I've just updated my own watermark, shown in the photo above. It got me thinking about how glad I was that other bloggers shared their knowledge of the how and why of making a watermark with me. Now maybe I can be that blogger for someone for Thoughtless Thursday, a day for posting about, well, whatever!
I first learned about watermarks from Golden Woofs: Sugar the Golden Retriever's blog. My blog was just getting started. It was hard to believe that people would steal someone else's pictures (especially mine!) The memories and views of a person's own world are surely too personal. But the watermarks gave a professional look to the photos, and I hoped might bring readers to Terra Toby (it was Training Toby back then).
Over time I have had several blogger friends report that their pictures, and even their entire blog posts, have been stolen and used by criminals claiming to be the original source. A Google search for "blog content theft" brought up 31,000,000 results. Blog theft is not just common, but according to Adam Connell in a ProBlogger article:
"If you write or publish a blog, you'll inevitably experience the gut-wrenching feeling of content theft at some point in the life of your blog. It's not fair but it's now just part of the world of online content."
I've just updated my own watermark, shown in the photo above. You may want to update annually, or more often, or never. It's completely up to you. But if you haven't done it before-
There are three good reasons to take the time to make a watermark.
Reason #1: Protect Your Intellectual Property
Putting a watermark on your photos won't always protect them from theft, but it is helpful. First, and obviously, it marks the image, making it more difficult and time-consuming to steal. Secondly, be sure to include the copyright symbol. Adam Connell says its presence implies that you know not only that you own the rights to your intellectual property, but how to protect them. It may be a deterrent.
Reason #2: Bring Readers To Your Blog
There's a strong chance that your images on social media like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram will be the first introduction to your blog for many people. The circles and webs of friends and followers greatly expand the reach of these photos. This is why I think it's a very good idea to include your blog's URL in your watermark. No matter where someone encounters your work, they can head straight to your blog for more.
Reason #3: It Expresses Your Blog "Personality"
Create a watermark that fits your blog. Keep the font very legible. Decide whether you want a font that's fun, serious, or professional and choose accordingly. If you want to add an overlay (a symbol or picture), make sure it conveys a message about your blog's theme. The instant viewers see your photos they begin deciding whether your content is of interest to them. Like the old saying says, you only get one chance to make good first impression.
Let's make your watermark:
1. Head over to PicMonkey. There you can make watermark for free.
2. Click on "Collage". If the site asks you to select a photo, just pick one at random. You won't actually be using it, but choosing one takes you to the next window.
3. Click the Layout button. It's in the left sidebar and looks like a tall rectangle with two squares beside it.
4. Select "Create Your Own" at the top of the menu. Notice that you now have a single cell.
5. Click the Background button. It's in the left sidebar and looks like an artist's palette.
5. Select "Transparent Background" below the colored bar.
6. Save the collage to your desktop or download folder.
At this point you are still in PicMonkey.
7. Click "Open" at the top of the page.
8. Select your collage from wherever you saved it.
9. PicMonkey opens the transparent background for editing. Select the text icon under "Basic Edits" on the left. It's the letters Tt.
10. Create your watermark. Here you will choose your font and type your information (remember the copyright symbol!) Don't make it too small - PicMonkey recommends 72 point font.
11. If you want to use an overlay, click on the butterfly icon.
12. Save your watermark as a .png file. Ta-dah!
Now, open one of your photos in PicMonkey. Click the butterfly for overlays. Select "Your Own". Upload your watermark, place it on your photo, and save. Looks great, doesn't it?
|Have fun making your watermark!|
This post is part of the Thoughtless Thursday blog hop.