3 Simple and Easy Steps to Watermark Your Images

Watermarking your images is quite easy. Just follow these steps and you will have your picture watermarked in just a few minutes. I am not a very creative person, but I have tried my hand to do some creative work. haha. So, please bear with me, if the images are not very attractive. I would like to get your thoughts, though. So please DO NOT hesitate to leave your thoughts in the comment below.

I have used two free image editing websites to watermark the photos. One is picmonkey.com and another one is canva.com

The below image is downloaded from pixabay.com and watermarked in picmonkey.com. Can you see the two places where I have watermarked this image? A hidden watermark in the blue area at the top right (I have shown my twitter handle :) )and another at the bottom left.



This free image is from canva.com and watermarked in the same website. You can see the watermark in the center of the photograph. I love beaches :)


I will show the three simple and easy steps to create a watermark in your photos.

First about the watermark in the Mount Rushmore photo.
Step1: Go to http://www.picmonkey.com and click on  and select the image from your computer.

Step 2:  This is the basic Edit Screen. Click on text "Tt" and then click on "Add Text". You will see a text box on the image.

Step 3: Type the word in the text box. Select the desired "Blend Mode". (Refer the screenshot below). I chose "Overlay". You can choose any type of overlays from the available overlay options. And then adjust the "Fade" slider pointer to get your desired level of fade effect on the text. You can use the "Size" bar to adjust the size of your text. If you want to change the place of the text on your photo,  click on the image and drag it to move.



One more sample watermarked image of mine that I did in picmonkey.com

Before the watermark

After the watermark


Secondly, I will show you how you can do it in canva.com.

You have to create your own user account in canva.com to use the website.

1.  Go to http://www.canva.com. Choose the design. Click on "UPLOADS" and 'upload your own image' from your computer.

Canva image editor
  
2. Drag the image to the design area. Click on 'Text', choose the text style and type the Text.


3. When you click on the text, you will get the format bar and you will get the formatting options when you click on the drop-down arrow at the end of the bar.

Adjust the transparency of the text to get a nicely watermarked photograph.

But before actually learning to watermark your images or photographs, you have to know why should you watermark your images.

Do you want to watermark a bunch of photos? Then here are the detailed step by step instructions.

I have given below some of the watermarked images. I hope you will get some inspiration.
    
This beautiful image was watermarked using a design application called "Photoshop" version 7 by Sarah

A hidden watermarked image below - photo credit: J.P.Robertson via photopin cc

If you found this post useful then please share it with your social media friends.

Have you watermarked your images? Going to do that? I will feel happy if you could take a moment to come back and leave a link to your watermarked image in the comment  below.

HAPPY BLOGGING!

For Your Growth :)
Uma Mahi.

2 Easy Steps to Add Images to Your Blog Post



Before starting to add an image to your blog post, click on the place where you would want to add the image.

1. Click on the "Insert Image" button in the format toolbar. Refer the image below.



2. Click on the "Choose files" button in the pop-up window, choose the file from your computer and 



click on "Add selected" button below to insert that image to your post.

Isn't that easy and simple? Now go and add beautiful images that are relevant to your blog post.

You can create your own images. If you are a less creative person like me, then you can choose images for your blog posts from the websites that offer free photos for the bloggers. 

For the like of us, less creative people, here is a list of websites that offer free images.

If you have a blog post that you think looks awesome with your own creative images, then feel free to share it in the comment. Who knows, we might even inspire some creative person.

HAPPY BLOGGING!

For Your Growth,
Uma Mahi. :)

List of Websites for Free Image Downloads



I have compiled a list of websites from which you can download awesome images for your blog posts.
  1. FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  2. Pixabay.com
  3. Dreamstime.com
  4. All-free-download.com - You have to extract the images from the zip file.
  5. Stockvault.net
  6. Creativecommons.org
  7. Freeimages.com
  8. Flickr.com- You have to search for creative commons-licensed images
  9. Everystockphoto.com
  10. Wikimedia Commons
  11. iStock
  12. Unsplash.com
  13. Nasa
  14. Morguefile.com
  15. Publicdomainpictures.net
I hope this list helps you.

I would like to see your blog link in the comment if you have a blog post with great images that you have downloaded from any of these websites.

Please feel free to add more the above list if you know any website that offers free images for blog posts. Set you creativity FREE! :)

HAPPY BLOGGING!

