Authors: Here’s How to Create a Podcast That Expands Your Reach

Guest post by Amy Collett

Podcasting is quickly becoming one of the most effective ways to promote a brand and move a business forward. And authors worldwide have taken notice. In fact, the overwhelming majority of bestselling authors maintain a podcast presence.

You’ve come to the right place if you’re thinking about starting a podcast to boost your writing career. Below, Caligraphics Design discusses how to effectively prepare, produce, and leverage an author podcast!

Determine Your Audience and Niche    

First, you need to figure out what kind of listeners you will target your podcast to and identify a niche that you can fill. Maybe you hope to inform and inspire beginner freelance writers or independent authors, or perhaps your goal is to reach established novelists. Choose an audience to base the rest of your podcast strategy around.

Think About Marketing

Too many podcasters fail to implement an effective marketing strategy, which can significantly limit your reach. Before diving deep into producing your podcast, start thinking about how you will promote it and garner a following.

For example, you’ll need a good name for your podcast that stands out and remains top of mind with your audience. You also need a professional website where listeners can find your podcast and other content relevant to your brand. Many podcasters use YouTube to showcase their content. Look into YouTube banner templates to create a customized banner with your own text, images, and logo if you go that route.

Choose a Format

There are many different formats to consider for your podcast; the one you roll with must set you up to succeed in your ultimate goals. Here are a few of the most popular podcast formats:

  • Interview show
  • Solo training
  • Quick tip
  • News analysis
  • News briefing
  • True crime
  • Fiction
  • Genre review

Do you want to help other writers develop strategies for producing better content? A solo training format might be the ticket. Is your primary goal to inspire people to start writing in general? An interview show format could be ideal. Think about your mission, and structure your podcast accordingly.

Establish Your Show Branding

Some people underestimate the importance of branding a podcast because it’s primarily an auditory experience. However, as with any other type of show, you need professional branding that attracts new listeners and distinguishes you from other authors.

For example, you’ll need to design album art that shows up on your website and streaming platforms and an introduction to each episode. Some podcasters include music and voiceover in their intros. Moreover, make sure you have a solid outro to close out your episodes.

Get the Gear and Record

You could spend days researching the plethora of podcast equipment on the market. But at the end of the day, there are only a few items you really need to get started, and you can build your setup from there. Invest in a high-quality dynamic microphone, over-the-ear headphones, and mic arm. And of course, you’ll need a reliable computer and editing software!

Once you obtain the essential gear, choose a podcast host (where you will upload and store your episode files), and start recording your first episode. The easiest method is to record directly into your editing software. Then, you’ll have everything set up to edit your file for professional bliss!


Authors everywhere are starting podcasts. However, while it’s an excellent way to get your name out there and solidify your place in the industry, you must come at it with a good strategy if you hope to stand out and succeed in the long run.

Following the steps above will get you off to a strong start, but there is much more to producing and launching a podcast. Keep learning as much as you can to create a podcast that puts you on the bestseller list!

Would you like to read more helpful content or learn about our book cover design services? Visit today!

Freelance Writing Side Hustles Can Lead To Big Payoffs

Guest post by Amy Collett

Just about everyone is familiar with the benefits of working in the gig economy and creating side hustles to earn extra cash. If you’re still in school or are a recent grad, this type of work can be especially beneficial, providing you with a great deal of flexibility. If you’re someone with writing skills, you could have a wide range of potential freelance areas to capitalize on.

Benefits of Freelancing

When you work as a freelancer, you often have a good deal of control over the types of work you take on, the time you commit to various projects, the rate you charge, and the location you work from. Freelancers often work on a per-project basis, though it is possible to find longer-term work, either with the same client or with publications that may bring you on as a regular contributor. According to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, you can deduct a lot of business-related expenses as a freelancer, ranging from basic office supplies and equipment all the way through vehicle usage. Good record-keeping is essential, especially when it comes to filing your self-employment tax return and claiming all eligible deductions.

Downside of Freelancing

Freelance work is flexible, but that also means it’s not always steady. This means you need to be mindful of budgeting, ensuring you’re taking on enough work to pay your bills and meet your financial obligations without overextending yourself with too many clients. Keep in mind, as a freelancer, you’re not entitled to sick time, vacation pay, benefits, retirement, or unemployment benefits. You’ll also have to pay your own share of taxes, along with the employer’s share of taxes and Social Security. All of this can significantly reduce your “take-home” pay, so you’ll want to keep these things in mind when negotiating rates.

