As much as I would love to tell you guys how you should keep up with the latest web designs and on the importance of CSS for maintaining those good web designs, you all know that there is no way I could pull off such a post. Heck, if I knew that much about CSS and PHP I wouldn’t need to rely on a theme such as FlexSqueeze that does almost everything for me. Naturally, if you’re going to display any sort of theme, CSS or otherwise, you need to find a web hosting solution.

Still, being as how it is so important I was lucky enough to have been offered a guest post by Mary Ward who just happens to be a freelance author who writes about design job topics, such as how to choose among web design colleges, artist career tips, and more. Yeah, I know I’m waffling again, here’s the article.

As a web designer, you need to constantly find inspiration in order to be successful and to create work that is appealing and comprehensive. As with any other expression of art, it can sometimes be a task just to stay focused and find inspiration in everyday life. One aspect that is especially important to be focused with is Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

Within the industry of web design, CSS is a key building block to help you draw traffic to your website and ultimately get a higher page rank. Therefore learning the ins and outs and finding inspiration through CSS galleries is of the utmost importance as you move forward with your web design career. As a web designer, you really want to look to the CSS galleries as not only a source of inspiration, but also a way to keep up with new trends, practices, and creative ideas. The very best web designer must keep up with CSS galleries so that they are constantly fresh and using the trends to sharpen their own designs.

7 CSS Galleries You Should Know

Here we look at the top 7 beautiful CSS galleries that can help you to find inspiration and ultimately make you a better web designer.

1. CSS Vault – CSS Vault uses some rather stringent criteria for the CSS designs that are exhibited, which means it can be one of the best resources for the web designer looking for inspiration. As only the best of the best are exhibited in the CSS gallery on this site after going through an extensive review, you know that what you are seeing is at the top of the pack and can serve as inspiration and even education.
2. CSS Creme – CSS Crème offers a one-stop shop to web designers when it comes to CSS designs and so much more. Promoting the best sites out there is the main focus of this site and it allows web designers to not only post theirs for others to see, but allows you to view many other CSS designs out there. It can serve as an excellent inspirational site, as well as a starting point for other applications and technologies.
3. CSS Based – CSS Based helps to provide web designers from everywhere the most well designed CSS-based websites out there. Not only can you find the inspirational CSS designs that you are looking for, but you can also find some excellent resources that can help you to troubleshoot and network with other web designers in the industry.
4. The Best Designs – The Best Designs isn’t new to the scene and therefore they have tweaked the site and know what it takes to offer the very best in CSS designs. The site is created for the designer and therefore its goal is to exhibit only the top CSS designs which are updated constantly. This serves well for the designer that wants to keep current and stay with the trends as they grow and change.
5. CSS Zen Garden – CSS Zen Garden takes a different approach which results in the web designer finding an almost surreal and inspirational place. This site’s main function is to provide a full demonstration of what can be accomplished through CSS design. Therefore it shows the best CSS designs possible with the intent of inspiring the designer in their journey.
6. CSS Elite – The beautiful thing about CSS Elite is that it offers a broad range of CSS designs and helps to break them down by category. Rather than scouring the web for various types of CSS designs that will suit your given need, the site does this for you and offers a comprehensive view of each type and category.
7. Style Gala – Style Gala serves as an online inspiration site for designers when it comes to CSS designs. It focuses on the very essence of CSS which is to separate content from presentation and provides a wide array of designs that a designer can work off for inspiration. For the designer looking for beautiful and functional designs, this is the place to visit.

The key to success as a web designer is not only to create beautiful work but to keep it fresh and new and just like any other creative process we can all get stuck from time to time. The CSS galleries above are among the most beautiful out there, offering some excellent designs and demonstrating new practices within the industry.

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MarketingThere are a lot of ways that you can market a commodity in the real world, a lot of them are free, just like this ad I found on a traffic light in the middle of Sydney. Quite ingenious really as it captures an audience who are forced to wait for the lights to change, and it also happens to be free.

There are other ways to use such cost effective marketing such as placing ads on public notice boards. I’ve sold quite a few items using this method. When it comes to marketing a product online it is a whole different story. While there are sites that allow you to promote your blog for free, such as Cool Blog Links, not many are rated as number one on Google.

So, if you’re like me, a poor blogger who wants to market his blog on the Internet and hasn’t the funds to start a marketing campaign, your probably wondering what other avenues you may have. After a bit of thought I realized there is one particular marketing avenue that works just as well on the Internet as it does in the real world. Word Of Mouth! As long as you consistently produce quality content you will have more chance that others will spread the word.

‘Word of mouth’ on the Internet can be helped by making it easy for your readers to submit your post to such sites as Digg, Stumble, Delicious or by using the Twittley button that Re-Tweets your post. One thing to remember is that you are your blog’s most important asset and your content is the tool by which you build your credentials on the Internet.

We still have the problem of how to market your blog, and the easiest most cost effective way is to use that talent of yours by leaving the best comments imaginable on other peoples blogs. Apart from leaving a link to your blog, and post if the blog uses commentluv, a good well structured comment is more likely to lure people to your blog, as they follow the scent of intelligence left by the bait you left behind.

I used to be an avid PayPerPost fan for quite awhile but unfortunately all good things must come to an end. The reason for my loss of enthusiasm for PPP is due to all the changes that has happened of late, the worst being the amount being offered for taking on a task offered by their many advertisers. In the ‘good old days’ the minimum you could earn was $5 for a post ranging from 50-200 words. If your blogging had a half decent PR you could earn hundreds of dollars for a post. On my PR3 blog I used to get paid up to $50 for a post. Now you’re lucky to get a couple of bucks and the offer can be as low as 50 cents for a hundred word post.

PayPerPostPerhaps the reason for the people at PPP starting up a new version, PayPerPost v4.0, is due to a lot of members feeling the same as I do, they want to be paid a fair amount for their work. Being a brand new site I suppose it’s bound to have some bugs in it, but once the bugs are ironed out it could well be a lot better than the original one.

There are some major differences, probably the most important one to most bloggers is that the general rule is that all links are required to be no-follow. There may be some advertisers that want do-follow links, but then it is up to the individual bloggers as to whether or not they take the opportunity.

Another major difference is that bloggers can set the prices. Prices are set when submitting a blog so you can choose how much per link and per word you wish to get paid for each post. As an example, if you were to set parameters of 5c per word and $5 per link, a 200 word post would earn you $15.

Apparently blogs from the original PPP account were to be easily transferred to the new version, but as I’ve discovered, this is one of the bugs I mentioned earlier. Honestly this is really a pain in the ass because it won’t allow me to enter them manually as it says they already exists. Perhaps I should have just opened a new account?

So, if you are one of those bloggers who wouldn’t mind getting paid for doing a review you may want to give PayPerPost v4.0 a try.

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