Blog Page 10

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How ro build your Twitter following and increase engagement

Twitter is one of the most popular social media networks in the world next to Facebook. Building a solid following and getting your following to engage is one of the toughest tasks when it comes to marketing yourself or your company on social media. Here I will focus on how to create an influential Twitter account and build a following that is truly beneficial to you and/or your company.

Tweet Regularly

Tweet often and tweet at various times of the day. Tweeting throughout the day increases the chances of your tweet being seen by your followers. With Enfuzed’s Twitter account, I try to tweet every two hours; this ensures that my followers (who live in all parts of the world) will see at least one of my tweets over the course of the day.

Tweeting often ensures your audience that you are here to stay. Having a consistent tweeting schedule reassures your audience that they can count on seeing something from you on a regular basis. It also lets them know that you are not just tweeting when you feel like it or when you want something from them.

Engage your followers

Try as much as possible to engage with everyone who mentions you on twitter, whether that be favorite-ing their tweet,retweeting, or replying back to them. This lets them know that you have read their mention and acknowledge it. Sometimes it’s a great idea to even follow that person as they will more than likely follow you back and you can build a Twitter relationship from there.

Another thing to consider is asking your followers some questions and replying back to their answers to let them know you’re listening. Engaging with them gives you a human presence and lets them know your not a robot or just some scheduled tweet account that never actually logs into Twitter or reads what people say to you.

Mention other related accounts

Find other Twitter accounts that are related to yours and see what they’re doing and what they’re talking about. If you like what you see, mention them in a tweet. This lets them know your interested in what they have to say. This could even lead them to giving you a mention back and reading your tweets.

I follow many other web and graphic design blogs on Twitter and I am always reading what they have to say and what kind of articles they are posting. If I like an article, I will tweet it out to my followers and mention their Twitter handle in the tweet. This lets my Twitter get noticed by them and it can lead them into checking out my website and seeing what I have to offer. Then, if they like my site, they could end up giving me a mention for an article I’ve written. After awhile a relationship could build and we could end up trading tweets and mentions with each other. This is a great way to build relationships on Twitter and gain followers.

Follow related accounts

Whatever your niche may be, find other Twitter accounts that are related to that niche. Twitter does an awesome job of categorizing Twitter accounts. The more people you follow of a certain interest, the more accounts it will suggest to you that are the same. Following similar niches can increase your chance of getting followed by those accounts.

Contact other related businesses

When I started out I was trying to get my site noticed and build a strong following, so I would email related websites and ask them if they were interested in some kind of Twitter partnership. This would work, in a way, the same as the above tip. I tweet something from them that they wanted tweeted, mentioning their Twitter handle in the tweet, and they do the same for me.

Some Twitter users never check their @connect tab on Twitter, so they may not see you mentioning them in tweets. Going about it this way, by contacting them via email, will ensure they get your message and it can help you better established a tweet trading schedule for your Twitter partnership.

Use Hashtags

On Twitter, hashtags are used as a way to categorize posts. If you look at trends on Twitter, all of the trends are categorized via hashtags that are being used, an example could be #webdesign. If you are posting a tweet that deals with web design, simply insert the hashtag #webdesign into your tweet somewhere and it will be categorized with all the other tweets that mention #webdesign in them.

Once your tweet is posted with your selected hashtag it becomes a clickable link. When you click on it you will be directed to a page that has every tweet with that same hashtag. This is a great way to help build a niche following as users can search their interest, and if your hashtag matches it, you have a chance of appearing in their search and in turn possibly gaining a new follower.

An important thing to keep in mind is the amount of hashtags you use per tweet. Don’t overload your tweet to where it’s virtually illegible, use a max of two hashtags per tweet.

Style your profile

If you leave the Twitter egg as your profile picture, no one will take you seriously and it makes you look like a bot spammer. Use your company brand or logo (if it’s a good one), or if it’s just your personal account use a professional photo (not some photo of you partying).

Change the link color up to match your brands and use a nice cover photo and relevant background image to go with your account. Doing these things make it look like you care and that you’ve taken the time to properly set up your Twitter account. Remember, looking professional and legit is key in getting people to take you seriously, so do it and do it right.

Add Twitter to your website

There are a few more things you can do to help build your audience or get them interested. Adding a Twitter widget that displays your latest tweets to your website can help, that way when users visit your website they can see that you have a Twitter account and are regularly active on it.

Adding social share buttons to your website and blog posts can help as well. Giving your website a tweet button can help promote your account on Twitter by having people mention your handle in the preset tweet.

Twitter beyond the web

You can get followers and build an audience easily without having to do anything on the computer. Add you Twitter handle to things like your business cards, letterheads, or other stationary. This is something big businesses have been doing for awhile now, one good example is Lays. Lays includes their Twitter handle and Facebook url on all their bags of chips.

