Google’s Penguin and Panda updates have affected scores of businesses. In the light of the difficult conditions prevailing in the blogosphere, promoting your content on various social media platforms are becoming more and more significant. But how do people on social platforms recognize great content before they see it?
A captivating headline will do the trick, but you need one more push to draw in your fans and followers– great images. Obviously that’s a long winding process. With limited budget on hand you may not be keen on looking up royalty free image sites for your blog. And if you hit the web for free images, your search will be long and you’ll have to give credit where its due.
Why go through this hassle everyday for every great piece of content you create? You can create your own images in less time that it takes to do a Google Search. In fact, you can design them to express exactly what you had in mind. The more creative your design, the better are your chances of going viral. All you need now is a tool that will help you do the job easily. A tool that I would gladly recommend is the free graphic design tool Canva.
I spoke about Canva when it first launched and in case you missed the review, you can check it out here. I’ve been using Canva since that day and haven’t looked back, just like the million or so others who have been using the tool.
- If you think creating your own design is hard, you need to check out Canva.
- If you think your posts are not getting the attention they deserve on social media, get Canva.
- If you’re struggling to get good images for the great content you spend hours sculpting, create an account on Canva.
- If you want FREE images, don’t want to give image credits, and need them quick… sign up for Canva.
Uses of Free Graphic Design Software Canva
There are plenty of good reasons why this free graphic design software makes for a great platform for creative and non creative users.
Create Social Media Posts
You can instantly create social media posts with Canva’s ready made design templates to share on your favorite social media networks Facebook and Twitter. All you need to do is choose the social media category on the Home page, then select a template from the social media gallery on the left of the screen.
You can modify the template to make it your own, change the colors, text, and add other elements and then share it on Twitter or Facebook using the Share button. You’ll find plenty of free editable images to choose from, but of course you can also pick from the hundreds of paid images as well.
Image size: 800px x 800px
Create Presentation Slides
If you are looking for some fresh new images for your presentations, you can head over to the Presentation section and select from the many many slide designs that are available in the gallery.
As always you can share it on Facebook and Twitter or email it to yourself or someone else in an editable format. You can also download them as images or as a high quality PDF.
Image size: 1024px x 768px
Create Smashing Posters and Real Estate Flyers
If you want to showcase your business or a special seasonal sale you are throwing, a poster is a great way of conveying the message. Canva’s readymade poster designs are ones you can easily adapt to your needs. If you are in the real estate business, you’ll especially love the vibrant real estate flyers that can showcase your properties on sale. And it takes very little time to customize it to your requirements.
Posters size: 42cm x 59.4cm
Posters size: 8.5 inches x 11 inches
If you need some designing tips and best practices, check out the Canva Design School where you have a ton of good free resources.
Design Facebook Posts, Ads and App Covers
A smashing Facebook cover is sure to impress people who come to your page. It speaks volumes about who you are, what you represent, and will instantly encourage people to hit that Like button.Canva’s gallery also offers options to instantly churn out stunning Facebook posts, ads and app covers.
Facebook Cover Size: 851px x 315px
Facebook Posts Size: 940px x 788px
Facebook Ads Size: 1200px x 627px
Facebook Ads Size: 810px x 450px
Create Instagram Posts
You can use the Instagram post templates to upload and add your own images for a glossy Throwback Thursday post or a fancy vacation snapshot. The creativity and design options in Canva are endless, so you never have to reuse images ever again.
Image size: 640px x 640px
Create Blog Graphics
Nothing conveys long winding content better than a short infographic type image. You can find plenty of such images in the Canva gallery. All you need to do is just replace the text and image blocks with your own facts, figures and screenshots and you’ll have a catchy blog graphic to share with your readers. Here’s a simple gaming infographic in point.
Image size: 800px x 1200px
Create Document & Kindle Covers
If you need document covers say for your eBook or you want fancy looking pages for your recipe book, or maybe even a stylish resume template, check out the Document section of Canva for inspiring ideas and ready-to use templates. Here’s a page off a document.
Document image size: 21cm x 29.7cm
Kindle Cover size: 1410px x 2250px
Create Cards and Invitations
Birthdays, anniversaries, special holidays… there’s always time to share a personalized card with someone you love and care about. Canva’s gallery has hordes of beautifully designed cards for any occasion. Plus if you’re throwing a party for your engagement or a birthday or just want to invite people over to collaborate on a new project, whip up the Invitations gallery and pick a cool design of your choice.
Canva also has a special category for designing business cards.
Cards size: 14.8cm x 10.5cm
Invitations size: 14cm x 14cm
Build Catchy Email Headers
Make your email to clients a little more attractive with ready to use email header templates from newsletter headers to an advertisement type title or reminders.
Image size: 600px x 200px
Set up Twitter Headers and Posts
Twitter is a great place to show off your content and you can use the stunning cover designs to illustrate your content. You can create header images for your profile as well as use post images.
Header image size: 1500px x 500px
Post image size: 1024px x 512px
Album Podcast Covers
Image size: 1400px x 1400px
Create Pinterest Images
Pinterest is home to the world’s best images. And Canva has over 1,000,000 images to choose from. Not all are free though, but there are plenty of great options to choose from the free collection as well.
Image size: 735px x 1102px
Google + Cover
Impress your Google + followers with a stylish and eye catching cover from the many great cover designs at Canva. You can add a personal touch to the images using frames, lines, illustrations, and icons from the gallery.
Image size: 1240px x 700px
You can create beautiful photo collages from the smartly designed collage templates(25cm x 20cm) in Canva like this one.
The Trouble with Canva
I’ve already said a lot about Canva and while it might sound like the tool can do no wrong, there’s obviously plenty of room for improvement. One area I’d like to see Canva grow is infographics. Infographics are in great demand and highly sought after stuff, and Canva would be the ideal platform to work on them.
UPDATE: Canva now includes tool to create cool infographics as well!
Another grouse I have with Canva is that sometimes images are not available across categories. For instance, I might want to use a free image that I picked up for my Twitter header on my Google + page as well, but the image is either not available or is a premium one in that gallery.
And one thing you’d have to remember with Canva is that the paid images are so fantastically appropriate for all types of content, that its easy to get sucked into buying them. The images cost a dollar a piece and you are free to use it just ONCE with edits allowed for only 24 hours.
Canva is certainly my favorite free graphic design tool and has been for quite some time. If you are in need of design inspiration, come take a look at Canva. I don’t make a penny out of promoting this tool, but its so darn good I can’t resist another write up.