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7 Ways To Protect Your Kids From Cybersecurity Threats


cyber security

Cybercrime is a very serious offence involving computers and networks. Several people are still victims these days. The activity ranges from hacking into personal accounts, child pornography, copyright infringement, sextortion, and unwarranted mass surveillance. Cyber attacks are very diverse and dealing with them isn't such an easy task. According to The New York Times, companies will never reveal information about a cyber attack on their systems until evidence is provided.

 

The internet is one place through which most of these attacks come from. Instead of planning to recover from an attack, it is better to protect yourself so that the attack doesn’t happen in the first place. We would be looking at seven different ways you can keep the security threats away from you.

 

Protecting Yourself from Cyber Security Threats

cyber security

1. Use stronger passwords

The use of stronger passwords locks down your accounts, making it nearly impossible for intruders to gain access. When signing into different accounts ensure you don’t repeat the password every time. If they could get one of your passwords, it means they can get all your passwords. Every password you use should be a minimum of 10 characters, including upper and lowercase letters, numbers and a variety of symbols. To keep your passwords on lockdown, generate stronger passwords, and for easier remembrance, it is advisable to use a password manager for security.

2. Change your social media settings

Your social media settings provide whatever a hacker would need to get into your account. Sharing important and private information on your social media accounts is not advisable. It is important to use a two-steps authentication method to protect your account further, ensuring that the hackers have to go through an extra step to get into your account. If they were able to get your password, you would be notified of an attempted login, after which you can change your password immediately. Always think well before inputting any information on your social media accounts. If they are not compulsory, then leave them out.

3. Teaching your kids about the internet

Internet Safety For Kids  is very necessary as your kids are as vulnerable as you are. If you can protect yourself from these security threats, don't assume that they can't still get to you through your children. Cybercriminals are very intent in their operations and some may go the extra mile to get to you. You can let your children know everything they need to know about online bullying, cyberstalking and other forms of harassment they can receive by being on the internet. You should also teach them how to prevent them.

4. Backup your data

Ensure you back up every important data on your device. There are several cloud storage platforms that possess enough space to back up your data frequently. Having only one copy of your important data is very risky, as a virus attack or other forms of attack on your system can lead to permanent loss of your data. Even if a technical problem occurs, there’s a backup.

5. Be careful when using public Wi-Fi

When being mindful of cyber threats, making use of personal network instead of public Wi-Fi is very important. If the Wi-Fi is the only option available, ensure that it is well protected and you know the Wi-Fi vendor providing the Wi-Fi. Also ensure your Wi-Fi is always turned off, except when intending to connect to a personal or known Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi would automatically connect to an open network close-by. Hackers use various Wi-Fi strategies to get into your device.

6. Regular software updates and Antivirus scans

Installing antivirus software and updating it regularly is one way to keep your system protected. Norton Antivirus is one of the good softwares that help you carry out scans, identify, and nullify threats on your system. Updating your system software and using the latest security updates helps keep your system in check, and prevent security incidents.

7. Learning how scammers operate

Scammers and cybercriminals have specific methods they use to gain access to your device from the internet.

 

Before clicking on anything when surfing the net, think twice. Is what you're about to click necessary? Was it expected? Do you know who sent it? Don't just click it because you're eager to see what is in it. Someone somewhere is also eager to see what is in your system. Stay cautious.

 

Once you've mastered the various ways to keep yourself safe from these attacks, you can begin to tell people about it till everyone is aware. Keeping yourself and your kids safe from identity theft and other forms of cyber attack should be a priority.

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Tips To Make Your Content More Attractive


web content

Publishing web content is an incredible way of converting leads online. Users often search because they want answers or information. However, your web page should be captivating enough to make visitors stay longer and build stronger connections with your brand. Whether you are hiring the services of custom writing company or you are doing it alone, getting it right is key. Here are the tips you should consider.

Specialize

When crafting content for your web, ensure that you pick a powerful theme. It should be unique and compelling. Let people feel your brand and want to interact with it even more. This also boosts your reputation and strengthens our online presence. Remember, reputation is crucial to your web success. So, consider making it your priority.

Read More & Research

It’s extremely important to have extensive knowledge about your field of specialization. Nonetheless, you need to understand exactly the quality and relevance of what has been written. This is particularly beneficial when it comes to blog writing. Having a comprehensive idea about what’s needed and helps minimize repetition and inject more freshness into your website.

The Power of Providing Proof

Whenever you’re trying to convince your audience, provide links and referrals. This can positively influence your web content as they help support your views and make your writing feel more credible.

Structure is Important

According to Google, it’s advisable to utilize a maximum of 10 words per sentence. Plus, each paragraph you write should feature approximately 1-4 sentences and there should be lists and bullets spread across your post. This also optimizes your SEO and improves your website ranking.

Incorporate Visuals

Whenever you write a post, add an evocative image or video to give your content an instant uplift and make it more attractive as well as easier on the eye. Nevertheless, you should take relevancy into consideration when picking the visuals since you really don’t want to misguide your audience.