For Your Growth!
Uma Mahi :)


3 Reasons to Add Images to Your Blog Post

1. For a better understanding:


A picture is worth a thousand words. (Refer the second image below). So if you use images in your blog post to explain more complex information, it would be easy for your readers to understand them quickly.

2. Sharing Blog Post in Social Media:


Adding images to your blog post, will be very helpful to you, when you share your blog post in the Social Media Websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest etc. You and I know that picture speak MORE than the texts. And attracting the attention of your readers would be much easier using an image rather than few words.

For example, look at the screen shot below to see how I have shared my previous blog post in my Facebook Business Page I Run A Small Business In Chennai.


This is how I have shared another blog post on my Twitter account.




3. Visual Appeal 


Your blog post looks visually appealing when you have an image inserted in it. You should always choose an image related to the content of your blog post.

So, now you know why should you use Images for your blog post. You can always create your own images or use the ones that are available for free on the Internet. There are a few websites that allow users to make use of their images for free. Some of the websites ask you to give credits to the owners of the images. Few websites offer even higher resolution images for free. 

HAPPY  BLOGGING!

For Your Growth!
Uma Mahi :)

How to Choose Labels for Your Blog Post?




In this post, I will show you how you can choose the keywords for 'Labels' and why should you choose them.

What are Labels in Blogger?


Labels are used to categorize your blog posts. When your blog posts are grouped into different categories, then it would be easy for your readers to find your other posts that are related to their searches.

I will show you with an example:

Let us assume that a reader has landed in this blog post after he searched for articles using the keyword 'how to build customer relationship' - Building Customer Relationships OnlineThe labels for this blog post are shown below the post, by default. So when the reader complete reading the post he can see these labels (keywords) and would click on any of these keywords to read more posts on the same topic/ category. 





How should you choose Labels for your Blog post?


You should choose those keywords that reflect the subject of your blog post. The more relevant Labels (keywords) you choose, the more your readers find your blog posts useful. By doing so you can retain their interests in your blog.


The labels should be separated with a comma. If you have already used a few labels in your former blog posts, then those keywords would be listed below the text box, as you can see in the above image. You can just click on those keywords if you want to use the same keywords again for your present blog post.

You can have a maximum of 2,000 labels per blog and 20 per blog post.

Why should you choose relevant Labels for your Blog post?


If you don't choose relevant keywords for your blog posts, then you will lose the interest of your readers.These keywords are the ones they have used in their searches to find information. When they don't find any relevant information that they are looking for in your blog post they would quickly leave your blog and look for other blogs or websites.  

For example, Assume that I have given  "customer relationship" as a Label for this postBlog Title References for Your New Blog. If a reader has landed in this blog post while he was searching for information on "customer relationship", he would find this blog post useless. And quite naturally he will leave the blog immediately after reading the title of the Blog post.

Instead if he has landed in that blog post searching for information on "Blog title ideas", then he would find the blog post helpful and read it. 

These are the Labels that I thought would be relevant to that post. 



There are tools that you can add to your blog to give more prominence to the keywords. If you look at the right sidebar of this Blog, then you will see the "Labels" widget below the "Follow by Email" and above the "Blog Archive".

Make use of the 'Labels' effectively and grow your Blog readership.

I will teach you how to add the Label widget in the sidebar of your blog, later in this series. If you want to learn to add it immediately, then please feel free to write to me. I will be more than happy to help you.

Do you think I could add more Labels for this post? Please leave your thoughts in the comment below.

HAPPY BLOGGING!

For Your Growth!
Uma Mahi :)

10 Quick and Easy Steps to Publish Your First Article on Your New Blog


Now that you know how to create a new blog and have a very simple  Title for your New Blog, let us see how to post your first article on  your new blog.

I am going to give you 10 easy steps to post your first article.

