How to Make an Infographic: A Visual Guide for Beginners

In this post, you will learn how to make an infographic easily. Infographics may seem as though they are really difficult to produce and you may think you don’t have the skills to do it. However, read this blog and you will quickly see that producing an infographic needn’t be difficult.

There are two types of platforms or tools you can use:

  1. Marketplace – source designers at a rate to design your infographic
  2. Design tools – online design tools use templates and have drag and drop features that allow you to create your own infographic

Either way, you still need to develop your own concept and learn how to make an infographic that is relevant to your audience.

#1 – Don’t Bore Your Audience!

#2 – How To Make An Infographic: The Process

  1. Concept – this is the idea behind the infographic. To start with look at what is trending in your industry, what are the hot topics? Use resources such as Haro, Reddit, PRNewsWire, Google News, Search Twitter and of course industry or market specific sources. Brainstorm some ideas and choose one that will appeal to your audience and that adds value to them. Use this to know how to make an infographic that engages your audience.
  1. Value – Showing lots of data to people about a product ISN’T adding value. The best infographics help people so think about their problems, challenges and pain-points – how can you solve a problem or help them visually with an infographic? Some ways that infographics can help are: simplify complex data e.g. men vs women money matters, and show people the key takeouts and WHAT IT MEANS TO THEM, they provide helpful information e.g. Pinterest Marketing Strategy, how to produce a great social event, best time to post on social media

. Your infographic needs to help your target audience.

  1. Story – before leaping you make an infographic it is best to sketch it out in terms of what you are trying to say. Keep it simple though. Some tips here are: first of all create a great headline to catch people attention, link each section so the information flow is logical, create a story and narration that flows through the infographic. Connect the dots in your story by using images, text and data.
  2. Research – if you are using data (as opposed to producing a guide) this is where you need to pull together your sources. Make sure that you place all references used in the bottom of the infographic so people know they are not made up and are from trusted sources. There are lots of places to get good quality data on the internet or if you are ambitious conduct your own research.
  3. Production – by now you should have a clear idea about how you want to make an infographic and are now ready to produce it, the key message(s) you want to communicate, the narrative and words that link each part of the infographic to the next. So now you just need to choose the right tool to produce your infographic. If you are going to source a designer the previous steps then form the basis for your brief.
  4. Promotion – the last stage is to promote your infographic. It is not enough just to publish it once. If you want to get maximum exposure you need to actively promote it. I have detailed some tips for how to do this later in this blog.

#3 – Benefits of Using Infographic Tools

The tools listed here will do vary in their capabilities and some offer a better range of features than others. Take a few moments to understand the layout of the tool you choose and have a play before producing your own. Once familiar with the infographic tool build your own infographic and publish it.

In brief, my recommended tool is Piktochart because of its excellent templates, features and pricing.

  • Remove the need to have high-end design skills
  • Save time on producing infographics
  • Templates/Themes that you can use to build your own infographic
  • Import data into charts (dependent on the tool)
  • Drag and drop elements: icons, banners and more to customize your infographic

#4 – How to Make An Infographic – The Tools

The free version has limited options e.g. you can’t upload your logo and the Infogram name is there in its place or download the infographic. The paid version, Pro, starts at is $18 per month which allows you to download as png or pdf. However, if you want to add your own logo (why wouldn’t you) the cost rises to $50 per month. That said you can cancel at any time.

#1 – EASEL.LY

Easel.ly lets you use choose between a selection of templates or you can create your own infographic from a blank canvas. Easel.ly gives you high quality and professional looking infographics without the need for a graphic designer.

KEY FEATURES

  • Import objects: people, animals, banners, food, icons, landmarks, maps, music, nature, and transportation using drag and drop feature
  • Import graphics from your computer
  • Change the background colour
  • Change the colour of images/objects
  • Change the opacity of any image
  • download as low or high-quality image or as pdf

EXAMPLE TEMPLATE AVAILABLE ON EASEL.LY.

PROS AND CONS

Pros:

  • Straight forward and easy to use
  • Good drag and drop feature

Cons:

  • Limited number of templates
  • Unable to add graphs unless you create your own and import them
  • No option for adding video
  • No PNG export option

PRICING

Free at present although this may change as the platform evolves.

