How to Create Amazing Graphics for Your Blog Absolutely Free

By Nate McCallister

There are a lot of ugly blogs out there. Don't let yours be one of them! If you feel like you don't have the time, experience or budget to create your own quality design work, read on!

A beautiful blog won't fix terrible content. Focus on content and then appeal. Quality blog design is an ongoing process (I am nowhere near finished with EntreResource), but each post you write needs to be top quality when you share it.

Want design work that sells? Do you stink at design and need a paint by numbers solution? Then check out PlaceIt. Placeit has 1,000s of ready to go templates and mockups for any type of design you can imagine! We use it in all of my businesses! --> Click here to get 15% off a monthly plan! <---

Now, I am not professional designer by any stretch of the imagination, but I am able to make solid graphics for and I do them in spite of having no prior design experience or natural skills. Even better, I do them for free 95% of the time!

There are tons of other free tools you can use, but I want to keep things simple and share just the ones I am currently using. You can do just about anything you want to do with just these few tools and shouldn't feel at all restricted.

Types of Design You Need

I use the tools and methods I am about to share for:

  • Blog featured images
  • Custom ads and side banners
  • In-post images.
  • Social media posts
  • Infographics
  • Social media cover art
  • Ebook covers (for lead magnets)

Every bit of design work I created on this blog could technically be replicated with the tools I am going to share.

Gather Free Stock Photos

I pay for images occasionally, but many of my blog post graphics come from free stock photography sites.  While there are dozens of these sites, my favorite is

Free Stock Photos

Be sure that you understand attribution laws and if the images you are using require you to recognize the creator.

Use Canva for a Majority of Tasks

There are tons of ways to make designs for your blog, but Canva is the one I use a majority of the time.

canva for blog

Canva is great because it is:

  • Free (although there are paid options and optional, premium design upgrades).
  • Easy to use.
  • Useful for many different types of design work.
  • Able to store your work long-term and allows you to add team members (paid) and common brand elements.

Canva is where I make almost all of my blog post images.

Understand Font Pairings and Basic Typography

Now, when you use Canva, you may be tempted to use the templates they have over and over again. Fight this urge!

While these designs are great and made by professionals, everyone and their mother is using them and they aren't changing much about them except the words.

So, the best way to leverage Canva is to understand the different font pairings available to you and use them in conjunction with other images (mentioned above in sites like to make your own custom designs that aren't cliche.

Bookmark this article ->  "The Ultimate Guide to Font Pairing" I reference this constantly and use these basic font pairings in Canva to make sure things look decent.

Google has a vast selection of fonts and there are hundreds of aesthetically appealing combinations for these free collections. Check and access 25 of the better font pairings available for free.

If you're the adventurous type, you can create your own font.

Get Your Colors Right

I am not proud to say, my eyesight is poor. Fortunately, there are tools that help make sure I have complimentary colors so I don't have to judge too much myself.

Complimentary colors for blogs

I recommend checking out Adobe Color CC and find great complimentary colors for your blog designs.

Also, you may want to copy colors from other places (images, other sites etc.) and there are a number of tools that make this easy.

I used to use a Google Chrome extension called ColorPick Eydropper but switched over to a better one called Colorzilla. You can easily grab color codes and then paste them where applicable. 


Utilize Screenshots

If your blog is like mine and involves occasional step by step tutorials, screenshots can be incredibly valuable in adding clarity to your message and, if done correctly, they will also make your post look better.

I typically use Snagit which is a premium tool, but you can grab screenshots with a number of other free tools.


Most operating systems have built in screen capturing abilities. On Mac I use CMD + SHIFT + 4. On mobile, you can usually take screenshots. On iOS, you will use HOME + POWER in a tapping manner. Be careful though, holding both will cause a hard restart.

If you want a quality free solution, I recommend first, Skitch by Evernote. It is simple to use and works on all devices with or without internet.

Another alternative is Awesome Screenshot, although I favor skitch

Create Simple Quote Images with Pablo by Buffer

Image quotes are a bit overused perhaps, but people (myself included) still love them.

Don't make things more difficult than they need to be. has a tool called Pablo that allows you to add a quote, select an image, change some basic filters, download and share.

Pablo images

Pablo is a fantastic tool for creating quick text over image designs.

Additional Recommended Tools

#1 Use Tinypng to shrink images.

Your blog loads the fastest when your image files aren't any bigger than they need to be. There are a lot of methods to optimize your blog's images without losing quality, but I judge for myself if I feel an image is too compressed or distorted by resizing. For most ‘full page’ web images, you want the image to be 80Kb-100Kb at most.  Dropping image quality to 30-50% will usually leave you with a picture that is still very clear to the naked eye. You can drop 1-3 Mb images to 80kb-120kb with little change in quality.

#2 Gimp is a strong, free option for editing.

Photo editing tools can be pricey. 

#3 Check out Imgur

It's great site for hosting images and capturing image links for sidebar widgets and ads.

#4 I recommend checking out FlatIcon for a wide selection of free icons.

Icons can add just as much flare as images. 

#5 Many readers mentioned Google Drawings as an alternative to Canva

Not a tool that I use currently, but I've heard good things. If you're on a budget, it might be worth checking out. It is part of the Google Drive suite of tools so that is a big plus.

About the author

Nate is the founder and main contributor of He is a lifestyle entrepreneur who spends his time building businesses and raising his four kids Sawyer, Brooks, Van and Lua with his beautiful wife Emily. His main interests include copywriting, economics and piano.

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