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Mailchimp alternative and How to set up a Newsletter for your blog for free

Mailchimp alternative and How to set up a Newsletter for your blog for free

To some this will be a very basic thing but for some this is something that they really need help with , If you are someone who is new to blogging or thinking about setting up a blog ( Start a blog is very easy do it now ) or plainly want to set up a newsletter this post is for you.

For someone who is in the initial phase of doing business online setting up all these tech can be daunting and really confusing, it all seems like it is a BIG task that you need to accomplish and chances are you are putting it off to a time when you are free or when you have time in your hands. Well you are in for a treat you are going to set up a newsletter for free in just a few steps today and even have it all set up and installed in a few steps.

Here is what we are going to cover in this blog post

  • Why do you really need a newsletter ?
  • What do you need to do in order to get the most out of your newsletter?
  • Which is the best program out there for starters and Mailchimp alternative?
  • Where to get your initial subscribers?
  • 3 steps you need to do before you start sharing your newsletter/

Why do you really need a newsletter ?

If you have a business online or are even blogging for fun,  maybe you have an instagram account that is booming and maybe you have a facebook following or a group . You think that this is the best mode of communication with your tribe . But wait! These platforms are although the best places to get in touch with your clients or readers or community. But really you can not track how many of them are loyal to your content. How many and the other metrics like what people are clicking on and what are they most interested in . These metrics can be measured only by directing these people to your website or blog and Newsletter could be your best tool when it comes to learning more about them.

Having a newsletter means , you can send them periodic offers, product launches , News about the latest and when they forget to login to facebook you can always pop in their email account. Facebook , instagram and twitter can suddenly wake up one day to a totally new rule and maybe you get locked out or whatever way universe plays. You can loose your community .

What do you need to do in order to get the most out of your newsletter?

My top tip? frequency! yep stay connected with your audience with atleast 4 emails / month . 3 of which could be full of value and one with your offer. People connect with stories , share your life and share your struggles and also give them a chance to get specials through offers and promos .

I am guilty of not emailing much and I am also guilty of removing optins from my website because I was getting 100+ email subscribers per day, while I had no time to connect authentically with them. Authenticity is the key, my email open rate for some lists have been 50% which is considered Awesome by industry standards. This mean that people are reading your emails and connecting . AND this happens when you are sharing value rich emails.

Which is the best program out there for starters and Mailchimp alternative?

I use MailerLite  other programs that I have used in the past and are free to start are

Where to get your initial subscribers?

  • Best practices are to set up a list in your email client.
  • offer something of value to your website or blog visitors in return of their email address
  • Write 3-4 blog posts around the topic of that Value freebie
  • Attach this free download to your welcome email
  • insert this code on your blog in sidebar and inside all of these blog posts.
  • Create atleast 3 pinterest images of these blog posts and share them in relevant groups and your profile ( here is how promote mine on autopilot )
  • Write 3-4 automation emails following the download email this can be done inside Mailerlite as well.
  • And done!

Now once you have created this plan of action you will continue to get consistent subscribers and they will continue to receive initial emails until your next update email send as an update.

Let me know if you need any help with this <3 I am here to help

How to Convert Drawing to Digital Format in 5 Easy Steps

How to Convert Drawing to Digital Format in 5 Easy Steps

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links! I only share the products that I love and use and I may mention them in my post. 

I struggled for a while really when the need to convert drawing to digital format arose. Being an Artist, it is really getting essential to get ourselves and our art online and sometimes really important to create vector files that are scale-able.

When I started workinig digitally, i right away started with working directly through illustrator and Learned the Basics of Vector to get started. If you have a blog or shop or website where you would like to sell your digital artworks ( Read my post on How to sell art online here ) or maybe just plainly want to transfer your work into digital format to color it digitally , first thing first , you need to get it into a line work that is digitally supported.

For digital Artwork , or maybe coloring pages you need to have a clean and crisp black and white line. Here is a little tutorial for really novice artists who would like to do that.

howtodrawblackandwhite

1-Draw Clean and Bold

Draw with pencil or directly whatever is comfortable for you , keeping in mind that what you are drawing will be scanned and digitally modified and manipulated. More crisp and clean line you have easier it becomes to convert drawing to digital format.

