And it’s embarrassing to admit, but have often arranged my images in a PowerPoint slide because I don’t understand all the features of my photo editor. Then I simply take screenshots of what I’ve created. The horror!
But you know what? It gets the job done.
I used to hire out to get all my images done and that works, but it’s a slow process. But now when I get an idea for an image that I want to use right away, I can do it immediately. I am using images more and more with effective results and it’s one of the reasons I wrote last week’s post.
If you want to create your own images, let’s look at some tools that are available to you…
Tools for Your Computer
I personally use Adobe Photoshop Elements (it’s a much cheaper, but still reasonably powerful version of PowerPoint), but there are other very similar tools available online as well. You can see some in the slide show below.
One of the most popular tools for online business owners is GIMP…and it’s actually free. There is a bit of a learning curve, but it is probably the #1 free alternative to Photoshop. I personally don’t feel like it takes good quality screenshots, but for other graphics, it gets the job done and others seems to like it a lot.
Making Social Media Graphics
Nicole Dean and Melissa Ingold recently released a cool tool called Social Graphics Pro that I’ve been using a lot lately (it has eliminated the need for me to create graphics in PowerPoint and then take screenshots!). Here is a thumbnail of some of the images I created very easily with this software. You can also use it to create Facebook cover photos, timeline coupons, Facebook ads and a whole bunch more.
I’ll actually being creating a little tutorial for the software soon, but in the meantime, I do recommend checking it out. It makes it super easy to make cool images.
Got an iPad?
I’ve been playing around with FrameArtist+ that Lynette Chandler recommended. It’s a very fun and straightforward to program that allows you to use attractive templates or create your own. It’s easy to insert images, add text, colors, backgrounds and more.
Here’s a quick peek at the app:
Here’s an image I recently created:
The only problem with this app is that I have most of my images on my computer, but because I have automated backups done through SugarSync, I can use the SugarSync app to grab the photos and add them to my Camera Roll. It’s an extra step, but when I’m lounging on the couch or in the backyard, it’s awesome to be able to do this on the iPad.
What tool you use may take some experimentation and getting comfortable with what works for you. If you have your favorite and it wasn’t listed in this post, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Need More Help with Using Images in Your Content?
Check out Kelly’s Image Monthly - she and her publishing partner, Angel, have great advice for finding images, creating them and incorporating them into your into your content. They’ve even thrown in some images, backgrounds and inspirational quotes too. Check it out here.