The Ultimate Guide On How To Create Blog Post Images

How To Create Blog Post Images

So I get a lot of requests to write an article on how to create blog post images.

As a graphic designer, designing blog post images doesn’t seem like a big deal to me.

But…

If you’re a blogger without any designing background, it becomes difficult to design stunning blog post images.

The struggle is real.

Worst case…

You end up creating a blog post image that just keeps people away from clicking on your content.

But don’t worry:

I have created this ultimate guide to help you create blog post images that will help you catch the reader’s attention and get more traffic.

But first, let’s find the answer to this question:

Why Are Blog Post Images Important?

There are multiple reasons why blog post images are important. Reasons like:

  • It helps improve search engine visibility.
  • It is essential to have a visual element in your content.
  • Images help explain part of your content in a simpler way.

But we are talking about featured images.

  • A blog post’s featured image won’t help you get 1000 views to your website.
  • Yes, it’s kind of visually appealing but the reader is here to read the content and not look at images.
  • A featured image is literally nothing but the title of your blog post with some image or graphic.

So what are we doing here? If blog post images do not contribute to the above three facts, then why are they so important?

I’ll give you just ONE reason:

They help you drive traffic from social platforms.

The ONLY reason I design cover images for my blog posts is that they help me drive traffic from social media.

Different studies have also proved that posts that use images on social media tend to perform better.

This study by Buffer reveals that tweets with images get 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets.

Another study by SocialBakers revealed that 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook constituted an image.

And I can vouch for this myself as whenever I shared my blog posts with an image, they performed better.

Here’s an example:

Facebook-Post-Reach-Based-On-Image

Other than these stats, having a blog post image will help you drive traffic from visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram.

So it’s no secret that blog post images are important and you should use them.

There are many different types of blog post images and you may not even know about this.

Let’s talk about this now…

Different Types of Blog Post Images

You might not know this but…

There are many different formats of blog post images. And I tend to call them formats because I’ve seen people using different formats and thinking that it’s good for their blog.

The truth is…

You are making your blog look like a fancy circus.

You have to find one format and stick to it. Consistency is very important.

So…

What are the different types of blog post images?

Here they are:

Format #1: Simple Stock Image With No Text

Effort: Low

Effectiveness: Low

Example:

Stock Image With No Text Example

The most basic way to create an image for your blog posts is to not create them. There are a ton of stock image websites and you can easily find an image that is relevant to your blog post.

But here’s the deal:

They are not effective. And most importantly…

They are overused.

It’s so frustrating for a reader to see the same stock image everywhere. Even if you use unique stock images, it just isn’t effective.

Here’s my personal take on this:

As a graphic designer, I feel that using stock images for your blog post means that you’re not serious about your content. It will literally take you less than 5 minutes to design a decent image for your blog post.

And if you’re not doing that, it means you don’t seem to give much importance to your post image and to your content in general.

So if you’re using stock images for your blog post images, then you should pick some other format mentioned in this guide.

Format #2: Stock Images With Text

Effort: Low

Effectiveness: Medium

Example:

Deadly-SEO-Mistakes

A much acceptable format for a blog post image is using a stock image and adding text to it. The text can be an overlay or anything.

These types of blog post images look much better than a plain stock image and are very simple to design.

You can literally design such blog post images using paint.

If you don’t want to put much effort and time in designing blog post images, you can go for this format for your content.

Of course, it’s not the best but it’s not the worst either.

Format #3: Long Vertical Image

Effort: Medium

Effectiveness: High

Example:

Vertical Blog Post Image Example

You may have seen these type of images used by food, beauty, and lifestyle bloggers. And this format alone can help you get thousands of visitors to your blog.

That’s because this format is widely popular on Pinterest. In Pinterest, long vertical images perform better than horizontal images.

This means that when you share or pin your blog post image on Pinterest, you have a much better chance of getting traffic.

Now, I’m not going to dwell into driving traffic from Pinterest.

So here’s the punchline:

If you drive (or intend to) most of your traffic from Pinterest, then you should totally choose this format.

