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Nagomi Knives Review

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There are hundreds of chef knives available in the market. In fact, these are readily available online and you can get one in just a few clicks. But while it is easy to get your own chef knife, choosing the best is where the challenge comes in. You must consider a number of things, including your personal preference. Remember, a great chef knife for other people might not sit well with you. And that is why we decided to have our own Nagomi Chef Knife Review.  We took the liberty of using the Nagomi Chef Knife as we want to personally understand why a lot of people are raving about it. 

What are Nagomi Knives?

Nagomi knives are handcrafted by the Mitsuboshi Cutlery Company of Japan. And to date, it is considered as one of the best knives out there. It’s not just a simple kitchen tool, it is an art.  

Centuries of Japanese Knife-Making Tradition 

Nagomi Knives are crafted in Seki, the exact place where Samurais used to sharpen their swords. These knives follow the same functional elegance that can be seen in ancient katanas. Nagomi Knives undergo a process that lasts for three months. This is to ensure quality, functionality, and beauty. 

5-Step Nagomi Chef Knife Making Process

  • Stamping 
  • Hardening 
  • Tempering 
  • Handle polishing 
  • Grinding  

Nagomi Chef Knife Review 

At first glance, you will already notice that the Nagomi Chef Knife is designed to be smaller than the conventional chef knives. And this makes it easier for non-pros or home cooks to use it with ease. Quite frankly, you don’t need to be a chef just to appreciate the wonders of the Nagomi Chef Knife. That’s already a plus point for this chef knife.  

Product Specification – Nagomi Chef Knife Review 

What is the blade made of? 

The Nagomi Chef Knife’s blade is made of 440A molybdenum steel. This means it is easy to resharpen and is corrosion-resistant. 

What is the handle material made of? 

The handle of Nagomi Chef Knife is made of stainless steel inlaid on laminated reinforced wood from Italy. 

What is the length of the entire Nagomi Chef Knife? 

The entire length of this Chef Knife is 342mm. The blade length is 205mm and its handle length is approximately 125mm. 

How thick is Nagomi Chef Knife?

The Nagomi Chef Knife is 2.3mm thick. 

How light is Nagomi Chef Knife?

This chef knife is approximately 190g, slightly heavier than most Japanese knives.  

Advantages of Using Nagomi Chef Knife 

When we tried the Nagomi Chef Knife for this review, we didn’t expect a lot. We just thought it was an ordinary functioning chef knife with a beautiful handle. But we were wrong. Honestly speaking, you can get a lot from this knife. And we might be saying this too early, but we were impressed. 

Razor-Sharp Blade

We know that any knife would be useless if it isn’t sharp enough for daily use. It has to work even on hard to cut foods. Fortunately, after using Nagomi Chef Knife, we can attest that it has a razor-sharp blade which can last for years. In addition, it is easy to re-sharpen which makes it useful for anyone spending a lot of time in the kitchen. 

We must say, this is definitely an investment, regardless if you use it at home or at a blockbuster restaurant. And let’s not forget that it has a customizable edge feature so that both right and left-handed people will be able to use the chef knife easily.   

Practical Design

Another selling point of the Nagomi Chef Knife is its practical design. It’s basically made for everyone. While we were testing it, it felt like an extension of our arms, which makes it easy to maneuver. It is evident that the makers of the Nagomi Chef Knife understood the needs of both chefs and home cooks. It wasn’t hard for us to adjust even if we used a different chef knife for years. 

The Nagomi Chef Knife has a to-die-for handle as well. It’s comfortable, durable, and water-resistant. It is both functional and holds a classy-look. Again, it’s perfect for everyday use and it’s nothing short of elegant. 

Perfect Weight 

Japanese knives are generally light but the case is different with the Nagomi Chef Knife. It’s a bit heavier than Japanese knives but that actually is an advantage. Nagomi Chef Knife is ideal for those people who want the Japanese knife’s sharpness but are more comfortable with the weight of European knives. 

Your Knife is Unique 

And did you know that your Nagomi Chef Knife is extremely unique? This is because each knife is individually hammered and it is nearly impossible to have an identical piece. 

