20 Useful Posts to Create An Awesome Blog


Wow, have you realized - we are about to begin the second half of 2015! Six months have flown by and how! At the beginning of this year, I made a conscious effort to better my content. I started writing posts with a purpose of sharing whatever I learnt, focussing on photography, design and blogging. After six months of blogging intentionally, I have an archive of posts that I believe will be a useful resource for other bloggers & business owners out there.

I've compiled a list of my most popular blog posts within each category - Have a browse!

Blogging:

10 Content creation tools for bloggers

9 Useful content creation tips for bloggers

7 Blogging tools I can't live without

4 Simple ways to write interesting content for your blog

How to grow your blog with social media

7 Must-have tools for better blogging


Design:




5 ways to make your blog social media friendly + a free guide

How to install & use photoshop brushes to create digital art

5 Awesome brush fonts


Photography:

Building a blog photography kit

How to make the best of your DSLR

An Easy guide to editing blog photos

5 Time saving tips for blog photography

1 Photoshop trick for bright blog photos


Business:

5 things i told myself before starting my business

8 reasons you need to start an Etsy shop

7 inspiring books to fuel your blog & business


Hope you found this list helpful. I hope to continue sharing my experiences and lessons through my blog - its been a wonderful journey so far!

For more blogging tips, make sure to follow me on Pinterest here !

Follow PinkPot | Design , Blogging & Creative Biz.'s board BLOGGING TIPS on Pinterest.

What are your most favorite posts to read on Pinkpot?

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DESIGN SHOWCASE + SHOP SALE UPDATE


Although I mention my design work often on the blog, its been quite a while since I shared some of my recent designs. I love that my blog and design business go hand-in-hand, in fact its only true that my blog has been the biggest motivation to start my business. So today I wanted to share some of my latest blog templates and the design process behind them with you. 

Inspiration:

Before I design a template, I draw up a mood board on Pinterest to gather inspiration and come up with a style guide. My recent set of templates are inspired by colors and aesthetics of flowers. There are four themes in the collection - Lily  |  Tulip  |  Daisy  |  Rose. Flowers always give me a calm, airy, colorful and cheerful vibe - so I've captured the same mood in the designs of all these templates. 
Layout: 

As a web developer, I have a fair knowledge of coding that allows me to experiment with different layouts for the blogger platform. The Lily template is a 3-column template with 1 main content bar and a sidebar on either side of the content. This has been by far the most popular template in my shop and I believe its due to the simplicity of the design in terms of navigation, accessibility and white/ negative space. I got a bit creative with the layout and designed a Pinterest-y look for the Tulip & Daisy templates. Both of these have a fluid layout with posts displaying on the front page in a Pinterest grid style . I have found these to be very popular with photography and fashion bloggers as it showcases photos beautifully. Rose is a simple, straightforward template with a large content bar and a right sidebar. It has the perfect go-to layout for all kinds of blogs with a clean design.

You can click to see the live demo of these templates here: Lily  |  Tulip  |  Daisy  |  Rose


Color & Typography:

I emphasize a lot of on choosing the right colors and fonts for each of my templates as I believe these are key to making or breaking a design. Based on the theme I am going for, I pick out colors and create a color palette using Adobe Color. For this collection, I stuck to a floral color scheme with pinks, peaches and a pop of mint in Daisy. For fonts, I look through Google fonts or dafont to narrow down on the ones that are apt for the design. 

Features:

Since many of us read blogs on our mobile devices, all my templates have a fluid, responsive design which means that the blog will tailor itself to the device to offer the best browsing experience to the user. Plus, with the recent changes made to google's search algorithm, responsive design is probably an immediate need right now. I have also made it very easy to customize the fonts, colors etc. using the blogger template designer. 
I am quite happy with the way this collection turned out and I am looking forward to coming up with more. If you are a Wordpress/ Squarespace user, stay tuned as I will be announcing some shop news for you soon! 