But keep in mind that this format might not look that good on Twitter and Facebook which brings us to the next format…

Format #4: Combination Of Vertical And Horizontal Image

Effort: Medium

Effectiveness: High

Example:

Alex Tooby Case study InstagramInstagram-Success-Story---Alex-Tooby

If you want to drive traffic from Pinterest but don’t want to use a vertical image for sharing your post on Facebook and Twitter, you can then combine both.

You can design two images for your blog post. The featured image can be a normal horizontal image while you can add the vertically long image after the first headline.

This format is used a lot and is really effective. The only drawback here is that you will have two featured images in your blog post.

But you always have the option to disable the featured image from displaying on your post. This allows you to display only one long vertical image in your post while still keeping the horizontal image as your featured image.

Format #5: Illustration With Text

Effort: High

Effectiveness: High

Example:

Beginners Off-Page-SEO-Guide Infographic

The most commonly used and probably the best format of a blog post image is an illustration or graphic with text on it.

To design such images, you’ll either have to design an illustration or you can use predesigned icons and graphics available for free.

I have often used this format on this blog. The example shown above is from one of my blog posts.

To design the above image, I used a predesigned icon and further added text and background colors to make it look appealing.

Another example of this format is the blog post image of this guide. I designed this image completely from scratch which means designing the illustration myself.

But…

You don’t have to go that further unless you’re a graphic designer. If you have basic designing skills, you can design stunning images without creating your own icons or graphics.

Format #6: Illustrations With No text

Effort: High

Effectiveness: High

Example:

Illustrations With No Text Example

These types of blog post images have started to become popular. But it’s not your average kind of blog post image.

These illustrations are really good. Like really really good!

To design such images, you need good designing skills. But if you’re not a designer, you may have a hard time designing such images.

Format #7: Animated Blog Post Images

Effort: High

Effectiveness: High

Example:

Animated Blog Post Example
(Source)

Yes, you read that right! Animated blog post images are a thing and more and more blogs have started using this.

These instantly attract the reader to click on the blog post to read it.

But…

They can’t be used when you’re sharing your post on social media. That’s because they would appear as a still image.

So, if you’re ready to put some effort into creating an animated blog post image, then bravo!

Which type of blog post format should you pick?

I’m going to be completely honest with you:

I cannot answer this question.

Here’s why:

Your blog post images totally depend on the type of your blog and your designing skills. It also depends on personal preference.

But I can tell you this:

The most preferred format is an illustration with text. These are easy to design and if you’re looking to pick on a format for all your future blog posts, this is the perfect one.

Anatomy of a Perfect Blog Post Image

What makes a perfect blog post image? What’s the difference between a good blog post image and a bad one?

Here’s the anatomy of a perfect blog post image:

#1 – Headline

This one is so obvious. A good blog post image should have the title of the blog post in it.

Having the headline is very important as it helps you drive more traffic from social media. This is one of the reasons why plain stock images with no text aren’t effective blog post images.

You can also get creative with the headline and use a different headline in your image. This really works when your post title is very big and you want a small text on your image.

Your headline should be clearly visible to the reader. To ensure this, make your headline big and use a font that is easy to read.

The font is the most important aspect that makes the headline look good. I will cover more about font selection later in the guide.

For now, let’s move on to the next aspect that makes a perfect blog post image.

#2 – Relevant Post Image/Graphic

Depending on the type of blog post image you are creating, you should use an image or a graphic that is relevant to your content.

So if you’re creating an image for an article about social media marketing, you should use a graphic of social media platforms or find illustrations related to social media marketing.

In case of stock images, you can use a stock image showing any social platform or someone interacting with a social platform.

A blog post image loses its essence if you use an image/graphic that is not relevant to your content.

It also makes the reader not click on the article to read it.

#3 – Website Logo or URL

I’m telling you this right now:

DON’T include both your logo and website URL in a blog post image. It’s an overkill.

Either use your website URL or the logo.

I personally prefer logo as most people don’t tend to read the website URL in a blog post image but they often check out the logo.

If your logo is memorable to your audience, they would click on the article to read it. A logo helps you build an image of your brand and it’s up to you make the most out of it.

There’s nothing bad about using the website URL but if you do have a logo, why not use it?

#4 – Proper Format

I showed you 7 different blog post image formats.

Choose one and STICK to it.

You have no idea what a mess your website would look like if you have used different formats in different posts.

