While I am by no means an expert in the field of blogging, after two plus years of writing and designing P&P I like to think that I have developed a certain aesthetic, have learned some tricks and found some great resources along the way. Blogging isn't as easy as one may think, and it can often be frustrating when images aren't resizing properly, or you can't get the certain colours in the pictures to pop like they should be. I'm all about sharing what works for me in the hopes that it may work for you, so today I am listing off some of the techniques and resources I use to edit pictures, create collages and more! I would also love to know if there is some amazing tool that you use that I am totally missing out on. Fill me in!
Typically I use two online, free photo editing websites. I've always been intimidated to use Photoshop so I have stayed away all this time! My go-to online photo editor is PicMonkey. I love PicMonkey for it's simple layout and how user-friendly it is. I use it to create colleges, for Instagram round-ups and basic photo editing (brightening and sharpening). The other photo editor I use is Pixlr. I either use the Pixlr Express editor for quick touch-ups, or I'll use the Pixlr Editor for more in-dept editing and re-sizing. I wish I was more savvy when it comes to all the editing tools and it's definitely something I am trying to work on, but for now these programs do the trick.
I recently started adding text to graphics usually on the first images in a post, and on some social media platforms. It's a great way to grab a reader's attention as they can immediately understand the purpose of the post, and it is also so great for posting to Pinterest. I use an easy-to-follow, online design portal called Canva. There are so many designs and templates to choose from, and you can get very personalized, or have all the hard work done for you. Choose to create a Facebook cover photo, social media post, blog graphic, invitation and more! All you have to do is import your photo and choose or design your own layout and add text. All the sizing/ photo dimensions are already embedded into the template you chose, so you know if you're choosing "Facebook design" it's not going to be stretched, or elongated in any odd way. Some layouts cost $1.00, but I have never needed to pay for a layout. You can get pretty creative!
Okay so this is my all-time favourite tool! Snagit is a picture/video capturing tool. Once you download the software the icon sits on the side of your screen and any time you hover your mouse over the icon it pops up as an overlay on your screen for you to capture any thing that is on your screen. It's how I create all my product round-ups and how I captured the screen shots in this very post. You may be thinking "okay, so screen shot?". But no. You can then edit and create more colleges in Snagit. You can download the free trial, but you will definitely be purchasing this software after the trial is over! It's around CAD $60.00, but so worth it! It's my most used blogging tool! You can literally snag any image, edit it to erase background colours, drag and drop the photos to a new canvas, add text and numbers, and then save it to your personal collection.
I use so many pretty fonts in my product round-ups all thanks to myfonts.com. I usually use My Fonts in conjunction with Snagit. I know this site has all the fonts available to purchase, but they allow you to test out the thousands of fonts with your own sample text, and even allow you to pick a colour. If I didn't use Snagit it definitely wouldn't be so easy to cut the font and add them to my collages. You can see in the previous photo how I go about adding them to my collages with Snagit.
When I was planning my first give-away earlier this year I was completely new to the idea and scoured the web for possible hosting platforms. I tried out a few and ended up choosing Rafflecopter to host my giveaway. I liked that I could select the entry methods, choose a timeframe and have a winner drawn at random for me. It made the whole give-away simple and fun. A few of the entry methods require you to upgrade the service (which I didn't do), so I had to get creative with inventing my own. For example: Rafflecopter does not sync with Instagram so by asking the reader to write the their own Instagram handle you can search your followers to confirm that they have followed through with the entry. You can also download reports of you entries to stay up to date with the raffle.
There you have it! My top five blogging resources. Do you use any of these resources? Are there some out there that I am completely oblivious to? Please let me know. Us bloggies need to stick together!