Design Tip – How to add social media icons to your blog

design tip social media iconsSocial media is important in many aspects of our daily lives. Whether it is utilized purely as a casual way to keep in touch with friends or on a professional level, it is now our primary source of communication. If you want to be easily accessible, prominently display your contact information on your blog. A great way of doing this is adding some customized social media icons.Use something a little more eye catching rather then the typical links or default icon sets.

Here are the steps to get custom icons onto your blog:

1.) First things first, either create your own icons or download a set. You can find some free sets here or some that are a little more fancy for a few dollars here. If you want to try creating your own I’d recommend using Photoshop or Picmonkey. Rather then reinvent the wheel I found this amazing tutorial here on the step by step process of creating icons and then mapping them.

2.) Once you have your icons ready make sure you save them to a hosting site like Photobucket or Flickr. I’m using WordPress and often use my library to host my images. This is absolutely crucial! Otherwise you’ll end up losing all that work you just created.

3.) As I mentioned previously, I use WordPress. So this next step is based on the way the WordPress blogging platform is set up. After you have your HTML code from the image map site, log into your WordPress Dashboard and click on Appearances then Widgets. Create a text widget and paste the code in there. At this point you should be able to place the widget where ever you’d like the icons to appear on your blog. Keep in mind if you are using a free theme you are limited to the locations you can put widgets. For example, I use the free Adelle theme and all of my widgets are placed on the right side column.

If you aren’t using WordPress and would like help on how to add custom icons to your site, please contact me. I’ll be happy to help!

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Creating & Editing Images for Blogs & Social Media

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Are you looking for some quick free solutions to creating pretty graphics for you blog and other social media accounts? I have a few different sites I’d like to share with you as an alternative to Photoshop or other expensive complex graphic and photo editing software.

First up is Canva. This is by far one of my favorite sites to use to add text and graphics to images! Canva is incredibly user friendly and offers a variety of design sizes for you to choose from. From Facebook cover designs to Instagram photos, Canva guides you step by step through the design process. It allows you to upload your own photographs and even provides several filters to change their looks. There are free stock graphics available as well as ones you can purchase. There are plenty of images and text layouts to choose from without having to pay for anything!

A great site to use for resizing images is this one found on the Internet Marketing Ninjas site. This tool allows you to upload an image from your computer or use a URL. Once uploaded, you can either manually enter the dimensions you’d like to resize the image to or choose from different sizes outfitted to the requirements of a social media sites such as Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

Do you have a great quote you’d like to share on Instagram? Visit Recite and enter your quote into the text editor and then choose one of their layout templates. The site gives you the option to share your creation with social media sites or download it. Here is a quick example:

recite-awt6ztDo you need to edit photos? Use Picasa  or  Gimp as a free alternative to Photoshop.

These are just a few of the many amazing free tools out there to help you create stunning images. Have you ever tried any of these sites? I’d love to hear your feedback or recommendations for similar tools!

Have fun designing!
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