Pinterest Tips: How I got 20,000+ Saves on a Single Pin

 
 
Pinterest Tips for Bloggers and Entrepreneurs: How I got 20,000 saves on one Pin!
 

Pinterest is, by far, my bigger referral source to my website. In fact, the growth since I essentially "re-branded" by Pinterest has been incredible. We're talking a nearly 1000% increase in my page views per month and the main source of how I receive my email subscribers. In fact, 60% of my referral traffic comes from social media and... wait for it... more than 90% of my social media traffic comes from Pinterest.

You're probably thinking "Wait a minute, back up. You re-branded your Pinterest?" Oh yeah.

Folks, if you are using your Pinterest account for both your business AND personal pins, you might want to rethink your strategy.

I started out on Pinterest as a casual, right-in-target-audience user. Female. Twenties. Saves recipes, outfits, occasionally hobby-related Pins. For the first six months after I started my full-time design and marketing business, I didn't even consider using Pinterest to post my own work or from my blog (I know, I had no idea what I was doing).

I thought I didn't have enough personal content.

I thought people would just show up on my website and blog and pin it themselves.

Boy, was I wrong!

After doing a bit of research, I started implementing strategies I had read from fellow bloggers and small business owners. Here were the key things I learned:

Stay on-brand

Pinterest, like any social media outlet for your business, should remain on-brand. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my mission?
  • What is my niche?
  • Who is my audience?
  • What information do I want to provide my audience?

Your niche can't be a stylish tips, recipes and workouts for women ages 18-99. You have to narrow it down. Your mama probably told you that you can't make everybody happy. And you can't! You need to focus on your niche, your business and providing information relevant to your business. That's your ideal audience, that's who will buy your product and that's who will save your Pins and grow your reach.

Limit personal pins

Take a look at Melyssa Griffin's Pinterest: She focuses almost solely on business tips. The majority of her pins are related to providing information for her visitors and key audience. There are a few boards that aren't strictly business tips, but they're related: Home Office, Color, etc.

Going back to the tip before of staying on-brand, you'll want to stay on-subject, too. Would you watch a TV show touted as "the best home renovation show of 2016" if they talk about the newest discoveries in space 99% of time? Gotta stay on-subject and on-brand or you'll lose followers.

Does that mean I need to delete all of my boards?

No! Absolutely not. When researching my own Pinterest - hello, Analytics! - I looked at which boards were performing the best. Those were my business and creative tips, first and foremost, then photography inspiration, color theory and strangely enough, a "Tried and True Pinterest Recipes" board.

When I focused on "re-branding" my Pinterest, I went from more than 70 boards - I know! I had a problem... and liked for each board to be very specific - to about 20, not counting group boards or client collaboration boards.

Did I delete the unrelated boards? No. I made them private! I can still have my archive of favorite gluten-free recipes, my outfit ideas, DIY home repair boards all right there and easy to pin without logging in and out, but the majority of my followers, who are there for the biz tips, won't have to flip through pins that don't relate to their interests.

Make your pins pinnable

But if it is on Pinterest, doesn't that automatically make it "pinnable?" Nope! Sorry, Charlie. It isn't just a popular profile that can make a single pin explode and arrive on the popular page. Here are a few tips when creating your pins, speaking specifically for small business owners:

  • Do not use horizontal (landscape) images
  • Always include text on your image - yes, even for recipes!
  • The longer the Pin, the more room it takes up on the feed
  • Always create alt-text for your images (Tips on this coming soon!)
  • Link your original pins to your blog post - not your general blog URL or website

Want more tips like this? Download the Pinterest checklist for bloggers and entrepreneurs!

Here's an example of my best-performing pin - as long as we can ignore the old, original 835 Creative branding. As of November 2016, this Pin has more than 22,000 saves and has been my largest referrer of traffic:

 

Why this pin works:

  • Vertical image
  • Clear text - title, subheads
  • Contrast in colors
  • Address common problem
  • Helpful content for a specific niche
  • Gives enough content to save, but can click through for more information
  • Call to action to direct Pinners to website at the bottom, which will push them to click on the pin and visit the website for the full blog post

The proof is in the pudding

Let's take a look at what these small changes did for my Pinterest account.

