Category Archives: Website

Make Your Own Graphics For Your Website With No Budget



When starting a Virtual Assistant (VA) business or ANY entrepreneurial business online, there are so many thoughts that gather in your brain to get you started online. There is always the BIG question… How do I get a website going for my business? Of course, you need an “online home”, although many people use social media as they get started to market themselves, eventually you will need a website. You need a digital place to call your own!

Then the next question that comes to mind… How the heck am I gonna pay for that?! EASY! There are so many platforms that are free to get you started such as,, Wix, or Weebly. Okay, cool! But then… the NEXT question that comes to mind is how do I design it? Ahh… Good question!

With the free website platforms, you’ll find many different templates or themes you can choose from, which gives you an awesome start with creating and making the website your own. However, what makes your website different from all the same cookie cutter websites? The graphics!

Make Your Own Graphics For Your Website With No Budget

Many entrepreneurs freak out when they start thinking about hiring a graphic designer and there are some entrepreneurs who are graphic design inclined who use Photoshop and Illustrator. BUT what if you’re not a designer? What do you do when you’re starting a VA business and you have ZERO money in the budget for graphic design?

You use Canva!

Canva is a FREE graphic design tool for the “non-designer”. No graphic design experience is necessary. You can hit the ground running with SO many different graphics for your website such as: your website header, your logo, your blog graphics, and your sidebar graphics.

Check out what this AWESOME VA created using Canva for her website:

Geniece Brown – Email Newsletter Extraordinaire – uses Canva for her home page and blog post graphics.

make your own graphics like Geniece Brown - Brown Virtual


Canva is used globally and has reached 2 MILLION users. It’s really no wonder why people are in love with it when they can use Canva in so many ways.

The awesome blogger, Ashley Faulkes from Mad Lemmings does an amazing job with his graphics. When I see his graphics I know it’s him right away! Check out his Pinterest board below:

Mad Lemmings Blog Graphics via

Using Canva, you not only create amazing images for your website and blog but you’re creating your brand. Make your business stand out from the crowd and get noticed. Not sure if you noticed… there are MANY virtual assistants looking for clients. Set yourself apart! Visual marketing is all about branding. What does your business have that no one else has? Show them with graphics on your site.

Don’t be afraid to be creative and imaginative. Show your personality and it will be so much easier to find the clients that you WANT to work with.

4 Essential Tips To Get You Started In Designing Your Website With Canva

To get you started to use Canva for your website, here are the 4 essential tips to help you create your own website designs:

1) Web Header
Every website platform or theme is different so I can’t give a specific dimension but once you do have a theme picked, then click on the header image and it will give you the best dimension size. In Canva, you can customize your own dimensions and create what you’d like for your business. Have a color scheme, a logo (see #2 if you don’t have one yet), tagline, and photo you’d like to include in the header ready. Then add the custom dimensions in the area shown below.

make your own graphics and Create Custom

*Be sure to click on px before entering the numbers of the dimension.

It’s really simple to upload your photo and logo. Place it on the blank canvas area that you created with your custom dimension and play with it. Move things around, add a photo, add your text, and you’ll find a design that suits you.

2) Logo  

If you’re feeling really creative, you can create your own logo. Again depending on how big you want your logo, you would use the Custom Dimensions option. However, it will be easier to use inches than pixels (choose inches (in) rather than px in the drop down menu for custom dimensions). Find a font that you like, choose your colors, and find any shapes or lines that catch your eye. It doesn’t have to be fancy. The simpler the better. You want potential clients to be able to clearly read the name of your business. It is best to find design elements away from Canva first to upload to Canva. You can find design elements from Graphicstock, Creative Market, Luvly, and many other creative design sites.

Canva can help you get established until you have the funds to hire a professional graphic designer. For the best quality logo in Canva, download it as a PDF then use smallpdf to convert it to a jpg.

3) Blog Graphics  

If you’re just getting started, I highly recommend you to start blogging on your website. A blog is so very important for your business by demonstrating your authority on your VA specialties. There are 2 different types of blog graphics that you can create. There is the blog title image, where you have the title of the blog post listed, this is to get your blog noticed on social media. You can learn about the power of the blog title image here.

Then there are blog graphics for visual storytelling. These are graphics or photos that you can have throughout the blog post to help the readers visualize your points. Click here for an example of a blog post that’s full of visual storytelling graphics.

You also do need to have a clear understanding of your branding to achieve blog graphics that get you noticed. You can get details on branding your blog title image here.

4) Sidebar or Opt-in Graphics

This would be for your subscriber mailing list. You’d want to provide a compelling offer so people can sign up to your blog. If you want to learn more about how to do that, check out Reese’s post, VA website – What You Must Know & Avoid.

