How to Create a Journal to Sell with Canva [VIDEO]

Been wanting to learn how to create a journal to sell with Canva? 

Great!

You’ve landed in the right place.

I’ve been creating and selling journals made with Canva online for a little while now.

Some you can find on Amazon and others are available in my online shop.

I've been fortunate enough to make over $2K plus a month (and more) with my journals and wanted to share some tips with you.

Why I Use Canva for Journal Design

I’m going to let you in on a little secret:

I do NOT have a background in design. 

So, when I stumbled upon the world of passive income products I needed a software program that was easy to use.

This is where Canva came to the rescue. 

Canva Design Tool

Now:

The beauty of using Canva is that:

  1. It's easy to use. You don't need a design background to create products with the platform.
  2. It's inexpensive. You can get access to the program for FREE to start. Once you get used to it, you can move on to a paid plan. More on that below.
  3. It's a great platform for non designers and seasoned pros alike to use for creating journals.

So:
In this step by step guide, I’ve decided to peel back curtains and share how to create journals with Canva.

Now:

If you've visited my blog for any length of time then you already know that one of my favorite DIY design tools is Canva Pro.  

I've written a ton of blog posts about Canva-- because to me hands down it is one of the most POWERFUL design programs out there today.

One featuring tips on different types of digital products that you can create and also a post featuring a mega list of visual designs that you can use Canva for as well.

You can check those posts out when you get a chance.

Now for the Good Stuff.

Creating a Journal in Canva to Sell: A Step By Step Guide

Here is what we will be covering:

  1. Finding a Niche to Sell Journals Online
  2. Setting up your Canva Account
  3. How to Make Your Own Journal Cover with Canva
  4. Creating your Journals Interior Pages and Backcover
  5. A Look at the most popular types of journals to sell

Now let’s dive into the full post.

Step 1: Finding a Niche to Sell Journals Online

If you want to be successful at selling journals online, one of the first things you will need to get comfortable with is niche research.

How Does Niche Research Help You Sell More Journals?

When I work with coaching clients, the biggest problem that I see is that their journals are not "niched down" enough.

Most of the time they try to make journals for any and everyone. 

This is a big mistake.

“If you try to target everyone you target no one”

Here’s the thing:

When you create a journal, you want to have one person in mind that you can help. This is where niche research helps out.

Niche research basically helps you zone in on ONE specific person to create a journal for.  

Take this journal for example: 

Journal from Amazon Example

Sure it’s cute and has a nice looking eagle on it.

But:

From looking at this journal, I cannot tell:

  • Who the journal is for

  • What problem is it solving for someone (other than just writing in it)

  • How is this journal different from anything else that’s out in the marketplace

So my friends…

This is a perfect example of how not to go about making your journals.

Now in this example: 

Well-Designed Journal Example from Amazon

I can tell exactly who this journal is for, what problem it solves and how it's unique. 

Tools I Use to Find Niches for Journals

Whenever I am doing niche research for journals there are a few tools that I like to use:

Tool #1: BookBolt

Bookbolt is a tool that helps you create low content books to publish and sell on Amazon.  

One of the main features that I love using on the platform is called “Cloud”. In this feature, you can easily do research to find some of the best selling journals to get ideas for niches to create journals in.

Bookbolt Research Tool

Here’s how you can use Bookbolt to find niches to target:

  1. Head over to Bookbolt and sign up for an account. (You can use CODE YOURCHICGEEK20 to get 20% OFF of your first month).
  1. Under the research tab, click on “Cloud”. Next under Category Select “Journal”. Bookbolt will then show you the top 100 best selling journals on Amazon so that you can get ideas on what to create.

Now:

After I’ve identified a niche to target, say “journals for women with prompts”, I like to narrow things down a little bit more. 

Here’s an example of this from Bookbolt –where I have niched down even further to “prayer journal for women with prompts

Examples of Prayer Journal Results from Bookbolt

Tool #2: Etsy

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then I am sure that at some point you’ve heard of Etsy.  

Etsy is not just one of my favorite marketplaces to buy things from. But, It’s also one of my favorite places to do niche research.

