Add cool text to a photo – Have the most professional look free!

How do you like the photo I’ve selected for the featured image on this post? Want to learn the exact steps I took to make it? I did it 100% for free, and you can too! This article will show you step-by-step how I created this beautiful featured image. Let’s dive in.

I like free tools

When I first started in online marketing, I was broke. I was looking to make money online, but I just didn’t have a lot of money to invest in getting started. Thank God I found the Wealthy Affiliate program, which was free to start, and it gave me the opportunity to begin this journey with no money out-of-pocket.

As I was building my websites, I was noticing how great other people’s featured images looked, and I had no idea even how to add cool text to a photo. I saw so many great pictures on Pinterest with words and descriptions, so I asked the community inside Wealthy Affiliate how to make awesome featured images like that, and I was directed to training on how to add cool text to a photo!

I held my breath as I went through the training, because I thought there had to be a charge for making such great pictures, but I was relieved to find out that the process not only gave free photos, but the editor to add the text and backgrounds, etc. was also free! Say what? I was shocked.

So now, as I always do, I am going to pass this information along to you so that you, too, can have a professional-looking website and great pictures to post on your Pinterest (and other social media) accounts.

Add cool text to a photo

Step 1 – Free pictures

So the title of this post is Add Cool Text to a Photo! I had to choose a picture that I thought would represent this title in the featured image. I decided to use a typewriter as my featured image, and I used my favorite website for free stock photos which is They provide both paid and free photos, and I have found that the choices of free photos are sufficient to supply my sites!

When you go to the site, you will see at the top the “sponsored” photos, which means do not use those unless you are prepared to pay the royalty fee. I have paid the royalty fee on a few photos, but I usually find what I need in their free photo selection, which is located under the sponsored images.

Add Cool Text to a photo


Here is what it looks like when you go to the site. I typed into the search bar the word “typewriter” and this popped up:

Add cool text to a photo

I scrolled down through the free photos, and I saw one I really liked with the keys and chose that.

Add cool text to a photo

After you click on the picture, you will see a “Download” button. Go ahead and click for your free download.

Add cool text to a photo

You can also right click and “save as”, but if you click Download, you will get some size options. This can be helpful when placing photos as backgrounds on websites like Youtube or Google that require larger sized pictures. Choose your size and download. You may be asked to show you are human with one of those little tests. Just follow the prompts if asked to.

Add cool text to a photo

Save the picture to your files, and now you are ready to dress it up with your post title and website name

Step 2 – Open Canva & Choose Design

What is Canva, you ask? It is the coolest site ever, and I love it! Just like anything, they offer a premium program, but I have been using the free version for years, and I find it has everything I need. Once again, I will use screen captures to run through how to use this program with our picture of the typewriter, so let’s dive right in!

The website is One word of caution, always use Chrome as your browser window when you use this site. It doesn’t work well with Explorer for some reason. You will be asked to create a free account, so go ahead and do that to get started.

Once you have created your free account, you will go to the Home screen and click on the “Create a Design” button and some options will pop up.

Add cool text to a photo

The option you choose is totally up to you. Try some of the options. A banner is more of horizontal rectangle like a regular photo would be, and these are great for featured photos. The Pinterest photo is a more vertical photo perfect for when you post your post on Pinterest. For this example, I searched “banner,” and I am going to choose “blog banner.”

Add cool text to a photo

Step 3 – Create your design

Once you click on blog banner, you are taken to this page and you will be shown templates. Take a look at the left sidebar and you’ll see all the choices you have to create your picture. It is in “templates‘ right now, but we are not going to use a template for our post featured image.

Add cool text to a photo

I want to create a featured image with my typewriter picture. In order to do this, I need to upload my picture, so I am going to go down and click on “Uploads.”

Add cool text to a photo

Now you want to click on the “Upload an Image” button to grab your picture.

Add cool text to a photo

Your computer will open up like this, and I am choosing the typewriter photo to upload.

Add cool text to a photo

Now the picture is in the library as you can see, and you need to select it for your template. So click on the picture of the typewriter.

Add cool text to a photo

Note that you can re-size your photo by dragging the corners and sides to where you want them if you want them bigger or smaller. I made mine a little bigger.

Add cool text to a photo


Step 4 – Add Element if desired

What are elements? They are shapes and other miscellaneous things you can add to your pictures. I’m going to add a circular element to this picture so you can see what it looks like. Just click on the “Elements” tab to be shown all the elements you can add.

Add cool text to a photo

When I clicked on the circle, it was pretty large, so you can also drag and reposition and also re-size the element however you like. I made mine a little smaller and moved it over to the left a little so more of the keys were visible.

Add cool text to a photo

Next I am going to add text. So I click on the “Text” tab and a bunch of options pop up. I am going to scroll down and see what else is available and choose my text.

