How To Make Beautiful Blog Post Graphics Without Design Skills Or Expensive Software
Many of my business owner clients get really hung up, scared, and overwhelmed when it comes to creating images for their blog posts.
Blog post images do many things:
- encourages social sharing of your content
- brings people to your website (images come up in Google searches)
- makes your content feel more engaging and interesting
- builds brand awareness
- helps tell a story so you can use less words (because people are skimmers)
- makes it easier for people to find and engage with the content on your site
- creates a library of images that can be repurposed for client workbooks, opt-in freebies, website buttons, and presentation slides
When you're not a designer, creating images seems monumental. But this doesn't need to be the case.
Ready to learn how to make gorgeous blog post graphics with ZERO design skills or fancy design software?
First, let me introduce you to some important terms and concepts:
1. Canva.com // The (free) design software I'll show you how to use (specifically for non-designers).
2. Cover Shot // This is the main image for your blog post. Think of it like the cover of a book. Your cover shot can also be repurposed as your post thumbnail and Pinterest pinable. I recommend creating a template to use over and over. Some Examples:
3. Brand Personality Palette // A roadmap for the visual vibe of your brand. My clients receive one of these from me. If you don't have one, you'll want to create one (and you can use Canva.com to do it!). It's important to keep the visuals of your graphics similar by selecting specific fonts, colors, and photography themes. While you'll be tempted to play with lots of colors and fonts on your blog posts, coaching worksheets, social media graphics, opt-in freebies, client workbooks, and presentation slides, don't. Over time you won't be happy because your brand will become a mess. Always use fonts, colors, and images that become a recognizable part of your brand.
4. Batch Process // Grouping similar tasks together and completing them in chunks instead of working on them one at a time. You can batch things like: searching for website/blog post photography (here's my HUGE list of free places to get great photography), designing blog post cover shots, and creating a list of blog posts for your editorial calendar (here's a video to show you how to create a simple one using Google Sheets).
5. Template // A format you will use over and over. As you can see above, I don't stray from the template I created for myself. Creating blog post graphics is easy because I'm swapping out a few elements each time. The point is, you don't want to reinvent the wheel every time. Using a template will save time (something solo business owners typically don't have a surplus of). If you need template inspiration, Canva can make this very simple (because they offer drag and drop options) OR you can create your own. Perhaps you'll want to do some research on Pinterest to see how others have set up their cover shots. Pay attention to popular similarities. Try to avoid them in your template design. There is a lot of sameness out in the world. Your goal is to look different. NOTE: Don't copy. Instead make a list of design elements you like and why. Design your template from your list of design preferences, not by directly swiping someone else's work. Here's a post I wrote about comparison-itus and copying.
6. Watermark // Remember to add your website's url somewhere on your cover shot. Think of your cover shot as a calling card for your business. You want people to know how to find you!
How to use canva.com to quickly and simply create images for your blog posts:
Before we part ways I want you to know, creating images for your blog posts is a task that will take time to: figure out, implement, and systemize. In the early days, it will feel like a huge chore. But do it anyway. It will become easier with repetition and just like the practice of writing, it will help you get clearer about your work, your dream clients, your content marketing ideas, and your offers. Good luck and be sure to let me know if you have any questions in the comments!