Online marketers understand the importance of having great visuals to post on their website, blog and social media channels.
However, there is a misconception that you need to have extensive talent in graphic design to create compelling, eye-catching graphics.
Just because you aren’t a PhotoShop wiz doesn’t mean you can’t create great graphics for your business. And visuals are the key to success on Pinterest!
Important note: When creating graphics to use online, it is important to remember to use legal images that you have the rights to edit and/or use. That means you cannot just go to Google Images and swipe something that looks great. If you do not own the copyright to an image, do not share those images on your social networks.
I’ve road-tested each of these tools to find the best ones out there for time and resource strapped business owners.
Here are 12 of my favorite free and low-cost tools to create blog graphics, quotes and to overlay text on photos:
1) The winner: Canva.com
Even though this list is in no particular order, Canva is by far the winner in this field. Canva is one of the easiest to use and best graphic design tools out there. With thousands of options and an incredibly easy user interface, Canva is my go-to tool when I need a graphic. Some of their templates cost $1, but most are free. It gives you the option to create presentations, blog and social media graphics, Facebook cover photos, and much more.
Quozio is ridiculously simple and fun to use. Go to www.quozio.com and enter your text (it doesn’t have to be a quote) then press “Go.” They will automatically format it, but if you don’t like what they give you, browse the other templates until you see one you like. Then, you can share to social networks, email the pin to yourself just keep it by saving it to your Quozio account. If you want to download the image, just right click on the image and select “Save image as.” Easy peasy!
3) Pinstamatic.com – “The Pinterest tool”
There are so many amazing options with Pinstamatic, it’s hard to choose just one! Designed to be used mostly with Pinterest, you can also create great graphics to share on other social media networks. Create a beautiful quote or “sticky note,” pin a favorite song from Spotify (which can be played directly from the pin board), add a graphic of your Twitter profile or create a Pinterest board of your favorite Tweeters. You can also create calendars, location maps and photos.
4) Pinwords.com – “Instantly add beautiful text to your images”
[Editor’s Note: Unfortunately Pinwords.com is no longer in existence…]
I’m loving Pinwords. To start, upload your own image or enter a URL to an image on the web. If you don’t have an image, you can use one of their four backgrounds. With only six templates, Pinwords is fairly simple. When you are done with your graphic, you have the option to pin it, post it to Facebook, tweet it or email it to yourself. If you prefer to download it to use later, they don’t give you that option, but you can always use screen capture to grab the graphic.
5) Recitethis.com – “Turn a quote into a masterpiece”
Enter a quote or piece of text into the box on the homepage, click “See How It Looks!” and voila! Super easy. It will start you off with a template, but you can always try another one until you find the layout you like best. You can then share directly to Pinterest or other social networks or even download the image for uploading to your blog. Super easy!
6) UseChisel.com – “Write thoughts on photos”
Chisel is a bit different from the others. When you add the “Chisel it” button to your bookmarks bar, you can turn any highlighted text from the web into an image as you are browsing. Chisel also offers examples to inspire you, from quotes to selections from books and neat photos of places. This website offers several templates and an option to upload photos where you can overlay text.
7) Venngage.com – “Social Reports & Infographics”
Sign up for a free account, and peruse the Marketplace of templates or create your own from scratch. The Venngage templates are free but some others have a small cost. Add text, data and images to the template to customize it. One of the easiest to use.
8) QuotesCover.com – “Turns any ordinary saying texts into a beautiful typography art picture”
Don’t have your own quote, or are you looking for a great quote to share? QuotesCover has an option to search for quotes either by person or by topic. You can also insert your custom quote and turn it into a Facebook cover, Google+ cover, e-card, wallpaper or a print. QuotesCover is incredibly similar to the next tool on this list, Inspirably – undoubtedly created by the same people.
9) Infogr.am – “Create interactive infographics”
No tech savvy required – you just need the data and text that will go into the infographic. You have a choice of templates. If you have your data in an Excel sheet you can simply upload it. Can also be used to create charts for presentations and reports.
10) Piktochart– “Make information beautiful”
Piktochart claims to help you “get results in 3 easy steps.” You can choose from their template library or create your own using a blank canvas. Easy sharing to social media sites when finished. This is one of the most popular infographic tools on the web.
11) PicMonkey.com – “Photo editing made of win”
PicMonkey is great for editing existing photos. You can also create graphics from scratch using their design templates. Hover over the “Design” button atop the home page, and PicMonkey shows you six blank canvas size options. Then you can go to town!
12) Pixlr.com – “The most popular online photo editor in the world”
Pixlr offers several quality options for creating and editing photos.
Pixlr Editor – This is where you can create a new image from scratch or edit an existing image from your computer, URL or Facebook. While there are numerous options, this involves more tech know-how and could be frustrating for a photo-editing newbie.
Pixlr Express – Create a graphic using an existing image or your webcam. You can also use this feature to create a collage of images.
Pixlr O-Matic – The easiest, most user-friendly option. Use your webcam to snap a photo, or upload from your computer. You can also play with the O-Matic feature using a Pixlr image. This is where you can create invitations, cards and more using their free templates.
Pixlr also offers a mobile app for photo editing on the go.
In the coming months, I will be blogging for Maximize Social Business on topics that include how businesses can get the most from Pinterest, how to create great pins, what types of Pinterest boards to create, and how to get more traffic to your site using this innovative social networking tool.
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