How to Create An Awesome Featured Image (Using Canva) To Make Your Blog A Brand

Images are the key to your blog’s success. Visuals have always been at the heart of your blog’s content. Everything has to look nice, pretty and appealing. Everything has to also look, consistent and blend into your theme as well as stand out from the crowd.

One way to do this is to have a template for your featured images.
Say what?
Okay, I might be making no sense but here’s what I mean:
Here’s mine @ My Bookish Life if you haven’t noticed:

featured-images-my-bookish-life

And even the BMP has a template:


Have you seen PaperFury’s?

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These are just a few examples, but it just helps give consistency throughout your blog. And though mine aren’t that developed just yet, it gives your blog some IDENTITY!

You want to make your blog known. Whenever someone sees a post of yours, they know it is ACTUALLY YOURS because it has your style written all over it.

In other words, if you’re featured images stay consistent, your blog will be known for it.

We’re going to be using Canva today, which is better than Picmonkey because you can edit your template over and over again. You cannot do this with Picmonkey. BeFunky is also a good example of templates.

Let’s begin then, shall we?

Wait! HOLD ON! Here are some things you need to know before you get started

Top Tips

 

  • Be sure to look at your recommended featured image size! You don’t want your image to look oblong and blurry on your blog! Go to your site’s information to see the recommended specs and go from there.  
  • Don’t copy other people’s styles. Be unique and make it match your blog theme.
  • Change up the fonts, colours as well as images for new posts but keep the layout the same. You can obviously keep the same font and colours to match with the blog theme.
  • Be sure to add a watermark which should be small to your images to help your work stay YOURS!
  • Canva requires an account so quickly make one!

 

1. Choose an image

There are so many great FREE stock photos out there that you can use. So take a look, Pixabay is my favourite for these but there are a lot of others like http://www.rekitanicole.com/ which are great too!

 

 

  1. Add an overlay

 

Adding overlays is most common. The colour for your overlay should be the colour of your blog. Make it transparent so you can still see the image but also have a hint of identity. Of course, you don’t have to add one, as it is YOURS!

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  1. Choose your colours

 

I use Tin Eye’s colour lab for this. Upload your image there to get a  feel of the colours. Then go! Copy and paste the hex code into a document colour on Canva and TADA!You’ve got your colour palette

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  1. Add text

 

You can be as creative as you like with this. Add your own text, play around with fonts and colours and you’ll end up with something like this.

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  1. Save It!

 

Name your design, download and upload to your blog post! You are done, and you have a perfect image! Now, use this template for all your blog posts and you’re good to go…

 

Now you have completed your design! Use this template for ALL your featured images and you’ve created your blog’s identity. BYE!

 

New Theme on WP | Review, suggestions

☞  WordPress has a free new theme for us! I’m excited for this. I’ll take this opportunity to review and give suggestions and ideas to use the theme!

▼My Thoughts

The new theme has named as Dara. Dara is a classic and elegant theme for businesses. My first impression is great but personally, I think that Dara is a twin of Sela. They quite similar. I could say that nothing changes except the layout are bigger. The positive comment here is Dara is obviously better than Sela.

▼ My Suggestions

Here are the looks that I created using the Dara theme. You could use these as your inspiration if you’re looking forward using the theme.

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◎ Gray, Black and White

I’m in love with this one. Yes, I admit that there’s a huge gap between the header and the menus. I don’t know why is that happens and how to solve it. But the only thing I could remind you is you need to entirely cover the space that you have on the editing canvas (make sure you’re using the correct size for your header).

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◎ Pink

This is perfect if you’re writing about beauty. It has a touch of a hot pink color. As usual, I used the white color as the background. Personally, I love the way white color brighten up the blog.  As you know, Dara allows you to display your social media account under your header image.

Another tip for you, make sure that your menu’s content is minimum 5 pages only or it will look cluttered. I’ve made the mistake before and trust me, you don’t wanna be the old me.

☞  That’s it for today! I hope you found something new from this. If you have any questions, feel free to ask us in the comment section below! We’ll try our best to answer you. Comment down below your thoughts and see ya!

Using Picmonkey | Bloggers Memo Pad

Hey Guys!This is Shania from Life As Shania.

Blogger’s Memo Pad has been a little quiet lately.We have been having a couple of people move around and such,and I have sad news that TrainOfThought will not be posting here anymore.She may be coming back next year around March,though that is not confirmed. Anyways, Farah,TheHappiestPixel, and I are still here to post and give you helpful tips!

So today I am going to be sharing w/ you guys is how to use Picmonkey!Picmonkey is a great tool for blogging, and super easy to use it. Today I am going to be sharing w/ you guys how to use it!I have a video,and a post,so you guys get 2 ways to learn about it!Let’s get started!

picmonkey

I will be showing you guys how to make a simple and basic thumbnail for your blog post.

 

Step 1:

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Head on over to Picmonkey.com.I love to use Picmonkey since it requires no downloading or fees.Picmonkey does have a Royale feature,but I find I never need it,so not worth the investment.If you do consider getting the Royale feature,I believe it is 4.99 per month,so not bad.Click on edit,and select the picture you want to use for the thumbnail.

Step 2:

step3

Once you have reached here,click on the little butterfly on the left side.This is the overlay button.Picmonkey has a lot of great overlays and most of them are free.I especially love their flowers and such.

Step 3:

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Once you have reached the Overlays,I like to click on geometric and use the circle.I fade the circle by about 50% using the slider and change it into a different color.This overlay will help people see the title/text of the thumbnail.

