Since you're here and you've clicked on this hub, there is something on your mind. You want more traffic. It's every online writers dream, right?
The web is going visual, including social media. Images offer the blast you need to compete in the online world. They offer the entire essence of what your article is about.
Readers and social media users love images. Any image they see that looks attractive will be definitely pinned, shared or clicked upon. Images have an infinite potential that can be tapped into very easily.
Not many bloggers and Hubbers have caught onto MFP images just yet. Or maybe they did, but thought it was worth too much work. Pinterest gets more traffic than Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter combined. It's time to tap into this traffic and bring it back to your articles.
Today, you will learn where to find beautiful, free images and how to turn them into "traffic attracting" images, all in a matter of minutes.
What MFP Images Look Like (and What You'll Be Able To Make)
A Personal Experience
"So that's great", you say, "but will MFP images really impact me?"
The only way I can answer this is with my own personal experience. I read WryLilt's very popular article on creating MFP images and thought if I could really double my traffic just like she did. So, I gave it a try to here are my results...
Pretty cool, right?
I know. I know. There are some hubs here that have surpassed 10,000 pins. Those select few have seen remarkable results from MFP graphics. Once a hub gets pinned over fifty times, it rises exponentially into the thousands and maybe even tens of thousands. Its similar to going viral (pretty much).
And remember, I achieved this on only one of my hubs. Getting almost 2000 pins on one hub is pretty amazing for anyone - and by creating an MFP graphic you can achieve this too.
Other Advantages of MFP Graphics
- Pinterest traffic – You’ll be amazed at the amount of traffic Pinterest can give you. I made a simple MFP for one of my articles, still feeling a little skeptical over this "MFP thing". After a few weeks, it garnered over 2000 views a week from Pinterest. Right now, it has 700 pins and increases by about 5 pins a day. I won’t say no to free traffic any day. Most bloggers aren’t utilizing this tactic even though readers ADORE these kinds of images. Jump on the bandwagon and start seeing the rewards.
- More shares – People are going to share your content should you have an informative MFP. A beautiful image always gives people more incentive to share.
- Decreased bounce rate – The first thing people will see when they land on your article, is the MFP image. When they see how beautifully designed it is, they are much more likely to stick around. Bounce rate will greatly decrease, meaning more happy readers.
- Google love imagery! – Google tend to rank articles with imagery a lot higher. Images are a sure-fire signal for high quality content.
- Professionalism – Your content will show what a great writer and expert you are. Seeing an MFP image really signals professionalism, and could lead to more customers or bloggers to work with in the future. When you start using Canva, you will realize how quickly you can create a stunning design. It really is a matter of minutes, thanks to the templates. The image that you create will change the way people view your website. They will know you are professional and are one to watch. Once people start seeing your images on Pinterest, they will start sharing them, thus creating more backlinks for you. A quality image always sparks curiosity in people and they will want to read more.
Step 1: Find An Eye Popping Image
Image Licensing: The Lowdown
Finding an image? You've got the perfect solution. Just head over to Google Images and pick something that catches your eye...right?
Not so fast.
Images are copyrighted just the way books, logos and paintings are. If you put a copyrighted image in your content, you’ll be in deep trouble. Copyrighted images can never ever be reproduced unless you paid for the image through a stock website or got consent from the photographer.
As a beginning Hubber, I had no clue about image licensing. I made the fatal mistake that no one warned me against: using an image that I wasn’t allowed to use. I was in luck because I stumbled across an article on legal image use. I was saved.
The consequences of not using legal images are not fatal, you mightn’t be sent to jail but if the owner finds out… you will have to pay them for the image. The duration that the image was up there without their consent is also put into the price. For a year, we’re talking thousands.
Plus, they can report you to Google AdSense for copyright infringement. That will ban you from AdSense forever, and that means your ad revenue life is over. Even if an image looks so beautiful you want to take it, don’t do it.
The Good News
There is light at the end of the tunnel. The good news is that each image comes with a license, and this license tells you whether you can reproduce the image on your content, change it, distribute it as your own or whether you need to link back to the source (attribution).
You need to be able to identify the license of each image. With the license terms, you need to see if:
1) the image can be reproduced, even commercially
2) the image needs to be attributed
3) the image can be modified if desired
The sites that we will be working from provide very easy ways to find the licenses of their images. Some sites only have one license for all of their images so you know you can use and/or modify any of the images from that site. Others specify the license underneath the image, ie: Wikimedia Commons.
