Are you using visuals on your blog and in your social media posts? If not, you should — visuals can help create engagement and drive traffic to your website from Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create stunning graphics easily (and even for free!). In this post, I will show you how to create a simple graphic by following these three simple steps:
1. Find a great image
If you’re a photographer, you might use one of your own original photos. If not, there are many useful websites that allow you to search for images that are free to use for commercial purposes. Always be mindful of copyright and make sure you have permission to use the image or that it’s in the public domain.
Some of my favorite sites are:
Here’s a lovely photo of some books that will do quite nicely:
2. Edit the image (if necessary)
You don’t have to be a Photoshop wiz to edit images. These days, there are all kinds of free and cheap photo editing apps. In this example I used http://www.picmonkey.com/. Because I know I’ll be putting text on top of the image, I played around with the filters until I had less contrast and an “old timey” vibe.
3. Add Text & Adjust the Size for Social Media
For the last step, we need to optimize the size of the image for social media and add some text. (TIP: adjust the size first so you don’t have to re-work the layout if the text doesn’t fit properly.) Canva.com makes this all super simple–there are templates already set up to create graphics optimized for social sharing.
Some of the elements you can add to your image on Canva are an additional cost, but you can upload an image, make use of basic shapes and rules and set lovely text… all for free! This software is very intuitive (and addictive!).
I decided not to pay the $1 fee to add the books graphic to this image, but I think it turned out pretty well for a quick job!And that’s what we want, really… the easier/faster/cheaper it is to whip up these graphics, the more we’re likely to include them in our online efforts.
One last thing… I added our logo and website address so if people share this image around, our name gets out there too! If you don’t have a logo, consider at least including your website address.
I hope this has been helpful, let me know if you have any questions or if you find success using this method — I’d love to see!