Surprising ways media tools for blogging are more refreshing than new socks
The one thing about blogging that I find frustrating is that sometimes I have a great vision in my head of how I want a post to look and yet, I just don’t have the tools available to make it happen (Tech Girl’s YouTube channel is testament to this). That’s the reason behind this post. I wanted to share some media tools for blogging that might help you along.
Creating a clever blog title
How many times have you written pages of something beautiful and then just had no clue how to title it? Enter:
This is a funny free website that randomly creates blog post titles for you. See the title of this post? Created there. Simply input your keywords or the premise of the post and it will do the rest. Score for lazy bloggers everywhere!
If you’re a complete noob when it comes to video editing (like me), you have three options. The first is to pay someone who knows what they’re doing to help edit. This is a ball ache because you’re going to be reliant on them and their schedules to get your content out. You’ll also need to schedule time to film with them which can be tough.
The next option is Apple’s iMovie. iMovie is available free for your Mac or iOS device. It is such a great piece of software for editing with all sorts of effects and great options available. If you’re new to editing you’ll still be able to create fantastic videos and even film on your iPhone. When I started doing YouTube videos my biggest regret was that I didn’t have a Mac so I could utilise iMovie.
The final option for you Windows ladies (and serious professionals) is Adobe Premiere Pro. It is possibly the scariest piece of software you’ll open and you’ll feel completely overwhelmed but, once you get used to using it you’ll realise it is one of the better video editing software options on the market. There are so many tutorials online, written and video, to help you along and teach you how to use it. You won’t look back. Premiere Pro is also part of the Adobe Creative Cloud Services so for a monthly fee you can access the editing software and a few others which I’ll mention in a few other points in this post.
Here is something you might not know: you cannot simply take images off google! A lot of the time they’re actually copyrighted. How would you feel if you spent your morning taking special photos for your blog only to find them a few weeks later on another site? Pretty peeved right? Imagine how photographers feel when you take their snaps off Google Images. You need to either pay for images or use royalty free ones.
Signing up to a site like Shutterstock and paying a subscription is a good idea. Another option is to use royalty free sites that offer up “free” images that you can use. My go to is:
Pixabay has a library of free high quality images you can use without any fear of an angry email or, worse, a lawyer’s letter demanding money. Adobe also recently introduced Adobe Stock to their Creative Cloud Services. I had a chance to chat to Simon Bromfield, the Adobe Territory Account Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, about the benefits of services like this for entrepreneurs and, of course, bloggers. Bromfield says Adobe Stock offers you the ability to license images directly within the applications which saves time and reduces frustration. There are also thousands of free images available through the service and, as an individual user, you can download ten of these per month.
Whether you want to create a YouTube video image, a funky infographic or simply want to add some text to a picture – there are a host of great free image editing sites on the web. I’ve written a post before on 3 free tools to create images for your blog. I’ll be honest, I go back to PicMonkey A LOT. I struggle with re-sizing images and tweaking photos so I’ve also recently started playing with Adobe Photoshop as a possible editing option. The thing is, I find it rather terrifying to use. What I really need to do is sit down and watch/read the tutorials available.
You’ll notice I keep going back to the Adobe Creative Cloud Services. No, this isn’t a sponsored post I forgot to mark, it’s because I needed to get my hands on Premiere Pro and a single app purchase in the Creative Cloud costs $19.99 a month (R249). But I can access a range of software under the Cloud (including Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator and the like) for $49.99 (R622.28). It’s more than double the price but is means I’ll have programmes I can access offline (great when the WiFi goes down) and hopefully allow me to improve on the quality of Tech Girl’s visual. The idea of having access to mobile apps is also a rather attractive one.
I’m toying with the idea of dropping the R622.28. I know what you’re thinking – why not download illegally? I was rather cheeky when chatting to Bromfield and threw that in. Surely it makes more sense for me to just rip the programmes from somewhere? He had a valid point:
Adobe has made it affordable to own and use all of our Creative Tools and Applications, our pricing is aggressive and we offer users lots of ways to license this technology. Our payment options are very flexible from 1 month rentals to 12 month upfront payments. The Subscription model has allowed us to rapidly develop and release new features to the market. The cool new Mobile apps, CreativeSync and other services would not have been possible under the old distribution model. People that are using CS6 and other versions of the products are now seriously losing out.
I believe that the question of using illegal version and downloading pirated products in now something of the past, as people recognise the value of the new services and products they will invest in the applications. As bloggers your entire business is built around your intellectual property, your credibility and the content that you create. By using Pirated or illegal software to do this cheapens the value of what you do, exposes you to unnecessary risks and violates the intellectual property of the vendors that have invested to create the tools that you are now using.
While I’ve found a host of free services to use, some of the paid for software options (not only from Adobe) really do seem more attractive. I think, in an ideal world, it would be nice for them to meet us in the middle and maybe allow us to customise our own packages with two or three programmes so we could better work towards the budgets we have. What do you think?
What media tools for blogging do you use? Any I should know about?
I'd love to chat to you some more.
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