Last updated on December 15th, 2017 at 06:57 pm
Quick questions –
Do you want to create eye-popping graphics to use on our blog?
Are you a non-designer who’s afraid of using Photoshop?
Are you looking for a simple tool to create shareworthy blog images?
If you nodded to any of the above questions, this tutorial is the best thing that’ll happen to you today.
And if you’re wondering what’s the need of using images, here’s why?
Why Use Images on Your Blog
Earlier, somewhere around the 2000s, using blog images wasn’t important.
You could write a wall of text and people would still read and share your blog like crazy.
But, the time has changed, so is the demand.
Today, visitors get annoyed if they encounter a wall of text without any visual graphics.
To be more precise, they need an image after every 300 words to stay interested in reading your massive article.
And the worst part? They don’t share an article without interesting images.
With the likes of visual-focused social media channels like Pinterest and Instagram, it has become a necessity to include beautiful pictures in your article body.
Fun fact – Articles with images get 35% more tweets than a wall of text kind of articles [source]
In this post, I’m sharing the step-by-step tutorial to create shareworthy blog images using Canva.
Here’s what you’ll learn –
- What is Canva & Its Overview
- How To Create Featured Images using Canva
- Canva Keyboard Shortcuts
- How to Optimize Your Images before Uploading to WordPress
So, let’s get started.
What is Canva?
Canva is a web-based graphics tool that allows you to create stunning graphics with an easy-to-use interface.
It is free if you’re using your own elements (images, logos, etc.) and $1 per element if you use the Canva provided elements.
To start using, you first need to visit Canva.com and sign up for an account.
Once signed up, you’ll be redirected to your Canva Dashboard. You’ll see few popular design templates on the top along with a ‘+more’ button.
All your previously designed templates will be shown below it.
Click on ‘Create a design’ or ‘+more’ button to see the complete list of ready-made design types you can use.
Canva has a huge list of design types including Social Media Posts, Email Headers, Marketing Materials, eBooks, Ads, and more.
As you take your mouse over the design type, it’ll show the dimension of the design type.
Alternatively, you can create a custom sized design by clicking on ‘Use custom dimensions’ button situated on the top right corner.
Once you click on a design, you’ll enter into Canva Editor. It is a straightforward easy-to-use editor where we’ll be customizing blog images.
On the left side, you’ll see various options available for you including Pre-Made Layouts, Various Elements, Text, Background of design, and an option to upload your graphics.
You can also add/duplicate more pages, enter a title of your design, and download it. Overall it’s a toddler-friendly image editor and you can master it in few minutes.
Moving to the next part.
How To Create Blog Featured Images Using Canva
In Canva, there’s a design template to create ‘Blog Title’ with a dimension of 560 px X 315 px.
However, it appears smaller on some social media platforms while users share it.
For this reason, I prefer using Facebook App (810 px X 450 px) design template. It is best suited for Facebook desktop feed but works great on other social media platforms as well.
Click on it and you’ll be redirected to the Canva Editor.
You have two options – 1. Use a layout or 2. Start from scratch
1. Using A Premade Layout
Under the Layout option, you’ll see few impressive layouts already designed for you. Click on the one you would like to customize.
Note: choose the layout with ‘Free’ tag only otherwise you’ll be charged $1 per premium element used.
Premium layouts serve as a great way to get inspired and design exceptional blog images.
For our example, I’m using the very first layout.
Click on the text to edit and write your blog title. Once you click on it, the text toolbar will appear.
Change font style, size, color, and other elements to suit your needs.
You can add more text boxes using the Text option in the left sidebar. If you scroll down, there are lots of amazing text styles, stamps, and ribbons available for free.
Other than text, you can add elements to your design using ‘Elements’ tab. It contains various geometrical shapes, grids, frames, free photos, illustrations, and more.
After a bit customization, here’s what I created from the premade template.
2. Starting from Scratch
If you want to stay unique from the crowd, creating a blog image from scratch is a great option.
You’ll have a blank canvas on your screen and you can design anything you want. But the first thing you need is either a background image or a color.
Canva allows you to pick a background color or pattern for your design under the ‘BKGROUND’ tab. You can choose from default color pallet, add a new color, or pick a pattern as your background.
For adding an image as the background, you first need to find a stock free picture. You can pick a stock free image right inside your Canva dashboard under Elements > Free Photos
However, the options are very limited. Have a look at this post containing 50+ sites to download stock free photos.
Once you have downloaded your background image, go to Uploads tab and click on ‘upload your own images button’
After uploading, you can drag and drop it onto the blank canvas. Resize the image to fill the background.
To lower the brightness or apply filter effects, click on the image > Filter. You can lower the transparency using the options available (as shown in screenshot)
Now you can add text, logos, and shapes to create a stunning featured image. You can arrange the position of overlapping elements using the ‘Arrange’ option.
Once you’re finished with your design, give your design a name, and click on ‘Download’ button.
You can choose different file type or download the recommended PNG type. If you have used a premium element, then you’ll be asked to pay the amount else your free download will start.
Canva Keyboard Shortcuts
While the user experience of Canva is already quite breezy, using keyboard shortcuts can make things a lot easier.
Some of the common tasks including copy/paste, arrange, batch select, etc. can be completed without touching your mouse.
Below is an infographic shared by SocialChefs visualizing Canva keyboard shortcuts.
Before uploading your image to WordPress, make sure to optimize your images for better SEO results and faster loading.
What Else You Can Create with Canva
With the ease of use and options available, you can create almost anything including but not limited to –
- Social Media Graphics
- Ebook Covers
- Flyers, Brochures, and Certificates
- Logo (non-transparent for free users)
Although the free option is sufficient for many of us, Canva comes with a premium version known as Canva for Work. It costs $9.95 per month when paid annually or $12.95 per user/month.
Canva for Work Features
- Add custom fonts
- Brand your images with default color pallets
- Create transparent designs
- Up to 30 team members and unlimited storage
- Magically resize a design (real time saver)
If you’re into designing, Canva for Work could be a great option for you. Also, it serves as a great alternative to Photoshop.
For those who are unfamiliar with Adobe Photoshop, Canva is the true savior. The designing toddlers can create impressive images and get more shares on their content.
Also, using Canva, you can make your blog a more interesting place and reduce your bounce rate.
If you’ve used Canva before, let us know what you think about it, if not, do sign up and give it a shot.
Also, don’t forget to share this article with your friends and followers.