Article read time - 8 minutes

Are custom visuals important for your blog? Absolutely!

Custom visuals are vital for anyone doing digital marketing.

Whether you’re an online business owner or just starting with your first WordPress blog, custom visuals can take your website to the next level.

  • They grab attention and keep readers engaged.
  • They also make blogging easier by eliminating time spent on image editing.

An image is worth a thousand words—that’s why custom visuals are so important.

The right custom visual can help sell your product, explain how something works better than words ever could, or engage more people in what you have to say about a topic.

Why Is Visual Content Important?

Making your blog more engaging is essential.

After all, people are visual—think about how much easier it is to understand something if you’re shown a picture versus trying to read through paragraphs of information.

Images can emphasize content practically, convey information quickly and easily, add entertainment value, offer the personality behind a blog, and so much more. Custom visuals provide personality and help you stand out from the crowd.

Audiences may recall only 10% of the information presented in an article, but they’ll remember 95% of what they see. Visuals serve as a form of mental shortcut that helps readers get to the meat of your article.

Images help deliver messages with impact instead of words. Do you have a unique way of explaining things? Show it instead of just telling people about it.

The Benefits Of Custom Visuals

  1. Creating custom visuals can be one of the most effective ways to engage your readers on social media. According to HubSpot “visual content is 55 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of posts.”
  2. They can make blogging easier by reducing time spent editing images (provided you use the right programs).
  3. The right visuals can help you cut through the noise on social media and quickly grab your audience’s attention, leading to increased sales
  4. They’re usually more effective than written explanations in demonstrating how something works or what it means to readers—think about all the times you’ve watched a video, instead of reading an article, to learn about something.
  5. They can help build a relationship with readers who come to recognize you based on the images you use in your blog posts.
  6. Images are shareable! If someone is interested in what you’re blogging about, they may want to pass it along to their friends—and that means more people will see it and be able to connect with your brand.
  7. They provide personality for your site and make it easier for readers to relate to you or identify why they enjoy your blog (for example, if you can see a picture of the blogger’s dog accompanying their post).
  8. People remember visuals better than written material, which means they’re more likely to remember what you say if an image accompanies it.
  9. Images can be used to demonstrate how something works, making words much more accessible for people to digest and understand your message.
  10. They save time spent writing descriptions—an image can show someone entirely new for your site or blog what you’ve written about in a way that’s almost like a preview.

How To Create Custom Visual Images

Plan Beforehand

When creating custom visuals for your blog, it’s essential to know what kinds of images your audience responds to best. Instead of guessing and testing, sit down beforehand and do a little research (try using Google Images as a guide). You can also create a moodboard to visualize what kind of images you want your blog to have. 

Find out which colors and styles resonate most with them—and then set those as parameters when making each visual. Follow the core design principles to create stand-out visual content. 

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By planning, you can create a cohesive visual style for your blog or website that makes it more recognizable and impressive, so it’s easier to stand out in the sea of other blogs on the web.

That way, when people look at your images, they’ll immediately know who you are and what your brand stands for—which is often the first step toward becoming a loyal and engaged follower and customer.

Find Your Design Software

So, before you can make any visuals at all, work out your Message.

Create a list of what you want to communicate with each image for example, “entertaining,” “informative,” “professional”. 

Prioritize your list, so you have a clear idea of what you want your visual to say, and make sure each image reinforces your brand’s message and tone.

Look at the images other brands in your niche are using—it can give you great ideas for improving on what they’ve done or come up with something completely different that stands out from the crowd.

Design Software Tools:

  • Optimizely provides an easy drag and drop interface for creating data visualizations while keeping the design simple enough to look good on social media.
  • Adobe Spark provides users with all the tools they need to create beautiful visuals in one place—whether you want an infographic or a social media post. If you’d like to give your blog an elegant, professional, or creative makeover, check out Adobe Slate.
  • Use Vectornator to create custom vector graphics and visuals. You can create layouts, fonts to stunning illustrations. This free software is an excellent option for budding designers who want to create professional-looking and beautiful visuals for free.
  • Adobe Illustrator is an app for “graphical, vector-based drawing” that can be used for anything from logos to digital notebook sketches. Use Adobe Illustrator if you want to make something more complex, like a custom logo (be sure to use their pre-built generator for instant logos).
  • Adobe Photoshop is a photo editing software that can be used for anything from basic image touch-ups to complex projects like designing your website banner. Use Adobe Photoshop if you want to make something like a custom background for your blog (you can also use it to edit and combine images). This tool can “help you take your idea from concept to completion.”
  • Canva is an online tool that “helps you design stunning visuals” for sharing on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. Use Canva if you need something simple and shareable that works on social media but doesn’t have the flexibility of Photoshop.
Find and Use Free Photos

If you’re going to use a photo for commercial purposes, purchase a license from a stock image site like iStockPhoto.

