The Importance of Good Graphics
Graphic design is such an important part of a blog or business. The design of your website is the first thing that potential clients will notice when they click over to your site, so it’s crucial to wow them right away with a gorgeous and branded design.
Not only do well-designed graphics immediately portray a more professional atmosphere, it helps to convey your expertise (no matter what that expertise might be in!) and inspires your audience to trust you. If you have clearly spent a lot of time designing your website — your virtual “home” — it’s not a big jump to assume that you practice a similar quality of care when it comes to your client relationships.
Use Those Well-Designed Graphics to Grow Your List!
Once your audience gets past that initial glance, it’s even more important to use well-designed graphics when it comes to convincing them to actually read, view, or purchase something.
If you are requiring something of them — whether that’s payment for a service, or simply an email — you will get much more engagement from people if you make them really want whatever you’re offering.
One great way to do this when it comes to content upgrades (also known as opt-in freebies) is with your sign-up form. If you have a printable PDF that is included for download within a blog post, you will have to have some sort of opt-in graphic that conveys this fact to your readers and urges them to click over and enter in their email address.
Most email softwares like MailChimp and ConvertKit do have simple forms that are very easy to design and (slightly) customize, but let’s be honest — they aren’t the most visually appealing things. They get the job done, but a nice-looking graphic will attract so many more of your readers!
How to Design Your Opt-in Graphic
Canva is a great free website that allows you to easily design graphics — it’s a wonderful option if you don’t have the ability to use a more complex program like Photoshop.
Step 1: Pick a Size
Pretty much any size can work, but something like the simple “Blog Title” size available in Canva is what I prefer. Once you choose your size, it’s a super easy process to build your graphic. Canva has a lot of pre-made options that you can simply customize to fit your needs.
Personally, though, I prefer something a little more unique, because it will allow you to better design the image so that it flows well with your branding.
Step 2: Choose a Background
First things first, head directly over to the background tab and choose a color or texture that matches your branding. If you don’t like any of the options offered, my preference is to simply choose on of your brand’s color scheme colors and input the HEX code, which will give you a solid-color background that is immediately associable with your brand.
Step 3: Add Your Text
Now, you should add some text. Include the title of your content upgrade, highlight the fact that it’s FREE, and make it obvious that they should click on the image in order to get their PDF sent to them. Make sure to choose a font that is either from your brand style guide or closely matches one of your signature fonts.
Step 4: Include a Mockup
Lastly, there is one more thing that will truly make your opt-in graphic POP. And that is a mock-up of your PDF freebie.
A mock-up may seem like a complicated thing to create — but, really, it is so easy. Simply open up your PDF, make sure that it’s around 50-75% size, so that you can see the whole first page on your computer screen, and take a screenshot! Then, upload your screenshot into Canva and include it somewhere in your design.
Something that REALLY makes for a professional-looking mockup is the addition of a drop shadow behind your screenshot. This will make it look like the PDF is actually three-dimensional and real. Unfortunately, Canva doesn’t have a drop shadow feature, but Adobe programs like Photoshop do.
Use the Opt-in Graphic to Funnel Your Readers to Your Sign-Up Form
Now that you’ve completed your graphic, it’s time to put it in your blog post!
Once your image is placed where you want it, link it to the URL of your sign-up form, which you will design separately through your email software.
Your readers will click on the image and be directed to a page solely designated for them to input their email address and sign up for your list. Once they’re on the list, have the PDF freebie automatically sent to them!