Edit, Edit, Edit

Nothing feels bad like reading a post with too many grammar and spelling mistakes. In fact, it’s a complete turn off! So, be keen to edit each blog regularly before posting it online for the entire web to see and judge.

Consider Updating Regularly

When creating a new post or updating an older one, ensure that you keep your writing fresh. You should always keep in mind that no one loves reading old, outdated content. Get imaginative and craft something unique and fascinating. Don’t just be ordinary, let your content move people. Besides, you should introduce a sense of humor into your content and it should factor in things such as cultural differences as well as audience sensitivities.

Pay Attention to Keywords

Your content can’t sound good without keywords. Bring out those striking keywords of yours using bold, unique fonts and titles. This doesn’t only make it simpler for readers to identify the key subjects featured in your post, it also plays a significant role in helping you organize your writing in an attractive way.

You don’t have to stick with the conventional ways of conveying information; stretch beyond your limits and adopt different tactics to create your own unique content.

Conclusion

By observing these tips, you’ll create content that’s more appealing and attention-grabbing. Some audiences, for instance, respond better to infographics, whilst others prefer to reading the entire information. Combine different options to achieve an interesting and well-balanced blog. Plus, if you are new to content writing sphere, you can still hire eWritingService.com for high-quality pieces. An experienced content service provider knows the approach to use to get your content that sells and converts.

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7 Useful Tips For Building A Design Portfolio As A Student


Why do students take a separate class to learn the skills of building a portfolio? Is it really worth it because you can always rely on some online service that offers you to buy assignments and receive good writings? Well, the truth is that you always have an opportunity to opt for online companies like Australia PapersOwl that will create a proper paper, but you can do it on your own, thanks to the classes you can take and a few tips that you need to have in mind. Building your graphical showcase of personal skills and work experience should be eye-catching, innovative (in terms of design) and interesting to your potential employers from the niche you want to develop a career in. Let’s say a few words on the most useful tips you can learn to tailor the perfect presentation for your job-seeking adventures!

design

Review other design online portfolio examples

The best way to start is to see what other students did, just to see how they think. This is a good tip to remember, especially for later job searching adventures when you are entering the more specific industry. Their design introduces you a gap that no one filled so you can use that as an advantage. Avoid plagiarism and copying other’s design portfolio examples, but rather be creative by designing something that you haven’t seen yet. This way you attract the attention of potential employers who will see that you have a talent and ability to distinguish yourself among others.

Alternatively, use services like Portfoliobox where you can create and customize a site according to your preferences. This way you can quickly and easily set up your website to show your skills. You don’t need to code complex structures just for a kick start but rather to quickly land somewhere and use your skills.

Show internships, side-projects, and assignments

Internships are the fantastic way to boost your knowledge, experience, and paper and try to get on board during summer to experience a bit of work atmosphere and students that work on many side projects are busy all the time but also potential targets for employers. The experience is the key to the development, so make sure you collect it as much as possible. Sometimes is hard to get the project as you have no experience, so you should start your own one to show your skills and decisiveness. Include all of these in your portfolio and if needed buy assignments from professional writing services that will enrich your vocabulary. Assignments are the legit way to prove your qualities and skills so make sure you include them in the design.

Do not be afraid of mentioning every project that you participated in. Whether is a social science project or a small startup plan for sustainability in fashion, you must include it. The employers care about your design, thinking and developing, but less about how you use natural and recycled materials to create a trendy and fashionable piece of clothes. It is all about the involvement and role, so make sure you precise your project roles and assignments.

Buy a domain, design a logo and make it personalized

Web presentations are one of the most common ways in the online world. If you are wondering how to make a graphic design portfolio unique, then you should start with buying a domain and getting things on a higher level. Once you buy it and set everything ready, make your own logo to make things more serious. Learn CS Photoshop or other program and model your logo for the website that shows your job skills. If possible, code a unique theme for the website and hire Australia assignment service to write a personalized and high-quality content.

social networks and linking

Use social networks and linking

The social strategy is important as it confirms your identity and integrates you with the rest of the world. It is recommended to use two online platforms that you should according to your skills and affinities. For example, if you are a graphic designer, you should use Instagram as it more illustrative tool. Good backlinks are a fantastic way to make you more appearing on Google especially when you link social accounts in your portfolio. After all, the better everything is packed and connected, more likely is that you will catch someone’s eye.

Explain your affinities and wishes

Why do you present your knowledge? What do you want to achieve with it? Explain how and why you and your projects are different, and how they can be useful to someone use. The relation to personal and real-world experiences is a good link to explain what you are looking for. Present useful facts that back up your claims and intentions, as well as reasons for designing a portfolio.

outside the box

Balance colors

This is especially important for those who want to be graphic designers. Practice on many projects before until you learn and get the feeling of color setting. Do not make very colorful portfolio as the neatly balanced, graphically precise template of your presentation is all you need to be interesting to companies. You can use Paletton to design a color palette that has a balanced spectrum and make everything more personalized and unique.

