In this week’s installment of my blog design series I will give you some pointers for making a perfect Pinterest image. Last week I taught how to use an awesome cheap or free web app BeFunky to make your images. This week I will discuss what qualities you’ll want in this image.
Pinterest can be a real driver of traffic. Without Pinterest, Moms & Crafters would have about a quarter of the traffic that it currently has. You probably found this post on Pinterest too. It took a while to get here. Next week I will be taking a break from the series (here’s your heads up). After that, I will share my pinning strategy that is working out great, in addition to more information on the power of Pinterest. The first step, though, is to have a perfect Pinterest image on every post.
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.
How to make a perfect Pinterest image:
This is possibly the most popular tip you’ll see. Your image should always be vertical – meaning portrait mode. You can see from the way the feed is set up that vertical images stand out, and have more real estate, since Pinterest first limits the width.
You can also see that it limits the height eventually too, so making crazy long collages no longer will “conquer the feed.” You can see the ideal sizes for Pinterest and all social media images here.
2. Great photo/imagery.
For non-craft or recipe posts, you might want to use a descriptive image, or a great stock photo.
3. Clear Agenda
Your cover/hero image should sum up your post, giving pinners a clear message of what to expect. The issue with very long images is that the bottom is often cut off. If you want to make a super-long collage graphic for Pinterest, make sure to START with a clear, bright image of your final product.
If your post is a roundup of multiple things – show it. For example, a roundup of multiple product suggestions should show more than one product. A roundup of various crafts should show a few crafts. It does not need to have every one, but multiples already show the pinner that there is more to be seen.
4. Don’t disclose everything
You want your repins to end up with clicks through to your blog. Make sure you don’t give everything away in your image! The truth is, for many crafts this is hard, as people can somewhat figure things out by seeing it. But if you include images of the steps for making it, thy most definitely don’t need to click through!
Another example of disclosing everything is an infographic, or similar image that gives away actual information for an article, such as the image below. This is great to make for fun, but not to rely on actually driving traffic to that specific article.
5. Be Bold
Make a Pinterest image that stands out and is bold. I have read in the past that red-toned/warm images get more repins. I have not seen that in action, however I do know that those colors are bolder and stand out more. Bolder images I HAVE seen get much more action.
6. Text that stands out.
Text is a bit of a controversial issue here, so I will speak as a pinner, not as a blogger. I like to know what your post is about, especially with handmade goods that look professional… I am careful not to pin handmade merchandise as “DIY” so I would love to see text that shows that it is indeed a link to a “DIY” or craft.
Text helps you big time with #3, especially when you’re dealing with an article, not a craft or recipe. The boldness of the text should depend on what kind of pin you’re dealing with. A craft can have subtle text, and an article should have bold text. A recipe doesn’t need any text in my opinion, but as a pinner I still like to see it.
Make sure your text stands out on the background. You can do this by using an outline, drop shadow, or a shape behind the text when it does not occur naturally. Make sure to retain legibility.
Images that illustrate these steps:
I will include some case studies from my own blog, so that you can see the points above illustrated. These are some of my top performing pins (as measured by visits to my blog). Some are continuously top pins, and some were at one point. I have linked to them for your convenience. These are my top referring pins of all time:
It has a clear agenda, is bright, but does not disclose everything. The text is bold and understandable.
The above post did so well, it inspired this follow up, which follows the same rule and is also doing very well.
This one is a bit of a mystery to me. It was an old pin that suddenly took off like crazy. Today, I would probably include a couple more foods in the image. But I can attribute its success to very bold text and a very clear agenda. It also doesn’t disclose too much.
This new-ish post has taken off to a great start! It contains subtle messaging in the image and a clear agenda. It doesn’t give away too much.
I attribute the success of this pin to the bold imagery involved. I made it by finding a simple photo, outlining the basic lines in Photoshop, and filling it in.
Once again, a bold image that I took (but it could just as well have been stock) gives a clear message, with the text supporting it in a noticeable way.
This one is mostly text, with a quickie Photoshop background I made. And it’s bringing me hundreds of visitors daily.
And finally, to include one of my best craft posts, this one has been bringing in consistent traffic too. It’s from Valentine’s day, but due to NOT being branded that way, it is still alive and thriving. I did not have a good vertical image, so I made a collage without the steps…
Some bad examples:
Yup, there was a time before I “lived and learned”. Here are some of my lessons I learned the hard way:
This image totally sums up the post… but a little too much! It gets repinned a lot, but people have little motivation to click through.
This links to the same “top tips” post, but does NOT sum it up. It gets little in the way of visits to my blog, but has plenty of repins.
And finally, this gives away a little too much… While I would still include these graphics in my post as they are GREAT visual references, on a blog that tries to be as visual as possible, I would not rely on them as my Pinterest image.
And one final tip for today:
Think of the perfect Pinterest image as the “cover” of your blog post. It sums up its story in a clear, aesthetic way, but doesn’t TELL the story!
Do you have any tips to add, any success stories, or questions? Comment below!