Potential Freelance Areas

If you’re a versatile and talented writer, there are a number of freelancing gigs you can pursue. You could do newspaper and magazine writing, whether it’s freelancing or taking on assignment work. If you have marketing and advertising experience, you can also find freelance work as an advertising copywriter. Other niche areas include technical writing, speech and scriptwriting, jingles, blogging, or even ghostwriting. Employee manuals, operational guides, editing tasks, and social media blurbs are all areas in which there’s high demand. You might even pair up with people in related fields, like web design or graphic arts. In these cases, you provide the copy while they provide the technical design elements.

Where to Find Work

There are myriad freelance postings in online job boards, and professional freelancing associations often provide job leads as well. If there’s a particular business you’re interested in, reach out to the hiring manager or creative director and ask about freelance opportunities. Alternatively, you might approach publications, advertising and marketing agencies, and communication companies to inquire about joining a freelance pool. Even some jobs listed as in-house full-time positions can be converted into a freelance role if the hiring manager thinks you’re a good fit. You simply need to sell them on the cost savings and flexibility that come with utilizing a freelancer.

It’s a good idea to showcase your work, achievements, and qualifications with a professional-looking resume. Make your resume stand out from the crowd by using a free resume builder to design your resume. Simply choose from a library of professional designs and edit the template to your specifications.

Setting Your Rates

Some hiring entities may have a set rate for freelance work, or you may be asked to name your price. Writer’s Market provides guidance on appropriate fees to charge for different types of projects. You might work hourly, per project, or even negotiate a retainer, in which you make yourself available for a certain number of hours at a specified, guaranteed rate. The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook provides additional guidance per industry. If you’re asked to provide a scope of work for a project as part of an estimate, be sure to build in time for reviews and revisions, which can add a significant amount of time to a project.

Advancing Your Skills

Every industry has continually evolving best practices, and ensuring you’re on the cutting edge of a journalism field can be a significant boost when building your business and attracting clients. Consider professional development programs, or going back to school for an online degree, such as your master’s. Online degree programs allow you to follow a schedule that suits your lifestyle.

Also, attend writers conferences and workshops whenever possible, and consider online tutorials to help you sharpen your writing skills. Not only can this help you advance from a professional standpoint, but it’s also a good place for meeting others you can collaborate with and secure leads from.

Freelance writing allows you to earn money through a creative endeavor. For best results, your freelance writing gig should be operated like a business. Always insist on a written agreement or contract with anyone you work for, establish a business bank to cash checks and pay bills, and create an online portfolio so that interested parties can find you and your work with a simple online search.

Are you a freelance writer preparing to release your new book? Let Caligraphics design a book cover that’s eye-catching and engaging. Visit our ebook design page to see previous cover and learn how Caligraphics can help you.

Photo By Pixabay

5 Things to Do Before Self-Publishing Your Book

self-publishing your book

You’ve been working on your manuscript for months, and now, you’re almost ready to officially put your self-published book up for sale. Whether you’ve been writing an ebook, a collection of poems, or a paperback novel, you’re so excited to share your book with the world! But publishing a book is actually a team effort, and by working with a graphic designer like Caligraphics Design, you can give your book some extra pizzazz and ensure that it looks polished. Here’s how to put the finishing touches on your self-published manuscript!

Hire a Graphic Designer

You don’t want to put your book on the market without adding a professional cover first! While you could create a cover by yourself, you can also start looking for a graphic designer to get the best results. By working with a graphic designer like Caligraphics Design, you can make sure that your book has an attention-grabbing cover that will draw in readers. When you connect with a graphic designer, talk to them about your vision for the cover of the book. Make sure to be clear and specific about what you want, and share details about the plot that will help your graphic designer understand exactly what you’re looking for.

Read Your Book Aloud

If you want to ensure that every sentence in your book flows, it’s a good idea to read it out loud. You’ll be able to see if your dialogue sounds natural, whether or not your sentences are too wordy, and how your overall narrative flows. Reading your book aloud lets you experience your book from your readers’ perspective! Set aside a few hours for this project and give yourself time for making appropriate corrections afterward.

Get Feedback From Beta Readers

Of course, there’s nothing better than getting feedback from real readers before you publish your book! You can get suggestions and comments from readers before publishing by sending out advanced copies to beta readers. To find beta readers, Tiffany Hawk recommends asking your friends and family, trading manuscripts with writer friends, getting involved with an online writing group, or even hiring readers through freelance jobs platforms.

