It’s nothing new to hear that using images for your blog posts is an important part of presenting your work to your viewers. Pictures and images can either make or break a product’s or article’s success. Why is that?
Well, most of us are very visual people and are either drawn in or turned off by certain colors or images that we come in contact with. In fact, we’re trained to be this way thanks to all the media and advertisements that we’ve been visually bombarded with since childhood.
Not only that, but 90% of the information that our brain deals with is visual, and all of that imagery is processed about 60,000 times faster in our heads than plain text alone. Take a quick look at the video below.
It’s no wonder that they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Due to this need for creating visually appetizing imagery, many have found great success as graphic designers and other similar creative careers. However, for as much as many of us would love to be able to jump in and start using Photoshop and Illustrator to create and design amazing graphics and images today, such an idea is too far out of reach.
Those programs take time to learn and they cost a buttload of money — both of which many people can’t always swing, especially when they just want to create something here and there.
In the past, creating those creative, captivating and dynamic images was something that the average person couldn’t do without the help of a designer or experienced photo editor. However, as time has gone on, the need for easy ways to create your own images is one that has grown and continues to do so.
Well, if you’re one of those people looking for a way to create something great without using programs like PS or AI, then get ready to jump for joy because now there are great (and free) ways to do just that.
Why Should You Create Unique Images For Your WordPress Posts?
Is there good reasons to create your own images to use in your posts? I mean, sure, they can be a fun little side thing to do after tediously editing your post, but are there benefits?
Absolutely! Here are a few benefits you may not have thought of.
1) Better For SEO
Queen Google is all about authentic and unique, and anything that falls below that standard is not all that impressive to her. Even though stock and vector photos can be brilliant and appealing to the eye, so many people have jumped on board with using them that they’re no longer unique.
Although it is true that the Google bots that crawl a site cannot literally see a photo as we do, Google’s algorithm is becoming increasingly smarter and can detect if a photo is indeed — unique. It’s not certain how large the effect of using stock photos is for SEO, but even if the impact was small, there is still an impact that you could avoid. By creating your own images, you are sticking to Google’s new rules of creating a whole post that is truly individual and evergreen.
2) People Like To Look At Something New
Since stock photos are widely used, then people who use them run the risk of using something that someone else in a similar niche or post topic has already used or will use soon. This can result in viewers seeing the same picture on two different sites that aren’t related to each other. Though it’s generally not that big of a deal, this sort of thing does happen.
Another great reason to create your own images is that you can create an image that relates directly to your post at hand and is unlike anything that your viewers have seen before. Create something truly epic and you can increase the chance of getting more social shares and more traffic — it’s a win-win situation.
3) It Is A Lot Less Expensive
Why spend a ton of money every month on stock photos when you can create your own butt-kicking images for a few bucks or for free? Many of the options below that I will list will give you the chance to source free images that you can use to create unique pictures on free image creating or editing platforms.
That means that all you’ll be spending is a bit of time and creativity to create something really cool.
Ready to dive in? Let’s go!
Sourcing Truly Free Images To Create A Unique Image
There are quite a few sites where you can source and download pictures free of charge. However, the ones that I’ll list below are likely ones that you have comes across before.
StockSnap photos are beautiful, captivating and free to use. The images on the site fall under the Creative Commons CCO License which means that you can copy, modify and distribute their images for whatever purpose you have in mind without needing permission or having to pay. The search bar makes it easy to find a photo that fits your needs.
Life Of Pix
This is another site where you can go and source beautiful imagery that are free and have no copyright restrictions. The Gallery on the site organizes the photos into certain categories to make finding a type of picture easier. As a side note, they also have videos free of copyright restrictions.
New Old Stock
Looking for a photo with a vintage feel? How about using authentic, vintage images fro public archives that are free of any known copyright restrictions? New Old Stock has a ton of truly vintage that you could use as part of your image creation.
But I’m not done yet. These sites and the photos on them are merely suggestions to provide a base for your image creation. Simply using them may be fine for some, but I want to show you how you can take these pictures and create something entire unique from them.
Creating Your Unique Images
Pic Monkey is a free online photo editing and creating tool. The free service lets you edit an existing image or design an entirely new one and it comes with some great features that make it easy to do so.
- Crop and resize pixels of an image
- Sharpen and adjust exposure
- Apply visual effects like Black and White or Sepia Filters
- Add fonts, textures, frames, and overlays to images. You can even upload your own overlays or icons to use in the picture.
If you don’t want to use an image like the ones available on the sites mentioned above, then thats fine. You can edit the canvas size and color and build on that instead. There are certain features on the editor that require you to upgrade to the pro version of PicMonkey, but most of what you need to create a new picture is free.
This is probably my favorite online image creating platform. I was lucky enough to stumble across it after it first launched and I’ve been hooked ever since.
You can choose from one of the preset design options like a Twitter or Facebook post that you can use and set that as your featured image for your site or you can set your own custom dimensions and go from there.
Each of the predesigned options come with a set of images and design ideas that you can use to help jumpstart your image, but if you’re feeling truly creative, you can start from scratch and use the thousands of free shapes, lines, icons, fonts, and banners to create anything from a captivating photo to a stunning infographic.
Just as an example, you can see the image I created here using nothing more than the fonts, lines and banners available on Canva. Since everything I used was from the free options in the editor (there are both free and premium elements), I am free to download and use the image as I please and all it took was a bit of my time.
You can use this for more than creating a blog post image. You can create Twitter or Facebook headers, design a poster, create a unique Instagram picture and a large infographic image. There are options to upload your own images and icons so that you use your own elements in your design.
If you’re looking to create an infographic for your site or blog post, then this is an awesome site where you can do just that. The great thing about this type of imagery is that people tend to gobble them up. When an infographic is done right, they tend to get shared like crazy. Therefore, spending the time to craft one is well worth the effort.
Piktochart lets you choose from a selection of both free and premium templates, but you can skip the predesigned options available and create something from scratch for free. If you’re a creative person, then designing one of these shouldn’t be too hard, but you can always look for inspiration via a Google Search.
The editing options within Piktochart also make it easy to design more than just infographics. There are options on the site to create reports, banners, and presentations. You can also shrink the size of the canvas and create a smaller but stunning blog post image too.
Though Google Slides was designed for creating presentations, you can utilize it for creating images for your article as well. You don’t have to stick with the predesigned layouts and themes there either. There are plenty of online resources where you can source free Google Slide Templates and use them to create a captivating image.
You can upload your own background and other images, have access to and use all the 400+ Google Fonts and plenty more to help you craft a unique image.
Wrapping It Up
Creating an image from scratch may seem like just another time-consuming and unnecessary task to add to the workload of creating a blog post, however, it shouldn’t be viewed that way.
Creating unique images can captivate your viewers, it’s something Google says it wants, and it can boost your shares and traffic to that post and website in general. Really, creating your own stunning image could be the best part of your entire post. Plus, just think of the money you can save by doing this instead of paying a monthly fee for stock photos that everyone is already using.
All the image creating resources listed above take a bit of time to learn, but they’re much easier to use than something like Photoshop and Illustrator; playing around with one for an hour or so will have you on the right path in no time.
There are sure to be plenty of other free options for creating images for your blog posts. Do you have a favorite resource for doing this? Be sure to share in the comments below.
By Ariel Rule Ariel is a WordPress Web Designer, Freelance Blogger and small business owner. When she’s not working with clients or writing on her Mac, she is drinking coffee and spending time with her amazing boys.