Why Canva Scores Over Free Stock Photo Sites

A couple of years back, I published over 41 image sources for free stock photos and images. And I explained about how I was using ‘Google Images’ to source targeted pictures for my blog posts, and then how (and why) I started using images with a Creative Commons License only.

Fast forward today, and I’m beginning to use Canva for almost all things images!

Even though I had already listed Canva in several listicles of mineI wasn’t using it in a big way. However, while I was working on The Web Hosting HandbookI suddenly realized that it’s much easier (and sensible) to create a custom, unique image rather than using one from an image source like Flickr, or even a stock photography website like FreeDigitalPhotos.net123RF.com, etc.

The reason is pretty simple… I always end up spending a lot of time to find an image that matches my criteria (that is, it must come with a Creative Commons License, it must be of high-quality, and it must match the context of the content in one way or another.).

I must mention here that it is possible to find an image that matches one’s taste, but it’s definitely not easy (at least for me) — especially on Flickr, and as a result, there are times when I’ve ended up using a not-so relevant image like this, thisthis, and this —- meaning I’ve been forced to choose an image even though I didn’t like it!

As I began my search for a relevant image for The Web Hosting Handbook, I spent a lot of time on Flickr to find an image that’s closely related to ‘Web Hosting’ and believe it or not, my search failed miserably! It was then that I decided to give Canva a try and successfully created an image that was closely tailored to my requirements. Hurray!

Since the blog post was all about ‘Web Hosting Companies’, I created a custom image, filled with logos of these companies. And when I completed it, I was happy to note that I didn’t take as much time as I thought I would! Even if it did take longer than I’d expected, I would still be happy because a custom image on a blog post has at least these advantages:

  • I don’t have to desperately search Flickr (or a stock photo site) to find that perfect image.
  • I don’t have to link to another website (to give image credit).
  • I get (some) SEO advantage by using a more relevant image that’s created with my target keyword in mind.
  • I can write a custom message within the image, making it even more suitable.

For instance, when I created the listicle Blogging Tools 501I wanted to name it ‘The Blogpreneur’s Swiss Army Knife’ but I decided against it as it would be a very short title without any of my target keywords. So, I quickly went to Canva and designed a text image with my title ‘The Blogpreneur’s Swiss Army Knife’.

The downside? Not much I would say except for the extra time that may go into designing that ideal image.

I’m quite happy with Canva as now I am getting personalized (plus search-friendly) images like this, and thiswithout too much effort!

Wait, Canva is not the only tool that’s good for creating blog post images. I also like Pablo by Buffer as it is a very simple design tool. In fact, Pablo scores over Canva when it comes to images for social media posts (like this or this) as they offer premium background images for free (while Canva charges $1 per premium image).

Image Credit: Flickr Me! :D

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Mahesh Mohan

Agnostic, Apolitical, Bluephile, Brutally honest, Curious, Digital Creator, Finance geek, Marketing ninja, Microsoft fanatic, Multi-passionate nerd, Overthinker, Perfectionist, Workaholic.

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About Mahesh (@maheshone)

Mahesh Mohan

Agnostic, Apolitical, Bluephile, Brutally honest, Curious, Digital Creator, Finance geek, Marketing ninja, Microsoft fanatic, Multi-passionate nerd, Overthinker, Perfectionist, Workaholic.

Say hi: @maheshone

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