Photoshop: Why You Need It
People like to look at pictures. If an article has a picture associated with it, they are much more likely to read it. Why? Who knows. People are shallow. All you need to know is that if you want to be a successful blogger, you have to deal with pictures. You need to take them, edit them, make buttons out of them. You need to learn what layers are and start using them. You need to figure out what the gaussian blur function does and use it. You need to figure out what a magic paintbrush is, and use it.
Think about it–all the really big name bloggers (in Mommyblogs in particular) not only feature photos, but *are known for* their photographs. People think of Dooce as a writer, but the truth is that she shares three or four photographs for every one (full) post she writes. Pioneer Woman’s ratio is even more exaggerated, and some of her posts include 9 or 10 photographs at a shot. Why? Is it because they like to deal with photographs? While both of them probably have some interest in photography, the truth is that editing photos for blogs is a big pain in the ass. So, no, I don’t think that’s why they do it.
They do it because it works.
So now that we’ve established you need photographs, let’s discuss how you can deal with them. Though you can get some photographs through services like Flickr and DeviantArt and use them on your site with attribution links (make sure to check the copyright notes of the photographer before doing this), you will still have to edit them to get them to look right on your site. And eventually, you’re going to have to learn how to make buttons and headers and other graphics if you want to keep up with the Joneses. So maybe a small-scale image editing program has worked thus far for you, but at some point, you are going to have to break down and get your hands on a copy of Photoshop.
And then you’re going to have to learn how to use it.
So let’s talk about alternatives. You can try the freesource program, GIMP, which mimics Photoshop and is a good substitute, but there will be less tutorials available on the web since most people use Photoshop. You can pay full price for the latest version of Photoshop and feel like an extra out of Oz. You can buy somebody’s older, earlier version of Photoshop on Ebay and then pay for an upgrade. You can troll Craigslist for somebody selling it cheap. All of these options are not recommended, of course, I’m just telling you what you could hypothetically do in order to get your hands on Photoshop.
So now go do it, and then I’ll teach you about layers and batch editing. I’m waiting.