You're busy. Between planning lessons and grading papers, it's hard to keep your blog up and running as it is. So why put the time into creating good graphics for your teacher blog?
The fact is, good graphics matter a lot. People process visual information faster than any other kind of information, which means we’re more capable and more willing to engage with it. And the more visually appealing the content, the more interested our brains become.
Here are a few facts on engagement and good graphics:
- Posts with an album or photo drive up to 180% more engagement than those without
- Viewers spend 100% more time on web pages with videos
- Viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video
Bottom line: If you want to draw more traffic to your blog, you need to have good graphics.
One added bonus is that you’ll want to spend more time on your blog, too: like cleaning up a messy desk, improving the look of your blog allows the mind to focus on what’s in front of it rather than get distracted by disorganization and clutter.
So where do you begin? How can you make your graphics more visually appealing and draw more viewers to your blog?
The elements of good graphics
First off, be consistent. Consistency of style should be present throughout your blog. This means choosing a color scheme, typography, and text-to-image balance that remains more or less the same across all sections of your site.
When it comes to selecting a color scheme, start off by picking a primary and secondary color combination. You could, for example, choose blue as your primary color and green as your secondary color. What this means is that you’ll use blue for major headings, borders, backgrounds, and any other large blocks of color; and green for subheadings, minor borders, and smaller areas of color.
Typography should also be consistent across your site. Within images, pair the color of the font with the color of items within the photo or illustration to help add visual cohesiveness.
Next, think about balance. Images should be balanced with text on the web page and within graphics and blog posts themselves. For example, you don’t want ten images in a blog post of five hundred words, and you don’t want one image in a blog post of two thousand words.
Balance doesn’t always mean symmetry; it can mean asymmetry too. In this Live in the moment template, for instance, you’ll want to provide balance by placing text in the corner of a photo if the primary image is off to one side:
If your ultimate goal is to drive more traffic to your site, make your graphics as shareable as possible. This means using high quality images that speak to viewers on a personal or emotional level, making your graphics versatile (some viewers will repurpose your graphic in a way that’s not related to education, which could actually widen your audience), embedding links, and adding videos.
Take this Inspirational Quote Tumblr Graphic for example. It’s shareable not only because it’s an attractive image but because a wide range of viewers can relate to the message. If the graphic is being shared around the web via social media, a wide range of viewers will end up following the link to your site.
These are just a few things to consider for anyone who wants to create quality graphics, but as we’re here to talk about teacher blogs, let’s dive into specifics next.
Teacher blog tips
01. Design a blog logo
You want viewers to feel like they’re at home when they visit your blog. Set aside space at the top of your page to showcase the name and tagline of your blog. Be sure it captures your personal and professional style, and uniquely brands your site without being too flashy.
If you choose to include an icon, keep it simple in case you need to replicate it in a smaller form—for instance, on teaching materials you want to sell in an online marketplace.
You can use Canva’s logo tools to design yours. The background isn’t so important, as you’ll probably end up overlaying it onto a banner or blank page anyway. Check out this Learning Matters Logo for inspiration.
02. Draw the eye with a slideshow
A slideshow offers the motion-based appeal of a video without the clunky presence of a video itself. The viewer’s eye will be drawn to the images and the motion, which is a chance to deliver important messages right up front. You’ll want to feature photos that represent your teachings goals or showcase banner images from popular blog posts.
First, create your slideshow in Canva. Once you're ready, click on the Share button and select the Embed option to embed your design on your teacher blog:
Your blog theme may come with the option to add a slideshow to the home page. Most Wordpress sites allow you to add slideshows pretty much wherever you’d like.
Teaching a new course? Advertise it in your slideshow with this Development Course blog header template.
03. Include at least one image per post
You don’t want too much text and you don’t want too many images, but a good rule of thumb is to include at least one image per blog post, or blog-post-length block of text. The eye needs an occasional break from words and blank space; deliberately place photos or illustrations at regular intervals throughout your post if you can manage it.
Canva has over a million images to choose from, like this Empty Classroom Image, and you can of course upload and use your own.
04. Make your graphics consistent throughout
You don’t need every illustration to have a purple background or every single photo to include shots of desks and pencils, but there should be some cohesiveness to how things look. So here are some things to think about:
- Color theme: use the same colors throughout your blog
- Text-to-image ratio: keep it balanced
- Image frequency: at least one per post
- Illustration-photo balance: keep the ratio the same
Take a look at educator Jennifer Findley’s blog, which is a great example of how consistent graphics look.