It is said that only 20 knives can be made per day by a few seasoned artisans. With careful and precise methods of creating one Nagomi Chef Knife, it is truly a special piece of art. 

Recommended by Professionals 

When chefs and bladesmiths recommend a kitchen tool, that already speaks a lot. Different people can create positive reviews about the Nagomi Chef Knife. But if these are backed up by accounts from professionals, it’s hard not to believe them. And the Nagomi Chef Knife has been the talk of the town for quite some time now.

Is Nagomi Chef Knife Worth It? What Do We Think About It?

The Nagomi Chef Knife isn’t exactly the cheapest in the market. In fact, you can find more affordable chef knives out there. But this Nagome Chef Knife review isn’t about what is the most cost-efficient chef knife or cutting tool in your kitchen. We are on a quest for a chef knife that has outstanding quality and durability that lasts for years. 

If you want a chef knife that is made out of passion, inspired by art, and is fully functional, then the Nagomi Chef Knife is definitely the one.  

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Business

Review: The Truth About 99Designs

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Getting graphic design work done can often be a challenge. Where do you even start? Hiring a full-time graphic designer is expensive and risky. Hiring a freelancer online can take a bit of time. And often times, your designer works in a completely different timezone, making collaboration near impossible.

That’s where 99Designs come in. The company offers a talent-sourcing platform where you can create a design contest and have designers from all over the world submit their entry. You pay 1 flat fee for the contest and guaranteed many drafts. Sounds too good to be true? Let’s find out!

99designs Review

In order to review 99designs accurately, we prepared several projects to submit on the platform. These projects are things that we actually have a need for and may use if the design results returned are good enough.

We’ll go through the entire process that 99designs laid out and follow all rules and instructions given to us. Upon receiving the design work, we’ll pass it around internally to 10 people in our office and simply give a yay or nay. Whatever the results are, will be the numerical grade given. Let’s begin!

What 99designs can do?

In short, just about anything but they’re limited to just graphic design. In our quick 99designs analysis, they offer the following design services:

  • Logo & identity
  • Web & app design
  • Business & advertising
  • Clothing/Merch
  • Illustrations
  • Packaging
  • Books & magazines
  • And more…(the remaining categories are a bit obscured or too niche to list)

It’s a fairly extensive list and seems like if you’re a new startup or business, they’ll cover most of your initial design needs.

What 99designs CANNOT do

As the name implied, 99designs only offers graphic design. They can design a website or app for you, but you will need an independent development team to code it. 99designs also currently don’t offer content support, which isn’t that unusual. Whatever you want designed, you’ll need to provide all of the content before hand.

And that also means you need to do all the proofreading as well. Whatever you submit to be designed, will be designed. The designers usually won’t comment or question your grammar mistakes. So be sure to double and triple check all your content before submitting it to be designed.

Another thing to note, 99designs cannot deliver on time. The delivery runs on a rather flexible schedule that can take up to 2 weeks or longer. So if you need something done fast, 99designs may not be the best solution, even with the expedited delivery add-on purchase.

99designs’ ACTUAL pricing

When we audit 99designs’ pricing structure, we found a few of their categories to be confusing. Categories such as Logos, Web & app design, and Business Advertising can be misleading or vague. For example, when choosing a logo design, you might think you have to buy one of their packages that starts at $349. But with a bit of patience and knowing where to navigate, you can actually just buy a single logo design without any add-ons.

To avoid confusion, I’m going to break down a few of the categories below just so you know exactly how things are priced.

4 Different Tiers

After you fill out the first page of the project brief, 99designs will ask you to pick a tier. The lowest tier will give you the fewest number of design submissions and will usually be assigned to junior artists. Meanwhile the more expensive tiers get more design submissions and often given to more experienced designers.

The price breakdown below assumes you’re going with the lower price tiers, since that’s what most people tend to choose.

Logo & identity prices

Logo alone: $299
Packages: 5 packages offered between $349 – $599

Web design, Website Re-design, and WordPress Theme design prices

The $599 promotional price is NOT for an entire website design or re-design. This is just for ONE page. If you want multiple pages to be designed, 99designs will charge you PER PAGE. The more pages you want designed, the most it will cost. However, you’ll get a steeper discount per page if you request multiple pages at once.

