With the growth of Pinterest and more and more traffic being driven by images, I've been stepping up the graphics on my site. But these graphics need to be more than just a pretty picture. Some how you need to convey with an image why your site is worth visiting - rather than just pinning the idea for inspiration.
Let me illustrate ...
Remember the amazing Kentwood Bed? This is such a great photograph, but no where does it say that YOU can make this bed! It's just a pretty picture at this point. And when pictures are this pretty, I often don't think they are DIY. We gotta change that!
But what about if this image is pinned or shared? Do you think taking the extra time to turn your images into stories will result in more pins and shares >>> and ultimately more traffic?
Probably yes, right?
And the good news is making this graphic doesn't take long or even require special photo editing software. There's not even a steep learning curve. In fact, you probably are already using this software!
Here's how I put this graphic together in about twenty minutes ...
1. Open up Microsoft Power Point. Yep, that's what I use!!! It's included with the Microsoft Office Collection, or you can download a free 60 day trial here of the whole shebang. This is a must have for any content publisher.
2. Sizing. Depending on what type of graphic you are creating, you can resize the layout in the upper left hand corner of PowerPoint (you must have the top DESIGN menu selected). I like to do portrait styles, and always make the image larger than needed to increase the quality of it.
3. Background of Slide - now you want your graphic to stand out, right? What better way than to pick a fun background color. Go ahead, go bold here! You can also use a pattern (my personal fav is the grids because they make me think of graph paper).
4. Adding Pictures. I went with green.
To add a picture, all you have to do is select the icon. This is why I love PowerPoint. It's so easy to integrate photos and other elements. For this task anyway.
5. Formatting Pictures Even though I have been using Photoshop since literally 3.0 (yes, I was in sixth grade then) I like PowerPoint better for collages because it's so easy to add pictures, add frames, and rotate. Now PowerPoint isn't going to be able to whiten teeth, get rid of the dog's tail or make you look ten pounds slimmer, but you can adjust brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, color and lots more photo enhancements in the Format Menu (make sure you have the item you want to format selected to see the format menu).
To this photo I simply added a white frame and rotated slightly.
And a fun paper clip :)
6. Adding More Elements Now I went a little crazy on this one so you can see all the different ways you can add elements, and I recommend keeping things simple for Pinterest. But this graphic will definitely be useful in my plans.
This graphic is made up of two pictures, two text boxes with grid pattern backgrounds and shadows, and two solid text boxes and some text. It really is quite simple.
7. Saving Now to get your PowerPoint collage to become a graphic, simple select File > Save As. Then select JPG, GIF or PNG (whatever your prefer) from the dropdown and save. This will create a single image from your graphic for you to use.
Unlimited Uses Don't stop there! You can use this technique to create a beautiful blog header containing your best photos, "get the look" graphics, "mood boards" or even make your favorite recipes into beautiful printables!!!
Well, there you have it! One of my time saving blogging tricks that I hope you can take and use to make your own blog publishing not only better, but easier and faster. Was this tutorial useful to you? Would you like to see more tips and tricks for bloggers?
This is a great suggestion - not just for projects but this will actually help at work. Thanks again, Ana!
Thanks for reading!!! I'm glad this tutorial will help you out!
Great article! I'll be adding a tutorial board to my pinterest account :-).
I added a Blogs Worth Following board just yesterday - you are there, but your logo shows up too small to pin, so I used the photo of you and Gracie. Can you add a logo that "tells your story"?
(spell check fail: "instructions" needs to be corrected.)
Hi Sara, thanks for reading and pinning! And also for adding me to Blogs Worth Following! Thanks for the tip on the graphic for pinning - I do have one, but apparently it only shows when you click the Pin It button on the top and bottom of this site. Will have to fix!
I'm the worst speller, so thanks for the heads up.
I could even use this to make the Sales Sheets that I use at the farmers market for my furniture. This would be a great way to showcase it!
Thanks for reading! Its so easy to do! And everything looks better with a pretty tag, right? :)
I was using Picnik to attempt to make more interesting photos for potential pinners, but they are shutting down :( Thank you so much for giving another option!!
