Everything You Need
If a picture is worth a thousand words then it only follows that blogging is improved manyfold by the inclusion of a few images.
And because that is true smart bloggers will do everything they can to reinforce their blogging points with pics.
It also makes sense to use your own photos or screenshots. The pics you buy or borrow from online portals usually come with conditions, which make me nervous. Take your own pics or borrow them from friends without condition. That works.
The problem is pictures aren’t always internet friendly, even the good ones. They’re often too big and occasionally the exposure or clarity isn’t the best. Solution? Edit the pic online.
It’s easy using PicMonkey.
PicMonkey is free, powerful and, unlike other editors, quite intuitive. It offers a wide range of editing possibilities.
Here’s how it works:
Step One: Go to the PicMonkey home screen.
You’ll see the following menu.
Hover over the “Edit” icon on the left and you’ll be given several locations from which to retrieve a picture: Computer, Dropbox, Facebook and Flickr.
“Computer” is the one I use most.
Click the location of your choice and navigate to the picture you want. Double click the image and it opens in the PicMonkey edit window.
Step Two: Edit your picture.
The icons on the far left of the panel is where all your editing decisions will be made and the good news is you don’t need to be a graphic designer to use them.
Below is a brief explanation of the primary edit menu.
Resizing is a brilliant feature. It resizes pics to fit comfortably in your blog column’s width. It also enables quicker uploads/downloads.
Note that color choices can be made in two ways: from a color palette or by entering hex codes. The variety is endless.
“Basic Edits” is very powerful and it is only one of the main editing menu options. Others options include:
The “Touch Up” option is also quite powerful. Using this I was able to highlight a portion of a picture which otherwise didn’t show up too well. That is not the intended purpose but it’s versatile. You can use it anyway you like.
The “Text” editing menu is my favorite. I used it to create info graphics for most of my posts and most were created from scratch. I explain how to do that in another post. If you like to represent ideas graphically you will love this option.
My next favorite editing menu is “Frames.” It allows you to put borders of any width and in any color around your images. That’s important because an appropriate border enables pictures to stand out better on your posts.
The final three editing menus (Overlays, Texture and Themes) – which I haven’t used much – offer more great options for photos or info graphics. These images were placed together using the collage feature.
The Overlay option provides a large number of images to decorate invitations (hearts, flowers, badges, etc.).
Texture adds richness or depth.
Themes add seasonal spirit: Christmas, Valentines, Halloween and more.
And, best of all, it is free. At least to a point. Some of the options – maybe half – are offered only to paying customers but I’ve used the site extensively and haven’t run into a problem I couldn’t solve easily with the freebies.
And it’s great that you don’t need an account to use the site for free.
But for those who want a little more, the cost is not overbearing: $4.99 a month for a monthly subscription or $33.00 ($2.75 a month) for an annual subscription.
As proof that it works well, all images on this post were creating using PicMonkey.