In my first few months as a full-time business owner, I thought I was doing pretty good. After all, I was just getting into the analytics, verifying my Pinterest business account (learn how here!) and checking in every few weeks. I was posting everything publicly, not focusing on a real strategy. I would average anywhere from 1,000 people reached per month to at one point, 15,000.

Then I rebranded, made most of my unrelated board secret and posted my own original content more often and posted content that is in my niche (digital marketing and design tips) from fellow blogs:

Pinterest growth for creatives, small business owners and entrepreneurs

You can see exactly where I made that change: May 2016. It wasn't an overnight explosion in my reach, but day-by-day, as I posted more relevant content to my business, I noticed that people were pinning my original content (rich pins, leading to my website) more.

After going from an average of 1,000 reached one year ago, I now have an average reach between 350,000 to 435,000 (an all-time record for me!).

And bonus: I did it all without a single ad.

Pinterest strategy and marketing for small business owners, bloggers and entrepreneurs.

Getting lots of saves on your Pins isn't just about saying you have gotten thousands of saves on a single Pin. It does wonders for your blog, your website, your business or non-profit. For me, the traffic from Pinterest has made my email list explode. For you, it could bring you new leads for your services or products, whether you're selling e-books and e-courses or using affiliate marketing on your blog.

In addition to the tips above, I have a great checklist for those of you who are just starting out in Pinterest for your business or blog... for free! Sign up below to get the checklist on what to look for when you are revamping your Pinterest profile and creating a cohesive collection of content online.

Gain access to the Pinterest Checklist through the Resource Library!

 
 
 

Why You Need a Brand Style Guide ASAP

 
Why You Need A Brand Style Guide for Your Blog, Business or Organization.

As part of my design services, I create one piece of collateral for my clients that's oh-so-important: A brand style guide. Different from a mood board, which often features images pulled from Pinterest, a color scheme and typography (font) ideas, the brand style guide is the be-all, end-all of your brand. The real deal.

While my style guides for clients vary from a one-sheet to a comprehensive ten-page style guide, it's important as a blogger, small business or organization to have a piece of material that sums up your brand at a quick glance both for a variety of reasons.

 

Who does a brand style guide benefit?

You! The business owner, head honcho, founder, creative director.

Whoever you are at the top of your business or organization, this is what sums up the face of your brand identity. If you're not design-savvy, your brand style guide is a quick and easy way to access your colors, your logos and fonts, whether you're creating a Facebook cover photo in InDesign or a blog post graphic in Canva.

Your employees.

If you're working with contractors for your social media or design projects or bringing on full-time employees, it's important to have a style guide to bring your brand style into the forefront of your employees' minds. Plus, it makes it a cinch for your employees to know your exact colors and other elements that help market and promote your blog or business. Because "light blue" just isn't going to cut it as a color description when you're dealing with designers or printing companies. Bonus: Have Pantone colors on your style guide.

The outside world.

I say outside world since it depends on your niche. At some point, you're going to be working with someone outside of your business or blog.

A brand style guide lets advertisers, sponsors, collaborators, fellow bloggers and the media know which logos are appropriate to use in print, on television or online, plus it will give them a quick idea of your style - both visually and your voice. You'll be surprised at how often even larger organizations can stretch your logo, recolor your logo or even call you by the wrong name! Providing a brand style guide nips it in the bud and makes it easier to approach any oops! that may come up when promoting your blog or business.

Style guide for MaggieGentry from 835 Creative

What should I include in a brand style guide?

As I mentioned earlier, a brand style guide can be as simple as a one sheet or be ten, twenty or even fifty pages long and go into specifics of your brand's voice, imagery and more; however, let's be real: the only ones with fifty-page style guides are massive corporations with many entities (Think: FedEx, Mars, Coca-Cola, etc.)