As of now, 99designs only offer up to 5 pages designed initially. If you need more than 5 pages designed, you’ll likely need to hire a designer from 99designs afterward to continue working on the project.

1 page = $599.
2 pages = $749.
3 pages = $899.
4 pages = $1049
5 pages = $1199

Landing page design prices

Landing pages are charged at a flat rate of $349 since it’s just 1 page. There are no options for multiple pages. If you want additional pages to be designed afterward, you’ll have to create another $349 landing page contest, and that’s not cost-effective. If you have a landing page with multiple pages, you’ll have to cough $599 for the web design package.

App design prices

For the advertised price of $599, you are NOT getting an entire app designed. You’re paying PER page of the app to be designed. The more pages you want done, the more it’ll cost. But it’s the initial page design that will cost the most. The more pages you need done, the cheaper it is per page to be designed.

1 screen = $599
2 screens = $699
3 screens = $799
4 screens = $899
5 screens = $999

Business & advertising

The prices for Business & advertising are all over the place and might not make any sense. For example, why does it cost $299 for an Album cover design…when it costs only $199 for a Podcast cover? They’re both square dimension graphics with basically the same requirements. If you need an Album cover design, you can just request a “Podcast cover” to save money.

Anyway, here’s a breakdown of what you can get at each different price points.

Starting at $149: Billboard, Tradeshow banner, Banner,

Starting at $199: Postcard, Flyer, Leaflet, Direct Mail, Poster, Podcast cover, Signage, Menu, Website header, Resume, Word Template, Tradeshow Booth, Other business advertising

Starting at $299: Album cover, Brochure, Booklet, Pamphlet, Email, Email newsletter, Powerpoint template,

Starting at $349: Car/truck/van wrap

Starting at $599: Infographic

Extra Add-ons

In addition to the base cost of the project, you can pay for additional add-ons.

Dedicated support: For a price of $129 extra, you can have access to dedicated customer support should you run into any problems.

Guaranteed: This doesn’t cost anything, but it basically negates your 100% money-back guarantee with 99designs. The reason they offer this is because how designers are paid. Often times, they’re paid pennies for participating in your design contest. Out of possible 20 – 30 design submissions, they will only get paid a reasonable fee IF you choose their design.

If you request a refund, no one gets paid. Therefore, if you choose this option, designers have more confidence that there’s a stronger chance you’ll commit.

Here’s what 99designs promises if you choose to negate your guarantee.

  • Have more designers participating
  • Receive 50% more designs on average
  • Get a wider range of creativity

Private contest: This $59 add-on gives you the assurance that your design/intellectual property won’t be leaked onto Google or used by designer. Designer will sign an NDA to ensure they protect your privacy. You can even use your own NDA.

Duration: Typical turnaround for 1st draft is 4 days. Need the design in a hurry? Pay a small fee for expedited delivery.

99designs pricing review

Overall, the prices can fluctuate quite a bit depending on which tier you select and how many add-ons you buy. I wouldn’t say 99designs prices are cheap, because they’re fairly expensive for just 1 design. They are cheaper than hiring an in-house designer or a design agency, but there are definitely much cheaper options. The one benefit of 99designs’ model is that you get a lot of drafts for that price, so you have much more to choose from during each round of revisions.

How long it REALLY takes to get your designs

There’s 5 rounds total that you need to go through before you can get your design files. Each round can take anywhere from 1-2 days up to 14 days to complete. Most of that does depend on you. If you give feedback quickly, you’ll get your design files much faster. Here’s a breakdown of the 5 rounds.

Round 1: Qualifying round (4-5 days)
In this round, 99design sends your project out to all qualified designers in their talent pool. Designers can choose to accept or ignore your contest. Once enough designers have accepted your contest and submitted their design work, you move onto Round 2.

Round 2: Select finalists (4 days)
It’s probably 4-5 days now since you started the contest and your designs are finally in. You’ll have a lot of designs to choose from. Now you have 4 days to review the designs and select up to 6 designs that you like. Any designs you don’t select will be rejected. Designs you select gets to move onto the next round.

