A Guest Post by Caroline Topperman of Style on the Side
So you've started a blog. You’re writing great posts and your community is growing. Congrats! It’s time to really start building your brand—but how to do that without graphic design skills or a budget to hire help?
If you’re on Pinterest or Instagram, I’m sure you have seen many beautiful, custom-designed, envy-inducing images. You have probably also been told (over and over again) how important it is to post high-quality photos and graphics to your social media channels. It’s a huge part of your visual marketing and branding. The more consistently-great images you post, the more likely people will be to visit your blog.
But creating great images can be daunting. I know first hand—I am not a graphic designer and to be honest, I prefer spending my time writing posts and interacting with my readers. That said, I want my blog to be the complete package, with great visuals and compelling text.
Now that I've discovered Canva, I can have both. Having to learn new programs scares me a little, so when I sat down to play with Canva for the first time, I grabbed a coffee and I set aside a whole morning.
My first image was finished and ready in less than 10 minutes and my coffee was still hot. Yes, that is just how easy and intuitive the program really is.
Not only that, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my final design held its own against the many images I’ve seen on Pinterest and Instagram.
How easy is it?
If you can drag an image across your screen then you can use Canva. Budding or experienced photographers can easily upload their own pictures. If, however, you need a little bit of help in that department then it is just as easy to choose one of the hundreds of photographs Canva has on file (some photographs are free while others cost about $1).
Then it's time to choose your font, which I personally found extremely challenging, but only because there were so many fabulous ones that I could not decide which one I liked best.
From there it is just a matter of playing with your image. Perhaps the background needs to be faded (super easy, simply mouse over a sliding scale), or maybe you are searching for that exact color to match your blog (again, super easy because the whole color wheel is at your fingertips).
What if I am not a designer?
Most of us are not professional graphic designers and sometimes ideas do not come that easily. What I love most about this program is the wealth of information that is readily available under the “Design School” tab. There are entire modules specifically in place to help teach you the basics of graphic design, including how to choose fonts, images, colors and finally how to put it all together.
Want to give it a try? Set up your free account and start playing with the freebie art and features. You will need to pull out your virtual wallet only when you want to use premium art, which leaves you completely in control of how much you spend.
For serious graphic artists accustomed to Photoshop or GIMP, Canva is probably too limiting. For the rest of us who want an “Easy Button” for beautiful graphics, Canva is a solid contender. Let your imagination soar!
Image created by the author using Canva