase like:
“Complaints about [company name]“
“Review of [product name]“
Even though the results will indicate what clients think of your prospect’s company, they may indirectly indicate how the company will treat a freelancer. After all, if they don’t treat their own clients well, how likely is it that they will treat a freelancer well?
Here are some other places to check:
- Better Business Bureau. In the United States and Canada, the Better Business Bureau maintains a directory of accredited businesses and charities. They also keep a listing of complaints against businesses. While not every business is listed here, many are.
- Google Apps MarketPlace. If the company creates software applications, you may able to find customer reviews on the Google Apps MarketPlace.
- GlassDoor. Officially, this site is for potential employees of a company. However, if they treat their employees badly, how might they treat a freelancer?
Step 5: Ask Questions
The final step in evaluating a potential client is to ask questions about the project. You may even wish to schedule a phone call or (if you live nearby) a face-to-face meeting. An advantage to doing all the homework in Steps 1 to 4 is that by now you already know a great deal about the prospective client.
If you still have questions about the client, it’s important to ask them before you start to work with them. Naturally, you want to get all of the specifics about the project you will be working on.
To get an idea of how the client works, you can also ask the following questions:
- Do they prefer frequent progress updates, or will you work mostly independently?
- Will they be available to answer questions?
- What is their preferred method of communication (IM, phone, or email)?
A final filter to help you determine whether a client is a good fit is prepayment. I always recommend that freelancers require a new client to pay some or all of the project fee upfront. Most good clients will have no problem doing so.
How do you evaluate prospective clients?
If you’re looking for an e-commerce platform to use for an upcoming website, Shopify is an excellent choice. Shopify is a hosted system that makes it easy to get your online shop up and running very quickly. Part of the appeal of Shopify is the selection of beautifully-designed themes that are available. Although custom design is always an option, it’s not a necessity with the quality templates that are available for reasonable prices.
Shopify includes a wide variety of features, including a powerful content management system, blogging engine, integration with more than 70 payment gateways, unlimited hosting, coupon codes, and more. They also offer 24/7 support and since they provide the hosting you won’t have to worry about things like security and PCI compliance.
Shopify is also a great option for designers. They have a partner program that allows designers/developers to make money by creating themes and add-ons, and by referring clients to Shopify.
Here you’ll find a collection of 40 themes that are available for Shopify users.
Montreal Market ($140)
Tokyo Teas ($140)
Milan Tailors ($140)
Napa Vineyards ($140)
New York City Bicycles ($140)
London Stationery ($140)
San Francisco Cupcakes ($140)
Atlantic Minimal ($140)
Nouveau Minimal ($140)
Atlantic Modern ($140)
Editions Natural ($140)
Vanity Shop ($40)
Phantom Shop ($40)
Eighty Three ($50)
Instruments Design ($50)
High Fashion ($50)
For many freelancers, especially beginners, a very real fear is to fall victim to a scam job. Once you have been around awhile, you automatically can recognize scams. In fact, freelance graphic designers and web developers can get to a place in their career in which they acquire most of their work by referrals, and the freelancer is almost the one who does the "interview" to see if this is a client worth their limited time.
However, you could be a seasoned freelancer whose client list has become stale, which finds you looking for jobs to bid on in the marketplace – you may have forgotten what scam jobs look like in this case. And, of course, for very many graphic design freelancers new to the business, scams can be quite common.
It happened to me when I was an inexperienced freelancer. Twice. By the same company. The business contacted me asking for a quote and plan of action on an SEO/ guest article campaign. So I gave them a quick run-down. Then they asked for more details. I should have known that they were just using me, but I was naive and gave them the answers they needed. I never heard back from them even though I sent multiple follow-up emails. Then, about a year later, the company contacted me again, this time asking for a quote on website content. Again, I started with a very brief plan, they came back with questions, I gave more details, and they never responded to any of my emails after that. I didn’t even realize it was a scam until months later. I kept wondering what I had done wrong to make the company lose faith in my skills, while they made off with an excellent plan of action that they probably incorporated on their own.
The best way to arm yourself against a scam is to know the different types that you as a freelance web designer, graphic designer, web developer, or really of any field may encounter. Then, know what actions to take to make sure that, even if you do bite initially on a scam job ad, you can recognize it before getting in too deep.
