17 Awesome Ways to Design Blog Graphics in Canva

Designing graphics isn’t hard when you know a few tricks. Here’s how I make the graphics I use on all my social media with the free Canva program! 

17 Awesome Ways to Design Blog Graphics in Canva|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Designing Graphics in Canva

Designing graphics isn’t as hard as you might think. Every blogger uses graphics for one reason or another, but you can also use graphics for websites, brochures,  invitations, print media such as letter head, business cards and more. Graphics are easy to make for any purpose with a free design tool like Canva.  Canva requires you to create a free account with a valid email address. I love this tool for a number of reasons. Here’s how I make all of my graphics here on the blog.

I am not a graphic designer, although I have considered taking graphic design classes many times. I get hung up on fonts, there are so many beautiful ones to choose from! The best graphic designs for blogs and social media are easy to read with simple text. I recommend that you find one font that goes with the general design of your blog and stick to it. You can certainly change it down the road, but it pays to be consistent with your look and develop your brand identity.

Using Canva

Canva.com has beautiful images and graphics all put together for you to choose from. This is a huge time saver. Every social media has it’s own image size. This makes a nightmare of different sizes to remember when you are trying to design a different image for every type of social media. I find that I can make 2-3 graphics for each post that can be used for all my social media needs. You could make more, but these are the ones that get the most use.

17 Awesome Ways to Design Blog Graphics in Canva|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Top 3 Social Media Graphics

My top social media platforms are Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.

  1. Graphics for Pinterest: I usually make two different Pin graphics for each post. The first one is 735 X 1102 Pixels. This is also the graphic I choose for my featured image on my blog posts. The second Pin graphic is a long Pin 800 X 2000 pixels. This graphic is what I use at the end of each post.
  2. Facebook: Each post I write contains a separate image for Facebook. When someone shares my posts on Facebook, this image will appear in place of the featured image. I have tried a variety of styles but the ones that do the best are photographic images with text overlay. Facebook graphics should be 940 x 788 pixels.
  3. Twitter: I admit I don’t make many separate graphics for Twitter. I probably should. Posts with photo graphics to far better than those without. Recommended graphic size is 1024 x 512.

17 Awesome Tips and Tricks

  1. When you are designing graphics, there are a few different ways to go about it. The easiest way is to use a predesigned template, and just change the text. You can still change font styles and colors to go with your brand as needed. Graphics without photos and just text are fine to use, but be sure that they are colorful and interesting.

2. Graphics with beautiful photos are great eye catchers for social media, especially for use on Pinterest. If you use stock photography you can easily upload the stock photos and add text overlays in Canva.

3. Upload your own pictures. It’s always safer to use your own photography than risk getting into trouble for using someone else’s photos. Use vertical or horizontal photos depending on the type of graphic you are making. For my long Pins I use a vertical photo at the top and a horizontal photo at the bottom. Then my blog name and logo between the two. For Facebook and Twitter posts I use a horizontal photo.

4. Not good with photography? Choose from Canva’s extensive collection of predesigned graphics with stock photos. All you have to do is change the text to suit your needs.

5.Make your own graphic templates to share with your team or reuse them over and over for your own cohesive look. This is a big time saver. You don’t have to start from scratch every single time. Canva remembers each design you make it, you can copy it and use it again as a template. I have several template designs that I customize repeatedly to fit my blog posts.

6. Change the fonts. It’s easy to highlight text and change font style, size and color. Not sure what works best? Share it with someone else via email or social media to get their opinion before publishing.

7. Colorize your graphics to match your brand. You can change the background color to highlight your text.

8. Move text around for the best look. This is particularly important when using text over a photo. I prefer my photo to be the highlight of the graphic, often I will move text to an opportune location so you can see the best part of the photo.

17 Awesome Ways to Design Graphics with Canva|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

9. Add your URL to the design. Social media shares are great, but if your URL isn’t on the graphic it won’t do you any good. Be sure to place it in the center so that hackers can’t crop it off from the bottom and steal your work.

