Using images in your blog, social media, newsletter and emails is a necessary part of your content formula to communicate and stand out.
You can buy stock images, steal from the internet (but don’t do this), or create your own. The other option is using other people’s images with permission, through the creative commons license.
Whatever image option we chose, think about relevance, purpose and positioning. Is there an opportunity to brand the image, so if it is shared, pinned or tweeted, your brand is further exposed?
While I have always worked with Photoshop and the Adobe suite of tools, theses days you don’t need to invest the dollars and time learning to use them, as there are online tools and apps available to help you create the image you need.
Create your own graphics with web-based software and the multitude of mobile apps using your own photos or acquired images.
If your purpose is high quality print, then you need to consider the size, quality and format of the image. But if it is for the screen, it doesn’t need to be high resolution and is best create to required size.
Without an image, your content can look boring and won’t stand out in the newsfeed when shared. The image in a blog becomes a thumbnail when shared on platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, which helps grab attention. Don’t miss the opportunity to stand out with a vibrant, visually appealing image.
Here are some image tip;
- Optimise image files names – think keywords and branding
- Get visual on Twitter – use 4 images with updates
- Create photo albums online to share related images easily
- Create infographics
- Pin related images to a board on Pinterest
- Create image slides shows with Flippergram
- Create image slides on Slideshare and share or embed these
- Create videos from images and share on YouTube
What other tips do you have?
QUOTE CONTENT TOOLS
You may decide to create a range of inspirational quotes on images. Gather your quotes, take or gather your images and select a tool to create the graphic. Many websites such as Quote Garden or Brainy Quote can be used for inspiration, or type “your keyword + quote.” into Google. You may want to create a bank of quotes in an Excel spreadsheet, Word document or text file. Be sure to list the quote and author, and be sure to credit the person who said it when using.
IMAGE EDITING AND CREATION
Here is a selection of web-based tools to create and edit images. Always read the rules / terms before using for business;
This website allows you to upload images to use with their templates or create your own graphics. There are many pre-set templates for social media, such as Facebook Cover images, and quotes with text. And it is free! It has a photo editor so you can touch up a profile pic, add effects, or use the collage maker.
It also has seasonal effects to suit Halloween for example, and also has many paid options to get really creative.
Canva is an image creation tool which can be used in collaboration and has an inbuilt library of templates and content. It is free to use, with the only cost being purchase of stock images.
It is easy to use and includes so many templates for social media platform use, websites, and even print use. A colleague designed and printed his business pull-up banner from a design he created on Canva.
This free tool doesn’t even require an image – you can use theirs to go with your quote. If you create an account, you can save quotes and upload direct to social media platforms.
To use Quozio: “Just visit quozio.com and fill in your quote. Or, even faster, get the bookmarklet which lets you instantly create an image out of any text you highlight on a web page. After you provide your quote, scroll through the various styles and find the one that best matches it. Then the best part – share with your friends!”
This tool is designed to work with Pinterest, for creating quotes, sticky notes, Twitter images, and Calendar images. It is free to use and allows you to Pin your image straight to Pinterest, or hover your mouse over, right click and save the image.
Another free, easy to use program which allows you to add text to images. You can use their images as backgrounds for your quotes.
This program allows you to create collages from your images, their images or your Facebook images, and their effects, borders and text overlay options. You can you embed, link or share via social media. It has a browser plug-in (under the Images menu) to use images directly from the web, with a consideration of copyright.
7. Keep Calm-o-matic
Create quote images for social media cover images, graphics and prints with this easy to use tool. Enter your own quote, or use the online quotes directory. Then select the editor to suit the purpose, followed by edit the graphic. It is easy to use and has lots of options without having to get creative.
10. Be Funky
Edit photos, add effects and create collages. Edit photos locally or from an online source such as Facebook, Flickr or Picaso. No account required, but you can create on to share your images with the Be Funky community and subscribe to channels and Like other people’s photos. It is free to use.
Online collage maker with lots of free templates, effects and images can be shared online or downloaded. Also make cards with this tool.
Make your own Infographics with themes and templates you can edit, print and share. Link, embed, email, or share it on social media. Free with paid options.
Another Infographics tool to make impactful charts, maps and easily. Free and paid options.
14. Logo Garden
Create a logo by entering the name, selecting a category and selecting from the list of generated logos. Customise your logo by changing color, font, shape, size, and effects. It has both free and paid options.
This free tool allows you to capture both screenshots and screen videos. The tool sits on your desktop ready to capture. Screenshots can be edited to add arrows and text and up to 5 minutes of video can be recorded for free. This a great tool for creating instructions and tutorials.
Enter a URL and this tool create a screenshot of your website which you can pin straight to Pinterest.
This one is designed for personal use only according to terms They clearly state that “using them to promote a product, website, social media program, Facebook Page, or brand is also against our Terms of Service. ”
7 iPhone Image Creation Apps
- Snapseed and PhotoStudio for photo editing.
- PicCollage to create collages and add text.
- PicsArt and Studio edit, add text and share within the network.
- Flipagram and Foteo – slideshow videos from images
These apps allow you to save your image to your phone, email or share via social media.
What image editing apps are you using? Have we missed any nifty image creation programs (other than Photoshop of course!)?
IMAGE RESIZE TOOLS
If you have high quality, large images you may want to start by resizing them. Just don’t go too small, because you cannot increase the size without reducing the quality.
There are many tools to use such as Shrink Pictures, Webresizer, PicResize and of course Photoshop.
MyPictr allows you to upload an image and scale it to the correct size for specific social media platforms.
Here are over 50 resources for acquiring free images.
Another list of royalty free image sources.
Dollar Photo Club – all images cost just $1. SIGN UP HERE
Copyright and Images
There are copyright laws to protect other people’s IP. Permission is required to use an image, and credit should be given in the right way. Refer to the source for the requirements.
Creative Commons Licence
Search for images under the “Creative Commons license,” which are images that the creator has released for common use.
Flickr is the largest source of CC-licensed content.
There are 6 types of licenses, but regardless of which is in place, you must attribute the owner correctly.
“To provide appropriate credit, you must:
- Provide the author’s name and the title of the work
- If possible, provide a link back to the source of the work
- Provide a link to the CC license that applies to the original work
- Indicate if you made any changes to the work
- Keep intact any copyright notice the author has provided”