1.) Spec Work
2.) Gathering Personal Information
Some "fake" clients out there simply post jobs on popular freelancing sites to acquire personal information. Some even contact the freelancer directly, under the disguise of a potential client needing your design expertise. If the client starts asking for personal information fairly early in the relationship, beware. The scammer may even make up a personal story to draw you in ("My grandma lived in that city! I used to visit her all the time when I was young. What neighborhood do you live in?").
If you have been working with a client and gradually get to know each other, questions and stories like these are nothing to fear. But if this is occurring in the first couple of emails before you have even signed a contract with them, then you probably have come across a scam artist. Some information is never necessary for a client to know (driver’s license, bank account numbers, social security, etc.), unless you are agreeing to contract work with a legitimate company that you have researched and you are filling out a W-9 or 1099 for U.S. taxes.
If you ignore their questions or explain that you are not comfortable revealing such information, you will know for sure if the client is legitimate or a scammer, since a real client will respect your privacy but a scam artist will keep probing or disappear.
Many contests are absolutely real and a great way to get some experience and exposure as a freelance graphic designer. However, there are many fake contests on the web that are there only to get free work out of a crowdsourcing scam. The first way to tell if a contest is legitimate or not is to research the organization. Is it a well-known company? Do they have a reputable business and customers?
The second way to recognize a fake contest is with the rules. If they require you to sign over all rights immediately upon submission, then this is a sure sign of a scam. Real contests will ask you to sign over permission for them to display the submission on their site but not to sign over all rights.
4.) Payment Required
Never pay for a job that YOU are completing. For instance, the client may accept your bid, then at some point in the project ask for a high-end font insisting that you cover the fee. Or a client may ask that you complete a design for a campaign, pay a fee for distribution, and offer to pay you royalties on the sales. There are many more examples of scams that slyly hide a required fee behind grandiose promises or even the simple tug of obligation they know we feel in completing a job.
This is one scam scenario in which a contract comes in handy. If the client is asking for you to fork over money, then you can calmly point out that this is not in your contract. The bottom line: if you have to pay to complete a job out of pocket with no possibility of including that cost in your bid, then run far away. It is definitely a scam.
5.) Samples for Free
One of the problems that can occur when you start freelancing is having a limited portfolio. However, even a small portfolio shows the quality of work you can provide. If a client asks you to send them a sample of what you can do for them (such as what happened with me), then politely guide them to your portfolio. If they press you for more information or a detailed layout of a design, then ask them to sign an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement). If they refuse, then you know you just avoided a scam.
6.) Limited Project Description
Some designers and developers may just chalk up this example to bad client status. Some "clients" may request a project but withhold the details, and then once you are deep into the work, they suddenly start adding lots of extras that they need included. They may even try to make you feel guilty or stupid for not assuming this is what they wanted, "Designers I’ve worked with in the past always threw this in for free."
This is another instance that you can easily avoid with a contract that clearly outlines the work you plan to complete for the client. Your contract should also make note of "add-ons" and that these will require a new quote/contract with extra costs.
7.) Future Payments of Profits
Another common scam is the requirement for design or development work in exchange for future profits once the company "takes off". If you have a contract that specifically outlines what this point looks like and how much you will get paid, then this kind of agreement is perfectly fine – if immediate payment is not important to you, that is. However, if the client does not provide a contract and just leaves your payment to when they become "successful", then you are better off walking away. More than likely, they will always be eternally greatful but never willing to send you any money, or at least not enough to ever be worth your time.
8.) Final Tips for Uncovering Scams
Last of all, there are a couple more tasks you can complete to scout out a scam. One way to check out a company is to look them up on the BBB or their local Chamber of Commerce. You can also search online for reviews of the company. Another red flag is that if a job just seems too good to be real, then your instincts are probably right. Freelancing takes hard work, and if a potential client is offering to pay you way more money than normal for an easy project, then they may be worth checking out first. And remember that a detailed contract will take care of most of these types of scams.
As freelancers, we often work with companies that we never set foot in and individuals who we never meet face-to-face. This puts us at the disadvantage, since it is much easier to tell if someone is lying when they are standing in front of us. Many scam artists are cowards given false bravado when behind a digital mask. So as a freelancer, do your research, require contracts, and most of all spread the word if you run across a scam to help your fellow freelancers avoid falling into the same trap.
On this note, do you have a scam experience you’d like to share? If so, be sure to leave your story in the comments below.