Add cool text to a photo

I am choosing the “It’s my birthday It’s time to celebrate text” for my element on this picture:

Add cool text to a photo

It’s huge when it appears, so it has to be re-sized

Simply highlight the text, and at the top you can change the color and change the font size (and the font style too).

Add cool text to a photo

As you can see, I can choose the size. You may have to do this a few times to get the size you want.

Add cool text to a photo

Add cool text to a photo

It is now the right size, but I need it to say “Add cool text to” not “It’s my birthday” so I change it.

Add cool text to a photo

Now I want to add my website name at the bottom, so I add a little bit of body text. Then I move it down to the bottom, highlight it and change the color so I can see it because black on black doesn’t work.

Add cool text to a photo

Add cool text to a photo

I re-size the name, and add a gold color and move it to the bottom of the page. It’s drag and drop.

Add cool text to a photo


Add cool text to a photo

Now I want to add “Have the most professional look free” so I choose the font, and I will have to re-size, re-position and color it as well.After you reposition, delete unwanted text, color it and re-size it, you have a professional looking picture ready for your website.

Add cool text to a photo

So, I re-sized the font, made it gold, and re-positioned it to the right and re-typed the words “Have the most professional look free!”

Final Product

Here it is:

Add cool text to a photo

Pretty cool, right? It’s a little tricky to use sometimes, but once you play around with it, I think you’ll have the success I have and find it is extremely enjoyable to create these little featured images.

Here are some others I designed to put on my various Pinterest Boards and other social media platforms:

Add Cool Text to a Photo

   Add cool text to a photo   Add cool text to a photo

Comments Welcome

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and got value from it.  Please let me a comment or a question as I am here to help you find the best ways to make money online and build a professional business.

If you would like to contact me personally, feel free to email me directly at at any time.  I always enjoy hearing from my readers.

If you want to see my Number 1 way to earn a solid income online, check out this article:

The How To Affiliate Marketing for Beginners








Babs Wagner

Born in Texas, raised in upstate New York, I have been marketing for my entire adult life.I have decided to share all the information I have gathered on what works in affiliate marketing, and what doesn't because I want to let the world know that working online gives you the freedom to work from anywhere, and that is exactly what I do!

Starting out can be tough, I know, so I will also be sharing lots of free resources to get you going.I am dedicated to providing this information to my readers, and I hope you always feel free to reach out to me.

Thanks for visiting my page!


  1. Hi Babs, and thanks again for a valuable tutorial. You make it really easy to understand the steps and follow for my self.

    I have too found Canva some time ago and tried it out. The results are great but I never downloaded my own pictures yet. I didn’t know this was possible in the free version.

    Great stuff, and I also have not checked out the pixabay site, thanks again 🙂

    1. Oh yes, use Pixabay and download the pictures and then upload them into Canva.  It makes so many different options available for you that way.  You can really taylor the pictures to your website brand.  – Babs

  2. Thanks for sharing this post , I absolutely love Canva for adding text to pictures. I found it a bit confusing at first but now  its a breeze to use. I like that Canva has pre-sized templates for all the social sites . I use the  Pinterest template all the time for creating Pins , love it . Pixabay is also a good recommendation , lots of photos to choose from . Thank you for sharing free resources that bloggers and marketers can  use 

  3. Hi Babs – thank you so much for the information on how to add text to a photo.  Sharing this information is very helpful and can benefit many.  I have utilized Pixabay to obtain pictures for my website, but have not heard of Canva before.  That should be very useful and thank you for providing detailed instructions on how to use it.

    Great job,


  4. I thoroughly enjoyed your exercise about adding cooltext with Canva. I have used it also, but had some trouble with it This will certainly help me for the future when I will use it again. It was also a good reminder that this tool exists, as I almost forgot about it. I have also bookmarked this article, so that I can later go through it again just to make sure. Thanks!

    1. I wrote this article for my readers because I found it very confusing at first and really had to figure it out, so I thought it would be good to go through it step by step so people would be able to have a faster learning curve than I did.  – Babs

  5. Thanks for that awesome tutorial. I looked at canva once but chickened out. I thought it would be too difficult for me as I’m not tech savvy at all! You walked through the steps so nicely I actually think that I might be able to do this! Right now I have a software on my computer that I use but finding the pictures I need is an issue and if you can do all that other cool stuff…I don’t know how. I think you are suppose to be able to do a lot of this with picmonkey too…but I haven’t figure it out yet either. Perhaps it’s a trial by error kinda thing. 

    1. The Pixabay site rarely disappoints me when I’m in need of a free picture of something.  I usually find what I’m looking for on that site.   Just be sure, as I mention in this article, to scroll down to the free images.  Let me know if you need any more help.  Good luck.  – Babs

  6. I’m so glad I came across your post I been looking to learn how to add text to my pictures, since I’m on the same situation like you before not having enough money to pay for a software to do this. I bookmarked you site so I can star learning how to add text to my picture. 

