How To Create Images for Your Content (Step By Step)
We all know a picture is worth 1,000 words. But pictures alone aren’t enough. Content—the good, old fashioned written stuff—is still as important as ever to share your brand voice and create a conversation with your audience. At Palm Beach Content Company, we find that a lot of our clients do one or the other: either they’re writing lots of content without any images, or they’re focusing on social media pictures without any written content.
Neither strategy is enough on its own, though. In today’s digital marketing world, you need a mixture of multimedia content to attract and engage your readers. That means the written word plus visual images are key to grabbing the hearts (and wallets) of your consumers.
This is where some business owners start to tense up. “I’m already spending a lot of resources on creating awesome written content… Now I have to create images too? That’s going to cost me a lot of time and money on top of my content strategy.”
You’re not wrong. It does take more resources to create both images and content. But the payoff is definitely worth it.
People retain 10% of information they read, but they can retain up to 65% of information that’s paired with a visual. That means if they read ten of your blogs, they could remember just one blog that has only words… or they could remember 6+ of the blogs that have at least one image alongside the words.
It seems silly not to include an image or two in each blog if it will get you so much more in impressions, retention, and engagement.
In addition, visual content is the best way to get shares and spread your reach. Visual content attracts more clicks, and 35% of users are more likely to share image and video compared to just words. You can also attach a link to your social image, so every time the image is shared, you’re also building backlinks to your website.
So how can you create gorgeous images that will enhance the effectiveness of your blogs—without draining your resources?
How to create an image
In this guide, we’re talking about how to create a featured image you can add to your blog. This is the primary image that embodies what the blog is about while promoting your brand aesthetic.
1. Find background images.
The image you use becomes the “meat” of the content. You want it to represent what the blog is about, so you’ll quickly attract people to your article based on the visual. For example, an article about types of coffee might warrant a featured image with coffee beans.
But how do you actually find these images? You could hire a professional photographer or graphic designer if you have the budget for it. It can be well worth the money you put in to create completely unique and branded images.
But if that’s not in the budget right now, it’s okay. Even if stock photo sites aren’t in your budget, there are other options. Check out some popular free stock photo sites to start looking for images:
(Note that some artists or images require citations on your site. That’s because the photographers are offering their images for free in exchange for their name getting out there.)
You can also filter your Google Images search to include only free images. In Google’s Advanced Image search, you fan filter by “usage” rights to find images that are open and usable under Creative Commons.
You want to create a consistent aesthetic to your images. This gives them a more “branded” feel, so people will know they’re about to read your blogs when they see your images. We recommend finding an image style you like and using that same website or photographer to source your images for consistency purposes.
2. Use an image creator.
You don’t need fancy photo software to create awesome-looking graphics. There are a lot of free image creators on the web, the most popular being Canva.
On Canva, you can select the size of the graphic you want. We recommend either the blog header or Instagram graphic, since these are usually the most versatile and flexible for a variety of platforms.
Canva also makes it incredibly easy to add in text, images, logos, shapes, and design. You can even drag and drop an image right into the web browser to make it easier! Play around with it to get a feel for how it works, and you’ll be up and running in no time.
3. Include the title.
Most people won’t click on an image if it’s just a picture (unless it’s a super unique or special photo). They’re clicking on the picture because they want to get more information, like in your blog or article. To intrigue them to read on, you’ll want to include the title of your blog post in the actual featured image. This helps put the visual in context while starting the conversation about the topic at hand.
4. Keep your specs the same.
Register an account with Canva or another image creation tool you use. This will save your designs, so you don’t have to start from scratch each time. Once you have the aesthetic you like, use that design as a template for every image. This kind of consistency is what builds a brand aesthetic.
We also recommend writing down your specs in a separate document, just in case something happens with your account. Take note of the color codes, fonts, and sizes that you use.
5. Add your logo.
Every original image you create should have your business logo and/or name on it. Assuming that users are going to share your image across multiple channels, you want to use it as a way to spread brand awareness—not just the image itself. If your logo is on the image, you’re getting a wider reach and it shows where the image originated.
Tip: Use a logo with a clear background, so it blends seamlessly with the main image.
6. Create a thumbnail and featured image.
Where should you put the image on the blog? If you’ve created a title image, it should go at the top of your article above the fold. Whether someone has clicked through to the blog through the image or they came through another avenue, including a titled visual at the top promotes instant engagement and encourages them to keep reading.
You’ll also want to upload that same image as the thumbnail for your blog. This is especially important if you have a blog or resource library. Images with the blog title help readers quickly and visually navigate through the resource library to find content in which they’re most interested.
7. Share the image on social media.
You’ve already expended the resources (primarily time) to create the image, so use it everywhere and anywhere! You can repurpose that same image with a link to your blog to encourage more people to click through to your site. Use and reuse your visuals anywhere your readers and customers are hanging out, include a short caption about the blog, and link back to your blog. This creates a “map” of content online that keeps people engaged with your brand for longer and deeper.
How to create an image – Check!
It’s not that hard to create a featured blog image. In just a few short minutes, you can have a gorgeous, branded visual that will help increase attention, engagement, reach, and impressions.
Not sure how to blend your content and images? Or you’re not sure where to begin… at all? Don’t feel overwhelmed! We’ve got you.
Contact Palm Beach Content Co. for a free consultation about your content strategy and how you can take your business to the next level.