Why do children's books all have pictures? Why does every major company have a "symbol", when you order pizza do you want to see a block of text about pizza or do you want to see a perfectly baked pizza when you land on that site?
PICTURE PICTURES PICTURES!! I would say this is easily as important as your content. If your blog does not look good enough to be interesting then nobody will read your awesome content.
How to "PhotoShop" Your Pics for Your Blog (For Free)
Pictures really are worth a thousand words - at least they are when they are placed in your blog. Pictures placed in your blog will keep readers there much longer. You may be an award winning author, but most likely people aren't going to your blog to read a novel. They are showing up for fast, accurate info. Let's make it as easy as possible on their eyes.
Your blog will also rank better with Google when pictures and photos are used. You can label your pics with relevant terms (keywords), and you can also link your pictures to other locations, such as your website or a property search engine.
How To Create Award Winning Pictures and Photos for FREE
Ok, so I never won any awards, but here's how I do it. Two pictures are shown below; the one on the left is unedited from its original format. The one on the right was edited using Picnik.com, a free photo editing website that is powerful and very user friendly. So in this tutorial we will learn to
- Upload a photo
- Crop it (re-size and take out "extra" space)
- Add text to make it more original
- Add a drop shadow frame (or border) so it isn't so stagnant and "just sitting there.
STEP ONE: To begin, open a new window and go to www.picnik.com (check spelling!) and click on the button that says "Get started now!" (If you want to use my original unedited photo above, right-click on it and pick "Save as").
STEP TWO: To select a picture to work on, locate the "Upload a photo" button near the left-hand side of your screen (see below). You will need to know where your picture(s) are saved on your computer to select it.
STEP THREE: Now that we have uploaded the picture of your choice, we are ready to edit it. At this point you should see a page that has the picture you selected in the middle of the screen, and a tool bar that looks like the one below. If you need to, click on the "Edit" TAB
STEP FOUR: Choose the "CROP" function, third from the left on the menu buttons (see above pic). A "grid" will now appear on top of your photo (see below). Drag each corner to where you want the edges of your photo to be. After dragging the corners, "OK" it by clicking the "OK" button as shown below.
STEP FIVE: Your picture should now have been re-sized to only show the contents within the grid you just adjusted. Next we are going to add some text. From the menu above the picture, choose the fourth TAB labeled "CREATE". Once this is selected a new menu list should appear that looks like the one below. Once this appears select the "Text" button as shown below.
STEP SIX: Once you have clicked on the "Text" button, the top left-hand side of your screen should show a text box (See below, at left). Type in whatever you like and then hit the "Add" button. This will place your text onto of your picture. You can change the color, size, font, and even the angle of the text. I chose black text, the "Daniel" font, and dragged the text to the bottom of the picture. (See below at right)
STEP SEVEN: Finally we are going to add a "Drop Shadow" to the picture. This will make it appear to be 3-dimensional and pop off the page a bit. In Picnik, this is considered a frame. From the same menu across the top (5th from the left) choose the "Frames" button. Once you have clicked on "Frames", a column will appear on the left hand side, and you will see several pictures of a frog, which will give you an example of what each option will do. Scroll down this left hand column about 7 spots or so, and choose "Drop Shadow". A box will appear in this same column for editing the drop shadow options (below, left). Play with the adjustments until you get the desired effect. Once the picture looks the way you want, hit the "Apply" button (Just below the adjustment sliders). My photo is below at right after I added the drop shadow.
LAST AND MOST IMPORTANTLY !!!!
Lest we shoot ourselves in the foot, DON'T FORGET TO SAVE the photo by clicking on the TAB pictured below.
PHEW - - - YOU DID IT!!
Now throw your new picture down below in the comments for all to see!!!
Check this great article by Donna Brigda on using Picnik to create a header for your blog. Thanks DONNA!!
Steve Kappre is a Mortgage Planner with Treasury Mortgage. Steve specializes in;
• All areas concerning First-Time Home Buyer Mortgages, grants, down payment assistance, police and fire loans, rehab loans, and more.
• Equity Management strategies for high-end homes and high net worth individuals.
Contact Steve Kappre directly at 856-419-3561 or at www.stevekappre.com