I know this graphic needs to be redone and doesn’t even match my blog anymore, but I suppose it is a good example of an attempt at making a graphic (a.k.a. what not to do)?
Cait made an amazing post about originality and the difference between being inspired and copying here, and everyone should go read it because it is SO TRUE.
I really need to branch off about her post and talk about graphics.
First off, USE GRAPHICS.
Every blogger needs to because it makes posts look better and makes things more exciting. The extra time it takes to make them is worth it, I promise.
Secondly, MAKE YOUR OWN GRAPHICS.
There are many reasons for this.
- Copyright infringement. When you steal someone else’s work YOU ARE BREAKING LAWS.
- If everything you do comes from other people, are you your own person or a robot.
- Uniformity. You can play around with designs and have fun and make all of your graphics look similar so your blog will look amazing.
- It becomes fun once you get the hang of it.
If you absolutely adore a graphic someone else has, or if it is something they made for a tag and you really like it ASK THEM FOR PERMISSION TO USE IT and then GIVE THEM CREDIT. Just because it is the graphic for the tag doesn’t mean you have automatic rights to use it without permission. It never hurts to ask and only takes a few more minutes of your time.
How to make your own graphics.
I am not going to pretend that I know much about this or that my graphics are very nice (I actually generally hate them), but I am getting better and learning as I go along.
This is a great editing site and it does have a free version (you can pay for upgrades). I just use the free stuff because I don’t need all of the fancy editing tools (because I am not a fancy editor).
Canva is my absolute favorite. It is so easy to use and has SO many tools and outlines to work with. You can choose whatever size document you want and go with it.
For actual pictures…
- Take your own pictures (I am not a good photographer and don’t have much time, but a lot of people take absolutely glorious pictures). They always look the best and just have a lot of you in them.
- NEVER NEVER NEVER take pictures from someone else without permission. This is illegal and just makes you look bad.
- Stock pictures. You have to be really careful about this, but if you look hard enough you can find websites with absolutely free no copyright pictures. Still, you should always ask for permission first.
- Can I just reiterate DON’T TAKE OTHER PEOPLE’S PICTURES. It’s not cool.
If you spend a little time looking around, you will find editing programs and a picture style that suits you.
Amanda has practically a million tips on whatever you could ever need to know graphic wise and she is amazing, so go check out her blog for more professional help.
It’s a process.
They aren’t going to start out perfect (at least for me they didn’t, and are still far from). However, they will get better as you go along. Here is the pictures over time that I have made. I think they have gotten slightly better from the beginning…
but, again. it’s a process.
still, they hurt to look at…
I feel like I have come a long way, and even though I have a lot farther to go, it is getting better.
Picture originality makes your site look better all around. Don’t be a carbon copy of everyone else, and certainly don’t copy other people. It just makes you look bad and doesn’t make your blog seem as reliable or good.
Sorry for my little rant. Let’s talk. Do you have any tips and tricks on graphics? What do you use? What is your favorite style?