Always be cautious when using images. Check the image license thoroughly and make sure to research more on the image if you are unsure.
Where To Find Free, Usable Images: The Ultimate List
Finding great images that you are legally allowed to use and modify is pretty difficult (not to mention, free). However, this list will cover you for just about any image you need. These sites provide stunning images that you can use. The license is mentioned in each one.
Wow. This site is absolutely... indescribable. The images that you will find on this site are absolutely jaw dropping. You'll find hi-res, stunning, free, Public Domain images on this site. Ten new images are released every ten days. The images submitted are from professional photographers. These images are in the Public Domain meaning you can do what you want with these images (use commercially, modify, distribute) all without adding attribution.
My favourite photo site of all time is Pixabay. It’s incredibly fast, powerful and offers a crisp interface. In terms of images, you will have hundreds of thousands of hi-res, stunning quality imagery that look as good as paid photos.
Best of all, every image on Pixabay is in the Public Domain! This means you can use it, modify it, do what you want with it all without attributing the photographer. So basically, it’s yours for the taking! There aren’t any licence terms to worry about. You will find beautiful images on their homepage updated every few days.
Pixabay cover almost everything you can think of. Their images are crystal clear and super sharp. Most of the images I use are from Pixabay simply because of their quality.
If there is one site you will give a try, it should be Pixabay. You won’t be disappointed.
Click here to see some of Pixabay's best images.
Quick Links To The Best Photos
Need some great photos, and fast? Click on any of these links to be directed to hundreds of fantastic images.
Little Visuals - Another free image site, similar to Unsplash.
Here you have a wealth of superb, crystal clear images which look outstandingly good and can stir some jealous looks from fellow bloggers. Morguefile covers everything from animals to beautiful landscapes to everyday objects from fruits to flowers, you name it. Many of the images are shot by professional photographers whilst others are shot by amateurs. You will get a mix of everything but it is well worth a try.
The images are free and you don't need to attribute the photographer. You can also modify the images.
Step 2: Head Over To Canva
You've got your image ready. You've got your article idea nailed, or maybe already written. All you need now is to turn your raw diamond of an image, into a gem. The image itself may be beautiful, but without text - you can't call it an MFP. Pinterest users adore text and that's what we need to tap into.
The first step is to use an online image editing tool called CANVA (www.canva.com)
If there is something to shout about, it's this.
Canva allows you to create utterly stunning designs that will attract a very large number of eyeballs (oh, let me tell you). Allowing you to create designs for just about anything, Canva will turn you into a design guru.
With Canva, you can create truly stunning images - even if you never designed in your life. That's what makes Canva so special. Even if you feel like you know nothing when it comes to design, Canva will empower you to create designs that the world will truly love.
Canva is free but you need to create an account.
Head over to www.canva.com and create your account. Once you're on the homepage, you'll see something like this.
It depends on what you're making but for hubs or blog posts you should click on the social media, blog post or presentation tiles for optimum size. I've found that the Pinterest style is too big and will only distort the look of your hub.
Learn To Use Canva
Step 3: Pick A Layout
Once you choose a tile, you will be directed to the editing page. You'll be given a blank canvas where creativity can roam freely.
However, for most of us - design is tricky. Being faced with a blank canvas gives me the willies.
That's why Canva give you layouts/templates that you can use to fill your canvas.
Have a scroll down through the templates and see which design which resonates most with what you want.
Step 4: Add Text
Once you have a template selected, it’s time to add a caption.
Decide On A Caption
You need to place a caption onto your image, which describes what your article is about. I often place the title of my hub onto the image, and alter it slightly. For example, if the title is very long - I could shorten it to a few words.
Here are some example captions:
- "20 Ultimate Gardening Tips"
- "How To Make Zesty Key Lime Pie"
- "Lime + Ice Cocktail: How To"
Where To Place The Caption?
Make sure to place your caption in a prominent position that has some empty space, and in an area that isn't to busy. Make sure to make your caption clearly visible. If the text lies on a dark background, make the font white and vice versa.
Canva have some rather beautiful text fonts. There are smooth, silky fonts and then there are futuristic, modern fonts. There are rocky, clunky fonts and there are scribbly, scrawly fonts.
No matter what your design is about, there is definitely a font you can use. Here is a quick guide to the best fonts Canva have to offer.