After you complete creating a new blog, you will see the below screen. Click on the first button "New Post"


  1. In the next screen, you will have to enter the title of your post in space marked 1 and then start writing your first blog post in the space marked 2.
  2. By default, the contents are set to save continuously. I would still strongly advise you to click on the "Save" button  (marked 3) now and then to save whatever you have written if you don't have a power backup for your computer.
  3. Once you complete writing you first blog post, you can click on the "Preview" button (marked 4) to see how your post would look after publishing it online.
  4. If you would like to change the text style, text size, color of your text, add a link to any of the words or add an image/video to your post then you can use the options given in the formatting toolbar marked 5.
  5. The keywords of your blog post would be the Labels (marked 6). More on that later in this series.
  6. I would advise you to leave the Permalink (marked 7) as it is unless you know how to alter it.
  7. You can let the system to choose your Location (marked 8) or you can choose it manually to show your readers the place from where you posted this article. 
  8. Please leave the "Options" (marked 9) as it is.
  9. You can choose the date to publish your post later by using the 'Schedule' (marked 10) option, Else you can just click on "Publish" (marked 11) button to publish your new blog post. 
There, your first blog post is published :)

Am curious to know what have you written in your first post of your new blog.  I will feel happy if you give your first post link below in the comment section.

HAPPY BLOGGING!

For Your Growth! :)
Uma Mahi

Blog Title References for Your New Blog

Thanks for coming here. I know you are here to give some work to your brain to come up with new names for your new blog.


I have compiled a list of blog links with their names in the URL, from different categories for you. Hope this helps.

Carpentry Blogs:

http://indiandiy.blogspot.in/
http://thecarpentryway.blogspot.in/
http://villagecarpenter.blogspot.in/

Jewelry Making Blogs:

http://clothingandjewellery.blogspot.in/
http://jewellery-indiaa.blogspot.in/

Painting Blogs:

http://arti-artindia.blogspot.in/
http://anantamandal.blogspot.in/
http://indianartinvest.blogspot.in/
http://carolmarine.blogspot.in/
http://karinjurick.blogspot.in/

Arts & Crafts Blogs:

http://ranjana-craft-blog.blogspot.in/
http://cardsandschoolprojects.blogspot.in/p/indian-craft-challenges.html
http://creativeartncraft.blogspot.in/
http://easycrafts.blogspot.in/

If you still want more names, then you can just use google to search. The one important information that I would like to share here is, when you see a link for a blog with extensions such as .com, .in and .org then they are not free. They are paid websites with an inbuilt blog. 

For example: 
FREE - http://ranjana-craft-blog.blogspot.in/ 
PAID - http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/

So, the extensions with blogspot.in or WordPress.in is free. Others are paid websites with a blog set up.

Now that you have set up a blog with a simple and creative Title, start posting! YAY!.

If you haven't started to create a blog yet and if you want to know how to create a blog then please follow these 7 Easy Steps to Create a New Blog

I would feel really happy if you take a minute to come back here and leave your blog name (blog link) in the comment if this list helped you to come up with the new creative blog name for your blog.

As always, please do write to me, if you need more help. I will get back to you ASAP.

Happy Blogging!

For Your Growth :)
Uma Mahi

Image courtesy: Stuart Miles from freedigitalphotos.net

7 Easy Steps to Create a New Blog


As you can see, more and more new businesses are being launched on the Internet. New Apps are launched almost every day to make searching, buying and selling experience easy for their customers. And there is an increase in the online transactions by the users of The Internet in India as well as worldwide. As a business owner, you have to take note of this changing trend in the commerce world and make use of this trend to reap the benefits.

Are you new to The Internet? Do you want to bring your product and/or services to Internet? If you don't want to make a big investment to start your business online then I suggest you to consider using any blogging platform to publicize your product or services.

Is creating a Blog free? Yes, it is.

Is it easy to create and use it? Absolutely. If this motivates you then read below.

I have given below 7 easy steps to create a blog in blogger.

1. Create a Gmail account, if you don't have one. If you don't know how to create a Gmail account, then click on this link, fill in the details, complete the process and you are done. It's easy and simple.

2. After opening your Inbox, click on the "Apps" icon (please look at the red arrow) and then click on "Blogger" button from the drop down list. (please see the red circle below). If you don't find this button in the list, then click on "More" at the end.

3. In the next screen, you will see a button "New Blog" at the top left. You have to click on that button.

4. In the pop-up window, you will have to enter your chosen name/ title for your blog. It would be easy for you to refer your blog name to your clients if you choose a title that is related to your product or services. If you need some help in choosing the name for your blog, then I have given a list of existing blog names. I repeat "existing" blog names. Which means, you cannot use them for your blog. But you can always get some inspiration to think of new names for your blog from these names. Click here if you need some name help on choosing the title for your new blog


5. Enter the URL/ blog address for your new blog. You will get an alert if the address that you have chosen is available or not. Again, choose the one that would be easy to remember and easy to refer to others.

