Have you ever wondered how bloggers create professional blog post thumbnails?
I know I did when I was first got into the blogging game.
I’d often ask myself questions like;
Do I have to learn photoshop?
Do I have to buy an expensive camera?
Do people even care about thumbnails?
It was all a mystery to me until I discovered a wonderful little program called Canva.
What Is Canva?
Canva is a user-friendly alternative to Photoshop that runs right in your web browser.
No need to download any software.
Just visit the site, sign up for FREE, and get started.
If you have ever used a computer before, Canva will be extremely easy to navigate and configure.
All You have to do is upload a photo, choose a filter, and decide what type of text and other effects you want to add to it.
Do Thumbnails Matter
You know what they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
And ya know what? they’re right.
Eye-catching thumbnails (along with well-written headlines) get a readers attention and help your click-through rate immensely.
This means that you will get more eyes on your work which can potentially add more $ to your bank account.
You should always always always include a professional blog thumbnail in each of your posts.
So, now that you know some of the basics, let’s get to the good stuff.
8 Steps To Creating Professional Blog Post Thumbnails
Step 1 – Find A High-Quality Photo
The first thing you’ll need to do is download a high-quality photo that will be the main focus of your professional blog thumbnail.
There are 2 basic ways of getting a high-quality photo.
- Take a photo yourself with the camera on your smartphone.
- Download a free high-quality photo from a stock photo website.
Either choice will work just fine but one option is obviously faster than the other.
I mean, I don’t know about you, but I rarely whip out my phone and snap pictures of myself or things around me.
And that’s completely fine!
That’s why websites like the two that I’m about to show you exist.
Pixabay has been my go-to for Success & Strength and I use them for almost all of my thumbnail photos.
They offer a wide selection of beautiful free stock photos and I’ve never had any issues with the site.
I’ve only recently discovered Unspalash but I’ve already used them twice within the last couple of days.
From what I see, this site offers equal quality photos (sometimes better) when compared to Pixabay and I have a feeling that it will become my new favorite site for stock photos.
The Choice Is Yours
Pick one site or use both. It really doesn’t matter.
Just make sure that each image downloads in HD and always choose to download them as a .png file. This will give you the best possible quality.
Step 2 – Upload Your Photo To Canva
Okay, so you got yourself a free high-quality photo that’s ready to be edited.
First, you’re going to head on over to Canva, sign in, and click on create a design.
Next, you are going to click on the CD Cover design under blogging and Ebooks.
Then click on uploads near the bottom left of the page and select upload your own photos.
Select the photo that you want to upload and click open.
Tada, now your photo is ready to be edited.
Step 3 – Resize Your Photo
The photo that you select won’t always be a perfect fit for the CD Cover design, but you can easily resize the photos by clicking the corners and dragging.
Just do your best to get the main part of the photo in focus.
Step 4 – Adjust Photo Brightness
If you want to add readable text to your photo you’ll need to adjust the brightness.
You can do this by clicking the photo and then selecting filter.
Now you can adjust the brightness manually or choose a pre-made filter.
Step 5 – Add Text
Adding text to your photos is super simple. Just click on text and select the type of box that you want to use.
You can also adjust the color of the text and font styles.
Step 6 – Add Shapes
After you add text to your photo, you can also add lines and shapes to make them look a little fancier.
Step 7 – Add Branding
I always like to add my website branding to the bottom of my thumbnails.
This final touch makes your thumbnail look professional and helps with your brand awareness.
Once your website has been around for a while, google images will start to save your thumbnails and the images will be clickable which can bring more traffic to your website.
Step 8 – Set Your Alt Text
Once you are done editing the image and ready to upload it to WordPress, make sure you add your blog post keyword to your image in the alt text area.
For example, my keyword phrase for this post was “professional blog thumbnail” so that’s what I entered for the alt text of my thumbnail.
Doing this simple trick will help Google know what your post is about so that you can rank better in search engines.
You now know how to make professional blog thumbnails.
Now, visitors of your site will see that you are the real deal and trust the content on your blog more.
Hell, you could even join a freelance website like Fiverr and charge people a fee just to make professional looking thumbnails.
The possibilities are endless.
Anyway, I hope you stuck around until the end and actually learned something.
From The Man Himself –
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