Mobile-friendly and content-related

A lot of people are searching for projects and workers via mobile devices, so keep in mind that you must optimize portfolio so the Android or iPhone users can easily navigate it and browse. If you don’t, more than 50% of users will just close when sees content and design that are not optimized. Depending on the industry and jobs that you are looking for, you should find online Australia buy assignments service to proofread and optimize your content. Student portfolio websites often recommend some good team of writers that tailor your content to be optimized and well-suited for the niche. Keeping both things optimized, you are building yourself a concrete pavement to the job you want.

 

Author’s bio: Becca Stickler is a freelance writer with a focus on sustainability and eco-friendly living. Now engaged in travel around the country and writing.

 

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7 Ways to Boost Your Brand Identity Online


brand

Before you can take steps to boost your online brand, you need to know what you want it to be. Your brand identity is akin to your personal identity.

 

The characteristics and traits that differentiate you from others constitute your personal identity. Your brand identity is made up of the look and feel of how your company presents itself including your:

 

  • Logo
  • Tagline
  • Jingle
  • Slogan
  • Typography
  • Packaging
  • Content

 

Your brand identity includes any visual or audio representations that others recognize as your company.

Be Consistent

Brands that consistently and honestly promote their message are powerful. Think about some of the most famous brands. What is it about them makes them recognizable to you?

 

Is it their logo like McDonald's golden arches? Or their slogan like Verizon's "Can you hear me now"? What do you think of when you hear "Good to the last drop?" That's right, Maxwell House coffee.

 

How did these major brands gain such recognition? By consistently and repeatedly exposing the public to their visual, audio, and content-related brand identity.

 

The more consistent you are in your branding, the more familiar your target market will become with your business.

Create a Brand Book

Once your company has established your brand identity and chosen your logo, tone, typography, and design styles, you want to be sure all employees and departments consistently speak in one voice.

 

Creating a professional brand book will keep your entire team on point with your brands message. Also, being able to align your business strategy with your brand position is facilitated by the creation of a brand book.

 

It also saves time for companies of all sizes if you add staff to your team or replace a designer. New employees can get up-to-speed very quickly by referring to your brand guidelines.

Speak with One Voice

Your brand is also reflected in what you do and don’t say on social media. Part of your brand identity is to know your target audience and to speak to them on all relevant platforms in the same voice.

 

Spend more time on the social media platforms where your target audience hangs out. For example, if you are selling clothes for teenage girls, your social media focus should be on Instagram and Tumblr as opposed to Twitter or LinkedIn.

 

Be sure that the type of language you use, like your captions on Instagram or your Facebook posts, speak directly to your audience.

 

All content you publish and share, such as blog posts or social media stories, should reflect your brand and be consistent.

 

Whether your brand voice is humorous, makes use of colloquialisms, or is more fact-based and diplomatic, as long as you "speak" consistently and authentically, your audience will feel a connection to you and be more likely to trust your brand.

Use an Emotional Appeal

Did you know that most purchase decisions are based on emotion? For brands who are trying to get more buyers, understanding this concept can help.

 

Your brand story should communicate feelings by appealing to the emotions of your target audience.

 

Even if someone in your target audience sees an online video, image, or post, and they are not ready at that moment to make a purchase, they will feel a connection to your brand.

 

If they consistently see the same or similar messaging that elicits an emotional response, when they are ready to make a purchase, guess whose brand they will remember? The one they feel an emotional connection to and the one they trust is the brand they will purchase from when ready.

Be Creative

When you are developing your brand strategy, be creative so that your online voice and content is unique, engaging, and compelling.

 

It is vital that your brand stand out from your competitors. So when deciding on your company logo, the fonts you use, the colors you choose, and your overall style, make sure they all resonate with your prospective customers.

 

To determine your correct voice and identity, study the demographics, preferences, and needs of your target market.

Understand Your Competition

For your target market to purchase from you and not your competitors, you should know who is competing with you in the same space and what they are doing to attract customers.

 

Do some research to find out where they are hanging out online and be sure you are there, too. Your goal is to do what your competitors are doing - only do it better.

 

Also, try to identify gaps in what your audience needs to see or hear and develop your brand strategy around what your competitors are not doing.

 

You want your brand to fulfill needs, be the solutions for any problems, and be memorable and recognizable.

Show Some Personality

Some companies decide to create a fun and humorous brand identity. If you are in a niche where being comedic is appropriate, give it a shot.

 

Some major brands create silly or outrageous online campaigns that work. A few examples are:

 

  • Charmin: Using cute and silly campaign strategies, like the hashtag #tweetfromtheseat, help to keep Charmin a leader in the toilet paper industry due to their creative marketing strategies.

