Two years ago, my blog graphics fucking SUCKED.
I mean that.
Like - avert your eyes or they'll bleed - my design skills were HORRENDOUS.
I would look at other people's sexy blog graphics - their Pinterest images, their Instagram quotes, their e-course ads in their sidebars- and I would WEEP.
Because even though I could tell which ones looked good and which ones looked bad (ahem - mine), I couldn't actually make the graphics that I had a hard-on for.
It was extremely frustrating.
And my blog traffic, my conversions, and my sales were suffering because of it.
Honestly - I am not kidding - when I re-did my blog graphics and e-course banners - my sales QUADRUPLED in a month.
This stuff is so important.
Now for a confession:
I'm still a horrible designer.
But I manage to make most of the Pinnables, blog graphics, webinar posters, and more you see on this site and on my social media channels.
Not because I'm a talented designer - hell no.
Because I have the right tools for the job.
And let me tell you - I resisted learning how to make graphics for my blog and business the right way for sooo long. Too long.
I used Canva. I used PicMonkey. I hated the way everything looked - I knew I needed to up my game.
When I did? My blog posts got pinned more, my tweets got shared more (you need images for your tweets!) and my eBook and course sales skyrocketed because they looked fucking GREAT.
I'm not a Photoshop expert. Not at all. I know the basics - and I can get shit done.
However, my blogging bestie Sarah Morgan IS a Photoshop expert (you've seen our sexy webinar promo images ALL OVER the Internet right? Those are all her!).
She's literally been doing this for 15 years. And she's a BEAST when it comes to teaching others Photoshop specifically for blogging and business.
You don't need to know EVERYTHING about Photoshop - but you do need to know how to create your own eBook covers, your own webinar graphics, your own Instagram quotes and your own banner ads for yourself.
I'm gonna let Sarah take over from here, since she's the one who knows her shit. Honestly - you would be lucky to learn this skill from her. She's a pro at this - and she can make you a pro in no time.
6 reasons you need to know Photoshop as a Solopreneur
As a solopreneur you're the CEO, the #GIRLBOSS, the head honcho in charge of everything.
This is AWESOME most days - I can create whatever I want, I can launch whatever I want, I can never wear pants again if I want!
But some days, you literally have to do...everything.
Create content, build sales and social media strategies, accounting, scheduling, emailing, EVERYTHING.
This also means you'll spend a ton of time learning different programs for each of these tasks.
- SquareSpace or Wordpress,
- bookkeeping software
- ecommerce platform (I use DPD)
I'm exhausted just thinking about all of that!
So anything I can add to my day to cut down on the time I spend on a specific task, while also creating a professional result is massively helpful.
For me, one of these things has been Photoshop.
With Photoshop you'll be able to do three important time-saving things.
- Create actions to edit and/or re-size images in seconds.
- Batch edit photos so they all use the same action and process 20 photos in less than a minute instead of hours.
- Build templates so you can create blog images and social media graphics ONCE and use them over and over instead of starting from scratch each time.
Think about the number of graphics you're creating every day . . .
I know many of you have recently became Webinar Rockstars™, which means you're now tasked with creating not only tons of graphics for your blog, your landing pages, and social media, but also graphics that will stand out in the ever-growing sea of webinars and online workshops.
Your webinar promo images can't look like everyone else's or they'll get lost in the crowd - you need your own unique templates that fit YOUR brand and YOUR business.
Sarah's photoshop course, an XoSarah Guide To Photoshop, will make sure you have the skills to create webinar graphics that get shared like crazy - meaning you get more sign-ups and more sales.
Whether you're selling on your own website or taking a step up and launching your product on Amazon, an eye-catching cover is a MUST HAVE.
Amazon currently has almost 5,000 titles available under blogging. This means when I put my Badass Blog Planner online it needed to have a cover that stood out and grabbed the user's attention.
An important note: This was not something I could have achieved with a free online platform because I needed to export it at 300dpi to make sure it was printable.
If you want to be able to do stuff like THIS:
...You have to learn the Photoshop skills in the XoSarah Guide To Photoshop.
How about instead of throwing together a couple fonts to promote your course you create a legit logo?
