Ahhhhh practical posts. They’re always fun to write, aren’t they? Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining at all because I’m the one who thought to write it! I just find writing non-fiction a bit more tedious than I do, say, outlining a novel.
Never thought I’d think of outlining as “not tedious!”
Every once in a while I’ll come across something I’d like to share with you guys that isn’t necessarily about books. Or writing itself. In fact, I’ve already put up several “how to blog” type posts over the years. There’s really no secret to blogging, but I do love sharing things that could be helpful to newcomers to the trade:
- Comparing Three Web-Based Graphics Programs
- Why Maintaining A Website Is Worth The Effort
- 18 Links Revisited
- Why Now Is A Great Time To Start A Blog
- How To Maintain A Writer’s Website
- A Beginner’s Guide To Creating Graphics In Seven Easy Steps
Now I’ll not claim to be an expert in any of these fields; I’m an average WordPress and SEO user, just like you. But I’ve found a few things I like about the whole shebang over the years, and a few things I don’t. Today I’ll highlight something I do like to use: Canva. Don’t worry — this post isn’t sponsored (none of my stuff is). Today’s other main topic falls in line with that infamous “m” word: marketing. Let’s begin, shall we?
I never thought I’d be making these things and yet, here I am. These used to be so complicated to do, until graphic building sites saw their potential. Before, only folks with media degrees or knowledge could make them.
Now, even though I come from a media communications background, my tech spec knowledge ends in 2011 when I graduated from university. So I’m about ten years out of sync when it comes to behind-the-scenes know how.
This is why I love how easy it is to build a video for social media marketing on Canva. And yes, you have to pay to use a LOT of what they’ve got available in their library. However, the $12.99 a month is perfectly justifiable considering all you get for it.
I try to keep my videos short, no longer than 15 or 20 seconds. Because who really has the patience these days to sit and watch something repetitive for over a minute? I certainly don’t. Keep it short, keep it sweet, keep it simple. That’s my rule of thumb.
Whether they’re in grid form or a completely different format, building aesthetics is a favorite “writing” past time of mine. I don’t think they’re as big a thing as they were say, last year or so. But I still see them shared across social media from time to time.
In fact, I’m going to start sharing some over on my Pinterest. So check that out if you’ve the time!
That’s what I love about Canva’s versatility. It doesn’t pinhole itself into two or three creative categories. For example, I created a fun little collage for my last post, My Dream Cast For Project Star & Sea, using their tool. As with most things, you do have to tweak it to match your color aesthetic, but that’s what’s fun about it.
I will admit that this last item has presented itself the trickiest for me to master. For some reason, WordPress isn’t happy with Canva’s preset banner size, and I haven’t found the correct amount of patience to fiddle around with it.
Especially not after I spent an entire two weeks matching up all the banners for every. single. post on this site – old and new – only to have WordPress completely block them from view because the files were all too big.
Suffice it to say, I was not a happy camper. At all.
So what’s the point of wasting all that time to visually streamline my site if the host is just going to “fight” back and make things more difficult?
As previously state, I need the correct amount of patience and willingness to go through all that again. Because only heaven knows if I’ll keep with my site’s current design or change it within the next year. Again. Because I’m notorious for not being satisfied with my current options.
That, right there, is the beauty of Canva. The beauty of any graphic’s building tool, really. If you’re not satisfied with your current options or design, you have the freedom to change whatever you want, whenever you want.
Canva is just one option. For years I swore by BeFunky, until I began feeling limited by its offerings. However, I am seriously considering having an account with them again as well due to their smaller, pre-determined banner sizes.
So there you have it. The three ways I use Canva to share blog posts: videos, aesthetics and banners. There certainly are way more options that I just haven’t explored yet, but that’s okay. Because I think I’ve found – for now – that “sweet spot” I’m constantly looking for.
Don’t be afraid to try something new. Any graphic building site can be intimidating, but once you learn the interface and what it’s capable of, then you’ll be creating your little heart out before you know it!