You know that images add a lot of value to your blog posts. Not only can they help illustrate the points you’re making, but they can also help brand your company/services like whoa!
But while images are great and all, stock photography can feel generic and it can also get pretty expensive when you’re buying a new image every week. Here’s my suggestion to create branded, personalized and FREE images for your blog!
1. Shutterstock Gives It Away For Free
Did you know that every week, Shutterstock gives away an image for free? Visit www.Shutterstock.com and scroll down a bit. You should see “Free Image of the Week” on the right. Click on it and download instantly.
Now, you may need a Shutterstock account to access the free image. I do purchase images from them occasionally when I want something really specific, but each week I’m sure to drop by and download my free image to keep a stock pile in my back pocket.
You may be able to get free images of the week from www.iStockphoto.com as well, but I’ve had trouble with their downloads.
NOTE: Make sure that the image you’re using is indeed royalty-free! Stealing images off the internet is all too easy, and if you get caught, there can be some not-so-fun aftermath.
2. Pixlr.com Is The Place To Edit
Next, I visit www.pixlr.com to edit my images. I don’t have Photoshop so I use this free website to make my images look branded and individual. Click on “open image from computer” and select the image you just downloaded.
3. Keep Your Branding Consistent
I like to use the same colors and fonts every week so my audience recognizes my work. When I’m trying to decide what to write on the image, I choose something that I think could stand alone. What would get passed around Pinterest? What’s inspiring on it’s own, but still consistent with my blog post?
Tip: create a document in your image file that has the names and colors of the fonts you like to use for your brand. This will save a lot of time next week when you’re ready to create another image.
4. Include Your Web Address
At the bottom of the image, make sure that it’s stamped with your web address. Who knows where this gem is going to end up? It’s important to make sure that it’s always traceable back to you – so include your signature, so to speak, at the bottom, in the form of your web address.
That’s it! Now you’re ready to post, pin, tweet and share.
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