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How to Sell Canva Templates with WordPress (Make More Money!)

Illustration: the Canva online design tool

Do you want to use your graphic design skills to make money online? You should sell Canva templates. This is an incredible can’t-miss opportunity to grow your business.

In this article we’ll explain how to easily sell Canva templates with WordPress. We’ll also explain more about what Canva is, and why this is a good opportunity to move on right away. You’ll be able to develop a new source of revenue quite quickly.

Canva makes it easy for anyone to design anything from social media graphics to t-shirts. It’s growing very quickly. At the moment it has around 75 million users, which is up from 60 million users less than a year ago! More than 500,000 of them are paying users.

Smart graphic designers are getting in on this quickly expanding market.

Let’s get after it. Here’s what we’ll cover. You can skip around as needed:


Get Started Now

All you need to create Canva templates that can sold is:

  1. A way to sell templates
  2. A free Canva account
  3. Some design skills or creativity to make templates to sell

First we’ll set up a way to sell your Canva templates.


Step 1: Install Easy Digital Downloads

The best way to sell your Canva templates in WordPress is the Easy Digital Downloads plugin.

WordPress + Easy Digital Downloads Logos

With just a few clicks, Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) turns your WordPress website into a full-featured eCommerce store. Sell unlimited downloads while controlling every aspect of the customer experience.

  1. Get started with Easy Digital Downloads
  2. Learn more about installation on this Quick Start Doc

Once you have installed EDD on your website, you’ll see a new menu item on the left side of your WordPress dashboard that says Downloads.

EDD calls the products for sale on your website “downloads”.

Screenshot: new Downloads menu item

Next we’ll walk you through setting up a Canva template to sell. Pay special attention to the template links.


Step 2: Make Canva Graphic

First some great news. To make Canva templates, you just need a free Canva account. You don’t need a Canva Pro account anymore to share a template. Up until February 2021 a Pro plan was required for that.

Note: a Canva Free account does have a few key limitations to keep in mind, although you can work around them.

  • You can only export PNGs, JPGs, and PDFs. You cannot export vector SVG files
  • Your design templates cannot have transparent backgrounds
Screenshot: Canva download export settings
The crowns signify Canva Pro features

Making A Graphic

Today we will make a lower-third video graphic as a sample project. We will use the Canva free plan.

For our graphic we’ll start a new project by clicking Create A Design.

Screenshot: Canva create a design button

Next, we’ll choose the Custom Size and make our document 2000px by 350px. This is great to put at the bottom third of a video.

Screenshot: Canva custom size settings

Last, we’ll have some fun making a design. We’ll use a free text element to add ‘Subscribe now!’. Then we’ll put together a goofy custom fist bump graphic using some stock graphics. 

Screenshot: Canva editor in action

Note: the stock graphics used here are from our own collection of stock images we purchased elsewhere. Using graphics not available to all Canva users is is how your templates will stand out from the rest.

Using Template Links

When your graphic is done, you need to get the Template Link. 

Click on the Share button on the top right.

Screenshot: Canva Share button

Next, click on the Share a link to dropdown. Select the option to Share a link to use as Template option.

Screenshot: Sell Canva templates with the share button dropdown

Last, click on the Copy Link button to add the link to your clipboard. Also, you should save the link to a text file, document or note on your computer somewhere so you can grab it for the Download Files section of step 3 below. we’ll do later.

Screenshot: Canva template link

You may want to use a link shortener for these links. Here is a great article about shortening links with WordPress.

When another Canva user clicks this template link, they’ll be taken to a special web page. The page will have a preview image and a button that says Use Template.

Screenshot: Canva template share page

When they click that button, a new copy of the file will be opened in their editor. This copy is their own and they can customize it and use it however they want.

💰 Access to that link is what you are selling. This is how you’ll make money, by only giving this template link to paying customers. ⬇️ Here’s how.


Step 3: Set Up Template For Sale

We’re going to create a Download, or product, from the template link.

On your WordPress dashboard, under Downloads click Add New.

Screenshot: EDD and Canva - Add New Download

First you need to give the Download a name. Then add a description, describe it in a way that makes it irresistible to purchase. 😇

Screenshot: EDD and Canva - Download Name and Description

Next, set a price for your template.

Screenshot: EDD and Canva - Download Price

After that, we need to configure the Download Files, in this case it’s just one ‘file’. This is what the customer gets after purchase. In this case, the download is your Canva template link.

  1. Under File Name type in a phrase that describes the product. We suggest, for this example, typing “video graphic template”.
  2. Under File URL paste in the Canva template link from above.
Screenshot: EDD and Canva - Download Files

Last, you need to add an attractive product image. This is important. It’s the preview image of what they are buying. Make sure it looks nice and helps them understand how the graphic is used. Check out this article for tips and templates for product images.

