Today I’m sharing something super embarrassing. I’m going to share some awful pictures of some of the graphics I used to use on my blog. Why would I subject myself to such embarrassment? Because I want you guys to see where I came from. I want you to see that it wasn’t always easy for me and I want you to see that anybody can do it.
If design-challenged me can create awesome graphics, you can too.
When I first discovered Picmonkey, it was like a playground for me. And I was like the naive child who didn’t know that if you spun too fast on the merry-go-round you would most definitely throw up. And that’s what I did. I threw up all over my graphics and put them on my blog. For the internet to see. Oh dear god I regret this post already. I had no idea what I was doing. That much is obvious. And even though it’s embarrassing to see where I came from, it’s also kind of impressive. Because when you look at my graphics today you can see just how far I’ve come and that’s something I’m proud of. I made a lot of mistakes and now I’m going to share those mistakes with you so you don’t have to repeat them.
My graphics sizes were all over the place and just generally terrible. I would make square graphics. And these tiny little rectangular ones. Like these:
Wow that really hurt to put those up. I had this weird squarish bird and then this tiny little rectangle. And that’s the exact size I used to upload them too. First of all, they’re way too small. And they’re not optimized for any social media site. No one is ever going to pin one of those images that’s for sure. And they’re not even optimized for Facebook or Twitter. Here’s your cheatsheet size guide for each social media outlet:
Pinterest: 735px x 1102px
Facebook: 940px x 788px
Twitter: 1024px x 512px
You should create a graphic for each social media outlet with every blog post. I use my Pinterest graphic as my main post graphic and then I upload my FB & Twitter graphics via the Yoast plug-in. That way when people share on FB and Twitter it automatically pulls the correct image. Why should you go through all this work? Because images on social media are more likely to be shared, retweeted or re-pinned AND they’re more likely to be clicked on. People are visual. Give them pretty pictures and they will come hang out with you. Or food. You could give them pizza. That would suck me in.
P.S. Canva has pre-made templates you can use to create these! Learn how to create better graphics by signing up for my free course!
Placing All My Text on an Image
Oh lord. There are multiple things wrong with these graphics, but let’s stick to the topic at hand. Putting all your text on a graphic is a bad idea. For one big reason. SEO. Search engine optimization. The google bots that come and read your blog so they can figure out where you should rank in the search engines can’t read text on an image. They are, unfortunately, not that smart. So putting all your text on your images means that Google thinks your post has no text. And that is a very bad thing. Google likes long posts. No text = a short post = page 30 of the Google search results = blog death.
NO I AM NOT BEING DRAMATIC. PAGE 30!!! THAT’S WHERE BLOG POSTS AND WEBSITES GO TO DIE.
Sorry for yelling. I just really, really don’t want your blog on page 30 of the search results. I want it on page one! I’m pretty sure you want that too so do yourself a favor and don’t put all your text on an image.
P.S. I totally chose that J.K. Rowling image because I just finished reading Harry Potter for the first time!!! Also I’m pretty sure I used that image in 2014…I was a little behind. Oops.
So I tried a little bit I suppose with my Top Ten Tuesday Graphic and other recurring features. I had the red and yellow going (which honestly was god awful and I have no idea why I ever decided to go with those colors). But then I had images like the above two that had all different fonts and colors. What the heck was I doing??? I was all over the place and I truly believe it’s one of the reasons I didn’t start really growing my blog until I got my branding in order. Not that any of these images were really “pinnable”, but when I did pin them I got like zero repins. Gee, I wonder why?
The images aren’t vertical, not pretty and not branded. No one would recognize these images as mine on social media because they’re all so different. Now people recognize my images and my blog has a cohesive, professional look. That’s what you’re going for. Professional doesn’t have to mean not fun. But think about it this way. If you were a publisher deciding between two bloggers because you only have one review copy left of a highly anticipated book, would you choose the blogger with the blog consisting of the above images or the blog with the cohesive, branded look?
You’re going to go with the more professional, branded blog. Because that blog looks like it has more authority. It looks like the blogger is more experienced and I trust that blogger more than the hot mess who put the above images up on the internet for everyone to see. All of that could be false, but it’s all about first impressions and visually pleasing content. I know, it’s not fair. But life’s not fair.
P.S. If you check out my post on branding you can download a free branding workbook!
And that’s why I created my free course called “Create Your Own Graphics”. It’s an 8-day email course specifically designed for book bloggers. The course will get you started on creating your own graphics so you can create a professional cohesive look. This will allow you to grow your blog, make tons of friends and build relationships with publishers so you can get more books! Isn’t that what we all want?
ALL THE BOOKS!!
So don’t wait! Sign up for the course today and get started!
And because I love you guys and want you to be as successful as possible… I also created a checklist for you so you never miss another step. I know how overwhelming it can be when I’m throwing a ton of information at you. But I don’t want it to be! Use this checklist to make life easier and faster!
Have you made any of these mistakes with your graphics? Still making them? No worries! Sign up for the course to get started fixing those mistakes and building a better book blog!