Also you’d want a mini-bio with your headshot and a small summary of what you’re blog or website is about. You can use Canva to pretty up a sidebar by placing your headshot into a frame, use your branded typeface, and colors. Here are a few examples of great looking sidebar bios:

DYOB bio sidebar

Design Your Own Lovely Blog by Marianne Manthey –


Julie Harris Design –

Dre The Branded Solopreneur

Andrea Baltrami –

Getting Your Website Designed Doesn’t Have To Be Hard or Expensive

I hope these 4 essential tips to get you started in designing your website with Canva will help you. It is possible to make your own graphics for your website with no budget! I understand how it is starting out as VA and online entrepreneur; it’s hard to keep up with everything that needs to be done. The last thing that should be on your mind is getting a website designed. True it’s important to represent yourself well however building the relationships with potential clients is key. The website will always evolve and you’ll find so many people say, “I’m still working on my website!” because it will always be a work in progress. Keep that in mind. It is not the most important part of the business. The relationship building and networking will be the top priority for your VA business.

I’d love to hear from you! Tell me… Have you tried Canva yet?

Take care,

Lillian De Jesus

7 Responses to Make Your Own Graphics For Your Website With No Budget

  1. Claire Smith says:

    I’ve been playing with Canva a little bit lately but don’t really know how to use it, so this post is really helpful – and great timing too as I’m literally just starting work on my website in preparation for leaving my job in 5 weeks to become a VA!

    Thanks 🙂

    • That’s awesome news, Claire! Congrats on becoming a VA! Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions about visual marketing your VA business. I’d love to help and I also have many other tutorials on my site.

      Take care,
      Lillian 🙂

      • Claire Smith says:

        Thanks Lilian. I’ve just signed up for your Canva guide so will have a look at that too – my trouble is I spend hours just playing on there and not actually being productive!

        Funnily enough, I was thinking of using the same tagline you have (great minds think alike!) but obviously I won’t now I’ve seen you’re using it 🙂

    • Reese says:

      Glad it was helpful, Claire!

  2. Hi Lillian,

    Canva is one of my favorite tools. Not just for web graphics but sometimes I’ll make posters and cute little letters as well. I find myself going there to take a brain break too!! I like that you mentioned using Canva for logo creation. And thank you sooo much for the mention and visual images of my header graphics from my site. Great post!!

    • Hi Geniece!

      I love that you use Canva for so many uses even to take a break. I use it on a daily basis and sometimes I find myself taking a break there too. I love your website! It’s my pleasure to show it off.

      Take care,

    • Reese says:

      Geniece, well done on your site girl! Big virtual high five!

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Get An Awesome Website Without A Designer

  I took a walk down this swanky gentrified street in Jerusalem known for it’s cafes and restaurants. Most of the joints on this street have given their storefronts a total facelift while others, well…haven’t.  Like the falafel joint. Now I love a good falafel and in these parts of the world we have someContinue Reading

16 Responses to Get An Awesome Website Without A Designer

  1. glynis bubenzer says:

    Thanks sooo much for all the amazing info Reese!!

  2. Cindy says:

    Hi Reese,
    Love the post. My daughter chose squarespace to do her portfolio style website. I do remember the post on copy on your virtual assistant site – epecially your facebook group comments on “about” page. Thanks for all your information.

  3. Geniece says:

    Hi Reese. I have to say it again. I so enjoy reading your posts and getting your emails. You make things so practical and easy to understand for virtual assistants who want to build a professional top quality business. I’ve been consistently using Canva for my blog graphics because of one of your past posts on “The Tools That I Use To Run My Virtual Assistant Business.” Thanks!!

  4. Resa says:

    Wow so many typos in my comment..another pain spot of trying to type on a mobile device. Hope you get the general gist though 🙂

  5. Resa says:

    Reese you’re so right! Thanks for this. I usually love WIX platform for building my sites and I’ve even used Weebly in the past as they have some pretty cool and easy features as well. But I must share with you this experience I recently had that hopefully won’t happen to anyone else. I was building my site in WIX and like most websites it really takes a little more than a day if you want to out something together that’s more than average. But once my “day” was finished I forgot to hide certain pages talk at weren’t complete and a potential client I was nurturing visited my site and saw the unfinished pages with all the WIX branding over it. To summarize he was not the least bit impressed and wrote me about it. But luckily I pulled out my charm book and instead of feeling insulted or bad that I just wanted to crawl under a rock and hide, I thanked him making no excuse for such an error and immediately changed it. He 2 as impressed by this and my next day signed on with me. Lucky? Maybe! But it’s a situation you prefer to avoid. So ladies please make sure your unfinished pages are hidden.

