10 Canva Pro and Free Features You’ll Love as a Blogger

13 min read

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Essential Canva features for bloggers and small business owners
By now, if you don’t know what Canva is, then you’re likely one of those cave-dwellers, my friend, living under the rocks!

Just in case you are one, here’s a primer on Canva.

What is Canva?

Canva is an online graphic design and publishing tool that empowers everyone to design anything and publish anywhere, even if you’re a total design newbie.

Why should you use Canva?

With its ease of use combined with affordability (much cheaper than an Adobe subscription,) Canva is perfect for bloggers who want to create beautiful graphics for their blog and social media accounts but have no Photoshop or other Adobe products know-how.


Now, let’s look at the Canva features that’ll not only make you look like a total pro—even if you have no formal design background—but they’ll also make you a more productive and efficient blogger (or some other type of business owner.)

Please note that all screenshots, videos, and tutorials in this post use Canva on a desktop browser. The mobile app doesn’t always have all the latest features of Canva, so I recommend using the desktop version whenever possible. 

Content

Before I say more, please note that many of the features I mention below are Canva Pro features. If you do not have a Canva pro account, feel free to sign up for a 45-day FREE Canva Pro trial (as opposed to the usual 30 days) using my affiliate link.

1. Stay on Brand Using Brand Kits with Canva Pro

(Pro feature with limited functionalities for free users)

The brand kit feature is there to save you time, be more productive and efficient when creating graphics or printables. I mean, aren’t all Canva features?

But still, the brand kit feature is a total life-saver. With this, you can save your brand colors, fonts, logos, etc., so you can easily access and apply them to your designs.

With a Canva Pro account, you can even have an unlimited number of color palettes and an unlimited number of color swatches. You can even create multiple brand kits. This is super useful if you have more than one blog or business. Or, if you’re a freelancer and have many clients, then you can set up multiple brand kits for each of your clients.

If you’re on a free Canva plan, then you can only have one brand kit and one color palette. You can also have only three colors in your palette. You cannot set up brand logos or fonts with a free account.

Screenshot of The Side Blogger Brand Kit on a Canva Pro account. You can set brand colors, logos, and fonts that can be easily applied to designs.
Screenshot of The Side Blogger Brand Kit on a Canva Pro account. You can set brand colors, logos, and fonts that can be easily applied to designs.

How to set up a brand kit:

Go to canva.com, and then click on the “Brand Kit” tab on the left navigation panel (refer to the image above.)

Once on that window, you’ll see three separate fields:

  • Brand logos
  • Brand colors
  • Brand fonts

Use the “plus” sign under logos and colors to add new items. As for the fonts, you can choose three: header font, subheader font, and body font.

The kit is saved automatically. If you want to delete a color, hover your mouse over it, and you’ll see a cross-sign. Click it. If you want to delete a logo, hover over it, then click the three dots that appear. Then choose “Delete” from the dropdown. To change a font, simply choose a different font from the dropdowns.

If you’re not on Canva Pro, feel free to sign up for a 45-day free Canva Pro trial using my affiliate link.

Watch the video below to see how to set up your brand kit and upload fonts on Canva Pro.

2. Upload Fonts

(Pro feature)

If you’re on Canva Pro, you’ll see an option to upload your fonts on the same Brand Kit page I have shown above.

Canva comes with a ton of fonts already with many available to free users, and many more available to pro users. But if you happen to use a brand font that is not available on Canva, then you can upload that font (provided you have the license to use that font and you have the font files.)

Again, this feature is only available to Canva Pro users.

How to upload fonts on Canva

To add a font, click the button that says “Upload a font” next to the “Brand fonts” section inside Brand Kit.

Upload fonts to brand kits with Canva Pro plan.
Upload fonts to brand kits with Canva Pro plan.

3. Better Organization with Folders on Canva Pro Accounts

(Pro feature with limited functionalities for free users)

Both free and pro users can create folders to organize their designs. The only difference is that free users can create a maximum of two folders, while pro users can create unlimited folders.

How to access and create folders on Canva

To access a folder, click on “Your Projects” in your Canva dashboard, in the left navigation panel.

