Image Posting Productivity
In one of my articles I talked about how I am getting traffic to my blog sites by creating links from an article on Medium, to the same article on my blog site.
The process is to create the article on my blog FIRST and then replicate the article on Medium. At the bottom of the Medium article I link back to my original blog post. This is a strong SEO technique that is now bringing a significant amount of traffic to my blogs.
One of my Medium readers Janis Cox said “help.” She wasn’t posting to her blog first because resizing and placing the images was taking such a long time. She much preferred to post to Medium first … which means she is losing out on potential traffic to her website.
The thing is … with the right software you can create a “great” looking image in minutes, place it on your blog and publish. If you want to get fancy and create complex and branded images there is fast track solution to that too!
There are dozens of image creating programs. Some of them like Photoshop, Gimp and Photoshop Elements can produce amazing text and photo images. The challenge is, they require a HUGE learning curve and unless you are willing to methodically learn how to use them, doing the simplest things can end up taking you hours–hours of frustration! The learning curve for these programs is long and complex.
The good news is that there are dozens of online image programs that are a lot easier to use and can help you add really great looking designs to your blog posts and to sites such as Medium.
I use two different online programs that make creating and sizing images fast and easy.
The program I use the most is Snagit. I can either grab or download an image from free image sites such as unsplash.com or pixabay.com or paid image sites such as AdobeStock and have the image import right into my Snagit workspace.
From there, it takes about 5 seconds to resize. I normally resize all my images to between 1200 and 1500 pixels wide. This size enables me to use BIG images on Medium and slightly smaller images on my blogs.
After resizing, my next step is to add some text — usually the title of the post or the sub-heading.
To create the header for the post you are reading right now, I started with an image from Pixabay:
Then I added in two lines of text:
Finally I named the image: The original name from pixabay was cms-wordpress-265126/ which is a horrible image name from an SEO point of view. I renamed the image posting-images, which uses two of my SEO keywords.
My final step was to upload it to my blog. WordPress automatically resized it to fit with a size of 1024 x 690. As you can see, I didn’t go for “fancy,” but the image does the job.
I timed the process — the whole thing took me 3.23 minutes, start to finish.
When uploading images, WordPress gives me size choices from large (1500 px) to medium (800 px) to small or a thumbnail. For my blog I usually choose around 800 pixels. If I am lazy, WordPress automatically resizes for me. Resizing slows down your website slightly so I prefer to choose a specific size.
With Snagit, creating and adding images to my blog taking from 15 seconds to five minutes, depending on how complex an image I am creating and how picky I get.
FINDING the image I want to use often takes WAY longer than prepping and plunking the image into place.
You can test-drive Snagit, for FREE for 30 days.
Canva is my NEXT choice.
I use Canva when I want to create more complex images … using one or more photos, fancy type faces and using “branding” elements. There is a free version of Canva, but the real power comes with the paid program.
For example, I can create a template and then use that template over and over again to create themed posts. This one feature saves me hours of time once my template image has been created.
Here’s a template I created for my How To Get Book Reviews series. It took me about 90 minutes to get my image exactly the way I wanted it to. Then I just used the template, changing the image and the text. The next seven images in the series took me less than three minutes each.
When I am working in Canva, it can take me an hour or more to create one image. I am really really picky, but at the same time I enjoy the process and consider this to be my creative “play” time.
The FAST and PRODUCTIVE part comes with creating and using templates, having brand elements you can pop into place and utilizing the magic resizing feature.
Canva’s magic resizing feature is something I use often. Once I have my main image created … I can hit a button and produce half a dozen different format sizes (Facebook size, Twitter size, Pinterest size and more). If I were to do this in SnagIt, I would have to create each image size and layout from scratch.
A word of advice.
This actually applies to ANY new program or app you use.
Set aside some time to learn how to USE the program and to understand what it is capable of doing. For Snagit, I’d suggest scheduling an hour a day for 5 to 7 days. Once you know what the program can do and have practiced using its various features, it becomes an absolute joy to work with.
Canva (free or paid) is a bit more of a learning curve. If I were to do it again I would schedule an hour a day for two weeks or 30 minutes a day for a month. By taking the time to learn when you fist start using the program, your speed and proficiency will more than quadruple.
My advice would be to start with Snagit. Then if you want to expand your image creating capabilities, choose Canva Pro or a program similar to Canva such as:
- Adobe Spark
Want to read more?
Freelance Writing Success: You Never Know When You Will Meet Your Next Client.