Creating Quality Pinterest Images
When I started my first blog in 2014, I thought I had everything figured out. I knew I loved to write, and I wanted to just give it a go. I honestly had no idea WTF I was doing. I didn’t promote. I didn’t network with other bloggers. I didn’t do hardly enough research to half-ass pass as a quality blogger. And that half-assery trickled down to my pins as well. I was smart in creating pins for all for my posts – but I received a WHOPPING 100 views within the entire first year.
I really owe some gratitude to my current relationships and connections within the blogging world (I’m talking to you, my blogging sisters!) for the leaps and bounds my blog has taken this second time around. Through my journey with blogging, I’ve picked up so many tips and tricks that have truly helped me. Within my networks and the blogging community however, I have come across a number of blogs that aren’t utilizing Pinterest at all. Much like I wasn’t (and didn’t know any better) in the very beginning of my first blog. I’ve realized that some people are in that same spot I was once in…which isn’t a great one to be in should you want your blog to be successful. My success during these first 5 months of my blogging career can be heavily attributed to my knowledge and utilization of Pinterest.
So for this post, I am going to go over the basics of creating a free, easy Pinterest image that will captivate the eyes of everyone on Pinterest and BEG to be clicked on!
To create your image, use a design program! Two incredibly easy-to-use programs are Canva and PicMonkey. Canva is my personal fav! Trust me, when I first started blogging with my first ever blog – I used Picasa. And the results were pretty terrible compared to my competitors.
Vertical images are best! If using Canva, there will be an option to ‘Create A Design’, which will have templates you can click on with the correct dimensions needed. Simply click on ‘Pinterest Graphic’ to get started.
**OMG TIP: No matter what dimensions you decide to make your pin, your image will be compressed, and then when it is clicked on, it will appear the standard 735 px wide, with the height adjusted accordingly. Vertical pins (or pins that are taller than they are wide) take up more room in the Pinterest feed/search results and attract more attention. Instead of Canva’s recommended 735 x 1102 px dimensions, I use the ‘Use custom dimensions‘ option in the upper right of the Canva home screen and select a taller dimension. My more successful pins are 735 x 1200 px.
For photos, you can use stock images (do not search Google images and select something, be sure the images are really free for use with a website like Pixabay, for instance!), or your own personal photos. If you do use photos from another site, please try to contact them for permission and be sure to give full photo credit to the source.
Here are some awesome free sources for stock photos:
*For a pin that’s begging to be clicked on, consider flat lay images, or images that have lighter tones to them. It needs to be appealing to the eye (Ivory Mix has some really great free flat lays!).
I’d recommend using your own photos when you can, though! The average pinner is more apt to click on something truly personal from a blogger (that still oozes some professionalism). Pinterest photos do not have to be Instagram-worthy to go viral. Carly from Pinteresting Strategies covers this more in her e-book, along with some AMAZING ways to grow your traffic from Pinterest. Here’s an example of one of mine that has done pretty well:
Add Text Overlay
Incorporate text overlay. You want to let pinners know what they’re clicking on or what they’re going to gain from clicking. Try not to be misleading or too vague. Try to match the title of your post, and appeal to the needs of your pinner.
Here, you’re going to need to use some keywords for your pin title (research this using Google’s Keyword Planner!). This can be accessed through the Yoast Plugin BTW, if you have that installed on your WordPress site. In my screenshot below, you would click on “AdWords External“.
*One pretty awesome font that I see a lot of bloggers using that gain a lot of attention, when used in moderation, is Playlist Script. For a while, there was a trend with the Brusher font, but that seems to have died out.
Add Your Logo/Blog Name
Include your blog name, URL, or logo. Pins DO get stolen and redirected to other sites. We work too hard cultivating our content to risk having that work stolen (especially when using personal photos), so take credit!
*Sometimes in Tailwind, a pin’s source URL and description will be missing. It’s believed to be just a glitch within Tailwind since it’s still relatively new (although some newer Pinterest users might not be aware they aren’t entering info into the places they should!), and Tailwind will alert the user that the information is missing and require them to enter SOMETHING into those fields to even add the pin to their schedule. By adding your blog URL or logo on the actual pin itself, a Tailwind user can type in that missing information instead of doing the easy thing and press the DELETE button. Because let’s be honest blogging mamas, we are so incredibly busy that the extra 2 minutes it might take us to try to research where each pin came from takes away from our already busy schedule. *Secret: I’ve heard of some bloggers adding Google as the source URL…eye roll. Bad news all around!
