In part one of my TpT Journey, I talked about why I started selling on TpT and how I started. In this installment I am going to discuss Canva. Canva is design software that I learned about when I was first starting out. After reading a few affiliate blogs from experienced TpT sellers I gave it a try.
First, I receive NO compensation from Canva. Because of that I am able to be completely honest about my experiences with them which, in my opinion is better than reading affiliate blogs where you only hear about the good things.
Second, I LOVE Canva.
Learning how to create Pinterest pins and marketing was very annoying at first. I actually hated designing pins and trying to figure out marketing. Despite the dislike, Canva was amazing. Not only was it incredibly easy to use, after I made my first really good pin I realized how many tools Canva actually lets you use for free.
From June until November, I used the free Canva suite. Occasionally I purchased a few illustrations but up until just yesterday actually, I had spent $15 which is great for the new TpT sellers who are not investing money until they make money. You could THRIVE using Canva for free.
Now, maybe Canva won’t like hearing that you could thrive without paying them but I think that is a testament to what they provide you. They give you so much for free because they know most of us are going to upgrade once we get the hang of it. (I did!)
To start, they provide already formatted templates for tons of social media mediums. Need to make a Pinterest pin? One click and you’ve got a blank pin to design. How about an Instagram post? One click, same thing. You can design a banner for your Facebook page, or book cover, or a poster. They GIVE you these templates for free! And if you happen to need a custom size, you can do that!
You can customize the colors to any shade and you can upload illustrations, pictures, fonts, other Canva designs for use in new designs. They have hundreds of free simple design elements such as lines (amazing how many uses a simple line has), circles, and other shapes. There are also hundreds of free illustrations and pictures. Something I appreciate is the free pictures change often so I never feel like I ran out of images.
For those who know design isn’t their strongest skill, they have free completed designs. Just pick the completed design you like and type in your personalized information. Done!
I am not going to profess to be a Pinterest or Instagram design expert but I have several that I am quite proud of. Most of which I think are good and serve their purpose. I have learned the skills through trial and error and by studying what other people do.
The top left is one of my first Pinterest Pins I designed. The image was free from Canva. The rest I tried to keep simple. The top middle was one of my first fairly successful pins. I am not even sure if I like it. I also use it as the TpT pin for that product. The top right pin is one of the pins I am proud of. I just like this pin. The Halloween pin is an example of a quick pin. That took me all of three minutes to design and publish. The last pin is my most successful pin. This is the first pin I paid a little money for. It cost me $1.
I don’t think, especially for a new TpT seller, that there is any reason to enroll in the online design classes you may find. Just open your eyes and study what others are doing. Pins with thousands of repins all have certain elements present. Instagram posts with tons of likes and comments all have certain elements present. You have to find a way to fit your genre but stand out and that isn’t easy. It just takes practice.
As I learned more about Pinterest and Instagram and the more I paid attention to other people’s designs, especially those with thousands of viewers, I became bolder. I am experimenting with color combinations that I never would have done months ago. I am experimenting with how to fade images and how to use different fonts. Some of my favorite pins have utilized a simple line. By changing the thickness and color or using borders I have created some pins that have been shared much more than my first pins.
The pin on the left is one my of my favorite pins. I used a free frame, uploaded a picture of the product, and used a free line. (Lines are amazing and simple!) I also use this design as the TpT cover for that product. The pin on the right is one for my blog. This was my first attempt at using a fading shape over a picture. I like the attempt but generally, this one isn’t one I am happy with. Again, I am learning.
The more I become interested in design, the more I looked at Canva’s paid products. Unlike other products I have used, Canva makes their paid products available for viewing. On one hand it is a cruel tease to know the perfect picture or illustration isn’t free but on the other hand, I know that there are elements that I will use with the paid version. I hate upgrading something, only to find out, the lesser version was fine for me.
Canva is really amazing. Remember, I am not paid by Canva. I can write whatever I wish and I still choose to give them free publicity and sing their praises. I get absolutely nothing if you click on the provided link and sign up for an account. I get absolutely nothing if you upgrade immediately to a paid account. Maybe, someday that will change but as of now, I am happy to recommend them.
I was planning on writing about my experiences with Canva but I moved the article up after an email from Canva. They actually sent me an email thanking me for mentioning them in my first TpT article. I thought that was really awesome. They actually read it and were thankful. So Canva, officially, you’re welcome. : )
What I don’t like about Canva………nothing. Honestly, I can’t think of anything. All of my designs are saved on their system and they are easy to access at any point. I can change designs easily. I can change colors easily. I can copy designs easily. I can delete designs easily. It is just so easy.
They have given me so much for free. (They will give the same to you!) Sign up. Happy designing.
If I’ve convinced you to sign up for Canva, here is their link: www.canva.com/templates
In a few months when I learn more about my new, paid account, I will share again.