 

  • Old Spice: Historically known as your dad’s aftershave, Old Spice chose to rebrand in unusual and humorous ways, including using sassy social media strategies to remain relevant and memorable.

 

  • Squatty Potty: This brand utilizes unusual and comedic marketing to promote a rather bizarre concept. But it works. After receiving financial backing from appearing on Shark Tank, Squatty Potty enjoys market dominance in a somewhat sensitive niche.

 

Creating and building a brand identity is a process, and it is often not a finite one. In the case of Old Spice, they needed to rebrand to remain competitive.

 

Continue to study your market and your competitors. Measure the success of your current branding initiatives and marketing strategies.

 

Make changes where needed and test branding strategies frequently to keep your brand in the minds of your target audience.

 

Image Pixabay CC0 License

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Things to Keep in Mind to Make Your Website Look More Attractive


website design

All the web designers wish that they work on a well designed and formatted website. However, it doesn't mean that the website has to look all glitter and flawless. It means that how professional and sophisticated your site looks. Reason being, a number of websites are available online that are attractive but are unable to enchant and captivate potential customers. Therefore, web designing is crucial if you want your business to grow when it comes to web designing.

 

This article has clubbed together some of the top ways in which you can make your website look more attractive.

 

  • Keep the basic design simple

You must have noticed that certain websites have dozens of highlights, drop shadows, borders, and colors over the webpage. This would look colorful but might often fail to attract the customers. If you are planning to create a web design that it is loaded with colors and lines, this might be the right to drop it. Reason being, visitors will find it really hard to hunt for the relevant information and might consequently drop the idea of visiting your site.

 

In this era, minimalism in everything is becoming more and more wanted. Therefore, you should adopt a more sophisticated design that looks neat and tidy when approached. Adding tons of flashy elements will ultimately turn off the impression of your content and services provided.

 

  • Make the navigation over your website easy

An ultimate goal that every skillful web designer aspires to achieve is to give the best customer experience. A responsive web designer will make both the ends meet to get the best out of what is available. One of the awesome ways by which he can achieve this is causing the navigation over your website simple. Customers are in a great hurry to hunt for the required information.

 

Therefore, the website should look clean, neat and well organized so that the customers can get what they want easily with just a few hits.

 

  • Use the white space thoughtfully

Having a cluttered website design makes it tough for any visitor to be able to differentiate between various thoughts and ideas. It is necessarily the empty space that is devoid of any text or image and is strategically used to give a neat layout to the site. Moreover, white space determines the readability of the content published on your website along with deciding how appealing it looks to any visitor.

 

  • Use big and high-quality images

Using high-quality images may take a bit of time to get loaded, however, will make your website appear one in a million. Using these high-quality images will enable your site to look more professional. This will attract customers and eventually increase the traffic on your website.

 

Therefore, factors like choice of font, quality of images, use of CTA buttons etc. are essential when it comes to web designing. The first impression over your potential customers must be great. This will make them to visit our website more often.

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How to Build Your Website to be Safe From Cyber Attacks


cyber security

Today, at least 55% of all websites are built on content management systems (CMS). Data from Web Technology Surveys show that only 45.4% of websites are coded from scratch.
While CMS platforms such as WordPress present an easier way to build websites and also come with a lot of SEO tools and advantages, they are not without downsides.
The key one is cybersecurity with studies showing that most come with security vulnerabilities. This explains why websites built on CMS are among the top hacking targets on the internet.
Whether you are using a CMS or coding your website from scratch, it is essential that you take precautionary cybersecurity measures.
Remember that the internet users of today are highly informed and super-conscious about cybersecurity and are therefore likely stigmatise your brand at the first sign security loopholes.
Here are some cybersecurity tips to take into account when building a website using a CMS. Some of these measures are also applicable to hand-coded websites.

Ensure secure hosting
Before everything else, you need to ensure that you subscribe to a reputable and adequately secure web hosting.
The first step to determining the best web hosting provider is by reading other customers’ online reviews. It is important to note that some of these reviews may be faked and therefore only settle for a well-known provider.
Also, ensure that the hosting provider offers the necessary tools to secure your site and its functionality. Some of the things to look for include the SSL certificate and an SFTP option. CMS platforms such as WordPress provide free SSL certificates.
Another thing worth checking is whether the hosting provider offers backup tools. These tools protect your data from loss in the event of a system failure. While the task of backing up your data relies on you, you should ensure that the hosting provider has sound backup procedures and they back up their servers regularly.

You should also check whether their servers are maintained adequately and have a published security protocol.
Have a web-application firewall (WAF) in place

Another must-have tool in the website building process is a web application firewall (WAF). This tool can be software or hardware based, and its main purpose includes filtering unwanted traffic between your website server and data connection.
Common forms of cybersecurity issues addressed by WAF include hacks, DDoS attacks, Brute Force attacks, SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and Zero-day exploits.
Even better, this tool offers virtual patching before CMS platforms release virtual patches. The virtual patching is on a continuous basis meaning that hackers have no room to exploit unseen security loopholes.

