It’s a fact, better photos on social media will get you more clicks. That’s not to say that content isn’t important. Content is what will get you search engine traffic and readers who return to your site time and time again. But photos and graphics still have their place. You may have read my post on how to create a great Pinterest pin, and now you can see the tools I use for getting great photos, using them in graphics, and then sharing them all over the web!
If you had asked me a year ago what I thought about my of photography skills, I would have said, “What photography skills?” What’s changed since then? Well, I decided to watch a whole lot of YouTube videos, look at a lot of Instagram photos and figure out what I liked about the ones I liked, and then practice, practice, practice! I taught myself how to use Lightroom and invested in a couple presets that I love on almost every photo. Here's the exact camera I use. I was always afraid to try using Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop but using presets has made it so much simpler and Adobe’s Creative Cloud base package includes Photoshop and Lightroom for just $9.99/month. Now that I can do.
(Photo on the left is from last week- November 2017- and the photo on the right is from November 2015).
Here are a couple of accessories that I also find helpful:
Do I always take my own photos? Nope. Don’t have time for that. I wish I did. But with two kids and their naptimes/lunch times/diaper changes to juggle, getting out every week to take great photos just doesn’t always happen. Because that’s reality, I use Unsplash. Of course when using stock photos I want them to coincide with the theme of my blog post, but I definitely don’t want it to be cheesy. That’s why I love Unsplash! Their stock photos are totally royalty free and great for blogs. They’re constantly adding new photos so you’re not going to see the same photo shared everywhere on social media (thank you, thank you, thank you!). All they ask is that you choose to link to the author’s profile under your photo to give them credit/exposure. You don’t have to, but it’s a nice gesture especially for getting an awesome photo for free.
Canva is an amazing program and if they had an affiliate program, I would be first in line to sign up. But they don’t. Which is ok, I’ll rave about them anyway. Basically, Canva is a graphic design web app for the design impaired. Anyone can make a great looking graphic on Canva because canva has thousands of templates to choose from! They have templates for Pinterest (not to mention every single other social media platform), presentations and videos, infographics, ebooks, business cards, and everything inbetween. Even better is the fact that you can save your brands fonts and colors so you can easily select them when changing background colors, font colors, etc. BEST YET is that you can save previously created templates so that the next time you create a new blog graphic, all you have to do is make a few tweaks and you’re good to go with a consistent, branded graphic!!
So basically… Viraltag is like my best friend. Or rather, they’re like my very own Social Media Assistant. In short, they’re a visual social media scheduler (aka, they’re amazing for Pinterest and all other social media platforms if you plan on sharing photos or graphics with your scheduled content. Every time I create a new blog post with new graphics, I hit publish and then hit the Viraltag schedule button. I then choose the graphic within the post that I want to schedule and share on social media, then either set a time for it to post or add it to my posting queue, add a caption if it’s not already in the ALT description of the photo, and that’s it! Viraltag then posts the graphic to social media for me while I go about the rest of my day. Did you know that I pin over 100 pins a day for my other blog, Living the Sweet Wife? Even with a huge number of pins being pinned, I still only spend about 20 minutes a week scheduling all my social media content. Yep, Viraltag is a lifesaver. Check them out and check out my Viraltag Pinterest tutorial here and learn how I grew my Pinterest audience by 1,918.11% in just 3 months!
PicMonkey is like an old sweatshirt that you keep coming back to even though it’s frumpy simply because it’s comfortable. I like PicMonkey for two reasons: it’s fast and easy. I’ve been editing photos on PicMonkey literally since high school and I still create some graphics on it for my Living the Sweet Wife blog posts. Recently, they’re trying to be a bit more like Canva by rolling out new social media templates, so that’s cool I guess. But I still mainly think of them as a photo editor that’s for those who are still too afraid to dive into Lightroom. If that’s you, then PicMonkey is great. After you’ve edited a photo, go ahead and upload it to your social media template on Canva.
What are your favorite tools for taking photos and creating social media graphics?? Got any favorite stock photo websites? Share yours below!
There are affiliate links in the post but everything I mention is a product I love and use myself and would recommend to my best friends. By using them to purchase a product, I get a cut of commission but without any extra cost to you. Thanks!!