Podcasting for Fun or Business

Podcasting for Fun or Business

Podcasting for Fun or Business

One of the new things I am now doing in addition to graphic and website design is I have now become a podcaster and I show people how to do it to promote their business or organization.

I interview people from all walk of life on many subjects.

I have also found podcasting a great way of promoting a business or organizations.

StreamYard as the platform I use to record the podcast and then it uploads the podcast to YouTube.

Once in YouTube, I make different channels so people can find past podcasts depending on the guest or subject matter.

I can also have it upload to any other social media platform if I wish. YouTube is all I am using at the moment.

I can then go into YouTube and fill in all the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) with title, description, hashtags # and contact information.

YouTube is owned by Google, who invented SEO, so in only stands to reason that SEO would be a big deal in YouTube.

With the right SEO on your YouTube videos they will show up in Google search engines independently of your website or images.

You can then post the YouTube video link to any social media that you want.

It’s a great way of reaching a local or world wide audience.

 

I enjoy interviewing people on many different types of podcast.

 

Learning many new things is a fringe benefit of podcasting.

I first have people write a short blog about who they are and what the subject is or have them send a bull-it point of questions to ask them in a Word doc.

The podcast usually last for one hour and sometimes they are shorter depending on the subject matter.

I interview some people on a monthly basses because they have things of interest to the world in general. Some of these people are: 

1.) Zita’s Healthy Beginnings. Zita runs a non-profit organization for mothers and babies in Nigeria, Africa.

2.) Justin Tarr, who is my grandson who has a degree in theology and writes for a Christian apologetic website. Two Measures Foolish

3.) Alan Tai, who is a scientist who wrote a book called A Physicist Perspective on God. Science and Life

4.) Rhonda Brown, who is a Christian poet and has published a book on poetry. She called herself the Poet Monk.

5.) Jaws Coffee Chat, who is run by Jennifer A. Whitaker. She is the first organization I did podcast with so you can go to her website and she other podcast I have done with them.

I have done many podcasts with many people but these five will get you in the ballpark of what I do.

I also designed the website for all five of these organizations.

Connecting a podcast to your organization or website is also something I do.

Contact me if you have any questions on graphic art, website design or podcasting.

 

Podcasting for Fun or Business

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Newsletters Like Building Websites

Newsletters Like Building Websites

Newsletters Like Building Websites

As a graphic designer I was drawn into designing websites because of the similarities to laying out newsletters.

I had become quite good at designing newsletters and magazines for companies and non-profit organizations, so when I started to explore ways for me to show my work on-line, I began to look into websites.

While in school pursuing my graphic arts degree, I took a couple of classes designing websites the old-fashioned way, inserting code via HTML and using an Adobe software called Dreamweaver. It was interesting but not my cup of tea.

I am a graphic designer and not an IT person working in code.

After discovering WordPress, I realized I could have the best of both worlds. You see, WordPress is the platform that allows you to design more visually, but you can also use code if you wish.

It has many drop-and-drag features that help the design move right along and let me do what I do best — create my visual magic in Photoshop and Illustrator.

To really make WordPress websites hum, install a theme. When a theme is installed into a WordPress website, it gives far more functionality, depending on the theme you use.

I use a premium theme called Divi made by a company called Elegant Themes.

This theme allows me to use my graphic art abilities to the fullest without getting bogged down in code. Now that is music to my visual ears

 

A good theme is critical to the success of a WordPress website.

 

Think of it this way:

1.) The WordPress Platform is like the foundation of a house. Everything about the house rests on the cement foundation. The walls and roof are completed with electric and plumbing installed within the walls of this house.

2.) A WordPress Theme allows you to install carpet, paint the walls, hang photographs on those walls and bring in furniture to customize this house into a home. This allows you to create a custom business storefront. 

Now back to Why Designing Newsletters is Like Building Websites.

When designing newsletters, I use a program by Adobe called InDesign. This software allows me to design multiple pages and many tools for different creative features for designing this publication much like WordPress does.

It takes a healthy learning curve to become proficient at both of these design tools and make custom, professional products to be sold to the business world.

The building-blocks of both WordPress and InDesign are very much alike in many ways.

Photoshop and Illustrator

I use both of these software’s to help design both a newsletter and a website. I do not know what I would do without them. They allow me to become very creative in both fields of publication.

Because InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop are all made by Adobe they play together very well.