1. Modern, Futuristic and Trendy – These fonts are ultra modern and emit a cool 21st Century glow. Perfect for any website who wants to look trendy. There are tons of crisp fonts with the best including: Roboto (Normal and Bold pair well together), Raleway, Raleway Thin, Anton, Julius Sans One, Josefin Sans (All Caps works best), Archivo Narrow.
2. Classic – For a classic, timeless finish, go traditional. They look like your typical yet enduring font that will stand the test of time. Try out Abril Fatface, Nixie One, Anonymous Pro, Playfair Smallcaps, Arvo or Quattrocentro.
3. Rocky and Clunky – These fonts emit a sense of adventure, of an undiscovered land and are perfect for a male audience. They are thicker and more unusual than other fonts but are perfect for a more daring kind of website. Try Permanent Marker, Ultra, Racing Sans One, Black Ops One and Vampiro One.
4. Stylish – Chic, elegant and luxurious, these fonts offer a touch of plush. Sacramento, Pinyon Script, Princess Sofia or Great Vibes are easy to read whilst still incorporating a sense of luxury. It is best to only have a maximum of two words with these fonts, since they are quite overpowering when overly used.
5. Different and Unusual – For any website trying to look outside of the status quo or want to set a new trend, try out these fonts. They vary wildly but all incorporate a unique style never seen before on the web. Try Megrim for a Zen look, VT323 for a video game look, Cabin Sketch for DIY, Ubuntu for a super futuristic design or Codystar for a dazzling atmosphere.
6. Eye-Popping – Make people’s eyes pop with these fonts! They are fast-paced, unique and ready to give out that BANG you need. Try Fredoka One, Knewave, Codystar, Chewy, Lilita One, Architect’s Daughter (best when large), Yellowtail or Sniglet. Make them as large as possible and emphasise certain words with these fonts. Use neon and vibrant colours with these fonts.
To help you get a handle of the various fonts available on Canva, the style guide below should really help you. Use this when creating designs and deciding on fonts.
Font Style Guide
Step 4: Cool Colour Scheme
Different colour combos can evoke certain emotions and give a great overall look to a design. The most important part to any design is a colour scheme and getting the text colour right is essential. Here are some colour combinations that work well.
- White on Dark – A great contrast that will really put emphasis on your text rather than the image.
- Pastel – These powdery colours have a light, refreshing yet gentle glow that really soothe your eyes. To get that pastel look, try fairydust pink (f6cde6), sea green (ddf9d9), gentle orange (ffe5bc) and eyeshadow blue (add9fe).
- Funky Vibes – For a punchy and fruity impact, vibrant colours will get you there. They bring feel good, "beach" style vibes to designs and are one of my favorites. Try sherbet yellow (f2df00), lime green (04e906), hot pink (f70976) and fizzy orange (f45e13).
- Colour On Black Background – Keep the background black. Add a splash of colour to this background by coloring the font in a neon colour such as neon yellow or fizzy orange.
- Cool – For an icy, cool vibe – this chilly palette should do the job. Try Night Sky (0066cc), Ice Blue (00dddf), Violet Galaxy (7c00cc) and Blue Crayon (26b8f3)
- Brown Autumn – For a fiery, Autumn inspired palette try the following: Brick Red (C2453B), Golden Sunshine (FFE645), Terracotta (ECC66E) and Chocolate (B25641).
- Fuchsia – For a hot pink vibe, this palette will deliver. Try: Raspberry (DF3B56), Carmine (FC1B42), Neon Lipstick (FF4046) and Fucshia (FF9D49)
- Sleepy Garden – This clash of warm and cool tones works nicely to give an almost sleepy look. Try Lilac (6E3D77), Pink Tile (CF7F7A), Golden Leaf (E39958) and Lemon Orange (FBC257)
Step 6: Download, Publish and Share!
Once your genius design is fully done...it's time to download it!
Hit the "Download" button and use the image in your blog post.
Once your hub or blog post is out there - live, you need to let the world know about it. This is where your MFP graphic kicks in. Sharing on social media will lead to a lot of click-throughs since people respond to visuals better than text. Pin on Pinterest (kind of obvious!) and learn some major Pinterest tips for getting more followers.
Your MFP graphic will garner plenty of eyeballs once its out there. The great thing about MFP images is that you are going to succeed, no matter what. MFP graphics lay a strong foundation for success, by attracting people on social media, getting more shares from other readers and establishing credentials.
