Profile Yourselfie: Creating the Best Profile Pic

If your time on the web is focused on more than just email and searching, chances are you’ve got a page on a social networking site where a profile pic shows your fabulous face. But does that profile pic represent you well? If it looks low-quality or tattered, it’s time to create a new one and put your best foot forward. We’re going to take a look at a PicMonkey staffer’s profile pic, and show you how a thoughtful re-take and some easy effects can really boost her online presence on professional networks like Linkedin, and social networks like Facebook.
photo of Karen's old profile pic

This is Karen’s old Linkedin profile picture. There are a few things we want to do, to help her hit a high note, here. First, she’s not really letting her bubbly personality shine through with that bad-girl serious expression. Also, the selfie arm-holding-camera thing is okay for social profile pics, but we shouldn’t be seeing it in a professional profile pic. And lastly, her photo is over-edited — too many effects! Now let’s begin the revamp…

Things to Remember When Shooting your Profile Photo

  • Use a neutral or muted color background. White backgrounds can wash out lighter skin tones, and brightly colored backgrounds can cast an uncomplimentary hue across the skin.
  • Use your best, most natural smile. Don’t be afraid to show your pearly whites!
  • If possible, use a self-timer to take the photo, to get rid of the arm in the picture. This will reduce the chances of a blurry photo, and give you a shot you can use in both professional and personal spheres.


Editing Your Photo for Professional Sites

photos showing before and after Daguerreotype_Brady effect
You can do a (nearly) one-click edit for your professional profile picture by heading straight to the Effects tab. Click Daguerreotype and select “Brady.” This effect replicates the look of Civil War photographer Mathew Brady (Google it and you’ll sound so photo connoisseur at your next cocktail party). By sheer coincidence, it also magically wipes away skin imperfections and beautifully enhances the darks in photos. Also try Tranquil, Dusk, or Film Stock for more one-click color options that look very professional as well.


Editing Your Photo for Dating Sites

When you want a photo to show off your date-worthiness, remember that gaudy overuse of effects and too much Blush Boost can shed the wrong (somewhat humorous) light on the assets you want to promote.
photos showing before and after Intrepid efffect
Start by going to the Touch Up tab. Get rid of stray hairs using the Clone tool, soften wrinkles with Wrinkle Remover (here we used a 70% fade), and smooth out minor skin flaws using the Airbrush effect. Add subtle color to the lips using Lip Tint, for extra pout-ability. Then zoom in to add Mascara (here at a 60% fade). To add a final touch to your dating allure, try adding the Intrepid effect with a 50% fade. So Zsa Zsa, dahling!
Tip: You don’t want to look like you belong in a wax museum! When using Touch Up effects, adjust the “Fade” slider before you apply them, so you can choose the right strength for the effect.


Editing Your Photo for Social Sites

photos showing before and after light effects and tiara overlay
On Facebook and other purely social social networking sites you can go for more relaxed, candid photos of yourself. Kayaking selfies, bowling alley selfies — why not?! Or you can add fun personality notes with editing. Here’s where there are virtually no rules. Play around until you’ve created the perfect selfie for your friends and family to see!
Use Light Trails textures to set an effervescent mood. Or transport yourself to fairyland by adding pastel Clouds textures. Be sure to set “Blend Mode” to Normal and click the paintbrush to erase the clouds off your face in the original. Or be royal! Add a tiara from the Hats overlays, and some Sparkle Stars. Her majesty “likes” your post about whatever it is you commoners do!
Tip: If you do choose to play it goofy with your Facebook profile pic, just make sure your page isn’t linked to other professional websites. Many will automatically pull your Facebook profile pic into their pages, and you really don’t want Ms. Future Boss Lady to see that shot of you with your nose Scotch-taped to your forehead!

7 Quick Twitter Tips to Build More Followers

Whether you’ve recently joined Twitter or you just want to start making the most of the network, the first thing on your mind will be to build more followers. More targeted followers means more engagement and more potential web traffic which ultimately leads to better business results.
So how do you get more followers? You could just go and buy a shed load of fake one from the spammers that are trying their best to take over Twitter, or you could follow the 7 quick and easy tips detailed in the infographic below from Sweb Development.
7 Quick Twitter Tips to Build More Followers

The Basics of SEO: What Google Looks at When Ranking Your Website

One question we get asked a lot is “How do I get my website higher up on Google?”
There isn’t a quick and easy answer as Google looks at hundreds of things but we though this infographic from Linchpin SEO summed it up well splitting a bunch of important factors into 4 key groups.
The SEO Pyramid What Google Looks at When Ranking Your Website