    • Reese says:

      Great advice, Resa! I think this could happen to anyone using WordPress as well. Don’t hit publish until you’re page is 100% ready to go.

  6. Lillian says:

    REESE! You just reminded me that I need to find a falafel recipe for Amelie. haha You’re absolutely right about the website design. It took me FOREVER to feel confident about it but the reality is you’ll always want to improve it here and there. I do feel great about my website because I had you to coach me along the way. I’m working on the freebie, that’s only thing I feel I’m lacking. Thanks for the tips!

    • Reese says:

      Lillian, while I was eating my falafel today I was thinking of you. It totally hit the spot after I forgot to eat breakfast and my stomach was growlin in anger.

  7. Amanda says:

    Reese, What is your favorite themes in Elegant Themes? Thanks!

    • Reese says:

      Amanda, I LOVE the Divi and Vertex themes. Let me know what you think.

      • Hi Reese – I thought I heard somewhere that those types of themes are NOT good for SEO purposes. Do I have that wrong? Because I really like both of them and already belong to Elegant Themes. Thanks!

        • Reese says:

          Erika, I’m not SEO expert and from what I do know about SEO WordPress makes optimizing your website super easy which is another reason I love WordPress websites!

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Getting Started with Squarespace for Your Virtual Assistant Business

Getting Started with Squarespace for Your Virtual Assistant Business It’s obvious to all of us now that online presence (and presentation) are a requirement for most businesses to be successful. As virtual assistants, this is even more so the case as we conduct our business 100% online. Reese recently wrote about the options independent virtual assistantsContinue Reading

2 Responses to Getting Started with Squarespace for Your Virtual Assistant Business

  1. Ariette Hung says:

    I’m planning on starting a virtual assistant website, and I have to say that SP through the free trial is a lot easier for me to use and figure out than WP! It is of course personal preference but I am loving it. Great post. 🙂

  2. Kelly says:

    I built my site using Squarespace and I really like using it.
    For a total newbie, I was able to figure it out pretty easily. I’m a fan!

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How To Build Your Own Website

So you’re ready to create your own website. Bravo! Most people have zero knowledge about building their own site. They would rather fork over cash to someone else to do it for them. But many of us are bootstrapping and have small budgets. The good news is that you can build something for next to nothing.Continue Reading

40 Responses to How To Build Your Own Website

  1. Teresa says:

    I am just starting a virtual assistant service. Stuck on which one to choose to start. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Tricia says:

    Thank you Reese for this post. I have been a VA for a while now..but finally decided to set up a website (and try to expand), but on a limited budget. Your tips have made it possible for me to start this process.

  3. Amanda says:

    I am actually a designer, but I’m learning WordPress now because of the power and capabilities it can offer. I can personally fully code a custom web site in 150 hours…or I can offer a fully functioning WordPress site for less money and hours and still make clients (and ME) happy. I will offer both, but finally learning WordPress after all these years will inevitably open doors I didn’t realize were closed. I’m pretty excited about it. 🙂

    • Reese says:

      A lot of traditional coders aren’t into WordPress and I’m not sure why. I’m glad you’re learning WordPress now. It’s a fantastic CMS.

  4. I have began to build a website for my virtual assistant business and these are great ideas.

  5. tsifei chan says:

    Hi Reese,

    Really interesting article. You should check out Pikock also:

  6. […] recently wrote about the options independent virtual assistants have for creating their own websites. She mentioned that we don’t all have the option of paying a designer/developer to create a […]

  7. Cindy says:

    Thanks Reese for the timely article. I am designing my own space on using thesis as a framework. It is a learning curve. I also have a Gen-Y daughter. She looked at wordpress and decided to design her webpage on Squarespace. She has had a wix space.

    I chose wordpress, because I wanted to know this service as a possible service I will be offering my clients. It is a learning curve which I am still in.

  8. Thanks for the info Reese. I was just like you when I decided I wanted to go into business for myself. I was shocked at what people wanted to charge so I learned to do it myself. Once I learned how I knew I could help other people for a price they could afford – only $500 for a 5 page website. I now own several businesses and build websites for other people on the side and I love it.

    • Reese says:

      Sheena, that’s amazing and so wonderful to hear that you’re really helping small business by offering an excellent service that’s affordable. Win-win!

  9. Judy says:

    Your email came at a good time because this is a subject that has been at the back of my mind for awhile now. HOW DO I DO THIS???? I have not started a VA business yet, but am certainly giving it consideration and love all of the ideas and possibilities that you send my way. You make me believe that I can do this and working from home AND making money would be a dream come true. Thanks again!

  10. Hello Reese,

    Web site building is not my idea of fun, though I have two different ones in the works. I’m a retired veteran and a full-time college student who wants to start a Virtual Assistant business. I’ve had to build websites for several of my classes, which is why I have two started at the moment.