In the case of our lower-third graphic sample, we made a graphic that demonstrates its use in the context of a video.

Go under Download Image and upload your image.

Screenshot: EDD and Canva - Download Image

Great work! That’s it. Click Publish.

Set Up a Payment Method

You need to set up a way for customers to pay. We recommend using Stripe. If Stripe is not available in your area, PayPal is a good option. Click the links below to get started:


Step 4: View Final Results

Once you have created your Download and set up a payment method, your template is ready to sell. Let’s give it a look. 

Click on View Download button on the top of the right side bar.

Screenshot: EDD and Canva - View Download

You’ll see your Canva template page on the front-end of your website. In the example below we are using the Astra theme. Your page look will vary depending on which WordPress theme you have. EDD works with any WordPress theme and we also have a list of suggested themes.

Screenshot: EDD and Canva - Frontend Product Page

Customers will click the Purchase button. The item will be added to their cart. Next, they will click the button again, which now says Checkout.

After making a purchase, customers will see the purchase confirmation page. This page will have a link to the Canva template.

Screenshot: EDD and Canva - Purchase Confirmation Page

Customers will also get a purchase receipt email. The default email looks like this:

Screenshot: Sell Canva template purchase confirmation email

🎉 Great work! You have a full-featured eCommerce store ready to sell Canva templates.


Understanding The Canva Market

Canva is an online design tool. It was started in 2013.

It’s a website app that makes it easy to work with layered graphics. Using the Canva website is similar to using an Adobe, Affinity or Sketch apps. But it’s way easier to use.

You don’t have to download any software. You can jump on and work from any computer, anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.

Canva has a free version that is quite powerful. You can use templates or make custom graphics of different sizes for different uses.

Screenshot: the Canva editor in a browser

There is also a Canva Pro Plan for solo users or small teams. There are paid plans for large enterprises as well. And get this, it’s free to use for registered non-profits and NGOs.

Free to use ✅. Works on just about any computer ✅. Quick and effective results ✅.

It’s not hard to imagine why Canva is popular and growing really fast.

Tips for Making Appealing Canva Templates

  • Consider using only fonts that are available on the Canva Free plan, so that everyone can use your template. If you use a font only available in the Pro plan someone could have a negative experience and be forced to use a different font.
  • If you use stock photos or illustrations in your Canva template, keep in mind the possible license restrictions. Try to use royalty free photos or illustrations. Or purchase extended licenses that allow for resale. You’ll have to look at the terms of use of any stock photos or illustrations you are using in your templates (more details below).
  • There are lots of types of downloadable products you can make with Canva. Get creative and imagine all the things a small business could use: workbooks, printables, planners, media kits, infographics, resumes, business cards, social media templates, affiliate marketing creatives… There are so many!  

Design Skill and Creativity

You’ll need some design skill and creativity to make Canva designs others will want to use. You’ll have to bring value by making unique designs that are worth purchasing. Remember, anyone can make a pretty decent graphic pretty quickly using Canva themselves.

You also have to be sure not to plagiarize other people’s work. You can’t take an existing Canva template, make some minor modifications, and then resell it.

You’ll need to be making entirely new designs. Making entirely new designs will also be what sets apart your templates from others and makes them worth purchasing.

Optional: Other Design Apps

You’ll probably want to have a graphic design app like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, Affinity Designer or Photo, Sketch for building custom graphics.

The Canva free plan allows you to access hundreds of thousands of free stock photos and graphics. The Canva Pro plan adds access to a huge collection of premium stock photos and graphics.

But remember, everyone who uses Canva has access to these. 

Your Canva templates will be more appealing and valuable if you use custom graphics that are not available to everyone else.

Canva Creators and Elements Creator Programs

There are two programs run by Canva for selling items.

  • Canva Creators is a program for creating templates and making them available for purchase on a Canva-controlled marketplace. It’s still in beta. It’s a good bet they’ll take a hefty cut of each of your purchases, but they haven’t published rates yet.
  • Elements Creator is a program is for creating collections of graphics to be used within Canva designs and templates. It has pretty strict submission guidelines. It’s for high-quality custom artwork collections. Basically like stock photos / graphics for use within Canva.

Canva’s Content Licensing Agreement

Be sure to look at the Canva Content Licensing Agreement. When selling Canva templates you need to make sure you have rights to use and resell the elements within your template. By elements we mean the graphics, photos, shapes, logos, and fonts that make up the template.

Canva has hundreds of thousands of photos and graphics you can use with the Free Plan. Then with the Pro Plan you get hundreds of millions! But bear in mind, if you use Pro graphics/photos in your template that means the person who purchases your template has to have a Pro plan.

It’s better to use the free graphics, or graphics you make, own, or purchase royalty-free elsewhere. You’ll need to check with licensing terms of any graphics you purchase and use within a template.

