Branding and photo editing for content driven bloggers and website owners

Content driven bloggers focus on generating epic content and providing a great user experience.

The written word is our weapon of choice.

But we also know that to provide a great user experience we need more than just pages and pages of text.

We need photos, graphics and images to help our content communicate better.

So how do we make this happen without spending a fortune?

Here I will recommend 3 different and affordable options (one free option). You will be able to use all of them. It will all come down to your personal preference.

  1. Do it yourself using a template driven solution
  2. Outsourcing and plugins to the rescue in a content driven solution
  3. Do it yourself using affordable professional grade software

Do it yourself using a template driven solution

My friend Jane is a great writer but doesn’t enjoy the technical side of things.

And when I say technical I mean anything that is not content driven or involves posting (great) articles.

Jane loves templates. Things should “just work”.

Jane would use a photo from her mobile phone. And as long as it looks great….

If you feel that Jane is on to something then Canva is probably the best solution for you.

Canva is more of a design tool than an image editing software.

The whole workflow in Canva is extremely user friendly with an intuitive click-n-drag user interface.

Oh, and did I mention that there are free images, photos, graphics and templates that you can use? Even in the free version.

Yes, there is even a free version.

And I promise that after a brief 20 minute introduction you will feel empowered.

You will be able to design professional looking logos, pinterest pins as well as Facebook and Instagram posts with ease.

Sounds great. What’s the catch?

Canva offers great value but be aware of limitations

Canva is a great solution. The free option offers a feature rich environment and even the Pro version is affordable at around 13 USD per month. 

But there are some limitations that many bloggers are willing to live with.

It is very easy to see the advantages. The disadvantages are however a bit more subtle.

For me the main disadvantage is the lack of tools to compress photos and images.

We have already covered the importance of loading speed and Google Core Web Vitals in previous articles. 

And with Canva I am unable to resize (free) or compress (free and pro) photos and images.

Let’s say I for example want to use a photo from my mobile phone. The dimension of the photo could easily be 3500 x 4000 pixels whereas the actual file size could be as large as 4 MB.

Now 4 Megabytes is equivalent to 4000 kilobytes (kB). To put it in perspective I aim for less than 60 kB when I optimize photos that are 800 x 400 pixels.

And here Canva is lacking in functionality. There is a workaround that I will show you in a separate article. But as a solution, here we should expect more from Canva.

Protip: Learn how to compress and optimize photos and images when using Canva.

Outsourcing and plugins to the rescue

Many website owners and bloggers in particular start a website because they like to write. 

And the websites will consequently be content driven. We also like to think that we are good at writing. 

We do however not necessarily want to spend lots of time doing other stuff. You know tasks that are not content driven. 

Let’s just say we prefer to focus on doing what we do best. Writing and producing great content.

Handling one-time tasks and projects

Every now and then we come across a task that needs to be completed once.

Creating a logo is an example most of us can relate to. 

We want the logo to look nice and professional. We do not have the skillset to design a logo ourselves.

The good news is that even with a very limited budget you can outsource your logo design.

Simply go to Fiverr. Select Graphics & Design > Logo Design and look at available freelancers offering logo design services.

Build a short list using the rating system and testimonials from previous customers. Then reach out to find the freelancer that suits your needs and budget best.

When I looked there were several top ranked freelancers offering logo design from as little as 10 USD.

Now that is reasonable.

And then there were the recurring image editing needs

Freelancers work great for projects and tasks that happen once or twice.

But when we have tasks that happen frequently we need a more economical solution.

An example would be that we need to optimize and compress images when we post articles to our website.

What to do? Enter WordPress plugins. 

My absolute favorite is Imagify that will resize and compress the most common image formats at the click of a button.

The plugin is extremely user friendly and all accounts start as  free options including optimizing 20 MB worth of images per month.

For many websites this will be enough as it roughly translates to around 150-200 images per month. 

And should you need more you can get 200 MB for USD 5 per month and even an unlimited account for only USD 10 per month.

This is great value.

Do it yourself using affordable professional grade software

Personally I find Affinity Photo to be a great alternative for working with and editing images and photos. 

But I also realise that Affinity Photo may be “too much” if you have no experience with image editing software. 

I have years of experience with Adobe Photoshop. And truth to be told, I am really impressed with Affinity Photo. 

And if you are willing to learn, I think Affinity Photo is your best option for photo and image editing.

But there are of course disadvantages when it comes to graphic design as you always start with a blank canvas.

I am no designer. And I do not create logos. I use Affinity Photo for editing images and photos. 

With Affinity Photo “anything” is possible

I guess the disadvantages with Affinity Photo is that the options can be overwhelming as you pretty much can do anything.

My best tip is to take advantage of Affinity Photos extremely generous free 90-days trial.

When you have installed the program you will be overwhelmed. 

Do not try to learn the program.

Instead, set one goal. You could for example decide to learn how to resize an image. When you know how to resize an image you move on to the next task.

Learn to work the program from your needs and wants. There is no reason to learn the entire program. 

After all, you are not a graphic designer.

Just learn to accomplish the tasks that are relevant to you and your website. 

Summary and conclusion

There is no right way to handle image and photo editing.

All that matters is that you make sure to optimize and compress images and photos before you use them on your website.

The good news is that we have several available options.  Even better, they can all be made to work depending on your needs and wants.

And for once we are not limited by budget. Instead it simply comes down to how you want to invest your time and solve the problem. 

Meet the author: Mattias (Matt) is a serial entrepreneur and travel industry expert with more than 20 years of experience in business and web development. Mattias identifies with self-starters and entrepreneurs, loves to garden, and believes everyone needs a game plan for financial independence.