Step 4:

step6

Once you are done with the overlay,click the little Tt button.This is the text button.I love all of Picmonkey’s texts.My favorites are Sacremento,Amatic Small Caps,and Tall Dark and Handsome.Now,use the add text button,and type in your text.The font I used was Tall Dark and Handsome.

Step 5:

step7

Now that you are done with your thumbnail,hit the save button!Picmonkey gives you the option of downloading onto your desktop and choosing the file size & dimensions.

Video:

 

This is basically the beginning of Picmonkey!Picmonkey is a great tool,and super versatile!Make sure to use it!I really hope you guys enjoyed!Bye!

XOXO,

Shania

How To Clean Out Your Sidebar

When was the last time you took a good look at your blog’s sidebar and thought about cleaning it up?
A year ago? 2 Years Ago?

Do you want your blog to LOOK amazing?
Do you want to grow your readership?

If the answer is ‘Yes’, to anyone of those, then read on!

Let’s Spring Clean That Sidebar!!!
Okay, it’s not spring yet, but your sidebar is most likely CLUTTERED. You may think, ‘oh, she’s talking about other blogs. Not mine, my sidebar is clean!’. Maybe it is, but take a real good look. Is it? Do you really need half the stuff on there? First glance ‘Yep, I do!’. Really? It might be hard to let some things go, but it’s important.

Why should I clean out my sidebar?
It might seem obvious. It might not. Less is more on any site. When you visit a site, you want everything nice and tidy. Not one billion glaring fonts, every color of the rainbow, 4 different songs playing in the background, and 1 billion pop-ups. You want to come to a quiet site, lots of white space, a welcome mat and a cup of tea *some biscuits, if you please*. So, if you’re sidebar is exploding or just overloaded, you need to clean it out and make space for that tea party and that eager reader!

Okay, How Do I Spring Clean?
Stupid Question. Or not. You might just think ‘I’ll delete these’ and ‘add this’. Nope. You need to know what’s important and what’s

Hit ‘Delete’ On These ‘Waste Of Space’ Widgets

1. Recent Comments

It’s amateur, it’s unnecessary, it weird. I’ve seen it on so many blogs. SO MANY. Nobody clicks on them. They serve no purpose. It’s a waste of space. DELETE IT! Why would I want to click on someone who’s commented? I don’t really care. I want CONTENT!
2. Tag Cloud
Please stop. They look ‘cool’ on some blogs, but still. I’d rather click on a category (we’ll talk about this later) then some random bunches of words stuck together. Please, get rid of it!

3. Awards
I used to be guilty of this one too. Chuck out your trophies and display them on your ‘about’ page instead. Your sidebar just isn’t the place.

Must Have Widgets
1. Popular Posts/Pages
I hardly ever see this one! I mean seriously? This is a widget that is amazing and so useful for your readers. Replace your ‘recent posts’ with this widget. WordPress does all the work for you, so use this! I don’t why Recent Comments & Posts are so popular. They are hardly useful. Popular Posts are just amazing and help draw your readers into the best posts!
2. Follow Via Email

Chances are, some of your readers aren’t WordPress Users and need other ways to follow your blog, so keep this! Even if they are, if people love your blog, they’ll want to stay updates via email! I’ve only got a few email followers, but it’s worth having one.
3. Categories/Archives

Categories are the next best thing to ‘pages’. Keep your blog organized and have your posts put into special categories for your readers to navigate around. If you’ve got a lot of these, keep it as a dropdown. Maybe Archives on your footer but Categories are a must!
4. Search bar!

Make it easier to navigate, and add in a search bar for people to find what they are looking for. My theme has a built in one, but some don’t. Be sure to add one!
5. About me

Your readers want to know about you straight away. They don’t want to click. Give them a little bio about you and what you do in the blogging community.  Don’t forget to  add in your social media icons as well! Need help with creating one?

Now you’ve got your sidebar sorted, how about that tea? Come on in, (mind the welcome mat!!) and tell me all about how your spring cleaning went! Still unsure of what to chuck out or keep, carry on the conversation and comment below!

Small things that matter for me

small-things

Hey guys 😀 I’m FarahEdz from TheGirlWithCoffe and today I’m gonna share with you, small things that actually quite important for me 😉  Every things that written here have it own reasons. I don’t know how to get started 😂  Let’s jump into the real topic, shall we?

Use WordPress logo 

Use WordPress logo as the footer credit. If you don’t know what actually I’m talking about, you can go to your customizer and click on Site Identity. Find footer credit and make sure it is ” WordPress.com logo”. It looks a lot cleaner than a bunch of words written on your footer. I believe a lot of you agree with me even though this is a small matters.

Search and then, follow widget on your sidebar

Search is extremely important and I suggest you to put it on top of your sidebar. It is because people will search and explore more of your posts if it there. Also, it looks ugly if it in between a bunch of widget or it is on the end of your sidebar. If you want to put an image before search widget, it’s okay. Now, let’s talk about follow widget. I suggested you to put the follow blog widget after the search widget. Mainly because it probably will encourage your viewers to hit the follow button.

Put an image or gif on top of your posts

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Okay, this may sounds weird but seriously,for me ; put a gif is extremely important. People will notice your posts more. I mean, if the post doesn’t have a feautured image, on the reader, the post will be a lot smaller than the ones who have an image, gif or video.

Like for real, all of these above are completely based on my own thoughts. For me, even though it’s small, it can make a huge changes that you doesn’t notice. If you have any questions, ask it on the comment section below. That’s all I have for now and see ya 😀

~FarahEdz