All you need to do is head over to Etsy and type in something like “journals for” or 

Etsy Autosuggest Search Feature

“Gratitude journal for” into the search box to start getting some suggestions.

Etsy’s auto suggest feature will show you search terms of what people are searching for on their platform. 

You can take down this information or add it to a Google spreadsheet to use a reference point to track potential niches to target.

Other Considerations for Niching Down

Some additional things to consider when you are niching down include things like:

  1. What are you passionate about?
  2. What will you add to your journals to make them stand out from others?
  3. Is there an existing problem or different angle that your journal can fill to help others?

Now that we’ve covered tips for niching down, it's time to dive into the next step of this process.

Step 2: Sign up for a Canva Account

After you find a niche that you want to target, the next thing that you want to do is sign up for a Canva account.

Now:

Canva has three different plans available to choose from: FREE, Canva Pro and Canva for Teams.

Canva Plans

If you’re on a budget, using the free plan is your best bet. 

However, if you have a little money in your budget to spare, then using Canva Pro is the way to go.

Canva Pro has a lot of features that are super useful for creating journals that include:

  • The magical resize feature (where you can resize designs – with just a single click).
  • The brand kit - that lets you add custom colors, fonts, logo designs and more to your journals
  • The ability to upload custom fonts 
  • The background remover feature 

Step 3: Create a Cover Design for your Journal

One of the MOST important things you'll want to put effort into is your journal's cover design. 

Because let’s be honest:

Your journal’s cover is the FIRST thing that people see. 

If your journal is not well designed it could cause you to lose sales. Or worse – it makes a bad first impression with potential buyers.

Now:

When it comes to designing a cover for your journal, you can do one of two things: 

  • DIY design your own cover 
  • Use templates to speed up the design process.

Let’s talk about both of these options in greater detail.

DIY Design your Own Cover

If you have a good eye for design and create visually appealing designs in Canva, this option will work for you. 

This way, you get to have complete creative control over every aspect of your journal's design.

Here’s an example of a 6X9 journal cover that I created:

6X9 Journal Cover Designed in Canva

As you can see, this is a very simple design. 

I just used FREE elements from Canva and applied a cute color palette from Colorpalettes.net to the design.

If you want access to the template, you can grab it here.

Using Pre-Made Covers to Save Time

Now:  

If you’re not good with design and want to save time, you can use a ready made cover template (like these from my online shop or the Journal Creators Collective)

With templates like this, you can drag and drop different backgrounds into them, change the fonts and change colors to make them unique.

Talk about a huge time saver!

Step 4: Create an Interior for your Journal

Designing the interior pages of your journal is where the real magic happens.

This is where you can get super creative and create a unique product that sets you apart from your competitors.

One thing that you want to remember is this:

In this part of the design phase, you will want to make sure that your journal's design is on theme and works for the type of customer you are targeting.

Here's an example of a kids journal interior from the Journal Creators Collective:

Now…

As with your cover, with your interior, you can either design your own interior or use a template to save time.

One Question a Day Journal for Kids (Great Example of Well-Designed Journal Interior)

Other Tips for Designing your Journals

Here are some tips to help you create a design that entices people to pick up your journal:

  1. Make it visually striking. Choose colors, fonts, and images that align with the theme and feel of your journal. 

  1. Keep it simple yet captivating. A cluttered cover can be overwhelming, so it's best to keep your designs simple. Consider using clean typography and fonts that pair well together, clean lines. Lastly, try not to add too many graphics to your designs.

  1. Incorporate relevant imagery. Images can speak volumes and instantly convey the purpose or mood of your journal. You'll want to select images that resonate with your target audience and match the “theme” of your journal.

  1. Nail the title: Your journal's title should be prominent and easily read. Your title should also resonate with your target audience.  If you struggle with coming up with titles, I recommend using ChatGPT for ideas.

  1. Test with feedback. Get input from trusted friends or family before finalizing your journal's design. 

What Types of Journals are the Best to Sell on Amazon?

Now we’ve come to the fun part.

In this section of the post, I am sharing a list of some of the most popular journals that sell the best on Amazon.

