Writers in the Storm

A blog about writing

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February 26, 2016

A Marketing Tool That's FUN!

I can hear you saying, Noooooo! Not another thing I have to do to build a platform! I'm already on FB, Twitter, Pinterest, I Blog, have a website, Instagram, Google Plus , Linkdin, Goodreads . . . Okay, I'll stop, because I'm depressing myself, but just know that I could go on.

But what if there was a passive marketing tool? One that you create, send it out into the webverse, and forget it? Like a satellite, it goes into orbit, and does it's thing, without any maintenance? Would you be willing to try it then?  What if it gave your creative side a facial and a relaxing massage at the same time?

Impossible?

Nope.

Enter:

canva-circle-logo

 

Oh, you say, the software that makes cat memes? Well, yes. But I'll bet that you pass on those cute memes every day on social media. Come on, admit it. Cute cats, funny sayings, or, in Orly and my case, coffee, goats, horses, mini pigs, squirrels with purses, and an occasional ostrich.

Funny-Cat-Meme-Work-13

But wait, there's a lot more to it than cat memes!

If the meme links to something - a website, an article or other info, I sometimes click on it, don't you? Even if I don't, when I share it, all my followers see it, and I get up to 30 shares on a typical day.  Many of those people have friends that share too. On and on. Social media is The Force.

All you need is an eye-catching photo, and something to say. Hey, we're authors. We have LOTS to say!  Some of you know that I'm a quoteaholic. I post a Cowboy quote and an Author quote every morning on Twitter (@PBRWriter). I have books full of them. Universal truths are universal for a reason; they touch everyone. Hello, shareability! And, if the quote says something about the books you write, all the better!

The world is roundPHOTOS:  They're free on many sites. My favorite is Photopin, but Morguefile, Gratisography and many others are good, too. Or, you can use your own personal photos. The main thing to remember (besides giving credit to the photographer or the site), is that you want a lot of blank space. Preferably monotone, so lettering shows up well.

I love the one below - it goes perfectly with the saying - but the saying is hard to read because  of the color shift.

 

 

Ad brick walls are there to stop the

 

 

Don't forget to put your info on it!!!! I refer to my website.

Canva has tons of layouts, a good choice of fonts, and you can use their backgrounds and photos if you'd like. Some are free, some are cheap. And it's EASY to USE!

 

Add subtitle text (1)                   My whole life

But wait, there's more!

You can use Canva to make memes for your books as well. The saying? Your logline, or a great line from your blurb. Or a great line from a review. Something compelling that will make readers want to pick it up.

Here are two I made for my recent release.

The first woman bullfighter (1)

A story of Family

I post these everywhere: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, my website . . . every platform I have. If I were into swag, I'd have postcards made.

Here are some tips that may help you dive into Canva:

  • There are many sizes to choose from for posts - horizontal, vertical orientations, even ones that fit FB, etc. perfectly. Or, you can make one that's a custom size.
  • You can upload your photo, or buy one for $1 from Canva.
  • There is a section called 'Elements' that give you the option to put 'shapes' (squares, elipticals, etc) into your design.
    OR
  • You can choose one of their custom layouts (most cost, but they are very nice).
  • You can choose from custom backgrounds - either colors, or textures. The nice ones are $.99
  • Text - they have quite a few fonts and sizes to choose from, and you can use any color you can think of. Or they have custom ones (for cost).
  • When you're done, I'd suggest downloading your design to your computer, and posting from there. The ones that come straight from Canva have their ads on your post.

This may seem overwhelming, but it's not, I promise. If I know what I want to do, I can create a design in a half hour or less.

So what do you think? Have I convinced you that Canva is worth your time? Oh come on, you know you want to go create a cat meme!

*  *  *  *  *  *

About Laura

Author Headshot SmallLaura Drake is a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. She writes both Women's Fiction and Romance.

She sold her Sweet on a Cowboy series, romances set in the world of professional bull riding, to Grand Central.  The Sweet Spot won the 2014 Romance Writers of America®   RITA® award in the Best First Book category.

Her 'biker-chick' novel, Her Road Home, sold to Harlequin's Superomance line (August, 2013) and has expanded to three more stories set in the same small town.

In January, Laura released her first Women's Fiction, Days Made of Glass.

In 2014, Laura realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She's a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.

Twitter  Facebook

41 comments on “A Marketing Tool That's FUN!”

  1. Laura, this is awesome. I always wondered where you got all those awesome quotes, pics and jokes. Now I know! I've had Canva on my (very long) list of things to check out, but I didn't realize that you could set it and forget it. I'm printing this out and will look into it over the weekend.

  2. I’ve used Canva for a while not. It’s a great tool for personalizing banners, book covers, etc. I do wish, however, you had the option of a background. In the free option, I find that very limiting to different designs. That may be something workable in an upgrade, but to date I’m sticking with the free options.

    1. You're right, Sheila - there aren't many. BUT go look up free wallpapers. There are a TON (including the ones that Canva charges for. You'll need to cut or adjust the size in a photo manipulation program, but hey, FREE!

  3. Yes! I'm convinced. Laura, this is terrific! So much to love, not the least of which is its own little engine that keeps it chugging once you send it out into the Interverse. Thank you so much for sharing! 😀

  4. I'm sold! I've played with Canva a bit and need to seriously sit down and master it. How long did it take you to be comfortable with Canva? Love your images and have shared many times.

    1. Isn't that funny, Kristina, I LOVE doing it! It uses a different side of my creativity, and if I don't do it now and again, I miss it! I trade off, Canva, and making changes to my website to freshen it.

      I'm a sick puppy, I guess....

  5. I haven't used Canva but have played around with others. Great ... another squirrel to tame. 🙂

  6. Okay, Laura. This is actually something I am willing to do. And you're right-it will be fun. Thanks!

  7. Laura, I had no idea how this worked. Thanks! And you can track click-throughs? You get 30 a day? Wow, I'm impressed.

  8. Laura, I used Canva to create images out of quotes from the pastor for a church I helped with social media and rebranding. We've taken their Facebook page from 150 likes to over 2K in 9 months. It's been awesome. 🙂

    1. I thought you like that. We used the same techniques and shot the pastor onto social media like a rocket. He started a page last August while I was on my trip and he is over 2K in followers as well.

  9. I love the idea. Memes are great! I wonder though...when do we have time to write as we are doing all this social media? I have a hard time keeping up with my own blog post (Historical fiction Addicts) and my full time job as a teacher. However, I will be trying Canva!

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