Graphics are an essential part of your author platform. They give visual stimulus to your readers and also aid in emphasising your blog content. (Check out my earlier post, “A Useful Guide to Graphics” for more about why you should use graphics and what graphics to use). In this post, we take a quick look at using [AFF] Canva to create graphics for your author platform. Other tools and software are of course available but I, like a lot of other people, find Canva easy to use and, one of its main benefits, is that you can do an awful lot for free.
[AFF] Canva has lots of pre-built templates for all manner of design needs. These include (but are not limited to):
- Instagram posts
- Pinterest pins
- Social media headers
- Email headers
How Do I Start Designing and Creating?
All you need to do is to sign up to a free account at www.canva.com and then you can start designing. There are also paid plans, the basic of which ([AFF] Canva Pro) is £10.99 per month (up to 5 people can use this). This includes everything you could possibly need as an author or blogger including a brand kit, image resizing, more templates, more stock photos, storage and the means to connect social media platforms for direct sharing.
Once you have created your account then it’s time to start designing. Simply click on the “Create a Design” button and select the template you want (or create a custom size), or choose one of the templates from the home page that are automatically set up to the correct dimensions.
When the design opens you then have two options available to you:
- You can start from scratch and build your own unique design, or
- You can choose a ready-made template that you can then edit to your own design (colours, fonts, images, text etc.). This gives you a design base to work from which is ideal if you’re unsure about what you want or how to go about it.
It is worth playing around with both options as both have benefits as well as disadvantages.
It’s important to stick to your brand colours and fonts so that your graphics are recognisable across all platforms including your website, social media accounts, email marketing etc. It’s no good having beautiful fancy graphics if no one associates them with your brand.
What Can I Create?
[AFF] Canva enables you to add images (there’s a great stock photo library or you can upload your own images), background colours, text (there’s a huge range of fonts), elements such as shapes, lines, designs, stickers, grids, videos and even on the Pro version, music.
With the Pro version, you can also create a brand kit which puts all your brand colours and fonts in one place so it’s easy to select them no matter what you are designing.
What if I Get Stuck?
There is also a superb learning facility included within Canva which has great tutorials on how to design and create, as well as helping you with branding etc. If you’re totally new to Canva and/or to designing your own graphics, I would highly recommend checking out the video tutorials and blog.
I would personally highly recommend using [AFF] Canva to create graphics for your website and author platform as it’s a really simple, easy to use tool especially designed for this purpose. I personally use the Pro version but the free tool gives you lots of flexibility and the ability to create most of the designs you would need. It’s certainly worth trialling at the free level before committing to the Pro version, though the paid version does have many benefits.
Do you use graphics on your author platform? Do you create your own? Do you use Canva or another tool? Tell us your experiences in the comments below. It’s always great to hear other people’s experiences. I am no Canva expert but if you have any questions, please do let me know.