Like many web surfers, I could waste a lot of time browsing through infographics, especially if they are insightful or funny. In fact, infographics are becoming a popular way of providing information, creating awareness, or simply attracting attention with some humor. As such, infographics are a design speciality that should be added to any designer’s list of skills. The benefit? You will always find businesses needing an infographic for their blog. The drawback? Infographics can take a long time to create.
However, just as with any other design skill, becoming faster and better at creating infographics is as simple as researching and practicing. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a little fun along the way. So, here for both your entertainment and education are 10 humorous infographics that are quite beautifully designed. Some are thigh-smacking hilarious, a few clever, and others a little odd in a funny way. Take a look, enjoy, and be sure to let us know which of these are your favorite.
Thirteen Reasons Why Your Brain Craves Infographics
This incredible web-based infographic designed by NeoMam Studios presents reasons why infographics are so popular in a brilliant paralax scrolling effect. The team designed the entire infographic using HTML5 and CSS3, and while more informational than humorous, it still includes some funny illustrations that will produce at least a giggle in most viewers.
How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse
The following hilarious infographic was designed by GoalZero. It gives “real” advice for how to prepare for a zombie end-of-the-world attack and does so with stunning graphics and an easy-to-follow layout.
Find more great infographics on NerdGraph Infographics
How to Kill Time
Created by ColumnFive, this infographic gives a fresh spin on advice for time-management by illustrating what not to do. The retro design fits perfectly with the tone of the infographic.
The Hangover Helper
Most of us have gone through/ will go through/ are going through phases of drinking too much alcohol. Here’s a witty infographic to help anyone curb the effects of drinking the next day, and it also gives some very insightful facts that may provide enough incentive to get beyond an excessive drinking phase much more quickly.
What Women Want…Dating Secrets Revealed
A revealing yet funny infographic from NowSourcing, this one outlines what type of guy most women search for based on their online dating profiles. The illustrations are amazing, and the layout lends to a witty tone.
24 Things You Didn’t Know About Beer
The colors and illustrations in this humorous infographic sponsored by WearYourBeer.com contribute to the lighthearted tone. Lots of fun facts that most people probably never knew about beer make for an entertaining read.
Serif vs. Sans: The Final Battle
The age old battle between the uses for serif and sans serif fonts is fought and ended in this clever infographic from UrbanFonts.com. The design is layed out well and the fonts used are stunning.
Are You Happy?
Sometimes the simplest infographics are the best. The following design uses a grunge poster style to add appeal and draw the eye, and presents a revealing message in a humorous way.
50 Things a Geek Should Know
While the following infographic is more a description of several different types of geeks combined, it is still good for a few laughs. The retro design is a perfect reflection of old era geek facts.
Courtesy of: VirtualHosting.com
11 Untranslatable Words from Other Cultures
Last but definitely not least on the list is the following infographic from Maptia. Not only are the phrases interesting and a few hilariously detailed, but the illustrated fonts and graphics are brilliant. This could easily be the best eye candy of the roundup.
Flat designs are taking over quite quickly it seems. I doubt anyone could argue against it being the latest and greatest for (fairly) new trends on the web, in mobile devices, and even in print. The simple description for a flat style of design is one that lacks 3D effects, such as bevels or drop shadows.
The stylistic details of a flat design can vary somewhat, just as with most design styles. Usually, though, a flat design is quite minimalist with primary-ish colors and lots of “white space”. The font is usually thin without too much flare. Boxes and buttons are, of course, without strokes or 3D effects. Some flat designs do contain shadows, but these are usually flat-ish as well.
Whether you are new to flat design or simply need some fresh, new resources for your next project, most should be able to find a few items below to help. The list below is divided into 5 categories: UI kits, icons, templates, WordPress themes, and tutorials. The best part? All are free. The ones that specifically mention “free for commercial use” are noted as well. Have fun browsing and be sure to let us know of any other amazingly free flat resources.
A UI kit is a user interface collection that comes with all the parts and pieces you need to design your own website. Usually they are PSD but sometimes will come with other components as well. While you can use the color scheme in the file, you can create your own color scheme. They also come with patterns, brushes, and much more. Hence, UI kits save a web designer a lot of time, improving workflow and decreasing time spent on projects.
This free (commercial and personal) flat UI kit from DesignModo comes with all of the basics you’ll need to create a flat user interface – buttons, menu, input, tags, switches, icons, color swatches, glyphs, and much more.
PixelKit offers this flat UI kit. It comes with a very unique, slick look and feel and the free version is for both personal and commercial use.