On top of that, a WAF increases site speed and performance via top-level caching mechanisms. In the unlikely event that your website gets infected, a WAF greatly enhances the ability to clean your website faster and efficiently.

If you are using WordPress, there are numerous WAF plugins that you can install on your website. Popular plugins include Wordfence, Sucuri, Cloudflare, Stackpath, and NinjaFirewall.

Have Monitoring tools in Place
Website security monitoring tools are meant to help you to scan for vulnerabilities on your website and take the necessary measures.
Without these tools, you are likely to remain in the dark on the potential dangers facing your website until it is too late.
For most CMS platforms, there are multiple free tools that you can install to receive updates on your website security. The most common with WordPress users is SiteLock, a tool that identifies and fixes threats.
Other common monitoring tools that you should look for include Scan My Server, Sucuri, Quttera, Detectify, Web Inspector, and Netsparker Cloud. Each of these tools has unique monitoring functions, and therefore you should explore each and its benefits.
Use a VPN

A VPN is another must-have tool for your website security. With cyber attacks becoming complicated by the day, cybersecurity experts are recommending an extra layer of security on top what is commonly used.
What a VPN does is to encrypt your internet activity hence keeping off snoopers including your ISP, government agencies and cyber attackers.
In most instances, hackers must identify your hosting details to be able to perpetrate attacks on your website. A VPN alongside SSL completely hide your activities and CMS usage behind multiple layers of encryption.

Whether you are building your own site or for a client, a VPN will help you hide your trails and therefore keep attackers at bay. When shopping for a VPN, only settle for reputable brands and do research on where they stand in terms of speed, security, and accessibility.
There are many VPN options out there, but from our own experience, NordVPN is the best for website security.
Final Verdict
Website security should be a top priority for every web developer irrespective of whether they are coding from scratch or using a CMS. The website building process should involve measures such as researching and installing highly reputable security tools.

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Why Every Business Needs a Style Guide


style guide

Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

Whether you’re a big believer in marketing, or you think that if you build it people will buy it, the fact is that your business is a brand. Your brand is like your business card, and it’s what people will experience long before they actually do business with you. It precedes you, and it’s something that you need to fine-tune constantly if you want to be able to stand out from the crowd.

 

To give you plenty of food for thought, we’ve put together a simple 5 minute read that will tell you everything you need to know about a commonly overlooked creative tool: the style guide. Have a read, sit back and reflect, and then put the hints and tips into action. Your brand will be all the better for it in no time at all.

 

A style guide saves you from wasting time discussing tangential ideas

The first thing to note about a style guide is that it will always save you time in the long run. People will probably think you’re indulging in a drawn out needlessly creative endeavor when you suggest creating a style guide, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

It will take some time to get it right, but that’s just the cost of building a brand that actually stands for something. Commit to finishing your guide no matter what, and always remember that it will save you plenty of time later on. It’s there as reference material for the lifetime of your business, and it will prove invaluable when it inevitably comes time to rebrand, or when you’re launching a new product or service. The more you put into it now, the more it will give back when you need it.

 

It will ensure you stay ‘on-brand’ at every creative turn

Staying true to your brand is easier said than done. When you’re in the thick of it and faced with half a dozen mounting deadlines it can be all too easy to churn out a logo that’s okay, and a tagline that you think is ‘good enough’. The problem is that once you launch them into the market they’re now the face of your brand. If they don’t fit with what you’ve done before then they’ll just confuse people.

 

You could always retract them, but then you just look like you’re chopping and changing the offering based on negative feedback. And that’s a surefire to lose your voice of authority and open yourself up to further criticism. Your audience doesn’t want to believe that you’re just telling them what they want to hear. They want to believe that you’re the authority, the thought leader, and the trendsetter that they’ve been waiting to buy into.

 

They connect your brand to your target audience

If you want to know why style guides matter, all you need to do is think about the last bad branding exercise you saw. It could be a website, fashion label, home collection, or anything that left you speechless. With so many different creative threads to play with, you’ll probably have been confused at how they could have got it so wrong.

 

The issue will, more than likely, have been that there was no style guide in place. The style guide is what you use to ensure there is uniformity and a common thread running through every aspect of a marketing campaign. It’s easy to copy and paste the same old tagline, but there’s a lot more to uniformity than that. You need to tailor each offering so that it’s suitable for every new platform and setting, but in a way that’s sensitive to the core of your brand. Which leads us nicely onto the next point on our list.

 

 

You can express your brand’s core ethos in a variety of different mediums

Your brand needs to have something at the center of it if it’s going to connect with the people you want to do business with. It’s an emotion that it evokes in people, and it will be far stronger than their memory of your latest tagline, sale, or discount offer.

 

The problem with tackling different promotional mediums without a style guide is that most of the time a different person will have input into each platform. You may all be working for the same end goal, but unless there is central creative guide you can all refer back to then it’s unlikely you’ll end up pulling in the same direction.

