Easy Ways to Create Original Images for Visual Marketing [PicMonkey]

I love visual marketing and I love using original, visual images on Facebook, Pinterest, and my Blog. 

I often get asked how to make original images without being a professional photographer, graphic designer or photoshop whizz.

Today I am starting a series of posts focused on tips for helping you easily create original images – images you can use immediately to add wow factor to your social media marketing.   And we start with PicMonkey!  

Visual Marketing Series | PicMonkey | Socially Sorted
This image was created with PicMonkey (screenshot + the fab PicMonkey creative tools)
I will admit, I have been a Photoshop girl until recently.  I am not a graphic artist, but I do have creative flair and love using creative programs to make my content pop (at least just a little).

But for most people, Photoshop is just a little bit techy, so I was excited to discover this wonderful free (yes, free……I say it again, free) PicMonkey a couple of months ago. I have been playing with it more and more recently and have decided that you must know about it, if you don’t already!
PicMonkey – the free (yes free) photo editing site.

PicMonkey is not just free, creative and useful…it is downright choc full of fabulous applications.  In a drag and drop kind of way. This makes it easy to use for anyone. That includes you!

Note:  if you want to take your photo creation and image editing a little further you can purchase a “Royale” membership and get access to even more great features, fonts, backgrounds and templates.  But the free version is definitely a great place to start!

Let’s look at some of the features:

Upload your photo or background and choose from one of the following features and more:

Visual Marketing | PicMonkey | Text and Basic Edits
Start with a photo or background….and add some seriously super-cool fonts…or how about some cropping, resizing or colour editing. It’s a snap!
Or how about adding some effects and layouts…
Visual Marketing | PicMonkey | Socially Sorted | Effects and Layouts
The Effects Toolbar on PicMonkey rivals that of Instagram, and the Layouts allow you to create some pretty attention-grabbing designs. Need a Facebook Timeline cover? PicMoney to the rescue!
Need to add a shape, arrow or speech bubble? Perhaps a funky border or style?  No problem!
Visual Marketing | PicMonkey | Socially Sorted | General and Frames
Borders and shapes galore….you are only limited by your imagination. Like?
I could go on and on about the features and functions of PicMonkey, but suffice to say it is one of those tools that you just have to play with.  To give you an idea of how easy it is to use, I just created this in 5 minutes.  5 minutes of playing around with this tool and I have an image worthy of placing on my blog, Facebook Page or Pinterest:

Visual Marketing | Picmonkey | Socially Sorted | Image Example
5 Minutes. Easy. PicMonkey Rocks! (oh and yes, if you do want to keep updated with awesome social media tips, subscribe to our updates at the top of the page!

In this case I grabbed a stock photo that I had purchased on file a while back…but I recommend you use your own photos where possible. Even if you have a semi-decent photo, the filters and tools in PicMonkey can help you to create an eye-catching, professional looking image!

Or what about those quotes that fly around on Pinterest on Facebook? Maybe you could do one for your niche or industry, using a quote that is relevant to your target market (and add a watermark for your website).

Here is one that I just whipped up using PicMonkey.  Total time 9 minutes (including finding the quote):

Visual marketing | Picmonkey | Socially Sorted | Quote Example
Eye catching, shareable quotes are easy to produce on PicMonkey. Go crazy with it!

That’s it.  Images produced quickly, easily, and with a whole lot of fun!  I have not even touched on some of the functions of Picmonkey….but I will let you explore and have fun with it.

Update:   since this article was published, another great image creation tool, Canva has been released and together with Picmonkey, Canva rounds out my two favourite tools for creating images that get shared and drive traffic.  You can find out more about Canva here.

Here is the Skinny on this Visual Marketing Series:  For the purposes of this series, I will be keeping it simple and featuring sites and tools that can help you to easily create three of my favourite types of images:
  • Photos
  • Text-Based Images
  • Mixed Media Images (including graphics, photos, and/or text).
Why?  Because images get shared, commented on, and liked more than any other type of content online. It’s not surprising really.  Visual images are processed fast than text.  They impact our emotions and reactions. It is quicker to make an impact with a picture vs words! You only have to look at the rise and rise of Pinterest to see that this is true.

And what about Facebook?  Their recent changes showcase images for cover photos, milestones and the newsfeed.  Oh and there is the little matter of Facebook buying Instagram for 1 Billion dollars.  You get the picture?  Anyone can use images to get wow factor on Social Media. Believe me, you can! You just have to know some tricks to create great images!

Over to you.  What do you think you could use this for?  Have you created any images yet for your social media marketing? Would you feel more confident trying it now that you can use a program like PicMonkey?  I would love to hear your feedback and if you make some cool images, post the link to it below!  

Create Traffic Driving Images www.createtrafficdrivingimages.com

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is the founder of Socially Sorted, the Business Category Winner of the 2014 Best Australian Blogs Competition. Donna helps businesses, bloggers and entrepreneurs use visual social media and content strategy to get more reach, referrals and results in their business. She is a contributor to Entrepreneur Online, Social Media Examiner and Social Fresh, and has been featured in Forbes, NBC and Yahoo.
  • TravelGenee

    Donna, thanks again for another great recommendation. I’m still loving Feedler pro from last week too.
    I did have a quick play and definitely this is good for quick images compared to photoshop. I posted it at my http://www.travelgenee.com pinterest site. Nothing creatively brilliant just frames, angled images, adding bits, removing stuff, etc

  • The Joy Collective

    Hey I was just wondering if you had a suggestion like Pic Monkey for iPad?

