Automation. It’s the buzz word being slung around the Interwebs as of late. It’s that thing everyone is striving for, it seems like, to make their business totally automated and hands-off. But… what if that might not actually be the best thing for our customers? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a convenient app as much as the next gal (or guy! hey fellas.), but I’m afraid if we go so far down the automation rabbit hole, our businesses will end up looking and sounding like robots. Cold, hard, emotionless robots.
Are you new to the world of digital products? Or, maybe you've been thinking about adding some to your shop but haven't quite figured out what to offer? In either case, I've got one word for you: ebooks. These little babies are the perfect segue into the digital product world. Never created an ebook before, you say? I gotchu. I've designed many-an-ebook in my day. To make it as easy as possible for you, I've compiled this list of pages to include (and helpful tips!) so you're not just staring at a blank InDesign file. Get excited, you're about to create your very first ebook! (And stick around til the end, there's a brand new mini-class to help you learn even more about our good friend, Ebook.)
If you’re creating a digital product to sell online, a big “ freezing” point for you might be choosing what platform to house it all on. I did SO. MUCH. research on this when I was working on creating my first online course. I got ALL the free trials and read ALL the reviews and clicked Next on ALL the Google pages. And lemme tell ya, there are quite a lot of options out there. They each have their pros + cons, and this is certainly not an end-all-be-all list, but I’ve rounded up some of the platforms I think are the best on the market.
Hi my name is Kelsey, and I’m a workaholic. How does that saying go – entrepreneurs work 80 hours a week for themselves, so they can avoid working 40 hours a week for someone else. Couldn’t be more true! I’ve always been a workaholic, whenever it’s work I’m passionate about. So when Paper + Oats got off the ground in 2013, the workaholic in me was in overdrive. The day I became a mother (and a single one, at that) was the day I knew my workaholic schedule was about to change forever.
ConvertKit has a lot of pieces to it, and honestly it took me a long time to get used to it. But I seem to learn new things every time I get in there, so I thought it would be fun to share some quick tricks to help you work a little smarter. And since I get other nicely designed CK emails from some fellow creatives, I thought you might be fun to invite a few of them to join in and share a hack or two that they have up their sleeves!
Etsy has it’s quirks, that’s for sure. It can be intimidating for new (or even seasoned!) sellers to figure out the logistics of even seemingly simple things. And selling digital products, rather than physical, can come with it’s own set of challenging logistics to sort through.
I’ve seen this question asked about a thousand times in about a thousand places, so I figured it was time to shoot straight. This topic can have some varying opinions, sometimes controversial about which way is better. But after trying both methods in the last couple years, I’ve discovered it all boils down to a few different factors to consider.
Last week I posted a picture on Instagram of my computer as I was planning out aaalllll my 2017 tasks in just a few days. Yes, that’s right, an entire year’s worth of projects in about one week. And people freaked out. Rightfully so! I know how crazy it sounds, 12 months of work scheduled out on a calendar is a little control-freak-ish right?! It’s okay, you can say it. But this method helps me brain dump all my ideas + plans for the coming year in an organized way so I can actually accomplish the things I set out to do on January 1.
Wow, I have derailed on the blogging train the last few months. Sorry about that. Honestly, I was running low on content ideas and just wasn’t feelin’ it. At first I felt guilty for not keeping up with it, and then I sat down and wrote this quick year-in-review, quickly got over the guilt, and just decided I’d recommit to the blog in the new year. And that felt much better 😃
I’ll cut to the chase: sharing your story with a bunch of strangers on the internet can be down right scary. A little over a year ago, I had no blog and had just opened my business Instagram account with my teeny tiny following. No one knew my name, much less what I had been through in the two years prior. But I had an inkling to write, and I knew I needed to finally start blogging. Not just for my business, but for my own journaling of sorts – to keep a record of this wild journey of entrepreneurship and motherhood.
You guys. A note in Evernote has been sitting, unwritten in, with this title for a good 6 months. I’ve been unsure about writing it. Unsure about sharing things. Unsure about people reading these things. But here we are, and we’re talking about dating. Oh boy. (Literally.)