Having one format also helps your brand appear consistent.

This is why I always redesign my old blog post images whenever I decide to change my image format.

#5 – Aligned To Your Brand

The BIGGEST mistake you are making with your blog post images is this:

They are not aligned with your brand.

Here’s what I mean by this:

Your blog post images should be relevant to your brand, it’s tone, messaging, and color.

Look at CoSchedule’s blog post images:

CoSchedule Blog Post Images

No, their blog post images don’t have the same colors but they are using the same fonts and they have one or two ways of designing a blog post image. This makes it easy for their audience to recognize them.

#6 – SEO Optimized

A good blog post image is not always about how good it looks.

You have to keep in mind that your images are SEO optimized.

Always make sure that the filename of your blog post image is relevant to your content.

For example, Your filename shouldn’t be “2443.jpg” or “final-image2.jpg”. It should be related to your content like “SEO-guide.jpg”.

#7 – Reference An Incentive

I learned this one from Melyssa Griffin.

She creates awesome images for her blog posts. Here’s an example:

Pinterest Graphic With Incentive

In all of her blog post images, she references to an incentive.

Pinterest Graphic With Incentive Example

And this method is so effective. As evident from her blog post images, she designs long vertical images that can be easily shared on Pinterest.

Anyone who looks at the image would click on her article right away as she mentioned an incentive in her post.

#8 – Placement

So where should you place your blog post image?

This question baffles me because there is no right answer.

But here’s what I think:

You should place your blog post image either after the first paragraph of the article or after the first heading.

Here’s why:

Brian Dean from Backlinko in this video revealed that showing the post content in above-the-fold helps in decreasing the bounce rate.

People stay on the page for a longer time as they get the content right away on their screen without having to scroll down.

This is why he uses small a blog post image on the side of his content.

So…

You should leave the above-the-fold area for your post content and place the image below the first paragraph or after the first heading.

Or…

You can also do what Brian Dean does and place a small size image on the side of the content.

Tools To Create Blog Post Images

Everyone who asked me to write this guide had one question:

What tools do I use to design blog graphics?

That was the moment I realized:

A person with little to no designing skills will have a hard time using the tools I use.

This is why I have mentioned some tools you can use to design blog post images. Later in the guide, I will also show you how to design images using these tools.

#1 – Adobe Photoshop

This is the tool I use often to design images for my blog posts. You can do so many things to design stunning images.

Now, I don’t want to write a review of Photoshop here so I’m just going to show you the blog post images I’ve designed using Photoshop:

Images-Designed-Using-Photoshop

If you’re not a designer, I would recommend you to use the other tools mentioned below. That’s because once you start using the other tools, it would be easy for you to get started with Photoshop.

#2 – Adobe Illustrator

This is heavily used for vector graphics so I use this tool only if I want to use some vectors in my blog post images.

Here are some of the blog post images I’ve designed using Illustrator:

Images-Designed-Using-Illustrator

Again, you should pass on this tool as well if you’re not a designer. The next tool in the list is what you should use for designing images.

#3 – Canva

This tool has helped a ton of bloggers create really awesome images for their blog posts.

And if you don’t know how to use Photoshop or Illustrator, THIS is the tool you should start with.

Canva is very simple to use and its library contains tons of stock images, icons, fonts, and other elements.

You can add a logo to your image, use your desired fonts, and choose any format you want.

I don’t use Canva for designing blog post images but here are some stunning blog post images designed using Canva:

Places To Get Stock Graphics & Images For Your Blog Post Images

So where do you find images and graphics for designing blog post images?

There are many stock photography websites to find stock photos and there are many websites for graphic designing resources.

Here are the best ones that I personally recommend.

#1 – Pexels

Pexels is my favorite place to get stock photos. You can find stock images related to almost any topic you want.

Pexels

Stock photos from Pexels can be downloaded in different image resolutions very easily. And most importantly…

All the stock photos on Pexels have Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means that you can…

  • Use any stock image from Pexels for personal or commercial use for free
  • Modify, edit, and distribute the photos
  • Use them without any attribution (no need to link to the photo source)

This is why I always recommend Pexels for using stock photos. A lot of people use other stock image websites without knowing the different types of licenses for images.