Here are a few ideas of what to include in your brand style guide:

  • Primary logo
  • Alternative logo(s)
  • One-color logo(s)
  • Brandmarks or icons
  • Colors - RGB, HEX, CMYK, Pantone
  • Patterns
  • Textures
  • Typefaces (fonts)
  • Tagline
  • Logo restrictions
  • Mission statement
  • Vision statement
  • Collateral examples
  • Catchphrases
  • Images & image style
  • Hashtags
  • Website URL & details
  • About/Biography/History
  • Partners or members

Are you just starting out and want to create your own brand style guide? Download the free template in the Resource Library!

Template includes InDesign files for Creative Cloud and .idml for
older versions of InDesign, plus a Quickstart Guide.

 

Cheatsheet: Adobe InDesign Keyboard Shortcuts & Commands

 
Work quickly and efficiently with the InDesign Keyboard Shortcut Cheatsheet with Commands on text, pages and more. Click to download the PDF cheatsheet!

When I taught graphic design to college students for the first time, I had been an avid user of Adobe Creative Cloud - then known as Creative Suite - for at least a solid decade. One thing I learned with my first students was that those commands I could do in my sleep by waving my fingers across a keyboard... Well, they didn't come naturally to anyone. Period.

That was a huge shock (ha!) when I went through my first tutorial in lab and within the first few minutes was greeted with, "Whoa! Slow down! How did you do that?" On the screen, it probably looked magical. The mouse wasn't moving to the toolbar on the left side of the screen, yet tools would appear, actions would happen and boom, tutorial complete.

That, my friends, is the magic of keyboard shortcuts and commands.

 
 

If you're relatively new - or haven't used it for a while! - InDesign keyboard shortcuts just aren't second nature. You've probably watched video tutorials online where they move so incredibly fast as they name off the steps, you have to watch it ten times.

These shortcuts will save you time when working on your blog graphics, business marketing materials and more. After all, saved seconds add up to minutes, minutes to hours and that's money saved in the long run, right?

 
 

tips on indesign shortcuts

Don't get overwhelmed. Jump to the bottom of this post and download the PDFs. Print them out or even half your screen as you work on projects in InDesign so you can reference your shortcuts. You'll be surprised how quickly they get burned into your brain!

  • The cheatsheets focus on Mac users, but Windows users, don't fear! Anytime you see the command symbol (),  press Control instead.
  • "Tools" shortcuts only use one letter or symbol on the keyboard. This makes the chosen tool active. You'll click as needed to use it, just as you would if you manually selected it from the toolbar.
  • "Command" shortcuts require you to press all designated keys at the same time. Don't get discouraged if you can't quite get the hang of the more complicated, three-plus key shortcuts.

Do you use shortcuts to expedite work in InDesign?
What is your favorite shortcut to use? Comment below!

 

Download the InDesign Keyboard Shortcut Cheat Sheet through the Resource Library!

 
 
 

Font Roundup: The Best Free Script Fonts

It's time for a font roundup! And what are the best kinds of fonts for creatives and bloggers on a budget? Free ones! Check out my current favorites below that go beyond the script fonts you see every day. You'll find some grunge fonts, some girly fonts, some proper fonts and even some great fonts for branding your next project - or your own business!

Font Roundup_Free Script Fonts - 835 Creative.jpg
 

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Pop in your email below to join the 835 Creative party!

 

The Five-Minute Photo Fix: fix your iphone photos instantly

Have you ever wondered how to get that crisp, clear, perfect image on Instagram? How some food photos look good enough to eat, while others look a little... ick?

In this week's quick tip of the week, I'll show you how to turn your food photo from "are you sure that's edible?" to "holy cow, get in my belly now!" in less than five minutes. That's no joke - it's THAT easy. Really, the most difficult thing about this tutorial is not eating the cookies before I finished taking photos. 

