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  • Writer's pictureIssac Hopkins

How to Create FAST Cover Art for Blogs & Social Media Posts!



If you’re trying to make cover art for your written posts, but think that design skills or a Canva subscription are what’s needed to get eye-catching results, then it’s time for a reality check!


Imagine leveraging the applications you've been using for presentations in a whole new way; not just for slides but as your secret weapon for thumb-stopping cover images. This is about breaking free from unnecessary subscriptions and unleashing your creativity with resources you didn't know you have. 


A tool you probably have right now, is about to become your creative game-changer.


Here’s the deal, embracing a tool like Keynote for your design needs isn't just a budget-friendly move; it's a smart strategy to stand out from the crowd of content-clones. Think about it: with a little ingenuity, you can make custom-built visuals that capture your brand's essence, without the recurring costs. 


Isn't it time to invest in YOUR unique vision instead of the same templates everyone else is using?

1) Ditch The Subscription:

Why limit yourself to subscription-based platforms when Keynote offers MORE capabilities without the extra cost? It’s a shame how many entrepreneurs just aren’t aware of the extensive design tools this app provides.


This isn’t just a slide creation tool; it’s your canvas for visual storytelling. With Keynote, you have everything you need to create visuals that not only pop, but also tell your story. It's time to move beyond the limitations you've set for yourself.


Keynote has everything you need to make amazing cover art that stands out, without needing an extensive graphic design background.



With a massive selection of: icons, themes, charts, animations and the ability to collaborate in real-time with your team makes it a game changer for entrepreneurs and small businesses.



⁂ Note: PowerPoint has nearly all of the same exact functions, only with a slightly different approach, so this entire post equally applies to PowerPoint users as well.


2) How To Build A Royalty-Free Media Arsenal:

The first thing I always tell entrepreneurs to do when making content, is stop paying for stock media! You DON’T need to have the best stuff when starting out, in fact, you wouldn’t know what to do with it even if you DID have access to the best stock photo and video.


Why not start out with high quality and readily available FREE stock media to add a professional touch to your designs. This way you can get the hang of creating content, without touching your marketing budget. 


I think this goes into the “like DUH” column.


Just remember, This isn't about finding pretty pictures; it's about curating a visual language that speaks directly to your audience's aspirations and your brand's core values.


👑 Here’s a Treasure Chest of Great Royalty-Free Sources:


✚ Photos:

Pexels.Com - The first stop for free high quality photos. Their search function sucks though, because it’s stuck on “woke” mode. You’ll see, just search for “CEO” or “family” and you’ll see what I mean.


Unsplash.com - The second stop for free high quality photos and luckily, they have less of a woke slant in their search function.


Pixabay.com - Great collection of photos, but hard to find anything specific that fits your project.


Gratisography.com - Good place to find the weird one-off photo you didn’t set out to find, but now it’s going in the project!


Stocksnap.io -  A surprisingly large collection of high quality images that cover a wide range of activities, landscapes and themes.


Lifeofpix.com - They have a small, yet artistic library of images. Only downside is their search function is basically a joke.


Here’s a few “honorable mentions” for royalty free photos, but just know these sites tend to be more of a miss than a hit:

   -   Morguefile.com

   -   Burningwell.org

   -   Dreamstime.com

   -   Splitshire.com


✚ Audio & Video:

No-copyright-music.com - A beautiful collection from a very generous and marketing savvy man named Liborio Conti,  who composes great music and gives it all away for free.


Freemusicarchive.org - My go-to place for making my own stingers, segues or intros.


Videvo.net - Free stock video and audio that’s not the best and has a limited library, but hey, it’s free!


Artgrid.io - A mix of free and paid content that works as a lead-magnet for getting you to pay for a subscription.



✚ Icons & Mock ups

Shots.so - Create amazing Apple-like mockups of your products or designs in minutes.


Icons8.com - A fantastic resource for quick social media buttons, random icons and even animated symbols.


TheNounProject.com - A large and growing library of themed icon packs for just about every situation.


Ionic.io/ionicons - Very small selection of items, but I still find myself going back to their icon section every few months.



3) Why Use Stock When You Can Document Your Process?:

“But Issac, what if I don’t have time to dig through countless photos & stock media looking for the perfect one to use?”


Well… make your own.


You already need to make content. 

You already do your job. 

Why not capture what it looks like to be YOU?


Your unique perspective is what sets your brand apart. So, grab your camera or phone and start capturing images that resonate with your message. Authenticity can't be bought, but it can be created.


Here’s a few of my favorite Youtube creators teaching ingenious tips & tricks on how to make great content easily.


✚ How-to videos:

How To Film Yourself - Learn how to film yourself in a creative way that basically anyone can do.


Flat Lay Photography - This video shows you how to shoot photos of a bunch of items laid out on a surface. A desk, floor, the ground… ya know FLAT!


Shooting Creative B Roll At Home - A great tutorial on how to make awesome looking video content with some simple tricks.


How To Film The Most Epic Coffee B Roll - This video goes into even more detail of how to create amazing quality footage from your own living room.


How To Edit Your Photos - For all of you who don’t know what makes a photo look better… this is where you need to start.


4) Keep it smooth, keep it simple:

Overcomplicated designs are where good ideas go to die. 


See, the key to engaging cover art isn’t just about what you add, but what you leave out. So avoid any cluttered visuals that compete for attention and dilute your message.


Aim for simplicity, clarity, and purpose in what you’re communicating to make sure your visual message is received loud and clear.


Armed with these resources, you're ready to redefine what's possible with the tools already at your disposal.


Hopefully, these strategies clear up the process of making compelling cover art and should prove that impactful design is not exclusive to those with deep pockets or advanced skills.


This is your moment.


Thanks for reading and If you're looking for more insights on elevating your brand with effective, scalable strategies, then check out the ☂️ American Waymaker Blog. I’ll help you push the boundaries of what’s possible as a solo-preneur.


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