To create a new folder, click the plus (+) sign at the top right corner, and then choose “Folder” from the drop-down.

You can even create new folders inside existing folders.

You can have unlimited folders with a Canva Pro account, and two folders as a free user.
You can have unlimited folders with a Canva Pro account, and two folders as a free user.

4. Readily Available Design Assets for Free and Pro Users

Canva has a lot of assets that users can freely apply to their designs: templates, photographs, graphic elements, etc. These assets are either “free” or “pro.”

Free users can freely use only the “free” assets, but can still use the pro assets for an additional cost. Canva Pro users, however, can use both the “free” and the “pro” assets for free! No extra cost is involved!

Here are some numbers to help you compare what you’ll get with your free vs. pro accounts. (Numbers are approximate as of writing this blog post; Canva is always adding to its assets.)

Free Canva Account Pro Canva Account
250K free templates 420K free templates
200K free photos 71M free photos
57K free graphic elements 4.5M free graphic elements
13K free videos 2.5M free videos
75 free audio tracks 25K free audio tracks
1700 free fonts 3000 free fonts
6 animation effects 14 animation effects
5GB cloud storage 100GB cloud storage
2 free folders Unlimited free folders
1 brand kit, 1 color palette, 3 colors per palette Unlimited brand kits, palettes, and colors per palette

As you can see, pro users have access to a whole lot more than free users for a monthly subscription of $12.99, or $119.99 for an entire year when they pay annually.

I love that I have access to so many premium assets for free with my Canva Pro account. As bloggers, we need to create eye-popping blog and social media graphics. As much as I love free stock photos from Unsplash or Pixabay, I must say, the free stock images are always overused. They just don’t stand out as much.

But with Canva Pro, I can use premium images (and graphic elements) for free!

5. Magic Resize — Resize Designs with a Click

(Pro feature)

Magic resize allows you to quickly resize an image from within the design editor.

For example, let’s say that you’re creating banners and headers for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. They should be similar but each of them use different dimensions.

With a Canva Pro account, you do not have to create each design from scratch and then copy and paste elements. It used to be such a cumbersome process before we had Magic Resize!

How to resize designs with Canva

  • From inside a design editor, click on “Resize” from the top menu.
  • From the drop-down, choose the format you want to resize to (or add your custom dimensions.)
  • Then, click “Copy & resize” to create a new design with the new dimensions. Or, if you want to change the size of the design you’re currently working with, then click “Resize.”
use Magic Resize to change dimensions of your design with just a click.
Use Magic Resize to change the dimensions of your design with just a click.

6. Use More Download Options and Settings with Canva Pro

(Free and pro, with additional options for pro users)

As a free and Canva pro user, you can download your designs in the following formats:

  • PNG file (high-quality image)
  • JPG (small file size image)
  • PDF standard (small file size document)
  • PDF Print (high-quality document)
  • MP4 Video (high-quality video files)
  • GIF (low-quality, small video clips; no audio)

However, as a Canva pro user, you can have a lot more options for your downloads.

For example, you can download a design with a transparent background. If you use Canva to make a logo for your blog or business, then you can download it as an SVG file (Scalable Vector Graphics), which is the standard file type for logos. You can also compress images (great for when saving images for blog posts—large image size is one of the biggest culprits for slow websites, after all.)

The video below shows some of the additional settings and options you can use when downloading a design:

7. Share Designs as Templates

(Free and pro)

One of my first email list opt-in freebies was a media kit Canva template. Thanks to that one template, a whole lot of things changed around here. I gained over 1K subscribers within four months, thanks to this opt-in freebie. I also realized that selling Canva templates could be a profitable side-hustle (because obviously, people wanted Canva templates!) And now, I even teach others how to sell Canva templates!

If you love Canva, you could easily create a side income stream in a variety of ways:

  • You could sell Canva templates like I do. You can have a template business on its own selling on third-party marketplaces such as Etsy, Creative Market, etc. Or, if you’re a blogger like me, you could easily set up a shop alongside your blog too! (I personally sell my Canva templates on this blog, and also on Etsy and Creative Market!)
  • You could freelance as a graphic designer specializing in Canva.
  • You could use Canva to aid in other types of gigs: As a virtual assistant, a social media manager, a brand consultant, and more!

