I have been entering contests like crazy lately. I don’t know why, maybe because there’s a chance I can win? Maybe I am taking “Ask and ye shall receive…” mentality literally? Maybe it’s because I keep asking God for signs about the next steps, He is encouraging me to keep writing and photographing? Or maybe because when I WIN, I get SUPER excited! Yes, since last Thursday, I have won two giveaways, and had my photo picked as a Travel Photo of the Year finalist for Bucket List Publications! It’s been quite a week, and the positive stuff keeps my mind off the junk of life: my phone has not rung for more subbing jobs in week, or I might be able to start grad school within the month, but money might keep me away, or while Ana loves school she is getting really sad in the mornings because school is long and taking away her play time. Anyway, enough of the junk, on to the happiness. Oh yeah, I also want to remind you that NO ONE pays me to write this blog or advertise for them, so every vendor, business and software that I mention, are because they WORKED for me and THANK YOU!
Earlier this week, I found out that I won ad space on Love Bug’s blog! However that means that I needed to design and CODE a widget. Yeah, until I started blogging I had no idea that widgets even existed, except it was a word that Scott said here and there in conversation. Also, until I started a blog, I had no idea that lay people like me would ever need to know html code. I still don’t really get it, but the University of Google is keeping me up to date on a “need to know” basis.
Anyway, less than 30 minutes of searching, testing, and trying I made a widget that worked! Yay! However, it did not have the “Grab my button” code at the bottom. I could have stopped there anyway, because I don’t do hook-ups and honestly I would be shocked if another blogger just WANTED to promote my blog. I love my readers, but this is a baby site, and I am OK with that! However, I am one of those people who think, “If I am going to learn how to do something, I want to know it all.” Well, that was another hour of my life that was not well spent. Let’s face it, I am technically challenged and I have been FOOLING people since the day I was hired as a computer lab teacher 10 years ago. I really don’t know what I am doing, I fake it well.
I was about to just let it go, which is hard for me, but man, I have stuff to do. When all of a sudden, this awesome website found me! It’s called Grab My Button Code Generator and it’s FREE! Once I found this site, within 10 minutes I had two more buttons with the code on the button! Yay! I love tools that help me fake web knowledge.
As a THANK YOU, I wanted to share my knowledge with the Internet world and I am also going to quickly tell you how I made my buttons, so if you are hoping to find a SIMPLE way to make yours, you can learn from my mistakes. However, I am going to assume you know a few things in my write up, so if you have questions, please ask.
1. First I designed my ad. I cropped and processed my image in Lightroom 4. At export, I choose 250×240 size because that was the size the add needed to be. Most buttons are 125×125 or 100×100. My small button is 100×100
2. Second, I put my image in Pixelmator, which is like Photoshop Elements. Here, I added “Our Small Moments, Life.Photography.Moments.” text. You can also use sites like PicMonkey, Photobucket, or Picasa to add the text. I exported from that program at full resolution because my add was already the size I wanted it to be.
3. I uploaded my image into Photobucket. This is important because Photobucket gives you the CODE you need. Once it’s in an album on Photobucket, when you hover over the photo, it will show 4 boxes. Those boxes are full of info that will be useful for web coding.
4. When I made my widget without the code, I opened up a Text box in my WordPress widget area. I then followed the instructions from Jessica Van Den’s blog. However, the ” didn’t work, so I typed in code, following her replacement instructions and saved it. It worked!
***This is also step 4. if you WANT the code box at the bottom. Go to Grab My Button Code Generator Fill in the easy things like your blog name, address, when it asks for the “Image URL” go back to Photobucket and copy the IMG Code (just clicking in the space will copy it). Remember, hovering over your image you want on your button will bring up the 4 code boxes. Now that has and extra [IMG] on BOTH sides of the URL so you have delete them. I followed the directions on the rest of the site and BAM! I had my button with the neat box at the bottom! I did NOT need to WRITE any code, although I now know what some of them stand for!
You are probably wondering why I even wanted ad space. Well, I have a few ideas, and this giveaway from Amy at Love Bug is pushing me to actually follow through with one or two or… I have a feeling September is going to be a wonderful month for me. I just know it! I hope you found this blog helpful. If you did, please share it with others, you have my permission.
Have a wonderful day!