Awesome Blog Images: How to Create Them and What Programs to Use

Why Blog Images Are Important

Every experienced blogger knows:

Images are extremely important for blogs.

To put it into numbers: Articles with images receive 94% more views!

Not only as a cover but also within the blog post itself. There are multiple reasons why images are important.

Do you know why?

Well, to put it simply:

Blog images influence your traffic, engagement, social shares, and Google/Bing ranking. A blog post without an image(s) can impact the success of your posts massively.

Also, with the use of SEO image optimization, you can tap into previously untouched traffic sources.

The best thing is…

…you don’t even have to be a designer!

As we discussed in our previous post on blog design, visuals can literally make or break your blog!

Do not underestimate the importance of images! In this guide we will touch upon:

  • The importance of images
  • Design tools
  • Where to find images
  • Undiscovered tips & tricks

You have to label images just as important as the content within your blog post. It will provide a better reading experience, which will ultimately lead to a more satisfying experience for your audience – the perfect opportunity to turn someone into a dedicated follower of your blog.

Ready to learn more? Let’s get this thing started!

Tools to Help Your Design Like a Pro

You’re probably not a professional designer but you still have to create images yourself. With free or paid design tools, you can do exactly that.

Adobe products such as Photoshop and Illustrator are tools used by professional designers and we only recommend them to very advanced users. Don’t use these tools if you don’t have any previous design experience.
Apart from the level of difficulty, both Photoshop and Illustrator are pretty pricey.

Don’t be scared! There are multiple substitutes available to design images like a pro – we created a list with free and paid tools!

Canva

Canva is probably one of the most well-known tools for non-designers, with a free and paid version.

Canva

The tool is stupidly simple to use. In addition, you can choose between a great variety of templates, sorted by categories:

For just one dollar you can select any stock photo to edit!

Be aware of what dimensions you want to use for your blog images because you can change the dimensions, but you'll have to mess around with your design to make it fit properly.

PicMonkey

PicMonkey has 4 different plans to choose from, 1 free and 3 paid:

picmonkey

Don’t be fooled by their “Plans & Pricing” page. If you read carefully, you notice that they offer a free plan.

PicMonkey’s interface is easy to use, with just one click you can edit text, images, special effects, and colors.

Even when you’re completely new to design, you’ll be able to create something nice or flashy without spending a whole lot of time on it.

Sumo Paint

Sumo Paint is quite unique. You’re not required to download and install any software tools but instead, you simply design in your browser like a plugin.

Sumo Paint

Sumo Paint is rather easy to use and perfect for beginners. If you have never used any design tool before, this might be best for you to start with. You can create amazing effects with the symmetry brush, gradient map tool, kaleidoscope tool, and in 3D if you want.

The tool is similar to Photoshop CS, it has a lot of different layers that can be edited and individually changed. Therefore, Sumo Paint is ahead of the other tools on this list.

Let’s take a look at the following slightly more advanced tools…

Gimp

Gimp is an open source design tool. Open source means that people can contribute to the development and code of the tool in order to improve it. Some refer to Gimp as a decent alternative to Photoshop – the functions and interface are quite similar.

Gimp

Gimp is absolutely free and has no pricing plans – they do accept donations. The interface has changed drastically over years and has become very user-friendly accompanied by some powerful features such as layers, channels, brushes, undo function tools.

Gimp is more complex in comparison to the earlier discussed tools. We don’t recommend going with Gimp as your go-to design tool if you are new to the design scene.

Pixlr

Pixlr is an online image editing tool for desktop and mobile. Mobile editing is a big plus. It is one of the few free tools that offer a mobile editing app for some quick “on the go editing”.

Similar to Sumo Paint, Pixlr is browser-based with a very similar interface to Photoshop:

As you can see, the interface looks easy to use, and it is! However, some of the more advanced features such as layers, overlays, and the clone clamp require some basic understanding of editing.

Don’t worry though, Pixlr provides free guides and tutorials on their website for users who need some extra training or explanation how certain tools and features work!

But wait, there’s is more….

Bonus: Font and Color Tools for Your Images

When you want to design a new image for your blog, you want to select appropriate colors and fonts too.

Check out our list of recommendations for color and font tools below:

Time to stop doubting yourself now!

These amazing design tools will help you to get started and with all the free options, it’ll only cost you time to get the hang of it!