Using a stock image without the right attribution can get you into trouble.

So, always make sure you are using your stock images without any license violation.

#2 – Pixabay

Pixabay is another stock photography website with over 1.4 million royalty free stock photos. But apart from stock photos, Pixabay also has illustrations, vector graphics, and videos.

Pixabay

All the images and graphics on Pixabay have a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license which means you can use these images and graphics without any attribution.

#3 – Flaticon

When it comes to high-quality icons, Flaticon is the answer. You can find over 800,00 icons in various formats.

Flaticon

There are also icon packs available so that you can use similar designs in your content. You can find social media icons, business icons, SEO icons, and more.

But here’s the catch:

You will have to credit the author if you’re using any of the icons for free. If you intend to use the icons without crediting the author, you can subscribe to their premium plan which costs $9.99 per month.

#4 – Freepik

You can find some really stunning graphics and illustrations on Freepik. This place has a ton of vectors, photos, and illustrations to offer for free.

Freepik

Not all the graphics and illustrations on Freepik are for free. But to use the free illustrations, you have to add an attribution to the graphic.

You can also get their premium plan which will allow you to use all the premium graphics and free ones without any attribution.

The premium plan for Freepik starts at $9.99 per month.

#5 – Shutterstock

Shutterstock is a big name in the stock photography industry but it’s gone a little downhill with the advent of websites that offer photos and graphics for free.

Shutterstock

Nevertheless, Shutterstock still offers premium quality stock photos and graphics.

But the pricing is a bit expensive if your only purpose is to design blog post images. Here’s what their pricing looks like:

Shutterstock Pricing

So we have discussed everything about creating blog post images.

Let us design some blog post images, shall we?

Designing Blog Post Images

Below, I have shown how to design different types of blog post images. I have used different tools to design different types.

You can use these filter buttons to easily view the different tutorials.

Image Format


Tool Used

Stock Image With Text

Tool Used: Canva
Effort: Low

Let’s design this type of blog post image using Canva. This format is the easiest to design and you can use either the Canva website or the mobile app to design this image.

Once you open Canva, click on the ‘Create a Design’ button on the sidebar.

Create A Design Button - Canva

This will then show you the different types of designs you can create with Canva. Scroll down and you’ll find ‘Blog Banner’ under Blogging & eBooks section.

Blog Banner - Canva

The Blog Banner has the dimensions 560px x 315px. You can also choose your own dimension depending on the size of your blog post images.

In the editor, you’ll see many beautiful layouts. You can pick any layout and design your blog post image.

Layouts - Canva

But, since we are sticking to a format, let’s design our blog post image from scratch.

Let’s say I want to design a blog post image for the article “7 Packing Tips From Travel Experts”.

Before doing anything, first, find a beautiful stock image for your blog post. Canva has a huge library of stock images.

Let’s search “travel” and see what images show up. There are many stunning photos related to travel. Most of them are paid and only some are free.

Travel Photos - Canva

This is the image I’m going with:

Stock Photo Background Travel - Canva

Our background is done now. Let’s add our blog post title. And this is where it gets interesting.

There are many ways to add text in your blog post image. You should always make sure that the text you add is clearly visible.

If you are using a light color background, go for a dark text. And if you choose a dark image, choose a light color text.

Text On Background Travel - Canva

In this case, the background is dark. Still, the text doesn’t pop out and look good. This can be solved by using a different font.

Image Waterlily Font Travel - Canva

After changing the font to ‘Waterlily’ and increasing its size, here is how it looks now:

Waterlily Font Travel - Canva

Better than the previous one but it still isn’t that impressive. To solve this, you can change how the background looks.

Click on the background and you’ll see an option of filters. Click on the filters button and you’ll see a bunch of filters.

Background Filters - Canva

You can use these filters but that’s not what I’m going to do now. Adjusting the contrast and brightness of the photo alone can do wonders.

Adjusting Background Travel - Canva

After setting the brightness to -50% and contrast to -40%, the image looks like this now:

Adjusted Background Travel - Canva

It looks much better now and this blog post image can be made stunning by a little more tweaks.

As discussed above, a perfect blog post image has the website’s logo or URL.

So let’s do that.

To add your own image or logo, there is an option on the bottom left in the sidebar. Click on it and then you can upload your own images.

