How to Create Blog Photos Using PowerPoint

My How to Make Your Own Blog Photos post shows the steps that I use to create my images.  Today I’m going to go into a bit more depth and show you how I do some of the editing.  So, if you haven’t read the other post, go check it out and then come back to this one.

One thing to note before diving into the editing.  I like to take landscape photos when I’m creating a collage of images.  I will show you why below.

Setting Up PowerPoint

The first thing I do when I’m getting ready to create a blog photo is set up my template in PowerPoint.  This is really simple.  I just open a new document and change the slide orientation to portrait.

TAB: Design SECTION: Customize OPTION: Slide Size –> Change Orientation to Portrait

Once I have the size set, I delete the text boxes that are on the slide.

Inserting the image

I copy and paste one of the images from my collection into PowerPoint.   At this point, the image only fills part of the slide.  I resize the image by dragging the corners out until the top and bottom align.  The right and left side will be way out of the canvas.  This is what you want.

Setting the Image

Once you have the image large enough to cover the canvas, crop the left and right sides of the image.  You will be able to see the slide edge when cropping and the photo should snap in place.

When the edges are set to the canvas, you can then drag the photo left and right until you have the perfect section. Click Crop again to complete the crop.

Basic image fixes

I only do a minimal amount of editing to each of my photos which usually only consists of a adjusting the brightness and contrast.  Sometimes I will adjust the sharpness as well.  On rare occasions, I will use a different editing program to create a blur or other effect.

Select the image by clicking on it.  Then go to Format, Corrections and hover over the images to see a preview.  Select the one you like the best.  I typically like 20% Brightness / 20% Contrast but occasionally I choose a different option.

Inserting the text box

To insert the text box, go to the Insert Tab and click on Text Box.  Drag the text box onto the photo.  You can always adjust placement later.  Write the text for your image in the text box.

Highlight the text and increase the font size until it is large enough that to fill the photo.  We will adjust this again later.  The initial increase is just to be able to read the words.

Designing the text box

Click on the outside border of the text box.  Click to the Format Tab and open More Fill Colors for Shape Fill.

I usually fill white with a 10% transparency (opacity) but you can choose any option you want.

Editing the Text

At this point, I usually move the text box to around the area I want it to be.  Change the colors and fonts any way you would like.  I’ve even downloaded some additional fonts from Google.  Don’t forget to add your watermark.

Finalizing your image

Once you have your fonts how you want them, you need to finalize the image.  Your project is currently a PowerPoint file so you need to create the image file for your image.

To do this, go to Save As and then choose the PNG option.  There are other image files such as a JPG but WordPress doesn’t play nice with JPG’s.  So, if you may ever switch to WordPress, use PNG’s.

The End Product

Congratulations!   You’ve now created a pin-worthy image by using PowerPoint!

If you have any questions, please reach out to me.  I’m more than happy to help!

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January 2017 Blog Income Report

This Month’s Top Post: How I use Smart Things for Home Automation – 329 Views this month.  Originally posted in January 2016

This Month’s Runner Up: 2016 Review and 2017 Goals – 294 Views

This month I hit quite a large milestone!  5K Followers!  I’m now officially half way to my goal of 10k.  I also had more income than typical and I have no idea why.  I just got lucky I guess!

January 2017 INCOME STATEMENT

Revenue
Ads – $216.40
Sponsored Posts – $5
Total: $221.40

Expenses
Tailwind – $10..00
Domain – $1.26
Hosting – $6.99
Etsy – $0.80
Total: $19.05

NET INCOME: $202.35

VIEW PREVIOUS BLOG INCOME STATEMENTS HERE.

Last month, I said that my goal was to get ahead in January because I was going to have a busy year.  What I didn’t realize is that January was going to be my busiest month in my day to day life.  Surprisingly, I was still able to get ahead!  I got all of my posts done for February and March except the house updates.  I’ll make those as new things keep happening at the house.

Since I’m ahead and now I’m headed into a bit of a slower time in my home life, I plan on focusing a bit more on growing the blog.  In February, I plan to join more Pinterest groups.  I’m currently in 18 groups.  It would be nice to double that this month.  I also plan on making some new content for Etsy and determining how frequently I want to add content.

Looking forward to a good month!

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2016 Review and 2017 Goals

Happy New Year!  I can’t believe 2016 has ended and 2017 is here already!  This is going to be such a huge year for me!  It’s my 10 year high school reunion year (although I don’t think my school does reunions anymore).  It’s also the year that Nick and I get married and move into our house!  And of course, what you are all here for, it’s another year of growing the blog and getting to know all you blog lovers!

2016 review

2016 was the first full year of posting on this blog.  At the beginning of the year I was quite naive about how the blog was going to do.  I didn’t want to be overly optimistic so I ended up setting goals that I thought were attainable.  What I didn’t realize is that the goals were way too simple.  I accomplished all of my 2016 goals within the first two months of the year.   You can find all of my 2016 goals here.

The most notable successes from 2016 were completing my Media Kit, Increasing my post schedule to twice per week, and reaching 1000 followers on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. I also created a mid-year review for the end of the blog’s fiscal year.

2016 Top 6 Posts

How to Complete Your To Do List in 5 Steps3338 Views
BBQ Uglies Recipe Review – 1866 Views
How I Use Smart Things for Home Automation – 1248 Views
Say Goodbye to Living Paycheck to Paycheck: The Basics of Income – 1020 Views
10 Must Haves in My Next Home – 919 Views
The Ultimate List of Blogging Groups on Facebook – 789 Views

2016 Achievements

  • I completed the Say Goodbye to Living Paycheck to Paycheck book.
  • I created a blogging planner downloadable linked at the end of this post.
  • I began posting every other week on YouTube.
  • I increased my posting volume from once per week to twice per week.
  • I started using Pinterest with Tailwind.
  • I increased my following by over 700%.

I’ve been tracking my stats for income, pageviews, and followers since I started this blog.  I recently added a trendline to each of the graphs.  The trendline (pink dotted line) is a prediction of where my stats will be from now until the end of June.  It will be interesting to see if I follow the trends.  The teal line shows my monthly stats.

Last year, I was way off with my goals so my goals for this year are going to be a bit different.  I am very clear on my goals for my blog but trying to split them apart into smaller chunks is a bit hard.  Because of this, I am going to create broad goals that don’t necessarily need to be completed in 2017.  As long as I’m making progress towards them, I’d call that a success.  I will revisit the goals periodically and make changes as necessary.

Social FOllowing Goals

  • Reach 10,000 Cumulative Followers
  • Reach 5,000 Pinterest Followers
  • Reach 1,000 YouTube Subscribers
  • Reach 1,000 Blog Subscribers

BLOGGING GOALS

  • Obtain an average (over 3 months) of 10,000 Page Views per month
  • Earn an average (over 3 months) of $1000 per month
  • Gain traffic direct or through social channels without participating in Facebook threads

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