10. Use your logo in your graphic. Every website has a logo or logos that identify their brand. By adding your logo to your graphic you will increase your brand awareness.

17 Ways to design graphics in Canva|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

11. Use colored filters on your photos behind your text. This helps the photo fade into the background and makes your text stand out. Quotes look amazing on these types of photos.

12. Keep words to a minimum. Graphics with quotes are the only exception. Generally speaking fewer words are better. Most graphics are viewed in seconds on social media. Save the details for the blog post when people click through to read it. The idea is to make your graphics LOOK interesting enough to read without giving away too much information.

13. Use several different size fonts in a single graphic. The most important word or words should be the biggest. Save the descriptive “How to” or “Tutorial” words for the smaller fonts.

14. Keep letters in sharp contrast to the back ground. Often I see graphics that are hard to read because there is not enough difference in value between the font and the back ground photo. Black and white is the easiest to read and definitely the most popular.

15. Design all your graphics at one time. This is a huge time saver. I often design graphics for 4-5 posts at once by copying a template over and adding new photos and text. That way I can just write the post, upload the graphics and publish.

17 Awesome Ways to Design Blog Graphics in Canva|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

16. Share your graphics with your team. This is a paid feature on Canva. I have recently started using it and it’s great. I can share my templates, blog logo, fonts, and colors with my team members so they can make even more graphics that relate to my brand.

17. Another paid option that is worth trying is that you can design your graphics with a transparent back ground. This means you can create beautiful text in a format to use over photos in Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or other design program.

If you would like more information on blogging, check out my Blogging and Design Tools Resources page.

I decided to make several videos of how I work through the entire design process on Canva, leave me a comment if you have any questions.

 

 

Here are more top posts for you to explore:

Blogging and Design Tools

Designing Quilts with Pattern Jam

10 Steps to a Fixer Upper Style Bathroom, Budge Friendly

Painted Velvet Chairs, Easy Update with Spray Paint

Sewing a Fleece Robe

How to Fix Your Blog When It’s Dying a Slow Death

If your blog is dead and dying this post is for you! We have all felt like our blogs are stagnant at one time or another, here’s how to fix it!

HOW TO FIX YOUR BLOG WHEN IT’S DYING A SLOW DEATH

A year ago, I was about ready to give up on blogging forever. I was making no money and had steadily decreasing page views. I was working all the time and getting no where.

Today, page views are up, the income is starting to roll in and I am feeling more in control of my future. What changed? Me! I decided to become educated about why my 8 year old dinosaur blog was dying a slow death.

HOW TO FIX YOUR BLOG

The Genius Bloggers Tool Kit has been one of my best resources on learning to blog. THIS TOOL HAS CHANGED MY BLOGGING LIFE. Make no mistake, I already knew how to blog when I purchased it. What I didn’t know, what that what I had learned when I started blogging was no longer valid. Our blogging business is a fast changing world. Eight years ago when I began blogging, it was easy to learn. You wrote a post about your family or maybe making some crafts, took photos and pressed publish. Readers would flock to your posts, you had great traffic and everything was great.

Today’s Blogging World

Today, blogging is competitive. Being a blogger is overwhelming. Building your email list, having the right keywords, SEO, Pinterest graphics and social media, even the readers have changed. Readers today are looking for tutorials, free printable, recipes, anything that helps their lives become easier.

What I was missing in my blogging life, was mentors. I needed to learn from the people who had already been Blog Success Stories. Not everyone can have a personal mentor, but you can have the next best thing. That is the ebooks and tools that they used to become successful.

There have been so many times in my own blogging journey when I’ve felt daunted by what I was learning and doing and struggled to overcome challenges like increasing my traffic and income in ways that matched my brand and values.

Overall, blogging has been one of those incredible “pinch me” parts of my life. I can hardly believe I get to do something I love so much, earn money from home, and be part of such a special community.

But it isn’t always easy, and the fast-changing nature of the blogosphere means I can’t ever stop learning how to be a better blogger.

I’ve found my blog really thrives when I’m growing in my skills, connecting with others who get the work I’m doing, and pushing myself to try new things and improve my weak areas.