I was a photographer for 40+ years before becoming a graphic artist so I was used to using Photoshop.

I could make many adjustments to my own images as well as those I retrieved from a photo stock agency and photographs that customers would send to me for their website or newsletter.

Illustrator is a one-page design platform that allows you to design logos, social media memes, sliders for WordPress and much more.

Many times, I will have all four programs open at once as I go from one to the next on my different monitors. It allows me to be very efficient and improves my creativity tenfold.

Blogging on a WordPress website is a lot like a printed newsletter, but in a digital format that connects to the internet.

I have designed a newsletter that will be printed and at the same time used as a blog that will reach two very different types of people with the same information.

Of course, you do not use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on a printed newsletter but it is very important when designing your blog like you would do with a website page.

Search engines like Google and Bing require it.

You can then share this blog on social media to reach the whole internet world.

Paper is still in demand

Many people do not have access or do not want to use the internet, and that is where a printed newsletter is a big deal.

Programs to be handed out at a performance or at churches before a service or one made as an inhouse publication in a large business are still very much in demand, as well as advertisements that come in the mail.

We do both of these types of publications for people and businesses.

In fact, when someone hires us to design a website, we insert a blog into it if they wish and then teach them how to use it.

 

Go here if you would like to know more on how we Design Websites and Newsletters for Business.

 

Newsletters Like Building Websites

Great Ideas to Plan Your Videos for YouTube

Great Ideas to Plan Your Videos for YouTube

Great Ideas to Plan Your Videos for YouTube

Guest Blog by Sheri Barbera & YouTube Bootcamp

 

Plan Your YouTube Videos & Start Shooting Today

Follow these simple tips to get comfortable filming videos right now!

 

Video Planning & Design

 

  • Your content:
    What is the goal of each video
    Who is the target audience
    What is their question or concern and how do you solve it with a story (script)
  • Filming your videos:
    Use your cell phone
    Use a microphone for good sound
    Use natural light or whatever lights you have at home/office
    Record your video in small segments
    Use the rule of 3rds
    Share your videos on social media & your website/blog
    Read your Analytics, Learn, Tweak and Repeat!
Optimizing Images Faster Website

Plan Your Video Content

Start with a plan for your YouTube channel.

What is your reason for making videos? Is your goal to make more money in your business? Sell more products or services? Build your Brand recognition or just create a Brand? Acquire new customers and clients? Increase your authority as a teacher, trainer, coach, speaker, crafter, creator, artist, writer, or any type of professional?

Maybe you need to find new volunteers for your non-profit or get more donors? Or spread the message about your business.

When you’re a Business YouTuber, many of the questions above relate to you. And those are all excellent reasons to have a YouTube channel and make videos. Plus, as a YouTuber you always need new subscribers to grow your channel reach. 

And increase your watch time.

What can your videos be about? Maybe you’re going to teach a lesson in each video? Or sell a product or service? When you know the reasons, you’re making videos you can start planning the content. 

When you have a goal and a purpose for creating videos, it’s easier to make them instead of randomly picking some topic for a video and then making that. Plus, when there’s no real focus to your channel, there’s no reason for anyone to show up or subscribe.

This is why you have a plan, a purpose and a benefit for the viewer. Plan your videos to give your audience a reason to show up, watch the entire video, subscribe, like and comment on the video.

Optimizing Images Faster Website

Background

Ok, you know what your channel is about and what your videos will be. Where will you shoot them? Inside? Outside?

It’s important to set up an easy place to film.

When it’s easy, it’s easier to stick to your goal to film videos for your business.

If you set up a place to film consistently, and it’s there for you to film anytime, it’s possible to create a schedule and stick to you.

Keep it simple and do-able and you’ll do it!

Optimizing Images Faster Website

Cell Phone Camera

Everyone has a camera in their pocket, a mobile phone. Manufacturers are making the cameras on cell phones 1080p on both front and back of the phone now, so you can use either side to film yourself.

If you use a selfie stick to hold the phone, you have a more angle and interest options for filming:

Unscrew the top of the selfie stick and mount it on a tripod and voila! Your phone is stable to film hands free

Film yourself looking way up at your phone for a unique perspective

Hold the phone down by your ankle for a dog’s eye view

An app for your phone to make it look more like a DSLR camera is Filmic Pro

Optimizing Images Faster Website

Microphone

The number one thing people click AWAY from a video for – is bad sound.

