Author Websites 6

Author Websites – Step 6: Creating Graphics for Blog Posts

by Abigail Carter

It’s well known by now that adding graphics to blog posts is always a good idea because these days a lot of sharing of blog posts happens via the images associated with them (think Facebook and especially Pinterest). Often I find images I want to use on the Internet, and include them by linking them back to the site I found them on and adding a credit in the photo’s caption. But sometimes you want to add something unique, or create a logo for your site. It used to be that you had to muddle over Photoshop which to the untrained can have a steep learning curve and is a costly program for many (even with the $20 per month rental of the Adobe suite of programs). Thankfully, there are several new sites now that make creating graphics incredibly easy and are free or charge nominal amounts for upgraded images or fonts. Here’s a rundown:

CanvaCanva

This site is hot right now particularly with Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick on board (both are also advisors to Writer.ly). It makes creating banners for websites and social media incredibly easy by having pre-set templates using the exact sizes you will need for each of the big social media sites. There are a huge array of pre-designed  borders, ribbons, backgrounds, fonts, and whatnot, that you wind up creating images that look like they have been professionally designed. You can create custom sizes and add them as logos to your WordPress blog, or create featured images for each post.

Pixlrpixlr.com

This advanced photo editing tool (Pixlr Editor) allows you to do almost all the things you might do in Adobe’s Photoshop, including adding text to photos. There are also two easy photo enhancing apps (Pixlr Express and Pixlr-o-Matic) that allow you to add tints, borders, and effects to any photo easily and quickly.

picMonkey

 

 

picmonkey

Like Pixlr, Pickmonkey allows you to enhance photos in numerous ways including adding text to images and a whole bunch of airbrushing options (get rid of those wrinkles!). A great way to create banners. You can also create real life items like tags and pillows with your graphics and there is a collage option for combining several photos into one.

Fotor

 

Fotor

Another photo editing tool, this one is quite simple. You can add tints, text, borders, touch-ups, etc. There is also a collage tool and an easy way to create social media banners. A trick: Create a banner for Facebook or Twitter, download it and then use it as a banner for your WordPress site.

 


 

Continue with my author website series:

Author Websites – Step 1: Choosing a Web Platform

Author Websites – Step 2: Choosing a Hosting Service

Author Websites – Step 3: Finding a WordPress Theme

Author Websites – Step 4: Setting Up Your WordPress Blog

Author Websites – Step 5: Your First WordPress Post

Author Websites – Step 6: Creating Graphics for Blog Posts

Author Websites – Step 7: 9 Tips for Writing Compelling Blog Posts

Author Websites – Step 8: 10 Steps for Finding Your Audience

 

4 comments on “Author Websites – Step 6: Creating Graphics for Blog PostsAdd yours →

Comments are closed. You can not add new comments.

  1. Hi!
    I need to comment on what you mentioned…

    “Often I find images I want to use on the Internet, and include them by linking them back to the site I found them on and adding a credit in the photo’s caption.”

    Obviously, even with showing a credit for where an image is from, you should never use someone’s images without express permission from the owner. Not to do so could place you in violation of copyright law as well as it’s just impolite!

    Also, it’s considered bad form to place an image on your site by using a link to the image on someone else’s site without permission. This is called “hotlinking” and effectively steals bandwith from the other site. It’s also possible that Google may consider it a negative in its rating of your site.
    If you find a picture that you just “have” to use on your website, request permission to download and use the image on your site and once you have that permission, add the image to your website from the copy you’ve saved on your computer.

    1. Hi Ken,

      Thanks again for your comment. You make a valid point about “borrowing” images. It would indeed be more polite to contact the image owner (though that is often difficult to determine) and ask to borrow the image. I appreciate your gentle reprimand. :)
      — Abby

  2. Hi!
    I need to comment on what you mentioned…

    “Often I find images I want to use on the Internet, and include them by linking them back to the site I found them on and adding a credit in the photo’s caption.”

    Obviously, even with showing a credit for where an image is from, you should never use someone’s images without express permission from the owner. Not to do so could place you in violation of copyright law as well as it’s just impolite!

    Also, it’s considered bad form to place an image on your site by using a link to the image on someone else’s site without permission. This is called “hotlinking” and effectively steals bandwith from the other site. It’s also possible that Google may consider it a negative in its rating of your site.
    If you find a picture that you just “have” to use on your website, request permission to download and use the image on your site and once you have that permission, add the image to your website from the copy you’ve saved on your computer.

    1. Hi Ken,

      Thanks again for your comment. You make a valid point about “borrowing” images. It would indeed be more polite to contact the image owner (though that is often difficult to determine) and ask to borrow the image. I appreciate your gentle reprimand. :)
      — Abby