What Freelancers Absolutely Must Know about the Hot New Trends, Coworking & Hives

Does your freelancing web design future include other freelancers?

Many freelancers think dealing with coworkers became a thing of the past once they left traditional employment. But a new breed of freelancer is choosing to work closely with others, often in an office environment. And they’re thriving.

I’m talking about the new trends towards coworking and freelancing hives. As freelancers, it’s important to take note of new trends. It’s especially important when such trends seem to be working.

This article from Karsten Strauss on Forbes, Why Coworking Spaces Are Here To Stay, examines the popularity of coworking.

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Image Source: Steelcase by Cole Camplese CC by 2.0

In this post, we’ll take an even closer look at coworking and the latest freelancing trend, hives. We’ll examine some of the benefits (and drawbacks) of each.

If you liked this post, you may also like How to Transition from a Freelance Web Designer to a Lucrative Consulting Business.

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A Web Designer’s Guide to Marketing on Facebook

There are many articles to be found on how creative professionals can market on Twitter, Pinterest, even Linkedin. Yet not many seem to push Facebook as a social media focus specifically for web designers. Many experts mention LinkedIn, Twitter, Behance, Instagram, and other creative portfolios as top social media networks for creative professionals, and it’s easy to see why.

You have to go where your audience is. Web designers should market themselves to businesses, startups, non-profits, and one of the best places to connect with professionals in the corporate world is LinkedIn. Twitter is great for making connections with other web professionals who can lead you to new clients, and Behance is a common portfolio platform that many use for research.

Yet Facebook is also an excellent platform on which web designers can create important connections, and it doesn’t take as much time as you would think. You may decide that Facebook is not the platform for you to spend the majority of your time for social media marketing, but it still is too valuable to completely pass up.

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How to Choose a WordPress Theme Framework

If you design and develop WordPress themes you may have considered using a WordPress framework rather than creating themes from scratch. Frameworks offer some significant benefits to developers and users, but for those who have not used frameworks in the past the thought can be a little intimidating and confusing. In this article we’ll take a detailed look at theme frameworks, what they are, why you might want to use one, the different types of frameworks, and the leading options.

What is a WordPress Theme Framework?

One of the reasons that WordPress’ popularity grew so quickly several years ago is that designers and developers can create templates/themes rather quickly and easily. Learning how to work with WordPress to create a custom design is fairly easy, especially when compared to some of the other leading content management systems that were popular when WordPress was up and coming.

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8 Small but Powerful Tips for a Standout Website Design

Every one of your clients wants to (or at least should want to) stand out from their competition. To be distinguished is to be memorable. Your client’s job is to provide a solid business. Your job as a web designer is to make sure that they get both noticed in the first place and remembered so that they have an audience to whom they can demonstrate their excellence.

Creating a standout website design is not exactly the easiest task. It is much easier to pick a common layout and fill in the blanks or to pick a design trend and build a website around it. Neither of these methods will help you create a website that breaks the mold, though.

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Google Should Penalize Multi-Page Articles: Here’s Why

When writing most articles, I usually end up on some news blog at some point or another searching for facts, statistics, or a reference to back up my opinion. As a health nut, I often find myself browsing through nutrition or fitness blogs for updated findings on health.

The problem is that many of these informational or news websites make it extremely difficult to do what I do best when I need to digest a bunch of information in a short amount of time: skim the content quickly to pick up the main points. Why is so hard to skim these articles? Because the blogs break up the information into several pages. These multi-page articles (also called slideshow or pagination posts) require me to click somewhere on the page to get to the next section in the article, thereby forcing me to spend way more time than necessary reading an article.

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How to Create a Strong Brand as a Web Professional

Knowing how to create a strong brand is incredibly important whether you are a freelancer, own an agency, or have just graduated from school. In fact, for many web professionals, their business brand IS their personal brand since they are usually the sole provider of services to clients.

Web designers, developers, SEO experts, online marketers, and other Internet careerists have to make sure that their brand stands out in a unique way. After all, they are competing with thousands of others advertising their web services online. Another part of building a strong brand is the ability to connect emotionally with prospective clients. This way, clients feel more of a connection and even an investment in you, and therefore are more likely to turn to you when they need your services.

Photo Credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via Compfight cc

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Is Your Freelance Web Design Business a Hot Mess? Five Questionable Business Practices to Avoid

You know you’re good at web design, but your freelance business just barely gets by. What could be wrong?

It could be that your freelance business is a hot mess, and you don’t even realize it.

In slang terms, a hot mess is an attractive person whose appearance is messy despite their underlying good looks. The term is often used to refer to stars and other celebrities who are spotted wearing ill-fitting clothes or who make questionable hair, makeup, and fashion choices.

Your freelancing business a hot mess if you are so disorganized that your business is failing despite your underlying design talent.

The thing about a hot mess is that they usually can’t see it in themselves. It takes someone else to point out their questionable choices and bad habits.
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Likewise, if your freelance web design business is a hot mess, you probably don’t even realize what’s wrong.

In this post, I’ll point out five questionable “hot mess” business practices that are keeping your design business from succeeding. These bad practices represent some of the worst business choices a freelancer can make. I’ll also explain how to stop being such a hot mess and get your web design business back on track.

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