You always want to have clear, even, moderate sound when you create your videos.

Not crackly, or too soft or too loud. The way to get good sound is to use a microphone.

There are inexpensive mics that plug right into your phone and clip onto your shirt.

Buy the one that words for your mobile phone and always use it when you record.

Optimizing Images Faster Website

Lighting

If you’re filming inside, you can sit by a window or table light and look good.

Natural light at the right times of day looks soft and beautiful and will make your videos more cinematic looking.

Use any lights you have already: desk lamp, floor lamp, overhead lights (recessed) piano lights are good, reading lamps, just light yourself up.

If you want to film outside there are three conditions that are the most effective for lighting:

Outside on a cloudy day
One hour after sunrise
One hour before sunset

Optimizing Images Faster Website

Short Video Clips

To create manageable files and keep your viewers interested and watching, make short clips.

It’s easier to re-shoot something you aren’t 100% happy with if it’s only a few minutes.

Plus, downloading and editing is faster with short clips.

So, try to keep your videos to 3-5 minutes or less.

Optimizing Images Faster Website

Frame and Compose

Simple ways to make your videos look better to the eye (when they’re being watched) is to remember to use these three tips:

Divide your video ‘frame’ into thirds and place you or whatever you’re filming within the third or at the intersecting point of a third (see the red dots)

If a person is in the shot don’t have too much space above their head. But don’t cut off the top of their head either!

If you’re doing a close up and you need to cut off part of the head to fill the frame, only cut off the TOP of the head, not the chin.

Great Ideas to Plan Your Videos for YouTube

Optimizing Images Faster Website

Digital Marketing

YouTube makes it easy to market your videos using the ‘share’ button right underneath your posted video.

Right from the video you can copy the ’embed code’ and put the video right on your website or in a blog post.

There are also options to share to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Mix, Blogger, Reddit, Tumblr, LinkedIn, a few others and even email.

The best time to share your videos is right after you post it.

Then share it again a day later. And possibly the next week.

Video content is always there once you post it, but if no one knows it’s there, how can they watch it?

Give them multiple ways to find your videos by sharing your content.

Optimizing Images Faster Website

Google Analytics

Now that you’re filming, editing and posting videos, the next step is to go to YouTube Studio, the back end of your channel, and look at your analytics to learn:

1.) Where your viewers are coming from.

2.) Who your viewers really are (age, gender, etc.).

3.) Which videos they’re watching.

4.) Where in the video they stop watching.

5.) When they’re watching and what they’re watching on.

YouTube provides you with a wealth of free information to help you figure out how to make better videos. Go through your analytics and learn where to share them more frequently, how to make them better and why people are clicking away.

Optimizing Images Faster Website

Practice  

YouTube wants you to succeed.

This is why the platform is free and so are the tools to improve your videos.

When you study your analytics and learn where and when viewers stop watching, you can improve the next videos.

It could be your sound, picture quality, content, noise interference, pacing in your video…there are many reasons why viewers click away from a video.

You want to know why so that you can keep them watching to the end, and then wanting more.

Learn from your analytics, tweak the next videos, film, edit, post and then read your analytics to see how much you’ve improved.

 

Great Ideas to Plan Your Videos for YouTube

Optimizing Images Faster Website

This was a guest blog by Sheri Barbera. She runs YouTube Bootcamp with her husband Sal.

We have written many articles on Website, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing that you might be interested in our Best Website Solutions Blogs. 

 

Great Ideas to Plan Your Videos for YouTube

9 Tips for Creative Brochure Designs

9 Tips for Creative Brochure Designs

9 Tips for Creative Brochure Designs

Brochure are one of my more favorite things to design. Why? Because the creative possibilities are endless. As a graphic designer they are one of the things I look forward to designing. Do not take me wrong, I love designing websites and newsletters, but these little gems stretch my creative abilities to the max.

To start with, what is a brochure?  Wikipedia says this about Brochures.

First and foremost, it is a marketing piece. Something to be handed out to prospective clients that has a lot of information and photographs about your business. Something well designed that will put your companies best foot forward and give a would-be client something to remember and to hold onto. It’s an introduction of the best kind.

Brochures can be a single page (tri-fold, gate-fold or bi-fold) or multi paged (perfect bound, saddle stitched) or have different names such as – pamphlet, booklet or leaflet that can be used for a catalog, menu or for sales. The most common brochure style is a trifold or six panel which is actually a single 8.5 x 11” sheet folded into thirds. This design is just the begining of the variations that this amazing pamphlet can become.

