Professional, eye-catching graphics are essential for the success of your blog. They not only capture readers’ attention, but also help your posts spread through social media.
It may seem obvious, but visual content works hand-in-hand with your written content. Reports indicate that relevant visual content—such as images and infographics—can increase pageviews on your post by a whopping 94 percent.
For bloggers without graphic experience, creating graphics can be daunting. But Canva can help you get there! As you may know, Canva is a drag-and-drop editing tool that makes it easy for you to create professional graphics, without a degree in design.
Canva isn’t the only image editor, of course. PicMonkey, Stencil, and Easil are all popular with bloggers, each with loyal followings. Other bloggers prefer Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. While you can do more with these tools, they come with a steeper learning curve…and a steeper price.
Because of its popularity (and our own experience using it), today we’re going to look at both the free Canva version and Canva for Work:
Create blog graphics in minutes
Canva is straightforward and intuitive to use, whether you have design experience or not. In fact, according to according to Canva, it only takes 23 seconds to learn.
But what really makes this such a great tool for those without design experience is the extensive asset library. It comes with thousands of premade templates to use as a starting point and to customize for your site. In addition, you can choose from millions of images, hundreds of fonts, and thousands of shapes and elements. Many of these are available for free, making Canva the easy and inexpensive resource for creating blog graphics.
Get more with Canva for Work
While you can do a lot with the free version of Canva, professional bloggers and small businesses should consider investing in Canva for Work (currently $9.95 per team member per month). In addition to the free benefits of Canva, Canva for Work includes unlimited storage for your designs (plus unlimited folders for organizing them), additional free elements (and the ability to filter your search to only show those that are free), and a custom brand kit (including brand colors, logos, and fonts).
You can also add animation, easily resize images, and download graphics as transparent PNGs.
Quick start: making blog graphics
Getting started is easy! Follow this quick-start guide to create your first project:
Click Create a Design and select the type of project you want to work on (choose from social media banners, blog graphics, and more).
Search Templates and select one to get started.
To start customizing your design, use the left sidebar to add new Elements (photos and graphics), Text, and Backgrounds. If you have your own images, click Uploads to add those to your design.
Rename your file by clicking on the title in the bar across the top. Your image file will download with the title you use here.
When you’ve got everything the way you want it, click Download. If you’ve used any premium elements, you’ll be prompted to pay for those. Once you’re done, the file will download.
See? So easy!
Those are the basics, but the advanced features of Canva for Work are where the real power lies:
Build your brand kit
A brand kit (or style guide) refers to the colors, logos, and fonts associated with your brand. The goal is to use these so consistently that people recognize your brand anywhere they come across it. Think of McDonald’s iconic red and yellow, the Walt Disney font, or the Target bullseye.
Part of this is simply identifying the fonts, colors, and imagery that you want to associate with your brand. But the other part is making sure that they’re easily accessible when you’re working on new designs. Canva for Work allows you to create your brand kit right within your account. Once you do, your brand colors will show up on the color menu whenever you’re working on a design. You can also easily insert new headings, subheadings, or body text with the fonts and sizes you’ve set in your brand kit.
If you’ve already made these branding decisions, setting up your brand kit is easy. From the Canva homepage, click on Brand Kit. Add your colors one-by-one to the color palette. Upload your logo(s) so you can easily insert them into designs. If you use custom fonts, upload the font files as well. Then select your default fonts.
If you don’t yet have a defined brand kit, this process is going to take a bit more time, but it’s definitely worth your effort. We suggest spending some time reading about visual identity and brand kits to get an idea of what you should include. You’ll want to select fonts that work well together or on their own and colors that reflect your brand. Don’t rush this process, but don’t put it off either!
Create your own templates
While using the same fonts and colors goes a long way in creating a visual identity, you can extend this further through templates. (And as a bonus, templates also make image creation faster!)
With Canva for Work, you can actually create and save templates right to your brand kit. This might be images with specific dimensions for blog posts and various social media platforms. But it also includes things like the placement of an overlay (such as the text in the example project above) or the red polka dots that often show up in the background of Target ads.
Using templates allows you to start out with the essential elements in place so you can focus your efforts on the images and text specific to your campaign without having to create everything from scratch.
Get step-by-step instructions on creating brand/team templates here.
While extremely easy to use, Canva also offers an extensive knowledgebase to help you get the most out of your account plus a free design school to help you create beautiful, professional designs that strengthen your brand.
Do you use Canva to create blog graphics?
We’d love to hear what program you use to create graphics for your blog!
With 10 years of experience as a professional blogger—and as a former Agathon hosting client herself—Mandi’s passionate about the good work Agathon does and sharing that message with more people.