(Hey - This is Mariah jumping in - I CANNOT STRESS HOW FUCKING IMPORTANT THIS IS!!! SERIOUSLY!! LISTEN TO THIS WOMAN!)
With the number of people launching courses in the coming months it's time to get serious about creating a professional brand.
Building a set of graphics that you can re-purpose no matter how you're promoting your course is important.
I'm constantly having to create new graphics for my products and programs and being able to drag a few layers from one image to the next makes the process 100 times easier.
Some super sexy examples...
Worksheets and printable downloads
In PicMonkey, you can only save files up to 16 megapixels, which is a huge problem if you're trying to create something your readers will print. (Ahem...content upgrades.)
Worksheets, checklists, calendar pages, all need to be saved at a minimum of 150dpi so they print clean and crisp.
And because I know Mariah has convinced you how important and valuable content upgrades are for growing an email list, building your own templates makes consistently creating upgrades much easier to check off your to-do list.
Blog post images for pinning
55 percent of my traffic comes from Pinterest and bringing over half of my visitors from one platform isn't just about pinning and board-building strategy, it's about creating images that are begging to be clicked and shared.
Pinterest not only generates in a ton of traffic, it generates high-quality traffic.
People are not searching for a specific blogging or business topic, they want to be immersed in information.
So Pinterest traffic is highly valuable because they're much more likely to subscribe, sign-up, follow, or make a purchase.
Photoshop allows me to easily create big, bold images to show off my latest and greatest content, products, and pages and having them online in just a few minutes each day.
The bigger the image, the more layers and pieces, the more likely you're going to want to create and save a template.
Infographics are super beneficial in helping your posts get shared on social media by using them to show statistics, steps, or a list of tips.
And infographics are the best way to take up tons of real estate in the Pinterest grid, making it more likely your post will be clicked on and shared.
How much time are you spending on this stuff?
Now, take a minute to consider how many of these items you create (or should be creating) every single day. And how much time are you spending on each? 10 minutes, 30 minutes, AN HOUR??
The biggest benefit to saving time and keeping my branded images on-point has been the ability to create templates.
This means when I have to create a blog post image three times a week, and then a Twitter image, and a Pinterest image, and an Instagram image, I don't have to start from scratch each time.
I'm knocking out at least 4 graphics every single day in a matter of minutes.
And us busy solopreneurs know, the less time something takes, the more likely you'll consistently fit it into your schedule!
Now, I'm fully aware that Photoshop can be a huge challenge to learn.
You see a design technique you want to try, open Photoshop, and stare at all those buttons and palettes just waiting for the solution to pop up, and when it doesn't, you give up and go back to a free or cheap online platform and make the same stuff you've always been making.
Which looks pretty good, but not GREAT.
And great is what you need for more shares, more opt-ins, more sales, and more income.
So how are you going to learn all those Photoshop tools and techniques without spending weeks glued to your computer?
An XO Sarah Guide to Photoshop will take you from "OMG, I have no idea what I'm doing" to "OMG my image looks so damn good and it just got pinned 500 times!!" in under THREE HOURS.
You'll learn how to use every tool you'll need to...
- create blog images
- edit your photos
- build beautiful ebook covers
- design elements for your website
You'll be able to upload any font you like, zap zits and remove distractions from your photos, literally change the colors (maybe those purple nails need to be pink to match your logo).
And you can learn to do every single one of these things (and a TON more) in just a few minutes each.
As your business grows, creating more professional-looking graphics is going to be necessary in order to help you stand out in your niche.
Photoshop never limits what you can do with the lack of tools.
You'll be able to create time-saving templates, export in a range of sizes and resolutions (the course covers what to use and when), create and use actions for speedy editing, and batch edit your files.
It's cheesy, but after knocking out this course you'll really only limited by your imagination.
FREE PHOTOSHOP LESSON!
Click here if you want to see what the course is like and learn my FAVORITE tool for magically removing things from your photos (yeah, like those pesky zits or lame people who walked into your beautiful photo)
(If you don't currently have Photoshop you can do a free 30-day trial and then get it on the creative cloud for $19.99 / month!).