I like to start my drawing with pencil , once I am done with the basic idea , I like to switch directly to a black Fine tipped marker to fill in the details. As I don’t like to rework on my details 🙂 . So it is totally up to you how you draw but the lines must be Clean and Bold .

The tools I use for drawing are

Fine Tipped Black Pen
Regular Sketch Book I use this one
The Printer / Scanner that I use

draw-coloring-pages

2-Importance of Right Tools

Nothing can be worst than finishing your pre sketch with pencil and when you start drawing you realize that your sharpie or marker is out of ink!.

Make sure that you have a well-filled marker that gives clean edges. Rough edges means MORE touching up after the artwork is digitally altered.

3- Scan high res

I like to scan my artwork on high resolution , you can ALWAYS go down but you cant go up and scale a pixel image . Also i like to keep my scanner settings to colored and NOT BLACK AND WHITE. Black and white scans give a line contrast that is too much to handle and doesn’t give a smooth line in a final black and white image.

4-Adjust Curves and Brightness.

Finally in Photoshop you can adjust the Curves and play around with the brightness and contrast to get a clean and crisp image quality.

2015-05-09_19-51-53 2015-05-09_19-51-553

5-Vactorize!

Last but not the least , you can copy your final clean image Ctrl+A  (select all) and place Ctrl+V (Paste) into illustrator and then trace it !

Untitled-1

Result is a clean crisp outline that you can scale to any size you like WITHOUT LOOSING its line quality. Some additional steps you might want to take after the vactorization step is complete is to convert it to outline and clean the white area . I have explained cleaning the outlines in another post that you can Read about Right here.

Here is how I Color drawing in illustrator 
Learn How to Draw Vector {BASICs}- PART 1
Tutorial How to Create a Cute Hippo
How to Draw a Cartoon Duck , Character

How to Create Editable PDF file

How to Create Editable PDF file

how to I was just asked by a fellow designer who wants to sells printable party invitations through her etsy store and wants to know how to create an editable downloadable printable pdf file that works with invitations and other instant downloads .

I created this simple screencast for her maybe it is of use for someone else out there also looking for a similar solution.

I have used Adobe Acrobat X pro Writer

Let me know if you need help somewhere!

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Graphic Design Tip : Converting Pngs to JPGs Batch image conversion

Graphic Design Tip : Converting Pngs to JPGs Batch image conversion

Photoshop-image-tutorial-tips

Keen on finding a way to save some graphic design time ? and batch process some Pngs into JPGs . I am mostly working in Photoshop and i like to keep my images quality closest possible to the original file . For this i use Photoshop Actions to create short cuts to accomplish a job where a batch processing might be required to handle images. (more…)

5 Simply Smart ways to Print business cards at home.

5 Simply Smart ways to Print business cards at home.

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Thinking about printing business cards at home ?

This post is targeted towards designers , small business owners or work at home moms . Who are in their initial stages of business . Trying to get their identity established . Or simply put , have a very small budget to begin with.

One of the many ways to save some bucks is to print the identity at home .
Here are some tips on printing your own business cards at home and do it frugally. (more…)

Illustrator Tip : Get rid of that meshy messy mesh effect oh please!

Illustrator Tip : Get rid of that meshy messy mesh effect oh please!

Why am i screaming to get rid of that meshy messy mesh!? well just recently one of my illustrations Happy sun and moon was requested to be transformed into a wall decal for kids room. My problem arrived when i opened up the original file in my hard drive all colored up using mesh tool with the same technique that i used in coloring . And now converting the design into a flat appearance-less file for process of cutting the decal silhouette was required. Below is the preview of the illustrated objects and decal design if you are wondering 🙂

and the decal design

The Scenario

I want to get rid of mesh color fills messing up my file , yes as much as i love coloring up with mesh in works like this , things might get messy , as mesh refuses to go away from the final file even though i have deleted all the color nodes , the appearence pallete still shows Mesh points! and it just wont show how to delete the mesh points!?    Yikes! help!

The Solution

Select the shape (now just outline of no mesh fills visible but still  a mesh shape) go to path > offset path and create a new path just slightly offset this will result in a slightly bigger shape but with no mesh points! Voila i’m a happy girl 🙂 . If anyone has  a better way of cleaning that up i or a solution where i can just remove it let me know !

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You May also like Some more Clever Illustrator Techniques Tutorials! Or Full list of Tutorials

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