One of the most common questions at our webinars is “Where do I find creatives for my campaigns?” The answer is simple: DIY, guys, DIY. In this post, we’ll tell you why you will always need fresh creatives, how to make them yourself, what tools to use for that, and how much it costs. 

Why do you need fresh, original creatives? 

To find a profitable combination of an offer + creative + targeting settings, you need to test many, many creatives. Like, a lot. For example, in our educational materials, we recommend our clients to test at least 5-6 creatives per campaign.

By the way, for that, we have a great tool called Smart Rotator which allows you to test up to 8 push creatives at once.

But even when you find a converting combination, very soon you’ll need to charge it with new creatives because good combinations are hasty to burn out.  

So, affiliates are always in need of fresh creatives. Where do you get them then?

Some people “borrow” them from spy tools. Putting aside the ethical aspect of this approach, I’ll say this: it most probably won’t help you get conversions. Apart from the creatives itself, a successful campaign requires testing and optimization, so one creative that brought a good result to someone at some point is not really a silver bullet. 

Another option is to delegate the task to professionals. Let’s say, hire a freelance designer. But that means extra management, extra time, and extra costs. And if you’re a beginner, you probably want to avoid all three.

Most importantly, nobody is expecting a tier-3 banner to look like a Hollywood movie poster. Sometimes, all you need is add an icon or blur a logo. And for that, there are many simple, intuitive, and most importantly free tools that you can find online. In this post, you’ll find our top picks.

Buckle up, guys, we’re about to start a creative crash course.


What functions do you need in a tool?

Just to be clear: you can’t take a picture on the Internet and use it as a creative. Unless it’s your original design, it will violate the copyright regulations.

So, the foundation of your creative is a picture available for commercial use. We have a special post on where you can find free images for your creatives.

Next, you’ll need to adjust it to accommodate the purposes of your campaign.

So, here are the most popular alterations that you can make (and the functions that you should look for in an editing tool):

  • Crop/Resize an image
  • Adjust color/brightness/contrast
  • Add a logo, text or an icon
  • Make a collage (like tiles)
  • Blur certain areas

Let’s see what tools offer these functions.


Best free image editing tools for affiliates 

#1 Adobe Photoshop Express

-Free

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The little brother of the almighty Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Express is a free online image editor.

Apart from cropping, resizing, and other basic image adjustments, it allows you to use the famous blur tool which is especially useful if you want to avoid copyright issues.

It does not allow you to use layers, so adding an icon or a text to your image is not possible, however, you can download your design for future editing in high quality.


#2 Pixlr

– free basic functions, Pro version from $4,99 per month

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Apologies, my own creative-making skills really need an uplift

Pixlr is one of the most popular online image editing tools available. It has all the functions you may need to make fine-looking creatives for your campaigns.

With it, you can change the properties of the image like changing its size, rotation, scale, or background color. The Cutout function allows you to remove background, cut out certain objects, and trim individual layers of an image. Image adjustment options like changing vibrance, color, and brightness are also available. Plus, the tool offers special effects like blurring, shrinking, or growing certain parts of the image.

This tool is a true Swiss army knife for DIY creative producers.


#3 Sumopaint

– free basic functions, Pro version from $2 per month

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Sumopaint positions itself as a cost-effective, streamlined alternative to expensive, inefficient, and bulky creative suites with steep learning curves. It offers a variety of editing functions like cropping and resizing, making collages, adding shapes, and working with layers.

It features an intuitive interface and helpful tips for fast learning. It’s Pro version pricing plan starts at $9 per month but there is a special $2 monthly plan for students. So typical for a Finnish company! 😅


#4 Fotor

– free basic functions, Pro version from $3,99 per month

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With Fotor online editing tool, you can edit images, make collages, or create your own designs.

It offers a variety of useful functions from complete basics (cropping/resizing), photo retouch to working with layers. You can easily add texts and icons from their template library or upload the ones of your own.

The tool is equipped with a tooltip which makes learning the basics very simple.

Most functions in the tool are free, but some (e.g. using the blurring tool aka Magic Clipper) require a premium version that costs $8,99 if billed monthly and only $3,99 if billed annually.


#5 Canva

– free, in-app paid content available

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Canva is a popular online platform whose capabilities are much broader than just image editing. In fact, it’s not made for image editing at all — it’s a collaboration tool that allows you to create an array of graphic design types from collages and memes to posters, presentations, and CVs.

It has an extensive library of free and paid content like stock pictures, icons, animated images, and even videos. For your creatives, you can take advantage of its pre-built templates or create a design from scratch.


#6 IconFinder

– from 9$ per month

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IconFinder is a repository of millions of free and premium icons that are available for commercial use. The repository is regularly updated with new images by designers and independent illustrators.

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Its greatest feature is the built-in editing tool which allows you to customize the icons on the go. With it, you can change their size, shape, color, add shadows, etc. which gives your icons that refined professional look.

The pricing plan starts at $9 per month and includes 10 downloads. 


Final thoughts

As you can see, there are many options to create cool images without much of a hassle. If you prefer a different tool and have tips to share with other affiliates, let us know in the comments below. And if you want to know more about cool tools for affiliates, follow our blog or sign up to our Telegram chat

Author

Sasha is a writer and digital marketer with 12 years of experience in being a know-it-all. She’ll teach you how to build irresistible landing pages, write kick-ass copy, and drive people into clicking frenzy with your creatives. But since she’s also quite lazy, don’t expect a new post every other week, duh.