 
The Five-Minute Photo Fix. Turn your food photo from "are you sure that's edible?" to "holy cow, get in my belly now!" in less than five minutes.  Really, the most difficult thing about this tutorial is not eating the cookies while shooting!
 

what you'll need

Here's what you'll need to produce a studio-quality image in five minutes flat:

  • A spot near a window
  • Daylight (clouds or sunshine work!)
  • A sheet of white paper
  • Your object(s)

This little trick is all about lighting. By using daylight near a window and not in direct sunlight, you'll create the nice, soft shadows. Is it cloudy out? Even better! The after photo in this post was actually taken on a very overcast day. With sunlight, your shadows will be a bit harsher, but cloudy will give you just enough light, unless of course, it's thunderstorming.

the set up

The set up is so incredibly easy. Grab a spot near a window. Grab a sheet of white paper - even the simple, day-to-day computer paper works. As long as your object is smaller that the paper, you're golden. Here's a look at my crazy simple set up. It's almost funny how simple it is:

 
The Five-Minute Photo Fix. Turn your food photo from "are you sure that's edible?" to "holy cow, get in my belly now!" in less than five minutes.  Really, the most difficult thing about this tutorial is not eating the cookies while shooting!
 

I lightly fold the sheet of paper to more easily prop the piece of paper up against an object behind the subject (in this case, cookies). When you shoot, you'll be eye-level with your subject, which will give the image a nice, seamless background, much like a mini studio photo! There are more advanced ways to set up a lightbox for images like this, but this is the fast and easy, super budget-friendly method.

 
The Five-Minute Photo Fix. Turn your food photo from "are you sure that's edible?" to "holy cow, get in my belly now!" in less than five minutes.  Really, the most difficult thing about this tutorial is not eating the cookies while shooting!
 

See the above photo? The colors are off, the shadows are harsh, the background is dark. All-in-all, not a great photo. Do you know why? It was taken with the curtains drawn and flash on. The iPhone's flash is not your friend in most situations. Turn it off! Always! Okay, almost always. There's a time and place for everything, but when natural light is available, there's no need for it.

You can easily toggle your iPhone camera's flash: When your camera app is open, in the top right corner is a little lighting bolt. Tap it and three options appear: Auto, On and Off. Tap off and you're good to go.

 
The Five-Minute Photo Fix. Turn your food photo from "are you sure that's edible?" to "holy cow, get in my belly now!" in less than five minutes.  Really, the most difficult thing about this tutorial is not eating the cookies while shooting!
 

Here's the finished product with natural light. Open up that curtain, let the light in. Jump down to eye level and once your camera app is open, tap your subject on the screen to get that beautiful focus. With my final photo, I popped it into one of my favorite mobile apps, VSCO, brightened it up, sharpened just a bit and lightened the shadows. Easy as pie, right? Er, cookies.

Post in the comments your before and after photos using the 5-minute photo fix or tag me on Instagram @brendagdalton. I'd love to see how you use this quick method to improve your photos.


Improve your iPhone photography plus free workbook!

Not sure why every single photo you take with your iPhone is blurry? Are you ready to kick dark, grainy images to the curb?

Here you'll find my favorite tricks to using your iPhone to produce professional-quality images for your blog and social media. Plus, snag the free four-page iPhone Photography Workbook for Bloggers and Creatives at the bottom of this post for even more tips!

 
The best tips to improve your iPhone photography for your website, blog or social media!
 

great lighting

A great source of natural light is the single best way to create sharp images with soft shadows. How do you find natural light? Indoors, find a room that’s well lit, but without direct sunlight (bright, but not harsh). Whether you’re shooting from above, from the side or eye-level, be sure not to stand between your light source (the window) and your object.

focus!

