I’m one of those people where a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing. I learn part way how something works and then I roar off on my own, figuring I can do it from here. This is how it’s been with my blog journey. Like everyone else who is trying to make a living blogging, and consequently using Pinterest to drive traffic to their blog, I have read every free diy post. Watched every free how-to-create-a-pin video. Listened to podcasts, and sat through webinars. All free of course – because I don’t have any money to spend on my blog which may not survive any given month. But now more than a year into my blogging, I am suddenly having some success. I’ve gone from 7 viewers to 175,000 this month. I’ve had a few pins going viral-ish. I finally have some ads up. So, with each small success I realize I have to improve a little bit more. I am not giving up. I have too much energy invested at this point. So this is my confession of Newbie stupidness that probably could have been avoided if I had actually watched ALL of those videos and listened a little more carefully to the podcasts and webinars.
I have made lots of errors but I thought I would focus on just my Canva mistakes today. What is Canva, you may ask? Canva.com is an amazing design website that helps you make awesome social media visuals. Sort of like photoshop but easier and more user friendly. Did I mention it was FREE. (By the way – I am not being paid or receiving any commissions from Canva to talk about this – this is my absolute honest, unbiased opinion.) One of the BEST things about Canva is it already has the correct sizes for various media. The longer Pinterest Pin, an Instagram template, Facebook, etc. So basically you sign on, select the template/layout you want and you are off and running. You can switch out pictures, add words in cool fonts, and so on.
It’s so easy that nearly ANYBODY can use it. And now that I have been floating around Pinterest for awhile I can tell that LOTS of people are using the cool layouts, photos and fonts. Which is why I decided to create this list of of weird mistakes. Because I have made them, and I see them happening again and again. Just trying to be helpful.
10 Weird Canva Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
1. When you pick a Canva layout – actually change the pictures in the layout. Change the colors too. Otherwise, all of us who use Canva will know EXACTLY which layout you used and it will seem unprofessional. I have seen pins that are basically the same picture with different words. I just think it looks tacky and like you couldn’t be bothered to find something that fit your pin better. Change the picture. It’ll take less than a minute.
2. Rename your pin from whatever the Canva name was. I didn’t think this was a problem for about a month and so I had downloaded lovely pin jpegs of forests that were named Cool Baby Toys. It didn’t occur to me that computers can read the hidden names of your pictures. Apparently those social media computerized bots that figure things out are confused by a picture of a forest that is called a picture of a baby toy. So on Pinterest, these bots don’t know where to catalogue your pin. Is it a forest or a toy? See? Solve the problem by changing the jpeg name from baby toys to forests and it won’t be a problem any more.
3. Don’t use fonts that are not easy to read – no matter how CUTE they are. It’s ok to have a word or two in script. But an all script pin is hard to read from a distance for those of us who are scrolling past dozens of pins. I have learned this the hard way.
4. Be aware of the subtle messages that your color combinations convey. I used a beautiful pale blue and red combination for a pin called What’s next God?
I thought it looked pretty good. Then I read somewhere to check on your pins by looking at what Pinterest suggests as being like your pin. At the time I made the pin, I didn’t have a good description and I hadn’t changed the name of the jpeg. So when I looked at the pin, I saw that Pinterest recommended pins about the movie FROZEN. Somehow I had captured that color combo. The snowflakes also contributed to the confusion.
Another pin which was a beautiful colorful stain glass window of Jesus with the Children, Pinterest interpreted to be a Marvel comic book drawing. Jesus is a superman, but my pin was being incorrectly placed and recommended. There are other problems with that pin as well. The script is hard to read against the busy background.
5. Be careful about the photo you pick for your pin. For a pin for my blog post, Do You Believe God Will Provide, I used a beautiful free photo from Canva of a loaf of bread. A great image of God’s provision. But that particular image has been used a gazillion times for various recipe pins, so my pin was being lumped in with bread-making posts. Sigh. One way around this kind of an issue is to take your own photos. Something that I am still not doing enough.
6. Misspellings. Check and double check your spellings on your pins. Check your grammar. I see pins floating by all the time missing letters, and words. I have posted pins only to discover I had missed a word here or there. You can’t leave mistakes like that up. It’s impossible to get it back once it’s released to the eternal internet. But you need to try to at least fix it on your blog and all your boards. Otherwise, you look sloppy and uneducated and yes, unprofessional. So getting it right before you post it IS IMPORTANT.
7. Carefully inspect your pin for stray letters or parts of a previous title. When you use Canva, you change the title and words to suit your needs. Sometimes if the print is dark, it’s possible a stray letter or piece of a previous title is hiding in the midst of your beautiful visual. I had a lovely pin that had been up for two weeks, when I noticed an F floating in the middle of the picture. An F. And that’s the grade I would give myself on that pin.
8. Misspelling your web address. Yes. I have done this, too. I have also accidentally left up the website from the Cava layout. Face palm. Someone else might not notice the tiny misspelling of your website name. But good luck with them clicking through or copying it down. Since I place a tiny website referral on all my pins, I need it to be correct.
9. Not creating more than one pin for your blog post. I saw this advice early on but I just felt like it was a waste of time. Actually while you are creating your title visual, you might as well create a second one with a different feel. So much easier to go in and switch out the picture and you get more mileage for your post. I have read you should make at least three.
10. Not creating a branded look for your posts. Again, since I knew everything about blogging from the moment I was born, I didn’t realize that branding was something ELSE to consider. I am still working on my brand and my brand colors. The idea is that whenever someone sees your posts they know it’s you – your brand. It might be the colors, the fonts, certain images etc. Branding takes time and honing in on what you are trying to convey. But it doesn’t hurt to start working with a color pallet. I am still working on mine, but at least I have an idea of the colors and feel I am trying to convey. I am not going to immediately change all my old pins to match it, but going forward I can try to work toward that brand identity.
I hope these suggestions will be helpful for you. We will all make mistakes which is how we learn and grow. And if we share with each other what we have learned we will grow that much faster. Happy Pinning!
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Peggy is a wife, mother, and grandmother who loves to write about the Love of God and encourage others in their faith. She lives near the ocean in the Los Angeles area and has multiple cats and one very fuzzy dog.