What’s the first thing someone sees when browsing a blog? Easy, the title and, maybe even before that, the blog header.
The blog header is the perfect accompaniment to your post. It sets the tone of the post before you even start reading. A blog post without an attractive blog header is the same as wearing an outfit without any accessories -functional, but plain lacking. Since experts agree that visual content is king, you don’t want to miss out on using visual elements in your blog posts.
Even if you’re not a designer, creating beautiful blog headers isn’t difficult. All you need is the right tools. Here are 5 free tools for making eye-catching blog headers.
Difficulty: Easy to Medium.
Picasa is an image editing program by Google. This tool imports pictures from your personal library and allows you to resize, edit and adjust them. There is a selection of pre-set filters with adjustable opacity and lightness, and effects can be layered on top of each other. Adjusting the image’s dimensions is a bit annoying, however you can crop an image but not make it larger. Picasa also does not have its own stock photo library. To use an image, you will need to find it externally and import it into the tool.
To use Picasa, you need to download the tool. When your design is complete, you can upload it directly from the tool to your Google Photos.
Venngage has a selection of blog header templates that are highly customizable. Once you choose a template, it’s easy to adjust the dimensions, font style, size and placement, color palette, and images. Venngage has a library of over 500,000 stock images and icons to choose from, meaning you don’t have to search for images externally. If you do want to use your own images, though, there is an import function. Venngage gives you full control over the placement of icons, color washes, text placement and size, and more, and adjusting elements after they’ve been applied is easy.
To use Venngage, you need to create an account. Signing up and using the tool is free, but if you want to download your graphic you will need to upgrade to a premium account. You can still upload your graphic to your site and get an embed code without upgrading, though.
PicMonkey allows you to import your own images into the tool, as it does not have its own stock image library. You can either specify your own image dimensions or choose from pre-set dimensions, but when you upload a photo it will automatically fit to the file’s size and you will have to manually adjust. The tool offers pre-set filters with adjustable strength and brightness, and a library of fonts. There is an icons collection but you can only place icons on top of the image.
You do not need to make an account to use PicMonkey. You can download the file straight to your computer.
Pixlr is a web app that allows you to import your own image and edit it. Pixlr is unique because it keeps track of the layers used on the image in a bar on the side. The tool does not have an image or icons library, but it does have a collection of fonts to choose from. You can also select from a drop-down list of preset filters. A unique feature of Pixlr is that it can be translated into 28 different languages, making it accessible to users all over the world.
Of the 5 tools, Pixlr is the least intuitive to use. It requires some playing around first to figure out the functions. That being said, you do not need to make an account to use Pixlr and to download your file to your computer.
Fotor is an image editing web app that can also be downloaded to your mobile device. The tool offers a selection of header templates to choose from, but you can also import your own images and adjust the dimensions. You can choose from a collection of pre-set filters and adjust the brightness and hue of the image. A unique feature of Fotor is the “Color Splash” tool which allows you to choose a color wash and then “brush in” to reveal the color underneath. While Fotor does offer a collection of stickers to decorate your image, you can’t control their opacity or layering.
To use Fotor, you need to create an account either on the site or through Facebook. From there you can download your file straight to your computer.
Never underestimate the importance of a good blog header in enticing people to read your blog posts. Look at it like the packaging on a product you are trying to sell. With these tools, you will be able to create beautiful blog headers, even if you are a novice designer.