January 30, 2013

Make Your Own Infographics: Visual.ly and Piktochart

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An infographic is a visual presentation of facts, ideas or statistics, usually characterized by fun graphics, colorful themes and few words. In today’s graphic-happy world, infographics are incredibly popular and can often go viral on social media sites. You’re more likely to have people share an infographic with the highlights of your latest survey than a 16-page white paper with all the details.

Infographics are all the rage for communicating facts and trends instantly, but they can cost a fortune. Back when I was a copywriter, I worked with several companies that commissioned infographics from design companies, at $1500 a pop or more. Thank goodness for the many websites that have popped up that allow us to use flexible templates to make our own. Here are two of my favorite infographic tools:

Visual.ly is one of a couple of innovative companies that are offering instant infographics using fun templates. With this site, you just link the template to your Facebook or Twitter account, and in seconds you have an amusing analysis.

Here’s a piece of the infographic they created from my Twitter profile. Geeky grin indeed!

I’m quite proud of my first real effort at an infographic (scroll down for the masterpiece!), which I put together with Piktochart. I have to tell you that it takes patience – a lot of patience. With their templates, things jump around, move mysteriously and are challenging to align and move. But the overall result was fantastic, in my humble opinion!

Piktochart has been around for quite a while, and this week they upped their value by making their infographics searchable so that you can help your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. They have a handful of free templates, then the Pro version (where you get the SEO) is $29/month.

 


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