Advertising
Advertising

5 Free Tools For Creating Eye-Catching Blog Headers

5 Free Tools For Creating Eye-Catching Blog Headers

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.

1. Picasa

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.

Advertising

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.

picasa

    2. Venngage

    Difficulty: Easy

    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.

    Advertising

    venngage

      3. PicMonkey

      Difficulty: Easy

      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.

      Advertising

      picmonkey

        4. Pixlr

        Difficulty: Medium

        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.

        pixlr

          5. Fotor

          Difficulty: Easy

          Advertising

          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.

          fotor

            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.

            More by this author

            Sara McGuire

            Content Editor

            7 Fundamental Design Principles You Can Learn From Star Wars [Infographic] graphic design 10 Graphic Design Software Alternatives to Photoshop 8 Tips to Make Engaging Presentation Slides How to Turn a Process Into an Infographic Poster [Infographic] How to Choose the Best Colors For Your Data Charts

            Trending in App

            1 Introducing 13 Useful Free Apps For you To Install Today 2 7 Essential Tools Every Serious Startup Needs 3 13 Secret Google Functions That Can Instantly Make Your Life Happier And Easier 4 Appraisal of the iPhone Family Tracker app 5 13 Google Apps That Can Greatly Simplify Your Life

            Read Next

            Advertising
            Advertising
            Advertising

            Last Updated on October 16, 2019

            11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

            11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

            Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

            Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

            Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

            In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

            1. ScheduleOnce

              ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

              ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

              ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

              Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

              Available on Web

              2. Calendly

                Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

                You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

                Advertising

                Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

                3. Assistant.to

                  For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

                  From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

                  While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

                  Available on Web

                  4. Acuityscheduling

                    Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

                    It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

                    Available on Web | iOS | Android

                    5. Pick

                      Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

                      At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

                      Advertising

                      Available on Web

                      6. X.ai

                        For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

                        This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

                        Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

                        Available on Web

                        7. YouCanBook.me

                          is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                          They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                          Available on Web

                          8. Doodle

                            Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                            It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

                            Advertising

                            You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                            While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                            Available on Web | iOS | Android

                            9. WhenAvailable

                              WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                              Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                              Available on Web

                              10. Rally

                                Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                                Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                                Available on Web

                                11. NeedtoMeet

                                  Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

                                  Advertising

                                  NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                                  While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                                  Available on Web

                                  Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                                  In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                                  To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                                  Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                                  A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                                  Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                                  If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                                  Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                                  With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                                  The Bottom Line

                                  Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                                  Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                                  Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                                  Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

                                  Read Next