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What do almost all social media platforms have in common?
They all have millions of people, with millions of blogs, all vying for our attention.
But really what they all have in common is that they are all very visual platforms, where an image or a thumbnail is the only real chance we have to grab the casual viewer and say “hey check out my blog”.
But as we have already established, there are millions of other bloggers on all these platforms trying to do the same.
How do we stand out from all of them?
Well for starters we had better have some pretty good images attached to our blog posts and social updates.
Now, I understand that not everyone feels that they are good at creating images, in fact, I am terrible at it, well at least I was until I found a way that worked for me.
Firstly when it comes to creating the right images not only for our blog post but for social we need a good baseline to start with, which generally means we need a nice image for our base layer.
There has been plenty written about the perils of just pulling any old picture from Google, in fact, we once got a cease and desist from the “Premier League” for doing just that.
So when it comes to finding images we’re allowed use, we need to be sure we are in the right place.
I won’t bore you with details, all you need to know that the images you pull from these sites are ok to use.
- Negative Space
- Adobe Stock Photos
- Life of Pix
- Death to Stock Photos
- IM Free
- New Old Stock
- Snapwire Snaps
Once we have a picture we want to start off with we need some software that is going to make our lives a little easier.
There are any number of photo editing sites out there, not to mention software like photoshop, but for me I like, in fact, I need, to keep it simple.
There are a few options that all pretty much do the same thing, to be honest, and it will depend on your own personal preference and style.
Canva is simple yet very powerful. The impressive design app lets you create any type of blog or social media image with a drag and drop interface.
There are also some templates available that you can customise if you are struggling for inspiration.
The big plus with Canva is that it is free and it they have recently released an iPhone app that works well.
Relaythat.com is or should I say was my go to image creation tool.
As someone with little to no design skills, Relaythat made my life super easy.
But I have to admit, it’s UI was never the most straight forward and I would often hear people stating that they could never really get to grips with it.
And I get it, it took me a little while to get used to it, but once I did, all I had to do was upload the photos I wanted to use, a little piece of text and boom the software would do it all for me.
It would also resize the image for any platform or even let me select designs based on the platform.
It’s a fantastic piece of software that does exactly what it is supposed to, however, there are two drawbacks, it is a paid service at $12 per month and you can’t customise the designs a whole lot.
You are basically just filling in placeholders. But that said I still highly recommend it for those of you who like me are tight on ideas and design skills.
Buffer’s Pablo app claims that anyone can create an eye-catching image in “30 seconds or less” and you can!
I have actually tested it, but there are a few caveats to that, the first being you need to know what type of image you want and what the text will say and have an idea of the layout.
But if you have a clear image of what you want to the final product to look like then yes you can do it in “30 seconds or less”.
The Pablo app also has a large library of stock images that you can use, so it does cut down the time you use searching for a good baseline to start with.
Like Canva it is free and has a number of templates that you can customise if you are short on ideas.
The final one is Snappa.io and this one I have to admit is my “crush” at the moment.
It’s pretty much the same as Canva and Pablo, only it comes with a lot more customisation options and templates.
The templates also cover every platform and also include infographics.
There’s a free trial of Snappa for one week, but after that, it is $15 a month. For me, it’s worth it, at the moment.
I say at the moment because if you had asked me 2 months ago I would have said RelayThat was worth it, but I’ve since cancelled that and moved to Snappa.
Sign up for Snappa and create a new image for your blog and leave a link to the image in the comments section for us to check out!