What is that one thing that catches your attention when reading a blog post?
Blog post images!
Graphic Designers are one of the highest paid and in demand people today. And this is because of the impact that well designed images can have on people.
If you still have doubts about how impactful images can be, just take a look at the way image-focused social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest have grown.
Images have the ability to turn a boring and draggingly long post into an interesting read. In one of his posts Jeff Bullas writes that “articles with images get 94% more total views“.
Now that’s a lot of additional benefit for a little extra work.
So if you want more eyeballs for your content, then use some visual content along with your textual content.
A study reveals that 40% of people respond better to visual information than text. Hence content that has a mixture of both text and visual content, helps establish better connect with the audience.
That’s quite a lot of statistics to consume.
But the big question then is, how do you design visually appealing blog post images for your blogs without having to shell out a fortune to a graphic designer?
In this post, I will show you a simple method that I use to design blog post images.
How to Design Beautiful Blog Post Images
I am not a designer and I am sure a lot of you too might also not be.
And hence, it is important that we have a solution that doesn’t require a lot of training and is simple to use. In fact, the ideal solution would be something that can give me a readymade template to work with but at the same time, give me enough customization options to make the images look unique and suitable to my style and needs.
Most of these solutions used to have a pretty handy “FREE” option that you could use.
But off-late most of them have gone the paid way. And it is understandable. Who wouldn’t want to monetize the popularity of images?
Today FREE isn’t really an option. You have to pay to get things done. And in such a scenario, the one thing that you look for is, what’s the ROI on the investment.
It is here that Stencil (the app that I use to design blog post images) scores. Stencil also has a FREE option though, but with limited functionalities. For people who are wanting to test the waters, this is a good option.
Why Stencil, over the other tools?
I have been using Stencil for over 2 years now and I use it for pretty much every one of my image needs – Blog post images, Social media images, Logos, eBook covers, Flyers etc.
So, why Stencil?
Because Stencil has so much to offer but with the least effort and complexity. Take a look at just some of the things that Stencil has to offer –
- 2,200,000+ Free Photos to use whichever way you want – So no shortage of background images for your graphics. You can even upload your own images
- 875+ Templates – Simple click, edit and customize it as per your needs
- 2,000,000+ Icons & Graphics – In case you wish to use icons or, other graphics in your images
- 37+ Preset Sizes – Pretty much all images sizes are taken care off. So you can design images that are specific to Facebook or, Twitter or, Instagram (both stories and posts) or, anything else. In fact you can also add your own custom sizes, if you so wish.
- 2,700+ Google Fonts to choose from.
- The option of uploading your own images and fonts is another handy feature.
- Schedule or, post to social media sites directly from within Stencil
- Browser extensions for Firefox, Chrome and Safari
- WordPress Plugin to design images from right within WordPress
Now that last one (bolded) is the one that I absolutely love.
One of the biggest challenges that I faced in most other designing tools was that, I had to design the images, then download it and then upload it to WordPress (and optimize it of, course).
This is taken care off by Stencil. With the WordPress Plugin, I can now design my images from right within WordPress.
So now, let me show you how I do it in a few simple steps.
Step by Step – How to Design Beautiful Blog Post Images easily
You can start by adding an image block to your post. Then, just click on “Media Library”.
You should be able to find an option named “Stencil”, if you have the plugin installed.
Once you click on that, you will be take to the Stencil dashboard, which is your playground.
From here on, it is about clicking and editing.
The first step involves selecting one from the many templates, that you find suitable for the graphic you are planning to design. You can see that I picked one of the templates from the left.
Though the image dimensions are for Twitter, I can customize it according to my needs
Now the next step is to select my image dimensions. I have a custom dimension for all my featured images and I select that one.
Once the image dimension is selected, it is all about adding a background image and doing some basic edits to the image like darkening it, blurring or, adding an overlay etc. This is all as per your needs.
I try to keep it basic and only use the “darken” or, “lighten” options.
Choosing an image is also simple. You can use the search box to search for your specific topic and you should be able to see all of the images that are available.
Finally it is time to edit the text. You can change the colors, the size or, even the font entirely depending upon your requirements.
Since the very objective of selecting a template was to get ready-made fonts and designs, I prefer keeping the font the same and only fiddle with the font-size if required.
And, you have the image ready to be added to your media library. Just click on the button “add to media library and you have the image to be used in your post.
Wasn’t that simple?
Stencil has simplified this tedious and time consuming activity.
And the best part is that nobody can now say that you have an ugly and shabbily designed image on your blog.
Stencil is an extremely user friendly tool to create and design images for a variety of purposes. Their WordPress plugin is one of the best things that a WordPress blogger can find.
The software is owned, managed and developed by a bunch of very passionate developers who ensure that they are working on developing newer functionalities that can further simplify the way you do a lot of image related activities.
I would recommend that you give Stencil a try and in case you like it, go for one of their paid plans. I can assure you that you will recoup your monthly payment in just the first post for the month.
You can checkout Stencil here (affiliate link).
PS: Though I have added an affiliate link here, you can visit their site directly as well. Just because I used my affiliate link doesn’t undermine the benefits that this software provides.