This list contains three categories that consistently perform well on Amazon: gratitude journals, prayer journals, and travel journals.

Alrighty, let’s take a closer look at these journals:

#1: Gratitude Journals

In life, it's easy to get caught up in the chaos and forget the little moments that bring us joy. 

That's where gratitude journals come in!

From simple pleasures like a hot cup of coffee in the morning to bigger blessings like supportive friends and family, these journals encourage folks to pause and appreciate what truly matters.

Here's an example of a gratitude journal:

Example of a Gratitude Journal

Tips for Making a Stand Out Gratitude Journal

To make your gratitude journal stand out here are a few things that you can do:

  1. Use design elements that are aesthetically pleasing. This can include things like inspirational images, flowers, and other graphics that align with your journal's theme.

  1. Consider featuring inspiring Bible verses. These should resonate with readers, offering them guidance and strength in their journey.

  2. Add prayer prompts. Prayer prompts are another fantastic addition, gently guiding users through different aspects of their spiritual practice. These prompts can include gratitude, forgiveness, or petitions for others.

These small touches will transform your gratitude journal into an irresistible product that sparks joy and helps individuals develop a mindset of contentment and appreciation. 

#2: Prayer Journals

When life gets overwhelming, finding solace in prayer is comforting for many.

Prayer journals provide a sacred and intimate space for people to gain a deeper connection with their faith.

Tips for Making a Stand Out Prayer Journal

To give your prayer journal the best chance at standing out, here are a few things that you can do:

  1. Use design elements that are aesthetically pleasing. This can include things like inspirational images, flowers, and other graphics that align with your journal's theme.

  1. Add inspiring Bible verses. These should resonate with readers, offering them guidance and strength in their journey.

  1. Add prayer prompts. Prayer prompts are another fantastic addition that can guide people through different aspects of their spiritual practice. These prompts can include gratitude, forgiveness, or petitions for others.

Whether someone is new to their faith or has been on their spiritual journey for years, your prayer journal can be the vessel that enhances a customer's spiritual experience. 

3. Travel Journals

There's something seriously EPIC and magical about exploring new places.

That's where travel journals come in. They are the perfect companions for folks wanting to document their adventures on the go.

Travel Journal Example for Kids

Tips for Making a Stand Out Travel Journal

A well-crafted travel journal becomes a treasure trove of cherished moments and insider tips. 

Here’s a few things that you can do to make your travel journal stand out:

  1. Add designated spaces for photos, postcards, and mementos. This includes adding collage-friendly pages that accommodate a variety of visuals, fostering a rich and vibrant representation of the travel experience.
  1. Use structured prompts. These prompts can guide travelers in capturing details from their trips– from daily highlights to cultural experiences. 
  1. Add inspirational travel quotes or personal anecdotes throughout the journal. This not only adds a touch of literary flair but also prompts reflection and connection with the travel experience.
  1. Consider incorporating blank maps throughout your journal. Allow space for travelers to sketch routes traveled, marking off cities explored or sights checked off their bucket lists. It becomes an interactive experience that engages both pen and imagination.

While these three categories ─ gratitude, prayer, and travel ─ are known bestsellers on Amazon, it's important that you explore other niches as well. 

Feel free to explore other niches that align with your passions or expertise. 

With creativity as your guide and Canva as your main design tool, you can create all kinds of journals to sell.  

Wrapping Things Up

Okay friends, I’m wrapping up the post. 

I’d love to know and hear from you all, are you planning to embark on the journey of creating a journal to sell with Canva?

Please leave me a comment below to lemme know your thoughts.

I would also love for you all to Tweet, Tag me on social media or give me a shout on YouTube with your designs.

Until the next time!

Happy Journaling peeps.

Thanks for Reading! Just so you know...

Low content book publishing has changed the game for me from a passive income perspective. If you're looking for a list of 200+ low content book ideas (things like journals, notebooks, planners and coloring books) on Amazon, you can grab this FREE swipe file. Also, here's a FREE Masterclass that discusses the framework I use to make 1k per month on Amazon. In case you're ready to start building a low content book empire, you can check out From Publish to Profit.

KimG