Keeping your website up-to-date with new content can be fun, but it requires time. Not only do you have to write interesting content, but you also need images and graphics. You may also need to design your own logo or images for your brochures and business cards. Finding or creating the graphic can be time-consuming. If you are looking for a Hawaii-themed image it can be even more difficult.
Below is a list of user-friendly tools you can use to create images and make marketing materials for your website and other promotions. They are all free and don’t take a lot of time to learn.
Pixlr Express makes image editing simple. It has enough options to be useful, but not so many that you feel overwhelmed. It allows you to crop, resize, change contrast, brighten, and also has an auto-fix option. It may not have the full power of something like Photoshop, but it has the features that most of us need and is much easier to use. It’s also free. Pixlr is available on the web so there is nothing to download or purchase. Just go to their site and get started. They also have additional apps you can find here. If you need something more powerful, but don’t want to pay the high price of Photoshop, try Gimp.
If you are running a business then you need marketing materials. At a bare minimum, you will need some business cards. Canva is an intuitive drag-and-drop graphic design web app. Once again there is nothing to download and the app is free. Canva allows you to create everything from business cards to brochures to Twitter and YouTube banners. Canva does contain premium images and designs that you can purchase, but also contains a lot of material that is completely free. If you are someone who likes to design your own promotional materials. Canva is a great app.
Finding images for your promotional content and your website and blogs can be a time-consuming task. Pixabay is a website that contains over a million free images, vectors, and illustrations. They even have videos now. The images are royalty free and can be used for commercial use. If you can’t find an image you like on Pixabay, the site will also display premium images that can be purchased.
Dig.ccMixter is a website that contains original music that you can use for your business. Making a commercial or YouTube video and need a background song or a jingle. The site even has a section that is free for commercial projects. You can find it here. When you choose to download a track it will tell you how you can use it and if it requires attribution or not. There is even a link to a video that shows you how to use a particular song on YouTube.
WordPress is an awesome platform. It is a simple to use web management platform and there is a good change your website is running on it. Over the years a lot of features have been added. WordPress has a basic image editor that allows you to crop and resize images. The text editor has an option that allows you to easily insert media and create galleries and video and audio playlist. In general, I prefer to do my editing before I add media to WordPress, but WordPress’s does have some decent features. In addition, there are plugins that can be added to WordPress to give it even more functionality. You can find a helpful tutorial here.
When it comes to videos, Youtube is a biggest and still one of the best. There are a ton of video editors for free and for purchase. Many of them are complex and take a decent amount of time to learn to use. Luckily, Youtube has its own editor. This allows you to upload your videos and do the editing without having to use a special program. The one big disadvantage is that you will need to upload the videos before you edit them. Since many of us are on limited internet connection here in Hawaii, and especially on the Big Island, we prefer to limit our data usage. Even so, the Youtube editor has a decent set of video editing functions and will allow you to get your video out easily and quickly.
This is a small list of what is available. I have used all of these programs myself and find them great products. For most promotions, you don’t need a program that has every single feature. You need something that is quick and easy and does a great job. The above sites should help you find the content you need to quickly make some great promotional material.