Blogging Through the Alphabet: P is for PicMonkey

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When I first began blogging, I was always envious of the great pictures that other bloggers posted. Pictures looked great. They had some impressive graphics. And, I especially liked the fact that I could pin their blogs because they had these great graphics headers.

I experimented with different photo editors to try to get the effects that I wanted. I used Picassa- which is a Google service and what I use for storing my photos. I used Photobucket. I looked at some sites like Flicker. But there was nothing I really loved. Until I found PicMonkey through a fellow blogger.

PicMonkey has a free service and a Royale service- which is paid. It’s very simple to use. I started out with the free service and found quite a few things that I could do. I finally decided to spring for the paid service because there are some extra features, and I’ve really gotten into making graphics. The Royale service was just $33 for the month. You can click the PicMonkey link above to take a look at the basic PicMonkey, and you can click here to try a free day of Royale. (I receive a free week for every three people that try a day. But I really do love the Royale service and would recommend it anyway.)

So, why would you use PicMonkey? 

If you enjoy editing your photos, this is a great photo editor. There are special effects, cropping and resizing tools, blemish fixes, sharpening tools, text editors and more.

If you enjoy making graphics, this is a great tool. You can upload a picture, add effects and text to make a graphic, and save the picture to your hard drive.

In PicMonkey, your pictures are not stored online. You edit your pictures and then save them on to your drive. If you need to host them online, you can use a picture hosting site. I’m not an expert there, but I do save edited photos to Photobucket if I need to have them hosted online.

So, you signed up for a free trial, now what? What can you do next?

Here is a simple edit to a picture in order to make a graphic for a “Favorite Books” post.

1. Go to the PicMonkey site and click Edit Photo. A window will open that allows you to browse and choose a picture from your hard drive. I chose a picture of a book shelf.

2. On the left hand side, you can see all of your editing options. I usually start with the basics: crop if need to, resize if needed, and change the saturation and color as needed. One really nice thing about PicMonkey is that you can play with all of the adjustments and then apply them or cancel them if you don’t like it.

3. I chose to adjust the Exposure of my picture. Often I can change the colors and highlights to make parts of the picture light enough to feature text. I play with the adjustments until the picture is the color and darkness I like, then I click “apply.”

4. After I have the color set, I want to add Text. I click the “Tt” symbol and see many different fonts. I click “add text” and type my text. 

5. I can click on all different fonts to try them out. I can also change the color, size, and position of my text. I like this font called “Rye.” Fonts (and other effects) with the crown by them are Royale features.
6. Now I want to save my masterpiece. I click the “Save” button on the top and then choose a location from my computer.

And now: the finished result! I can use this as a blog post header, but there are many uses for your graphics and edited photos.

If you want to try the free day of PicMonkey Royale, click here. And let me know what you think!

Check out- and link up with- Blogging Through the Alphabet with Ben and Me.

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