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Building your Brand with Canva

It’s really exciting for me when small companies and individuals with beautiful branding start building their website with Skizzar. Because well if you guys look good so do we! So it makes perfect sense then that I load you guys up with as much resource and information as I can so that you can build a really successful brand. I recently discovered an amazing resource available through one of my absolute favourite places on the internet, Canva. Incase you don’t know, Canva is an incredible online resource which allows you to easily design and build your brand. You can make logos, email headers, social media graphics basically everything you could ever need. It’s incredibly easy to use and I’ve used it for the design of our brand as well as for many other clients and I always get great results. I guess I often start making things with a pretty clear idea of what I want to create. But what about if you’ve got a brilliant business idea but you haven’t got a clue about where to start with branding… well thankfully they’ve got amazing tutorials that will teach you everything you need to know about building your brand from the ground up. One of my favourites is the creative colour palette tutorial it breaks down information into really easy to understand information. It gives you opportunities to ‘learn’ and ‘do’ breaking down really simply how you can put into practice the skills you learn.

Once you’ve gone through these tutorials which literally take just a minute to complete, you’ll feel much more confident about building a really solid brand. I actually think this can be a really big stumbling block for small businesses. It might be that you’ve got a really good idea but the thought of paying thousands for branding design can completely put you off. Canva really allows you to create amazing graphics and logos as well as a whole load of other things and it’s totally free! Which I think we can all agree is pretty great when you’re starting out. This is also one of the many reasons we let our clients pay what they like for their website as well as giving you as much help as you need whilst you build your site. We think that if you’ve got a great business or perhaps you’re an amazing blogger or artist or musician you deserve to have an amazing website and strong on point branding.

So what are you waiting for? Get stuck into these awesome tutorials on Canva honestly it’s such a great resource. Also if you’re a Skizzar Client and you want some extra advice and tips feel free to get in touch using the support tab and I’ll be happy to give you some extra help and advice with building your brand and designing your site! Like I said, it’s in our interests for you to have a rad looking site!

 

Not a Skizzar Client yet? Sign up here and get building today!

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How to prepare content for your website:

In the whole history of the entire world ever (at least in our experience), no one has ever sorted out all their content before deciding or indeed starting the build of their website. I guess it makes sense, when you write something you don’t plan out every single word, but we’re hoping this post can give you some really stellar ideas about what you’ll need to include in your website, and if you’re waiting to get started on your build then this is the perfect time to prepare that content.

Firstly, you’ll need around 8 – 10 high-quality images that sum up your brand, style, and personality. Obviously, if you’re selling something or you’re a blogger, for example, you may need far more than that. But as a general rule, aim for about 10. These will be far better if they’re your images not stock images because honestly, you can tell… so we recommend using a professional photographer or doing it yourself. That doesn’t mean you need a flashy camera, you can achieve some pretty awesome results on your phone. If you need inspiration, search for sites you like the look of and think about how they convey their brand. This is one of the most important bits of prep work you’ll need to do for your website, so make sure you put lots of effort into pulling together some really great shots that are all on brand. Also, these will need to be at least 1000 pixels wide (ideally bigger), or they’ll look poor quality and grainy on your site, so no insta pics thanks!!

If you really want to use stock images, then we highly recommend a site called unsplash.com – it’s amazing, and it’s free!

Secondly, you’ll need to think about the pages you want to have, and the copy (that’s designer language for text) you’ll want to include on those pages. We have some great templates built into Skizzar to help you with this, but as an example, you might have:

A home page: 

This should contain a brief overview of what you are offering or what you do.

Bold images that sum up your brand

A title or a logo if you have one

A blurb explaining what you do

Some text that links to another page (such as an about page or service page)

An about page: 

This should contain slightly more copy, perhaps 2-3 paragraphs, don’t go crazy… no one needs to know what your gran’s cat is called (or maybe they do? I don’t know!) but it should tell your story and give a deeper amount of information about your brand.

You’ll need a few images for this page too, perhaps one of yourself if you’re a blogger or an individual such as a musician or artist.

A services page: 

This is where you can tell people in greater detail about the services you offer. If you’re a photographer or a band or DJ (for example) you might want to detail the different packages and prices.

It’s a good idea to link to a contact page here, so a short blurb about getting in touch is a good way to encourage your visitors to get in touch with you!

This page can contain more copy than other pages, so make sure you have images that will break up all that text to stop your readers from becoming bored.

A gallery: 

This is useful if you have a product or portfolio that you want to show off, you can display images and videos of what you do in a gallery. Gallery’s are super visual and a great way of quickly portraying what you do to your visitors, but don’t go overboard – no one wants to scroll through hundreds of pictures, we recommend picking 9-12 high quality images that really sum up the best of what you offer.

You could also have a link for a contact form on this page, so a short sentence about getting in touch could work well.

A contact page:

This can simply be a contact form, so think about what info you want to collect from people when they get in touch, such as a telephone number, a name and a message.

You’ll probably just need one image for this page and it doesn’t really need any other information, perhaps you’d like to let people know they can contact you directly, a short sentence for this will be fine.

Finally, we strongly suggest that you utilize social media, as it’s an incredible tool and you can integrate your instagram or twitter feeds straight into your Skizzar site if you like, so if you’re waiting to start your build make sure any relevant social media is up to date and on brand.

We hope this gives you something to get started on before you start building. Planning this stuff out will mean you can have your site up and running in record time and will find the whole process much smoother. We’re so excited to see what you come up with. Happy building folks!

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A different kind of website builder

We’re opening our doors, but only to 25 new clients a month!

So by now, you should have figured out that here at Skizzar, we’re not trying to fit in with the normal mould of website builders. We already let our clients choose how much they want to pay each month and now we’re launching to the general public we’re still super keen to do things a bit differently.

So we’ve made the decision to only let a certain number of clients sign up to Skizzar each month, a very small number in fact. Just twenty-five wonderful people each month will be given exclusive access to build their own website. Sounds crazy right? Why limit potential custom, if someone is doing all the work themselves? Well, the answer is really simple, it all boils down to wanting our clients to get the very best service from Skizzar.

We want to give people who use our service an amazing and unique experience, after all, the way they feel about their site and the support they receive from us has a direct impact on how much they choose to pay each month. So, we’re comitted to focussing all our attention on giving amazing customer support and working closely with our clients each month, every step of the way, to make sure they have a kick ass website.

So what does it look like to build your site with Skizzar? Well, to start with you may have to wait, hopefully not too long, but we encourage people to register their interest on our website right at the beginning of the month before we run out of slots! Once you have been allocated a place, you’ll be assigned your own professional designer to help you get started. Along with help videos, and this blog you’ll also be able to contact your designer directly, so, should you get stuck or need another set of eyes, they’ll be on-hand to help you with design ideas and helpful tips.

The coolest thing about this (yes there is more), is that once you’ve finished building your site, if you’d like us to…one of our team will take a look at what you’ve built and give it a professional finishing touch. It might be some minor changes like padding and font sizes or creative direction with photographs, or, well…just about anything. We’ll take a look at your site, check everything works well and that your new website is formatted to look totally pro across all devices and platforms. All without any extra charges or hidden fees.

In a nutshell, we think that it can be a bit overwhelming to design your site entirely by yourself, even if the tool you use to do it with is super simple and easy to use! We believe that actual, personal support is pretty helpful and we hope that if your pleased with the service you receive that you’ll pay a fair price for your monthly subscription, (to be totally upfront we think about £7 is bang on) but it’s totally up to you!!

If you’re interested in building your site with us, then head over to the Skizzar website, click on get started and fill out your details – we’ll be in touch within 24 hours.

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Choosing Colours and Typography

Ok, so now we’re getting down to the pretty stuff, and by pretty, I mean pretty important. You know why… because this is how you build a consistent brand. Today we’ll be chatting to you about why these things are important and also give you some tips about how to change fonts and colours throughout your site.