This is one of the biggest questions I'm asked: Why are all of my iPhone photos blurry? It's a bit of a hidden feature with your phone: tap to focus. That's it! Tap the subject on your screen and wah-la! You're in focus. If your images are still blurry, try giving your iPhone's lens a little wipe down with a soft cloth. Even with a case on, the lens can get a bit dirty, causing your images to be blurry and grainy.

burst mode

At a sporting event or trying to capture your cat sprinting around the house full-speed? Try the iPhone's burst mode, which takes photos in quick succession. Instead of tapping the shutter button to take a photo, press and hold. From there, numbers will appear (and continue counting!) until you let go of the button. The same works if you use the volume button to take photos, too. This is a great feature to capture high-speed motion at its peak.

try a new angle

Some angles work, some angles don't. Until you've nailed your brand style when it comes to your photos, experiment! Jump on a stool and shoot from far above. Lay down in the grass to find a new perspective. Get up close on your subject and try the same shot with the whole room. As you work on your photography, try each image in a variety of angles (and shoot lots!), which will help you figure out your own style.

use filters sparingly

Filters are popular! In fact, they're so popular that Instagram's filter names are showing up on top baby names lists in 2015. Unfortunately, slapping a filter on your photos won't make your image much better. Some of the top pros on Instagram won't even touch filters (shocking, isn't it?), instead opting for mild adjustments in VSCO and Instagram such as brightness, contrast and sharpen. With the right lighting, you'll never have to rely on Valencia again!

want more tips and tricks?

 
 

Don't forget to pick up your free four-page iPhone Photography Workbook for Bloggers and Creatives with even more detailed tips and tricks! Pop your info below and you'll receive an instant link to download. I can't wait to see what you come up with, so tag me in your new and improved photos on Instagram with @brendagdalton!

Download the Improve Your iPhone Photography Workbook through the Resource Library! 

 
 

The best FREE photo editing tools for bloggers & creatives

 
Best free photo editing tools for bloggers and creatives on a budget
 

It's time to round up the best free picks when it comes to editing images for your blog, social media or website! Whether you're just starting out and have a limited budget, your computer crashed and you're sans software for a while or you only edit photos once in a blue moon, here are the top tools for zip, zero, nada to help make your images shine their very best.

pixlr

Though I personally work in Photoshop and Lightroom, Pixlr is my favorite free app, especially for bloggers and creatives on a budget. Pop open right in your browser, this website offers two versions: Pixlr Editor and Pixlr Express. Express is perfect if your photo is a tad too dark and you need to lighten it up, a photo is a little caddy-wonky and needs to be straighten up a bit or go for a basic, all around, no-thought-required auto-fix.

Pixlr Editor

Pixlr Express

My preference though, and the best bang for your free buck, is Pixlr Editor. It looks like a browser version of Photoshop and works (and looks!) eerily similar to the Adobe workhorse. Spot heal, burn, sharpen, lighten, smudge, clone stamp… you name it, Pixlr Editor has it. You can even work with layers! If you’ve used Photoshop in the past and miss it, crave it, but can’t quite work it into your budget, jump on over to Pixlr. Speaking as a professional, Pixlr is the most cohesive and intuitive free image editing program.

fotor

Fotor is a great, basic in-browser photo editor, similar to Pixlr. Access simple editing features like exposure, contrast, curves, sharpness, among other necessities. Take it to the next level by clicking on the beauty tab on the left and with (majorly!) advanced tweaks like skin smoothing, blemish fixes and tools to make your teeth sparkle. And there’s a first time for everything: Fotor even includes a tool to make your eyebrows on fleek. I’m not hip. I think I used that slang wrong. Or too late. Whoops!

Be aware, though: In order to use the browser version of Fotor, your image must be smaller than 8MB; however, you can download Fotor for desktop and get to editing those larger files, plus features like batch processing, collage and more.

Bonus! You can also take Fotor on the road by downloading the app for iOS or Android. Double bonus! You can also design everything from social media cover photos to posters and greeting cards all in the browser, too. Just hit the Design link at the top of the homepage.

gimp

In terms of free photo editing tools, GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a little different, since it requires you to download the program right to your computer; however, the features are worth having. It’s possible that GIMP is the most advanced free image editing tool out there, so long as you aren’t being illegal with a hacked version of Photoshop. Don’t do that! Download GIMP.

