How to Write an Infographic

zabiscoinfographicsInformation and numbers are hard for the human mind to grasp without pictures or icons. In the early days of computers, charting could be done in spreadsheet programs such as Excel. Now there are whole new crop of websites dedicated to art of creating infographics such a Visual.ly and Infogr.am.

Typically a company makes an infographic and allows websites and media outlets to publish the infographic for a credit and a link back.

Readers love infographics especially if they relate to what matters to them.

Let’s look at some tips on how to write infographics.

1. Find a Great Topic

Find a topic that helps, illustrates or inspires.

What are the Odds?“(What are the odds that you exist, as you, today?) and the “Should I Text Him?” flow chart are two examples of topics that delight and challenge readers.

You could also have a very useful topic such as a formal dinning place setting, because we may forget how to set a table.

These topics are timeless and contain useful information that fulfills needs.

 2. Review Infographics for Ideas

It’s amazing what kinds of infographics are out there The only infographic we couldn’t find was an infographic on how to write an infographic.

We did find an infographic on infographic stats that include:

  1. High quality infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than text articles.
  2. Publishers that feature infographics grow traffic 12% faster than publishers that don’t feature infographics.

The more infographics you view, the more ideas, you’ll get.

3. Collect Interesting Data

Obvious data is easy to ignore while data that is surprise is more interesting.  Yes Pew reported that texting is most prevalent among cell owners ages 18 to 29 — 97% of them use their cell phones to send texts. However, what is more shocking that Nearly one in five Americans mis-identified Syria as Turkey on a map of the Middle East.

Pew Internet Research recently reported that , 72% of online adults use social networking sites.  What was more interesting is that the social networking site adoption rate for Americans 65 and older more than tripled in the last four years (up to 43 percent in May 2013 from 13 percent in the spring of 2009).

Let’s take a look at that fact, when imagine someone 65 we think of a grandma.  We can then see a drawing of a grandma not with knitting needles but with a Facebook app on her iPad.

4. Think Cave Wall Drawings

The other day, I tried to describe a fig to someone who didn’t speak English.  We didn’t have a translator available.  I said to my friend, “It’s easier to draw a picture.”

I drew a picture of a fig tree with a fig leave and the fruit itself.

Whenever you have a problem coming up with an image for an infographic, think of how you would draw it on a wall or in the sand for someone who did not understand your language.

It would also help to think how would you would act the story to small child.

6. Think of Maps and Time Lines

The one thing history teachers know is that a time line puts things in order.  How can you put a timeline on the development of product?

For example the evolution of a geek from Flowtown. It is based on the evolution of man…

How about a timeline of a style?

7. Have Fun

What do you wish someone would illustrate all the rules for you?  How about all the steps to Gangman Style? Fulfilling wishes and needs make great infographics and friends.

When I wanted to applied for a gig writing infographics, I made an infographic of myself compiling my vast experience into numbers.

What do have fun doing?  There could be an infographic formed from your favorite golf tips, best dance moves or even the best places to find size 5 shoes.

8. Comment on Trends

An infographic on “Do You Know Who’s Watching You? shows that really have no privacy on the Internet or phone.

This map of the electoral college changed the size of states according to the share of electoral votes.  What trend or do you want to show?  Find the top and then see what facts and figures you can put together.

9. Create a Theme or Subject: Dare to Compare

Infographics can be created loosely on a topic. Instead of linear topic, think of a circle around your topic.  Compare two unlike things and contrast them.

10. Top Ten Lists

You can make a top ten list of almost anything even a list of top infographic tips:

  1. Top ten best ways to lose your keys.
  2. Top ten ways to leave your lover (50 if you are Paul Simon).
  3. Top ten worst text messages you don’t want to get.
  4. Top ten search terms to college students.
  5. Top ten best ways to find an apartment.
  6. Top ten best ways to hire an intern.
  7. Top ten best ingredients for salsa.
  8. Top ten house cleaning tips from grandma.
  9. Top ten puppy training tips.
  10. Top ten best reasons to live!

Writing infographics is like writing a story. Infographics are every where you look.

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