So I’m going to just jump right in and say, if you have loads of different fonts and font sizes throughout your site, it will look messy. On the other hand, have just one font in one size throughout the whole of your website and it will look flat and boring. So it’s about getting the balance right. It’s good to use two or three different fonts and to ensure all headings or all buttons have the same font. Obviously because we’re great, we’ve done the hard work for you and grouped the text into four categories. Body, Headings, Menu Headings and Buttons. You can select fonts for the whole of your site, in one simple step. This means that your website will have continuity right across the board. This will help your site to look really professional and help to build your brand. You should make sure you use these fonts across absolutely all of your branding and mailouts. It will help your users to instantly recognise your brand. You can edit your fonts in the customiser, under site settings.

Not surprisingly then, colour has the same, no scratch that waaaaay more of an impact on your branding. So just like fonts you want to choose a palette of colours that represent what you’re about. Colour has an amazing impact on how people perceive your brand. For example green tones give an impression of being environmentally friendly, healthy etc. Whereas pink might be more fun and light hearted. Take a look at this article about the psychology of colour, if you haven’t already chosen the colours for your brand. You might want to add in a few more colours across your site, that perhaps don’t feature in your logo, or perhaps your logo is simply black or white. In that case I really recommend taking a look at coolors.co which can help you generate a scheme for your site. I love this site, I’ve used it loads and also recommended it to lots of other people and it’s really helpful in coming up with a scheme, you can copy and paste the hex codes onto your site and use them for backgrounds and buttons.

So once you start formatting these things across your site you’ll see it really coming together. I think formatting is the biggest difference between a site that looks great and a site that doesn’t. Consider if your headers are all centrally aligned or to the left, are your buttons all a solid colour or transparent? Ya catch my drift, this post is a gentle reminder that the devil is in the detail. It may only take you five minutes to go through your site and check, but it speaks volumes about who you are, what you’re brand is about and erm most importantly how awesome you are!

Hopefully you’ve found this post helpful, remember to check out coolor.co it’s a great site and can help you battle the minefield that is colour schemes! I am really excited to take a look at your site, feel free to share you site on the Facebook group once it’s live!

Also little side note. We really love to feature our clients across our social media and on blog posts, if you’d like to be considered for a feature, you can share your site and a little about yourself with us and we’d love to feature you across our network!

 

 

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How are you getting on?

Hey there newbies! So if you’ve just signed up, we thought we better check in and see how you’re doing? It can feel a bit overwhelming creating a new website right? We’ve made it as simple as we can for you to get started but sometimes staring at a blank canvas can be pretty daunting, even if you’re Picasso (ok maybe a bad example, that guy loved flinging paint around) Anyhoo… ya catch my drift. So I thought I’d give you a little to do list for your website that could really help you get the bulk of work done. I fall into the trap all the time of concentrating on the tiniest of details and this can sometimes lead to me feeling I haven’t achieved anything, so trust me when I say that it’s best to do these main things first.

 

  1. Write out your content Spend some time working out how to say what you need to say in the most concise way possible. Obviously if you’re a writer don’t be afraid of writing long blog posts but your home page needs to be visually appealing. Spend some time deciding what you want to say and how you’d like to lay it out. Browse some other websites and see how they do it, or use some of our amazing templates, you can always remove sections if the template doesn’t completely fit your purpose.
  2. Choose a strong  image (s) You will need quality visual images for your site, we really recommend having a bold and very high quality image at the top of your page here’s a video on how you can do that. If you don’t have your own images there are some great stock sites we think are really great. We’ve written all about choosing images in another blog post for you.
  3. Saaaaaay whaaaaat your website is about. It might be obvious to you but make it really clear with a short easy to understand tag line, you should also definitely add in your logo or the name of your company.
  4. Add pages to your site Before you start to worry that this sounds like a lot of work, you don’t need to have loads of pages. Keep everything as concise as possible, even big companies don’t necessarily have extensive websites with lots of pages, smart cookies will know that the purpose of your website should be to show off you or your product and call readers to action, and that’s it.  That being said sometimes you need to have more than just a home page, so here’s a guide on how to add in more pages and also a guide on how to add a menu to your site so that readers can see those beautiful pages!
  5. Why are you doing this? No really, why are you building a website? Are you offering a service or product, are you a blogger or musician? Whatever the point of the site make sure everything guides the reader to where they need to go. For example, if you’re an musician and you want to be booked for gigs you’ll need a contact form, so try and guide people to that contact form by using buttons. Obviously don’t go crazy, but if you’re trying to get people to fill in a contact form them give them plenty of options to click straight to it.

