Tips & Tools For Creating Infographics

Infographic featured image

These days infographics can be found on all kinds of sites, from news portals to simple blogs. Whether you are selling something, or just blogging about everyday stuff, having an infographic on your blog every now and then will only bring you benefits. Yes, it might take some time and certain skills to create an outstanding and useful infographic, but oh, it is worth it. Scroll down for the infographic, or click on the image below!

Why Do I Need Infographics On My Site?

Let’s start with the sheer definition of an infographic. According to Wikipedia, an infographic is a visual representation of information, data or knowledge, made with intention to present complicated information quickly and clearly. Infographic creators usually gather previously done researches or large sets of data and pull out the most important parts, create visual representations of statistic information and put it all together without too much text. This procedure makes sometimes complex and huge amount of information easier to understand and more appealing.

They give your website a visual boost

Of course, it doesn’t always have to be about an in-depth research or a lot of statistics and numbers. Infographics can be made for tutorials, product presentation, CV, or just a visual representation of text you wrote and think it could use a visual boost. 90% of information our brain receives is visual, and people are more likely to notice and remember an image than a bunch of text, no matter how interesting and well formatted it is. In modern, fast life, attention span of an average online reader is really short, so it’s a good idea to use infographics to grab their attention as fast as possible. If the graphic is designed well, with good quality images and nice colors, they will stick around, read it, read the blog post around it (if there’s any), and share it with their friends.

They are very shareable

This brings us to another big benefit of infographics – they are very shareable. I don’t know about you, but I see at least one infographic appear every day on all of my social feeds. They get shared because of good design, and well explained and useful information. A good and relevant infographic can easily start a conversation and engage your audience on another level besides “just” sharing and liking. All this can make an infographic go viral, which is the best thing that can happen to your site. Getting something to be viral isn’t easy and just designing a great infographic won’t be enough, but it’s a first step.

They will raise your brand awareness

When creating an infographic, whether you are doing it yourself or outsourcing it, make sure you include your brand name, website URL and a logo, if you have one. This will raise your brand awareness no matter how many shares and where it gets them. People will look for who made it and which site is it on, and think „Oh, look, this site is reliable, offers valuable information and makes it look nice as well!“. There’s a high probability they will look around your whole site, like or follow your social media profiles and use your product or service, if you are offering them. Your brand awareness will raise even more if you join in conversation that your infographic started.

They are great for SEO

All these benefits mentioned together create one more. Infographics are great for SEO and building your backlink profile. Each share and mention on social media gets you “points” in search rankings. If another site or blog picks up and shares your infographic in separate article, that’s even better linking opportunity. Since infographics are visual interpretations of information, you can recycle that information, write it down in text and create press releases or plain articles to share around specialized sites and get links from there as well. Not to mention how important brand awareness and social signals are for SEO in general, but that’s a whole other article!


how


Okay, But How Do I Make An Infographic?

Now that I convinced you to use infographics on your site or blog, we get to the hard part – creating one. Creating an infographic on your own asks for a certain set of skills. Obvious one is graphic design, less obvious one is research. You can do both by yourself, depending on the amount of time and experience you have, or you can outsource them and let experts do it for you.

Of course, outsourcing isn’t free, and infographic design can cost you a lot at the end, but sometimes it’s better to let someone else do it rather than try and fail yourself – especially if you already have some kind of reputation and big following, but you have never done an infographic before and having a poorly designed one would look bad. Perhaps you already have a graphic designer or content writer you worked with on your website and they can help you with it. A simple Google search will offer a lot of design agencies and services, too. There are also freelancers who do a great job and tend to be cheaper than professional agencies. You can look for them on sites like Upwork, Freelancer or Fiverr. Freelancers can do both design and research for you, depending on your needs and funds.

Let’s move away from spending a lot of money and try to do it ourselves. It’s not that hard, and you will certainly feel more accomplished once you’re done and your infographic is looking great! Here are some simple steps in process of creating an infographic by yourself from scratch.

1. Come up with great topic.

As I mentioned before, topic can be almost anything – from an in depth research you conducted yourself to a simple product or service promo. It’s hard to find a 100% unique topic these days because everything seems to be covered already! Your topic should be something you know a lot about and could easily consider yourself an expert. You won’t be doing an infographic about baking cupcakes on a gaming-related site! The topic can also be something you covered before, an interesting article has valuable information and you think it didn’t live up to its full potential. Social media, Q&A sites and forums can also be great source for infographic topics. Listen to your audience and their needs, and create exactly what they want.

2. Do the research.

This doesn’t always mean an actual research, with surveys and mathematical equations. Of course, if you’re covering something really original, completely unique for your site, create some kind of survey for your readers and ask them to fill it in. Gather the results and calculate the statistics. If you’re an expert in this field, you won’t have any problems and you will probably enjoy it! For the rest of you, Google is your friend. Thousands of researches have been done, and a huge amount of statistical information is available online, whether free or paid for.

Don’t borrow all the information though, make at least half of your data unique and from your expert experience, like tips and tricks you learned, or your readers shared with you. If you decided to revive an old article of yours, a lot of research has already been done, but make sure you check for any new information to add in. If you’re using other people’s articles or research, make sure you write down all the links and info, so you can mention them as sources. Stealing other people’s work is the worst thing you can do, so always credit where it’s due. It’s also great for link building – just email them your infographic when it’s done and they might share it!

3. Pick your tool.

Before starting with actual work, you need to pick your tool. Most of professional designers use specialized paid-for tools from Adobe suite. Most popular are Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. These tools are best of the best when it comes to doing any graphic design. They are rather easy to use, and have a lot of options. You can do anything you like with those two. Yes, they are expensive, and you should invest in them only if you plan to use them daily and not only for infographics. Luckily, there are a lot of free online tools specialized for creating infographics.

