How to Create Beautiful Blog Visuals
In the fifth installment in this series, I am going to be discussing how to make your blog look beautiful. Or at least visually appealing. Essentially, you need to know where to find photos. Or how to create them yourself. Sure, your blog is mostly about writing, but there are people who are visual. Therefore, your blog will benefit from having as many (relevant) images as possible.
Death to Stock Photo
Death to Stock Photo is a subscription service for artists. They produce premium photos, videos, graphics and media downloads. The media is exclusive to members and is updated every month. You can sign up for free media or go for a premium and access their entire archive. If you are an individual (artist), this will cost you $15/month. However, if you’re an agency, be expected to pay $35. This actually sounds like a really interesting concept. The free version doesn’t seem to provide you with a lot in terms of options, but will likely supplement your photo supply, regardless.
PhotoPin is just one place that you can go to find free images. They allow you to search millions of Creative Commons photos from Flickr. Enter your search term – photography for example – and then browse the hundreds of images that are available for you to use. Once you find one, click on the image and decide your size requirements. You are also given the option to search for photos that will cost you $1. In addition, you will be given information on who took the image, so you can add that to your blog as well.
Skitch allows you to grab screenshots and annotate them with notes, arrows, and icons. Kind of like Instagram or Snapchat, but for your blog. Skitch also connects directly to your Evernote account so you can save all the screenshots that you want.
Memes are all the rage these days. They’re usually pretty funny, so of course, they’re popular. Which means they’re making their way into popular blogs. Not to mention, a meme sometimes says more than just an image. Meme Generator lets you create a meme from scratch or use an existing meme character to add your own saying.
Canva is an extremely popular tool. They make image creation incredibly easy (especially if you’re a non-designer) with their premade templates. You can pick your own image size – depending on what social media channel you’re using. They have a great drag-and-drop interface and some funky fonts. Two other options include PicMonkey and BeFunky.
Photoshop is the godfather of image software. Gimp, however, is like a free version of Photoshop. Most of all the major features are included, and amateur designers can get a lot done with layers, masks, photo effects and much more.
You can turn any webpage into a shareable image with Stencil – this “share as image” browser extension. The Pro plan will cost you $8/month, and it even lets you add custom branding to the image. You can choose from a large number of background photos and fonts.