How many bloggers would you say are out there who do not use Canva?
I haven’t a clue, but if I had to guess, I’d say probably less than 1%.
I’m speculating, of course. Don’t quote me on that one.
The bottom line is, you would be hard-pressed to find bloggers who do not use this amazing platform. And there’s a good reason why it’s such a popular app.
And just in case you’re one of those few who’ve been living under a rock, Canva is an internet-based, graphic design software that makes it easy for practically anyone to create beautiful graphics and printables in a drag-and-drop platform, without the hassles and technicalities that come with more sophisticated programs like Illustrator or Photoshop.
While Canva has its limits, it is more than enough for bloggers and content creators to design beautiful, high-quality graphics such as social media and Pinterest graphics, PDF documents, simple animations, etc.
Now, Canva is totally free to use, and the free version is enough for a lot of bloggers who do not have heavy-duty needs.
However, if you want to go the extra step, Canva Pro – the premium, paid version of Canva does offer some pretty sweet features that I find are totally worth the investment of 13 bucks a month (10 if you pay annually).
In fact, I recommend that after investing in a custom domain (from NameCheap), An excellent hosting company for your WordPress blog (SiteGround), a fantastic email marketing platform (ConvertKit), the next thing you should invest in is Canva Pro.
And that’s why, in this post, I will try and outline some of the Canva Pro features that I believe all bloggers would benefit from.
1. Design with Transparent Background
If you’re a brand new blogger, chances are that you’re on a tight budget, having to watch out for every single dollar you spend on your blog. Hiring a designer to create a professional logo for your blog may be impossible at this point in time.
But fear not!
Canva was founded with people just like yourself in mind. You may not be a professional graphic designer, but chances are that you have an idea for what you want your logo to look like. And now, with Canva, you can easily, and quickly, create a logo in minutes!
It won’t be what a pro would create for you using a program like Illustrator, for example, but it will be good enough for your brand new blog.
However, with the free Canva, all of your designs will automatically have a background color. Unless you set a background color, all of your designs will have a white background.
But logos often sit atop other elements, so you benefit from having a transparent background for your logo. With Canva Pro, you can download your designs to have a transparent background.
Not only logos, but you often may need to design elements that would benefit from having transparent backgrounds, such as icons and buttons.
To download a design with a transparent background, simply check the “transparent background” option when downloading. Make sure that the file type is set to “PNG.” Only .png images can have a transparent background.
2. Compress Images Right on Canva
As you already know, one of the biggest culprits for slow-loading websites tends to be large image files. With Canva Pro, when you design a graphic for your blog, you now have the option to download the design file as a compressed version, which automatically makes your file size much smaller.
This means that now, you can design and compress your designs using the same program. A huge time-saver if you ask me.
To compress a file, simply make sure to check the “Compress File” option when downloading a design. This option is available when you’re downloading a “PNG” file.
If you choose a different file type, such as a JPG file, your designs will automatically be slightly lower quality (PNG file types tend to be the clearest and largest file types with the best quality). However, if you must compress your JPG files as well, in the pro version, you can now control the quality with a slider-like option.
3. Quickly Change Design Dimensions with Magic Resize
Often, you may find yourself needing to quickly resize a design. For example, maybe you designed something for your Instagram feed, but you find yourself needing the same design, but for a Facebook banner or something else requiring different dimensions.
If you’re on a free Canva account, you’ll have to redesign the entire thing from scratch with the new dimensions. However, with Canva Pro, you can do it with just a couple of clicks.
On Canva pro, you have a feature called “Resize.” It has a lot of built-in options that you can choose to resize your designs into. It also has a custom dimensions option that you can use for resizing to whichever dimension you fancy.
To resize, click the “Resize” tab in the main menu on top-left. This will open up all the different dimension options. Choose of them or use the “Custom Dimension” option to specify the dimensions you need. And then, click “Copy & resize” to create a new copy of the design with the new dimensions.
4. Use Version History to Get Back Deleted Content and Styles
Never lose anything! With Canva Pro, you can now get back old styles and content by going to version history. This comes in handy if you had edited your designs, only to realize that you needed some element you had before, or you liked the old design better.
As a blogger, you may find yourself creating a lot of graphics and other collaterals. It’s easy to lose track of things. With version history, you will be able to quickly restore your designs to a previous version.