If you watch the news you will also notice that when some anchors come on TV, below their name now includes their Twitter handle. This occurs a lot on shows like Sports Center, Fox Sports and The Golf Channel. This is just a testament to how huge and popular Twitter jas become. So spread your Twitter handle beyond the web by promoting it on products, business cards, and other things.

Don’t ask for retweets

As with everything, there is always a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things, Twitter is no different. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people ask for retweet in their tweet. Nothing comes off worse than someone who looks desperate. Lets face it, who wants to retweet someone who is basically begging for retweets?

No one wants to be the one who retweeted someone who, in their tweet, asked for a retweet. Twitter is not a charity case, if you want to have tons of followers and get retweets then you have to work for it like everyone else.

Don’t send automatic private messages

I think everyone can agree with me that this is the most annoying thing ever. You follow someone and then seconds later you get a PM and they are thanking you for the follow and then telling you to check out some link. Don’t do this, mainly because it’s a good way to get unfollowed.

This goes along the lines of advertising in a way (if you include the link spiel in the PM) and the last thing you want to do is come off as a salesman soliciting your stuff to a brand new follower. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to thank someone for following you, but it is unnecessary to do via a preset automated private message.

Conclusion

Just some ending tips, follow similar niche accounts and engage with your following. Avoid spamming tweets and messages and limit the self promotion to a minimum. Keep up with trends and post relevant information that people will want to see. Obviously there are a lot of other ways to kill it on Twitter, but I wanted to go over a few ways that you don’t see very often.

Do you have some tips to add? We’d love to hear them, comment them below.

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The Anatomy of a Graphic Designer infographic by Glantz Design

You may remember the infographic we posted awhile back comparing web designers vs web developers, making fun of the stereotypes of each of them. This infographic from Glantz Design is similar to that, except that this one is making fun of graphic designer stereotypes. These stereotypes include Apple die hard, black rimmed glasses, skinny jeans, coffee addict, hip sneakers and more.

For the most part some of these are true, obviously everyone is different and has a different style, but this style seems to be a trend among designers in general. It’s always fun to laugh at ourselves once in awhile so hopefully you get a good laugh out of this.

Created by Glantz

The Anatomy of a Graphic Designer infographic by Glantz Design

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24 Free Wood Textured Social Media Icons

A set of 24 free wood textured social media icons for personal and commercial use from GraphicsFuel. This set of social media icons come in both PNG and PSD formats. Included in the set are all the most popular social network site icons including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Flickr, WordPress, Dribbble, Tumblr, Behance, the new Yahoo! logo icon, and more.

24 Free Wood Textured Social Media Icons

24 Free Wood Textured Social Media Icons

**Click the title link or the image to direct to the download page**

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Hide Category from homepage wordpress

In this tutorial I will show you the proper steps to hide certain category posts from appearing on your homepage, index page, or blog roll. If you own a blog and you want to keep posts of a certain category from showing up on your homepage blogroll, but still want them to appear on your website somewhere else, this tutorial will show you how to remove those posts from showing up in the blogroll or homepage.

Before I begin, you are responsible for your own edits to your website, I am not liable for any issues that may come of you doing this. In doing this tutorial it is at your own risk and I am not responsible if you screw something up. This code has worked for me on multiple WordPress websites. If you are a beginner and/or have no coding experience I do not recommend that you do this yourself. With that said, let’s begin…

Step 1

The first step is to navigate to your theme folder, find your index.php file (or which ever file you want to hide the category from appearing), and open it in your text editor.

WordPress index.php

Step 2

Once you have it open in your text editor, locate the start of the loop. It may look different depending on what theme you have and depending on who coded the theme. Below I have 2 different examples pictured, the highlighted area is the loop.

Ex 1)

WordPress Loop

Ex 2)

The WordPress Loop

Step 3

Once you have successfully located The Loop, make a few lines of space above it so there is room for the “hide category” code snippet.

Now that you have made some space, you will need to copy the code below and paste it right above The Loop.

<?php query_posts($query_string . '&cat='); ?>

It should then look like the picture below, the code snippet right above the loop.

Hide Category Code Snippet

Step 4

You’re not done yet, now you will need to tell WordPress which categories you want it to hide from the index page. Once you decide which categories you want hidden from the index.php page, you will need to find the ID of the category(s). To do this, navigate to the categories page in the WordPress admin.

Category Menu WordPress Admin

Once you get there, click the category link you want hidden and view the link info in your browser status bar. It should look something like this: edit&taxonomy=category&tag_ID=5&post_type=post

Where it says ID=5 (or another number), that is your category ID. In this case, the category ID is 5.

Step 5

Now that we have the category ID, we need to plug that into our snippet we inserted earlier. Since we are wanting to hide it from the homepage, we need to add a minus sign in front of the ID number like so:

<?php query_posts($query_string . '&cat=-5'); ?>

Make sure the number is inside the end single quote mark. That’s it, everything should work properly and your category should no longer display on your index.php page. If you have errors or issues, be sure to look over your code carefully to ensure it is correct.

