Templates are totally underrated. We live in a world where idea generation and continual content creation is expected from us. While creating new content is always exciting and something we should look forward to as content creators, sometimes we hit a snag in our content creation duties.
Does creating blog post graphics stress you out? Or does deciding on a final blog post title make you break out in hives? Okay, so maybe hives are a little dramatic, but you get the idea! Certain aspects of our online business are just not our forte – and that’s okay. Templates exist to help make our lives a little bit easier and help our businesses run a wee bit smoother.
Whether you hear the word ‘template’ and think of something that will help you format your blog post structure or a ready-to-go graphic layout waiting for you on Canva; templates will save you time, make your stress-inducing business tasks easier, and help you create cohesive content. After reading this blog post you’re going to learn how to properly utilize templates for your digital graphics so you can supercharge your online business.
I’m a huge advocate for working smarter, not harder. Templates are life-changing when you implement them correctly in your business. We all have certain tasks that take us a bit longer to iron out but if a template is utilized from the start, it’s amazing how much quicker that task can be.
I just read your mind, didn’t I? This seems to be the first thought my clients tend to think when I suggest using templates and it’s why templates often get a bad reputation. People automatically assume that if they use someone else’s template, the templates will not work for their brand and by using them, they will just be copying someone else’s style.
Typically, when you download a template for your social media or blog post graphics they are created using a standard color set. Sometimes the creator will use their own brand colors and sometimes they will create a neutral or bold color set to help you see how these templates will easily match the feel of your brand. I suggest that after you download your templates, you first swap out the colors included with your own brand colors. This will instantly help to transform the templates into something that feels a little more personal to your brand.
Once you’ve swapped your colors into the template, take a look at the fonts used. Are they wildly different from the fonts you’ve been using on your website? If your audience is used to seeing bold sans serif lettering and these templates suggest you use handwriting or script fonts to highlight your content, I would suggest integrating these new fonts into your designs sparingly. If you are looking to overhaul your online presence to fit this new design style, then please feel free to make the leap. But if you are just using these templates for one aspect of your business, while the rest of your brand follows your previous design style, take the time to make sure everything integrates well together.
If you are new here, I should let you know that I have a degree in graphic design. That’s actually how I first entered into the beautiful world of marketing. With that being said, I love my Adobe programs; Photoshop is my jam, InDesign is magic, and Illustrator is amazing. However, I am a sucker for time-saving strategies and simple ways to make great content for free. **Enter Canva**
I’m going to be completely honest with you, when Canva first started to become popular, my inner graphic design snob laughed at those who were using this online tool to create all of their designs when Photoshop was so easily available. “You can’t make professional-looking graphics on THAT,” I thought. Who would have guessed that a few years down the line I would solely be using Canva for almost all of my online graphic needs! The following examples are all templates I’ve created on Canva that I rely on daily.
A Featured Blog Post Image is the graphic that auto-populates as the image when you link to the blog post to Facebook. This is also the image that is shown with the preview text on the blog homepage to entice someone to click your image. To create these graphics, I have a template set up in Canva where all I have to do is drop in a photo that aligns with the content of the post and insert my blog title and BAM, this graphic is done in less than 10 seconds.
Pinterest Optimized Images are the most important graphics I create for my blog because Pinterest works as my number one traffic source. If someone visits my site and enjoys a blog post enough to want to save it for future reference, I want it to be as easy as possible for them to save it to their Pinterest feed for optimal viewing. By including Pinterest optimized sized graphics in my blog post, when someone Pins the post to their feed it will stand out against typical sized blog graphics (like the featured blog post graphic) which makes it more visible to their audience which in turn drives more traffic to my site for free. If you don’t already include Pinterest optimized graphics on your blog posts, I hope the chance of gaining free exposure and more potential viewers is enough to change your game plan. To create these graphics, I once again turn to my Canva template where I drop in my headline, blog category, and appropriate imagery.
It should be no surprise that any text graphics on my Instagram feed are also made on Canva. Whether it’s a quote, a business tip, or an infographic, these are all made from templates I have laid out on Canva. I start from a standard graphic template and depending on the design I want, I can modify the content appropriately.
If you’re not already using Instagram Stories as a way to interact with your followers, please do yourself a favor and jump on the bandwagon. Whether you create a standard background that you can upload and then type directly onto it within Instagram or you use Canva to create This or That styled posts, you will not regret the results! I currently have templates created for text posts that I can upload to my Instagram Stories and I often check out the pre-made templates that Canva provides to inspire my own This or That type of Stories.