Use the tools to create awesome images and design for your new blog posts and over time you might consider taking it to the next level with, for example, Photoshop CS.

Find Awesome Images for Your Blog

When you decided on a design tool, you want to get some images that you can actually use for your blog.

There is just one thing…

You can’t just take any old image you see on the internet. Most images are protected by copyright.

There is no need to risk a lawsuit with many online sources, where you can find stock images without any copyright trademarks.  

Here’s our list of free images for websites:

Librestock (FREE)

Librestock is an amazing platform to find CC-0 licensed images. It offers a large collection of images you can sort and crawl through with a search function.

LibreStock

Pixabay (FREE)

Pixabay is one of the most well known websites to find free blog images – CC-0 licensed.

This program has a massive database of different categories and pictures. You can easily sort and search among the categories by using the search bar and tags.

Pixabay

Unsplash (FREE)

With over 200.000 free stock images, Unsplash is another famous destination for high-quality images, all CC-0 licensed.

The search feature can be used to filter themes and certain image categories. In addition, Unsplash has a “Trending” category and “New” category.

The new category is especially interesting as you can use that to use pictures that haven’t been uploaded or used by other bloggers before.

unsplash

Shutterstock (Notable Mention)

Shutterstock is our notable mention and definitely worthy to being listed here because it has an enormous database of super high-quality blog header images, vectors, and illustrations that are nothing short of amazing.

Shutterstock

The one down fall is that Shutterstock is not a free tool though. It has 3 different price categories, from on-demand, subscriptions, and team/company subscriptions. They also offer royalty-free images.

You get what you pay for in this case! The image quality is outstanding and the biggest upside of this platform is that you probably pay for a picture that no other blogger has ever used before.

It’s unique!

Tips to Help You Get Creative with Your Images

If you’re totally new to image design and editing, keep in mind our tips & tricks before getting started:

1. Customize, customize

Always customize images you’ve downloaded from the above-mentioned sources to add a personal touch and make it somewhat unique.

2. Optimize images

Use Optimizilla to optimize and compress your images before uploading it to your blog. This is important for the page loading speed. Page speed is an important Google ranking factor!

3. Size

Important when it comes to page speed is file size of your image. When it’s too big, it’ll negatively influence the loading time.

4. Placement

Place your image on the left or right side, incorporated with the text in order to catch your viewer’s attention!

Explanatory images can be used throughout the text.

5. Alt Text

Google’s algorithm can’t read/see images, that’s why you have to include alt text. Alt text basically describes the image.

Extra tip:
Include your keyword in the alt text!

Note: Only add your keyword in the first image and don’t use the same keyword in multiple images throughout one blog post. Google will punish you for keyword ‘stuffing’.

6. Featured Image & 2:1

Set a featured image, so when your post is shared people will see the image in the post. Also, images with a 2:1 ratio will not be cut on social media.

Remember the Only Limit is Your Imagination

It’s important to acknowledge that blog images are not ‘fun’ attributes to your posts but real assets that offer value to your users and drive more traffic to your blog!

Use the design tools, right fonts, and amazing & catchy blog images in order to increase overall user satisfaction, page speed, time spent on blog and ultimately your ranking.

Take your time to improve your content and you’ll see results! Don’t expect immediate results but over time you will definitely generate more traffic!

What is your favorite design tool, and what source(s) do you love for awesome images?

Let us know below in the comment section!

What's Next?

To learn more about blog images and design, head to our definitive guide on “Blog Design: Making a Good First Impression with a Style Guide”

Or

If you have a specific question about blog images, leave a comment or question below. We will be sure help you out in any way possible.

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1Comment
  • Owen Stickels
    Posted at 09:34h, 15 October Reply

    Greetings from the High Country in North East Victoria, Australia

    My question: I have a great photograph which I bought originally from iStock (now Getty Images) and I’d like to use it on my home page.

    I also take a lot of photographs of (usually) flat country with my mobile phone and I’d like to use them (one at a time) on each blog. I’m estimating sending out no more than 2 blogs a week.

    I can’t find any reference to up=loading my own photographs for the blogs.

    Also, it seems that I have to pay for a blog design. I HAVE seen the reference to ‘Download your Premium Design’, but, after I hit the button, I have no idea where it wound up and how I can possibly access it for my site.

    Any help will be gratefully received.

    I am, for the record, glad to be in the challenge.

    Kind regards

    Owen
    _____________
    Owen Stickels

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