AskPat 182 Episode Transcript
Pat: Hey. What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 182 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm happy and super-stoked to be here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
Cool. Now let's get to today's question from Spencer.
Spencer: Hey Pat. My name is Spencer. I'm from a website called SanctifiedMarriage.com. It's a brand new website and one of the things with our website is we want to make it highly visual for our readers. I'm not a graphic designer or anything like that, but I am familiar with the websites like Canva and PicMonkey and stuff like that, but I really want to create unique, high quality images that are not subject to copyright and are royalty-free and all that kind of stuff. So my question for you is, because I know this is something that you're big on right now is creating those high engaging visuals on your website and blog and podcast and all that kind of stuff—so how are you doing it? Where are you getting the images from and how are you creating those?
If you can go step by step, that would be fantastic. All right, Pat. Appreciate it. Thanks for everything. Bye.
Pat: Hey, Spencer. What's up? Thank you so much for the question and congrats on the new site and it's really cool that you want to make it visual. I think that's a great way to stand out. I know a lot of people in all different niches that are really using the visuals to help enhance the user experience on their site and of course the visuals are really important for social sharing—on Facebook, on Twitter, especially on Instagram—and for your particular niche that you're talking about, marriage and things like that, which I assume is going to have quite a large amount of females in the audience, Pinterest is also a very good place, so of course visuals are very important. And before I start talking about how I go about it, I would definitely recommend you get a theme that helps you promote those visuals on your website and within your post.
There are different ways to feature different images on sites and things like that, so I would go through and make sure you are implementing a theme that allows you to put the visuals in a way that you feel would be useful and beneficial for your audience and also your brand. You can go to places like WooThemes.com or Theme Forest. There's also some skins for frameworks like Thesis and things like that which are really good and will help you more visually express the content you have on your site in a very interesting way, in all different kinds of ways. And once you pick a theme, you'll understand what the sizes are of the different images.
For example, if you go to my site, it's a custom theme on the Thesis platform—it's a custom skin–but if you go to, for example, the podcast page, you'll see visuals for each and every individual blog post. Those are implemented by utilizing the featured images section in my WordPress editor, so when I put up a new blog post or podcast episode, there's a space where I can add in that image and I know exactly the size of it. I work on it in PhotoShop and then drop it in there once it's done. So, I'm not going to tell you exactly the dimensions because that doesn't matter for you guys right now or for anyone listening to this. What matters is you have to understand the sizes that you need for your blog post, for whatever other featured images you have. Perhaps there's some space on the homepage like a slider or thumbnails on your homepage as well. Once you know those sizes, you'll know what files to create if you're going to be working in PhotoShop or whatever the case may be. Wherever you get your images, you're going to know the right size.
For me, this is the process I use. So, for those images there, and I do have PhotoShop experience—and you can actually through Lynda.com/AskPat to learn how to use PhotoShop, but there's a lot of great places to pick up PhotoShop as well. You don't need PhotoShop. I think you even mentioned a couple of tools already—Canva.com and PicMonkey.com—where you can get a lot of these images that you can then use on your site and not have to worry about royalty-free or any of that stuff. But I get an image that I feel relates and will sort of enhance the blog post or podcast episode on a stock photo site. So there's a couple that I want to recommend to you. There's DollarPhotoClub.com where each one is $1 which is really cool. The one I'm utilizing now is called DepositPhotos.com and the reason I'm utilizing that one is because when I subscribed to AppSumo, they cut a deal with Deposit Photos and I was able to get 100 images that I could download for like $39 which is a great deal. AppSumo runs some great deals sometime, so subscribe to them if you'd like.
But there's other ones like iStockPhoto.com. You can download those photos and then plop them into PhotoShop and you won't have to worry about any rights or paying royalties or anything like that. Just make sure that you read all the terms and stuff of the image that you're downloading. I would be careful about going on Flickr, for example, because there are some that you can use without having to worry, but it's hard to tell sometimes and you want to go through Creative Commons. Even then you still have to give people credit most of the time. I do have a blog post that we'll link to in the show notes hopefully. It's called The Ultimate Guide to Finding and Using Images on Your Website. That has a lot of information in terms of where you can get images and how you can use them and what's right and what's wrong on Flickr and things like that.
But anyway, on DepositPhotos.com, say, for example, the post is about my monthly income report for the next month. I'll find a cool image and I already have one that I already have, one I use each month for the monthly income report, so I'm not going to find one each time, but I would go on Deposit Photos and type in something related to that–like “bar graphs” or “calculator and computer”–whatever, just to have some sort of symbols in there that represent a report or money. I plop that into my master file that I have in PhotoShop. The master file is basically just a file that I open each time that is the template. That is the right size for what I need for these featured posts. That way, I don't have to start a new file each time and remember what the dimensions are and all that stuff. It's already there. So, I plop that image in there and I kind of resize it until it fits and then I start to add text. I have a very specific way that I add text. Not technically, but just in terms of what you see that a lot of people have really liked lately and so I'll share that with you.
It utilizes two different fonts. There's a block sort of lettering type of font and there's a cursive type font. I use the block letters to emphasize the main points of the blog post title or podcast title and I use the cursive font for the smaller, non-important words like “and,” “or,” “it,” or “the”—things like that. It really makes it pop. Where I got inspiration for that was actually through SlideShare. If you go to SlideShare.com, you can actually look at a bunch of different slideshows. Find the most popular ones. Find ones that seem to have a great design and then you can sort of use that as inspiration for your own. That's where I got that combo of using the two fonts that I love the most which is Proxima Nova and Pacifico. Pacifico is the cursive one. Proxima Nova is the block letter one and that's what you'll see on Smart Passive Income.
So that sort of creates this sort of font language that I have on my site that is the same every time. That way I don't have to worry about finding new fonts for each individual image but it also creates some sort of consistency and congruency throughout the site. I also use the same fonts on my slides for public presentations as well—or public speaking.
That's how I go about it and sometimes I'll also include graphics that aren't from DepositPhotos.com or iStockPhoto, but they are actually graphics that I make myself. Sometimes they're photos. You know, if they're photos that you take yourself with your own camera, then you don't need to worry about royalties or anything like that and you can maybe just find some creative way to organize or arrange things in your home, if they're related to that. I would assume based on the topic that you're going to be creating here, there's a lot of pictures that you could use from the home that could be worthwhile to take for your blog and you can also create things on tools that you have on your particular computer like Pages or Word. I like to use Pages because it allows me to do different shapes. I can easily drag and drop images and create little flow-charts and diagrams using Pages. It's sort of like the Mac equivalent for Word.
You can also use Keynote or PowerPoint and then just take a screen capture of that and plop it into your blog post as well. That's a great tip that you could use in terms of using software that you already have to create some interesting graphs to enhance the blog post that you're already writing.
So, that's how I go about it. So, Spencer, I hope that answers your question and I look forward to checking out your blog and seeing what it looks like. Awesome! Thanks so much. An AskPat t-shirt is headed your way.
For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there from that page.
Awesome! Thank you so much, and I do want to end with a quote today. Today's quote is from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He says, “To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult.”
Cheers! Take care, and I'll see you on the next episode of AskPat.