Power Points

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 03/19/2012 - 12:53

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?

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