With more and more content published on the Internet every day, we are struggling to stay visible. There are several ways to react to “Content Shock” (See Mark Schaefer’s book “The Content Code”). The most common ones are more output and higher quality. Creating custom images is an important part of igniting your content.

More output

In my interview with Robert Caruso we already explained in 2013 that you have to post enough content to stay visible. Robert’s points certainly hold true today.
However, we are beginning to see signals from Google that the quality of the content is increasingly more important than the amount of posts.

Higher Quality

One of the new technological advances is automatically created content. You can already read sports papers that feature game reports that are written by robots. Needless to say that this type of consumable content will increase in the future. Even the most prolific writer can not create enough content to keep up with a machine. Creating good custom images can be a boost to your post quality.

Custom Images

Beginning with inspirational quotes we saw a real surge of eye-catching images with a text overlay. Not surprisingly these started to take off. The internet is getting more and more visual and with these enhanced images our message stands out much more than it ever could using text formatting tools.

There were a few tools early on that made it possible to create these images without having to invest in a professional designer or an expensive editing software. Due to its brilliant marketing, Canva.com is dominating this market today and some of the early tools have been absorbed by others or simply disappeared.

Recently I have discovered more and more tools that are obviously aiming to take some of Canva’s market share by emulating its functionality and interface.

There is one problem with most of these tools: It takes too much time to create images on the fly. 

[clickToTweet tweet=”If you want to create great quote images in record time, @GetStencil is the tool of choice!” quote=”If you want to create great quote images in record time, @GetStencil is the tool of choice!”]

If you are a busy content creator, or if you (like me) love to surprise your friends with images containing their quotes, you need a tool that allows you to do this well and especially quickly.

A number of years ago I discovered a tool that was called “Share as Image” and later changed its name to “Stencil“*.

If you watched the video above you know how quickly Stencil creates these images. Often I simply highlight a quote in a post or on Facebook and click on the Chrome (Firefox) extension. Stencil automatically puts the text into the frame and all I need to do is style it. Within 2 minutes I have a shareable image that is appreciated by my friends without getting side-tracked from my work for too long.

 

I use Stencil for creating featured images as well.

Every blogger, YouTube star, Pinterest fan…. knows that it can take a lot of work creating images for each social network. Stencil makes it really easy to re-format the image for each network as well as for custom sizes. All you need to do is select the right size; rearrange your image elements and save the new image. Below are these examples for this post:

Image rights

It is always important to make sure you have permission to use and alter the image you use. With the both the free version and the premium version you have access to images that are ok to use. You can also upload your own images and use those.

Cost

Stencil has a good free account that gives you a limited amount of background images and lets you create up to 10 images per month.

The Pro account for $9US gives you more backgrounds and up to 50 images – that is lots for most solo users.

I never get tired of using Stencil and I highly recommend it to all my students.

 

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Published by Frithjof

Digital media strategist, coach, community manager and CEO of BlueBird Business Consulting. Blogger, podcaster, content creator and teacher with a passion. Favourite quote: “To succeed in the business of the future we have to become the very people we are trying to reach” ~ Brian Solis

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