In all of these situations, the ability to use a Canva design as a template is crucial! This means, no one can actually edit your original design, but instead, they’ll (your customers and clients) see and be able to edit a copy of the original, keeping the master design intact.

How to share a Canva design as a template

On any design,

  • You’ll see a button at the top right that says “Share.” Click it. (Refer to the image below.)
  • Then click the “Share a link to” dropdown, and then choose “use as template.”
  • And then, click the link that says “Copy link.” This will copy the template link which you can then share with your customers or clients.
You can share a Canva design as a template on both free and pro accounts.
You can share a Canva design as a template on both free and pro accounts.

There used to be a time when Canva didn’t have this feature and trust me, those days were bleak!

It’s hard to say which Canva feature I love the most because there are so many great ones!

But honestly, if I had to pick just one, it’d be the “share as template” feature. Not only is it awesome, but it also allowed me to create a thriving side income stream. These days I make a couple of thousand bucks selling Canva templates on the side, working just a few hours every week, and for that, I’ll always be grateful 🙂

I have an online course where I teach how to sell Canva templates and create a side income stream, in case you’re interested in doing the same.

Do you want to make money selling Canva Templates?

In this course, I've shared everything I know about selling Canva templates on the side, so that you too could start making at least $1,000 per month doing the same.

8. Easily Remove Image Backgrounds with Canva Pro

(Pro feature)

As bloggers and freelancers, you may find yourself needing to manipulate images, and one of the features we use a lot is the background remover tool.

This tool does exactly what it says—it removes distracting backgrounds from images so that you may create many interesting graphics, such as this one ↓

An image made possible with Canva's Background Remover tool.
An image made possible with Canva’s Background Remover tool.

How to remove the background of a photo using the Background Remover tool

  • Open a new design, place the image of choice, click on the image to show the menu items, then click the “Edit Image” button to open the editing options on the left, and then, click the “Background remover” button from the left panel.
The steps to removing the background using the background remover tool in Canva.
The steps to removing the background using the background remover tool in Canva.
  • Once you’ve removed the background, download the image. Make sure to have the file type as PNG, and also make sure to check the “Transparent background” option before hitting the download button. If you do not have the “transparent background” option checked, the image will be saved with a white background.
Download the background-removed image as a PNG file with the "transparent background" option checked
Download the background-removed image as a PNG file with the “transparent background” option checked.

And now you can use the background-removed image to create fancy images and graphics! For example, here’s what the process looked like going from the original image to the one I shared above:

From boring photo to fun photo using the "Background remover" tool in Canva Pro.
From boring photo to fun photo using the “Background remover” tool in Canva Pro.

Not a Canva Pro user yet? Sign up for a 45-day free Canva Pro trial right here!

Here’s a video on how to use the “Background remover” tool:

9. Curve Your Texts

(Free and pro)

Don’t you love it when little details—such as the curved text—instantly spruces up your designs?

Ever since canva introduced this feature, I’ve been using it like crazy! And it’s so easy to use too!

How to curve texts on Canva

  • Add some text to your design.
  • Click the text box to open the text editing option at the top of the editing area.
  • Click “Effects” to open the text effects option on the left.
  • Click “Curve.”
  • In the slider that appears, play with how much curve you want until satisfied.
Curve text with the "Curve" tool in Canva.
Curve text with the “Curve” tool in Canva.

10. Create Social Media Graphics Fast with the Quick Create Feature

(Free and pro, with additional options for pro users)

This is one of the newest features in Canva (as of writing this) and I’m totally in love with it!

Basically, you can easily and quickly create all the social media posts for all the platforms, with a few clicks, and in just a few minutes. These graphics will all have a similar style, same texts, and, if you’re on Canva Pro, you can also add your brand logo and apply brand colors to the designs with a click (provided you have a brand kit set up already.)

