Wow! Those are freaking good images.
Have you ever had such a reaction reading someone’s blog?
Be honest, were you not feeling slightly jealous? Especially when it’s a single owner blog.
When you know he’s the one-man army doing design, content, and marketing all on his own. (no freelancers help either)
Well, you’re not alone. I’ve felt so several times, wondering where do they get so much time.
The secret lies in doing stunning work but doing it effectively and efficiently (in optimum time).
It takes practice and practicing takes ample time at first. I’ve personally used these tools and have created a speed-animation video for you to quickly see how this tool works.
You need to understand there exist visual learners who just can’t read a lot of text but need images to accompany it.
You need to know the right image editing tools for creating quick blog images. Wrong tools will suck up all of your time.
So where do we start?
In the following list below, we will review the best image editing tools. Most of these are free, absolutely free. You can upgrade with some of them. Only one of them is a paid tool.
Learning to use these is super simple. These are hand-picked because of their ease of use and ability to get the job done quickly.
Especially because not everyone can use state-of-the-art designer tools, those professional tools that take months if not years of a learning curve.
Before we begin to learn, know that you need one tool only.
Yes, It’s good to know how all these work but stick to one tool that best resonates with you.
You will be able to make images faster that way.
Without much ado, let’s get started!
Canva (Free & Paid)
Why is Canva best for making a blog and social media image?
You don’t have to know to design at all. It has a very intuitive drag-and-drop user interface.
You get crisp quality images with custom dimensions and tons of ready-made presets.
Meaning, if you need a Facebook cover, an Instagram image or even a flyer. You’re just a click away to set up the canvas (image template) for you.
Following are the full list of provided presets
- Blog Banner
- Instagram Post
- Social Media
- Facebook Cover
- Facebook Post
- Email Header
- Twitter Post
- Pinterest Graphic
- Facebook App Ad
- Tumblr Graphic
- US Letter Document
- A4 Document
- Magazine Cover
- Book Cover
- Desktop Wallpaper
- Wattpad Book Cover
- Photo Collage
- CD Cover
- Gift Certificate
- Business Card
- Facebook Event Cover
- Youtube Testimonial
- Tumblr Banner
- Youtube Channel Art
- Twitter Header
- Google+ Header
- Etsy Shop Cover
- Etsy Shop Icon
- Twitch Banner
- Linkedin Banner
- Sound Cloud Banner
- Facebook Ad
- Wide Skyscraper Ad
- Large Rectangle Ad
- Leaderboard Ad
Now, isn’t that extensive list interesting!
Whether you need to design an Adsense display ad or a social platform cover or just about any kind of image.
Canva has got you covered!
My only concern was its performance. Using GUI-heavy tools can be pretty slow at times. But to my surprise, it was blazing fast.
They have a free version, try it! – You get access to 400,000 free photos and illustrations. Premium images cost $1 per image.
What I love about Canva:
- The ability to create custom dimensions. That too in pixels and other measurement options as well.
- You can change the dimensions, in case if you create your graphics and later find out the dimensions needs changing (pro).
- Every template has hundreds of ready-made designs. Simply edit the text, change the picture and you’re done!
- They offer a great learning resource namely design school (link).
- Ability to upgrade to Pro, magically resizing graphics/designs to other template formats in one click.
- Their design anything and publish anywhere philosophy.
Their pro namely Canva for Work ( a subscription service) costs $12.95 per month. Only $9.95 per month if you pay annually. It’s worth it for a busy entrepreneur.
Pixlr already has a very recognized Photoshop-alternative namely Pixlr Editor.
Let’s be honest, it’s in no-way Adobe Photoshop alternative. Photoshop is a different beast altogether, pretty robust and best for professional users.
However, it’s tagged as Photoshop-alternative because it looks pretty similar. And it’s damn easy to use for newbies.
But we are going to talk about something even better! The new free Pixlr X, an online image editor.
Super smooth and fast, and you can create some awesome pictures with it.
You can get started right away, without even creating an account. Yet, the data is stored via cookies and local storage.
Here’s the link: https://pixlr.com/x/
It’s easy to use but you will have to spend an hour or two getting yourself used to it.
It offers shortcut keys to access features. So if you get used to it, you can practically make an image in less than 5 minutes easily.
It works on layers basis, just like Photoshop. So if you add a picture and want text on top of it. You will add another text layer over it to display.
What’s best about it? It’s completely FREE.
PicMonkey is super popular too and used by many bloggers. It used to offer a completely free version but all are paid ones now. There is a 7-days free trial for all the 3 packages.
Interestingly, you can use the tools and all of its features as you sign up free.
But when you are done making your image. When you would want to export it to JPG or PNG, that’s when it asks you to join a free trial for any of the packages.
It wouldn’t let you export the image otherwise.
With these new paid packages, they do offer to save your images in the cloud.
The good thing is it offers a few additional features, in comparison to Canva.
Such as sharpening images, custom color effects, doing image touchups (red-eye removal, blemish fixing, and teeth whitening), etc. Those come in handy when you need them.
The overall user interface is pretty fast-loading but Canva exceeds the performance. Once PicMonkey loads the initial setup though, it’s as fast as Canva.
The big-sized icons are quite easy for any newbie to grasp and to learn how to use it.
They offer a huge range of pre-made presets and templates. You can always choose a custom dimension too and get started designing your image.
The three packages are Basic, Pro, and Team at $7.99, $12.99, and $33.99 respectively. You can save a whopping 25%, 23% and 26% on paying the subscription fees annually, respectively. Making it a total of $72, $120, and $300 for annual subscriptions.
Easel.ly (Free & Paid)
All of us love infographics. Every blogger would love to be able to offer infographics to their readers.
But most can’t. Because it’s way too time-consuming for a single owner to do it all, even if you know design.
I’ve found Easel.ly to be insanely simple. They have these ready-made templates that you can edit and get done with your awesome looking infographics.
It’s fast and free!
There’s a pro version priced at $4 a month. They offer premium icons, fonts, stock photos, premium infographics and the ability to download high-quality pictures.
If you are interested in reviewing other great designing tools, I can vouch for these below.
It’s just that Canva, for the most part, does a great job and I don’t have to use others. But it’s important you know which one best suits your niche, style, and design preferences.
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