Why would a blogger need to invest in Photoshop? I'm a huge fan of Adobe products and so before we start, I confess, I'm completely biased. But, this fandom has evolved for a reason. The products are amazing, creative and, importantly, learnable. No, you don't need to be a qualified designer to use them.
Let's look at why I believe Photoshop would be an wise investment and is just brilliant for bloggers.
Photoshop is expensive, isn't it?
Not any more. It was certainly out of reach for many a few years ago. The move to subscription-based software changed everything. I remember the uproar at the time. The initial packages meant you had to pay for the whole Adobe suite, or use old versions with no chance of an upgrade. The uproar paid off and Adobe introduced a Photography package — a combination of Photoshop and Lightroom. This is currently available (June 2016) for around £9 ($10) per month.
Now, I realise that what's inexpensive to one person isn't to another. As we know, it doesn't take long as a blogger to be paying £10 a month for that scheduler, £20 a month for that plugin...etc. It all adds up.
I hope to convince you, however, that it's a wise investment. One that will pay you back tenfold in terms of what you can do with it. I'll show you how it can add real value to your visual marketing, and add a marketable skills to your resume to boot!
Isn't it difficult to learn?
There is a learning curve, absolutely. Anyone who has opened Photoshop for the first time and been presented with that ominous workspace will agree - there's nothing intuitive in here!
The good news is, you only need to know a fraction of what Photoshop has to offer to start creating beautiful images for your blog. Learn the basics, practice while creating great blog visuals, and then try a new tool or panel or technique.
Before you know it, you'll be whizzing around that workspace like a pro, wishing you learnt to use it ages ago.
Photoshop for Bloggers
So, let's me show you why I think it is worth the investment in terms of cost and time to learn.
Reason 1: Create Unique, Beautiful, Branded Blog Images
With Photoshop sitting on your computer, you can create images of any size, any style, anyhow you like. Those images easily optimised for the web.
You can also create them whenever you want. No need to be on the Internet. You can still be working even when you're offline.
You can produce a range of image types — mood boards, mockups, tutorials and roundups - and quickly add branded colours, fonts, overlays and elements.
You have state-of-the-art photo-editing software at your finger tips. Now this doesn't guarantee you world-class images, of course, but it does mean you can make the best of what you produce, no matter what your standard of photography.
Reason 2: Jazz Up Your Social Media
Images, quotes, headers and animated GIFs. Just some of the way you can jazz up your social media and some of the graphics that are simple to create in Photoshop.
Keep your brand consistent throughout your online presence by designing your own cover photos. Quickly update those cover images for new opt ins, landing pages or products sales, without paying a designer or starting over.
Create templates for quotes or calls to action to share on Instagram, FB and Twitter.
Reason 3: Create Your Own Marketing Material
Visual marketing in a buzzword at the moment. As your skills develop with Photoshop, you can keep apace with trends, and make sure your marketing material is visually appealing and continues to evolve.
Adobe programmes such as InDesign are best suited to producing text-heavy document. But, as with many of the Adobe products, there's a lot of crossover. You can easily make a beautiful, two-page Media Kit in Photoshop.
Advertising is an effective way to increase sales and build your email list. It isn't, unfortunately, an exact science. Photoshop allows you to design and redesign your ads until you get the response you want.
The quality of product photographs has been shown to have a huge impact on the number of sales (source: Kissmetrics). Are your shop images doing your products credit? If you sell online, this is the only way customers can actually see the item. Let Photoshop help you make the most of your product shots.
Reason 4: Access Great Design Resources
You do not need to be a designer to use Photoshop. Really! Photoshop is simply a tool a designer or photographer uses. What Photoshop does allow you to do, however, is have access to all those talented designer minds.
There are literally tens of thousands of design and photographic resources online that you can get your hands on when you learn Photoshop. Templates, fonts, graphics, product mockups, textures, patterns, illustrations, styles and actions, the list goes on. All created by trained designers and photographers.
Reason 5: Save Time and Money
Templates will become your new best friend. Create a new document, add a variety of frames, overlays and embellishments, colour to match your brand, and then save. The next time you need a blog image, pop the photo in your template, choose the overlay you want to use, change the text and you're done!
If you process a lot of images, batch editing with save you precious time. At the click of a button, you can run actions that make a series of steps in just seconds, on as many images as you want.
Although you're spending money on a subscription, you may find you save money by not having to go back to designers to make tiny changes. Next time you have a designer create a template for you, ask for the Photoshop version too. That way you can make small changes in no time and at no extra cost.
Reason 6: Create Your Own Content Upgrades & Printables
Printables, checklist, worksheets and downloads are hugely popular. Giving great additional value with content upgrades is a great way to build your list and help your community.
With Photoshop you can create all these, all perfectly branded, each template reusable, and you can even create your buttons, sales and landing-page graphics too.
Reason 7: Design Your Own Graphics
With a combination of the Shape tool, Pen tool, Colour Panel and Merging Layers, there isn't a shape you may need you can't draw in Photoshop. Add to that the power of the Brush tool, and you can create all the buttons, calls to actions, and embellishments you want.
No design or artistic skills required. If you think about it, most blog graphics are actually simple shapes anyway.
If a clean graphic style is not for you, then why not hand draw or paint what you need and use Photoshop to help you create your own, unique graphic style.
Reason 8: Add an Amazing New Skill to your Repertoire
With a little time and practice, you will soon have a new, valuable skill to add to your blogging repertoire.
If you are already working with B2B clients, imagine being able to offer them blog graphic services too.
If you can only invest in one piece of design software, I believe this is the one to go for.
- It doesn't have the graphic design capabilities of Adobe Illustrator, but it will allow you to easily create your buttons and embellishments.
- It can't match InDesign for its long document and text formatting abilities, but it can create one and two-page media kits and printables with ease.
- And, along with Lightroom, it is arguably the best photo editing software you can buy.
For around £9 ($10) a month, you get photo editing, graphics and desktop design in one piece of software. So, I hope I've convinced you that it is an investment worth considering.
Now can you see why I'm a fan?