#3 – PIKTOCHART

Piktochart is a web-based tool that has some good themes for creating infographics. You can easily customise your own infographic using the simple drag and drop different feature to add in shapes, images and graphs.

KEY FEATURES

  • Create an infographic from a big range of themes organized into categories
  • Ability to add in photos, icons, images and graphs as well as upload graphics
  • Create graphs or upload data from MS Excel
  • Share publicly or privately
  • Easily add a video to chart
  • Change palettes of any area
  • Export to Evernote or Slideshare

PIKTOCHART HAS AN IMPRESSIVE SET OF INFOGRAPHIC TEMPLATES

PROS AND CONS

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Over 4000 graphics
  • Excellent selection of graphs
  • Excellent range of themes
  • Export as PDF, PNG or JPG
  • Range of editing tools e.g. align images, rotate, opacity…

Cons:
None to mention

PRICING

The free version allows you to try Piktochart but limits you to only a few themes, low-resolution publishing and a Piktochart watermark. The paid version is reasonably priced considering the range of features at $29 per month or $290 per annum.

#4 – VISUALLY

Visually has some basic free tools many of which integrate with social networks to analyze Twitter and Facebook feeds. These tools allow you to create simple data visualizations, but there’s a limited set of features. If you want to do this simply go to https://create.visual.ly/. Visually is more of a marketplace where you can get connect with graphic designers and motion graphics artists who specialize in infographics.

KEY FEATURES

  • Some basic free tools that link to Google analytics and social media
  • Good briefing process
  • A strong community of designers for infographics and motion graphics

VISUALLY GUIDES YOU THROUGH DEVELOPING A BRIEF.

PROS AND CONS

Pros:

  • For those who do not want to get produce anything themselves, this is a good place and process to source infographics
  • A great resource for high-quality infographics – browse their portfolio and get inspired

Cons:
No real cons since Visually is not aiming to compete with the template platforms.

Pricing

Custom designs start at $999.

#5 – VENNGAGE

Venngage is a great tool for creating and publishing infographics because it’s simple and easy to use. You can choose from templates, themes, and hundreds of charts and icons as well as uploading your own images and backgrounds, or customize a theme to suit your brand.

KEY FEATURES

  • Range of templates to choose from
  • Ability to add in icons, images and graphs
  • Customize sections and backgrounds
  • Point 4
  • Point 5

Headlines people prefer in order of preference.

PROS AND CONS

Pros:

  • Good set of templates/themes
  • Good library of icons
  • Easy tools to edit icons, images and graphs
  • Drag and drop builder

Cons:

  • Unable to import data
  • Can’t add video
  • No editing features such aligning images

PRICING

There is a free option but it has a limited number of templates and you can’t download any infographics you create. The paid solution is $19 per month.

#5 – Final Tips On How To Make An Infographic

  1. Simple Style. Keep everything simple and easy on the eye. Do not use too many colours, too many charts or over complicate the layout.
  2. Write a Blog Post.
    1. Publish your infographic to your blog post and use a tool like the WordPress embed code generator to encourage people to use the infographic on their site.
    2. A/B test your headline – see AB testing tools.
  3. Make it mobile and web friendly. If your image is too large it will load slowly and the chances are people will click away or not bother waiting for it to load.
    1. Set the size, in pixels, of the infographic to fit most blog posts e.g. 720px wide, so it will fit easily to most blog posts.
    2. Smush.it to reduce the image file size without reducing the quality of the infographic.
  4. Reach Out.
    1. Find influencers in your market that will be interested in the content and value of the infographic for their audience.Use a tool like Buzzstream which is ideal for managing blogger outreach.
    2. If you have used any key sources for your data or relevant organizations then let them know they are in the infographic.
  5. Post to Your Social Media Channels.
    1. Pin it to Pinterest, post to Facebook and Tweet out several times using different hashtags relevant to your audience and infographic.
    2. Use the #infographic hashtag in your tweet so that others who track the hashtag infographic will pick it up. Other important places to post to are Linkedin.

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