Do you know how to legally create memes and graphics for your blog and social media accounts? We have all the info you need to keep you on the right side of the law!
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Beginner Blogging: How to Legally Create Memes and Graphics
There are some terrible mistakes that beginner bloggers make; using stock photography or graphics illegally is one of the worst. And unfortunately, one of the easiest to fall privy to. Here at the IBA, we don’t want you to make these kinds of mistakes! We all know what it’s like to be a newbie blogger and we are here to help you do things right.
Today I will give you the tools to legally create memes and graphics for your blog and social media. From stock photography, quotes, illustrations, graphics, and fonts. There are a few things you need to take into consideration when you legally create memes and graphics, we will go through them all.
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All the Visuals You Will Ever Need
There are lots of types of graphics that you can make for your blog, some are more important than others. Here they are in order of importance.
You definitely need:
- Horizontal Blog Post Title Graphics (for Facebook and Twitter)
- A featured image depending on your theme the default is rectangular, so you are ok with just no.1. If your theme has a square featured image template, you can either make a different one. Or just keep the info in the center of the rectangular one.
- Vertical Pinterest Graphics
- Social Media Headers (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin)
These are optional:
- Vertical Infographics (for Pinterest)
- Quotes or info graphics for Instagram (square shaped)
- Extra vertical Pinterest Graphics (for more exposure)
- Email Headers
- Youtube thumbnails
- Pinterest Board Covers
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Easy to Use Online Editors
Definitely, the easiest way to create quick memes and graphics that are legal is to use a free online editor like Canva, Stencil or Snappa. There are quite a few others if you want to try more advanced techniques. For the sake of keeping things straightforward and easy, I will explain how to make quick memes and graphics with any of these three editors. All have a free, but limited option. Try them all and see which one suits you best before you buy any subscriptions.
The memes and graphics you create on these editors are free to use on your own blog and social media. All the free (and paid) assets have a personal use license, so you are in the clear legally.
When making designs to sell, like t-shirts, Etsy prints or mugs, it’s best to check their licensing agreements, as you should do with everything you use to make money with.
Using the Templates
When you are just starting out you might have no clue how to make your memes and graphics. That is why editors like Canva, Stencil, and Snappa are so great. They supply you with loads of templates to use, where you just have to switch out your information and voila, you’re done. No matter if you are branded or not, these templates help a lot to start getting used to creating your graphics on a regular basis. If you are branded, then you just have to switch the fonts to your fonts and the colors to your own.
After a while when you have been using the templates, you will notice that your memes and graphics look a lot like other newbie bloggers’ graphics and you will want to start designing your own. When you do this, you might import more photos and illustrations to use, apart from the available ones in the editors.
Always read the licensing agreements, because even if an asset is free, it might only be licensed for personal use or just a one-time commercial use.
Things to Remember About Using Stock Photography
These online editors have quite a large database of photographs to use that can be included in your memes and graphics easily. But you will notice that these images are used quite often and are a bit overused in some cases. Of course, another option is to use your own photographs and just upload them into your editor. If this is not an option, then you must find photographs somewhere else.
Here are the IBA we have quite a few articles on this topic and I recommend you read up on them, so you know what to expect. There are lots of free sites, but these just repeat the same results, and there are larger sites that ask for a subscription fee. Finding the one that will fit your needs is just a matter of looking around.
Here are some articles to read up on Stock Photography
- 10 Free and Legal Stock Image Sites for Bloggers
- The Ultimate Blogger’s Guide to Stock Photos
- 10 Fun Ways to Easily Customize a Stock Photo
About Using Fonts Legally
The free version of Canva and the other editors have plenty of fonts included for your use, the paid versions let you import other fonts you might have downloaded from the internet. This is where things get tricky with fonts. If you are creating memes and graphics for your blog, the free fonts that you can get from Font Squirrel or DaFont are okay, but if you are actually planning to make money off these designs, like for example as Etsy prints, then you need a commercial license!
A couple of great sites online to find fonts with a commercial license is Font Bundles, Pixelo, and The Hungry JPEG. There are always wonderful bundles with gorgeous fonts to use. Remember though, that if you are branded you shouldn’t be using any font willy nilly. Using a variety of fonts is totally permitted when making merchandise to sell like t-shirts, mugs and other products of the sort.
When You Are Ready For More
After you been using these editors and are ready to progress to bigger leagues. You can start creating your own templates to use over and over for your graphics. Or you might want to start making complicated info graphics and pdf’s as opt in freebies for your blog.
Either way, we are here to help! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask, we are here for you. What questions do you have to help you legally create memes and graphics?