You don’t have to be a graphic design artist to create graphics online. Even if you don’t have a drop of artistic talent, if you’re a freelance writer trying to do any sort of blogging, building a social media platform, or just promoting your writing business, Canva is your secret weapon for creating awesome graphics.
I recently discovered Canva, and it’s been a an absolute blast tapping into my inner graphic designer. What started as the brainchild of Melanie Perkins, a graphic design teacher who sought to streamline basic graphic design, has become a hugely successful online tool. Used by both professionals and amateurs, Canva’s easy to use interface makes graphic design accessible for everyone.
Artists, photographers, website designers and advertising companies are the types of professions you would usually associate with a graphic design website. But Canva has tons of uses for freelance writers and bloggers. I use it for all the graphics on this blog, and the site can help you beyond just designing a business card or logo. It offers templates for everything from Twitter posts, social media graphics, blogging graphics and promotional materials, and easily lets you incorporate your own pictures and text into their designs.
It’s user-friendly, and even if you have no graphic design know how you will feel like a professional. I have been pleasantly surprised at how easy, fun and satisfying it’s been working with Canva. Besides giving a more professional look to my blog, it’s also upped my game on Twitter and Facebook too.
Ready to check Canva out? Here are some easy ways to start using Canva right now to boost your business and traffic:
1. Create Eye Catching Graphics
Whether you are a blogger, a freelance writer for hire, or author, you most likely have a website to promote your business and writing. Making your website look professional has never been easier thanks to WordPress and Squarespace. But Canva can help you set your blog or website apart even more by creating attention-grabbing graphics, headers, logos, and infographics.
There are tons of templates that cater to different dimensions and specifications, but the website also allows you to start from scratch.
When creating content, you know that the actual words are half the battle. Pictures are a necessity. They break up paragraphs, keep your reader’s attention, and a picture can make or break an article. Using Canva with their own extensive library of free and paid photos, or a stock photo website can really enhance any content.
For your next article or post use Canva to create a featured image that instantly snares your reader. Put the title of your article on your featured image. It helps organize your articles, gives your reader a reason to click on the article, and creates a visual aesthetic for your website’s home page.
You can also create personalized infographics, images, and illustrations that showcase your content. The site has a drag and drop interface that allows you to take any of their templates and make it your own. Impress editors with images that pop out of the page when you submit articles for consideration.
2. Sell Yourself With A Professional Looking Media Kit
A media kit isn’t just for the companies making it big and looking for advertisers. It’s also a way to promote your writing and business, and you need one.
Don’t know what a media kit is? I didn’t either until I attended a travel writing and blogging conference. A media kit is a way to promote the total package that is you. It goes beyond a cover letter and portfolio.
A media kit is your portfolio, your bio, a headshot, your contact information, your goals and objectives and what you bring to the table all wrapped up in one distinctive package.
And if you’re just starting out and don’t think you have enough to fill even a page, start your media kit anyway. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it will fill up. Canva has media kit and resume templates that you could retool for your purposes.
3. Set Your Social Media Profiles Apart from the Crowd
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, these are the basic platforms that we as writers, authors, and freelancers use daily to promote our businesses, blogs, and books. Using Canva to create eye-catching posts will help you get noticed, as opposed to floundering in the mire that is the hundreds of tweets and posts that go out every second.
Canva actually has social media templates, so whether you are creating a Tweet, Instagram Post, or Facebook Post, the majority of the groundwork is done for you.
You can make Pinterest-worthy Tweets and pictures that aren’t just copying and pasting someone else’s work.
You can even create customizable Twitter and Facebook headers. A professional looking header says a lot.
These are just a few ways to use Canva to truly boost your business and writing by creating graphics online. The website has so many tools and designs to help freelance writers, authors, and bloggers, but is rarely toted as doing so. Check out Canva soon, and you may find as I did that it will become one of your favorite tools to enhance your freelance writing success.