How to use Quick Create with Canva

  • Go to Canva.com, click “Social media” in the main dashboard under the search bar, and then click “Quick Create.”
Design social media graphics fast with Quick Create in Canva.
Design social media graphics fast with Quick Create in Canva.
  • This will open the Quick Create options in a new tab. Go through the prompts (refer to the video below), and when satisfied, click finish to download all the graphics.

Here’s a video showing the entire process:


And, that’s it!

I mean, that’s definitely not it. Canva has a TON of amazing features and it’ll be impossible to share all of them with you in just one blog post. So, I’ve only shared 10 of the top features I personally love and use ALL. THE. TIME!

But before I go, I want to answer a few commonly asked questions from the Canva-curious.

Frequently Asked Questions about Canva

What is Canva and is Canva free?

Canva is an online graphic design tool that makes creating beautiful and quality graphics easy with built in shapes, graphic elements, and a huge library of millions of stock photos. Canva even has a library of hundreds of thousands of pre-made templates for many design types. Canva is free to use. But with a paid plan upgrade, you can access even more graphic elements, stock photos, templates, and certain paid features that are not available to free users.

Is Canva easier than Photoshop?

Most definitely! That is the charm of Canva, that pretty much anyone can easily, and quickly, create graphics as well as documents with Canva. There's no steep curve to learning. It is totally possible to master the basics of Canva within just an hour or so.

What is Canva good for?

Small business owners like bloggers, coaches, teachers and educators, writers, artists, musicians, freelancers, social media managers, virtual assistants, and even graphic designers can leverage Canva to easily and quickly create all of their promotional materials such as social media banners and graphics, email banners, blog graphics, flyers, posters, etc. You can also create simple documents with Canva, such as, resumes, workbooks and worksheets, planners, calendars, services and pricing sheets, recipe cards, business cards, restaurant menus,and even ebooks. Canva even allows you create videos now!

Does Canva Free have watermark?

When you create a design with Canva, unlike many other similar tools, Canva does not add a watermark, as long as you're using free graphic elements and free photos in your designs. Noone will know just by looking at your design whether you created it with a free Canva account or a pro Canva account. Canva pro graphic elements and photos can either be used by Canva pro members or free members for an additional cost.

How do you make money with Canva?

There are plenty of ways to make money from Canva, but my favorite is by selling Canva templates. If you love designing with Canva, then you can easily create custom templates with Canva, and sell them on your website, on Etsy, on Creative Market, and other third-party marketplaces that allow selling of digital products. Aside from selling Canva templates, you can also freelance as a designer and use Canva to create beautiful graphics and documents with Canva. You can become a Canva affiliate and make money by promoting Canva on your website, social media accounts, newsletters, YouTube videos, etc. You can create a dropshipping business, and design t-shorts, mugs, wall-arts, tote bags, etc. with Canva. You can also teach others how to use Canva, and make money that way.


And now, a couple of things before I go:

If you have been using Canva for a minute and love creating designs with it, I have an online course where I share everything I have learned creating a Canva template business. Basically, you’ll learn exactly how I make 2K+ per month selling Canva templates on my blog, on Creative Market, as well as on Etsy. You can sign up for the course here: Side Income with Canva Templates

And don’t forget, many of the features I mentioned in this post are for Canva Pro users only. So, if you do not have Canva Pro, feel free to sign up for a 45-day FREE Canva Pro trial using my affiliate link 🙂

Alright, I think I’ve covered it all now.

So, do you use any of these features? Which ones do you use the most? Is there another feature you love but I haven’t included in this list? Let me know in the comments!

Do you want to make money selling Canva Templates?

In this course, I've shared everything I know about selling Canva templates on the side, so that you too could start making at least $1,000 per month doing the same.

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Essential Canva features for bloggers and small business owners

2 thoughts on “10 Canva Pro and Free Features You’ll Love as a Blogger”
  1. This is a fantastic, Maliha. Thank you so much for sharing this and I learn something from you with ever blog. I love your course as I’m going through it slowly, and building so much confidence that I can have a template shop as well. Thanks again!

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