I have a super secret squirrel weapon on making Pinterest-friendly images that I want to share with you today.
A few of my readers have emailed me recently, asking me what tools I use to make my images in my posts. I decided I should just write a post about it instead of responding to individual emails.
The great news is that you don’t need to buy any special software, sign up for new accounts, figure out PicMonkey or be sad that Picnik is closing down.
All you need to make great Pinterest-friendly images for your site are two tools:
Microsoft Power Point and a tool to resize your photos – I use Windows Live Photo Gallery.
Here’s how you do it. I’ll show you how I made the image above for this post!
Open A New Blank Presentation in Power Point and Insert Your Base Image
Open up a new Power Point file and insert a picture onto the slide. I recommend leaving the image fairly large to start out so you have room to work with the text you’ll be adding.
Add A Text Box To The Image
Figure out where you want to place your text and go to Insert>Text Box. Type your text into the text box (don’t worry about formatting or fonts just yet).
Format Your Text For Maximum Visual Appeal
Power Point is fantastic for making images because there’s so much flexibility in customizing every element, from font size to color to the font itself. No other tool can give you as many options as Power Point. In fact, when I’m doing a specific image that I want to convey a certain look and feel, I head over to dafont.com and look for just the right font, install it into my Office suite and voila! It’s ready for use on any image, any time. For this example, I decided to use Pupcat.
Add Other Elements for Interest
Sometimes, I’ll format the background of my text box to make it stand out a bit more. Or perhaps I want to overlay the text onto the image, but still want the image to show through behind the text. Here’s how you do it. Select the text box outline, right click, and select Format Shape > Fill > Solid Fill. From here, choose the color you want for the background of your text box.
If you want the color to cover the image beneath it, set the transparency to 0%. If you want the image to show, simply adjust the % higher and higher until you achieve the effect you want. In this case, I set my font color to red, to stand out from the black camera image, chose a medium gray for the background color, and set the transparency to about 48%.
Save Your Image as a Picture
Once you have finished designing the look of your image, you’ll need to save it. Hit Ctrl-A to select all of the elements on the slide, then right-click your mouse and select Save as Picture. Now your image is ready for cropping and resizing.
Crop and Resize Your Image
Sometimes, when Power Point saves your image as a picture, there’s a bit of excess whitespace or darkspace saved to the picture at the margins. You’ll want to crop that out before you post it, especially if the background of your photo is not white! Open whatever photo editing and resizing tool you use. Windows Live Photo Gallery has a super easy crop and resizing tool. Crop out the excess parts of the image you don’t need. Then, resize your image to whatever the maximum display width is for your blog’s content column is. Mine is about 450 pixels wide, so I usually resize to that width.
Upload Image To Your Blog
Now your image is complete and ready to upload to your blog!
I hope this was helpful to those of you who have struggled with images on your blog posts. Even if you’re not publishing your own posts to Pinterest, utilizing images in this way can add a lot of punch to your blog posts! And if you liked it…please pin it!
Disclosure: I am part of the Microsoft Windows Champions program. I received use of a laptop for one year and access to other free product and Microsoft news. I am not compensated in any way by Microsoft and all opinions are my own. And? I’ve been using Power Point to create images for years :).