Believe me. You'll be shocked by the results.
1. Make sure to include the title of your article as the only text in the design! Don’t clog up the design with unnecessary text. Keep the main title plain and simple. You don’t have to stick to the exact title either, you can always switch it around.
For example, instead of saying "20 SEO Tricks That Will Increase Your Rankings Today", you could say "Increase Your Google Rankings - 20 SEO Tricks". Just keep the main essence of the title in the front and the rest can follow.
2. Make sure the title is bold and can be easily read from a credit card size (average Pinterest image size). Make the text stand out by contrasting dark on white or vice versa.
3. Keep the design style similar to the subject you are presenting. The best way to tie the whole design together is to use colour schemes, typography and imagery which all resonate with one another. For example, a modern and thin font such as Julius Sans One (in white) contrasts well with a serene, blue sea. It wouldn’t look as good in a rock concert! Similarly, a clunky, rocky font such as Vampiro One wouldn’t work on an image with cupcakes!
4. Place an icon above a heading to pack an extra punch. Canva have thousands of icons and drawings for you to choose from. Even one icon will really emphasise what your image is about, all in a matter of seconds!
Step by Step Example
I'm thinking of writing an article on the many kinds of trees, you'd find in a typical forest alongside some from others continents. Once I begin embarking on creating the article, I created the MFP graphic.
Here is the image I came up with:
To create an image like this, I followed the following steps.
1) I logged into www.canva.com and clicked on the "Presentation" icon.
2) Once on the editing page, I clicked on a template for a basic layout of what my design would incorporate.
3) I deleted the text fields, and clicked on the "Text" button on the left hand side. I inserted the very first text field, which said "Exhibition on now" (orange). I inserted my own text into the field and changed the font of "100 Trees" into 'Oswald' for a sleeker style. I also changed the font colour to white, since orange clashed with the forest scene.
4) I uploaded my Unsplash image (meaning I could modify it, without attribution) by clicking on "Uploads" and then, "Upload my Image".
5) The image was too bright and the contrast between the text wasn't all that striking. That's why I darkened the image by clicking on the image itself, "Filter", and then I brought the brightness down to -43 using the slide.
6) For a final finish, I added three icons in the top right corner. To do this, I clicked "Search" and then, "Icons". I scrolled down through the icons until I came across icons of tree leaves. Perfect!
This article was adapted from one of the chapters of SEO Success, a book published by the author. It gives online writers, bloggers and webmasters the tools and skillsets to rise to the top of Google (SEO), get more traffic and create content that goes viral.
If you enjoyed this article, I'm pretty sure that you'll enjoy what the entire book has to offer!
- Get a complete guide to SEO, social media marketing and content creation
- Rank high in Google's search results, and attract more traffic
- Learn to drive huge traffic to your site using proven strategies
- Learn the science behind creating viral content
- Packed with supplementary tricks, tools, resources, templates and more
Thank you for reading this guide. Have you converted to a visual enthusiast? Did you enjoy this? Speak your mind in the comments below!
© 2014 Susan W
Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on June 19, 2015:
Colin Thanks so much for the great comments! I know, Canva is a FANTASTIC site for creating designs especially MFP. I once had a hub that got no search traffic at all, about three views a day, that was it. Then, I added an MFP graphic to it and it got over 3000 pins on Pinterest and is climbing. I now regularly get about 80 views per day to that hub, which is pretty good considering it got barely anything before. Good luck!
I appreciate the vote up too. :-)
Colin Garrow from Inverbervie, Scotland on June 16, 2015:
This is absolutely fascinating – I’d never have thought about using Pinterest to get more traffic, and the Canva site (which I’ve just joined) looks great. Thanks for all this fab info. Great Hub, voted up.
dragonflycolor on January 03, 2015:
Some very interesting tips. I've used Canva before, but I also like PicMonkey, Fotor, and Picasa as well. Thanks!
RTalloni on December 08, 2014:
Loaded with good stuff to apply when creating images--thanks much. I use my own and have learned some great tips here.
Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on December 07, 2014:
Lots of different opinions here. I think this is an awesome hub with some great resources.
Fortunately I use my own images but I have thought about putting some text on them. I have resisted the urge so far. Perhaps I should have a go and see if text makes any difference. A huge percentage of my visitors are from Pinterest but I am curious to know where I can discover the stats for visitors to each individual Hub! I see the visitors from pinterest in google realtime but was not aware I could find stats for each hub.
