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5 Free Tools For Creating Eye-Catching Blog Headers

5 Free Tools For Creating Eye-Catching Blog Headers

What’s the first thing someone sees when browsing a blog? Easy, the title and, maybe even before that, the blog header.

The blog header is the perfect accompaniment to your post. It sets the tone of the post before you even start reading. A blog post without an attractive blog header is the same as wearing an outfit without any accessories -functional, but plain lacking. Since experts agree that visual content is king, you don’t want to miss out on using visual elements in your blog posts.

Even if you’re not a designer, creating beautiful blog headers isn’t difficult. All you need is the right tools. Here are 5 free tools for making eye-catching blog headers.

1. Picasa

Difficulty: Easy to Medium.

Picasa is an image editing program by Google. This tool imports pictures from your personal library and allows you to resize, edit and adjust them. There is a selection of pre-set filters with adjustable opacity and lightness, and effects can be layered on top of each other. Adjusting the image’s dimensions is a bit annoying, however you can crop an image but not make it larger. Picasa also does not have its own stock photo library. To use an image, you will need to find it externally and import it into the tool.

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To use Picasa, you need to download the tool. When your design is complete, you can upload it directly from the tool to your Google Photos.

picasa

    2. Venngage

    Difficulty: Easy

    Venngage has a selection of blog header templates that are highly customizable. Once you choose a template, it’s easy to adjust the dimensions, font style, size and placement, color palette, and images. Venngage has a library of over 500,000 stock images and icons to choose from, meaning you don’t have to search for images externally. If you do want to use your own images, though, there is an import function. Venngage gives you full control over the placement of icons, color washes, text placement and size, and more, and adjusting elements after they’ve been applied is easy.

    To use Venngage, you need to create an account. Signing up and using the tool is free, but if you want to download your graphic you will need to upgrade to a premium account. You can still upload your graphic to your site and get an embed code without upgrading, though.

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    venngage

      3. PicMonkey

      Difficulty: Easy

      PicMonkey allows you to import your own images into the tool, as it does not have its own stock image library. You can either specify your own image dimensions or choose from pre-set dimensions, but when you upload a photo it will automatically fit to the file’s size and you will have to manually adjust. The tool offers pre-set filters with adjustable strength and brightness, and a library of fonts. There is an icons collection but you can only place icons on top of the image.

      You do not need to make an account to use PicMonkey. You can download the file straight to your computer.

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      picmonkey

        4. Pixlr

        Difficulty: Medium

        Pixlr is a web app that allows you to import your own image and edit it. Pixlr is unique because it keeps track of the layers used on the image in a bar on the side. The tool does not have an image or icons library, but it does have a collection of fonts to choose from. You can also select from a drop-down list of preset filters. A unique feature of Pixlr is that it can be translated into 28 different languages, making it accessible to users all over the world.

        Of the 5 tools, Pixlr is the least intuitive to use. It requires some playing around first to figure out the functions. That being said, you do not need to make an account to use Pixlr and to download your file to your computer.

        pixlr

          5. Fotor

          Difficulty: Easy

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          Fotor is an image editing web app that can also be downloaded to your mobile device. The tool offers a selection of header templates to choose from, but you can also import your own images and adjust the dimensions. You can choose from a collection of pre-set filters and adjust the brightness and hue of the image. A unique feature of Fotor is the “Color Splash” tool which allows you to choose a color wash and then “brush in” to reveal the color underneath. While Fotor does offer a collection of stickers to decorate your image, you can’t control their opacity or layering.

          To use Fotor, you need to create an account either on the site or through Facebook. From there you can download your file straight to your computer.

          fotor

            Never underestimate the importance of a good blog header in enticing people to read your blog posts. Look at it like the packaging on a product you are trying to sell. With these tools, you will be able to create beautiful blog headers, even if you are a novice designer.

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            Sara McGuire

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            Last Updated on February 15, 2019

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

            Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

            Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

            So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

            Joe’s Goals

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              Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

              Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

              Daytum

                Daytum

                is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                Excel or Numbers

                  If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                  What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                  Evernote

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                    I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                    Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                    Access or Bento

                      If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                      Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                      You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                      Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                      All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                      Conclusion

                      I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                      What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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