6. Pick a template from the given Template choices. You can always change the color and look of your blog later if you wish to. It's quite easy.

7. Click on "Create Blog!". 

That's it. It's that simple to create a blog for yourself to promote your product and/or services.

There are options to choose the font colors, add your personalized header image, change the font style etc. You will learn them yourself as and when you start using them to publish posts. If you need my help, shoot an email to uma.mahi@gmail.com. I would be more than happy to help you.

Please don't hesitate to leave your blog links in the comment below. I can always visit them and suggest some edits. Who knows, maybe I can learn some new little tricks from you too. :)

Looking forward to your brand new blog.

HAPPY BLOGGING!

For Your Growth :)
Uma Mahi.

Building Customer Relationships Online

The most important factor for any business to grow is to build a good relationship with its clients.

Why should you build customer relationship?

  • To gain trust
The first step to building relationship in business is to gain the trust of the prospective clients. How could you gain the trust?  By letting them know that you have a thorough knowledge of your business and that you will be able to lead them to make the right decision on their purchase. They start trusting you only when they know that you intend to give good service to them. Make sure your website, your articles, your webinars and other events are loaded with enough information about your products and/or services that would help them to make right decisions.
  • To get loyal customers/ followers
They become your loyal followers/customers when they know that you are honest about your products and/or services. You would come across clients that look up to you to get information about other products and/or services that you don't even offer. They look up to you because of your openness.
  • To get referrals
When they know that they can trust you, they don't think twice before referring your service to their friends, family, and acquaintances.
  • To get benefited
You get benefited in more than one way by building a relationship, getting loyal followers and good referrals. You get a chance to leverage other people's success.

How could you build the relationship?

  •  Give and Share Useful information
The information that you give in your website and share in your blogs, articles, and social media accounts should be useful for your prospective clients.When they find great useful information, they don't hesitate to share that information with THEIR friends and acquaintances. Your business reaches a wider audience. Your business gets more exposure.
  • Share your success secrets
Share the tips, your experiences, your lessons learned and your secrets through online events like webinars, google hangout etc
  • Give Incentives
    • to your referrers 
    • on public special occasions such as New Year, Christmas, Thanksgiving etc
    • on personal events such as birthdays, wedding anniversaries etc

Listen to  what Patrick Schwerdtfeger, Author of Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed says about using Incentives in your Social Media Marketing Strategy.



  • Stay in touch
Cultivate the habit of staying in touch with your prospective clients. Be personable, everybody love that. Share their achievements and success stories in your social media accounts and your events. Thank them whenever they share your story with their friends and acquaintances. Publicize their success to YOUR followers.

Avenues to build customer relationships online

  • Your Website
  • Your Blog
  • Guest Blog
  • Online Discussion Forums
  • Facebook Groups
  • Facebook Fan Page
  • Online MeetUps
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Google Hangout

How about sharing your customer relationship experience? Please take a moment to share your story.

Image courtesy: PinkBlue from freedigitalphotos.net

How Not to Build Your Customer Relationship


There is a Super Market that has been recently opened in Sankar Nagar, Gandhi Main Road, Pammal. When my brother first bought a pack of Huggies (Size - Medium, limited available item) from this Super Market, I was so impressed by their plastic carry bag. No, it was not a bio-degradable one. It had their landline contact number, mobile number as well as their email id. I haven't seen any local shops having their own carry bag printed for their customers. Having their own carry bag AND their contact information printed on their carry bag showed that they are really serious about their business.

I love eating healthy food. I make sure that my family also eat healthy and nutritious food. So, I wanted to know whether this shop had the Almonds by 'Wondeful', our favorite 'the in-between' snack. I wrote them an email asking for the different brands of Almonds that are available in their shop on 28th July 2015 and I waited for two days. I went to the shop for the first time, on the third day. It was very small in size to serve such a big community.

I bought a few items. I was  not so impressed by the variety of products and the way the products were displayed, on the shelves. It clearly showed that the owner of the supermarket didn't do any homework before opening this shop.

