How to Use Canva: A Quick Guide

By: | February 20, 2015 | Tags: , , , , | 30 comments
Bloggers will love Canva.

Canva.com is a site that allows bloggers to make professional-looking graphics.

Has it ever occurred to you that you might be sued?  After all, we do live in a litigious society where Seinfeld characters that sued for receiving a cup of coffee that was too hot have become all too real McDonald’s customers suing for the same reason in Seinfeld, a fictitious TV show.

Have you heard there was a blogger that was actually sued for using a picture he didn’t have permission to use?  He took the picture down, but it wasn’t enough for the photographer.  The blogger had to get a lawyer.  Have you also heard ignorance is no excuse under the law?  Ignorance of the laws of using others’ photos won’t protect you.  I prefer to play safe and make my own graphics.  This post will tell you how to use Canva.com, to do that.

There are many reasons to use Canva to make your own images.  First, Canva was still in its testing stages just a year ago.  Your photos will look unique.

Next, research says that to get traffic to your site, you need “pinnable images”.  In How to Write a Killer Blog post, I discussed the importance of the picture.  According to articles about how to get traffic to your site, long, colorful images will draw traffic to your site more than “old stock photos”.  Pinterest users will be more likely to pin your pictures.  Half of all Pinterest users who pin your picture will click it and come to your site to read the article that accompanies it.  The best part–Canva is free and easy.

Step 1 Make an account.

 

Step 2 Select your project.

Scroll right to choose blog graphic.

Canva helps make blog graphics easier.

This is the Canva dashboard.  Decide what graphic you want to make.  I was originally confused because blog graphic is not here.  You need to scroll right to see it.

Step 3 Search for a Background or Layout

I use Canva to make blog graphics.

This is a screenshot of Canva’s canvas.  Now you know why the site is called “Canva”!

Canva Step 3

The big arrow is pointing to Search which I normally click on first to look for the graphic I have in mind for my blog.  The free choices appear at the top. I don’t believe Canva sells any graphic for over $1.00.

For the graphic at the top, I clicked Background since I wanted the blue background.  The shorter arrow is pointing to Layout.  The difference between a background and a layout is that the Layouts are predesigned templates you can put your own photos in.

Step 4: Select an Image

Now that you have chosen your background or your layout, it’s time to put an image in front of it.  I prefer to upload my own photos into Canva.  I can’t get sued since they are my photos, they are unique since no one owns my photos, and I’m told they do better at drawing traffic to a blog site than stock photos everyone has access to.  I have several friends who claim that almost half their traffic comes from Pinterest.  Can you tell I used my laptop in the image at the top?

Canva4The big arrow is pointing at Uploads, where I went to upload my laptop.

 Step 5 Add some text

I found the circle with Canva‘s name in it by going to Search and typing “Canva”.  The shorter arrow is pointing at Text where I went to type the name of my site Reflections.  When you add text, font color choices, sizes, and styles come up.  You are also able to choose whether you want your text bold or centered.

Bloggers will love Canva.

Canva.com is a site that allows bloggers to make professional-looking graphics.

Canva5

People with little artistic skills are able to create professional-looking graphics.  Bloggers can express creativity using Canva as well as blogging.  Using Canva makes producing graphic designs fun.

If you think other bloggers can benefit from using Canva, please share.

Readers, where do you get your images?  All recommendations would be appreciated.

Related:

How to Make an Infographic in 5 Minutes: Easel.ly

Update:

Canva now offers Diwali card templates.

 

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  1. This was such an important piece of information. I do not know anybody who wants to be sued. Thank you for being so through when you give blogging advice. I know I really appreciate it. I hope other people do.

  2. I ADORE Canva!! I just started blogging, and someone recommended it, and it’s the BEST.

    • Hi,
      Do you think there is already widespread familiarity with it? My readers like to read about new tools.
      Thanks!
      Janice

  3. This is really great info! As a blogger, I think an image is vital to the presence of the blog post, I have used images from the web and sometimes they disappear (copyright issue?) leaving my blog post bare. I may give this a whirl! Also Piktocharts is similar and allows one to make those amazing infographics. You can do it for free but since I am an educator, I got a deep discount for their premium service. Thanks again for the info!

