Ash Blankenship

November 17, 2021

Why I don't compete for anything

I'm not a competitive person. If you want to get ahead of me, be my guest. I'm okay with being second or third, or even tenth. I don't strive for perfection. It seems that we're competing more than ever these days. For likes, views, shares, social capital, venture capital. But I've learned to be okay with not being "the best" or the "m...
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November 9, 2021

🤔 Thought bubble (v3): What is "pro" anyway?

This is a series I call Thought Bubble. It's a brief collection of ramblings related to my no-code work and maybe a few other topics mixed in. If you haven’t already, subscribe to get these posts (and all others) in your inbox. • What is "pro" anyway? I sat anxiously at my desk as I watched Apple's recent keynote that introduced the ne...
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October 23, 2021

The problem with data tracking

When I began building websites some 20 years ago, site visits were mostly anonymous. I recall the New Yorker cartoon that read, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” How times have changed. Today, the web is full of online trackers that follow you around the internet. And it's not just cookies that remember your site settings o...
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October 15, 2021

🤔 Thought bubble (v2): the new Safari pisses me off

• As a web designer, the new MacOS Safari update pisses me off! If you’ve updated your Mac’s Safari browser to version 15, you likely noticed the changes. Most noticeable, Safari’s tabs and menu bar pulls accent colors from websites. Perhaps this is to make the browser feel that it’s part of the site itself, a seamless, intuitive exper...
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October 12, 2021

💸 What steps should we take when a client doesn’t pay?

Out of all the challenges we face as designers and no-coders, having a client who doesn’t pay is one of the most frustrating. We can easily spend weeks or months performing work for a client, only to have them ignore invoices and ghost our emails or calls. It's frustrating and scary, especially when we have bills to pay. But there are ...
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October 5, 2021

🤔 Thought bubble: will no-code lead to job loss? And more.

Here's a little something I'm trying—thought bubble. It's a brief collection of ramblings related to my no-code work and maybe a few other topics mixed in. Here's the first: • I once feared that no-code could lead businesses (aka, future clients) to build their own websites. But as no-coders, our jobs are no yet on the chopping block. ...
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September 22, 2021

What happened to left-hand navigation? And should we bring it back?

There’s a new ramen restaurant in my neighborhood. The food looks good and their website is pretty nice too! One thing that stands out with the latter is the site’s left-hand navigation. This used to be common. I remember when left-hand navigation was the default. It’s now the top, but does left-hand navigation deserve a second look an...
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September 6, 2021

3 tips for effective communication with clients 🤝

Working with clients can be one of the most rewarding aspects of my work. It is fulfilling to be able to sit down with a client, whether in person or over Zoom, and to learn about their goals, needs and ambitions. In fact, this is the first step of any project and the most important. But once work commences, a project can easily go in ...
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August 13, 2021

Success is fleeting. Here's how to tie it down.

What does success mean to you? Does it mean running your own business? Or maybe it's working for yourself? Maybe success is being able to work from anywhere, without being tied to an office or an employer. Maybe success is owning a Tesla or a big house. Or maybe it's the flexibility to care for aging parents or young children. Success,...
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August 12, 2021

Get $10 off Fathom Analytics with this Affiliate Code

Why I use Fathom Analytics When most of us think of analytics software, Google Analytics is the first to come to mind. As the default choice for many website owners, Google Analytics offers many features for tracking visitors and helping site owners understand how their visitors use their site. Want to try Fathom Analytics? Get $10 off...
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May 8, 2021

In defense of Robinhood

The investment app Robinhood has taken much heat lately following the Gamestock trading fiasco, when earlier this year traders flooded Robinhood to buy up low cost shares of the video game retailer. The traders who pumped up the stock emerged from social platforms, namely Reddit. I won’t go into details of the events that took place, b...
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April 29, 2021

Introducing the launch of the Founder’s Blog at Acme Design

For a while, I held off on launching a blog on my company site. I was hesitant because I wanted to make sure I had the time to keep the blog active with frequent content. I finally decided to embrace the blog idea and to go for it. And I’m glad I did. The Founder’s Blog on Acme Design now has a handful of posts and I’m writing about to...
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April 9, 2021

Now live on Udemy, The Freelancers Guide to Stronger Client Relationships

Over the past few months, I’ve been creating a course for freelancers and I’m happy to announce that’s it’s now live! It's called The Freelancers Guide to Stronger Client Relationships. You can find it on Udemy. Here's the link! Here’s what it’s all about: • Why networking is about building relationships • How to price services that in...
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March 31, 2021

No one reads your website

The web has rewired our brains. As a result, we have shorter attention spans and are more likely to skim content than read long-form. A visit to a website lasts 21 seconds on average, just enough time to skim a few sentences, glance at photos, or take some kind of action. "On the Web, there is no such thing as leisurely browsing," writ...
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March 26, 2021

My privacy focus explained

You've heard the story by now: the services we use online to search the web, send emails, and watch videos track us as we browse, tweet, and share cat memes. Many of us aren't too concerned about online trackers but here's why we should be and what we can do about it. First, online tracking isn't just about personalized ads that match ...
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March 24, 2021

A Simple Way to Measure Progress

I still remember my first ever website. I created it using HTML, which I coded in my PC's Notepad app. At the time, it was amazing and beautiful! But by today's standards, it would be dated. And by my current standards, I would consider it awful. It's not that I did a bad job designing and creating my first website. It was great then, ...
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March 17, 2021

Better Goal Setting

Now that more of us are working from home, the onus is on us to set our schedules and ensure that our goals are met. This starts with setting goals that are achievable. Having tried many techniques over the years, I've settled on two methods of goal setting that work well. They include: SMART goals These are goals that are Specific, Me...
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March 15, 2021

Forever a Company of One

"What's your growth plan?" "Would you be interested in funding?" "A friend started her business recently and already has a small staff; when do you expect to expand?" These are just some of the questions I've been asked regarding my business. My answers were, "I don't have a plan." "No." and "I don't." These answers evoked disagreeing ...
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March 11, 2021

A note about passive income

An old friend of mine who claimed he could read palms once looked at my hand and determined that I did't like working. His palm reading abilities were partly correct. I enjoy creating and working on projects; what I don't like is the concept of work as it is defined today. Office politics, the 9-to-5, water cooler gossip, the tradition...
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March 8, 2021

My latest book recommendations

Books are like best friends; The types of friends who are selfless and help you succeed. While I read mostly nonfiction, even fiction has a way of showing us a different world or a new perspective. This is why I am always delighted to discuss books. Occasionally, I like to share a list of my recently read books. Recent shutdowns have a...
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March 5, 2021

Why I'm creating a Udemy course

I've studied the world of freelancing. Courses and books have been helpful, but they often fail to get to the heart of the challenges freelancers face. What about dealing with a client who decides they want to bail at the last minute, after you've put in 99% of the work? What about client red flags to look out for? How do you maintain ...
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March 4, 2021

Creating a writing habit

Developing a writing habit requires that we reduce or eliminate barriers to composing and sharing. Most platforms make this easy, by offering simple compose windows and social aspects where your readers can easily follow you. I've tried Medium and found that it reduces barriers to posting but my writing was often mixed with thousands o...
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