Online courses. Er'body's making them. They're a great way to share what you know about specific topics, while earning some passive income in the process. But online courses can be beasts. I've said it before – "passive" income is a bit of a misnomer because it glosses over the amount of work that goes into creating the product in the first place. For each of my online courses, I spent a good 4-6 months creating the content + promotion that went into those product launches.
All morning I’ve been fighting with a toddler to eat her breakfast. Just eat. the dang. toast. She’s a little stubborn – like her mama. And her mama’s mama. And her mama’s mama’s mama. The little stubborn thing celebrated her second birthday last weekend, and as she spent most of the day with her dad, it was a bittersweet day for her mama. These early birthdays are more of a celebration for the parents than the kids, right? Celebrating the fact that you’ve kept another human alive for 2 whole years. Celebrating the fact that you’re still somewhat sane and standing upright.
Last week, I talked about a few reasons why Etsy is a good option for selling digital products online. But what’s the number one reason people shy away from selling on Etsy (at least from my unofficial research)? I’ve noticed that most people who are hesitant about selling on Etsy are worried that their product, whether physical or digital, will get lost in the shuffle. And by shuffle, I mean the literally millions of other product listings on the site, thousands of which show up every time a customer types something into that search bar.
There’s no doubt digital products are on the rise, and a common question among newbies looking to break into this billion dollar industry, is where the heck do you sell them? That question elicits tons of answers, and it all depends on your personal preference, your product type, and your selling style as to which one you should host your products on. When most online entrepreneurs list off the best digital product websites, there’s one that doesn’t get included very often but deserves a spot on the list – Etsy.
There can be a fine line between inspiration and plagiarism. It’s a gray area that a lot of Etsy shop owners (and even just creative entrepreneurs in general) are afraid to go near. With such a huge platform like Etsy, it's not hard to come across products from different shops that show eerily similar aesthetics or content. When you're just starting out as an Etsy shop owner, or just a creative business, it's easy to look to successful shops and try to emulate their style or ideas. But try to refrain – because there's a fine line between inspiration and plagiarism, and you don't want to be on the wrong side of it.
This has been a rough week for my hometown of Springfield, Missouri. We lost a good one over the weekend. A guy who moved to town about ten years ago, opened a coffee shop, and changed the entire community. His name was Tom, and everyone loved Tom. Literally, everyone. In the days since his sudden and tragic death, friends have described him as unbelievably generous, impartially kind, and an undeniable connector of people.
Digital products are a way of creating passive income for your business. They are basically any type of information product you deliver electronically rather than physically ship. Some popular examples in the creative entrepreneur world would be online courses, video workshops, e-books, PDF guides, worksheets or printables, or design resources like icons, illustrations, stock photos, templates, and more. (See the mega list of digital product ideas included at the end of this post!)
I get it — Adobe InDesign can be kinda scary. When you open it up, you’re bombarded with buttons and windows and menus and icons, not to mention some weird words that you probably didn’t associate with graphic design . . . slug, anyone? Have no fear, all these crazy terms have meaning and they’re not as scary as they seem. Below are 31 common terms you’ll find in Adobe InDesign and what they mean — and if you’ll really even need to remember what they mean or not.
A lot of people ask me how I get any work done with that cute pig-tailed girl hanging out with me all day. That’s a great question. Some days I don’t get a lot done because of all that cuteness. Some days I don’t get a lot done because behind all that cuteness is a strong-willed, feisty girl who tests my patience. Some days I do get a lot done because she’s in a good mood and entertains herself well. Some days not. That’s the beauty and curse of being a single, work-at-home mompreneur: every day is different.
Printables, worksheets, workbooks, planners, guides, PDFs — whatever you want to call them — they’re everywhere. You see them as opt-in freebies for email lists, content upgrades on blog posts, even entire shops full of them (hint, hint…). But you know what you also see a lot of, unfortunately? Bad design. Printables that are overworked and unprofessional, and as a designer, that’s a bummer! I know the creator worked hard on the content, put thought (hopefully) into how the printable could be useful to the customer, but the design lacks function and actually makes it harder for the customer to use the product in the first place.
