If you create content online – either on a blog or social media – you need a tool like Canva in your life. Here’s why…
When it comes to creative design tools, you have plenty of options to choose from. In my time, I’ve tried most of them – from Photoshop to Bannershack to free, online open-source platforms like FotoJet and PixTeller.
In 2020, I happened across Canva. Initially, I was impressed. And then, as I got more ingrained in what it could actually do, I became completely enthralled by the software.
Especially since it is so cheap to run – it is 80% cheaper than Photoshop.
The number of things you can do with Canva is incredible; it will easily slot into the workflow of any business – from blogs to physical B&M stores.
I use it exclusively online, of course, but even here you have myriad options for creativity. I use it for custom images, social media posts, and even for banners on my sites and in my emails.
You can take a product image and remove the background; you can create unique Instagram posts and videos using its drag and drop builder, create infographics, design flyers, and even create lead magnets.
And that’s just what I use it for, and I’m only using about 10% of its native capabilities. I’ve barely scraped the surface.
What is Canva?
Canva is a digital design suite for people that don’t know anything about digital design.
If you want to make custom images for blog, eye-catching marketing materials, and custom social media posts, with zero hassle, Canva is aimed at you.
Describing Canva as a “Photoshop-lite” application does it a disservice; it isn’t quite as powerful as Photoshop with respect to image editing but it does have way more features and potential applications for online creatives.
Unlike Photoshop, there is ZERO learning curve. The UX is drag and drop-based, so if you can move a mouse, you can design and edit. And if you do struggle initially, ten minutes on YouTube will sort you out.
What can you use Canva for? I tend to use it for images for my websites, for creating lead magnets (ebooks and presentations), infographics, and hero images for posts.
I have ZERO experience with photo editing software and I picked up Canva in about 30 minutes.
I’ve used it to design logos, to design mastheads for my email, and for building and designing custom Instagram/Pinterest/Facebook posts.
Canva even natively integrates with Aweber, the email autoresponder too, so you can use that to really make your email marketing pop.
No Design Skills Required…
You don’t need a flair for design because you can use Canva’s many, many templates and simply edit them to fit your vision. You don’t need to know code, and you don’t even have to know about design (all the premade templates are really good).
All you really need to do with Canva’s premade templates is swap out the image and the copy and you’re done. From here, you can hardcode links into the images, export them as a range of file types, and even share them directly to your social media channels.
It is also considerably cheaper; prices start from just $10 a month. That’s a drop in the ocean compared to how much Photoshop costs. For online hustlers and small businesses, this is exceptional value for money.
With Canva, you can build out custom posts for your social media channels, your blog, and even your email and your newsletter. You can create downloadable PDFs, lead magnets, and even physical marketing pamphlets and leaflets – things like posters and menus.
What Does Canva Include?
Canva comes with a bunch of unique templates, images, elements, animation effects, fonts, and audio tracks. You could spend 10 years using the software and you wouldn’t even scratch the surface.
What Does Canva Pro Include?
- 170,000+ Premium Templates
- 70 Million Premium Photos
- 4.4 Million Graphic Elements
- 2.4 Million Videos
- 1700 Fonts
- 25,000 Audio Tracks
- 8 Animation Effects
- 95GB of Cloud Storage
- Unlimited Folders
What About Canva Free?
With Canva Free, you get access to plenty of features as well – but it is no where near as comprehensive as the Pro version.
Here’s what you get with Canva Free:
- 250,000+ Templates
- 200K Photos
- 57K Graphic Elements & 13K Videos
- 1700 Fonts
- 75 Audio Tracks & 6 Animation Effects
- Invite Your Team
- 5GB Storage
- Two Folders
You DO NOT get background remover, magic resize, content planner, transparent images, and the ability to change the quality and file type at export. If you can live without those things, go with the free version.
If not, get Canva Pro – it’s only $12.99 a month anyway.
If you’re serious about building out your following on social media, online, or making your marketing materials look better – without hiring a designer – I would strongly recommend you check out Canva (and go with the Pro version too).
With it, you can build professional-looking social media posts, create engaging Pins for Pinterest, create infographics for your blog, and a whole host more. And the best part? You need precisely ZIP design skills to use it.
I honestly think Canva is one of the most useful, effective digital marketing and design tools on the planet right now. If you blog, have a social media account or run a business, you should 100% be using it.
If you’re not, you’re just letting the competition get one up on you, especially since it is so cheap to run.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.