Canva – Blogging Cool Tool of the Week

Canva
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In order to stand out from the pack your blog needs to offer real value to your target audience, your content should be original and easy to read. Over the past 18 months the “richer” “thicker content has ranked highest in Google. (Unique 1,000+ word articles).

However in order for a 1000+ word post to generate a large readership it must be well formatted (eg. with sub headings and bullet points) and of course have “Great Images”. Many bloggers write great content and then spoil their hard work with poor and often generic imagery.

The Canva Dashboard

What Canva looks like

Enter this week’s cool tool – Canva.

What is Canva?

Canva exploded in popularity in Social Media world since Guy Kawasaki invested in and joined the company in 2014.

Canva allows the most amateur of blogger become a savvy Graphic Designer. Once you have mastered this relatively straightforward platform you can create unique powerful imagery for their Blog and Social Media posts effortlessly.

Canva’s interface allows you to select what custom size image you want to create. Allowing you to create and size your image for your chosen platform. Canva currently allows you create and design images for Blog Posts, Facebook Business Page Banners, Facebook posts, Facebook Ads, G+ Banner images, Instragram posts, Pinterest images, Kindle covers and much more.

Canva’s interface is easy to use, just drag and drop your selected templates, photos and add text. Canva allows you choose from over 1 million photos, graphics and fonts, so no matter what image and style you want to create Canva lets you do it.

Canva Instagram Image

Cana allows you create cool images like this

Sounds Cool, but what does it cost?

Canva is essentially free, however if you use their stock images you will be charged a whopping $1 per image;) Not only is this extremely cheap, but it also alleviates any fear that that copyright image you used may come back to bite you. Looking for Free Images to use with Canva? Check out their post on 74 Best Sites To Find Awesome Free Images

That said I am a big fan of using my own images in my Canva designs. Canva allows me to upload my own images to canva and use them in the existing canva templates. Canva allows me to resize and crop my images, so they will fit in the template.

The great thing about using your own images is that 1. They are unique & original and 2. As they are your own they are Free.

Tip – When creating images for my client’s social media posts I like to use Canva to add a company logo to the image. That way if the image gets shared 100s of times the source of the image is not lost.

How to Create your first Canva image.

Select the platform you are creating the image for.

Select the platform you are creating the image for.

Log onto Canva and select the image type you wish to create. Once selected you can decide to use an existing template. Click on the layouts tab to view. Once you have found your ideal layout you can customize it to suit your needs.

Select a Templete

Choose and Edit your Template

 

Most layouts cost a dollar if you use their images, however you can still use a layout and add your own image for free. (To add an image just select the “Uploads” tab)

When editing a layout you can change text, fonts, sizes and colours. Like Instragram Canva offers lots of cool filters to enhance the look and feel of your image. (Just look for the “Filter” option)

Edit photos using the Filters Feature

Enhance your images with Filters

Once you have created your master piece you can save your image as a pdf or png image.  If saving a design as a pdf you can add clickable links too. Just click on the “Download” button on the top right hand corner.

Save and Export your Canva Design

Save and Export your Canva Design

Tip - If you are looking to create your own graphic from scratch look at “Grids” templates.

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 12.22.06

Canva offers brilliant training resources and tutorials. Just explore the “Design School” tab and in no time you will be a Design Ninja;)

Take Canvas FREE Tutorials

Take Canvas FREE Tutorials and become a Design Ninja.

Finally all your images are saved on your home page (“Your Designs”) so they can easily be duplicated, reused and reedited in the future.

Reuse and re-edit past designs.

Reuse and re-edit past designs.

Watch Greg’s quick Canva demo here. And see how you can add clickable links to your PDF images.

So don’t let poor images drag down the quality of your blog posts. Put your creative hat on and get designing powerful blog graphics.

Greg Fry

Greg Fry

An International Social Media trainer delivering regular LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Social Business Strategy training and workshops for institutions such as the Digital Marketing Institute, Sure Skills and the Digital Skills Academy. In 2014 I have worked with top multinationals including: Ulster Bank, Microsoft, UPC and Coca Cola Hellenic. Alongside training I work as a Social Business Consultant. I believe that in order to make social media work for your business you must have a clear business goal, a clearly defined strategy and make sure that everything you do is measurable.

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