As a Realtor® who manages all of my own website content, it has become vital for me to use good visuals to help promote my content. In my opinion, visuals are there for people and text is there for Google to crawl. I know that there are those who will read the text and absorb it all, but most will not. My Google Analytics numbers prove it. I have launched infographics that have been shared over 200 times in a few hours, and not one person noticed that there was a typo until the next day. It’s because people do not have the time or the attention span to read all the text, but they are willing to brie?y scan over some graphics to get the main point and then move on. I ?nd myself doing the same thing.
Since graphics have such a strong ability to get noticed, it’s has become an absolute necessity to learn how to create powerful visuals to help increase the attention that your content receives. I have been making graphics for years for the different businesses that I have worked with. It’s one of the most valuable skills that I’ve acquired through the years and I am committed to continue developing this skill for years to come.
I use graphics on almost every page on my website and I always use as many custom graphics as possible on my Colorado Springs real estate blog. I just made some new graphics for a webpage designed to determine a homes value in Colorado Springs and ran an advertising experiment on Facebook yesterday. The custom graphics used in the ad changed my click through rate by over 300% in comparison with a previous advertisement that used basic stock images. Measuring the success of your custom graphics can help to inspire future creation and implementation of these images.
Lately, as I have been making more custom graphics, I have noticed 5 common steps that I take while creating these visuals. I have organized these into an infographic and have broken them down into further detail for this blog post.
Tip 1: Find Inspiration
Sometimes, getting started is the hardest part of the graphic design process. Using other websites for inspiration can greatly increase the momentum needed to ?nish your graphics in a timely manor. In an era of content overload, it’s easy to ?nd graphic examples online to help kickstart the creative process. I like to spend time searching Pinterest, visual.ly, Piktochart, Google Plus, and any other website where I notice good graphics. I will scan through many images until I start to get some ideas and direction on how I want to create my new image. I will look for ideas on colors, fonts, and layouts to help get me started. Once I feel inspired and have a few details worked out, I’ll then start gathering resources to get the process started.
Tip 2: Pick A Few Base Colors
Base colors are the main colors that you will use throughout your whole graphic. It is important to avoid using too many colors, as this can make your image too “busy” and hard to understand. Try to ?nd a main background color and a couple of accent colors that work well together. This will help your graphic look clean and easy to read.
As you develop your graphics, you may change colors throughout the process. I usually make four or five revisions of my graphics and then I ask people for their opinion on which ones look best. My wife has a wonderful eye for design and she is my greatest asset when it comes time for me to edit down my image to its ?nal form. Knowing my weaknesses and ?nding friends who have strengths that I do not have greatly helps me during the editing process. Asking for other people’s input is a great way to avoid bad graphics. Once you have a good idea of the colors that you want to use, you can start on your image.
Tip 3: Use Creative Fonts
Fonts are extremely important to any good graphic. It drives me crazy to see someone spend a lot of time putting together a large graphic, only to use boring Arial fonts all over it. There is no reason to use plain boring fonts on a graphic. Avoid Calibri, Arial, and Comic Sans fonts, or any fonts that you may have used in the 80’s and 90’s. Research common fonts used on current graphics that are widely shared on social media sites. Try making a demo graphic on Piktochart or Canva to see what kind of fonts they offer. Once you ?nd a few that you like, search for them online (if you do not have them already) and download them to your font ?le. There are hundreds of free fonts that you can download online. For title fonts, ?nd something wide and authoritative. For descriptive fonts, ?nd something narrow that will allow for many words in a small space. Also, try not to use too many fonts. Usually a title font, a banner font, and a descriptive font is all that you will need for your whole graphic. Experiment with different fonts and try to ?nd the ones that best convey the mood of your content.
Tip 4: Learn How To Use Graphic Software
There are many types of graphic software. If you are a beginner and have no background using graphic software, I would recommend trying Piktochart for infographics and Canva for regular graphics. Both of these services charge a fair monthly fee for their services. They also both have trial versions so you can try them out before committing to their fees. These online services make the design process much easier. They also offer many options to help you customize your image to look like you spent days creating them.
I personally like using