Hi everyone! Did you know that Out and About Mom is 100% dependent on the support of our sponsors? It’s true! We could not maintain our site or continue to keep “scounting your outing” without the generous financial support of our sponsors. And whether you purchase one single ad or many months of ads, you are helping us to continue to spread the word to thousands of CT parents about all the fun and exciting things to do in and around our state.
So thank you in advance for considering sponsorship of Out and About Mom. We would not be here without you!
And if you don’t have a banner ad, no worries! Just keep reading to find out how easy it is to create a beautiful (and FREE) banner ad that will look smashing in our sidebar 🙂
Have you been wanting to run an ad on Out and About Mom but you just didn’t even know where to start? Then this post is for you!
You don’t have to have a fancy marketing department or even any real graphic design skills to create a beautiful, professional-looking ad that will get your business noticed by our thousands of monthly readers.
In fact, all you need is about five minutes of your time and one of our favorite online resources for fancy-looking graphics: www.picmonkey.com. Best of all, it won’t cost you a penny to create your ad! Many of PicMonkey’s features are completely FREE.
So as I said before, today’s your lucky day! Because today I’m going to walk you though the whole process. It’ll be like I’m right there with you, cheering you on.
Are you ready to get your message out in front of thousands of CT moms? Then let’s get started!
How to create a beautiful, professional-looking banner ad in five minutes flat.
Before you start creating your ad, you may want to think about/locate the following:
- What color(s) do you want to use for your ad?
- Will you use a logo in your ad? If so, do you have an image file (JPEG, PNG, etc.) of it that you can use?
- Will you use a photo(s) in your ad? Is it accessible on your computer?
Having these items at the ready will help you zip through the ad design process!
Okay, so you’re ready to create your ad. Go to www.picmonkey.com. Here is what the homepage looks like (roughly, they may change the image from time to time, but basically, this is what it will look like).
You might notice that it says “outandaboutmom” up there in the righthand corner. That’s because we have upgraded to the account with pay features (that’s how much we love and use this site!). But rest assured, you can use this photo editing site for FREE as well. As we go through the tutorial, you may notice certain features have a crown icon next to them. Those features are reserved for paid PicMonkey accounts, so you won’t be able to use them unless you upgrade. But guess what? I am not even going to use any of those paid features today! So you can see the excellent ad you can create free of charge!
Okay, so back to the tutorial. You’ve got yourself to the PicMonkey homepage. Now, click on the item at the top of the page marked “Design.”
Once you do that, you’ll find yourself here:
The first thing you are going to do to create your ad is choose a background color. As you can see, the “Canvas Color” window will be open there on the left when this page loads.
Use your mouse, trackpad, finger, or whatever device you are using to maneuver your pointer to select a color from the spectrum. I highly recommend choosing a color as opposed to leaving the canvas white because the background color of our site is white, and your ad will blend into the background if it is also white.
As you can see, I chose a nice shade of bright blue for my ad. Once you get the color you want, click “apply” to set your canvas color.
After you click “apply,” you’ll be left with your newly colored canvas. Now, you need to size your ad to the specifications of the banner ads we run on our site. Our two basic sizes are 300×250 and 125×125. I am going to continue the ad-making process for a 300×250 ad, but you could easily create another size ad with the same steps.
To start the process of sizing your ad to the correct specification, click on the “Resize” tab.
And here’s what you’ll see next:
To change the size of your ad, just simply input the new dimensions. It’s important that you make sure neither of the boxes for “Use percentages” or “Keep proportions” are checked, otherwise this will not work properly.
Input your dimensions into the boxes (here I have done 300×250 for my ad).
Are you still with me? Good, because now it’s time for the fun part!
The first thing I like to do is add my text because I never know how much space I’ll need for that. So click on the “Tt” tab (which opens the text menu).
Once you click on the “Tt” tab, a menu of fonts will open up and there will be an “Add Text” button at the top. Click on that.
That will open a text box (you can add multiple text boxes if you like). Now you can enter your text and then choose your text size, color, font, etc.
Here’s mine below. I used a few different fonts in different sizes to come up with this look:
Okay, I’m happy with my text, so I’m going to upload a graphic. To do that, click on the little butterfly icon in the lefthand menu (right below the Tt you clicked to get to the text menu). That is the overlay menu.
Then you will see a whole slew of different kinds of overlays you can add to your design– from geometric shapes to seasonal images. If you want to make your text stand out even more, you could even add an overlay shape like an oval or a rectangle and then place your text over it…but I’ll save that for another day 🙂
If you want to use your own graphic or photo, simply click on “Your Own” at the top to upload it.
Here, I uploaded our Out and About Mom logo:
I like that, but I’m thinking it might look better with a photo. Let’s try this:
Oh, I like that much better 🙂 Now all that’s left to do is save my ad. Just click on “save” in the top menu.
And voila! There you have it! What do you think of the ad we’ve just created?
Not bad for five minutes, right? 🙂
Of course, once you get the hang of it, there are all kinds of fancy features you can take advantage of– borders, photo effects, fun overlays. This is just the beginning!
For more great ideas on how to use PicMonkey’s many features, you can check out some other tutorials like this one and this one.
So what are you waiting for? Get yourself started creating a fabulous banner ad to showcase your business at www.picmonkey.com, and then head over to our purchase page to get that ad up and running on our site.
Still have questions? I’ll do my best to answer them. You can leave a comment on this post or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can’t wait to have you as an Out and About Mom sponsor!
Shawna & Mandy
Interested in advertising opportunities with Out and About Mom? Get more info here.
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