I make a point of prioritizing my growth as a blogger, and one of the best ways I’ve found is by learning from other experienced bloggers who’ve mastered a particular aspect of blogging.

Problem is, it can get pretty pricey to buy all the new books or courses that cover the topics I’m looking for.

Which is why I am over the moon with excitement about the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit.

It’s a digital package crammed full of brilliant tools to help you grow your blog, work smarter & make more money.

(But for way less than you’d normally spend!)

The team at Ultimate Bundles has put together the best resources on ALL the topics that matter to bloggers, like mastering social media, monetization, creating and selling products, time management and productivity, nurturing an email list, and so much more.

Here’s what you get:
24 eBooks
33 eCourses & audio files
5 printable packs

In total, the toolkit includes over $3,600 of blogging tips, strategies, tutorials and amazingly practical information and ideas. Plus you get free bonus offers worth $1250+, with 15 tools and services to help you run your blog.

But the truly amazing part? They’re selling it for a crazy 97% off of regular price!

I know, it sounds too good to be true, but I promise it’s not. Ultimate Bundles has been around a long time and creating these packages is really their thing (they’ve sold over 180,000 of them on all sorts of topics), so you can trust this is the real deal.

Even better, they’re all about making sure you LOVE this toolkit. There’s a full 30-day happiness guarantee, so there’s really no risk in trying it out.

The most important detail, though, is that this toolkit is available for just two days. After Tuesday night, April 4th, the sale ends and you’d have to buy all of these products individually.

I’d hate for you to miss out, so click here to learn more or buy the bundle.

It’s even backed by a full money-back happiness guarantee, so you can make sure it’s right for you. Get what you need for your healthy lifestyle. Learn more or get your bundle here:
https://us154.isrefer.com/go/tgbt/a7694/

Remedies for all your blogging problems are covered in the Genius Bloggers Tool Kit Bundle.

How to Fix Your Blog When It's Dying a Slow Death|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

The Genius Bundle also includes free access this bonus content:

How to Fix Your blog when it's dying a slow death.|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Right now, as a bonus to my readers I am offering another great resource FREE.

If you purchase the Genius Bloggers Tool Kit through my affiliate link, I will include my Learning Through the Lens Photography ebook ABSOLUTELY FREE.

THIS ALONE IS A $29.99 VALUE.

How to Fix your blog when it's dying a slow death.|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

In this book you will learn type of camera to use, proper lighting, edit in Adobe Lightroom5, how to colorize, display and style your photos. Bonus printable features cheat sheets are included for each area of study. These are all factors that define your individual style and your voice as a blogger. Working on your photography technique will open new doors for your blog that you never dreamed of before.

Are you ready?

I will send you an email after your purchase with the code for my FREE Ebook Download.

Need more blogging resources? Check out my resource page.

 

Blogging as a Business

Blogging as a business is tough. There have been lots of changes in the blog world the last few years. This is a post that I never expected to write.Blogging as a Business|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Blogging as a business is a tough job. There is so much competition today, millions of users write blogs. It wasn’t always like this.

My Blog Business Story

I began writing seven years ago as kind of a personal journal. We were going through a lot of financial and personal struggles. and blogging was a way to focus on the beautiful side of life and worry less about the hard things. Three years ago, I decided to get serious as a blogger and make blogging my primary business. This was never my intention as I originally began writing just for fun.

When I decided to become a business, I stretched myself to learn a little more each day. I learned Blogger, Word Press, new social media platforms, photography, Adobe Lightroom, PicMonkey, Picassa, Photoshop and other related computer programs. I learned to stage my money shots, link up to blog parties, find and work with brand sponsors.

My Blog Business Updates

Last summer I spent weeks re-writing my old content. I updated dozens of photos, added affiliate links and SEO to my old posts, along with new custom graphics for Pinterest on a total of more than 200 posts. I also redirected hundreds of blog pages to make my blog more efficient and run smoother. To make my site more appealing, I hired designers to install a new theme, and redesign and rebrand my blog and logos. I studied branding and how to create a style that would match my vision for this blog’s future.