Hiding Multiple Categories

If you want to hide more than one category, just add a coma after each category ID like so:

<?php query_posts($query_string . '&cat=-5, -45, -9'); ?>

If you have any questions please comment them below and I will help you as best I can.

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9 Ways to Stay Creative

Being in the creative industry is a fun job, we get to create all sorts of different art and designs, whether it be graphic or web related. Staying creative however can be a tough task at times, especially when we are trying to create something that has never been created before.

Lucky for us there are many websites and various tips and techniques to help keep your creative juices flowing. Here I will go over some common and some not so common ways to help you stay creative in those un-creative times.

1. Get some rest

Perhaps something that has been hammered into your brain since you were a little kid, get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep can leave you drowsy and unable to concentrate. Getting plenty of rest can help improve your brain performance and memory. It would obviously be pretty hard to be creative when you’re tired and unable to concentrate.

2. Make mistakes

People think making mistakes is a bad thing, but it’s not. Making mistakes is what helps us learn and evolve as individuals, this is especially true for people in the creative industry. Mistakes can turn into great things, take a look at the slinky for example. Naval Engineer Richard Jones was trying to create a meter to monitor power on naval battleships, while working with tension springs one fell to the ground. The spring kept bouncing after it hit the ground, and from there the slinky was born.

Other great things that came from mistakes include chocolate chip cookies, potato chips, fireworks, microwave ovens, and post-it notes. So you see, great things can come from mistakes, so embrace them!

3. Get feedback from others

Getting helpful feedback from others is a great way to keep the creative juices flowing and gain new ideas. Talk with other people about projects or anything for that matter, and see what their input is and what kind of ideas they have. The minute I run dry of ideas I start discussing  projects with co-workers and within seconds ideas start piling in and creativity takes over.

4. Take a break

Step away for a few minutes. Whether it be from the computer or wherever you may be, take a break and do something different for a little bit to help clear your mind. Doing this can give your brain a break and help you relax while you gather yourself so you can be refreshed when you continue working.

5. Get away from the computer

This goes along with number 4, step away from the computer! Funny thing, in the past when I first started working full time as a developer I would take breaks at work and just go browse Twitter, read the news online, and check my email. I didn’t even leave the computer. This is the same for many people, they eat their lunch or take their breaks in front of a computer screen which defeats the whole purpose of a break.

Go for a walk or bike ride, go grocery shopping or do laundry. Believe it or not there are countless things you can do that don’t involve a computer (crazy right?!?). Sometimes all it takes to spark some creative ideas is for you to clear your mind and go out and do something away from your computer,which brings me to my next point…

6. Have a notepad within reach

This is something I’ve personally been doing for years. For whatever reason I get my best ideas and greatest creative thoughts at the worst times, more so while I’m laying in bed trying to fall asleep. That’s why I keep a notepad next to my bed, so when creativity hits me I can jot it down real quick so I don’t forget it before morning.

Now, I’m not hipster enough to carry a cool notepad in my back pocket, but I do frequently use the notepad app on my phone. Whenever I may be out and about and a great idea hits, I’ll type it out in the notepad app. Either way you choose, whether it be a good ‘ol fashioned notebook and pen, or an app on your phone, it’s a good idea to always have a place to jot stuff down because you never know when creativity may strike.

7. Be open to different things

The most popular artists and designers in the world are popular because they are open minded when it comes to creativity. Frank Zappa said it best “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.” Being open to new things can give you a new point of view on things, a view which you may not have seen before, which can be greatly beneficial in the aspect of being creative.

8. Listen to music

Experts have proven that listening to music changes the way the brain works by opening up new patterns in the way the brain thinks and it also improves cognitive functions. Listening to music triggers the release of dopamine, which results in a feeling of pleasure. These things can help open your creative thinking  pathways and be greatly beneficial in being creative.

9. Visit some creative websites

I know this is counter intuitive to number 5 on the list, but there are plenty of websites to go to to help get the creative juices flowing. Sites like ours, Pinterest, Dribbble, Behance, and many others host some of the best designs on the web and they’re all great places to gain inspiration.

Conclusion

There you have it, go ahead and give these tips a try next time your brain runs dry. These tips are helpful in providing great inspiration while designing and giving you the creative boost you need. If you have any more tips or suggestions that work for you please let us know!

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100 Free Vector Icons

Based on a 48px grid, this set of 100 free vector icons from webalys are pixel perfect. These icons will work great for your next web or graphic project. The download comes with 100 icons in PNG, SVG, ICO, and ICNS formats. The PNG files come in a variety of pixel sizes ranging from 16px to 512px.

100 Free Vector Icons

100 Free Vector Icons

**Click the title link or the image to direct to the download page**