Work With an Editor and Proofreader

To get specific feedback on everything from narrative structure and character development to grammatical mistakes and spelling corrections, you will need to hire an editor and a proofreader. An editor will help you organize and pace your story – basically, their job is to make sure that all of the pieces fit together. On the other hand, a proofreader has an eye for detail, and they will be going over your spelling and grammar to catch any minor mistakes. It’s always a good idea to hire both an editor and a proofreader. They will be able to catch mistakes that you might have glossed over!

Develop a Marketing Strategy

While you could hire a digital marketing consultant to promote your book, you can also take a DIY approach to advertising in order to save money. For instance, you can share the news of your book launch on social media. IngramSpark recommends using hashtags, sticking to a posting schedule to stay consistent, and checking out your analytics on different platforms to make sure you’re reaching your target audience. You can also use an online banner maker to create banners for your profiles based on your book cover. Additionally, you can host a giveaway and hand out free copies of your book to the winners!

Self-publishing a book is a lot of work. You want to make sure that you can reach as many readers as possible when your book hits the market. With these tips, you’ll be able to perfect your final manuscript and impress your readers!

Searching for a graphic designer for your ebook? Caligraphics Design can help you prepare your self-published manuscript! Reach out through the contact form on our website to get started.

Photo via Pexels

Scaling Up: Knowing Who and What to Hire

There comes a time for every small business when you have to hire if you want to grow larger. But expanding your personnel is also a risk – each new member of the team can represent an investment and banking on the wrong person may result in slowed momentum and missed opportunities. In this article, we’ll look at how to find and hire professionals who will help your business grow safely, using examples in sales and marketing.


The advantages of hiring freelancers are numerous – for a start, they’re often cheaper when being paid per task, they come at a lower risk and they can bring fresh outside perspective having worked across the field. A good marketeer or salesman in the modern era will have a comprehensive and thorough understanding of popular, current tech solutions, for example. If you’re not adept with managing a CRM or tracking KPIs, the right freelancer can instantly step into your business and improve its value simply by addressing these points. You may even consider asking a freelancer who worked well and profited the business to join up full-time.

Despite these obvious advantages, freelancers are not always the right option for a small business. One clear reason for this is that they tend to function well in the short-term but, with all their understanding and knowledge of your business, may at any moment turn tail and leave. This is especially true with marketing execs, as they will have carried out research into your demographics and measured what worked and what didn’t. It’s also true, to varying extents, that each new employee requires onboarding and, with a high freelance turnover, you may be spending a lot of time and effort training people who end up working at the company for short periods of time.

Freelancers also benefit from reduced accountability – many small businesses will at some point hire someone who produces sub-standard work and then walks away. Whereas, with full-time employees, work performance holds serious ramifications for their long-term careers.

Full-Time Employees

Hiring full-time staff should be considered the riskier but potentially more rewarding option. With the right nurturing, a talented employee can completely transform the trajectory of a business and the individual’s value tends to increase with growing understanding of the company. It’s important, before making a decision about whether to hire full-time, to do the maths and calculate whether they will bring measurable value to the company. In sales and marketing, this is usually more easily quantified and, financially speaking, it can make more sense to offer part-time or temp contracts, whilst carefully weighing up the options carefully beforehand.

The dangers of hiring full-time relate mostly to the nature of the business itself. Some companies are seasonal-dependent and, by hiring permanent, you’re paying for services that are not necessarily needed at all months of the year. This is where sales and marketing can differ – as sales staff can be brought on for shorter periods with great impact, whereas marketers tend to require year-long timeframes to work their magic. Remember as well, to factor in overall costs when hiring perm, including perks, added paperwork, and holidays. It’s estimated that added benefits come in at about 1.4% of the basic salary.


Not all expertise comes in the form of freelancers or full-time employees. There’s also a plethora of consultants and off-the-shelf services to help you and your business succeed. Using these intelligently can make all the difference – for example, a Limited Liability Company (LLC) can help reduce liability, provide tax advantages and reduce paperwork. By hiring Zenbusiness, a formation service, you can avoid hefty lawyer fees and receive help negotiating state regulations (as these differ from region to region).

Whoever you hire, remember to carry out as much research as is possible and ethical. It’s a risky business, sharing responsibility with new personnel but a necessary one for growth and, when done correctly, everyone can benefit tremendously.

Caligraphics Design provides book cover design and formatting for both ebook and print manuscripts. If you have a book, whether fiction or non, get in touch at: and see how we can help you.

Image by Pexels

7 Techniques to Help You Start Learning Photoshop

laptop computer with Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop has been synonymous with all forms of digital art since the Stone Age of computer graphics, visualization, and post-processing. The program has undergone countless changes in quality of life over the past two decades and has become a more usable and powerful program than ever before.