 

Your customers will actually know what you stand for

Businesses like the The Word Point work in a very specialist niche, and so need to target a specific section of the online market. This means that they need to stand for something, and just as importantly, they need to ensure that their customers know they stand for it.

 

By compiling a style guide that focuses on precision, flexibility, and knowledgeable input they can build a creative framework around their brand. If you can do the same, you’ll be able to tell a potential audience of millions what your business stands for.

 

What should your style guide include?

The specifics will depend on the size of your brand, and what industry you work in, but there are a number of core features every style guide must have:

 

  • Your logo, along with alternative forms that are used in specific settings, or on specific platforms
  • Guidelines on the position, sizing, and background colors of all content pages and their contents
  • Base typography that will be used for all of your content
  • Your core color palette that can be referred to when designing new content
  • A list of things to be avoided at all costs as they are not in alignment with your brand’s ethos

 

Static or dynamic style guides?

A style guide has to be a dynamic document, but one that is governed by a certain set of creative rules:

 

  • Guides need to evolve with the times so that they reflect the changes businesses undergo as the years go by
  • They must adapt to the launch of new sections of the business, but do so in a way that brings the new ventures under the same core brand of the business
  • Style guides cannot be chopped and changed purely because a new idea doesn’t fit in with them. Think about whether the new idea has had anything like the degree of thought put into it as the style guide, and then decide which one you’re going to keep

 

Getting the balance right between process and creativity

The final thing to say is that a style guide is a great way to help you find the right balance between process and creativity. If you have a deadline, it can be all too easy to submit something that does the job and be done with it.

 

What the style guide does in these instances is keep your output honest so that you can see whether your new content actually adds anything to your brand. Often you’ll find that referring back to the style guide points you in a subtly different direction that makes all the difference to the finished article. Ideal if you want to enhance your brand every single day.

 

pauline farris

BIO: Pauline speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish and Italian. She travelled the world to immerse herself in the new cultures and learn languages. Today she is proud to be a voting member of the American Translators Association and an active participant of the Leadership Council of its Portuguese Language Division.

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Ideas For Amazon Product Design


ideas

There are two main ways you can boost sales of your products on Amazon: drive more traffic to your listing, or increase conversion rates, that is the percentage of visitors who actually make a purchase.

When it comes to improving conversation rates, one of the essential elements to consider is great product design. Check these tips and ideas for great Amazon Product Design which will help you to improve conversions, boost sales, and grow your business.

Start With More Ideas, Not Less

When designing a product it is best to start with as many ideas as possible: you can narrow them down later, but the more ideas you start with the more likely you are to have that one winning idea. Start by brainstorming as many product ideas as you can. Conduct research – talk to previous customers and your ideal target customers to see what they’re interested in buying. Be as creative as possible to come up with a long list.

Conduct Market Research

Once you have a healthy ideas bank, you can start to narrow down that list to things you think will sell. A good place to start with this is to conduct market research. There are many ways to do this – surveys, trade shows, online trend tools and industry news and blogs, to name a few – and all are important to gauging the market to get a feeling for the kinds of products customers will be looking to buy. Knowing and listening to your existing customer base is also key in this process – they can give you great insights. Of course, you should simply look to designing a product simply because of sales potential, but you also don’t want to design something no one will buy because there is simply no market demand.

Consider Your Brand

As an Amazon seller, your store is your brand. Branding is incredibly important in any kind of business: it tells your customers who you are, helping you build relationships and trust with your customer base. When designing products for Amazon always keep your brand in mind. Will the product be in line with your brand as a seller? Does it appeal to your target customer? Most successful Amazon stores have cohesive ranges of products which reflect their strong brand.

Look To Your Competitors

Competitor analysis is an important tool in product design. Look at what products your competitors are selling, what is successful and, even more importantly, what isn’t. Read the negative reviews which customers have left on similar products to see what features you could add to address these concerns. Better to learn from your competitors’ mistakes rather than make these mistakes all over again yourself!

Don’t Forget Legal Concerns

This will not be necessary in every case, but in some cases it is advisable to patent new product designs. A patent can be advisable if you have created a new manufacturing process as part of your product design, your product relates to a discovery in a new field, or if you are looking for external investment. Patents can be expensive, so if you are unsure a good middle-ground could be to file a provisional patent application.

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Top 5 VR Designing Software


As we mentioned in our previous article, the thing with VR software is that everybody has a preference and each company is developing new features every day. Here are top picks from designers around the world, and some of their main features.

 

1. Unity 3D

 

Researching many different tools, Unity still stays our number one for all purposes - gaming, real-time film, architecture. If you are already familiar with C# or JavaScript, scripting with Unity will be easy to adapt to and prototype your virtual reality apps real quick. There is a large community built around Unity technology and your design is easy to export to any platform you want.

