Today, Blog Tip Friday is brought to you by Melissa! When I asked Melissa to guest post for me, I did it with Blog Tip Friday in mind. She has written a blog tip post for me before, and has a great page of tips at Freeing Imperfections. Not only do I love her blog design, but the message in her blog posts as well. I know you’ll enjoy this amazing beginner’s guide for using PicMonkey!
Hey guys! It’s Melissa from Freeing Imperfections!
If you’ve ever stopped over at my blog, you’re likely to notice that blog tips are kind of my thing. I love that Alysia does a Blog Tip Friday. When she asked me to stop over for a guest post on something blog-related, I was of course thrilled.
One of my all-time favorite blogging tools is PicMonkey. While photos are not necessarily the most important thing to my blog, good quality photos are a must for any blog – even if it’s not picture-oriented. My photography skills have come a long way since my first disastrous photos with poor lighting and bad resolution. But I still don’t have the best camera. And that’s where PicMonkey comes in!
If you haven’t heard of PicMonkey before, it’s a simple and free photo editing program available online. You don’t have to download any software. It’s available 24/7. There’s no need to register. And best of all – most of the features are free!
Photo Editing Features
The most basic features of PicMonkey are available on the first tab called “Basic Edits.” These features include cropping, rotating, adjusting exposure and colors, as well as resizing. All of these are pretty straightforward, but my favorite of these features that I use on almost all my blog’s photos are the exposure and colors settings.
Below is an example of the difference between two photos after using the exposure and colors auto-settings.
The biggest difference I can see between these two pictures is the leaves have way more demension and colors in the after picture, and where the arrow is pointing is much brighter and clearer.
I usually find that the “autoadjust” feature on exposure works alright, but the color one is off sometimes. Just play with the saturation and temperature until the photo looks right to you.
These basic photo editing features are perfect to help bloggers who don’t have the fanciest cameras or editing programs available. They really take not-so-great pictures and make them 10 times better!
Good Resources for Bloggers
The best thing about Pic Monkey is that it enables an easy way to make your blog’s images marketable.
The best features to make images marketable for headlines (such as the one above used in this post!) are the many fonts, overlays, and frames. With a few fancy fonts, an overlay, and possibly a frame, your photo can go from boring to instantly marketable and professional.
I use PicMonkey to make marketable (and pinnable!) images for workouts, recipes, and blog tips posts. The image for this post is a great example of this, but this workout image is another example of how PicMonkey can aid in creating great useful images that are not necessarily just photos.
A little playing around with the features,being able to move your text and graphics around, and a little creativity is all you need to start making images like this to enhance your blog posts.
Fun Tips & Extras
There are literally endless possibilities with what you can do in PicMonkey, especially since they keep adding new features and graphics, especially for the holidays. Here’s a few fun things I’ve learned how to do after some months of use.
Watermark Your Images
Every blogger should know how to watermark their images if they so desire. I’m not just talking about putting your web address at the bottom of an image, but actually watermarking it. A watermark typically covers the whole image, or most of it so that someone cannot crop it out. It’s also usually opaque.
How to do this in PicMonkey is really easy. All you have to do is add your text in whatever font you like. Place your image all the way across the photo, possibly at an angle to cover most of it. Then on the popup text toolbar, slide the “fade” bar until the words are faded enough to your liking.
Here’s an example from my wedding photos that I definitely don’t want on the internet without a watermark. Easy but essential!
Another trick I’ve learned is to create cool backgrounds when I really don’t have anything for an image I have in mind. If you start with a blank image and go to “textures,” you can make some neat backdrops for images. Some of the backgrounds include water, bricks, space images, and clouds.
Here’s an example of the paint texture I used for a workout.
You may have to play with the “Blend Mode” to be able to see the background properly. Once you have a background, you can save it and use it for anything you like!
PicMonkey does offer some paid features that you can only use if you pay monthly or yearly. For a long time, I was skeptical about getting the paid features because I wasn’t sure if I’d really use them that often. But since I use this program so much, I just recently upgraded to the paid membership.
It’s $33 a year or about $5 a month. Very reasonable for a blogger who is using this almost daily! I thought it was worth it not only for the price but also because the paid features are really fun!
Anything in PicMonkey with a crown by it is a paid feature. You can always see the paid features, so it’s a little temping after a while. So far, I’ve found the paid features to be well worth it. They are always adding more, too so it’s not like you’re ever limited in any way.
So far, my favorite paid feature is this scrapbook style photo frame. I see myself using that a lot in the future, as it makes images look really classy & polished.
I hope you guys learned something & can enjoy using the many features that PicMonkey has to offer!
Questions for You:
- What’s the biggest struggle of making images for your blog?
- Do you find yourself spending more time on creating/editing images or text for your blog?
This is not a sponsored review. I am not being compensated in any way to promote this software. I just love it!