During this round, there’s a 99designs review feature that lets you share the submissions with others via a shareable link. You have 4 days to select your finalists! Once chosen, the contest will be moved to the 3rd round.

Round 3: Final round (3 days)
In this round, you’ll need to leave revisions for the selected finalists. Your finalists will work on as much revisions as you give them in this round. If you don’t like something, you can request more revisions and they’ll keep submitting. Keep in mind you only have 3 days for this round.

Round 4: Choose a winner
Contest is now officially over and a winner must be selected. In this round, you can create and send a poll to everyone you want feedback from to see which design is the best. You can only select 1 winner.

Round 5: Handover (5 days?!)
Your designer now has up to 5 days to hand over all of the design files and any copyright materials to you. Yes, you read that right. 5 days.

So…how long does it really take?

Let’s assume that you’re super responsive and you complete YOUR part the same day 99designs notify you…

Round 1: 4 days for all initial designs to come in
Round 2: 1 day to select finalists (because you’re responsive)
Round 3: 3 days for final round of revisions
Round 4: 1 day to pick a winner (because you want the files fast!)
Round 5: 1-5 days to get files

So you’re looking at between 10 – 14 days to complete a single design project. If you’re a new startup or business that doesn’t have strict deadlines to meet, this delivery window is perfectly fine. If you’re more established and looking for someone to help you meet an aggressive marketing schedule, 99designs may not work for you.

How to get QUALITY designs from 99designs?

If you’re coming to 99designs with a limited budget for graphic design, then chances are your results will vary. From my experience, the lower tier designers often just use templated graphics from Freepik or Envato.

If you want high quality designs from 99designs, here’s what you’ll need to do.

  1. Sign up for higher tier: Choose Gold or Platinum plans. They’re significantly more expensive, but that’s what you need to get experienced designer’s attention.
  2. Fill EVERYTHING out: When creating your project brief, do not skip any steps. Fill out as much information as you can and spend time creating a solid brief.
  3. Give additional examples: The last field on most form will ask “Is there anything else you would like to communicate to the designers?”. Use this opportunity to give more information. Also include even more examples of what you like and don’t like. This helps the designer narrow down your preferences.

Pros & Cons of 99designs

We’ll start with the PROS

  • Affordable compared to hiring an inhouse designer
  • No hiring or managing of designers. They do all of that for you.
  • Lots of designs to choose from for each round
  • One platform can cover most of your design needs
  • Easy to use platform
  • Clear indicator of how far along your design is
  • Offers a 100% money back guarantee

Now for the CONS

Who is 99designs really for?

99designs is best suited for startups, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and anyone just starting out. The prices are affordable and you get a lot of selections. Having 20+ drafts submitted to you is a great benefit, especially if you’re starting out and have no idea exactly how you want to brand yourself.

For larger businesses, marketing teams, and agencies, 99designs may not be the best fit given how expensive the bill will eventually be if you need 10+ designs per month. The 10 – 14 day delivery window can also be a major setback if you’re trying to meet deadlines.

  • Can get expensive if you have consistent design needs
  • 10 – 14 day delivery
  • Design quality is mediocre unless you’re willing to pay a premium
  • No real way to interact with designer except through feedback
  • Customer support is a paid add-on

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Top SEO Softwares Trusted by The Pros

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Online visibility has become a priority for most businesses. They want to reach their target market, increase website traffic, and eventually convert them into customers. As such, many companies go to great lengths to ensure their place in Google’s first page. And by using the best SEO software applications, they can get ahead of the competition and drive more traffic to their site.

In this article, check out the 8 best SEO applications that the Pros trust the most.

1. Moz

No list is complete without mentioning Moz. They offer the leading SEO software that most pros use for all their SEO efforts, the Moz Pro. It’s the all-in-one and well-revered SEO application for pros and beginners alike. Their Moz Pro software includes keyword research, site ranking and audit, and reporting.

By using Moz Pro, some have had successes with organic traffic, automated keyword research and reporting, and link building strategies. Sites like Trivago and Zillow use Moz for their SEO strategies.

