Opinion: Be realistic about diving into freelance | 2020 trends: Watch for these design elements to make a splash | GroupM: US ad spend up 6.2% in 2019, TV dips 7%
December 5, 2019
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Opinion: Be realistic about diving into freelance
(Pixabay)
Eric Karkovack outlines the risks and challenges involved in becoming a freelance web designer and warns it's not for everyone. Uncertainty of schedules and pay; dependence on clients; full responsibility of coding, budgets and marketing; and the costs of training and keeping up with the latest developments are among the potential pitfalls he lists, adding "It's up to us to determine where we'll be happiest and then make the most of the opportunities we have."
Full Story: Speckyboy (12/2) 
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Trendwatch
Carrie Cousins rounds up web design trends for the new year to keep websites fresh. Her list includes:
  • overlapping elements;
  • minimalism and white space, especially on home pages;
  • 3D gamification and illustrations;
  • serif typography;
  • sticker-style gif animation on a small scale;
  • video content;
  • asymmetry;
  • chatbot assistants; and
  • big buttons for call to action and navigation.
Full Story: Design Shack (12/4) 
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GroupM reports that US ad spend growth this year will rise 6.2% to hit $244 billion and increase by 4% during 2020, with a 7% drop in TV ad investment, which, excluding political advertising, will reach $64.3 billion in 2019. The company projects digital ad spend growth of 20% in 2019 and 13% in 2020, while out-of-home advertising is up 8% this year.
Full Story: Digiday (tiered subscription model) (12/3),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (12/3),  MediaPost Communications (12/3),  The Drum (free registration) (12/3) 
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Getting the Word Out
Fresh content, especially limited-edition elements with seasonal themes, can boost engagement around the holidays, Carl Livie writes. He recommends developers consider new devices that will be on the market at the end of the year and the new app downloads and usage that will follow.
Full Story: VentureBeat (12/4) 
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A guide to building a brand with hashtags
(Pixabay)
Entrepreneurs can gain visibility, and ultimately bring in more customers and profit, by using the right hashtags on social media, writes eVision Media founder Susan Friesen. Setting weekly themes and employing humor are two techniques she suggests to increase engagement.
Full Story: Business 2 Community (12/3) 
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Featured Content
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Developer Update
Eric Karkovack gives solutions to problems caused by bad WordPress practices, which he says are easy to fall into in the name of convenience. Security can be compromised by unused plugins so cut the clutter, use firewalls and strong passwords to thwart hacking attacks, and maintain a backup copy of websites to avoid having to start from scratch, he writes.
Full Story: Speckyboy (12/5) 
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Design Corner
This infographic from Shutterstock reveals the top colors that will be used digitally in 2020 -- Lush Lava, Aqua Menthe and Phantom Blue. The company predicts a shift from pastel hues to bold shades.
Full Story: Social Media Today (12/4) 
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Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs
Wish-list reminders, giveaways, discounts and gift guides can ignite holiday marketing, entrepreneur Syed Balkhi writes. Start with a holiday email "because it makes [customers] feel valued and it helps improve customer loyalty and retention," Balkhi writes.
Full Story: Business 2 Community (12/2) 
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Association News
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Our 18th annual Internet Advertising Competition is now accepting entries for the 2020 program. The deadline to enter is Jan. 31, 2020.

The 24th annual international WebAward Competition for Website Development's next Call for Entries will be March 10, 2020, with a May 29 deadline.

The 9th annual MobileWebAwards will begin accepting entries Aug. 11, 2020. The deadline for entry will be Sept 30.
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