Twitter is the place to be on social media for authors. There are contests that can lead to landing an agent, fun ways to share your writing and endless opportunities for making writing friends and becoming part of the community. I’ve seen many a-way-too-pixelated header picture out there & wanted to share my tips for making a polished, appealing and free banner for your twitter profile. So if you’re in the market for a way to spruce up your page, come on down!
(Steps 2-5 are for people who have never used picmonkey and aren’t great with computers, so if you know how to open files on picmonkey look at step one then skip to six)
- Head over to Twelveskip.com for a free twitter header template. Save to your computer for the next step.
- Open said template which looks like this:
3. The home screen at Picmonkey.com will look like this. Click on edit:
4. Then click on Computer:
5. And open the saved twitter banner template. Now your screen should look like this!
6. Okay now we want to add a background to our template. You can get a stock photo if you have an account, or get a free one from https://stocksnap.io/ (OR use a texture from picmonkey). For this tutorial I’ll be using a free stock photo image from stock snap.
7. Click on the butterfly icon on the left hand menu to open up your own texture:
8. Click on “Your Own” to upload whatever stock photo you saved to your computer.
9. Depending on how big your image is, it will appear somewhere on your page like this, with a box around it for resizing. Make sure it’s not much smaller than the example below or you’ll be headed for pixel-city babe.
10. Using the white box around your image resize so that it’s covering the surface area of the template. When resizing hold down the shift button for more control.
11. Now we’re going to change the fade on the picture temporarily, to make sure we’re not placing text in any of the invisible areas. I’ve lowered mine to 23% using the overlay tool box.
12. Woot! Now we’re ready to add some text! Click on the Tt icon on the menu to bring up the text options.
13. A few things to keep in mind when choosing a font for your background. We want to make sure it’s a) clear b) eye catching c) goes with the theme and overall feel of the rest of the banner and d) Not papyrus . I’m going to choose a font I think will go well with the foggy mountain background I’ve picked for this tutorial, but you pick whichever one goes best with yours.
14. I choose this flourished and elegant font b/c that’s the vibe I thought would go best with the background. Please note, Jellyka Delicious Cake *is* a royal member option font only so if you want more access to fonts etc. you need to pay the fee to become a royal member on Picmonkey. Notice I have temporarily lowered the fade on my background pic to see how the font would look against it. You will need to increase the fade again for the next step.
15. Using the resizing box, make your name bigger on the page. Make sure the font stays well within the visible area. You might choose to center it more than I have, and that’s fine so long as it doesn’t go into the invisible area it’s really up to you.
16. Now using a more subdued font (pink arrow), I will make a tag line for my header(blue arrow). You can use your website, your title, anything you want (including nothing at all). You can add shadow to any of your text by clicking on the effect tab on the text menu.
17. You can stop here if you like, but for added flare I’m going to go through one more step. Click on the theme option (snowflake icon) on the menu.
18. Since I write about witches, I’m going to go with the witch theme option and get some creepy raven action going. Explore the other themes and overlays to see what works best for your header.
19. I’m going to pick this little flying dude over here, and place him on the C of my name. Click on your desired overlay first.
20. It will show up somewhere on your page. Resize to your taste and move into whatever position you want it to be in. You can use the overlay edit box (blue arrow) to change the image orientation, or right click on the overlay for more options.
21. I’ve gotten my raven in position, and well within the visible area, and now I am ready to decrease the background fade to zero and see my finished product. Tada! How cool is that? Now we just need to test it on twitter to make sure it doesn’t look like crap.
22. Looks like it fits beautifully, no giant pixels here, and all set to go!
I hope you found this tutorial helpful, if not too bad.
Just kidding I love you. Please let me know if you have any other requests for graphic tutorials OR if you have any trouble with this one on Twitter @Claribel_Ortega !