GIMP offers nearly all of the tools you'll get from Photoshop - yep, Photoshop, not just Elements - but with a slightly different layout and overall theme, but those differences are purely visual. GIMP also uses the same shortcuts and keyboard commands as Photoshop, so if you're a big nerd like me and shortcuts are second nature, I'd recommend you download GIMP immediately. It's also great if you absolutely don't have access to Illustrator and need a quick fix to create graphics and logos using the pen tool. 

You'd think there would be commercial restrictions to such a full-bodied, free program, right? Nope. Use GIMP to edit to your heart's desire to produce work commercially. 

Bonus! GIMP also offers a small archive of tutorials, which offers guidance on how to get started with image manipulation and advanced photo editing.

In the meantime, what are your favorite tools to edit photos for your blog, social media or website?

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When should I use Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign? An Adobe Creative Cloud rulebook.

 
When should I use Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign? Tips on when to use Adobe Creative Suites for different tasks for graphic designers, bloggers and small business owners.
 

Every profession has their tools of the trade. Chefs all have a favorite knife, nurses a stethoscope and photographers have a favorite lens for the job at hand.

You wouldn’t use Microsoft Word to create a 10-page spreadsheet, would you? While it is entirely possible, it isn’t exactly effective. The same goes for your favorite Adobe Creative Suite (now known as Creative Cloud) programs.

One of the biggest questions I get as an instructor and designer is, "When should I use Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator?" Here we’re going to talk about the difference between a designer’s crown jewels of the Creative Suite: Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign and the best uses for each program for designers, non-designers and bloggers alike.

Before we break down into the digital goodness, I’ll be upfront: You’ll hear opinions on the best program for each design job from people all across the world wide web. Everyone has an opinion! Some programs may work better for others due to their knowledge of each, but here’s what works best for me as a graphic designer and how I’ve guided my students in the past.

Let’s start off simply: Photoshop is for images. Illustrator is for creating vector-based logos and illustrations. InDesign is for text-heavy documents and merging the worlds of images, graphics and text.

 
 

photoshop

Ah, Photoshop. My old friend. I’ll be honest: before I got heavy into graphic design, I held on tightly to my good buddy Photoshop. In fact, I started out with Photoshop in 2000. I created everything from photo manipulations (yes) and tacky teenage filters on said photos (sure, why not?) to graphics for zines and logos for friends’ imaginary businesses (noooo!). Those are things you’ll never see in a #ThrowbackThursday. Sorry, world!

But in all seriousness, being a photographer who morphed into a graphic designer over the years, I’ve used Photoshop for just about everything. Then I realized that Photoshop is so, so perfect for editing images and not so ideal for creating graphics and laying out text.

Let’s take a look at generally what happens when you bring our text friend into Photoshop:

 
When should I use Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign?
 

 

Not gorgeous, is it? I know. So sad. So pixilated. Let’s go over a few of Photoshop’s best uses:

  • General photo editing
  • Photo manipulation
  • Animated gifs
  • Banner ads
  • Mock ups of products or print work

Photoshop is a pixel-based program,* so for photographers, Photoshop is your jam when it comes to advanced image editing like color balance, curves/levels, brightness/contrast and so on. 

Want to blur out a background, add a dinosaur in the clouds, slim your legs, create a gif of your cat walking on its hind legs? Fire up the ol’ PS to manipulate your photos to the moon and back. You can even bring in some of your designs in Illustrator to create a 3D mockup of your latest book on swamp people. The world is your manipulative oyster.

*Yes, you can bring vectors in! It’s not ideal nor as easy to work with as it is in Illustrator or InDesign. We’ll talk about that later. But hey, what are pixels and why does it matter? We’ll be doing a post about pixels and your most common design phrases in the next few weeks!

illustrator

For anyone who is jumping into Illustrator for the first time (or third or tenth and you’re still confused): you’re not alone. The pen tool can be intimidating. What in the world is a blob brush, anyway? However, once you’ve mastered the basics, Illustrator can be a wonderful tool to let your creativity seep out of your brain, through your hands and onto your screen.

Feel like creating a graphic for a 12 foot tall banner sliding down the side of building? Branding for a new product? A logo to pop onto your business cards and network with the world? Illustrator is here, ready for action.