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

      Hi, yes unfortunately PicMonkey requires Flash, so not possible to use through iPad. Two I can recommend for adding fonts to images are Over (app) and Phonto (App). I don’t know any that have the same functions as PicMonkey in the one program, but there are a bunch of apps that do some of the same in combination. I will keep an eye out!

  • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

    Oh that’s great Fran – glad you liked both of them! Yes, PicMonkey is definitely full of creative tools that can make it so much easier to make some professional looking images. I will check out your Pinterest boards!

    • TravelGenee

      Check out my work one too if you have time. Its handle is decorheaven

    • Celena

      I can’t work out how to save the image I have created??

      • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

        Hi Celena – when you have finished your image, look above it and it says [upload save share autofill clear all] – click on SAVE then a box will pop up on the LHS of your screen – edit the details (where the file will go, name etc) and click “save photo” on the bottom left…hope that helps!

  • changenurhealth

    Can you create an image/words on a blank canvas or do you have to have some sort of background or image to create on picmonkey. in other words i have been trying to create a image from scratch with all my contact info etc… but can not see how to do it unless I upload something first. Thanks and I’m really enjoying all the informative info that I can impliment in my MLM business

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

      Great Question! There are two easy ways to do the images – one is to use a photo, but as you say if you don’t have a photo (like for the Maya Angelou Quote I did above) I just created the blue background as a square image in PicMonkey first, saved it as a jpeg, then imported it back as the “photo” that I was going to edit. Does that make sense? There might be a quicker way but at the moment that is the way that I was able to do it quickly. Now you are making me think that I might need to do some video tips on this! ha ha. Let me know if that helps and if you need me to, I can do a screen grab video about it!

      • changenurhealth

        awesome, yes that did help but my next question is….How do you make just the plain background LOL and to think i use to think i was somewhat computer literate, guess i’ve been fooling myself all along LOL Thanks so much

        • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

          Too funny – I think I just answered that with my second reply. Hope that helps. Let me know how you go!

          • changenurhealth

            thank you very much and the second reply answered exactly what i was needing to know. will keep you posted 🙂

          • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

            Sounds great!

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

      Actually, re my comment below, sorry…I actually meant that I went into PicMonkey under CREATE A COLLAGE and then I made a square image by firstly removing all the dotted line “text boxes” until you are left with one square, then click on the art palette image (background) and choose a colour for your background. You will end up with a square (or whatever shape you want) image that you can then save to your desktop. Then upload that same image (EDIT A PHOTO) and you can use it as the base for a new image. Does that make sense? Let me know how you go!

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  • http://twitter.com/MadonnaRobinson Madonna Robinson

    Thank you Donna. This looks like even I could use it. Appreciate how you share such great knowledge.

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

      Thanks Madonna! Glad you are finding it useful – definitely more to come! And yes, you can use it. It is sooooooo easy and really packs a punch as far as looking professional (and a little bit funky!).

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  • http://www.attractyourniche.com cindyschulson

    I love this Donna – thank you! Social media is becoming so visual and having a cool picture really draws people’s attention. If you’re taking requests, I would love to know what tools to use to create a good graphic for Facebook Page apps. I used Powerpoint and saved it as a jpg but I’m sure it could be better. Thanks!

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

      Thanks Cindy and you are welcome! Sorry I must have missed your comment, I just saw it! Great idea re the Facebook Page Apps, I will definitely consider writing a post on it. But for me, I have just used Lujure (now Heyo) and North Social. Both are great – some free capability but also very cheap for monthy access. Hope that helps!

  • http://www.facebook.com/destini.ingoldsby Destini Ingoldsby

    I love this, I am normally a photoshop girl too, but I think I’m gonna use this now! Love the blog!

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

      Thanks Destini – glad you like it. I am a photoshop girl too (although self-taught) but I love the Monkey! Have fun with it!

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  • http://www.tobestressfree.com/ michelle gallinero

    thank you for your post. it is exactly what i need for my blog.

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au/ Donna Moritz

      You are welcome Michelle – if you want more tools and tips I just started a free series on this (Picmonkey on Steroids ha ha) – you can check it out here: http://sociallysorted.com.au/top5imagetools. Have fun playing with “the monkey”.

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  • April

    I never knew their could be an amazing photo editing website like this. I am used in Photoshop and I am already enjoying it but I still wanna try to use that PicMonkey if it suits my interest. Thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au/ Donna Moritz

      Cool April and check out http://www.canva.com too – both awesome sites!

  • Angie Dicken

    Hi! I have LOVED having a Royale membership on PicMonkey, and use it more than I use Gimp…which is crazy because I am a Gimp junkie. The only think with PicMonkey is I can’t save the file with all the layers intact…it flattens the image. Is this true? OR is there a way to save it that I don’t know about? Thanks!! Great post!

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