By fall my blog was practically brand new, and I anticipated the next couple of years would include great things for me and that I would be able to achieve my business goals.

Overall blogging is a good experience, it inspires me to work harder to accomplish more. I am always learning new things, meeting great people and have come to enjoy and embrace every part of the blogging journey.

Until now.

My Blog Business Crash

Two weeks ago my site went down. Perhaps you were looking for it. My URL was completely blank for more than 5 days. You may have noticed that it now looks a little different. In fact, I have completely lost 8 months worth of new content, along with my new blue and gold theme, my logos and all my hard work. It has been a devastating loss.

Even though I have backups of my blog, my former web host failed to transfer data after I paid for them to do it. I thought I had multiple backup copies of my site. It turns out, that none of them were current or recoverable by my new host. To make things worse, the additional backup plugin I installed was never activated. It seems as though there is always something that I don’t yet know about blogging.

I am not technical, but I have learned a lot the last few years. Somehow it seems like I will never get where I want my blog to go. There are so many of us bloggers that love blogging, but can’t quite get to our end business goal to be successful. I am not alone in this frustration.

My Blog Business Future

For now, I am trying to decide how to proceed. There is no way I can re-create 8 months worth of content or I will never have the ambition to write anything new. It’s very discouraging to come back to the blog when it looks like it did a year ago, after I put so much time and effort into it. In addition, I have broken links all over the web from the posts and photos that were deleted. Right now, I have no idea how this will affect my site long term. Google does not like broken links, and generally punishes sites that have them. Honestly, I don’t know what that will do my page views or ranking.

I know I need to rebuild somehow, but it will take time. It is painful and I am disheartened. There are tons of updates that could be done, but I don’t know that I will even attempt to recreate the blog as it was. With each passing day there are new reasons for me to move ahead in yet a different direction. You will have to be patient with me while I work through it all.

My Blog Business Recovery

For now, I am concentrating on different things.  Recently, I compiled two new ebooks. Part of blogging as a business is creating content other than what is on the blog. Remember the phrase “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”? It rings so true today.

I recently began publishing ebooks, and I have several more coming soon. My first adventure was this photography book and am now releasing two more ebooks for your reading pleasure.

Photography Challenge: Improve your photography and laugh at my attempts to master the camera. |Designers sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

The 30 Day Photo Challenge is the humorous account of how I actually learned to use a DSLR digital camera. I made lots of mistakes and you can laugh at every single one of them. This story proves that anyone can become a photographer, even me. This book is $1.99 and is available by clicking on the button below:

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The next book has been my most popular blog series ever. Thousands of pins and page views have made this series a huge hit. Projects from this book have been featured on the Huffington Post, Craft Gawker, Hometalk and various other websites.

Gifts Wrapped in Glass: Crafts, Recipes, and projects in mason jars|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Writing this crafty book was one of the best things ever. I purchased and used more than 150 Mason jars of different styles, sizes and colors for this project.

Filled them with all sorts of beautiful things, and gave them all away.

This book, also $1,99 is full of ideas for crafts, recipes, sewing projects, home decor and much more all wrapped up in cute little Mason Jars.

You’re going to love it.

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Preparing for a Blog Conference

Suitcases ready to go to a blog conference by designerssweetspot.com

I have been running about getting ready for my next blog conference. Preparing is time consuming, it always takes more organization than I planned. I decided that if I wrote a blog post about it, I could just refer to my post when time was short. I am sure there are other bloggers who feel the same way and are scrambling at the last minute.

small suitcase inside a large suitcase

 

First order of business is the luggage. I have been searching the thrift stores for an extra large suitcase with wheels. The insider blogging trick is to bring two suitcases, one large, one small to the conference. By putting one suitcase inside the other for the trip, you will have less baggage to worry about. For the return trip, the large suitcase is used to hold swag, that is all the products the wonderful sponsors supply us with at the conference. The small bag is used for the rest of your belongings, which is a test of your true packing ability. Don’t forget to label your base with name, address, cell phone number and blog name.

