Taking time to write a blog post is one thing.
Creating sharable images for others to pin, tweet, and like is something entirely different. Nothing can jack up your schedule more than trying to make just the right blog graphics. It can be a real time suck.
I am a huge supporter of anything that makes blogging easier and faster. I like to systemize as much of my blogging process as possible. One of the ways I shave time off getting a post published is by having templates I can use for all of my blog graphics.
Once I identified my blog niche and my audience it became crystal clear there was a virtual cornucopia of blog post topics waiting to be covered. I knew I had my work cut out for me. The writing was overwhelming enough, but add to it making graphics for every post and sharing it all around social media and I was out for the count. Oy vey!
See, the thing is, I am also a wife and a mom. I don’t have the luxury of sitting around all day, every day, feeding my blogging habit. There are clothes to wash, meals to prepare, kids to educate, and a husband who enjoys seeing me every once in a while. Can you relate?
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I started looking for ways to cut down my time behind the computer. One of the ways I shaved off time was to create templates for my blog graphics. With the use of PicMonkey and a few free graphics sites I can now write a post and get it ready for publishing in way less time than it’s ever taken me before.
You can adopt this system easily for your own blog. Once you do, you’ll be on your way to producing more posts and still having more free time. What’s not to love about that?
Systemizing your graphics takes the headache out of working on a blog post. You know you can complete the task quickly and easily because you’ve set up a system ahead of time.
This is my suggested process. You can copy it exactly or you can customize it for your unique blog use.
1. Create Templates In PicMonkey
Create 3 main sizes for all of you blog posts plus an original you can find easily if needed. These social media sizes come from Dustin Stout at Dustn.tv and his super helpful image template. They are the perfect sized across the main social media platforms.
- Main – This is the main photo you will use for the post. It will be the photo you want shared across social media. Save it for any future use. This file should be large so it looks good on all the other sized below. But make sure it’s not too large as to take up valuable space on your hard drive. I recommend around 1MB max.
- Facebook 900 – Facebook prefers certain sizes of graphics. 900×900 is the perfect size for an image post. This is also an ideal size for Instagram and Google+.
- Pin/Post 735 – This is your most important graphic, the one that will be shared on Pinterest, which for me is my biggest traffic driver to my blog. 735×1102 is the ideal size for Pinterest. Whenever possible, place this graphic first in the line up of your post. It will prompt readers to pin it, which is what you want. This size also works well on Google+.
- Twitter 1280 – Twitter photo cards allow for twitter shares from your blog include a picture. 1280×720 is the size that works best on twitter but can also be used on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.
HOW TO MAKE A TEMPLATE:
- Go to PicMonkey.
- Create a plain graphic from the design section.
- Choose the custom size option.
- Save as a white graphic.
- Name it one of the following (Using a number 1 keeps those files at the top of your list – see example below)
- 1 FACEBOOK 900
- 1 PIN POST 735
- 1 TWITTER 1280
- Save to your graphics or social media folder.
2. Organize your posts by date
Each time you use a photo for your blog save it in a dated folder. This will help you to stay organized. Here’s what my folder looks like so I can find the graphics for an old post easily and quickly.
The more organized you are with your graphics, the more time you will save when it come to making new graphics for your posts.
3. Save your photos using keywords
After you make a graphic for your blog post, be sure to save it using the keywords you are going to use for the post. Don’t even bother using anything else. This will help with organization and with SEO. It will also help with Pinterest if you are using titles for your descriptions.
Here is what the inside of one of the above folders looks like. You can see how I organize everything using keywords.
When you use an organized saving method for your blog graphics you can find them more easily when you need to update the post, you can easily see which photos or graphics you have already used, and you can quickly find your original if you want to promote your post at a later date.
When you save your photos with the right keywords, it will also save you if you somehow forget to put them in the alt text area of your graphic. But you’d never do that, right?
I write posts about blogging. I don’t use very many graphics in my posts. You might write about something different where you are using many more photos. You can adapt this system easily.
Figure out what size graphics you use and create a template for each one. This may include vertical, horizontal, and collage templates. It’s up to you.
Publishing a new blog post is always exciting. Use these tips to keep your blog organized, your time commitment to a minimum, and your audience coming back for more.