Yes ladies, that’s right – size. does. matter.
For your graphic templates, on the web, of course – what did you think I was talking about?
Marketing tip: image templates created in the right dimensions save you time
Let me ask you a question:
When you think about the different types of images you need to set up for your website and blog, do you feel overwhelmed at all the things that you need to create?
Yes? then read on… (ok I still want you to read on anyways because maybe you can teach me a trick)
I thought I’d share with you my steps in creating templates, and how I set it up to save time.
I’ll keep this focused on graphics that I use to set up my website, and the flow in which I create branded assets for social media and all that jazz.
If you are feeling impatient and want to grab the 4 page graphics size guide now, just click the image below and you can get crackalackin!
Or, if you have subscribed before, you can find it in the Free Resource Library – sweet!
If you are still in the early stages of developing your brand, you may want to check out this on creating your brand first: How to get brand color consistency across platforms
Once you have your style guide and brand brief down pat so that it looks and feels like you and sounds like your voice, it’s time to start making it easier on yourself by creating some templates and flow.
Step 1: Start with “parent” topics for your ideal customer.
Think about what you get asked about, and start to brainstorm some blog topics for each subject. A good way to do this is to think about what people ask you about most, and then see how many different ideas you can come up with. I like to keep these in a draft post on my website so I can see what I have got to write about. Saves losing tiny bits of paper.
For example, if your business were to have a parent (customer) teacher (business) meeting, your “parent” topics might be maths, English, and social skills. You could then break topics down into maths down into addition, multiplication, and division (how hard is long division OMG I don’t even know how to do it for homework support!).
Likewise English you could break into spelling, grammar, speech, comprehension, and social skills might cover friendships, manners, and not telling other kids how to spell swear words (not my kid, but I have witnessed a six year old use scrabble letters to start to spell f-u- oh no!!! “let’s make that fun!)
Step 2: What is the purpose of your blog article?
Is it just to share information, share a personal story, do a round up of the web, back link to someone or are you going to create a value adding opt-in that can help to grow your email list.
If you are creating a value adding opt in, this is where we go next.
Step 3: Create a PDF of your opt-in freebie
(if you are not creating an opt in – skip this step)
I use Canva. I’d like to learn how to use in design or photoshop, but I am graphically challenged on the design front, so Canva is the easiest for me. It’s a user friendly tool and ease of use is top of my list when choosing anything in my productivity stack.
Why do I create the PDF first? Well, It helps to create a really quick mud map of what I want the blog to focus on, I can add it into my resource library, I can load it up to HOTBOT (super fast), AND I can screen shot it to use in graphics for the next steps.
If you are using a Mac, you can hold command+shift+4 to bring up the “crosshairs” and whilst holding the keys down, click your mouse button and highlight over the PDF image to take a screen shot. You can then upload this screenshot as an image into Canva.
Step 4: Create the right sized template for Pinterest images
I personally have a group of templates set up in my Canva account so that I can rotate through colours and images and just change the text to relate to the blog. I find that the Canva dimensions are not optimal, and therefore I use the dimensions that the plug in Social Warfare recommends for my pin images on WordPress.
Step 5: Resize your image templates to be website and media friendly
(If this is the first time you are creating image and graphic templates)
Canva have this great resize ability where you can click on Resize/Copy and Resize to choose one of their predefined size options OR you can copy the file and then choose File, change dimensions to choose the sizes that you need. I prefer this second way, as you can basically create one set of images from step 4 and then resize and edit them for all your template requirements.
Step 6: Edit your Social Media Image Templates – especially for facie.
Resizing in Canva will not make things perfect – you will have to do a little bit of editing to get things sorted. The biggest editing focus here is on the amount of text. For example, in Pinterest you might use text to take up the bulk of the image, yet for a Facebook post, ideally the graphic has a maximum of 20% space allocated to text.
The reason this change is so important is that if you want to boost your Facebook blog post and create brand awareness, you will be starting out complying with the Facebook advertising guidelines. Try and keep this headline action based, dropping the “how to’s or any creative writing. Keep it short sharp and simple.
Here’s an example:
Pinterest image says: Focus: How to improve yours when you work from home
Social media image says: Focus: Improve it when you work from home.
The text in this second example takes up less space to be more Facebook advertising friendly.
Step 7: Create your lead page or lead form opt in sized image to go into your blog
This is a banner image within the blog just like below….ooooh pretty.
Notice how these images still stay with brand colours, but the focus of the text is different – yep FREE (well almost – it costs you an email, unless you want HOTBOT to get stuff for you).
You will also notice that there is a nice little screenshot of the checklists in the banner.
With these images (this is where tech starts to come into it), you can link the image directly to your opt in form that you create in mailchimp, convert kit, or wherever, OR if you are fortunate enough to use lead pages (like me) you can add in the code from a lead box straight into your blog.
The above image is a lead box from lead pages, but further down, you will have an images that connects straight to convert kit.
Step 8: Create your opt in form image as a thumbnail size
These are the opt in graphics that you see when you click on the image above. sometimes I use thumbnails, other times I use banner images – depending on the opt in form template I choose. Be sure to use a screenshot of the image in your thumbnail also.
Once created, these will go into the image space for the form that you create in either convert kit, mail chimp, maelerlite or leadpages- whoever you use. The focus is on what it actually is that people are getting.
I also use these thumbnails as covers for my resource library items, so that the resource library gets some more love as the blog grows.
Step 9: Download your graphics and images and start writing your blog!
Instead of downloading the whole file, I just select the image that I need. I do this by selecting download, file type png (with the exception of the A4 pdf’s) and choose the page (image template) that I am wanting to use for that particular blog.
You now have a complete set of graphics in Canva to use any time you create opt ins – all you need to do is change the text, and your brand colours. Easy peasy lemon squeasy!
When you download your files from Canva, they will come out as 1.png, 2.png etc. this will mean nothing to good ole google and sexy SEO. Name your images with keywords that mean something. I also like to include pin, lead, or banner in the name so I know what is what when I am adding them in to the different elements.
Step 10: Connect up the tech to make your hard work shine!
This can be a little daunting in itself, so after the blog is written, I then create an opt in form in convert kit (you can do this in your own email software though). This is where the digital asset (the PDF freebie) is delivered from.
The easiest way (If you want to use an image, but don’t have lead pages) is to place your banner image in your blog (see below).
From convert kit, click on form, then integrations.
Copy the link in the white box under twitter lead generation.
Click on the banner image, and edit it.
Choose custom url, and paste in the link from convert kit.
This will then pop up your convert kit lead box.
In conclusion, you would have the following image template sets and assets to help rock your blog and grow your business:
- An account with canva
- A PDF of a freebie or opt in resource
- An image of the PDF pages. (no more than 3 pages fanned)
- Pinterest templates
- Social media template* (less text on the image for Facebook)
- Banner images for blogs
- Thumbnails for the email opt in forms
- Thumbnails to use as covers in your resource library (if you re creating one)
The checklist also contains size guides for other digital assets like shop thumbnails, favicons, logos, business cards, and course cards plus some handy tips on what to do with your images.
I know this seems like a lot of work at the start, but once you have a set, it gets easier to update. The first time for everything is always going to take time and feel a bit awkward – just like when you are trying on a new dance move that your nine year old will cringe at! Yup – momma can crump!! lol.
Let me know in the comments below how you go with creating a template set!