If you are interested in purchasing any of these templates for your blog, they are all on sale for 30% OFF right now, just saying! ;) Some of you asked me on twitter, the last day for the sale is 28th June, Sunday! So hurry up, spruce your blog with a new design today! 


CLICK HERE TO SHOP 30% OFF SALE : PINKPOT DESIGNS 

Pick your favorite template and let me know in the comments!
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How To Install & Use Photoshop Brushes To Create Digital Art

Learn how to install & use photoshop brushes to create digital art for your creative business and blog

Did you know you could create gorgeous pieces of digital art using Adobe Photoshop? Photoshop enables the use of digital brushes to create drawings and paintings just like you would with a real brush on a canvas. You can select any color, any brush, any stroke and brush away!

If you are a blogger or a creative, you could use photoshop brushes for some fun creative projects like these below:
  • Create a watercolor theme for your brand/blog - watercolor logos, social media icons, blog buttons etc.
  • Create digital prints or paintings for sale
  • Create patterns to use for print on fabrics, mobile cases, mugs etc.
  • Create watercolor effects for blog post graphics
  • Create watercolor wallpapers and/or digital freebies for download

How to Install & Use Photoshop Brushes:

So today I will be sharing with you a step-by-step tutorial on how to install and use photoshop brushes. For this you will need just a couple of things:
  • Adobe Photoshop (You can download a trial here )
  • Photoshop Brush Pack (Click here to download these for FREE!) 
Step 1 : Download the brush pack onto your desktop and unzip it to extract the photoshop brushes (Files with  the .abr extension are the brushes).  Open Photoshop. To install the brushes, from the top main menu, go to Edit > Presets > Preset Manager
Please click on the picture to enlarge

Step 2 : Once the preset manager window is open, select Preset type = Brushes from the drop down menu and click Load. Browse the location of the .abr brush files you just downloaded and Click Done. The brushes are now installed on your Photoshop.
Please click on the picture to enlarge

Step 3 : Now, let's create a canvas for you to try your new brushes on by going to  File > New. Select the name & dimensions for your file and click OK. If your tools panel isn't open, locate it by opening Windows > Tools (select). If your brush window isn't open, locate it by opening Windows > Brushes (select). 

Step 4 : To use the brushes, select the brush tool (Marked in the figure below) from your tools panel. You can select the brush you want to use from the brush panel/window (Marked in the figure below). This will bring up the list of brushes available for you to choose from. That's it, just get your cursor onto the canvas and start painting away. 
Please click on the picture to enlarge
Extras: 

You can also change the brush, mode, stroke, size and opacity of your brushes by altering the settings in the brush tool bar at the top. (Marked in the figure above) 

Its that simple, so get creative and brush away. There are unlimited options with what you can do with photoshop brushes, so just play around and have a good time! 

For more resources on watercolor art & design, follow my design & creativity board on Pinterest here:

Follow PinkPot | Design , Blogging & Creative Biz.'s board DESIGN & CREATIVITY on Pinterest.


Would you like to see more Photoshop tutorials like these?

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8 Reasons You Need To Start An Etsy Shop


Everyone loves to indulge in hobbies, something that they are passionate about. But what if I told you that it can be something more than your weekend project ? If you have a talent, or a skill that you are proud of, you need to show it to the world and let others who need your help know about it. And what better than turning your passion into your dream career? If you are thinking along these lines but are reluctant to take the plunge, starting small is the best way to go. 

I am a computer engineer and work on cool software development for a living, but designing and coding websites is my passion. When I was unsure of how to pursue my passion, I started an Etsy shop to sell my blog design templates. Looking back, this is one of the best decisions as it has propelled me to pursue my passion as a full time career. In my experience, Etsy is a great place to start your journey, and here's why:

Test the waters: Do you have a great product idea but are scared to invest in it as you are unsure about how it would sell? Then, Etsy is the perfect place to test the waters and find a target market for your product. If people love your product and give you great feedback about it, you know its time to go big! Also the initial feedback you get by selling your product will be super useful in improvising and making your product even better. 