 

Minimal Conference blogger essentials include:

At least 100 business cards

Cell phone and USB charger

Wireless charger for use during the lectures

Head phones

Power strip for charging multiple devices in your hotel room with your roommates

iPad or laptop (I use mine for taking notes and pictures during the conference).

Tote bag for picking up swag at the vendor booths, mine has my logo on it.

blue top with a cowboy hat

 

Wardrobe essentials:

Layers are preferred, it gets cool sitting in those large con fence rooms. I always bring a light sweater or denim jacket in case I need it. I prefer tops or blouses with short sleeves in case I get too warm, I won’t feel uncomfortable to take off a layer.

Comfortable shoes for walking. We leave the hotel a couple of times for dinner out, plan to walk several blocks and save the heels for dance night!

Dancing clothes, there is always at least one dance night with a party theme. This year it’s flamingoes, so pack your flamingo attire and be ready to meet people and have fun!

A small handbag for evening is essential, I like one that holds my keys, phone and credit card for the dance event. A wallet bag with a wrist strap is a good idea so you can keep it with you at all times.

Here is my complete list of what to bring:

2 pairs black pants

1 pair jeans

Denim jacket

2 short sleeve tops

1 long sleeve blouse

1 dressy evening outfit and heels

1 casual evening outfit for dinner out

Pajamas

Work out clothes (some die hard fitness bloggers work out together at the conference)

Personal care items

Evening handbag

Tote bag

Raincoat or umbrella

Little gifts for your roommates

 

That’s about it! It may sound over whelming but after you have been to a conference you know what to expect. Of course, being yourself is important. Don’t stress about having to bring items that you know you will not use. There are lots of bloggers who do their own thing, just do what makes you comfortable.

See you at the conference!

 

Photography: Learning Through the Lens

It’s time for another 31 Day Series. I have done this series more than 5 times over the last six years. I was ready to forget it this year since I have some other commitments, but I find that I just can’t give it up. I plan to post in a little different format though, adding posts to this 31 Day page as I have time to write them, not necessarily 31 days in a row but in a “31 posts when I can” sort of way.

Two years ago I did a 31 Days of Photography Series based on a challenge that I found on Pintrest. That challenge has been pinned and re-pinned hundreds of times, and is one of my post popular pins. During the series I learned lots about photography but not a lot of it really applied to blogging or how to take better blog photos.

This new 31 Day challenge is targeted at bloggers who want to learn how to take better pictures of small objects, interiors with bad lighting, close ups, less than perfect gardens, projects that don’t turn out exactly perfectly, and maybe even how to make your mouth water food photography. I will even throw in some basic editing, storage and collage tips.

Disclaimer: I am not a photography professional, I have never taken a photo class in my life. However, My photography is much improved since I started 6 years ago. I have taken more than 20k photos since I started blogging. I know a lot more now than I did then. Six years down the road I will have even more wisdom to share on the subject.

I am starting a Facebook Page and a Pintrest page for this series, a place where you can post your pictures for comment and discussion among the group for the benefit of Learning Through the Lens. You can get a Smug Mug account for professional quality photo sharing right from Adobe Lightroom. Sign up here with my affiliate link.

Here’s the line up:

Day 1: Your favorite outdoor space

Day 2: something blue

Day 3: your pet, or some one else’s pet

Day 4: your favorite food in macro

Day 6: your favorite food from above

Day 7: your food photography set up

Day 8: take a selfie with a selfie stick

Day 9: the same object 10 times with different angles or backdrops

Day 10: sunset

Day 12: fall colors

Day 13: photo a plant in macro

Day 14: something shinny and reflective

Day 15: sunrise

Day 16: water

Day 17: white anything

Day 18: your living room

Day 19: your kitchen

Day 20: panorama

Day 21: handmade item

Day 22: before and after

Day 23: your favorite thing

Day 24: the room in your home with the least amount of natural light

Day 25: happy place

Day 26: photo collage

Day 27: someone you love

Day 28: a handful of ……..

Day 29: pattern

Day 30: your office or workspace

Day 31: edit a poor photo