Creative Ideas on Brochure Designs
Creative Ideas on Brochure Designs

People will interact with this compact but effective tool that is jammed packed with information. They will turn it over, unfold the panels, flip the pages. It gives you a chance to design this user experience and how they will perceive you and your business from the start.

9 Tips for Creative Brochure Designs

 

1.) Be Clear of The Purpose of Your Brochure and Message

What is your message? Focus on what that message is and how your text and photographs relate to one another to make your message clear. Make sure your fonts, colors, copy, layout and images all work together and enhance one another. Who will be reading it? Will it be a persuasive tool or an educational piece? Will it be on display at a retail location or handed out or both? Write out your copy first and the design around that with your copy and photographs. Add a call-to-action. Be clear on what you want the reader to do.

2.) Use the Brochure Format to Your Advantage

How do you do that? Think about how your prospective customer will see the brochure. First, they see the cover then they open it to see what is underneath then they may flip it over and view the back panels. Make it interesting with a surprise that may be reviled as they open the pamphlet.

3.) Carefully Consider the Number and Size of Panels and Pages

You may want to have a general over view of your company or hone in on a specific service that you provide. If you have more information that can fit on an 8.5 x 11” then you can use a 8.5 x 14”. You will want to be cost effective as possible, so you may want to talk to your printer on what the cost may be on each style before you proceed.

4.) Draw Out Your Idea

I recommend that you take a 8.5 x 11” or 8.5 x 14” blank sheet and fold it to the configuration that you want your brochure to look. This step is really important, so you can view how the panels and folds will actually look. Now draw out the different possibilities with a pencil and eraser. This pencil drawing will help you to see first-hand your ideas and make changes easily.

Great Brochure Design Tips

So many things become very clear as you do this exercise. It’s just a rough sketch so do not try and make it perfect. Make a couple of designs with the elements in different spots on the brochure. It’s also not a bad idea to have a couple of people view your ideas for their opinion. At this point if you are hiring a designer, take a cell phone shot of your ideas and send them to them. As designers we do not always know what is going on in someone’s head, so this step gets us in the ball park real fast.  

5.) Font Usage

How will the topography work? Fonts selection is huge and how will they work with each other? Will you use serif fonts (old style with arms and legs) or with or san serif (without)? I personally think using serif typeface looks great on titles and subtitles and can be fancy as long as they are readable. Always use san serifs on sentences and paragraphs because they are much easier to read. Keep your font selection to a minimum. One serif and One san serif. Select a font that has a large family (bold, italic, weight) because it will give you give you many choices that will keep it consistent looking.

6.) Photographs

Photography on marketing material is BIG! A good selection of quality images is a must. They need to be high resolution and lend themselves to what you are trying to show or sell. You can use your own images, use a stock agency or hire a photographer but they need to be of excellent quality. When we design a brochure we use a stock agency many times because they give a big selection to pick from that will tell the story in just the right way that only a great photograph can do.

9 Tips for Creative Brochure Designs

7.) Design a Great Cover

The cover will be the first thing that people will see so you want to make that as attractive and inviting as possible. Make it unique. Do not just put your logo and a photo on this cover but something that will draw the viewer into the rest of the brochure. Use a catchy headline or title, call to action or engaging question. Keep it short. Keep the front cover clean without clutter. Remember many brochures will go on a display rack and only the top third will be visible, and you might be competing with other brochures.  

 Graphic Design on Brochures

8.) Paper Stock for Your Brochure

How thick and how will your brochure feel? Paper will be the tactile part of your brochure experience. Quality, weight and coating will speak volumes all by itself. What do you want that to say? Use a heaver stock when it’s a more substantial brochure. If your brochure needs multiple folds use something thinner but not too thin. This will help it to lay flat and fold clean.

9.) Pick a Good Printing Company

I cannot stress this enough. Make sure the printer is someone you can work with. Contact the printing company before you start on the design.

Ask them questions like:

A.) How do they want to receive the file to be printed?

B.) Do they want it in the native file like Illustrator or InDesign so they can make some basic adjustments or a high resolution PDF or JPG?

C.) Will they print out a sample?