Illustrator is vector-based, which means you can create artwork which will remain crisp and clear no matter how large or small you scale it - the complete opposite of pixel- or raster-based artwork. Illustrator has countless tools to help you manipulate text and shapes, making it perfect for posters and strong visual illustrations.

When it comes to images, step away from the AI. When placing images in Illustrator, it’s difficult to crop - compared to InDesign and Photoshop - within your Artboard. I like to think of Illustrator as the abstract, artsy-fartsy sibling of InDesign. InDesign can easily create creative works of art, but Illustrator feels its essence. Too weird? I thought so. Let’s move on.

indesign

As a designer, I consider InDesign my absolute go-to. My always-there-for-you-in-times-of-need pal. In my previous life employed as a full-time designer, InDesign was never not open on my computer. Drop photos in, crop, create simple illustrations and shapes and upload to social media or your website. In my opinion, InDesign can do it all as long as you’re not looking for the advanced options from the other two programs.

InDesign is the best of both worlds in terms of vector and pixel-based images, text and shapes. For bloggers or small business owners, InDesign is your best best for creating media kits, e-books, brochures and other print and digital files that require several pages. You won’t find page options in Illustrator or Photoshop.

It works seamlessly with Illustrator and Photoshop. Place an illustration for Illustrator and you can make minor edits to the color or shape. Need to edit an image you’ve placed in the document to be a little bit brighter? Right click > "Edit… WIth". Once the edit is complete, InDesign will update the image to its newest version without a second thought.

Here is a quick list of InDesign’s strengths:

  • Type-heavy documents
  • Brochures
  • Social media graphics
  • Flyers
  • Posters
  • Multiple-page documents (page automation)
  • Print files
  • Text wrapping

And, of course, with strengths, come weaknesses: Vector drawing capabilities aren’t as strong as Illustrator’s. While you can create simple line drawings and shapes, you’re better off hopping over to InDesign’s sibling, Illustrator to knock out that logo from scratch. Another weakness of InDesign is with its image manipulation: you can easily crop and resize images and there are a few image editing filters, but not too many. Jump on over to Photoshop!

what's next?

From here, the jury is split. Personally, I’ll create any vectors, logos, icons or brandmarks in Illustrator and drop them into my InDesign file to lay out surrounding text and export from InDesign for things like social media graphics, business cards and media kits. Some lay text over images in Photoshop, but I would rather have the ability to make the graphic larger at a later date without worrying about pixilation. Some create their web graphics solely in Illustrator. From here, it’s your choice!

A question I’m asked a lot is which single program in the Creative Cloud should someone invest in. As someone who uses all three in tandem to create graphics, branding, illustrations and marketing materials, it’s difficult to say. It depends on the person. If you never plan on using illustrations, you could get by with only Photoshop. Never plan to make major changes to images, but lay out lots of texts for e-books, brochures and more? InDesign may be your best investment. If your main business is creating family illustrations for holiday greeting cards, Illustrator could be the program you’ll benefit most from.

Comment below and let me know which programs you use the most for your daily tasks! Have questions about how to use the programs? Shout it out below! I’ll include your questions in future blog posts about some of each programs’ FAQs for small business owners and bloggers.

Get access to Adobe Creative Cloud by clicking here.

Interested in just one of the programs? Follow the links below:
Photoshop (Lightroom included!) | InDesignIllustrator

 

Download the free, four-page guide to Adobe Creative Suite through the Resource Library!

Thanksgiving sanity-saving printable + holiday freebie

Thanksgiving sanity-saving printable + holiday freebie

Anyone who knows me know that I am a bit of a planner. In fact, half of the fun of vacations and trips is planning where we'll go, what I'll pack and of course, what we'll eat. That theory slides ride into holidays, which is why I dreamed up the ideal Thanksgiving planner for scatterbrained folks like me.

Not too detailed so as not to get overwhelmed, but not so simple that I have to do all of the thinking. Without a shopping list, you can find me in the baking aisle with glazed-over eyes trying to find salad dressing.