A beautiful UI kit, this one from GraphicBurger comes in a well-organized PSD file. The color scheme is nice for when you need a darker look for a website or application.
This amazing free kit includes flat icons, buttons, and more in a blue/white color scheme. Just be sure to contact the developer, Enes Denis, about commercial use.
Designed by Sarah Hunt of sarahjustine.com, this kit is completely free for both personal and commercial use. It is both vector-based and retina ready, and the font works both online and offline.
Freepik.com created this aweome free UI kit for Webdesigner Depot. Enter your email address to download it for both commercial or personal use.
Flat icons are, as mentioned already, are those that have no 3D pop. They are simply flat. Most come in the normal, flat style of primary-like colors. However, you can find a few that are line style and others that are even a bit uniquely colored, for a flat design. Icons are another great way to save time in both web and print design.
This fantastic set comes with 725 flat icons that also come with a reflective quality if you decide to go less flat in style. The designer, dAKirby309, has generously make them free for use as long as you credit him in your project.
On a mission to providing Open Source resources for the WordPress world, WordPress Design Awards created this icon set for anyone to use in commercial or personal projects.
This collection does not contain very many icons, but they are very unique. These are free for both personal and commercial use and are perfect for adding a unique touch to any flat design.
In this free collection, you will find 47 icons designed with flat colors and style. The details are phenomenal!
This set of line icons work great for a flat design. The precision in the icons are superb, and the best part is that they are completely free.
With round and square icons, social media icons, common objects icons, and more, this royalty-free icon pack is amazing!
For those with even less time, templates are a great way to quickly throw up a website in a matter of minutes. Unlike a UI kit in which you have to arrange every element onto a page, a template already comes with elements laid out. All you have to do is add content.
This free template comes with a call-to-action section, header and footer, portfolio area, and menu. With it all located in a single HTML5 file, you can easily edit it for your own use.
A very minimal, flat design, this template for a website is called Illustrate. A WordPress theme is also available in this design.
The colors in this flat template are very calming, making it a great website template to use for a company that wishes to instill trust in clients.
This collection of iPhone templates come with different pages in a free sample project download. A sidebar, settings screen, activity feed, user profile, and login screens are all included. Each of the screens come with 2-4 design styles.
For those creating a WordPress website, there are a few new themes out there that fall under the flat category. All of the following themes, except the first one, are Open Source themes just like WordPress, so no need to worry about hidden prices or commercial-use.
This absolutetly free theme is very minimal and flat in its design. It would be perfect for anyone needing a basic portfolio website.
Each of the content boxes in this Open Source theme can include an image to enhance the home page. You can even color code the categories, upload your logo, etc without coding.
This is a great flat theme for easily showcasing images with blocks of text. The theme now comes with the option to turn off either the featured section, just the top section, or just the secondary section off.
This incredible Open Source WordPress theme is retina ready, responsive, and very clean. The other big bonus to this theme is that it is also available with 5 different translation options.
This WordPress theme is not only flat, clean, and simple but also it is responsive, has a page speed score of 95+, and implements SEO. It also uses Live customizer so that custom changes are easy to make.
This theme looks good on any device and comes in a blog format. The flat style gives it simplicity and the color scheme is a nice burnt look.
If you are just beginning or even if you have some areas in flat design you’d like to improve upon, the following tutorials are excellent. All give detailed instructions on how to create flat designs or flat elements in a design.
This 17 minute tutorial from Designmodo uses their free UI pack listed in the UI kits above. Learn how to create a flat website in Adobe Photoshop using an interface kit.
This step-by-step tutorial is from Awwwards and includes resources and examples as well. Easy to follow along, this is probably one of the best tutorials on flat shadow design on the web.
This is not necessarily a tutorial but best fits under the “Tutorial” category simply because after using it several times, you will probably will learn how to change code around for flat designs. Using this tool, you can convert any button into a flat design. Simply upload your code to receive the “flat” version that you can then copy and paste or use as a guideline for your own flat code.
This video tutorial thoroughly walks you through how to create a flat design. The designer gets a little detailed on downloading the resources he uses, but once he gets to the designing part, he does a great job of making it easy to learn flat designing.
You’ll have to sign up on TutsPlus to see this full series, but it is very much worth it. TutsPlus provides a comprehensive video course on flat design comprised of over 2 hours worth of videos.
Remember to share in the comments below if you have a flat design resource you’d like to share with the rest of us!