Good blog post title images are a blogger’s secret weapon.
When they’re eye-catching, descriptive and consistent, these images are the first thing to draw people into your posts.
The key is to have memorable post images that are consistent with your branding (and each other) so that when people see one, they immediately know it’s an image from your blog.
But slapping together a good template ain’t easy. It takes some careful thought and planning.
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More on Blog Images
Start with a Brand Style Guide
Do you have a style guide for your brand? It’s kinda hard to keep your branding consistent throughout the internet without one so this step is important.
Creating a branding color and font palette or brand board and sticking to them as closely as possible is crucial to making you and your blog memorable.
Color Palette Resources:
Font Palette Resources:
Style Guide Resources:
How + Why to Create a Style Guide for Your Blog (Free Worksheets!) from The Nectar Collective
10 Ways to Create Share-worthy Design (with free template) from Spruce Rd.
How to Create a Brand Style Guide from Elle & Co.
How to Create a Style Guide for Your Blog or Brand Plus a Free Template from byRegina.com
Use a Template
Templates make it faster and easier to create images for each post and we all could use some short cuts when it comes to time, can’t we?
A template also keeps your images consistent with each other and with your branding. Don’t do what I did when I started: I experimented with every design style under the sun! Admittedly, DYOB was my exploring ground and I was having fun with different types of design, but my post title images were so all over the board that no one could tell on first glance that they were from my blog.
Check out this tutorial on how to create a blog post graphic template. You don’t even need Photoshop!
First, Some Inspiration
These blogs are fantastic examples of having memorable, consistent blog post title images that stand out in feeds like Pinterest or even Twitter and Facebook.
Caitlin at CaitlinBacher.com (formerly known as Little Farm Media) keeps her images fresh by using different colors and patterns from her branding palette, but the layout and typefaces remain consistent.
Lauren at Elle & Co. Design is a great example of using solid colors from her brand palette while occasionally switching things up and using a photographic background. But notice how the typefaces stay consistent throughout.
Kayla of KaylaHollatz.com has a very consistent template that’s easy to update. All she needs to do is find a photograph that matches her branding and switch out the text and boom, she’s done.
Andrea (Dre) of The Branded Solopreneur has instantly recognizable post images because they are unlike any other post images out there. Her bold colors and consistent typefaces get some fresh variations when she adds different patterned backgrounds or photographs behind them.
Melyssa at The Nectar Collective has a consistent layout for her images with diagonal lines and various colors from her branding palette.
Erika at Olyvia.co does a great job keeping her images consistent. She uses various photographic backgrounds overlaid with a transparent diagonal shaped layer and consistent fonts.
Regina of byRegina.com recently switched up her template to match her new website design, but even her new templates are consistent with her old ones which are probably among the most recognizable images on Pinterest. She uses a photographic background overlaid with a dark layer and bright bold text.
Jen of JennyPurr has a very consistent look to her blog post images and her template is very easy to update. She uses a variety of photographs for the backgrounds, but notice the consistency in colors and filter on her images.
Be Consistent Yet Be Original
Look, we all LOVE Regina’s post images, but we’ve also all seen REALLY similar post images out there on Pinterest that make us wonder if they aren’t hers right? Don’t copy someone else’s design. Make yours stand out from the rest on Pinterest. Let people see your images in a feed and immediately identify them with your brand, not someone else’s.
Check out how this tutorial to really make your stock photos stand out.
How to Create a Blog Title Image Template
Before you decide on the layout of your post title images, I strongly suggest taking a look at two posts first so you can plan out what elements you will want or need to include in your template and plan accordingly.
1. According to this fabulous post, Anatomy of a Blog Post Design, by Jamie Starcevich of Spruce Rd., it’s best if your template includes the following elements:
- a catchy title
- a hook or descriptor text
- the category (optional)
- your website URL
- a branded element or icon
- I would also add background imagery to this list
Be sure to read her quick post to view the infographic and details on each element above.
2. Since catching eyeballs on Pinterest is a big deal, be sure to read 10 Sure Fire Ways to Create Attention-Grabbing Images for Pinterest to Increase Traffic which includes a few more rules of thumb to follow to get the most out of your images.
Select An Image Editor
Photoshop is my go-to tool for creating my templates. If you don’t have it, you might really consider getting a subscription to it as it’s only $9.99/month.* However if you can’t fit that into your budget, these alternatives will work just fine:
Check out this great guest post by Lillian DeJesus, if you decide to try Canva: Enhance Your Blog Post Images with Canva
- Befunky – a new free editor like PicMonkey that allows you to save your projects to work on later! Check out my tutorial on how to use BeFunky to create blog post graphics!
- Sketch – $99 one time charge or try the free trial
As much as I like it, I don’t suggest using PicMonkey* for this since you can’t save a template there and edit it again later.
Resources to Create a Blog Title Image Template
All blog post images need thought put into what background(s) they will use. Whether you decide on photographs, patterns, illustrations or solid colors, like the inspirational examples above, you need something that matches your branding and helps differentiate your images from others.
If you decide to use photography for your backgrounds, look for images that match your branding in color or filter, look and feel, style, brightness, etc. Good photographic background subjects can be:
- styled photography
- objects that relate to your post
- abstract objects
- landscape scenery
You might choose to go with one type of photo from above or mix and match depending on the topic of the post. The less busy an image is, the better background it usually makes as it won’t detract from the text overlaid on top of it.
Resources for Stock Photography:
The BIG Guide to Free Images for Your Blog Posts // Part 1: Public Domain
The BIG Guide to Free Images for Your Blog Posts // Part 2: Creative Commons
Styled Desktop Photos
Take your own background photos. Here are some great ideas for photo backdrops from The Nectar Collective.
Patterns / Graphics
Instead of photography, what about using a seamless pattern or patterns that match your brand and colors, like Caitlin Bacher or Dre Beltrami do above?
Resources for Patterns:
Subtle Patterns is one of my favorites.
Design Cuts* usually has awesome deals on bundles that include tons of beautiful and girly patterned backgrounds.
Creative Market* has a great collection of patterns.
VectorPortal has offered some free pattern vectors just for DYOB readers.
Freepik.com is a pretty good resource for free seamless patterns (among other things).
Consider using solid colors like Elle & Co. Flat design is so popular right now and solid colors fit in perfectly with that trend. You could go for just one color, one color plus a tint or shade of it, or two contrasting colors, keeping colors consistent with your brand of course.
If you read Spruce Rd.’s post from above, then you may be considering using icons to identify your categories or post series. If so here are a couple of free resources for good icons. Be sure to read the terms first before using anything free.
Go Make Your Own Template Now!
Here’s a tutorial on how to create a reusable graphic template for your blog using a free image creation tool called BeFunky! Check out the super easy graphic template tutorial here now!
Now that you know the secret weapon to Pinterest and social media, I hope you take the time to come up with a creative and thoughtful template for your blog posts!
Don’t worry about getting it perfect right away, these kinds of things usually evolve a little over time. You can make tweaks to your template here and there until you find the one that speaks to you.
So tell me: do you already have a template for your blog post images? If so, share it with us in the comments below! If not, what questions do you have about creating one?
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