Moz does offer a free but limited plan. With this, you can access Mozscape API, MozBar, Link Explorer, and Check My Presence. But, if you want to power up your SEO game, you can choose among the following plans:

  • Standard ($99/mo) 
  • Medium ($149/mo) 
  • Large ($249/mo)
  • Premium ($599/mo)

2. SEMRush

SEMRush is more than just one of the best SEO software applications out there. They offer social media management, content marketing, and advertising tools. Companies like eBay, Amazon, and Forbes trust SEMRush.

Those who want to try out their platform can do so for only 7 days but still get access to all their available tools. With that said, users will get much more out of a paid plan.

Users can choose among three plans:

  • Pro ($99.95/mo)
  • Guru ($199.95/mo)
  • Business ($399.95/mo)

3. SpyFu

Many SEO experts believe that you should also be on the lookout for your competitors. After all, you’re after the same target market. And that’s where SpyFu comes in. While other SEO software applications keep track of your competitors, SpyFu has become the go-to for many SEO pros.

Aside from SEO Competitor Research, they can also monitor their competitor’s AdWords, check backlinks, and view their keyword rankings and SERP. Not to mention, they also have “Member Perks.” This means any subscriber can get discounts from select services and tools like TrustPilot and AdAlysis.

Like most SEO software applications on this list, you can subscribe to monthly plans when using SpyFu. You can choose among their three plans here:

  • Basic ($39/mo)
  • Professional ($79/mo)
  • Team ($299/mo)

4. Ahrefs

Many experts hail Ahrefs as one of the best SEO software applications they’ve used. Like Moz, it offers many features like site audit, keyword research, content explorer, and more! Companies like Uber, Netflix, and LinkedIn use Ahrefs as well.

You can avail of a $7 trial for 7 days to explore their software. Other than that, you can also get limited access to free tools. But it’s much better to subscribe to get the most out of their tools and resources.

As pricing goes, you have four options:

  • Lite ($99/mo)
  • Standard ($179/mo)
  • Advanced ($399/mo)
  • Agency ($999/mo)

5. KWFinder

If keywords are the only thing you want to research or analyze, KWFinder is what most SEO experts use. It can help users find the most difficult keywords to rank, learn volume and metrics, and know long-tail keywords. Brands like Airbnb, Adidas, and Alexa love using KWFinder.

If you’re in the process of trying platforms, you can use KWFinder free for 10 days!

KWFinder is under Mangools, where you can also subscribe to other SEO tools like SERPChecker, SERPWatcher, SiteProfiler, and LinkMiner.

In terms of pricing, you have three choices:

  • Basic ($29.90/mo)
  • Premium ($39.90/mo)
  • Agency ($79.90/mo)

6. Majestic

If backlinking is a strategy you want to pursue, Majestic has become the partner for most SEO experts. By using Majestic, you can increase the trustworthiness of your site. Plus, you can check how trustworthy a site is before you link to them.

Since its focus is only on backlinking, you’ll have data and resources for all links you want to analyze. Plus, you can even spy on your competitor’s backlinks as well.

You can subscribe to any of their three available plans:

  • Lite ($49.99/mo)
  • Pro ($99.99/mo)
  • API ($399.99/mo)

7. Google Search Console

Any SEO expert will tell you that the Google Search Console (GSC) is one of the best SEO software applications. Why? Well, for one, even SEO beginners will understand the data and tools used in the platform. But if you need more information, you can also search for handy guides. In no time, you’ll master the GSC. 

What it does is to monitor the performance of your site and keywords. You can even fetch impressions and click-through rates, which are essential for SEO. Other SEO-related tasks you can do are to optimize images, content, and the site for mobile. Plus, you can guide Google in understanding your content and which pages to crawl.

As for pricing—it’s FREE! All you need is a Google account and your site. Once done, you can finally uncover data that will help improve your SEO strategies in the long run.

8. Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Screaming Frog, a UK-based agency, developed the SEO Spider that some pros swear by. It’s a web crawler that will help users identify any SEO issues on a site. It’s like GSC. For example, it could be a broken link or duplicate content. Plus, by downloading the software, you can also extract data, conduct SEO audits, integrate GSC, and provide a visual site architecture.

