Born in Ireland, he now lives in a little fishing village in Portugal, although this hasn’t increased the time spent outside. He writes novels under another name, has helped thousands of authors build a readership with his books, blogs, workshops, and courses, and has created marketing campaigns for some of the biggest self-publishers on the planet. Friend to all dogs.
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And in my quest to find alternatives to fancy computer programs, I've come across a lot of free tools that help take my marketing up a notch. In particular, I've adopted a ton of free tools for creating visual content that don't cost my team a dime. From templates to browser extensions to online photo editors, keep reading to see some great, free web design tools to use.
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SmallPDF – PDF to JPG converter might not be the most obvious choice here, but I need it for one very specific job: fixing blurry BookBub Ads. Sometimes Canva (and other programs) exports a blurry image at smaller sizes, an issue when it comes to BookBub Ads and the small, 300x250px format. Here’s my workaround: export the image as a Print-Ready PDF in Canva, convert it to a JPG using this tool, then reduce the size to 300x250px. That should kill your blurriness. (Note: I heard that Book Brush may have solved this problem in another way, but I don’t know the details – perhaps a Book Brush user can let us know in the comments).
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Magic Resizer – don’t tell Canva, but I’d pay just for this alone. Before Magic Resizer waltzed into my life, I would spend a decent amount of time making a nice Facebook graphic. Then I would have to build the whole thing from scratch again to make a BookBub graphic. And then again to make a Facebook Cover photo or whatever else I might need. Now, I click a couple of buttons and my promo image is magically resized into whatever format I want. Wonderful! Such a time-saver, and it has encouraged me to be more comprehensive in my branding too, making all my graphics match across various social channels.
Okay, let's say you don't have the budget for Photoshop and feel somewhat limited by PowerPoint's visual editing capabilities ... what are you to do? If you want to spruce up your images -- re-color them, add borders, add text, and even insert graphics on top -- all without downloading yet another program to your computer, check out PicMonkey. The whole photo editing process is intuitive, which means you can spend more time optimizing your blog posts instead of sprucing up its accompanying featured image.
Edit: This step is where you get to put on your artist hat and modify your design. Don't rush this process and make sure you inject your own flair so this truly represents what you and your company stand for. You can either start with the font selection or get straight to the graphic. You can customize colors, effects, layout, spacing and more. Before you finalize your design make sure you get some feedback from family, friends or business partners.
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ImageOptim handily solves a problem that all the above might create. Putting lots of fancy graphics on your website can slow it down, something you don’t want generally, but really, really don’t want for something like your newsletter sign-up page. This useful tool will reduce the size of all of your images to appropriate resolutions for web usage – and as a bonus it’s really quick and easy to use, so you can fly through a whole stack of images in no time. And it really does make a huge difference – see below for proof.
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Our partnerships with Pixabay, Pexels, and Unsplash provide the support you need to declare independence from pricey stock imagery websites. With over a million free stock images that can be accessed right in our Graphic Designer, online graphic design is now quicker and easier than ever before. It's all there for you in one seamless, intuitive experience.
With our free PowerPoint templates, you can create beautiful SlideShare presentations without the heavy lifting. Simple plug in your content, adjust the colors to match your branding, and swap out images as you see fit. These templates range from clean and simple to a bit more intricate, so you'll have no problem finding one that suites your content.