5. Access over 2 Million+ Premium Stock Photos for Free
Did you know that Canva has a vibrant photo gallery of high-quality photographs? Not just a few hundred or a few thousand, but practically MILLIONS of photos?
With the free Canva account, you only have access to free stock images (very similar to all the other free stock photographs you have access to via other stock photo sites). But if you wish to use any of the premium photos in your design, you have to purchase the photos.
However, with Canva Pro, you can use over 2 million of these premium photographs for free!
In my opinion, this alone is worth investing in Canva Pro.
Here’s the thing. I use Pinterest as my primary method for driving blog traffic. Since Pinterest is a visual search engine, it’s important that the graphics you create stand out from the crowd. Free stock images are always overused, and they tend to sort of blend in. It’s hard to get traction with free stock photos.
When you use premium photos, you automatically increase your chances of capturing the attention of other pinners, thus increasing the potential to get your pins re-pinned, clicked, shared, etc.
As a blogger, this is the one Canva Pro feature that initially prompted me to invest in their Pro membership.
6. Set Up Brand Kit Pro for Easy Access to Your Color Palette, Logos, and Fonts
Often, as a blogger, you’ll find yourself using the same colors and fonts over and over. So, it’s mighty useful when you can access these elements easily. With Canva Pro, you can set up brand kits, specify multiple color palettes, and set up your fonts for header, sub-headers, and body elements.
With free Canva, you can only have one color palette and only three color swatches in a palette. This is often not enough, so, having the option to add as many palettes, and as many colors to your palettes (+ setting up your brand fonts) speed up the process of designing.
To add palettes and set up brand fonts, go to “Brand Kit” from the left menu of the main Canva dashboard. The rest is pretty intuitive. Click on “Add new Palette” to add brand colors, and edit the brand fonts by clicking the pencil icons under “Brand fonts.”
Also, speaking of fonts…
7. Upload Custom Fonts in Canva Pro
If you want your graphics and printables to be on-brand, you can upload your brand fonts in Canva Pro. To add a font, go to “Brand Kit” like you would when adding brand palettes and logos. Scroll down and at the bottom of “Brand Fonts,” you will see the option to “upload a font.”
8. Organize Everything with Unlimited Folders
The free version of Canva only has the option to create just one folder. If you have a lot of designs for a lot of different things, or if you like to keep everything organized so you can find designs easily, then you’ll love Canva Pro’s unlimited folders option.
Not only that you can have unlimited folders, but you can also create sub-folders within other folders. If you are real anal about compartmentalizing and keeping things neatly organized, then this is a must-have feature for you.
9. Upload As Many Assets As You Wish
Do you create graphics and other collaterals with your own images or custom icons, or whatever have you?
With Canva Pro, you don’t have to worry about running out of space. You can store as many custom assets as you wish. Space is unlimited!
Back in the days before Canva Pro added this feature, sharing Canva templates as freebies was a nightmare!
I say template, but back then, the only thing I could do was share the actual design, and ask everyone that they should create a copy of the design before adding customizations. But not everyone listens, do they?! The result was that every single day, I’d have to set aside some time to reverse whatever edits other users would add to these designs.
But then Canva Pro added the “share as template” option, which finally allowed to treat a design like a real template. When you share a design as a template, whenever someone clicks the template link, Canva automatically creates a fresh copy of the original design in the user’s account, leaving the original master design intact.
Such a life-saver!
To share a design as a template, click the “Share” button on top-right (next to “Download”), and then at the bottom of the popup, from the drop-down choose “Share a link to use as template.” And then, click “copy link” to copy the sharable link. Share this link with your audience, and they’ll be able to use the design as a template.
These are my top 10 Canva Pro features that make it worth the investment. The Pro version has a bunch of other features, of course, not just these ten. These are simply my favorite ones, and I believe that if you’re a blogger, you’ll benefit from these features as well.
Below you’ll find some of the Canva Pro features. Canva is always adding new things to its free as well as Pro versions, so even this list is not current. For example, the list below does not include version control or template share options.
Are you using Canva Pro yet? If not, what’s stopping you? And if you are using it, then what’s your favorite Pro feature(s)? Feel free to share in the comments below!
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