6 Essential Components of a Successful Online Marketing Strategy

So you’ve just started your business and looking to implement an online marketing strategy? But like most business owners you’re probably not sure how to get started?
The online world can be a daunting place for many people so often we just need reminding of the simple components that make up a successful online strategy. Some research to understanding your audience and competition should come first, but what do you do from there?
Take a look at the infographic from Incion for more essential components of a successful online marketing strategy.
6 Essential Components of a Successful Online Marketing Strategy

Product Photography for Beginners [Etsy]

Learning how to take great photos is one of the most important things you can do to improve your Etsy shop. Since prospective customers can’t see or touch your item in person, photos communicate an item’s beauty and important qualities. Beautiful photos will also help your items to be featured both on and off of Etsy.
Luckily, taking great photos is a skill that you can learn! If you look at the early sold items of many sellers with wonderful pictures, you’ll see that they started just where you are now.
In this video workshop — led by successful Etsy shop owner and photographer Jessica Marquez of Miniature Rhino in Brooklyn, NY — we’ll talk shop about different types of cameras and what’s best for you. Jessica covers camera basics to provide more control over the images you create, key elements to improve your photographs for your Etsy shop, and how to solve some common problems with inexpensive, DIY fixes. Watch the video below to jump start the creative process and get you thinking about creating the best possible images for your Etsy shop.
We hope this video helps you on your photo-improvement journey! Make sure to go slowly while reworking your photos; try re-doing just a few per week. Take a lot of photos of an item as you learn. This helps you to figure out what works and what doesn’t, and it also gives you a lot of photos to choose from. You’ll find that you’ll get better and better as the weeks go by. Once you’re taking gorgeous photos, then go back and re-do the rest of the photos in your shop if necessary.

10 Power Tips to Master the Art of Social Media

Have you mastered the art of social media? Do you need some valuable tips to boost your social media presence?
It’s no secret that social media is the way forward for any business. Demonstrating your ability to use social media in a professional way can result in a make or break situation for how your customers view your company.
To help you become a social media guru, take a look at this infographic by The Art of Social Media.
10 Power Tips to Master the Art of Social Media

How Could Photos Help Your SEO?

Many people are visually oriented, preferring a good photo to a written description. While a photo may not help a search engine, it probably would help a searcher decide if your link was worth the click.
Matt Southern of Search Engine Journal took a look at a recent development: Google Gives Business Owners More Control Over Photos Displayed In Search Results. What it means for business owners is options like having one photo for Google+ and a different image for other Google properties, like search.
How many different photos you use is up to you, but you can opt for different categories like interior or exterior photos, or shots of your team or workplace. If you want to explore your options, log into your business profile, go to the Photos section, and use the new intuitive feature to see what is possible.

People Like Pictures

You know that old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”? It’s an old saying that keeps being repeated because people like pictures. Images that actually reflect your business are going to be better than stock photos because they trigger a more specific response.
  • Hey, I know that person! He handled my account.
  • We ate in that dining room, the meal was delicious and the atmosphere is great.
  • I loved that sweater because it was comfortable and it stayed that way after washing.
  • Those lamps look perfect, we should go see them in the showroom.
  • So that’s who I spoke to on the phone. She was so helpful.
  • That business looks familiar…of course, I’ve driven past it. I should stop next time.


Optimize Photos According to Publishing Guidelines

If you use your own photos, then do your homework and follow image publishing guidelines. Make sure those photos are high-quality, too. That isn’t really as difficult as it sounds if you can find an enthusiastic photographer in your area. That person may already be on staff. [Or take your own product and staff photos!]
There are definitely some things to be careful with. Some of those things include attribution, image site maps, and formatting. You also have to be careful with the mix of mobile and loading photos.
But along with the increased complications of images, the fact remains that people like pictures and a search result with a good photo is probably going to be picked over plain text. That’s why Google is adding the photo options, and that’s why you should look into the possibilities.

Old SEO vs New SEO: What You Should Stop Doing and What to do Instead

The process of optimising a website for search engines like Google (SEO) is a constantly changing field, and it’s important to keep up with these changes if you want to succeed online.
Using old techniques that Google now considers spammy may work in the short to medium term, but you can be sure Google will catch you out eventually and slap you in the face with a penalty that could take you months to recover from.

10 Key Elements Your Website Needs for Google to Class You as High Quality

Do you want to improve your reputation in the eyes of Google? Do you want to rank above your competitors in the search engine rankings?
Google ranks quality above all else so ensuring your website content is high quality is imperative for online success. But what exactly does high quality mean and how can you ensure the content on your site falls within that category?
Take a look at this infographic from QuickSprout which gives you 10 essential elements for high quality content.
10 Key Elements for Google to Class You a High Quality Website