Creating awesome infographics. A bloggers guide

Creating awesome infographics. A bloggers Guide

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, an infographic is worth much more than this. Being the most interactive visual representation of information, it is no wonder that they are a favourite tool for bloggers and writers to best relay useful information. Given the fact that they are technically the most visually compelling medium of communication due to their creative mix of design, analysis, images and text, infographics tend to summarise all the knowledge the reader is searching for, thus easier to use as compared to reading a whole website of content or watching hundreds of videos. Considered as the visual shorthand for bloggers and writers, these infographics have found the most effective and efficient way to represent complex data in a more interesting way that makes it easier to read, analyse, compare, contrast and eventually, learn from it.

Why use infographics?

Over the recent years, the online world has seen a rapid upward surge in the number of infographics uploaded and posted. This can surely be attributed to the great love and adoration it has gained from readers and researchers from across the globe. Here are some of the best reasons why you should consider using infographics on your blog, website or marketing programs.

1. Attractive and compelling.

According to statistics, most learners across all age groups are visual learners. This group of people learns best by seeing and by relaying information through pictures, graphs, charts, writing or reading, you will be able to capture their attention with much ease. This is exactly what infographics do best, thus enticing visual learners who constitute at least 65% of the human population. Research also shows that by using infographics, bloggers will be able to make their content at least 43% more persuasive. Rather than having people read through hundreds of pages to get useful information, all this is summarised into pictures, graphs, charts and short text.

2. Portable.

Most infographics are usually in PDF, JPG or PNG formats, and these are among the lightest files ever to exist. Instead of a whole book, a single infographic can relay all the useful information in a more portable version by the use of statistical graphs, charts, pictures and text. Most of these infographics are easy to embed by simply copying and pasting lines of code, especially when using WordPress as a blogging platform. Downloading them takes a matter of seconds. They can also be scanned, printed and shared with great ease.

3. Increases trust from readers.

Infographics are a well-designed summary of all the important data, information and statistics of a particular topic. By using them within website content, they show the great expertise and understanding of the subject by the blogger or marketer. This thus increases their trust and respect for the blogger, in turn increasing the number of blog visitors, readers and even potential customers.

4. Easily shareable.

Given the fact that they come in easily portable formats as compared to plain text documents, audio or video files, infographics can be shared with so much ease whether they are in hard copy or soft copy. Hard copy infographics can be scanned, printed, shared and even posted on notice boards or in books, newspapers or magazines. Soft copy ones can be downloaded, embedded and shared via social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Twitter among others. Well-designed infographics have the power to become viral, which comes with a myriad of benefits for the blogger. For instance, Neil Patel, owner of QuickSprout.com, mentions that since 2012, the infographics he used has driven an average of 21,582 visitors, 371 backlinks, 486 tweets and 259 likes each.

5. Promotes brand awareness.

An infographic allows a blogger to include as much useful information as you want. Given the fact that they have the highest potential of becoming viral, driving more traffic and increasing conversion rates, if brand logos, web addresses and even location are included, this additionally promotes brand awareness by a great deal. This thus makes the blogger’s or marketer’s brand more trustworthy and exposed more potential customers. By having a worldwide coverage, especially from social media shares, infographics will promote your brand throughout the globe, capturing people’s interest which could be highly profitable in the future.

6. Great for SEO.

Since the adjustment of the Google Algorithms, Search Engine Optimization has ceased being a matter of only stuffing keywords into web content. The number of people linking to one’s blog or website is also taken into consideration. Great infographics have the power to draw people into the discussion, thus encouraging them to link back to your site. The higher the numbers of people who genuinely link back to your blog, the more authoritative the blog becomes and the higher Google indexes it, thanks to Google’s Page Rank Algorithm.

What information should be included in infographics?

For a blogger to get the best out of an infographic there are a number of factors that should be considered when designing it. Discussed below is all the essential information that should be included in an infographic.