    • Piktocharts, huh? Thanks for the tip; I never heard of it. There really is so much value in networking! =) I’m so busy this first year of blogging, and I’m a full time teacher with so many papers to grade, but when I get time (even this summer), I’ll try and get more indepth into new tools. Thanks for writing and sharing a new idea for me.
      Janice

      • Thank YOU! I’ve been bookmarking your e-mails so I can refer to your great info!

        • Thank YOU. That makes me feel so good. I love helping people. (Are you aware that by day I am a teacher?) I got an adrenaline rush when I read your comment. Thank you for writing and telling me.
          Janice

          • As one educator to another, it’s a rush to share ideas! I recently retired from my 30+ year day job in parks and rec but continue to teach part-time at a university. Best p-t job EVER.

          • Hi. Yes, it is a rush. You get it. Not everyone does. What do you teach?

          • I teach a writing intensive course for all students, and teach some classes in the recreation, parks and tourism admin major (my 30-yr background). How about you?

          • Medieval history to 7th graders, and I teach Yearbook Design to 7th and 8th graders. Please tell me how you have time to grade college papers and keep up with your blogging commitments.
            Thanks,
            Janice

          • A middle school teacher. I humbly bow down 🙂 Thankfully I read fast and I am taking this semester off, which allows me to blog every day (retired from day job). Next fall, a whole ‘nother story as I will be teaching 9 units! My blogging may go back to part time! Your courses sound really interesting. Do you dress up for your students in costume (or do you dare?)

  4. I tried using Canva, and turned to Pic Monkey. I will give it a shot again. The hubs found for me GraphicStock.com and I am loving that. They had a sale for a years subscription, and I am in love with that and PicMonkey.

    • Hi is PicMonkey free?

      • Yes. There is a free version. And a paid version. I used the free one for about 4 months. Then purchased. The last few posts have the Graphicstock. Otherwise all PicMonkey and my photos.

        • Hi,
          I need to watch a YouTube movie or something about how to use PicMonkey. Everything I read about how to make great photos says to use PicMonkey. For some reason, I don’t know what I’m doing, so it’s quicker for me to go back to Canva. I couldn’t figure out how to upload my own photo even!
          I thought when I figure it out (if) I could blog about it, but it sounds like everyone knows already but me! What do I click to upload my own photo? Thanks!
          Janice

          • I will have to email you tomorrow. It really is easy. You will love it.

          • Ok so when younopen PicMonkey youbare given four choices. There are four grey boxes Edit Touch Up Design or Collage. Click on Edit and then it gives you the choice of where to grab your photo from. Computer Facebook OneDrive or Dropbox. I grab from my computer. The same goes for Touch Up and Design. Once you have the picture up you are then given choices on what you would like to do to that image on the left hand side. With regards to the Design box that one is for you to design graphics without an image from you. Let me know if this gives you enough information to feel comfortable to tool around in Pic Monkey.

          • Hi,
            Thank you so much for your guidance. I keep wanting to explore it but am so pressed for time, I keep going back to the land of the familiar, Canva. Excited 5 people came over from Pinterest today, yeah. There’s been a drought here for a while.
            I will copy your advice to Word, so next week, when things are calmer on my end I can explore following your directions. I’m glad you wrote. Your directions would never have occurred to me.
            Janice

          • Saved to my desktop for perusal next week. Thanks again.
            Janice

          • No worries. Enjoy

  5. I think some people DO want to be sued, and have this belligerent attitude about copyright law. I’m about done trying to explain it to the obstinate deniers. Maybe a judge will have better luck.

    I prefer to create my own graphics from scratch, and to use Paintshop Pro to do it (I can use that on my PC from anywhere, with or without a network connection). Their latest version (and there’s an affiliate link in my blog’s sidebar if anyone’s interested!) has preset sizes for most major social media sites, and you can create your own. It also has direct sharing capability to Facebook, Google+, and Flickr. If you spend about an hour exploring and trying its features, the basics are not harder than using Canva, in my opinion – just more flexible.

    Canva’s great, though, too. And it’s free. Paintshop Pro X8 is about $80 (Ultimate is $100).
    Holly Jahangiri recently posted…How to Add StumbleUpon Button to JetPackMy Profile

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