As a blogging solopreneur, your time is valuable. You do it all to keep your business running as efficiently as possible, without sacrificing quality. You are the web designer, chief content creator, art director, head of marketing, social media strategist and much more.
Blogging as a business is a constant struggle to find and maintain the right balance between quantity and quality, between efficiency and authenticity.
Creating WordPress Images: The Essential Tools
Creating high quality, value-packed content that is also aesthetically attractive is a time-consuming effort. There are few shortcuts for creating easy, awesome images for your blog and social media campaigns.
But there is one area I have found that I can multiply my output with little impact on my time. That area is images and graphics processing. Images are important, at least to a point. An interesting image, whether photo or illustration that reflects the subject of your written content is more likely to be read or clicked. Once they’re in your content takes over.
A relevant, high-quality image increases the chances of your content being read and shared by:
- 35% on Twitter
- 87% on Facebook
- 94% on your blog
There are three challenges all of us face with images:
- Finding just the right one.
- Editing it to fit the shape and dimensions we need.
- Adding enhancements through the use of filters, overlays, and possibly text to make it compelling or just add a little extra pop!
- Reformatting the image to repurpose it across all of your social platforms.
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of shortcuts to finding the perfect image. Even if you have some great go-to sites for free or low-cost images, the process of finding that ‘perfect’ image is what it is. The secret to guard against lost time? Stick with finding relevant and interesting images — avoid perfect. Searching for perfect can be a serious time bandit. Remember you are trying to draw them into your content — they aren’t going to remember your image.
The other challenges — editing, enhancements, and reformatting can be managed very efficiently with just three tools — Canva, PicMonkey, and Pablo. At first blush, they might seem similar, even redundant tools, but they aren’t and here’s why I recommend them.
Creating WordPress Images with Canva
The free version of Canva does just about everything you need to do to prepare great photos, graphics and illustrations for your blog and all of your social platforms. And, if you create a template for your blog post images it’s just one less thing you have to think about.
With Canva’s pre-sized templates, you don’t need to worry about getting the correct dimensions for any of your images. Just drag and drop your image onto the template, adjust it to show as much or as little of the image as you want, and you will have the perfectly sized graphic for your blog or social media post. Add text, filters or other special effects and you’re done. Mic drop!
If you want more power, you can opt for the paid version — Canva for Work. I highly recommend this option to any solopreneur.
Canva for Work is like having a virtual design staff. Rather having to create an image individually for each social platform or media type, you can choose their ‘Magic Resize’ feature, and it will automatically resize and create new images for each format type, simultaneously.
You simply check a box for selecting the appropriate media-type dimensions and Canva takes it from there. The process retains your enhancements and typography across all of the images. You only make minor adjustments in image size and text placement as needed. What might normally take an hour to do in the free version of Canva, is reduced to a couple of minutes.
Magic Resizing works for social media posts, social media profile and email headers, documents, marketing materials (such as flyers, posters, business cards, etc.), blogging graphics, ebook covers, and ads.
It’s great for retaining consistent branding across all of your platforms and marketing materials.
There are many more features with Canva for Work, and you can check them out here.
I can’t recommend it highly enough. They don’t have an affiliate program, so my endorsement comes based on user experience. Canva for Work will set you back $12.95/month per user or $119.40 for an annual subscription. It’s well worth money.
Creating WordPress Images with PicMonkey – Powerful Photo Editing
Like Canva, PicMonkey can do everything the free version of Canva can do, only more. Its primary advantage over Canva at the moment is more extensive and powerful photo editing and enhancement. The special effects, filters, and photo touch up, textures overlays, banners and shapes far surpass Canva.
For overall image manipulation, PicMonkey wins hands down. Where it falls short is image resizing. Canva’s templates make resizing almost effortless, resizing in PicMonkey is much more tedious — more time consuming.
PicMonkey is free and doesn’t require an account. For $4.99/month or $33/year you can sign up for ‘PicMonkey Royale’, which adds more of everything in the free version.
Calling Pablo – Don't Forget Social Media
Buffer developed Pablo initially as a quick and dirty image tool for Twitter posts. It since expanded and can create pre-formatted image sizes for Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Its image enhancement choices are limited to three toggles to change contrast, blur, and switch images from color to black-and-white. Both Canva and PicMonkey can handle this task, but Pablo is designed for speed.
Once complete, your image can be shared immediately on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest, with an option to download the image to your computer.
Pablo by Buffer is a free service.
A Perfect Combination
At the moment, the ideal graphics solution for the harried solopreneur would be a combination of Canva for Work and PicMonkey (either the free or paid version).
Use PicMonkey for its powerful image editing and manipulation features. When you’re ready, import your PicMonkey image into Canva, add your typography and create all of your blog, social platform and marketing materials with just a click.
Pablo is optional, but if you have the propensity to share a lot of quotes this just may be your ticket.
There you have it — the Ultimate Toolkit for creating WordPress images quickly . With these tools, you’ll feel like you have a three-person design staff at your command and on-call 24/7.
Is this right for you? Find out for free. Both Canva and PicMonkey offer a free 30-day trial on their premium versions.
Related: Are you frustrated with your cropped-off Twitter images? Read this post to find out how to eliminate the problem.