1. What does the target audience want?

This should be the basis for creating an infographic. Once the blogger comes up with the infographic idea, it is much easier to know the elements that need to be incorporated into it, thus relaying the correct message to the target audience. The best tip here is to narrow down to a specific group instead of talking to the whole world. For instance, a blogger may choose to make an infographic for German Shepherd owners rather than all pet owners.

2. Keep it Simple and Precise.

One thing that makes infographics popular is the fact that it quells the need for people to read through extremely long blogs, trying to figure out the most important information. Keeping the infographic simple and straight to the point best relays complex information into understandable visual form rather than complicating it more. Never ever overcrowd and infographic with information and text. Also, don’t fill it up with irrelevant information, rather, use facts, figures that focus on a single topic.

3. Balance Images and Text.

Unlike memos that are purely meant to relay a message, infographics should be designed with visual appeal in mind. The visual information and written information should be well balanced to make it more visually attractive and relay as much information as it can too. If the written information overweighs the visual information, it becomes boring and ceases to be an infographic. On the other hand, if the images outdo the text, then the infographic will become useless as it will be lacking enough descriptive information.

4. Clear and Attractive Headlines.

A clear and killer headline is what attracts the eye and mind to reading through the whole infographic. Good headlines should describe what the infographic is about, they should be short and grab the reader’s attention. The designer of the infographic may also make it pop out using colour and other graphic design elements so as to attract the users’ attention evenr more. It should be noted though, that the strength of the headline should be worked on before focusing on its design.

5. Smooth Flow of Information.

Focus on making the content of the infographic flow both visually and cognitively. Cognitively, give it a storyline that flows, taking the reader from the first simple phase, smoothly through the other phases, to the last complex phase. Make use of numbers, arrows and even graphical guides to help the user move through the information levels with ease. The use of color and shapes should also be considered in the flow.

6. Accurate and Precise Information.

Since infographics are designed to relay the most important information, it is best for the blogger to get their facts and figures right. The infographic should be reviewed and revised thoroughly before printing, publishing or sharing, so as to ensure maximum accuracy and precision. It helps to have a keen editor go through it before being let out to the public. Citations and references should also be included in the infographic so as to lead to users to more information with regards to the topic at hand.

7. Manageable size.

Due to a number of factors including better readability, faster loading and easier sharing, it is very important to keep all infographics at manageable sized. A good infographic should be big enough for better visibility, ye small enough for lesser space consumption, compact and light. In addition to that, the elements within them should be large enough, but not too large to take up too much space or too small to reduce visibility. It is advisable to keep a width and length limit of 8,000 pixels and a size limit of 1.5 MB.

Web sites to source infographics from.

Whether you want to design your own infographics or outsource them to a designer, there are hundreds of sites that will provide you with everything you need to get it done. Some of the best websites that feature the most effective tools as well as the best user experience are reviewed below.

1. Visual.ly

With more than 35,000 designers registered to the Visual.ly community, this is the best platform for infographics and data visualisation since 2011. On this site, you are allowed to create your own infographics and even share then on social media. It features a simple to use interface that doesn’t require one to be a designer or an analyst to create excellent infographics.

2. Visualize.me

This infographic resume generator provides the best platform to represent resumes in visual form at the single click of the button. With this site, thousands of people can easily express their academic and professional accomplishments in an attractive visual form. As a matter of fact, this resume generator is a favourite site for people who want their LinkedIn profile resumes optimised.

3. Easel.ly

Just as its name suggests, this site offers a fun and easy way to create infographics. With its drag and drop features, coupled with a simple interface, this fun infographic design tool brings maximum customizability, thus helping bloggers achieve the best infographics ever. Some of the elements that come with this free tool include arrows, connector lines and shapes with customizable colours, fonts, text styles and sizes.

4. Infogr.am

This is absolutely the best site to visit if you are searching for maps, graphs and charts. In addition to a wide variety of these, Infogr.am comes with capabilities to upload pictures and even videos to create the coolest infographics. To customise any data, one is required to use an excel style spreadsheet so as to achieve the perfect and accurate representation of the data. The final infographics can then be published to the Infogram website, the blogger’s own website or share on social media.