One of my favorite things to do with shapes is to put a square (centered) over the image I’ve chosen. I alter its transparency so that you can still view the image behind the shape, but the main focus is on the text overlay. Here are some examples….
I’ve seen plenty of other bloggers using circles, triangles, or a combination of shapes to highlight certain words or information on their pins. Get creative, and try different things out to see what works for you.
*Consider A/B testing pins by sending two different pins for the same blog post out on Pinterest to see how well they perform. From there, you can determine which pins are driving you traffic vs. which pins are wasting your creative energy and time.
When you’ve finished your image and are totally satisfied, you’ll need to insert it into your post. ***BEFORE YOU INSERT THE PHOTO INTO YOUR POST***, you will need to enter your Alt Text. I mentioned that above and why that’s so important! This is the description your pin will take on when a reader pins your content. If you add the image and then try to edit the Alt text later, it most likely will not translate when the image is pinned, and your pin will be floating around Pinterest with no description.
I’ve included a screenshot of my WordPress screen of what you’ll see when you go to add an image. There is your title, caption, Alt text, and description. **ALT TEXT** is the field you need to worry about…
Use relevant hashtags (this is a newer concept that Pinterest has implemented – previously, it didn’t really help your pin at all). It’s best to use 2-8 relevant hashtags, don’t go crazy with 30 like you might for Instagram…Look at all these hashtags in blue!
Consider Mobile View
When creating pins, think about your color usage and fonts. If you use a beautiful cursive font that looks great on your desktop, imagine how that font will appear when pinners are viewing the same image on the mobile app. Considering that 80% of usage on Pinterest takes place on mobile devices – you’ll need to pay attention to how your pins appear on mobile. Any super light fonts, photographs, and crazy cursive fonts might not translate well on mobile.
Think About The Color Wheel + Audience
When I design a pin, I think about my audience. Who am I trying to draw in? When I write about being a #boymom, I try to use pictures that depict the mood of my post. For my 15 Hilarious Things That Make Being A Boy Mom Awesome post, I used a photo of my boys running in circles in a swimming pool, my youngest one was totally naked, with a graphic of a beach ball covering his lower region. That screams fun, silly, crazy boy energy to me (while still keeping it PG for any perv’s out there 😉 but still had a transparent shape over top), which is the ‘mood’ or ‘feel’ of that post. I used a popular font (Playlist Script, in moderation as I mentioned before), and colors that would pop even in mobile view. Here’s that example:
At a glance, you can tell I’ve got a list of things to tell you….
Apparently it’s going to be HILARIOUS….
and it’s about being a boy mom!
Now that I’ve got your attention, you’re going to read between the pretty cursive letters at the black bolded words, and fully connect the dots. Normally, I would pay attention to the color wheel and choose blue’s complementary color, orange, for the word ‘Hilarious’. I chose pink instead, because it POPS nicely against the overhead ’15’ in black and white, and I’m appealing to my audience of mothers. Plus, it’s pretty close to orange in a way.
When you are creating a pin for blogging, for example, it’s best to remain feminine and use stock photos (this is what appeals to your audience). Pink, blue, black are popular choices for pins directed at bloggers.
Phew! Let’s Recap…
For your pin to BEG for that click, it really needs:
- Quality design (which includes a quality or related personal photo)
- Vertical Image
- Text Overlay
- SHAPES! Stick a square or circle in somewhere 😉
- Audience appeal
- Clear Message
- ALT TEXT filled
- SEO Keywords
- Contrasting Colors (that look good on mobile!)
- Your logo or blog name for credit and professionalism
That sounds like an awful lot – but it takes work to match all the hard work that your competition is putting out on Pinterest.
Well, that’s a wrap! Those are the basics of what you need to create that pin that begs to be clicked on!
What are some struggles you have with Pinterest or designing/creating pins? Share with me in the comments below!