After paying for the items, I asked a sales person for the Manager. He was sitting in his cubicle and was attending to someone. When the sales person took me near to the Manager's cubicle, someone else entered into his cabin and the one who was sitting inside walked out. I turned to the sales person and said,"Let me not disturb him if he is busy. You can just tell him that I sent an email two days earlier and didn't receive any reply till this day."

I didn't receive any reply till date. Isn't this a great example of poor customer relationship?


Image courtesy: patpitchaya | freedigitalphotos.net

Why Should You Write Blogs?


Is this YOU:


  • You are an expert. 
  • You know how to do things in a much easier way
  • You are willing to share your knowledge with the world.
  • You are a people person
  • You feel happy when people come to you for help

If that is what who you are, then you are the right person to start a Blog to grow your business. If you are thinking how publishing posts on my blog could actually bring more business, then I would like to tell you publishing posts that have value could actually bring more visitors to your blog. All you need to make sure is to give useful information to your readers. When you give valuable content to your readers regularly, then you will get regular and repeated visitors to your blog. So content is the 'King' and consistent is the 'Key'. When you publish content-rich articles, regularly, that could actually be put to use to get results, then you will see a considerable increase in the number of visitors to your Blog. 

My Story:


I was not publishing posts regularly both in this professional blog as well as my personal blog. I know this is not going to help me to grow my business. So I have made a promise to myself that I am going to publish one blog post every week that could actually put to use by small business people to bring their business to The Internet and to get more clients.


Last year I came across individual entrepreneurs like real estate agents, insurance agents, carpenters, accountants, physiotherapists who wanted to get more clients. They have their own businesses running successfully in the real world. Now they have learned that the Internet has a world of opportunities to grow their business and they want to bring their business to the Virtual World.  

About Them


Most of them are not internet savvy persons. Some have heard about Internet Marketing, Blogging, Online advertisements and more. But they need some real help to take their hands and guide them step by step. Many are interested in blogging and social media. So am going to dedicate one blog post a week, just for the beginners. 

Therefore, I have given the step by step instructions to create a new blog here

If you are a first time visitor, a real estate agent, an Insurance agent, carpenter, painter or any service provider AND if you don't have a blog for your business, then please add me to your Google Plus Circles and get my blog updates as and when it is published.


See you soon.


For your growth :)

Uma Mahi.

Image courtesy:  cooldesign from freedigitalphotos.net

10 Easy Steps to Make A Powerpoint Video


If you are a VA like me, then you can learn this task from this post and add this in your service list.

It took a while for me and my little niece to find a quick and easy way to make use of her four ppt slides and the audio files that we recorded in my laptop. You can find the video here in youtube. Though we didn't make a professional looking video yet, we are well on our way.

Step 1: Once your ppt slides are ready to be saved, click "Save As" and select "Windows Media Video" from the drop-down menu.


Step 2: If you are looking for a very simple way to record your narration then you can use your laptop microphone or your smartphone to record and save the audio files.

Step 3: You can make use of the Windows Movie Maker to mix the video file and the audio files. OR you can download the free video editing software "Videopad Video Editor" and install it on your computer. This is what we used to make our video.

Step 4: Open Videopad Video Editor and click on the "open" icon and choose the saved .wmv file. You will see your video file in the below mini 'Video Files' tab.


Step 5: Click on 'Audio Files' tab and then "Open" to add the saved audio files. You will see the audio files in the below mini tab of  'Audio Files'


Step 6: Drag and drop the video file in the Video Track of the "Timeline" as shown in the image below.


Step 7: Drag and drop the audio files, in their corresponding sequence, in the Audio Track of the "Timeline" as shown in the image below.


Step 8: Now, all you have to do is to play by clicking on the "Play" button to adjust the audio files to match the time sequence of the video files. You can play around by adjusting the video and audio files a bit to bring it to your satisfaction.


Step 9: Once you are satisfied with the video, save it as .mp4. You will be asked to choose the file format, resolution and maximum frame rate. If you knew about these formats, you can choose your own. Else, I recommend you to choose the ones that I have shown in this image below.


Step 10: After clicking on "Create" button in the above window, wait for the video settings to be applied and the video file is ready to open. You can open the video file in any of the media player.

Good luck with your video-making efforts using your ppt presentation and the voice narration. If you want to share your video-making experiences using any other video editing software other than this, then please leave your thoughts in the comments.