I also wanted to thank you for adding me to your Blogroll. You don't know how excited I was to find that out! I wanted to send you a thank you email, but I wasn't sure about using the contact button on the sidebar. Your blog was already a blessing to me--now it is doubly so :)
Hi Kristen, thank you! You can actually download all those fancy Picnik fonts at dafont.com for free too! I'm glad this tutorial has been helpful.
Thanks for being part of the blog roll! It's an honor to be able to send people your way - they won't be disappointed!
Amazingly helpful, thanks! I had just started experimenting with Picnik a week before they announced they are shutting down. Boo! Thanks for sharing another option.
Thank you, Ana! This is an awesome post. I'm really comfortable with Photoshop (I have CS 3 Extended right now), but this is so simply and easy-breezy. I'm hooked!
I think I'll use this to do a bunch of mood boards for each room of my house - awesome tips!
And, yes, I would LOVE to see more blogging tips. I'm just getting my new blog set up, so this is perfect timing. ;-)
So glad you will be able to use this post! I'm excited to share lots of blogging tips and tricks - it's almost - almost - as great as building!
Just wanted to say thanks one more time and to say I really look forward to the blogging tips - almost as much as the building ones. LOL
When I get up and rolling, I will make sure to share a TON of link-love back to your site...which would only be fair, since I will be building eleventy-bazillion Ana projects. ;-)
and if don't have commercial software like MS PowerPoint, there are free (as in beer) equivalents in OpenOffice/LibreOffice worth checking out!
if you dont have MSOffice, check out the free alternatives to PowerPoint in OpenOffice/LibreOffice
You can use Open Office (also known as "Libre Office") for the final arrangement. It has the full office suite and a really nice drawing program that MS Office doesn't.
The GIMP is a great photo editing program, and it's also FREE at www.gimp.org
This post is helpful with an analysis I am doing for a specific group of people. Do you have any other articles to suggest on this topic? Thanks
Great post Ana and your powerpoint graphic is fantastic (I actually saw it on Being Brook first and wondered if she'd done it or not) and will be great on getting people to your site so they can have wonderful diy building opportunities. My husband actually suggested powerpoint to me when i started our (very humble) home diy blog. But you've given me some great ideas on how I can use it better!! Thank you.
P.s. We've been working on our version of your eco-friendly modern west-elm-ish desk and we're finally almost done. It is a double desk with a window seat in the center built in the same style as the desk. We just stained the tops and they look great since I learned about the veneer stripping for the sides of the purebond from your post. Thank you!!
I am so computer challenged however, I am going to play around with this and try it. I would just be happy to learn how to post two pictures into one area without them being separate pictures, ha! It is wonderful how you continue to share your knowledge to help us better ourselves. You are indeed such a blessing to so many and we thank you.
Over a year later and I finally tried this. I have a question, however. I don't see how you can simply rotate your pic on an angle unless it's in a 3D affect? Please tell me what I am missing!
I just started my own blog and I encourage my readers to PIN what they like and this is great way to tell your story in a single photograph. Can't wait to try it for my next post.
I just wish I could master Sketchup and my life would be complete. :)
How do you come up with all this stuff??! Its amazing! Thanks for sharing all your creative processes!
What a super tutorial! It never occurred to me to do PowerPoint this way. I just did a brag post and followed this tutorial for the pictures. It really enhanced the pictures, especially since my camera is in my phone. Thank you so much for all you do. You are a real blessing to your readers and fans! :) Joanne
When i first read the article i thought there was a program i would have to buy to make it look like the finished product but surprisingly it really is something i already use..powerpoint!! Thanks for sharing your secret with the internet world. Got any other tips on creative things like these where i dont have to purchase some fancy software? I work with interior design so this really helped out. If you have anymore please send it to my email that i have written above. Thanks so much! I will definitely bookmark this page for more upd...read more
www.netservicefree.com Congratulations for another essential article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a complete way of writing? I have a presentation incoming week, and I am on the lookout for such information.
I am a regular visitor of this site. I love the stuff you post. The picture of Kentwood bed is amazing. I too think that MS PowerPoint is a great idea to improve graphics in you content and also to present data to the people effectively. Thanks for the share. http://windowsupdatehelp.com/
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