Never fear, finding images to use on your blog or social media accounts has never been easier – thanks to the hundreds of free-photo sites, like Pixabay.com and IdPinThat.com, and image-editing tools like PicMonkey.com and Canva. And for the type of topics we blog, tweet or pin, including how to eat and live with a focus on holistic health, I’m finding these free image-creation resources to be pretty darn perfect.
Easy steps to find and personalize photos
Here are the steps I take to find images like the colorful photo montage I used in this post:
- Start your search with the ideal key word. I knew this blog post would include tips on finding images, so the word “search” came to mind when I visited Pixabay. I typed in “search” and found images of magnifying glasses, the Google search bar, etc. Close, but not exactly what I wanted – although I decided to keep the glasses in mind since I thought I could make that work.
- If at first you don’t succeed, search search again! I tried another word, “photos,” even though I was doubtful I’d get anything close to what I needed since Pixabay is a photo site … and searching for “photos” seemed a bit redundant! But to my happy surprise, I found the image I’m using here and thought it would be perfect for this post.
- Check the photo’s usage rights. Even on a free photo site, it’s a good practice to check the license on each image. I do this with Pixabay photos, even though the majority of them carry the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication license. (See the License link on the photo to the right? That’s where you can find this information.). I’ve run into a few Pixabay photos that carried restrictions, so I always avoid them. (See Pixabay’s FAQ page for more on this topic.)
- Download/save the file to your computer. Pixabay offers a variety of file formats and sizes. In the example shown here, only JPGs are available, but some images (like the cartoon illustration I used on this blog post), are available in SVG (vector) format, which makes them easy to modify in a program like Adobe Illustrator because the image stays in proportion (i.e., it looks great dialed up or down in size). Often, the easiest thing to do is download the JPG and the smallest file size.
- Personalize the image in PicMonkey or Canva. I typically use PicMonkey although I know many wellness pros who swear by Canva. (One of these days, I vow to spend some time on Canva!) I pay for the “Royale” version of PicMonkey which is only $4.99/month or $33/year, because I love having the extra fonts and features. Here’s what I did to personalize my Pixabay image:
- I went to PicMonkey, chose the Design option and pulled the downloaded photo-montage image into a blank canvas.
- From there, I resized and embellished it with two horizontal color bars – one white and one green, since those colors work well with my Social Media for Wellness Pros logo and with the colors in the photo, too.
- Then, I scrolled through the available fonts, chose one and added my blog post’s title and subhead on top of the color bars. (It took me a few minutes of fiddling around to get the text to be the perfect size.)
- I added my site’s logo to the photo, which I do for every blog post image. Gotta keep the branding going, right?!?
- I gave the newly created image a good once-over, which is super-important even when you’re not using a lot of text. (I have to admit I’ve almost hit publish right before I realized my image had a typo in it. Gasp! Then I had to go back to PicMonkey to make some edits.) And here’s something else important to know at this stage of the process: If you close out of PicMonkey after you save the image, you can’t easily go back and edit the image. There’s a longer explanation for why this happens, but just take my advice and leave your browser open to the PicMonkey image until you’re 100% certain it’s good to go.
- Finally I resized the image to 600 x 800 pixels, since my blog works best with a 600-pixel width.
- Upload your personalized image to WordPress or your favorite blogging platform. And don’t forget to write the alternate text for your image – Google will love you for it.
So that’s all it takes to find and personalize free images for your health and wellness blog or your Pinterest, Facebook or other social network accounts. You’ll feel good knowing you used a Creative Commons-licensed image and weren’t tempted to snag an image from Google search … and pretty darn proud of yourself for personalizing it so It’s Just Right.
Before I let you go, here are a few more image-related resources:
- In the six steps above, I gave you the quick-and-dirty version of how to personalize an image in PicMonkey. For more detailed help, search YouTube for PicMonkey videos like this: How to Use Overlays in PicMonkey … or visit the PicMonkey blog, where you’ll find helpful tips like this: How to add text to pictures.
- How and When to Use the 9 Most Common Types of Image Files (helpful if you’re interested in learning more about image file types)
- The Best Places to Find Free Stock Images for Your WordPress Site and 12 Amazing Sites With Breathtaking Free Stock Photos (assortment of free photo sites … more than you will ever need, I bet)
- Foodie’s Feed and Free Food Photos (if blogging about food, these are worth a look)
- Photography tips from healthy-living blogger Marly McMillen Beelman (another option is to shoot your own photos, and my interview with Pinterest pro Marly may inspire you to do so)
Note: I’m an affiliate for PicMonkey.com, which means I get compensated if you decide you like the free PicMonkey SO much that you do like I did and upgrade to the Royale account (note: I don’t receive a dime for the free account sign-ups). If you do sign up for PicMonkey (free or Royale), please email me or leave a comment here letting me know how you like it!