Images are a big part of any blog. They help you rank better on Google, but also attract and keep more readers. However, as you might have already experienced, finding the perfect image and then editing it can be a challenge.
Fear not! There are some tools you can use that can help you find and create images in minutes, instead of hours. Trust me, I do it all the time on my websites and for clients.
So, in this post, I want to share with you some tips on how to speed up that process and be as efficient as possible with your blog image creation.
Here are 6 tips to help you speed up the creation of images for your blog!
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1. Find free photos
Finding free photos for your blog can sometimes be a time-consuming process, right?
Sure, there are dozens of helpful free image sites like Pexels, Unsplash, Pixabay and the like. But checking them all can be a right pain in the proverbial.
That is why I make use of this handy image finder. It helps you do all the searches at once and provides a link to open that search/site in a new tab. It also filters photos with a (free) CC0 license, and includes all the popular image websites – Flickr, Pexels, Pixabay etc. With this tool under your belt, you will find that perfect image in no time!
Another thing you can do is use Google’s search engine. In the Images tab, find the “Tools” option, and then “Usage rights”. When you select “Labeled for reuse with modification”, the search engine should only display photos with a CC0 license. However, be sure to always double check the license, to avoid any headaches – because breaking image copyright is not something you want to experience!
2. Use editing tools like Canva
If you don’t want to waste time on creating masterpieces for your blog, then you should focus on editing tools that are quick and easy to use. So, forget about Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator (or even Picmonkey & Pixlr); sure, they are fun to use, but they are also very complicated, and time-consuming.
Instead, try editing tools like Canva. For one thing, this tool has templates for all major social media post types, as well as blog images and even pdf or infographics. This can save you a tonne of time, especially if you aren’t sure what photo shape you need for which platform.
It will also save all the photos you upload, which can also help you save time later. Say you always add your own logo to your images (which you should) – with Canva, you won’t have to upload it every time you want to create a new post. And you can easily remove images that you won’t be using again, and de-clutter your image collection.
Now, let’s dive into how to make the most of Canva to save you even more time…
3. Save templates and reuse them
If you’ve defined your branding, then you will probably post very similar images each time. And I don’t mean that you post images that feature similar subjects, but rather that they are very similar overall – maybe you use the same font(s) and color scheme. Maybe you put your logo on each of them or use the same shape and size.
If that is the case, then creating “templates” and reusing them could also save you a lot of time. You can do this easily with Canva – simply create a standard layout in an image using your standard fonts, colors etc and then copy it each time you need a new image. The next time you create a picture, you won’t have to bother with these details. Just find a new background image, change the text and you are done!
4. Know the preset shapes and sizes for the major social platforms
As you may have noticed, photos on Instagram are usually squares, but Twitter prefers rectangles. If you want your images to thrive on different social media platforms, then you should know what are the preset shapes and sizes for all major platforms.
You should either take it upon yourself to learn all of these by heart, or you can speed up that process by using tools that already have templates for these posts – like…Canva or Snappa. That way you don’t have to learn that the best size for Insta photos is 600 x 600 pixels, or that 600 x 900 pixels are the optimal size for Pinterest. Just take a template and you are good to go (or use one to make “your” brand template).
5. Optimize your images for SEO
You might think that images are not a big part of SEO, but that is not the case. Even Google has admitted that they use file names to categorize images on their search engine. So, if you want your blog to thrive, you will have to pay attention to optimizing your images for SEO.
For one thing, file names are very important, and giving descriptive names to your images will not only help you rank better on search engines but also speed up the process of uploading images to your website.
When you upload an image to WordPress, it imports the file name as the title of the image. So, if you properly name the file before you upload it, half the job is done, and all you have left to edit is the photo’s Alt Text. It also helps to add a caption, as users that have been known to scan always read the captions.
6. Use online software like Pixlr Express
The main difference between Pixlr and Canva is that Pixlr allows you to edit your photos – ie. resize them, use filters and even photoshop them a little bit. So, when you want to touch up an image or make it black and white instead of colorful (just an example), use Pixlr Express.
This tool has a very simple interface, and it is incredibly easy to use. The best thing about it is that it’s completely free and online – no need to download any software (although they do have offline apps or a chrome extension if you need it).
One other thing you can use this tool for is resizing images, or just reducing the file size. Google (and people) want your blog to load quickly, so you want to avoid uploading files that are larger than a couple of hundred KBs. With Pixlr Express, you can do this in a few steps – upload an image, resize it and save/download it again.
Or, if you want to reduce the size of the file by about 100 KBs, you don’t even have to resize it! You just upload it and immediately save it; you can then adjust the quality and the size of the photo then. Talk about speeding up your image creation process!
What other blog image creation tools and tips do you have?
Guest author: Ashley Faulkes is a WordPress & SEO pro who loves creating high ranking websites for himself and clients. Check out his Youtube channel for lots of tips tricks and tutorials to help you create an epic website too.