 

2. Forge

 

Developed by Autodesk, Forge represents a great platform with team management features. Their great toolkit enables you to merge your design with engineering and enable you tools such as Model Derivative API, Reality Capture API and many more.

 

how to make an amazing VR experience

 

3. SketchUp

 

This modeling application was developed by Google, with excellent tutorials to get everyone to model basics quickly. This is an absolute winner for beginners, to get you used to the language quickly before you move on to modeling on some more professional platforms. There is a free trial for this software, so see for yourself.

 

4. Blender

 

Blender is a perfect example of what you can move on from SketchUp, although you can also dive into it straight away. Blender is open source and free for all, which makes it favorite for many developers. This software uses Python and it is compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac. Another great advantage is the ability to export your work in many different formats, including a format for JanusVR with a free open source plugin FireVR.

 

5. Unreal Engine UE4

 

UE4 is the main competitor to Unity 3D, also a leading gaming software with many integrations, wide store, and good support. It is comparably good as Unity, although some say the results are much more realistic and with better navigation. Unreal Engine also allows you to export to various formats, although not as much as Unity.

 

which VR software to use

 

These are our current top five picks of software to design an awesome virtual reality. Their abilities range based on their target groups - some are more basic like SketchUp, and some way more advanced like Unity 3D and UE4. What software do you prefer for designing and modeling virtual reality? What are the most important features for you, how important are the learning materials and the community?

 

Tell us more about your experience in the comment section below.

 

Author:

Nina Petrov | @fusion_writer | www.ninapetrov.com

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11 Branding Ideas to Keep You Ahead of the Game


brands

Whether you have an existing company or are planning to start your own business, branding strategies are key to surviving a competitive market. Market conditions are constantly fluctuating as every industry continues to get more saturated with more competition. With that growth comes the challenge to make sure your brand and your company stand out and are capable of countering your rivals.

 

Branding initially seems like a simple idea, but it is anything but simple. Branding requires a bit of thought and intention, and more often than not, it can deliver high rewards. Branding is how you create a positive audience perception that establishes trust between you and your customer base. This trust is what keeps people coming back to your brand and that is what you, if not all, businesses desire.

 

Below, we have compiled a list of branding ideas that can keep your brand name ahead of the game.

 

  1. Upgrade Your Logo

 

When you are branding for your company or for a product, you are essentially trying to tell your company’s story, goals, and mission in little to no words and in a very concise and eye-catching design. You do not want people to feel unengaged or take your company as unprofessional because of a dull logo design.

 

Revisit your logo design to see if it is influential and effective at drawing positive attention. How does your logo look on packaging, on merchandise, and on letterheads? Does it look effective on a big billboard? What about on a laptop screen or a small cellphone screen? Could it still be clear if you put it on a moving vehicle? If not, your logo may need a bit of a refresher. Pinterest is a good place to find ways and inspiration on how to spruce up your logo. Play with your design. Maybe your logo is too busy and needs paring back. There is nothing wrong with making good use of white space in your designs. Perhaps, it needs a new color palette. For example, Colourlovers is a great place to find trendy color palettes that fit your brand personality but also draw the consumer’s eye.

 

As the market is always evolving, your logo should tweak and change with it. Whatever you do, your logo should represent the spirit of your brand so strongly that people know immediately who you are at the sight of your logo.

 

  1. Spread Your Logo Everywhere

 

logo

Once you have a logo that is fresh and unique, make sure to use a variety of ways for people to see and interact with it. If you are selling a product, your packaging should be something appealing and memorable. The first thing consumers are drawn to is the packaging and ensuring it matches the tone and personality of your product and company is important in keeping their trust.

 

Get your brand logo printed on business cards, brochures and postcards. First, it is a strong traditional move of professionalism to have business cards and brochures. Also, sometimes the best way to get your brand out there is by putting it right in people’s hands. Having something substantial to hold does bear quite a bit of meaning to people. Websites like MOO and Primoprint are online printing services that can help you get your logo out there.

 

Another great way to get your logo out there is to put your logo on the things you work with every day. Get your logo printed on your office supplies. Seeing your logo on letterheads, coffee mugs, mousepads, pens and pencils, notebooks and more show people that you are in support of your own brand. People are able to trust you when they see how much you back your own name. You should try to be your brand as often as you can because it instills a sense of confidence in yourself and in your brand. Sites like Artik and Avery can make custom office supplies and personalize your letterheads, among other things.

 

  1. Promotional Swag

 

It goes without saying that people really enjoy getting custom swag. As such, promotional products are another great way to spread your brand. T-shirts, keychains, magnets, glasses, water bottles are among some of the things you can get your logo on.

 

An interesting option is lapel pins. Vivipins is a great website where you can order customized lapel pins. Get your logo on these high-quality lapel pins and watch them end up on teenagers backpacks and bags as extra decor. You can also give them to your employees and co-workers as a sign of gratitude as well.