Well done, terrific hub.
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on December 07, 2014:
What a wonderful hub susi10. I am already a member of MorgueFileand Unsplash...now I have to go check out Canva and start making images for Pinterest. Thanks for this outstanding advice and tutorial. Voted up.
Susannah Birch from Toowoomba, Australia on December 07, 2014:
I'm glad MFPs are doing well for you!
Currently, I think my highest pinned hub is somewhere around 100,000. A close second is around 70,000. It snowballs with time.
As for "ruining the image", a GOOD graphic artist uses text and colors that complement the image, instead of take away from it.
Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on December 04, 2014:
Vellur - Thanks for reading and bookmarking! Canva and Unsplash are an absolute must, you need them in your content creation toolbox. They'll prove invaluable when creating images for your hubs.
purl3agony - Wow! Thanks so much for the great comments! Canva is fantastic for making cool designs that'll wow the world. I'm so glad you found this useful...looking forward to your designs in your hubs! I appreciate the pin! :-)
Fire8storm - Thanks for the great comments and the read. Yeah, MFP graphics are really low key at the moment so you can compete on Pinterest without others taking the limelight. LOL. :-)
You should definitely give MFP's a try. You'll be very amazed by the results!
peachpurple - We all have our opinions on MFP's. Some love 'em, others don't. I think more on the perspective of data, and social science. And from what I've seen, people are MUCH more likely to pin an image with text. However, I appreciate your opinions. Thanks for the read and for sharing your thoughts!
RonElFran - Thanks for reading and commenting. I greatly appreciate you dropping by! I'm glad you found inspiration from this hub. I'm looking forward to seeing your designs in the future!
Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on December 04, 2014:
Flourish - So glad you enjoyed this! I think you're a Pinterest rock star, yourself! (without a doubt) :-) Pinterest is an amazing source of traffic, that we should all tap into. When Google fails us (it happens), Pinterest keeps the show going. Its always good to have a secondary source of traffic when new Google algorithms are released.
Thanks so much for the pin and share. They're always appreciated!
Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on December 04, 2014:
Millionaire Tips - Agreed. MFP images help clinch the click. Since as Hubbers, we need traffic from every possible channel - encouraging Pinterest users is an absolute must. I get more Pinterest traffic than Google traffic at times! It really is a traffic booster that we can all avail of.
I'm glad you discovered Canva. It really is a treat to use and an essential for any online writer. Thanks for the great comments!
Susan W (author) from The British Isles, Europe on December 03, 2014:
Janderson99 - Thanks for sharing your opinions. I guess it can be said that text ruins an image, but that is not always the case! I have found that my hubs with MFP graphics got triple/quadruple the pins that my other hubs got. Take a look at any Pinterest board and you'll find that MFP images dominate the board. This proves that they are very popular with readers. But, I see what you mean. Thanks.
Ronald E Franklin from Mechanicsburg, PA on December 02, 2014:
This is a great inspiration to get creative with images. I'm going to give it a shot. Thanks.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on December 02, 2014:
i would prefer images without text, natural beauty. Anyway, thanks for the tips.
Fire8storm on December 02, 2014:
This a great Hub, very informative! I am not very familiar with MFP images but love the idea of being able to create them and use them and some of the graphics looks great. I will certainly be trying your ideas - thank you for sharing! Voted up.
Donna Herron from USA on December 02, 2014:
Thanks for sharing these great resources and tips! I need to starting working on my graphics. This hub is amazing. Thanks and pinned!
Nithya Venkat from Dubai on December 01, 2014:
Very useful, never knew about canva and unspalsh. Voted up and bookmarked for future reference. Thank you for sharing this.
FlourishAnyway from USA on December 01, 2014:
What terrific, artful images. No wonder you're a Pinterest rock star! Sharing this very useful hub, voting up, and pinning.
Shasta Matova from USA on December 01, 2014:
I wholeheartedly agree that MFP images can give you much more traffic. If you don't put the words on it, people will see a pretty picture. With the words, they have a reason to click through to read the article. My Pinterest traffic is greater than my search engine traffic too. I didn't know about Canva - I used Paint - so thank you for that.
Dr. John Anderson from Australia on Planet Water on December 01, 2014:
Sorry, I disagree. I would not re-pin images ruined by text. It is sacrilege to modify photos. Good, intriguing images is the key. IMO