If possible have your printing company print out a sample brochure or two to make sure that finished product will be exactly what you want. You will be able to feel it and make sure it folds like you have intended it to fold and nothing is over lapping and stays within its panels and folds. You will also be able to see if the printer cut or trimmed off too much from the edges and if it needs to be adjusted before he/she prints off a whole bunch of copies.

If you have hired a graphic designer, he will be able to navigate and connect to your printing company on the different issues I just listed above. Leave it to him to sort this out with the people that are actually doing the printing. Better yet, let the designer recommend a printing company that he/she has used before.

Creative Ways to Design Flyers
Creative Ways to Design Flyers

In conclusion

Remember, Creative Brochure Designs are a great marketing piece for your company or business. If they are designed right they can be very effective. I would reflect on these tips as you go through the design process.  

Here are some more idea’s and tips on alternative uses of a Brochures by U Printing.

I also wrote a blog article on layout and design of newsletter that you might find interesting 5 Design Tips for a Great Newsletter and one on website design 9 Signs its Time for a New Website

If you have any questions on the designing brochures, please send us a email. We would love to help you with your next marketing idea.

9 Tips for Creative Brochure Designs

Creative Ideas on Brochure Designs

Great Brochure Design Tips

Graphic Design on Brochures  

Creative Ways to Design Flyers    

Reinventing Myself Through Graphic Design

Reinventing Myself Through Graphic Design

Reinventing Myself Through Graphic Design

I was a professional photographer for 40+ years when I became disabled with a hip replacement that went south. I no longer had the mobility I once had so going back to school for graphic design was the next logical choice.

The same layout and placement of elements is very similar in many ways. Now, I design behind a big computer screen instead of a small digital computer called a camera.

I also have found the graphic art principles also apply to designing websites.

Finding Myself Through Graphic Design

I always admired the people in the graphic arts field because I saw the result of what they did swirling all around me in the world.

From labels on boxes to ads on TV, printed flyers to movie credits.

The ordinary street and store front signs and deep into the internet world of websites, social media, graphic design is all around us. 

Learning new software was the biggest obstacle when I first started graphic art school. It was a struggle at first because computers were not my strong point. I was very old school in many ways.

I had learned photography back in 1969 in high school using a 35mm camera and developing B&W film, and printing images in a darkroom the old-fashioned way. I was very hands on in a manual sort of way, like many people from my generation that started before computers came on the scene.

I think back on those computer and software struggles and it’s hard for me think of me having a hard time with them because I live and breathe with them now.

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Finding Myself Through Graphic Design

Graphic Art is Good Therapy

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Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign

They are the three big engines that drive graphic design and are all made by Adobe. All very different from each other but, also very similar in many ways.

A.) Photoshop, to work on images and photographs to make them the best that they can be through cropping and image manipulation.

B.) Illustrator, to design individual pieces as in logo’s, individual flyers, ad’s or even adding text to images as a visual graphic for social media.

C.) InDesign, the software that designs multi-page newsletters, magazines or PDF’s for print and digital distribution. I will, many times make a main template for an organization that will be used for future designs with this program. InDesign is the hardest to learn because it can do so many different things on many different levels all at once so my schooling in this program was well worth it.

After I started school I realized website design would become part of this mix. My graphic art skills would be used to make websites look great in addition to functioning as they should.

The Software Design Process

I use Photoshop and Illustrator to design specific pieces, then bring them all together in to InDesign for a multi-page book or newsletter layout.

All the programs by Adobe play together extremely well and let me cross platform to each other easily and efficiently.

Drop and drag is the name of that game when work with them all at the same time.

That is the benefit of having three software programs that are made by the same company.

Learning Graphic Design

Learning Graphic Design

Many times, I will have all three open at the same time on three different computer monitors so I can be as efficient as possible. When working on a website I will have both Photoshop and Illustrator open with InDesign being the odd man out because WordPress is taking the place of InDesign as digital layout software.

I enjoy and love what I do now because it’s like using different elements of the same puzzle when I am in the designing mode. Graphic art and website design is a combination that allows me to branch out creatively in a couple different directions when the need arises.

I also like the fact that I help people, companies, churches, nonprofits and different organizations grow and become more successful at what they do with my creative skills.

This really is my idea of having fun.

How can we help you with your business projects?

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Learning Graphic Design. Going to School for Graphic Design

Best Website.Solutions is a custom Website and Graphic Art design company located in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

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John@BestWebsite.Solutions

Reinventing Myself Through Graphic Design. Finding Myself Through Graphic Design

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