Images grab attention, and they do it at lightning speed.
A plain wall of text just isn’t appealing, even if the content itself is phenomenal.
You need some kind of image for each of your blog posts.
The most common way to do this is to use stock images. These can get a bit pricey, but there are also sites like Pixabay that offer pictures that are free to use.
But let’s be honest: when you see a stock image, you can tell right away exactly what it is. There’s a certain special kind of blandness to them.
And when you’re on a budget, you’re probably stuck with the free ones, so you don’t have a whole lot to choose from.
A custom image would be much more interesting, wouldn’t it? But as you can imagine, good graphic designers aren’t cheap.
These two awesome free tools can help you put together customized images for your blog posts, helping you stand out in a sea of cookie-cutter stock photos.
Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with photo manipulation, or if you have about as much artistic talent as a typical squirrel. These are super simple to use.
Canva is a “design tool for non-designers”. They give you a drag-and-drop editor with templates for nearly every image size. Plus, you even get a ton of free photos and graphics to use in your images.
Canva is free to use, but they also have a paid version called Canva for Work, which lets you save design templates, instantly resize your images, and more.
Check out this guide to get started using Canva.
Gimp is one of my favorite image editing tools. It’s like a free, open source version of Photoshop.
They also have a tutorial section on their site to help you get started using it. My favorite use of Gimp is scaling down images to reduce their file size and speed up the web page your image is on. Check out this post to learn how to do that.
By combining these free image manipulation tools with free stock images, you can add some personal flair to the visual component of your blog posts. This can mean more clicks, more reads, and more shares.
You can find out more about creating blog images over at SEMRush.