    Thank you for sharing this great article, you just made my day.

  7. Great training on using free resources to get things done, in this case, adding text to images. Your post explains clearly how you can get free images via PixaBay (a great source I use too) and then using another free tool Canva (I use the premium version) to then edit them as you need for your marketing business.

    I like that you added in graphics to better explain the process, and it certainly did make it easier to follow along as you went through the process. If I were a newbie, I would have no problem understanding the process. It really does not have to cost a lot of money to get a good start with online marketing, but it does help when such articles are available! Thanks for your contribution…  

    1. Oh, so you are experienced with Canva then.  Great!  Thanks for the testimonial.  Very much appreciated, Dave!  – Babs

  8. I’ve been looking for a way to jazz up the articles on my blog for quite some time now – everything seems a little dull and I don’t want to end up using images that have copyright etc. 

    This Canva looks like a really good shout – are you sure it’s 100% free? Most of these programs always have some sort of money catch?

    1. Hey Chris, the Canva program clearly shows which pictures are free.  You can use any of them and create your pictures without cost.  If you like any of the paid ones, just like with the pixabay photos, then you just pay for them when you use them.  It’s that simple.  – Babs

  9. The benefits of Wealthy Affiliate cannot be overemphasized. There’s so much to learn on this platform. I’ve been able to build my website and I’m currently putting some contents into it. Thanks for this training on how to add a cool text to my photos. This would make my blogs more professional. 

  10. Awesome tutorial Babs, very detailed. I love working with Canva it has such amazing features. I have another tip for you for using free design elements. Ever heard of WordSwag?

    In the free version you can create text in a few really cool ways (the way you often see on Pinterest) and export that without a background. Now the free image will have a Wordswag watermark in the corner, but if you import it into Canva, you can cut of that bit. For more fonts and no watermark you’d have to pay, but I found this worked just fine for my needs.

    1. Oooh, Linda, no I have not tried WordSwag, but you can believe I’m going to look into it.  I absolutely love creating the featured pictures for my site and my social media accounts, so I can’t wait to try it.  Thank you so much for the tip!  – Babs

  11. Great content in your article. It’s very educational. I also use Pixabay and Canva to create all my designs. Even with the free version of Canva and free pictures from Pixabay you can create professional looking photos. I also use Pixabay and Canva for years and I’m really happy with them.I like the step by step instructions which are very easy to follow by any beginner in working with these tools.Thank you for an educational article.

    1. Yes so glad for the testimonial on the program.  It is so easy to do once you get used to it.  I’m glad you checked in.  thanks, Dany!  – Babs

  12. Thank you for this amazing tutorials. I have been wondering how to add text to images but I haven’t been able to solve that. Your step by step tutorial is really helpful and I hope to apply that to the Images am about to upload on my site. Thank you very much for sharing this. 

    1. I am so glad you found this helpful, and it was my pleasure to bring this information to you.  Happy creating!  – Babs

  13. Great information! I have paid a ton of money over the years to get information that you are sharing for free. Thank you for this, Babs!

  14. Thanks for this post it was truly informative from the beginning to the end, your story looks alot like mine but I just started wealthy affiliate for two weeks now and still building my website, I have also seen how beautiful other people picture they use on their pages it makes me trip. Thanks for letting me know this I am very grateful. 

  15. wow! this is so helpful, I always wondered how they do this, and the way you teach step by step with pictures it’s easy to understand, thank you so much, I actually have canva and I didn’t know it could help me do this.
    great post, thank you so much.

  16. Wow really good tutorial.
    Thats exactly what I needed as im designing my website logo too. I am really happy I came across your website and this article.
    Keep up the good work

  17. As usual, Babs, great article coming from you.
    Very detailed info on how to add text on photos. I’m using Canva myself constantly.
    Such a great idea to do a tutorial on it. I’m sure it will be very helpful to all the first time users.
    Keep spreading the word!

  18. Hey Babs!

    Love the name by the way. I can’t tell you how happy I was when I realized wealthy affiliate had all the tools I could possibly need to start a business. I am such a hands on person and learning from these tutorials helped me way more than paying for classes would have.

    I’ve had mini successes along the way and I am still learning. Thanks so much for sharing!

  19. Wonderful tutorial Babs. I love Canva and use it every chance I get to do stuff like this. Pixabay has some great images and I didn’t realize that you could choose the size to download until I read this. I use Unsplash a lot for images but I guess I’ll be trying Pixabay a lot more now.

    1. Unsplash is great as well, and you can’t have too many photo sources for pictures for your site.  As you build more and more content, you want to have unique and interesting photos to pepper into the articles, so thank you for bringing this site to my readers’ attention.  – Babs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *