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When we first started blogging we quickly learned that pictures were an essential part of a blog post, especially if you want your post to be pinned on Pinterest. Since the majority of our blog traffic comes from Pinterest then we definitely want to make sure that every post we publish is pinnable. Often times we may publish something that we do not have a photo for, such as this recent post on How to Lower Your Alexa Score in 3 Easy Steps. In that case we use Picmonkey to create a title image that can then be pinned on Pinterest.
I am a HUGE fan of PicMonkey. There are other programs that you can use such as Photoshop, but Picmonkey is FREE! Plus it’s so easy to use. There is a paid version of PicMonkey which is very affordable at $33 for the year.
When I first started using Picmonkey to create title images I just did a basic square or rectangle image, a colored background with text over it. While that is always an option, there is so much more that you can do with Picmonkey. Here’s a simple tutorial on how to create a title image with a transparent background.
Creating a Title Image with a Transparent Background
The first step is to go to the PicMonkey site. You will see four options at the top of the page. To create a title image from scratch you should select Design. This gives you some different options of sizes of images that you can use. I often use the Custom option which allows me to select the size of my image. 400 x 400 is the size that I often use.
After selecting your image size you can then select your canvas or background color. For this title image we are going to use a transparent background. In order to do that you should select the box that says Transparent Canvas. Then click Apply.
After selecting a transparent canvas this is what your background will look like.
The next step is to select an Overlay. PicMonkey has so many overlays to choose from. They can be found by clicking on the Butterfly in the left menu as you can see below.
For this title image I chose to use the Labels Overlay. You can see there are several Basic Overlays available with the free version and many more available with the paid Royale version.
After selecting the overlay you wish to use, you can click and drag it to the size you want. Your image is black to begin with but the color can be changed by clicking on different colors in the Overlay menu box that you can see on the right side of the picture below.
Now at this point you can go ahead and add words to your overlay but I chose to make things a little fancier by adding another Overlay on top of the first. You can see I changed the color of the first overlay to green and I made the second overlay pink.
Now that I have the Overlays that I want I’m ready to add the title. You can do this by clicking on the Tt in the menu to the left. This will show you the fonts that are available.
I started out using the Lobster Two font. I typed my title and centered it. I also dragged the text box so that the it extends past the edge of the overlay. This makes it easier to click on the text to change the font, color, or size. If you don’t make the text box bigger, then when you click you are usually going to select the overlay instead of the text, which can be very frustrating. In order to avoid that frustration I make the text box bigger than the overlay.
You can change the font and color as you can see I’ve done in the picture below. Just select the text box and click on a different font option or color. For this title pic I chose to use two different fonts. You can play around with the different options to find which fonts work best together. In order to make the size of the font larger you simply drag the edges of the text box.
Now that your title image is finished you will want to save it. You can save to a destination on your computer, Dropbox, or another location. At the top of your screen you will see a menu that says “Save”. Click on the Save option and you will see a screen like the one below.
Next you need to name your image. It’s important to give your image name because when you upload the image to your blog (if using WordPress) this file name becomes your image title. Of course you can always change the image title in WordPress but it’s much easier to just name it when you save it.
Why is naming the image so important? When someone pins an image from your site on Pinterest whatever the image title is or Alt text that you use, that’s what will show up in the Pinterest description box. You don’t want someone to pin an image from your site and the description is Image38740283, now do you? That doesn’t do much for SEO and attracting readers to your site. So give that image a creative name or name it the same thing as the title of the post!