So that’s my list of the top things to do to get your site looking good, later on you might want to play around with the padding and layout of content, ensuring it looks really visually appealing but follow those steps and you should have a frame work completed.

Have you found this helpful? Don’t forget to visit the help site for more how to videos and use the Facebook group to share ideas and ask questions.

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Welcome to the Skizzar community

Hello there! Well welcome to Skizzar, I guess if you’re reading this you’re pretty new to the gang, so let me start by just saying a massive thank you for choosing Skizzar to build your website.

We started this whole thing because we wanted it to be really easy to make beautiful, fully customisable sites without all the confusion and stress, or without all the nonsense of free vs premium packages, you see on a lot of other website builders.

We’re hoping that if you’ve chosen to use Skizzar you’re a pretty out of the box and creative thinker. We’ll take a guess that you’ve probably got a great product (or are a really great person) and the thing you want to share with the world is pretty rad. The reason being is that we really value community and we really love to connect our clients together. Which is why we have a Team Skizzar Facebook group, it’s only available to members and it’s a great way for you to connect with other users, get inspirational tips and advice and make some great business contacts. Although our client base is super varied, Skizzar tends to attract really cool people (see that’s why you’re here) so it’s a really awesome group to be a part of. It’s run by me (Emma) and I’ll also be on hand to answer any questions you might have. Of course, you’ll probably want to get started on building your site straight away (this is the fun bit after all.) If you want a bit of help on how to master the basics then visit our help site and if you’ve got any more questions then you can raise a support ticket, by clicking on the support tab on your dashboard.

Remember that Skizzar is fully customisable, but we also have some great templates. Our designers have put them together very thoughtfully so that you can create a beautiful website really easily. I’m so excited to see what you come up with. So why not start by going to the Facebook page and giving us a like, I’ll be sure to add you to the group. Also, make sure you giz us a follow on Instagram where you can enjoy a bit of visual stimulation if you like.  As well as some nonsense Instagram stories from me, which I can’t promise will be at all helpful but might give you a glimpse into the wonderful world of Skizzar.

Thank you for joining us on this marvellous journey through life.

 

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Pay what you want!

So you’ve made your site and it’s probably looking pretty dope by now! You’ll be forgiven for thinking that there’s going to be some hidden charges or you’ll have to have loads of ugly adverts plastered across your site. Well the long and short of it is, there are no hidden costs and no advertising. You just select an amount to pay monthly using our simple and easy to use slider. In short you pay what you want.

When we tell people about this feature there are two very distinct groups of people, those that get it and those that don’t. So if you’re scratching your head wondering how do these guys make any money, the answer is simple. Even when given the choice of how much to pay (anything between £1 and £25 per month) the majority of our clients think that Skizzar and the amazing support we offer are worth paying a little for each month. On average our clients pay around £7 a month which makes us really happy. We’ll always aim to be transparent about this which is why we post monthly updates about how much our clients are choosing to pay over on Twitter.

There are a few reasons we chose to build our business this way, firstly, we’re super passionate about supporting small businesses and individuals that deserve amazing websites but perhaps don’t have the budget to spend a lot of money. Secondly it is the best indicator of how happy our clients are with the service they receive. Most importantly Radiohead did it Circa 2007 with their album ‘In Rainbows’ and it worked out pretty well for them.

So, hopefully that makes things a bit clearer, really we want you to decide how much you pay each month and if you’re really like what we’re doing then why not give this post a share and spread the word.

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