Marketplace is ready: With 20.8 million customers and 32 million Items for sale, Etsy provides you with a huge market for almost everything you would want to sell. The customers are already present and are searching. The only thing you need to do is set up a shop and start selling without worrying about finding customers who are interested in buying your products or services. The search functionality of Etsy is very helpful in directing the customers to the right shop.

No Shop Investment : Etsy charges  a listing fee of $0.20 per item, but that is all. So starting a shop on Etsy costs you practically zero investment. Once you start making sales, Etsy charges 3.5% fee for each sold item, but considering that it provides you with a wonderful marketplace, it is a fair price to pay. Plus, For every friend that opens an etsy shop, etsy offers both 40 free listings, how cool is that?So you can get your first 40 product listings for FREE (& for me) if you open your shop by clicking HERE

Initial Clients: For any business, getting those first few clients who trust your work is the hardest. People trust Etsy and are willing to buy from Etsy sellers without a second thought. So it is a lot easier to find clients at the beginning of your business if you start on Etsy. By doing a great job on Etsy, you can establish great relationships with clients and turn customers into loyal fans who would be willing to support your business even when you decide to launch individually in the future.

Business Technicalities are taken care of: Etsy makes it very simple and quick to set up your own shop. It provides a clean interface to list your products for sale, present them to the customer and to enable purchases in a fuss-free manner. Just sign up, set up the shop and start selling - its that simple, really. And guess what, it takes not more than a few minutes!

Learn: You can learn a lot about business while selling on Etsy. By running your own shop, you will learn quite a bit about branding, pricing, marketing, customer service etc. which will be very useful in the long run. You get the experience of running a business, without the investment of setting up a full scale business!

Community: Etsy provides a very close-knit, supportive community of sellers. I've found that sellers on Etsy are very kind and are willing to offer help and valuable feedback that will go a long way in improving your shop. Also Etsy offers a super useful guide called the seller's handbook, which is an amazing resource for sellers and contains useful information starting from setting up a business to creating a great experience for customers.

Extra Income: Let's look at this from a different perspective for a minute. What are you going to lose? Etsy provides a way to make additional income for yourself by providing a platform to sell your products. For minimum amount of effort if you are able to reap some extra cash every month, then why not? Do it, you never know how small things can change your life. Here are some inspiring stories of people who have been able to turn their passion into a full-time career now via Etsy. 

Julie Ann from Julie Ann Art (Greeting Cards & Paper goods)
Joelle Latreille from Le Cubicule (Eco friendly Jewelry)
Nichole Robertson from The Paris Print Shop (Prints & Paper goods)

Isn't that inspiring? I've been thinking about pursuing my passion for web design for quite sometime now and I may take the plunge very soon, hopefully :)

Click here to open your Etsy shop today and earn 40 free listings for you and for me :) 

P.S: All the Pre-made templates in my shop are up for grabs at 30% off! Go grab your favorite template today to spruce up your blog! Yayy! :) Check out my shop here : PinkPot Designs



Have you thought about starting a small business any time? What are your thoughts on this? 

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5 Useful Apps To Edit Your Photos For Instagram

5 apps to edit photos instagram

I can literally spend hours scrolling through gorgeous photos in my Instagram feed. If there's anything that makes me click on the follow button on Instagram, it is the content : breath taking landscapes, delicious food bites or beautiful calligraphy and art. Just like in blogging, creating great content is essential for social media as well.

Ever since I started creating content specifically for Instagram, I've seen a significant increase in my audience and engagement. If you want to read about the top 5 apps I use to get my photos ready for Instagram, Click here to read the post I wrote for The Nectar Collective a few weeks ago.


Follow PinkPot on Instagram for photos of lovely decor, behind the scenes of the blog and generally life in Seattle! @PinkPotxo




What are your favorite apps to edit photos for Instagram?
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