Companies like Disney, Google, Apple, and Amazon use this software.

In terms of pricing, it’s £149/yr, but you can download the software free, but it has limited features such as 500 URL crawls and onsite analysis and issues.

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Best Canva Alternatives

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DIY graphic design tools allow anyone to create stunning graphics even without the talent or skills. One of the most popular of these is Canva. However, if you may want to try something new or want to check out other templates and features, there are Canva alternatives for you. Here’s a list of the best.

Canva

Before we go to the Canva alternatives, let’s take a look at what Canva has to offer. For starters, it has more than 420,000 free templates, over 75 million premium stock images, photos, videos, and graphics. It has impressive features such as One-Click Magic Resize and Background Remover. You can use it for free or pay for its Pro plan at $9.95 per month, or the Enterprise plan, which is at $30 a month.

Crello

Much like Canva, Crello lets you create incredible graphic designs with ease. Many of its users claim that the two work remarkably the same. While Crello has over 30,000 templates, it still can’t compare to Canva. That being said, there is one thing Crello offers that Canva doesn’t—you can create animated visuals. You can use Crello for free or pay its Pro plan that costs $7.99 a month.

Stencil

Canva alternative Stencil has created a niche for themselves as a design tool that’s focused on marketing. And they do this by giving more attention to marketing on social media. Thus, if you need social media graphics in seconds, Stencil is your best bet. Its free plan allows you to create ten images per month, the Pro at $9 per month, gives you 50 images, and its Unlimited plan at $12 monthly.

Penji

What’s better than creating your own graphic design? Letting the professional handle it. That’s what you get when you use Penji’s unlimited graphic design. With Penji, you just send a request and wait for it to be completed. Their plans are Pro at $399 a month, Team at $499, and the Agency at $899 a month. All you can request at a fixed price. Here’s our review of Penji.

DesignBold

If you’ve gone through all of Canva’s free stock photos, DesignBold is an excellent alternative. Also, its sharing feature is similar to Google Docs that allows you to share your design with others. The images can be edited by anyone on your team even if they aren’t DesignBold users. As with the others, DesignBold is free, but if you want more features, its Pro plan is at $7.99 per month.

Easil

If you want ready-made design, Easil has commercially ready artwork templates. This means that the designs were crafted by Easil’s qualified graphic designers, complete with calls to action. They also have an online design support team in case you need help with your DIY projects. Its Basic plan is free, but the Plus and Edge plans are $7.50 and $59 per month.

Piktochart

If you’re into infographics, Piktochart is a solid choice. The good thing about having a niche is that you get specialized designs. Piktochart allows you to create infographics that Canva and its alternatives can’t compete with. Aside from its free package, Piktochart has the Pro plan, which costs $24.17 per month, and the Pro Team plan at $82.50 a month.

Snappa

If creating and sharing social media images on the fly is your thing, Snappa is for you. It lets you share your design without leaving the Snappa website. You can also use your own custom fonts with Snappa as other Canva alternatives don’t allow this. Its Starter plan is free, and the Pro and Team plans are at $10 and $20 per month.

Fotor

If you’re already familiar with the Canva interface, then you’ll feel at home with Fotor. Its photo enhancing features are noteworthy as some users say that it’s more intuitive than Photoshop. Also, it has templates that are totally different from Canva. If you’re tired of seeing the same images used by bloggers, Fotor is a good Canva alternative. Price starts at $3.33 if billed yearly, or $8.99 if billed monthly.

Adobe Spark

From the people behind Photoshop, Adobe Spark is a fun way to create graphic design. It was designed specifically for those who want to DIY but find it difficult to use its cousins Illustrator and InDesign. It also has an animated effect function but pales in comparison to Crello. The Adobe Spark Starter Plan is free, both on the website and the iOS apps (Spark Video, Spark Page, and Spark Post). If you want the full version, it is available for purchase as a stand-alone plan at $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year.

Wrapping Up

There are many more that we can add to this list, as choosing the best Canva alternative depends on what you’re going to create. But, whatever your goals or projects are, these design tools will surely make content creation easier for designers and non-designers alike.

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