For beginners, getting to know the features, settings, tools, and techniques of Photoshop can be a mind-building and patient exercise. If you don’t have a solid foundation for the basics, productivity with Photoshop scares you, overwhelms you, and you may have a computer hole in your window.

Adobe Photoshop has access to multiple careers. Graphic style and photography are the most common. In fact, front-end developers and production assistants can make a huge difference with their Photoshop knowledge. To master a skill always start from learning the skill, let’s look at a few techniques that can help you learn the basics of Photoshop.

1. Basics of Graphic Design

Graphic design is easy to practice. An art school is not a necessary basis for becoming a graphic designer if you roll up your sleeves and master the basic principles of good design.

If you are using Photoshop for professional work, keyboard shortcuts are very important to maintain efficiency and ensure the benefits of your program. Creating a physical cheat page not only serves as a keyboard shortcut for keyboard shortcuts, but it also helps you master the powerful tools of Photoshop. Multiple resources are available to learn the basics of photoshop. You still don’t need to buy Photoshop. If you have time, try Canva Design School. Plus, HackDesign has a great newsletter that keeps you busy every week.

2. Photoshop Interface

Adobe guides you through the Photoshop workspace. Getting started with Photoshop will show you how to use your workspace. Start reading instructions and follow the guidelines. Learn how to use photoshop workspaces to maximize workflow. 

If you need to access the tool, see the Workspace Basic Support page. Photoshop also provides in-depth tips with text descriptions and videos to help you better understand how each tool works.

3. Pick Tools One By One

The Photoshop tool palette on the left is also thin and long. However, if you click the little arrow below it, you will measure the square next to the hidden tools. There are nearly 65 square meters of tools for collecting, trimming and cutting, finishing, painting, drawing, and sorting.

Choose your desired tool every day. Find a basic guide that shows you how to use it in the actual degree project involved.

As simple as “Photoshop with Rod Tools”, connecting to the Internet on YouTube can be a step-by-step lesson. Photoshop Square’s tips and tricks are a good place to start.

4. Adjustment Layers

In post-production, few tools are more important than adjusting the layers to create a wonderful final image. You can adjust the hue, color, and saturation of the image by adding a state-of-the-art filter that can be adjusted immediately. The extra layer is important because it can be turned on or off with just one button, so changes are temporary and easy to manage. You can find setting levels on the tab as a black and white circle icon. Use it wisely.

Layers quickly become your best friend in Photoshop. When working with large, complex images with multiple layers and sublayers, it’s important to tag and organize them so that they are easy to manage.

Once you have the top layer organized, you can start working with slide masks, layer styles, and loads of other useful tools that work even better when things are neat and tidy.

5. Photoshop Micro skill

Over the decades, photoshop changed a lot and contains various sub-parts along with its use. Whether you’re using in telling stories, starting concepts, imagining something new, science, or some alternative use of it.

But did you find that you are only editing videos here? Or create great typographic messages? You can even create a link to a nurse’s email address, HTML account, or jersey. Your boss may need to develop 3D models.

There are many options for you to choose a talent or location that interests you and that you can get used to in Photoshop.

6. Challenge Yourself

By challenging yourself, you can monetize your performance in Photoshop skill learning. You can earn money on sites like Fiverr and Design Crowd in your spare time. Why not use simpler polygons and see if you can fix the problem right away?

The unit of assignments is sometimes simple. For example, someone could lift you to remove the background from a series of photos. Or restore a broken photo. It may be a Photoshop teaching approach called Sink or Float, but it has some responsibilities.

Of course, your portfolio may not pay attention as a beginner. However, you need to start somewhere. Otherwise, you can use the talents posted by others as an example of your education.

7. Follow an Expert

Finding a real-world mentor is impractical, but virtual mentors are easier to find. Select the world you want to purchase and find online consultants that the UN agency should be focusing on in this niche.

For example, if you want to learn digital painting, note that the United Nations Agency for Digital Creation offers digital painting instruction.

Think about the value of intentional gratification. Select some lessons, copy them and try to change them up with your creativity. See what this method teaches you.

Final Thought

Photoshop is huge. With hundreds of tools, techniques, menus, and options, the tutorials that define this area can be overwhelming. However, we believe that the tools you use should never get in the way of your creative and professional goals.   Some photos are curved. Some are too dark or too light and some just need a little more flavor. Learn how some seemingly small changes can make a huge difference to your photos, from leveling and composing the horizon to balancing the exposure and adjusting the colors. If you’ve online store, you can use your photoshop skill to edit WooCommerce product video of your top rated products and attract more customers.