In this busy social media world, eye-catching blog graphics are what stands you out from the crowd. A dark or cluttered small photo doesn’t hold a candle to a stunningly bright vertical image on Pinterest. In this post, I’m going to walk you through using Canva to create amazing blog images. I’ll not only show you how to customize the Canva templates, but I’ll also show you how to make your own blog graphic templates. At the end of the article, I’ll share my favorite template images that I use for my own blog that simplifies my process and saves me time.
Design Blog Graphics Using Canva Templates
Perfect, so let’s get started with using a Canva template to create a blog graphic:
First, visit the Canva website
You can choose from a variety of pre-sized templates. What’s nice about this is you don’t have to remember the dimensions of various social media graphics (for example, how many dimensions a Facebook Profile cover should be).
The most popular images are shown there, however, you can click More… and find a whole library of templates:
If you already know the specific dimensions that you want to use, you can click Use Custom Dimensions in the top right of the page to enter in the dimensions.
For the purposes of this tutorial, I’m going to select Social Media
At this point, you are shown a blank canvas.
Selecting and Editing Canva Templates
Select a Template
On the left, you’ll see some sample templates that Canva has provided. Some are paid, some are not. If you choose to use one of the templates, I suggest that you pick one that best reflects your brand (here’s a step by step guide to creating your brand color palette if you haven’t created one yet). Keep in mind, some of these you can change the colors on, some you cannot. I’ll be showing you how to switch up the colors. For the purposes of this tutorial, I have selected one of the templates:
That template will now appear on the right side of the screen where that blank canvas once was:
I now recommend that you modify the content to match the colors and fonts of your blog. In the top left corner, just above the image, you’ll see the background color shown. Click on that color:
A small window will now appear with a selection of colors to choose from. Click on the + symbol to add in your website’s color code:
Then enter in color code (don’t know your code? I show you how to figure it out in my brand color palette tutorial):
You’ll do this for each of the colors in the image until it better reflects your brand:
Next, change the text to make it appropriate for whatever your blog post is. To do this, simply click on each word in your graphic and change the word. You might find that the word you put in takes up too much space or not enough space. If that’s the case, select all of the word and then go up to the top left and change the font size.
And that’s it! You should have your graphic!
Create Blog Graphics without Using the Canva Templates
You may not want to use one of the templates in Canva to create your blog images. That’s ok too! You can create your own. If that’s the case, let me point you to a few things you’ll want to do. For starters, you can use the custom dimensions option OR pick one of the pre-formatted options:
Next, click on Background so that you can customize your background color:
You’ll notice that you are given some color options and even some pattern options. I highly recommend that you click the + and enter in one of the codes from your brand color palette.
Once your background color is set, now I recommend adding text. To do this, click on Text from the left side of the screen:
Canva offers you a fantastic variety of amazing looking fonts and font combinations. Pick the one that works best for you. If you already have a font chosen as part of your brand (which I highly recommend), then click Add heading:
You can now edit the text by selecting the text and editing the font, font size, color, etc.
The next item to consider is adding any elements to your graphic. To do this, click on where it says Elements
The elements section gives you quite a few options to choose from. The options I use the most are Shapes, Icons and simply the search bar. If I know exactly what I want to include in my graphic, I could search for the specific term. Once you find the element you want, you can simply click on it and arrange it on your graphic.
Adding Professional Photos in Canva
You are also able to upload your own photos in Canva! This is a fantastic opportunity to truly reflect you in your brand!
If you don’t have your own photos, you can use free stock photos online. I don’t recommend using the photos in Canva. I find many cost money and the free ones are used a lot by others. My favorite resource to get free images is Pixabay. I simply go to Pixabay and search for the image I want, download it, and then come back into Canva and click Uploads.
Next click Upload Your Own Images:
What I love about Canva is that they save all of your previously uploaded images. If you look at my image above, just below where it says Upload your own images it shows many of the images I’ve already uploaded. I re-use these quite often when creating graphics.
Another thing Canva does is it saves all graphics you create:
That way I can easily create templates—which is what I’m going to share with you about now!
I highly recommend that you create image templates for your website. In other words, you have a certain design that you use for Pinterest graphics, Facebook posts, Instagram, etc. In these templates, you’ve already determined a pattern of format, font, colors (btw, I highly recommend my brand color palette tutorial if you don’t have your color scheme yet).
Let me give you an example. I have a template for my “Featured Post” image. This is the image that is visible when I share my post to Facebook groups and appears at the top of each of my blog posts.
As you can see, the colors vary (but still stick within my brand colors), & the fonts and overall format are pretty similar.
Why is having Blog Image Templates Important?
- It helps to take the guesswork out of creating images. I don’t have to start from scratch each time. I simply hop in, mix up the colors (but again, still sticking with my brand colors), rearrange text to make it work, and boom. Done.
- It also helps to establish your brand. People begin to recognize your posts as they scroll through social media and, in turn, it helps to establish your credibility a little.
Figuring Out Dimensions
There are a variety of templates that I create for each blog post, based on how I plan to share the content. So let me walk you through each of the ones I create! I can’t stress this enough–have a few graphics that you make in specific sizes and then use them across multiple social media outlets
Although I am giving some general dimensions that you could use, I recommend that you try those first and tweak accordingly. You might want to select your image size based on the social media outlets that you feel most dominant in.
Horizontal Image (1024px X 524px)
You can use the horizontal image format for Facebook posts, posting within Facebook groups to promote your blog post, as your featured image for your blog post, twitter posts, and LinkedIn.
This is the primary image that your blog may use to display in your post (also called your “Featured Image”). The dimensions for this image will vary depending on your theme. I personally use the Divi theme, which features a rectangular featured image in the default settings. You can use this image template not only at the top of your blog post but also when promoting to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ & LinkedIn. Buffer recommends the dimensions 1024 X 524 pixels to work with these social Media outlets.
Vertical Image (600px X 900px)
The vertical image is one that you could use not only on Pinterest, but also in Instagram Stories and on Snapchat. Here is an example of some these images:
I actually have an entire post that walks you through creating your Pinterest template, so I recommend that you check that out.
I also created a tutorial to help walk you step by step through taking your Pinterest image and adding it to a SnapChat story without the pesky white borders SnapChat normally adds to Camera Roll photos.
Another tip worth mentioning: Instagram Stories tends to crop off the outer edges of images done in this format, so if you plan on posting to Instagram Stories, I highly recommend that you keep this point in mind when creating your Pinterest graphic and try to keep the text and any important items towards the center of your images so that they don’t get cut off in IG Stories.
Square Image (1080X1080)
When writing a blog post, I like to include a few images that highlight some great quotes or tips. It’s also great for breaking up the content of your blog post with some visuals:
You’ll see here that I simply used quotes, but you can mix it up. If you are food blogger, you’ll probably want to take some photos of food. If you are a fashion blogger, you might want to take multiple photos highlighting different components of an outfit. Take some time to use these images to put a microscope on your article and hone in on one particular piece, rather than looking at the content as a whole.
I also like to share this content on social media throughout the week. For example, over on my Instagram account I am sharing daily tips. Many of these images are graphics extracted directly from my blog posts. Here’s a glimpse at my Instagram profile so you can see what I’m talking about:
This is a great opportunity to highlight key points made in articles & add value to people following me on social media who haven’t made it to the blog post yet.
This content can not only be used in your blog post, but also on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram.
I hope this gives you some inspiration to create your graphics on your own. Once you get it all set up, it doesn’t take a ton of work to maintain. Instead, you can focus your time and efforts on growing that amazing blog of yours.
What tools do you like to use to make good graphics for your blog?
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