I know what you’re thinking:
I’m not a designer! Why do I need images???
Let’s face it. You can’t run a blog without images, and you definitely can’t have a social media presence without images either. People are “image happy” nowadays, being drawn to quotes and other viral photos on their Facebook and Twitter feeds. And, you can’t even think about running Pinterest or Instagram campaigns without them, because they focus solely on photos and other graphics!
So where do you get graphics, or better yet, create your own graphics? Don’t worry, I’m not going to suggest you buy, learn, and use Photoshop. For those of us who aren’t designers and who may need a little help with designing images, there are two free graphic design tools that a lot of bloggers use, Canva (my favorite) and PicMonkey (a close second):
- Canva has its own “design school” to help you learn basic graphic design, for us non-designers out there.
- You can choose from premade template sizes and designs for the most popular platforms, like Facebook cover images, Facebook posts, Pinterest, Twitter cover images, Google Plus cover images, blog graphics, etc. I use some of their premade designs for “inspiration” when creating images.
- Affordable: There is no monthly or annual fee to use Canva, and their royalty-free images only cost $1 to use. You can also buy 11 “credits” for $10 to save a little money.
- It is good for creating text-heavy images or even infographics, with no photos needed (i.e., plain or textured backgrounds).
- Photo editing is limited, but if you’re new to photo editing, perhaps that’s for the best.
- You can save your images to your account for free!
- PicMonkey is great for adding life to your photos, with filters, frames, and stickers galore. I prefer it over Canva when I want to use a photo as my background, because it’s more photo friendly.
- While there is a free version, it can be fairly limited in what it offers. If you have the means to do so, Pickmonkey has a Royale subscription available for $4.99 per month or $33 per year (there is a 30-day free trial to try it out). You get a lot more fonts, stickers, and filters with this subscription. I use the free version and go back and forth between it and Canva to avoid paying fees.
- If you have a lot of fonts on your computer, you can upload them to Picmonkey for free. Canva does not allow for this, but their selection of free fonts is pretty decent.
And, if you’re wondering where to find decent free stock photos to use in Canva and PicMonkey, I’ve put together a list of free stock photo websites. I’m also a big fan of freebies in general, so don’t miss these posts with free apps, tools, and other fun stuff.
What about you? Have you tried either of these free graphic design tools? If so, which is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!