I’m not a designer by any stretch of the imagination, but I like to dabble. I love playing with colour and picking out new fonts and admiring beautiful photos.
Over the years it’s got a lot easier and cheaper to make and manipulate images for blogs. Not only does this mean more time for writing (and all the other tasks involved in running a blog!), but it means you don’t have to buy expensive photography equipment or stock images.
I like to use stock when I don’t have time to take photos, and it’s easy to make it look different to what’s already out there with a bit of manipulation. I’ve also included things like mockup generators, simple online editors, infographic tools, fonts, free graphics sites, and image compression tools so you have a broad selection of tools at your fingertips.
There are thousands of tools and resources for blog images on the web, so why have I picked out these? They’re all free, high quality, easy to work with, and genuinely useful. If I missed your favourite, please drop a comment with your suggestions at the bottom of the post
Free stock photo resources
- https://www.flickr.com/creativecommons (attribution often required; check licensing)
Tip: If you come across images you like but don’t have a use for right now, bookmark them in a specific folder or pin them to a secret board. (Can you tell I’ve just spent fifteen minutes trying to refind an image I didn’t think I’d ever use?!)
(Photo from Pixabay)
Put your favourite image, quote or screenshot on a screen of your choice. It only takes a couple of clicks! Mockups are great for demoing websites and services, and are really handy when you’re not sure what image to create for a post. Here’s a list with plenty of background options for you to choose from.
(Created using mockdrop.io; original image from Pixabay as above)
Web alternatives to Instagram
Change the whole look of your image with Instagram-esque filters. You aren’t as restricted on filetype or dimensions, and you can optimise images before uploading.
- https://www.befunky.com/create (requires Flash)
- https://pixlr.com/o-matic (requires Flash)
- http://tiltshiftmaker.com (get that miniature look)
(Photo from Pixabay, edited using Fotor)
Tip: Check out my guest post on How to cheat at tilt-shift photography.
Free chart making and infographic tools
Attractive, quick and free online resources for displaying data graphically. These are great for resumes, survey results, pinnable images, image summaries of text and much more.
(Sample from Piktochart)
Free online Photoshop alternatives
Nothing can replace Photoshop in my opinion, but if you need to do some quick/basic image editing for free, these are pretty good!
- https://www.canva.com (make all kinds of things, from presentations to posters)
Tip: Can’t afford a Photoshop subscription? Buy an old copy of Elements or one of the Photoshop CS family on disc – they still have a huge number of features and most online tutorials can still be used.
I can never get enough fonts, and Font Squirrel is by far my favourite resource for freebies. Having said that, the others on this list are great too! As with anything else, make sure they meet your licensing needs before using them.
Tip: Follow my Must-have fonts board on Pinterest to keep updated on all the ones I use and love.
Add text to your images online
The fastest way to create beautiful Pinterest-worthy quote images for your blog posts and social media.
(Created using ReciteThis)
Tip: Can’t think of anything to say? Pull a quote straight from your blog post for an instantly pinnable image.
Free online image compression tools
Tip: When downloading photos, set them to open in a graphics program automatically so you can resize and optimise with fewer clicks.
What are your favourite free resources and tools for blog images? Let me know in the comments!