The ultimate guide to growing your email list with lead magnets (+ free design workshop!)

The ultimate guide to growing your email list with lead magnets (+ free design workshop!)

In this post, we’ll cover what lead magnets are and lotsssss of examples, how to choose the right content for a lead magnet, how to design a lead magnet, and how to deliver your lead magnet to your audience so you can grow an email list that’s ripe with ready-to-buy customers and ready-to-book clients.

3 places to infuse quality into your business (+ free design training)

3 places to infuse quality into your business (+ free design training)

Today I’m talking all about infusing quality into your business, particularly in three specific areas: your craft, your content, and your conversations. Quality should be infused into everything you do as a business owner – this is just good business to provide quality to your customers — but these three areas are practical places we can start to put it into practice. Is that enough P’s for you? This post is a doozy, so let’s get started.

An intro to using master pages in Adobe InDesign (+ video tutorial)

An intro to using master pages in Adobe InDesign (+ video tutorial)

One of the most powerful parts of using Adobe InDesign is the master pages tool. It’s one of many ways in InDesign to speed up your workflow and keep your design uber consistent. Many of my InDesign students are blown away when they learn how to use this feature, and see how such a simple tool can revolutionize their design process. Check out this beginner's guide to master pages with InDesign tutorial.

5 tools you need to know to learn InDesign (+ free InDesign training!)

5 tools you need to know to learn InDesign (+ free InDesign training!)

I’ll be frank — in Abode InDesign, if you’re not using these 5 tools below, you’re doing it wrong. These are essential to making InDesign really shine, and allowing you to work faster + smarter than any other design program out there. (Looking at you Canva and Photoshop.) Let’s cut the small talk, and get right to the juicy tools that you NEED to be utilizing if you want to really get your money’s worth with InDesign.

35 things you can design for your business using Adobe InDesign (+ free InDesign training!)

Small business owners these days wear a lot of hats. We tend to be our own assistants, accountants, advisors, marketers, copywriters, and now even our own designers. When it comes to designing for your business, you’ve probably quickly learned that there are... 1 — there are tons of things that need designing within your business, and, 2 — there are tons of software options to make those designs.

The 10 types of pages to include in your ebook (+ new ebook design training!)

The 10 types of pages to include in your ebook (+ new ebook design training!)

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.)

How to stand out on Etsy when everyone is doing the same thing

How to stand out on Etsy when everyone is doing the same thing

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.

The difference between inspiration + plagiarism on Etsy

The difference between inspiration + plagiarism on 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. 

31 Adobe InDesign terms defined (+ free InDesign training!)

31 Adobe InDesign terms defined (+ free InDesign training!)

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. 

5 tips for designing practical printables (+ free design cheatsheet + training!)

5 tips for designing practical printables (+ free design cheatsheet + training!)

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. 

How the Adobe design programs work together (+ free InDesign training!)

How the Adobe design programs work together (+ free InDesign training!)

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.

11 simple tricks to work smarter in InDesign (+ free InDesign training!)

11 simple tricks to work smarter in InDesign (+ free InDesign training!)

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!

The difference between design fads + trends

The difference between design fads + trends

Fads and trends. This topic can be a little touchy, I think, especially when you start talking about the elements of branding + design. Let me start by saying this: your business’s brand — no matter how businessy (is that a word?) — is still personal. It’s a personal reflection of the work you’re passionate about. It’s how you describe what fires you up to potential clients and customers. The design of your brand is most definitely personal to you, and by default, I’m sure you’re a little protective of it. 

The ultimate guide to e-book design (+ free starter guide)

The ultimate guide to e-book design (+ free starter guide)

I’ll be the first to admit it: I love a good e-book. One that provides great content — actionable stuff, not fluff — and a clean, easy to follow design is hard to resist. E-books are super popular right now, and for good reason. They make great opt-in incentives or lead magnets, you don’t have to worry about printing anything physical, you can send it directly to your customer with one click, and you can share just about any kind of information using an e-book format. E-books are super versatile, they can be super valuable, but there’s also some bad news… they can be super ugly. 

How to choose typefaces like a pro (+ free InDesign training!)

How to choose typefaces like a pro (+ free InDesign training!)

Long time, no blog post! Last week I was on the road, moving from Missouri to Tennessee with my mom, two dogs, and a one-year-old – can you say exhausted?! Yep, I’m wiped. But I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things and wanted to share a great post today about how to choose, pair, and apply typefaces for your design projects for your own business or for client work. These are some great principles that can be applied to whatever program you’re using, and will help you take your projects (no matter how big or small) to the next level. 

My big mistake in Adobe InDesign + how you can avoid the same (+ free InDesign training for beginners!)

My big mistake in Adobe InDesign + how you can avoid the same (+ free InDesign training for beginners!)

In 2010, I was a poor college student. My design classes were boring me, and I just wanted to dive into some real client work. My brother’s business was just taking off, and he quickly turned to me for design work as his business developed. One day, he called me up and told me about a book he was wanting to write. Then he asked me if I would design it – cover, interior layout, all of it. I immediately knew three things.

A little peek behind my business branding

A little peek behind my business branding

As a branding designer, it’s been a bit of a backwards journey as I’ve developed aesthetic and elements that make up the Paper + Oats brand. I never imagined it would grow into a multi-faceted business that provides products, services, resources, and even a blog. This week I’m celebrating my official two year business birthday, so I thought it would be a great time to give a behind-the-scenes look at how the Paper + Oats brand has developed into what it is today, and you can develop the different facets of your own brand to work cohesively.

My 3 favorite Squarespace workarounds

My 3 favorite Squarespace workarounds

Squarespace is gaining popularity quickly these days, and by no surprise. It’s sleek design, incredible user-friendly interface, and straight-forward approach to web design is irresistible. Some complain that Squarespace is too limited in what it can do when it comes to integrations and customization. I beg to differ. 

3 unique ways to use Squarespace cover pages

3 unique ways to use Squarespace cover pages

As a Squarespace subscriber, you get to automatically take advantage of new features they add to the platform on a regular basis. One of their latest features that's getting more popular is their new cover pages. A Squarespace cover page is basically a landing page with minimal information and 1-2 calls to action. The backend setup in your Squarespace account is different than your regular page designs. It has it’s own set of styles for fonts, colors, and sizing. Instead of using blocks like regular Squarespace pages, it has limited options for adding different types of content to the page. But this allows your cover page to stay super simple and to-the-point, hence the name “cover.” They are highly visual and can be used for a variety of reasons. 

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