You’ve surely heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This cliche carries a lot of truth. We are all naturally drawn to visuals. They simply convey meaning quicker than words and are more memorable. That’s why your blog posts will have a bigger impact when accompanied by stunning pictures or graphics. Visuals grab your reader’s attention faster and invite them to stick around longer.
The best thing is you don’t even need to be a professional photographer or graphic designer to create striking images. There are free, easy-to-use online tools that every blogger can leverage. Here’s our favorite tools to source, create, and edit images for your blog.
Where to source great images for your blog
The first choice is using your own images. This adds a nice personal touch to your blog. But, often, you might not have something that fits the topic.
That’s when some bloggers turn to Google search to find pictures. Adding anything you discover on Google to your blog is not a smart idea. You may be violating somebody else’s copyright and could get into legal trouble.
Luckily, there are plenty of sites where you can find free, high-quality images that are cleared to use for your blog posts.
Just enter a keyword into Pexel’s powerful search, and you’ll be presented with beautiful visuals. All photos and videos on Pexels are free for you to download, use, and even modify. You don’t have to give credit to the photographer, but it’s appreciated if you do.
Similar to Pexels, Unsplash has its own license, allowing you to use every photo for free for commercial and private purposes. You just can’t compile the photos to start a competing service.
Burst is a free stock photo platform, powered by e-commerce company Shopify. If you’re looking to monetize your blog, then their business idea section could provide some inspiration.
Icons are a great way to break up text and visualize concepts in your blog posts. On Flaticon, you’ll find over 3 million icons in different formats, free to use. They are conveniently organized into packs so you can pick your favorites from a group of icons in the same style.
A viable alternative to pictures is illustrations. DrawKit provides beautiful hand-drawn illustrations, completely for free. They add new ones every week.
How to create and edit images for your blog
Sometimes, you want to add a personal twist to your visuals. While graphic design used to be reserved for people with Photoshop skills, anyone can now leverage a wide range of online tools to create beautiful images and infographics. Most are free to use and easy to get started with.
Here are our favorites for creating and editing your visuals.
With Canva, you can create about anything – blog headers, Facebook posts, YouTube thumbnails, logos, business cards, posters, and much more. This go-to design tool is packed with templates that make it easy to get started, even if you lack inspiration.
Once you’ve selected a template (or started from a blank page), you can add stock images, icons, and graphics to your design with easy drag-and-drop functionality. Almost everything is free to use except for some premium content. Once you’re done, you can export files directly to your computer or social media.
On top of that, their design school offers free tutorials that teach graphic design basics, designing with Canva, growing your community with social media marketing, and branding your business.
If you’re pushing the boundaries of Canva, then you should try PicMonkey. It’s various photo editing features extend beyond Canva’s capabilities. The filters, photo effects, and touch up tools allow you to create wow-worthy images. With thousands of templates and 6000+ graphics and icons, there are no limits to your creativity.
Feel free to try out all features, but if you want to download your final design, you’ll have to join a paid plan. The basic option currently starts at $7.99 per month.
Snappa is another free tool to create engaging visuals. With over 3 million high-resolution stock photos, 200+ fonts, and 100,000+ vectors and shapes, you’re spoiled for choice when creating your design.
You can share your creations directly on social media from within Snappa and even pre-schedule posts when you connect a Buffer account.
This simple tool has one job only: remove the background from your image. Maybe you want to transport yourself to a sandy beach or show your product in a different setting. Removebg makes it possible. You can try it out as often as you want and only need to pay if you download the image.
With Piktochart, you can easily create social media graphics or presentations. But the tool is best known for making infographics accessible to non-designers. If you have data to present, then visualizing it with charts and graphs will tell a more compelling story. You can use Piktochart for free if you don’t mind having their watermark on your graphics.
Easelly is another great infographic maker. Just choose a ready-made template and start customizing it with your information. You can download your graphic for free, without any watermark or Easelly branding.
Once you’ve created your beautiful visuals, it’s time to add them to your blog posts. Before uploading them, we recommend that you reduce the size of the images with a tool like Squoosh. It compresses pictures without compromising on quality, avoiding that your page load speed is negatively impacted.
Visuals are a great way to get your message across
We’d recommend including at least one image or graphic in every blog post. With the tools we’ve highlighted, you won’t have to spend hours searching and editing to produce a striking visual. Once you’ve got the hang of the tools, you’ll have images ready in no time.
Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to include alt tags on your images for accessibility and SEO best practices.