Uploads Travel - Canva

Place your logo anywhere you desire. As you can see, I have placed my logo on top:

Logo Added Image Travel - Canva

Note: Always make sure your logo is not too big or too small.

So there you have it. Your stock image with text blog post image is ready.

You can make this even better by adding more design elements or by changing the font and layout.

Here are some designs that I made using Canva that you can use for inspiration:

7 Packing Tips From Travel Experts

To design this type of image, simply add a black rectangular box and decrease its transparency. Add your text on top of this box.

Then, add a small white rectangular box just to the right of the transparent box.

7 Packing Tips From Travel Experts (1)

You can use this type of image as a template for all your blog post images. As you can see from the image, half of the image is covered by a rectangular box.

And the blog post title and the logo is on top of this box. These type of images require very low effort and can be easily designed using Canva.

Illustration With Text

Tool Used: Adobe Illustrator

Effort: High

As this one requires the use of illustrations, I’m going to show you how to design this type of blog post image using Adobe Illustrator.

But this doesn’t mean that you can’t use other tools to design these type of images. You can still use Canva and Photoshop to design such images too.

Fire up your Adobe Illustrator and create a new document of the size 552px x 368px. Again, you can use your preferred dimensions too.

Create New Document - Illustrator

In this case, let’s assume we are designing an image for a blog post titled “The Complete Guide to Social Media Marketing”.

Let the fun begin!

We discussed different websites to find graphics and illustrations. Well, it’s time to find some good graphics.

Go to Flaticon and search for icons about ‘social media marketing’. As you can see, there are many icons related to social media marketing.

Social Media Marketing Icons - Flaticon

I’m picking the seventh icon and will be using it to design a stunning blog post image. Click on the icon you want to download.

You can download the .png file but we are using Adobe Illustrator and it supports EPS (Encapsulated Postscript) file format and it lets you edit each layer of the icon.

EPS Icon Download - Flaticon

So, download the EPS file of the icon.

Once your icon is downloaded, open it with illustrator.

Before we paste this icon to our blog post image file, let’s first add a background. To do this, click on the rectangle tool icon. Draw a big rectangle covering the whole artboard.

Create A Rectangle - Illustrator

To change the color of the rectangle, click on it to select it and choose your desired color from the color tab on the right.

But we’ll be using a gradient. To add a gradient, select the rectangle and click on the gradient tab and select your gradient. After selecting the gradient, you can change the gradient color and its properties.

Add Gradient To Background

Choose your desired gradient color and move to the next step.

Once you select the gradient for the background, you can lock the rectangle layer so it can’t be selected. To do this, open the layers tab and expand your layers. In layers, you will find the rectangle box layer. To lock it, click on the empty box right next to the eye. Now, your layer will not be able to be selected or moved without unlocking it.

Lock Layer - Illustrator

Now, open the icon file and copy the icon and paste it into your blog image file. Resize the file and place it on the right as shown below:

Pasting Icon On Background - Illustrator

Change the color of the icon to white.

Our icon is placed perfectly. The next step is to add the blog post title. Click on the type tool (or press T) and type the title of your blog post.Type Tool - IllustratorOnce you have added the text, change its color to white and choose a font that looks attractive.

When it comes to choosing a font, you should always stick to only a few best fonts. There are many websites where you can find great fonts.

Some of them are:

Here are my favorite fonts:

I’m using Futura PT font for this image. This is how the blog post image looks like right now:

Text On Background - Illustrator

This already looks great but let’s play with the font a little bit to make it look more interesting. Select on the ‘social media marketing’ part of the text and make it bold. Now it looks much better:

Bold Text - Illustrator

We now have to add the logo. Simply drag your logo file and place it in the image. The image looks perfect now:

Logo Added To Image - Illustrator

As discussed above, a perfect blog post image also references to an incentive. To do that, let’s add a rectangle first and add a text on top of it referencing the incentive.

Here is the final designed image:

The Complete Guide to SMM - Illustrator-01

Once your image is done, click on File > Export > Export As to save your image. You can select any format but .png is recommended. Also, don’t forget to check the “Use Artboards” checkbox.

