Getting your blog post images right is crucially important.
Studies have found that 93% of the most engaging content shared on Facebook contains images, and that images have an 80% memory retention rate (compared with just 20% for text).
What’s more, recent eye-tracking studies have shown that internet users are less drawn to stock photos than they are to original visual content, meaning that the wrong type of image can greatly damage your blog’s engagement.
Thankfully, it’s easier than ever before to create custom blog images that’ll really stand out.
There are plenty of programs and resources available to the discerning blogger who wants to improve their blog imagery.
Here are twenty tools that you can use to make sure your blog is as visually appealing as possible:
There are plenty of image editing programs available, but Canva is one of the most widely used – and with good reason.
It’s free, it’s easy to use, and there are plenty of options to make sure that you’re able to manipulate and edit your images without a lot of hassle or effort.
If you find that Canva doesn’t quite suit you, PicMonkey is a great alternative.
It’s got a lot of the same tools as Canva, but it’s slightly easier to get your head around, and it offers more font options, which means you’ll find it better for adding text to images.
BeFunky works a lot like both Canva and PicMonkey in the way it lets you edit image files. It also comes with a variety of templates and resources to help you get the most out of your images.
There are plenty of tools in BeFunky to help image manipulation newbies to get started instantly, but the program also has a lot of depth, and can be a great tool for more experienced image editors as well.
For those who’d like a level of image editing on par with Photoshop, but who aren’t comfortable with the high Adobe price tag, GIMP is often recommended as the best alternative.
The program is a free download and offers just as many options as Photoshop. That said, it can be a difficult tool to come to grips with, and many of its more advanced features may be wasted on you if you’re just after quick and simple edits.
Those who are familiar with Microsoft Paint (who isn’t?) but who want something a little more advanced will get along great with Paint.net.
It’s a free download program that makes quick and simple photo editing easy, but it packs a lot of user friendly features that mean you can get more advanced with your edits if you feel the need. If your first instinct is to reach for MS Paint, you’ll probably be better off with this.
Infographics can be a big attention grabber for a blog, but it’s not always easy to create them.
Easel.ly lets you work from existing templates to throw together well designed infographics in a matter of minutes, taking a lot of the hassle out of developing a good layout.
If Ease.ly’s not quite your cup of tea, you might like to try this program instead – it’s incredibly similar, but boasts a different variety of customizable templates.
Infogr.am is simple to use and gives creators a fair amount of control over their finished infographic, and its drag-and-drop interface makes infographic creation as quick and painless as possible.
8. Social Image Resizer Tool
Sometimes all you need to do is crop or change the size of an image.
For uses like this, the Social Image Resizer Tool is invaluable for speeding up the process, meaning you don’t have to fire up an image manipulation program every time you need to trim the bottom off a photo.
The program’s handy list of common social media image sizes is a great resource as well.
Sometimes, all it takes to make your blog post stand out is a few pretty quotes to grab reader interest.
Tools like Recite let you enter text and instantly create a pretty image file, with customizable fonts and colors, to give your article some variety while drawing readers to the important passages within a text.
Similar to Recite, Over lets you use text to create images. Its main selling point, though, is that it’ll let you overlay text on top of an image of your choice.
This means that your picture can feature a killer quote from your article, but also can draw in visitor attention through a compelling visual.
11. Quotes Cover
Similar to both Recite and Over, Quotes Cover lets you turn text into images. It’s specifically designed to help with social media cover photos, but its tools can be put to use for any image project.
It boasts a wide variety of options to make sure that your quote stands out as much as possible, so if you didn’t find an appropriate style on the other two sites, this might be the option for you.
Not everybody naturally has an eye for colors.
When designing images, it’s often helpful to know which colors will perfectly complement the photo that you’ll include at the heart of your blog post.
Pictaculous lets you upload an image, from which it’ll generate a color palette based on the picture that you can use to make sure your blog post has a consistent color theme.
Collages are a fun way to draw in a user’s attention and make use of several key images at the same time.
Ribbet takes the hassle out of the process of building a collage by letting you upload photos to various templates, meaning that putting together a neat collage won’t slow you down too much.
High quality images are important, but it’s also crucial that you keep your page loading times as low as possible.
For that reason, you might find this web-based program a real lifesaver – it lets you upload and compress a file to make it as small as possible, which will help both your SEO score and your visitor retention.
If you’re looking to include screenshots in your blog post, you might want to check out Jing.
Jing is a downloadable program that lets you take screenshots, then quickly and conveniently crop and edit them so that you can show the part of the screen that matters most.
This means that you can get crucial materials for your blog together as quickly as possible, saving time and effort.
Much like Jing, Skitch lets you easily take screenshots and quickly edit them to the perfect size.
It also lets you add annotations, so you can make sure your images are well targeted and clear of purpose.
Fotor is a pretty amazing catch-all alternative to many of the other tools on this list. It’s an all-in-one program that lets you edit, crop, and alter images, but it also boasts collage abilities and special tools for creating custom social media cover photos and profile pictures.
This is a great program to save time and to avoid having to run images through several different tools before they’re ready to be uploaded.
If you’re looking to create a quick gif to add some simple animation to your site, you might want to check out Imgflip. The website allows users to easily upload videos or still images and use them to create unique gifs, without a lot of the hassle usually associated with creating animation.
Pixlr allows you to add a wide variety of filters and overlays to your images.
If you’re looking for a particular style or look for your photos, you’ll probably find Pixlr to be a useful tool.
To give digital products a little bit of extra authority, you’ll want to take a look at Placeit.
The site allows users to upload images, which then appear within everyday scenario photos, such as people browsing the web or using computers or tablets.
This site makes it much easier to get great photos of your digital products being used in the real world, without having to hire a photographer to take custom photos.
What other tools do you use for your image manipulation? Share your thoughts and recommendations by leaving a comment below:
Guest Author: Aaron Agius is an online marketer, web strategist and entrepreneur and you can check him out at AaronAgius.com