Her web page is clean and crisp, with an eye-catching logo, a slideshow, consistent font and color scheme, and a blog feed where each post is shown in preview mode with an excerpt and accompanything thumbnail image.
The images themselves always consist of a simple classroom-themed background photo with a border or placeholder and text.
Use one of Canva’s presentation templates to experiment with different layouts and themes before formally launching your site. You can create a series of pages and try out different colors, fonts, and image layouts to see what looks best to you. Then enter presentation mode to view your design as a whole and see where you can make improvements.
05. Quick tip: classroom photo with shape + text
One of the easiest ways to create a great looking image for your blog is to overlay a placeholder with text onto a classroom-themed photo. Choose fonts that match the color of items in the background, and use contrasting shapes like a circular placeholder on top of a square background.
Although some design experts will tell you to keep the backgrounds of your images simple, a colorful and slightly busy photo of folders and colored pencils won’t crowd your design because viewers will recognize it as “another classroom photo” and pay more attention to the text in the foreground anyway.
Canva has tons of classroom-themed photos to choose from, or you can upload your own. Try out this Stripe Bordered Back to School Photo Collage.
06. Quick tip: pair a striking photo with a line + text
Your photos don’t always have to be classroom themed, of course, but they should engage the eye. Consider the subject of your post as you browse through images, and choose photos that compliment your message and heighten the theme of your blog.
Start with a beautiful photo like this Oranges one and when you select Elements, choose “Line.” Simply add the line to you photo and type in the text you want. That’s how easy it is to create a beautiful, unique image for a new post.
07. Quick tip: combine illustrations with photos
Graphics that combine illustration, text, and photos tend to please the eye. Place your message within an illustration and upload it alongside one photo or a collage of photos.
Here’s a Yellow School Supplies Studying Kid School Photo Collage to show you how. The yellow background of the illustration heightens the yellow of the child’s shirt, and the fact that the child is shown in two different poses creates a “before-and-after” effect that compliments the message in the text.
If you’re advertising an upcoming educational workshop or event, you can add some more informative text within the illustration, as with this Brown Paint Art Photo Collage. Notice how the color of the illustration compliments the color of the table surface in the photo, and how the white banner-style text placeholder draws your eye to the words “Art & Craft Workshop.”
08. Create a striking banner
Posts can have multiple images, but you might try selecting one main banner-style image to introduce each post. You can also create a header for your home page this way, and add your logo to it.
One trick to increase engagement and draw more traffic to your blog is to embed links or social media sharing icons within your banner, so that when viewers hover over the image they have the option of sharing it with their network.
09. Organize resources with labels
Want to share resources on your blog? Some teachers have a section of their site devoted to classroom tools, lesson plans, and other resources meant to be shared with followers. You’ll want to organize them on your page in an intuitive but eye-catching way, so try using labels which link to a gallery of resources when clicked on by viewers.
There’s also a section of templates called “Media Kits” which can be adapted and shared as teacher toolkits. These are useful for putting together multi-page resources (e.g. in PDF format) and drawing some attention to them with colorful covers. Or, if you just need a single page, choose from the Book Covers section. Try this Skyblue Stripes Art Press Media Kit or this Orange School Materials Illustrated Notebook Ebook Cover to get started.
10. Boost your social media game
With Canva you can create awesome graphics for your social platforms, which will catch viewers’ attention to your posts and draw them to your blog from the outside. You can even create Twitter and Facebook headers that match the theme of your blog.
For instance, here’s a great Yellow Guitar Music Quote Twitter Header for music teachers out there. You can add a link to your website and promote traffic on both channels. If you’ve created a blog logo in Canva already, you can use it in your social media header as well. Or it can work the other way around: you can even upload this design onto your blog to attract Twitter followers.
Creating quality graphics for your teacher blog doesn’t have to be intimidating. There are countless ways to use Canva to spruce up your home page, blog feed, and all other areas of your site.
The trick is to get comfortable experimenting while staying true to your personality and brand. The more fun you have, the more naturally your designs will fall into place and the faster you’ll draw traffic to your site.
Pretty soon you’ll be calling yourself a designer without batting an eye.