Export Image - Illustrator

If your head is spinning around in confusion, I have broken down all the steps below:

Step #1 – Create a file in illustrator.
Step #2 – Add a background to your image.
Step #3 – Find an icon or graphic from Flaticon (or Freepik) and give it an appropriate color.
Step #4 – Add your blog post title, logo and mention an incentive (if any).
Step #5 – Save your image.

Vertical Image

Tool Used: Adobe Illustrator

Effort: Medium

A long vertical image can be designed by any of the three tools I mentioned in this guide. But, I’ll be using Adobe Illustrator and here’s why:

I will show you how to make a vertical version of this image we designed with illustrator:

The Complete Guide to SMM - Illustrator-01

Before we start, first design the above image because it will be easy to design the vertical image as you just have to copy and paste elements from one image to another.

To get started, create a new document on Illustrator with the dimension 735px x 1102px.

Create New Document Vertical Image - Illustrator

Now, open the horizontal image and unlock the background. Copy and paste this background on the long vertical image file. Resize the background so that it covers the whole image.

I think you know what to do now.

Yes, you guessed it right.

Copy the icon from the horizontal image file and paste it into the center of the new vertical image.

Similarly, copy and paste the blog post title and the logo.

And finally, copy the incentive text and the rectangle along with it. Your final image should look like this:

Long Vertical Image - Illustrator

You can design the exact same image using Canva and Adobe Photoshop.

Illustration With Text Using Photoshop

Tool Used: Adobe Photoshop

Effort: High

Let’s create a blog post image for an article titled “21 Writing Tips For Bloggers”.

We will create a blog post image using illustrations just like in the previous example. Unlike the above tutorials, I will show you how the final image will look.

That being said…

Here’s the final blog post image we will be designing:

Blog Post Image Using Photoshop

Let’s begin.

Open Adobe Photoshop and create a new document of the dimension 552px x 368px.

Create A Document - Photoshop
To add a background to your image, click on the small circle at the bottom right and then select gradient color.

Add Gradient - Photoshop

Choose your desired gradient. I’m going for a white and light gray gradient.

Selecting Gradient - Photoshop

Now, go to Flaticon and search for icons relevant to your post. In this case, it’s writing. I’m choosing the highlighted icon:

Writing Icons - Flaticon

Select your icon and download the PSD format of the icon.

PSD Icon - Flaticon

Open the icon and place it on your blog post image.

Icon Add To Background - Photoshop

Before adding the post title, let’s edit this icon a little bit. Select the layer of this icon and right click and open the blending options.

Blending Options - Photoshop

Enable the drop shadow and add a drop shadow. You can tweak the settings but here are my settings for the icon’s drop shadow.

Drop Shadow Settings Icon - Photoshop

Let’s add the post title now. Click on the horizontal type tool and type your blog post title. Change the color, size, and font of the text.

For this image, I’m using the font ‘League Spartan’.

Finally, add your logo.

And your blog post image is ready! Voila!

Blog Post Image Design Using Photoshop

Wrapping It Up

Designing a blog post image is very simple if you know what type of image you want to design. The tools only help you design your image.

Yes, some tools are better than the others but that doesn’t mean you can’t design your desired image.

All the images I designed above can be designed using either of the three tools mentioned in this guide.

If you are still not confident of your designing skills, visit different blogs. Check their blog post images and try to design their images.

This will help you understand different ways of designing blog post images and will also help you find your style.

If you have any questions about creating blog post images, feel free to comment below.

8 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide On How To Create Blog Post Images”

  1. This is really fantastic article mate. I really liked it very much and because of this article I am now sure, how I can start learning graphic designing from scratch 😀

    Thanks a lot.

  2. Wow! The article is awesome, especially the part where various designing tools are explored to create graphics effortlessly!

  3. This one is really great. Today I realised that my featured images are just a crap and I need to seriously learn to make good images. Thanks for a great guide.

  4. Hi Ahfaz Ahmed, Great guide about blog post images. All options explained step by step. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Hello Ahfaz, This is something I was looking for a long time someone will publish, and this Post is Awesome.

  6. I am blogger and I have read so many articles about blog post images in the past but never read such kind of informative, creative and detailed article on blog post images. I liked your writing style. I am thankful to you for sharing this information with us. Great post!

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