    My first one is on Wix and the newest one is on Homestead. Wix is free and Homestead basic is $4.99 a month, though I purchased my domain name from them so that I would have it when I’m ready.

    I wasn’t aware that WordPress also had websites; I though it was only for blogging. As you can tell I’m not technically inclined.

    Thank you for all your advice & have a great day.

    • Reese says:

      Thank YOU, Angela!

    • I also use Homestead just like you. I have been using it for years and I am reluctant to switch over to another site builder because I already know Homestead so well. I recently looked into all of the free websites but when I signed-up for the free trial and played around with them they aren’t as easy as they make it sound. The main problem I have with the free websites is that if you have a problem there is nobody to call so you can fix something right away. You have to email and wait for them to respond. I don’t have the time for that. So for now I’ll stay with the one I know how to use.

  11. Barry says:

    Hi Reese,

    I use WIX and love it for the most part. I have tried Weebly and it just doesnt have the same WOW effects and I use WordPress as well and love how many options you get when building with that platform. To take a look at my WIX site at, it’s so easy to use. Keep up the good work.

  12. Reese, your advice on how to build a website is so helpful. It can be very a very intimidating project! Fortunately, I have a Gen Y daughter who built my website, but it was not without a certain amount of experimentation on both our parts. While she is my webmaster, I have had to learn some ins and outs of maintenance and updating, posting my weekly blog, etc. It’s important to know that all website structures have a certain amount inherent flakiness — it won’t be as easy and breezy as MS Word or even PowerPoint. And, there is an ongoing learning curve! However, I found that on my end I did not like WordPress, so we ditched that after awhile and moved to squarespace, which is not perfect but is more sophisticated, flexible and user friendly. As my website has evolved I found that I wanted to upgrade to more features. But, I will say that if you have a friend or family member who is tech savvy and is willing to commit to an ongoing project, ask them to help you set up and teach you step-by-step. There will come a time when you will be able to fly alone, or at least be an able co-pilot!

    • Reese says:

      Jeanne, you’re lucky to have a Gen Y daughter to help you with the more tech-related stuff. I love your advice about having a friend of family member who is tech savvy teach you step-by-step. Great idea!

  13. Hi Reese,
    Thanks for putting out such a helpful post. I used to build my site. I’m on the free program until I can focus some more resources towards purchasing my own domain. Even with the free service, it’s mobile ready and looks great! I love all the design and template options they offer. I actually designed a site for one of my first clients on after I built mine, so your suggestion about getting paid for what you know is right on! Wix is definitely working for me for now, but I’m getting ready to dive in to WordPress and may change in the future. I’m finding out that a lot of prospective clients are looking for someone with WordPress skills. So, I’m going to work on adding it to my resume.
    I love your down to earth, practical advice. Keep it coming!

  14. Hi Reese,

    I started off with godaddy dream design that was costing me a little over $600 each year to maintain plus the time lag for them to make updates. I switched to a word press blog last year and like it so much better. I currently have it for my blog postings, added my unique domain name, and added some pages to it. Will click over to Lynda to see how I can make it better. Great post as always!

  15. I use Wix for my website and so far it’s been able to do everything that I needed! Very user-friendly! The mobile version of my site looks great as well.

  16. Sarah Noked says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE WIX. Built my website with it and
    I haven’t looked back! Hosting is also reasonable and they have many plugins (def not as much as WordPress).

  17. Kay says:

    Thanks Reese – helpful as always and your email came through at just the perfect time. I have bought a domain with WordPress and have been struggling to get my website set up for the last few weeks. I didn’t think to check on Lynda so will do that. This week I MUST finish my website! I keep doing a little but baby steps are not enough and I need my website finished.

  18. Louise says:

    I use Wix I think they are fantastic, so many templates and options and its perfect for customers, they even do a 1 page site to let customers know you are building your perfect site.
    Thanks for the blog and info about WordPress I think i’ll check them out.

  19. Julie says:

    Thanks for this Reese, When I first started working online, I also created a website for myself using the free version of WordPress which is really good. Later on, I bought a domain to make it more professional. WordPress is the no. 1 in my list when we talk about getting a website and I use it solely for my clients as well because it’s very easy to use. There are also a lot of amazing free themes to choose from 🙂

  20. Lon Phillips says:

    I use WordPress, but not very well!

  21. John Hardy says:

    Great post. I am using Weebly for my site, I am actually getting ready to revise it.
    I like Weebly, because it is mobile-responsive, and they have added some new features.

  22. Diane Broad says:

    Dear Reese

    Thank you for your advice, greatly appreciated. I will look at the websites you have recommended. Thanks you for your help.

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