Creating graphics for your blog, website or social media channels is a MUST but learning how to create professional graphics doesn’t have to be hard
Using graphics in your blog posts, and on your website, is just as necessary as the words you write in your posts. They help break up the words but they can also tell a short story about your post, give a quote that helps your readers, and give your followers something to share with their friends and followers. That’s great and all, you say, but where do I learn how to create graphics?
If you’re like me when I started blogging, you had no clue how to make a social media graphic or a featured image. I still struggle but when I look back at my first graphics I see a lot of improvement. There will never be a time I am an expert BUT I can hold my own until I can hire someone to create all my graphics.
For me, as a Spoonie, a post without graphics feels like trying to read a technical paper that I’m going to fall asleep reading about halfway through…or my eyes won’t stay focused. For those of us with chronic illness, it can be very hard to read something due to various factors and symptoms. Using graphics allows our eyes to scan the post easily and some graphics help us understand the post when brain fog keeps us from translating written words into coherent thoughts.
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Blog graphics can also be a fun way to embellish your post
Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words…just don’t forget you still need the words for other reasons like SEO. When adding graphics to your blog post you can usually add a description for search engines too but if your post doesn’t back the graphic description up you aren’t going to get a friendly response from search engines.
There are different reasons to use graphics and types of graphics:
- A quote graphic can capture the main idea of your post and provide an easy way for your readers to share your quote.
- An infographic can take a list and make it easier to digest.
- Sometimes an image can make a statement that is hard to put into words.
- Social media graphics help your followers share your post and can be especially helpful if you have readers with cognitive disfunction. My mind can be really sharp sometimes but others I need all the help I can get. Being able to share an SM graphic from someone else means less confusion and stress for me.
- Click-to-Tweet graphics are easy for those who love Twitter
- Using screenshots can help your readers when you are doing a tutorial post.
Graphics are a MUST for your blog, website, social media channels, and YouTube
Did you know?
- A featured image is what shows on your blog to give the reader an idea or insight into your post
- Each theme is different and some may not have featured images. Usually, your theme will come with instructions for the size you need for your featured image but sometimes you can play around with a graphic and see what you like best.
- Social media posts are different sizes depending on the platform/channel
- Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and, other social media platforms have different sizes that work best. You can usually get away with the same size for a Facebook and Instagram post graphic but Pinterest is completely different. These sizes can change over time so it’s a good idea to try to keep up with the latest sizes and requirements. Some scheduling tools like Hootesuite publish in-depth reports about changes or new additions to the different social media channels.
- Sometimes you don’t need a graphic, just a picture will do fine.
- You can use just a photo without any text or other manipulation
- This can work great, especially if you are taking pictures for your posts
- Phone vs camera. All cameras are not made the same. Some phone cameras can take better pictures than actual cameras and vice versa so play around to see what works for you.
- You can use lighting, backdrops, props and many other things to get your own custom images.
- You should use a description, alt text, captions, etc. for each image/graphic
- Making all your graphics/images vision-impaired friendly can mean the difference between someone being able to read your post or not. It is also a disability and accessibility issue.
- Do a search for what the alt tag is and how it is supposed to be used. You will find varying answers and have to make your own decision on how you will use your alt tags.
- Use keywords in your graphics alt text and descriptions for SEO purposes. This can help people find you in ways you haven’t thought of but it also helps with Pinterest searches too.
Creating vision-impaired friendly graphics is more than a courtesy, it means everything to someone who is blind or has a vision impairment.
If you do an UberSuggest search for keywords on “how to create graphics”, as I did, you will find a variation of these keywords used to find information. This post can’t possibly cover all of them without becoming several thousand words long so I am going to create more posts for each search term and link to them over time.
Below are just a few of the search terms I found. If there is another topic you would like covered just let me know and I will add it to my list.
How to create graphics –
- for your blog
- on your phone
- for social media
- for email
- with text
- for free
How to create –
- basic graphics
- professional graphics
- simple graphics
- your own graphics for free
- cute graphics
- great graphics
- good graphics
- business graphics
- effective graphics
- beautiful graphics
- text graphics
- easy graphics
- graphic quotes
Where to create graphics –
- Canva (affiliate?)
- Photo Editor | BeFunky: Free Online Photo Editing and Collage Maker
- List other tools, talk about branding, watermarking, paid vs stock photos, using your own photos, do research on how to create better graphics
I can’t stress the importance of using graphics on your blog and in your posts enough. This is not optional anymore than eating every day. Did you know that using videos and podcasts or voice recordings in your posts or AS your posts are becoming the new “thing” too?
Food for thought
You are going to fumble around when you first start creating graphics. I’m no expert and doubt I ever will be but over time I have become better at them. You will too. I like to have fun when I’m making them and just play around. Because I love anything creative, whether I’m good at it or not, using this approach works well for me.
Use other people’s work as inspiration. Look at pins you love, save those posts on Instagram that made you stop and pay attention. Use these as a sort of pattern when you make your graphics. I don’t mean copy, NEVER copy or plagiarize.
Look at what drew you to their post and recreate it in your own way. Maybe it’s the font you liked, use that on your graphic. Sometimes it’s the ways the colors are used that give you inspiration. Have fun and let yourself create.
You might also like to read Administrative Tasks Made Easy | For Spoonie Bloggers or How To Create Content For Instagram While Flaring
Want to help another spoonie out? You can by sharing this post.
Another sister with chronic illness may need the information provided to keep her blog or business going so she can pay her bills. I also rely on this blog to pay my bills since chronic illness took my health.
Have something you want me to share? Post in the comments. We women, in the chronic illness sisterhood, need to take care of each other. Community NOT competition.
Much love and success!