 

Custom swag is an effective way to create a network of people who help create interest in your brand. The people who were your logo will likely share it with other people. Thus, your consumer pool grows. Look at websites like Vistaprint  and Artik to create custom swag for your business.

 

  1. Create a Personalized URL

 

Make your website or brand standout by making a URL that features the name of your brand in the web address. It helps for marketing and search engine optimization so your website or brand name is likely to come up first when searched online rather than getting lost or overlooked.

 

  1. Identify Your Market Archetype

 

In fairytales, fables and parables, archetypes are the character types that we see so often that they become easily recognizable to us. Who knew the same concept would apply in marketing?

 

Now you do not necessarily need to blast this to all of your customers, but even on the marketing playing field, everyone fulfills a type of role. Identifying what role you play in the greater branding narrative, ensures that you create a compelling personality for your brand that users can identify no matter what.

 

  1. Grow Your Social Media Presence

social media

Social media’s importance to how people relate and connect with each other continues to grow each day. In the context of marketing, the very same still applies. You must understand which social media platform is important to your brand. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other sites all have different target audiences. Make sure you are connecting with the right audience for your brand.

 

Instagram is one of the ways brands connect with the younger generations. It can curate the best and most stunning images of your brand more than a paragraph of words can and create a spark of interest in an instant. Images give off moods and suggest a number of things to your audience. As such, you might consider investing in a social media manager or a photographer to capture the best images of your brand. Also, watermark your Instagram pictures with your logo. It will help people associate your high-quality images with your brand name.

 

If having multiple social media accounts is not doing enough for your brand, brand influencers are a good way to go. Brand influencers are social media stars who are connected to your industry. Research who your customers are following. Find the top names on social media, especially those who line up with your mission. An influencer can not only bring more exposure with their large following, but they can also help create a sense of personalization for your brand because if a person’s favorite social media star is using your brand then they gain a sense of trust in you.

 

Custom hashtags are also a great way to grow your social media footprint. Creating a unique hashtag that embraces your company’s mission is a great way to share your brand in an online language that everyone understands and knows how to share.

 

  1. Blogging

 

Blogging is a great way to better engage with an audience about your brand. Blogs usually have a very casual and personal tone, giving them a sense of individuality and personalization that maybe ads or professional articles lack. People flock to blogs because its seems like real people talking to real people. Starting a blog about your brand too will show your audience that you are a professional about your field, and it can unite text and visuals in a great engaging way.

 

  1. Create Brand Videos

 

videos

People have short attention spans so people are more likely to engage more with video content than to read a long post. The world of YouTube has quickly brought video culture to a high where being a youtuber is now a viable career. Not to mention how much of our entertainment consumption is done through videos. Videos on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, it seems like the internet is just a constant loop of videos. Just think about how quickly and easily people are likely to send funny videos over their phones or share it. Now think of how well your brand might do if its brand video was handed the same exposure.

 

Visual media is an immediate form of connection that people can understand and translate faster than reading. Beautiful graphics, illustrations, and vibrant colors present your brand in an engaging way that is easy to access, understand and share.

 

  1. Stay On Trend

 

trends

One great way to stay on track with trends is to ask your customers questions. Issue surveys and get feedback. This shows that you value what your consumers think, and it keeps you updated on what they want to see from you next.

 

On that note, stay on top of what is trendy in the world. Content Gems is a website where you can research different topics and find relevant content based on your particular field of interest of your company. Similarly, Buzzsumo is also a place to discover what people are “buzzing” about online. You can also conduct research on this website to find what people are currently sharing or talking about. It is also a great place to see where your brand falls among trending topics. In another way GoogleAdWords allow you to see relative search keywords that can help you create ads or content that target particular niche markets.

 

  1. Branding Starts At Home

 

As much as your branding efforts has everything to do with your audience, your branding efforts start from within your company. Just as you want to build a trust with your audience, build a trust with your coworkers and employees. They are your first line of action when it comes to branding, and you want to ensure that they are all on the same page as you, ready to not only support your brand but also share their positive experiences with other people. Again, it looks good when real people who work for a company or brand really get behind it.

 

  1. Get Personal With Your Audience

 

People, consumers especially, like to feel valued and wanted. People can tell when they are being sent the same mass correspondence or when they are not being treated as an individual. Give any email correspondences a sense of individuality by signing off them with your name and your logo. People want to feel like they are talking to real people. Whenever it is possible, be personal, warm and friendly with your customers. Allow the opportunity for your customers to want to connect with you and trust you as a friend.

 

Conclusion

 

These are some unique and effective ways to show off your brand to the world. The methods mentioned above strive to not only empower your logo in a competitive market, but they also bring you closer to a strong, trusting audience. Earning and keeping your audience’s trust takes some time so be patient with yourself. It is important to pick the methods that fit best with what you are offering the world. There is no one right way to do it. However, you should always remember that you have plenty of options that work for whatever stage your brand might be at.

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