These are just but a few of the best sites that have been proven and reviewed as having the best infographics and infographic design tools. Whether one needs to purchase or design one on their own, these are the websites to visit first.

How to create infographics yourself.

Creating infographics on your own isn’t hard at all. In fact, all you need is knowledge on how to use a computer, and you do not need to be a designer or an analyst for this. By using the following steps, you will be able to come up with unbelievably superb infographics that will attract your target audience’s attention.

1. Figure out your target audience.

Once you know the message you need to put out, and your target audience, it becomes easier to know how to relay it.

2. Collect all the data, information or content.

Here you will find all the data and information that best relates to the message you want to relay and the audience you are targeting.
Where to source images/icons/visuals from.

To get images, icons and other visuals, you may visit a number of sites for free or paid downloads depending on how you intend to use the infographic. Some of the sites where you can outsource these visual elements include Pixabay, Graphicstock, FreeFoto.comFreePixels, ImageBase, StockVault and MorgueFile.

For graphs, charts and other statistical images, you can design them on Microsoft Excel and place them into your infographic.

3. Customise the infographic.

With the objective and all infographic elements at hand, the next step is to customise the infographic. If you are a good designer, you could use Photoshop, Illustrator or Microsoft Publisher for this. Though, if you need it done faster, you can download infographic templates from sites such as Hubspot or venngage.com/templates and then edit them.

4. Publish the Infographic.

After successfully designing your infographics, you will then upload or publish them to your site or your social media pages. For maximum interaction from the users, never forget to add a “Pin It” button or the “Embed” button and code when you publish it to your blog. This makes it easier for every user to share your infographics with their own circle of friends, thus spreading the word.

Where to get infographics created professionally.

Not all bloggers and writers have enough time and resources to create an infographic, thus the heightened need to find a designer or analyst that can create professional infographics for them. Here are some of the sites where you can get your infographics created really professionally at affordable prices.

The sites that allow you to create your own professional infographics include:

Creating infographics on most of these sites are free of charge, but they also have a monthly paid subscription option that comes with much better features.

Hiring an infographic designer

If you do not want to create the infographics yourself, you may consider searching for trusted individual freelancer websites such as the Killer Infographics website and pay for your infographics to be done. You may also look into hiring an infographic designer from a freelance website such as (see below), where you will get thousands of designers with different skill sets and prices.

WordPress plugins to help with infographic creation.

With WordPress hosting at least 35% of blogs and websites online, the need for plugins that help with the design of infographics is a basic need for any blogger. Such plugins not only make design easier but also automate the publishing process. Some of the best WordPress plugins that will work great in the creation of infographics include:

Infogram

Venngage Infographics

NVD3 Visualizations

Useful for creating charts

Useful for generating embed codes

Data sources for your infographics

Google public data – Public data made available by Google.

Gapminder.org/data – A huge collections of data and resources for you to wade through.

Data.gov – The home of the U.S. Government’s open data.

theguardian.com/data – The guardians data blog is a good place to start.

hubspot.com/marketing-statistics – The ultimate list of marketing statistics.

who.int/gho – The World Health Organisations data page.

statista.com – The first stop for statistics.

Databasesports.com – If you are looking for sports data, look no further.

knoema.com – Get data for your report, research or assignment in seconds.

Best websites to share infographics.

Sharing of infographics comes with its own share of advantages. In addition to spreading the word about your business, it places you as an expert in the niche or field you are representing in your infographic. While we may keep sharing the infographics we design on social media, we may not be able to get to reach the real audience that loves infographics.  We may also want others to grade our infographic design skills, something that cannot be achieved on social media.

The best sites to share infographics include

These sites also allow you to share and rate other people’s infographics, thus maximum interaction.

Infographics have an unbelievably huge potential of turning a previously dull topic into a thrilling and profitable niche within a really short period of time. With a well-designed infographic, it takes just a click of the button or hitting the share button for the blogger’s message to become viral. From this, the blogger gets more exposure, their brand becomes more recognizable and they amass a higher level of trust from their visitors, who eventually turn into potential customers.

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