Truth time: you don’t really need to invest in fancy graphic design software if you are not making money from blogging or you have other expenses. There are many free alternatives that are very good and easy to learn. Though if you plan to monetize your blog or use it to promote your business, then Photoshop is the most versatile blogging tool and you won’t regret using it.
Learning Photoshop or any other Adobe product takes time. Don’t feel bad if you have no idea what to do the first time you open it. It was very overwhelming for me and it took me many years to learn how to use it. I’m still learning a lot of new things or new ways to use the tools that I’m already comfortable with.
Let’s see why I love to use it and why you should learn Adobe Photoshop:
1. It’s affordable
Adobe products used to cost a lot of money, but their monthly plan makes them more accessible to everyone. You can get Photoshop and Lightroom for only $9.99 per month (or €12.39 if you are in Europe) by purchasing the Photography pack.
2. Edit your photos
Learning how to make complicated photo manipulations takes time, but it’s easy to make your photos brighter or delete spots. Not to mention that you can re-size or crop them with one touch of a button.
3. Create actions
When you take many photos for your blog or Instagram, you might find yourself editing every image the same way. To avoid it you can create actions to do that for you. They are very helpful when you are editing batches of images. You will only spend minutes, instead of hours. And you can also find Photoshop actions online that make your photos look stunning.
4. Create images for your blog or social media
I create all the images I use on this blog in Photoshop. I use it to edit a photo or create a colorful background, add lines or shapes, and then add text.
5. Create image templates
I have to make images almost every day, but I don’t want to spend hours creating them. That’s why I have image templates for my blog graphics or for my clients’ graphics. Image templates help me organize my files and keep a consistent look.
6. Make moodboards or photo collages
Moodboards are easy to make using Photoshop. I often ask my clients to collect images, then I adjust them a little to fit together, crop them, and rearrange them to fit the template. You can use moodboards for your blog, client work or even when you want to redecorate your home. Making photo collages using your holiday photos is also fun and easy.
7. Make website mockups
When you start a website, you often start by drawing it. I can easily translate my sketches into code, but when your clients want to see at least three mockups, you can’t show them messy drawings. This is where Photoshop comes in. It’s very easy to make website mockups and you can move things around and many changes before you start coding.
8. Create worksheets and printables
I love creating worksheets. After creating a lot of items for my own use, I realized that they might be valuable to other people. You can create them and share them with your audience as a content upgrade. Just make sure they are at a minimum of 150dpi.
9. Create infographics
Infographics are great if you want your posts to be shared on social media. They are very popular on Pinterest because vertical images are easier to view. They are easy to create in Photoshop because you will need to work with layers and folders and create a template.
10. Make social media icons
I love using the Simple Social Icons plugin, but a lot of my clients want custom social media icons. You only need a background and the icons themselves.
11. Design sidebar ads
You can easily create a blog button using your logo or text and advertise on other blogs. Or if you want to add other blogs or ads in your sidebar, you can optimize the images and make them fit your sidebar using Photoshop.
12. Create patterns and backgrounds
Illustrator is probably better to use for this, but Photoshop also lets you create patterns and motifs and then use them to create a background for your blog or for cards.
13. Customize stock photos
I use a lot of stock photos on this blog and so do many other bloggers. Since I don’t want my images to look like everybody else’s, I make adjustments to stock photos. Nothing fancy, I just crop them, lower their opacity or add a color overlay. You should always check to see if you are allowed to modify images.
14. Create photo manipulations
Photoshop is best known for photo manipulations. You can use your imagination and create surreal images or you can transform a less than flattering photo into a stunning one. Manipulations are often used in journalism or glamor photography.
15. Create 3D art
Photoshop might not be the best software for 3D art, but you can achieve most of the popular 3D effects using it. There are special 3D layers, though you can also work on normal layers to make text or spheres look three dimensional.
16. Make animations
GIFs are amazing! You can use them in your tutorials or for creating funny animations of your pet. You can create them using your photos, illustrations, or even from videos. You can also edit all the frames and add special effects.
17. Optimize images for web use
Photographs are usually very large and can slow down your website. The same can happen with the graphics you create. If you use Photoshop, you can re-size and crop your photos to make them smaller or you can even compress them. You can optimize JPEGs and GIFs using the ‘Save for web’ option.
18. Edit product images
Product photos that have a white background can be easily edited by adjusting the levels. Though there are cases when you have to remove the background, sharpen areas, remove or add shadows, or change colors. Learning how to edit photos like a pro takes a lot of time, but your images will definitely stand out.
19. Create color palettes from photos
I’m not very good at creating color palettes so I use images that my clients like to create color palettes for their designs. You can save your color schemes and use them again when you need to.
20. Make signatures for your blog or email
You can use Photoshop to make a simple blog signature using the text tool or maybe add a little graphic to it. You can even write your name using a graphic tablet attached to your computer. I love using my Wacom tablet with Photoshop. There are many other graphics you can create for your blog, like borders or buttons.
There are very few things you can’t do in Photoshop. It has everything I need to create graphics for myself and my clients and I only use other Adobe products if I really have to.
Want to learn Photoshop? You can start by viewing my monthly tutorials and follow my blog because I’m planning something special.
Do you use Photoshop? How do you use it or why don’t you use it?