Images really lift a blog post or a web page, attracting the eye, breaking up the text, and generally enhancing the whole page. I can spend far too long finding the right image but now Diana, the Social Butterfly, works with me on thesecan – she is brilliant and so I asked her to pen a guest post about the tool she uses – Canva.
I’m not a graphic designer and often found it frustrating that I couldn’t just create stunning and engaging designs to go with my social media and blog posts. Graphic designers are not cheap, and nor should they be, they have spent time and money learning their skill, but most of us freelancers and small businesses just can’t afford to pay out for fancy graphics for everything we do.
Canva has been around for a while now and I was extremely excited to discover it as it opened up a whole new world of creativity for me and others like me. It’s a fabulous tool for creating graphics, social media posts, blog artwork and even posters. It’s so difficult to get hold of images for your social media and blog posts without spending a fortune, now we can just make our own.
Did I mention you can do pretty-much everything you need for free?
Here’s a step by step guide to getting started on Canva…
Choose your template size.
Canva are ever so helpful in that they have the exact size template that you will need for whichever social network you want to post it to. You can also pick sizes such as A4, infographic, eBook cover and you can create custom sizes too using cm’s, inches or pixels. When your design is ready you can download it as a PNG, JPEG or PDF to suit your needs. The world is your oyster.
Select the background template.
When you have chosen your size, you get to choose from a huge selection of ready-made background templates, look for the free ones but if there are none that take your fancy, the paid ones are only $1 each. You can make cards, posters, quote graphics, ads, photos with text the possibilities really are endless.
Here is a ready-made quote template for you AA Milne fans out there…
Customise your own background.
Here is where we start to really create. You can choose a plain coloured or patterned background or you can choose icons, art, photos, whatever you like to get the look and the message you want.
Make them as simple or as complicated as you like, match them to your business colours to create consistent branding.
Here’s a simple design for a blog post for example…
Add your photos.
If you are promoting your business and you have your own photos then showcase them by adding text, calls to action etc and share on your website and social media. Alternatively you can download free photos from websites such as Pixabay and Pexels, just make sure they are free for commercial use. There is also a huge choice of both free and paid images on Canva itself to choose from. Top tip: use the photo grids (under elements) to get the sizing right and to add multiple images.
Here’s an example of a Pinterest post using a free Canva image with some text customisation…
Tweak it and download.
Make your finishing touches by changing text, colour, size, positioning, background, images or whatever you need, then simply download as the type you need, PNG is good for social media and blogs, and add it to your Facebook page or wherever its new home is! Don’t forget that posts with images are much more engaging than those without and now we have no excuses not to add them!
So what are you waiting for? Get creating and I would love to see what you’ve made using this guide….show me your creations and I’ll give them a share for you.
Find me at thesocialbutterfly.org.uk or on Twitter @soc1albutterfly.