Most of them are based on picking a template and adding elements using drag-and-drop. They are very easy to use. Most popular one is definitely Piktochart which boosts with weekly updated library of templates. It allows you to create infographics, posters, presentations and reports. Another very popular one is Infogr.am, which has over 3 million infographics created. With this tool, you can create interactive infographics. It asks for a bit more skill but nothing that you can’t learn in a day or so. Vengage is very similar, start by picking a template and customize it with adding icons, charts, changing fonts, etc. You can also create other types of data visualization, not only infographics. One of the newer tools, Canva, allows you to upload your own images, or use their stock ones which can be free or paid for but never more than $1. This site is also great for creating images for social media. Last one I can recommend is Easel.ly, works in the same way as all others, with drag-and-drop.

Some of these may require some payment later on, to get the full access to stock images and similar, but you can do a lot with free stuff. I suggest you try each of these tools before investing in any of premium desktop tools.

4. Start designing!

Infographics are usually narrow and tall but don’t let that determine you. Standard width of an infographic is 735 pixels, height going up to 5000 pixels or even more but it’s not recommended. If you want to create a landscape-oriented infographic, go ahead! When I start designing an infographic, I always come up with a color palette and find a few different fonts to use. It’s important to determine which colors you’ll use. You can get inspired by a photo or your website design, or you can come up with a palette from scratch. There are a lot of websites that can help you with it. This one will generate a random palette for you, in case you don’t know where to start. Color Picker will let you choose and save colors in a palette. Pictaculous allows you to upload an image and get a palette based on the colors on it. I usually pick no more than 5 colors, including black and white.

When it comes to fonts, they have to be sharp and easy to read. Yes, infographic is very visual and you might be tempted to use one of those „fun“ fonts, but the text needs to be readable and simple, especially the text explaining the charts. Have a different font for titles and different for paragraphs. Sometimes it’s good to go with same font for all types of text, but play with weight of it – make titles bold, paragraphs light, and similar. I find all fonts on a great website FontSquirrel. They are mostly free and there’s really anything you might need. Other sites I like to use are dafont.com and 1001freefonts.com.

When it comes to adding graphic elements, keep in mind that design of the infographic should be clear and not too busy. Stick with the color palette you picked. All your charts and graphs should contain only those colors. Keep background simple, with adding just a gradient or very simple texture. If you’re adding graphics or photos, stick with a theme. Vector graphics look the best on infographics and you can easily find them by doing a simple Google Search. There are several stock image sites that offer high quality vector graphics, often completely free or at least with a free trial. I use Freepik daily, paid version, and it really is a great source of amazing graphics. Graphicstock works in similar way, with free 7 day trial, while Vectorstock offers 25,000 free vectors you can choose from or pay for even more. Of course, if you have the talent and tools for drawing, you can do your own illustrations and make your infographic 100% unique.

If you are creating charts or diagrams, make sure they are accurate. You can create them in office apps like Microsoft Office, Open Office, or Google Docs. At the end, when all elements are put together, compress the image as much as possible but still making it look clear and not pixelated. Infographics are meant to be shared online so you have to avoid huge files. Ideally make it under 2MB in size, and save it in JPG format, or even PNG.


 

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Cool! Now I Want More People To See It!

Now that you’ve done your infographic, double-checked spelling and all information, you are ready to share it around. First step would be to create a blog post on your site, of course. You can write a post and include the infographic, or you can use the text you put on it as a blog post, so you don’t have to come up with something new. This is also great for SEO, since infographics are images and text that is on them can’t be crawled by search engines. Simply copy paste all the text, format it so it looks good in the post and insert the infographic in there. Make sure you write down image description and alt tag for the infographic, for on page SEO. It’s a good idea to include an embed code, in case some of your readers want to share it on their own site, and link back to you.

After you created a post, upload the infographic on all your social media, starting with Pinterest which is great for sharing images. Reddit’s subreddit Infographic is also a good and free way to get people talking about your infographic. Upload it on Flickr too. Although it might seem this is just for photographs, it’s not, and you could get shares there as well. Don’t forget Tumblr, which is also great for sharing images. If you have been using one of the online tools I mentioned above, the infographic will be automatically included in their galleries as well.

There are a lot of specialized infographic submission sites, mostly free. Visually is a huge collection of infographics and they can also create one for you. After you register, it’s easy to upload your infographic, add tags and other details. They check all submissions and your infographic will have to be approved before it’s available in gallery. Some others I recommend are Love Infographics, Infographics Showcase, Cool Infographics, Infographic Journal, Daily Infographic. All of these sites will take some time before they publish your infographic, since every submission needs to be checked and reviewed and then published. Here’s a huge list of free infographic submission sites, along with their page ranks. All these sites are a great source of inspiration as well.

When submitting your infographic, whether on social media or any of the mentioned sites, it’s important to include all the details and a link back to your original blog post. Write down correct tags and keyword rich descriptions, so you can boost your SEO and get more visits from your target audience. Make sure your blog or website have some kind of sharing plugin, so people can share your infographic directly from your site. Promote your infographic every now and then over your social media. Tweet it or share it on Facebook pages of the sites you used while making it – whether those of free tools you used, or articles you found during your research.

If everything is done right and your infographic is useful, you might get it to become viral! Some of the infographics I made, using all these tips and tricks, have been trending on Visually, and got a lot of shares on social media, so there’s no reason it couldn’t happen to you too 😉 Don’t expect it right away and for every infographic you make. Be realistic, and remember – practice makes perfect!

Infographic design tips

 

 

Anita is an internet marketing specialist and graphic designer here at Point Visible. She has years of experience in designing graphics for web and running social media and outreach campaigns. She loves cooking and football.
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