📒 Learn more on Canva’s Licensing Agreement Page


Disadvantages of Selling Other Solutions

Most other solutions are built for selling physical products that have shipping and inventory tools. This includes a Shopify or WooCommerce. For these solutions, selling digital products, like Canva templates, is an after-thought.

As a result, these solutions can be harder to use, and slower to set up. You’ll waste time configuring an overly-complicated store.

Marketplace websites are easy to use, but also act as a middle man. They charge high fees. They are set up to take a cut of everything you earn. The more you earn, the more they take. This includes Canva Creators, Etsy, Creative Market, and other marketplaces.

It’s usually better to sell your products on your own website.

💡 Why not just set up your own store?

  • ✅ Play by your own rules
  • ✅ Keep all your money

Smart entrepreneurs know that it’s not a good strategy to build your business on someone else’s website. Easy Digital Downloads gives you full control and flexibility.

➡️ Get started with EDD


Why Selling Canva Templates is a Good Opportunity

Selling Canva templates is a good opportunity because Canva has a lot of users and is growing fast.

Maybe you are an established or full-time graphic designer. Perhaps you’ve been successfully selling Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or AfterEffects templates for years. Or you work for an agency or run your own business doing custom work for clients.

You may be asking; “why should I sell templates for some upstart graphic design website?”.

Why sell Canva templates? Here are three reasons:

  1. You can put your existing design skills, know how, and tools to use in this new way to make new sources of revenue.
  2. Most folks using Canva are looking for quick results. They may be beginners, bloggers, or busy small business owners. They don’t have money to hire a designer for custom work. So you can use your design skills to meet that need with little or no overhead expense.
  3. As we have mentioned, Canva is huge, and it’s growing fast. Organizations use Canva a lot for social media, and that will only continue to grow. Canva is likely to become the most popular way to build graphics in the near future.
    • As evidence of Canva’s impact on the world of graphic design, consider that Adobe just launched what seems to be a direct competitor called Adobe Express (launched in mid-December, 2021).

You could use Canva templates to build a new side income stream. This will be passive income which is a great side hustle that doesn’t take too much time.

Looking for another revenue stream?

Consider making templates for VistaCreate as well. You can easily repurpose your content and expand your market. VistaCreate (formerly Crello) is a Canva competitor owned by VistaPrint.

🖼 Learn more and get started


Conclusion

Thanks for reading! You’re ready to grow your online business by selling Canva templates! This is a quickly expanding market, we hope it works well for you.

Looking for a great way to get more traffic and sales on your site? Consider creating a lead magnet (freebie) on your site to grow your email list, click here for a full tutorial.

We have tons of resources for entrepreneurs and digital creators like you! What do you want to learn about next?

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Joe Wells

About Joe Wells

Joe is a Marketing Specialist at Awesome Motive. For years he’s been helping people and organizations succeed with WordPress. He is also the founder of an alternative accounting solution for your side hustle called HustleBooks (powered by Easy Digital Downloads). He and his family live and play just outside Detroit. A busy dad, he enjoys running, watching and creating films.

@thisisjoewells

9 comments

  1. Joe Wells
    1. Joe Wells

      😊 You’re too kind. Thanks. We are really impressed with Canva and hope using it in different ways can be a win-win for digital creators using EDD.

  2. Joe Wells

    Hi Joe, thank you so much for this helpful article. Can you still sell templates on the Canva free account today (2022)? I got the impression elsewhere recently that it’s no longer possible (again!). Thanks in advance.

    1. Joe Wells

      Hello Sally. You’re welcome and thanks for responding. As far as I know, yes, you can sell Canva templates with a free Canva account using the workflow described above. I just did a test with my free Canva account and it all worked. Sidenote: you can’t do this with Canva’s competitor Adobe Creative Cloud Express, but we’re watching it closely for a way to in the future. We’ll share if one becomes available.

  3. Joe Wells
    1. Joe Wells
  4. Joe Wells

    Incredible Post! This post is exceptionally enlightening and supportive. I got a lot of data and direction from this post. much obliged for sharing such a supportive post. Continue To post!!

  5. Joe Wells

    Thanks for the guidance. I was looking for the right plugin for our WordPress site to handle Canva templates sale, having vern frustrated enough by the marketplaces, and Woocommerce isn’t easy to set up either. I believe the search is now completed. Thanks Joe Wells.

    1. Joe Wells

      Hello Michael. That’s music to our ears 😀 🎶. Thanks for letting us know! EDD should be perfect for this use case, and easily give you full control of your online presence. Once you have Canva templates up and selling, consider expanding your product-line to VistaCreate templates as well. Not too too much work to have an entire second product line for a similar market. VistaCreate looks to be also growing fast and competing hard against Canva – https://easydigitaldownloads.com/blog/how-to-make-money-selling-vistacreate-templates-formerly-crello/

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