Tools to Make Your Own Website & Social Media Images

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No one would ever accuse me of being a graphic artist. In fact, outside of cropping and resizing photos, it took me nearly 10 years to figure out the basics of creating and editing images.

And it’s embarrassing to admit, but have often arranged my images in a PowerPoint slide because I don’t understand all the features of my photo editor. Then I simply take screenshots of what I’ve created. The horror!

But you know what? It gets the job done.

I used to hire out to get all my images done and that works, but it’s a slow process. But now when I get an idea for an image that I want to use right away, I can do it immediately. I am using images more and more with effective results and it’s one of the reasons I wrote last week’s post.

If you want to create your own images, let’s look at some tools that are available to you…

Tools for Your Computer

I personally use Adobe Photoshop Elements (it’s a much cheaper, but still reasonably powerful version of PowerPoint), but there are other very similar tools available online as well. You can see some in the slide show below.

One of the most popular tools for online business owners is GIMP…and it’s actually free. There is a bit of a learning curve, but it is probably the #1 free alternative to Photoshop. I personally don’t feel like it takes good quality screenshots, but for other graphics, it gets the job done and others seems to like it a lot.

Making Social Media Graphics

Nicole Dean and Melissa Ingold recently released a cool tool called Social Graphics Pro that I’ve been using a lot lately (it has eliminated the need for me to create graphics in PowerPoint and then take screenshots!). Here is a thumbnail of some of the images I created very easily with this software. You can also use it to create Facebook cover photos, timeline coupons, Facebook ads and a whole bunch more.

Social Graphics Pro Example

I’ll actually being creating a little tutorial for the software soon, but in the meantime, I do recommend checking it out. It makes it super easy to make cool images.

Got an iPad?

I’ve been playing around with FrameArtist+ that Lynette Chandler recommended. It’s a very fun and straightforward to program that allows you to use attractive templates or create your own. It’s easy to insert images, add text, colors, backgrounds and more.

Here’s a quick peek at the app:

Here’s an image I recently created:

Home Remedies

The only problem with this app is that I have most of my images on my computer, but because I have automated backups done through SugarSync, I can use the SugarSync app to grab the photos and add them to my Camera Roll. It’s an extra step, but when I’m lounging on the couch or in the backyard, it’s awesome to be able to do this on the iPad.

What tool you use may take some experimentation and getting comfortable with what works for you. If you have your favorite and it wasn’t listed in this post, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Need More Help with Using Images in Your Content?

Check out Kelly’s Image Monthly - she and her publishing partner, Angel, have great advice for finding images, creating them and incorporating them into your into your content. They’ve even thrown in some images, backgrounds and inspirational quotes too. Check it out here.

Free Outsourcing Content Guide

Thinking of hiring a ghostwriter, but have concerns? Download your free 21-page step-by-step guide that shows you how to save time and maximize your profits through content creation. There’s no charge, just a quick opt-in required and you can unsubscribe any time. It's a real eye-opener and completely simplifies the content creation process for any online business owner.

Click here to get yours.

Quotable WordPress Plugin:
More Tweets and Facebook Shares

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The other day, Lynette asked me to check out her new Quotable plugin  for WordPress and I was glad she did because it’s pretty darned snazzy. When she handed it over to me, it only had the Twitter functionality to it, but after a little prodding, she quickly updated it to include Facebook as well. It was her plan all along, but I gave her a nudge so it would be ready for you today too. :-)

This plug in provides an easy way to highlight the quotable parts of your posts. Plus, each quote includes a “tweet” and optional Facebook “share” button that allows your users to tweet and share:

  • The quotation you highlighted.
  • The link to your content
  • It even includes your Twitter handle, if you’d like.

Here’s a sample quotation from one of my posts:

Sample quotation using the Quotable Plugin

Sample quotation using the Quotable Plugin

[Read more...]

Free Outsourcing Content Guide

Thinking of hiring a ghostwriter, but have concerns? Download your free 21-page step-by-step guide that shows you how to save time and maximize your profits through content creation. There’s no charge, just a quick opt-in required and you can unsubscribe any time. It's a real eye-opener and completely simplifies the content creation process for any online business owner.

Click here to get yours.

More Traffic with Twitter Cards? A How To

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More and more as I use Twitter, I see that the use of Twitter Cards to be the norm for large content publishers and for many indie publishers like us. And as it becomes more of the norm, I wonder if some publishers are missing out by not using them.

What are Twitter Cards, You Might Ask

Let me explain… [Read more...]

What Makes Pinterest Pins Popular?

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Popular PinsHere at DIYplr, we understand the power of the visual web. That’s why we create lots of content with images. Images help capture attention, more clearly demonstrate your ideas and increase overall engagement with your content.

If you’ve been tooling around with Pinterest at all, you might wonder how you can tap into this visual social network.

Well, we’ve put together a slide show that examines 10 popular pins on Pinterest and what makes them stand out. This slide show is part of a larger Pinterest Case Studies PLR Bundle, so if your readers need Pinterest information, go and grab your license.

BlogCPR.com

Q&A Rapid Fire: More Questions Answered

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Grabbing a few more questions from our virtual mailbag, here are a few answers you may have been looking for.

I really appreciate all the questions we’ve received and we keep working our way through them.

After this, there will still be some more and look for another Rapid Fire post soon to polish them off.

There’s a lot to cover here, so let’s get right to it… [Read more...]

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