Tip: Make sure any images you create are “scalable.” If they’re made for something like a PowerPoint presentation, they might lose their quality when you scale them up to be published for the web.

Ensure your custom graphics are high resolution (300dpi), so they look good in print and on the web.

Work With A Graphic Designer/ Illustrator

If possible, try to find a web design agency or an illustration company with experience working with bloggers before and ask them for portfolios of their work. Look at their portfolio to see if they’ve worked on something similar to what you need to do.

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If your graphic designer isn’t familiar with blogging or doesn’t understand what you need to do, give them a detailed description of precisely what you want and ask if they have any questions before hiring them.

Consider creating an infographic made up of different components. The graphic designer can develop the pieces and then incorporate them into your blog post.

Before you agree to any contract or a graphic design proposal, read it carefully.

Make sure you’re not agreeing to something that will prevent you from using the images commercially in the future. 

It’s best to hire a graphic designer knowledgeable about WordPress—the blogging platform to publish your blog post.

This way, they’ll know how the images need to be formatted, so they look good when you publish them. If you’re on a budget, try using an online tool rather than hiring someone full-time. They might be able to give you the same quality at a lower price point.

To find a graphic designer/illustrator, look through your network of contacts first—like friends and family members who might know a designer or bloggers you’ve worked with before. If that’s not an option, try using a freelance job board like Upwork or Fiverr to find one.

Once you hire someone, agree on a date by which they should have the images completed.

To keep costs down, look for someone from another country—they might charge less because they have a lower cost of living.

Arrange payment terms before you hire anyone so you can set expectations upfront and avoid any misunderstandings later on.

Get Your Images Made In Batches Beforehand

Use an online tool, like Adobe Spark or Canva to create visuals. The tools are easy to use and won’t cost you anything.

Create a calendar reminder for 90 days before your post is scheduled to publish, so you have plenty of time for revisions if necessary.

If possible, make sure there are at least two months between the time you get the images produced and when your post is scheduled to publish, so you have time to plan any graphics for social sharing.

If hiring someone, try not to wait until the last minute, or they might not be able to complete the work in time. Before hiring a designer who says they can do what you need, ask them to create a custom image for you first.

If they need research, see if they offer hourly services or flat rates—this will help keep costs down.

When it comes to creating quality images, it’s best to put money down upfront. Make sure your designer knows exactly what types of images you need and how many so they know what to expect.

If you have a tight budget, try offering your designer a flat payment instead of hourly fees so they can create the images upfront and deliver them in batches when they’re ready.

If a particular image is difficult to produce, consider using stock photography instead—it’s typically cheaper than custom work, and many tools allow you to purchase it directly. Keep a file of all the images your designer produces so you can use them for other projects or future blog posts.

How To Upload Images To Your WordPress Blog

It’s best to upload large images to your blog rather than using thumbnails. Your blog is likely hosted on a WordPress site. If so, you can upload images directly to WordPress.

A free plugin called Media Library will help you quickly access and drag and drop the images you want to use. If your post is formatted for a featured picture, make sure the image you choose is the right size and has the correct file name.

Before publishing your post, make sure you save it and then copy its permalink to add it to your image later.

Finally, find your image and use the WordPress shortcode [ image src=’]. That’s it! You can now add images to your blog with ease and without worrying about how they look.

A Series Of Fortunate Events

And now you know why you need custom visuals for your blog to grab attention and keep your readers engaged. It’s easier to blog and quicker to edit now that you know how to create them. Keep these tips in mind as you start creating more images.

Learn more on how to create custom visuals for your blog here.

If you want help making these types of visuals, try using an online tool like Adobe Spark, Crello or Canva—they’re easy to use and don’t cost a thing if you make them yourself.

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Or hire a graphic designer from your network who can produce the types of images you need—it’s likely they’ll charge less because they have a lower cost of living. 

Whatever you do, remember to plan so you have plenty of time to create the images right before your post is scheduled to publish, and don’t wait until the last minute, or you may run into problems.

To get you started on the next phase of the evolution of your blog, check this out.

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