Anyone who’s considered building an online course has certainly gone down the rabbit hole of searching for the perfect platform to deliver it on. I’m a research junkie when I start a new project, whether it’s for me personally (like buying a car or finding a place to live), or for my business (like creating a new product or trying out a new tool). So when I decided to build my first online course, teaching other creatives how to use the program Adobe InDesign, I did my research. I pretty quickly formed a list of the available platforms for course creation, along with some pros and cons for each. And I just kept coming back to one: Teachery.
I’ll be honest, 2016 has gotten off to a rough start. I try to be transparent in my corner of the Internet, not to glamorize anything I do (because trust me, it is rarely glamorous), but to be totally honest about what the life of a single mompreneur actually looks like. And so far this year it’s looked like a strong-willed toddler, an unexpected breakup, and one very worn out mama. Post-divorce dating is a whole blog in itself, #amiright?! Someday. As much as I’ve tried to be prepared for this new year, I’ve had a lot of other things on my mind and frankly haven’t had the energy to poor into elaborate business goals and strategies to reach them.
The end of the year is obviously a time for reflection and planning for the next year, so I’m sure you’re reading a plethora of other blog posts lately about people’s goals and plans for 2016. At the risk of doing what’s expected, I do think it’s important to take time to pat yourself on the back at the end of the year and remind yourself that all your hard work is worth something. Plus, it can be pretty motivating to see how much can change in a year.
I’m a podcast junkie. And on a holiday like this week, I’m going on a binge while I’m stuck in a car for 8 hours driving home for Thanksgiving. Who’s with me?! Today’s post is super short, but only because you just need to get over to iTunes and start downloading these shows. We all know the great “creative entrepreneur podcasts” that always make the list — I’m looking at you Being Boss, SeanWes, Invisible Office Hours, The Fizzle Show, Make it Happen, Startup, ShePercolates (which I’ve had the pleasure of being on!), etc.
Babies. Babies are hard. Babies are sweet and precious and cuddly and a blessing, but babies are really really hard. Add maintaining a business, and babies get even harder. BUT, the cool thing about babies is they give you some lead time before they get here. My pregnancy, albeit an emotional one, was an instrumental period of time for my business. I knew I had nine months to build P+O into something that could help sustain a life for my daughter and me.
The Adobe Creative Suite is the only design software with the capacity to create high-quality, professional design work. The three main programs, Photoshop (PS), Illustrator (AI), and InDesign (IND) each have their own purposes, and it can be confusing to know the differences. Before we jump in to integrating these three programs to work together, here's a quick overview highlighting the strengths of each program and what it’s best used for.
Today is a big day for me, guys. Five months ago I started work on a project that would keep me up to ungodly hours. It would involve hours upon hours of planning, creating, writing, designing, strategizing, and more strategizing, and a little more designing, and then some more writing, and writing again. It’s been such a wild ride that had my mind racing with non-stop ideas since the beginning. And then the last two weeks, I hit a wall. I’ve prepped as much as I can prep, quadruple checked that everything’s ready, and I think it’s all catching up to me now. I’m tired, unmotivated, and would rather take a nap than write one more email campaign.
I was just telling my friend Jamie the other day: you can take the girl out of the stationery, but you can’t take the stationery out of the girl :) This is my premise for using gift packages to promote launches or projects I’m working on – I LOVE giving gifts. I love curating the perfect collection of items that I think the recipient will love, especially when it’s centered around a specific theme or for an event – like a launch! Since I scrapped my physical product line earlier this year, I was itching to work something physical back into my business and sending these launch packets has been the perfect solution.
It’s no secret I love InDesign – if you’ve been around these parts for even just a week, you can probably tell that :) I’m launching my very first e-course in just 3 weeks, so today I want to share a few of my favorite simple tricks, tools, and shortcuts to help you work smarter + faster in Adobe InDesign. Stick around until the end, and you can download a sneak peek at one of my favorite components of my new course – the ready-to-use project you’ll complete by the end of it. I’ve got 11 tricks to go through, so we’ll skip the small talk and go straight to the good stuff!