If you have a blog, business, or any sort of online presence, you want to be on Pinterest.
Pinterest is the largest visual search engine where 80 million+ users can easily see your content. The caveat is that you need to create eye-catching images that a user will want to click on.
There is no exact format for a pin graphic or image. You can add any size, style, or color image on Pinterest and it has the ability to come up with a user’s search results.
However, there is a method for getting your pins clicked instead of the pin right next to you and that is what I am going to teach you below.
Trust me, you don’t need to have professional graphic design skills to create beautiful pin images. Of course, these skills will help, but it’s super simple to learn.
If you do have some design experience and have Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator, go ahead and use those programs, but for the beginner, they are way too complex and cost a fortune.
There is a paid version available that you can opt for as you grow out of the available free features, but trust me you can use the free version for a long time.
They have templates available for use or you can choose to start from scratch.
Everything is customizable. You can change the fonts, sizes, colors, orientation…you name it, you can do it with this program!
Once this trial is done, you can continue with the free version or pay for the upgraded version that includes the features you have been accustomed to for the 30 days.
Canva Pro does offer a lot more photos, elements, fonts, and templates, so if you’re going to use it often, it is 100% worth it.
The largest benefit of Canva Pro that I have found is the vast amount of stock images they provide you.
For both your blog and pin images, you will need stock images and they can add up to a fortune on other sites. Many sites charge between $1-$4 for just 1 photo!
So for only $12/month (or $9/month if you get the annual plan), you’re getting UNLIMITED use of all the images and features that you’re going to love!
However, use the free version until your business starts building and you’re ready to invest more money back into your blog.
8 TIPS to Make Eye-Catching Pins
So now that you have the software to make your gorgeous pins, I’m going to explain to you all you need to know about creating pins.
Let’s get started!
Pinterest graphics absolutely need to be vertical. Vertical pins are the best performing and the dimensions that Pinterest requires for the layout of their feed uses all vertical pins.
You want your images to be taller than they are wide. Pinterest suggests using a 2:3 ratio (1000×1500 pixels), but I highly recommend a larger ratio.
Because Pinterest is all visual, you want your image to stand out among the others. One way to do this is to take up the most amount of space that you possibly can on the feed.
In the example below, do you see how that middle Pinterest business pin is so much longer than the 2 on both sides of it?
This allows that one pin to take up more space in the feed and easily draws your eyes right to it. That pin is a bit long for my taste, but I wanted to make a point.
Longer pins > Shorter pins: Plain and simple!
Therefore, focus on using a ratio of around 5:9 (1000×1800 pixels) or even longer (1000×2000) if you wish.
*Note: If you’re using Canva and pick a Pinterest pin template, it will automatically make the pin size 1000×1500 pixels. You can still use this template, but go to Resize and increase the dimensions to at least 1000×1800 or 1000×2000 BEFORE you start editing.
Some pins can put a heavy emphasis on the image and some have more emphasis on the text and that choice is typically dependent on the topic.
Using a photo can help convey what the post will be about and in turn, lead to more clicks.
If you are in a business niche, you don’t typically need a photo. A lot of businesses use a lot of white space with just text, like my pin above for this post.
However, if you’re a lifestyle or any other brand of blog, you probably want to use an image to draw the user in to your topic. Whether it’s about babies, gardening, shopping, home decor, it’s best to show those things in your pin.
Here are things that you want to look for and things to avoid when choosing photos:
- DO use a light, bright image with white space
- DO NOT use dark photos
- DO NOT use people’s faces looking straight ahead
- DO use images of people looking in another direction
- DO NOT use poor quality, dark phones from your cell phone
- DO use high-quality stock photos or well lit and edited personal images
- DO NOT use more than one photo unless the images are specific to the post
- DO NOT use photos with a really busy background if you’re going to put text over it
- DO brighten all the images you use (even stock photos can be brightened at times)
See some of the pin examples below using dark, busy images. They don’t stand out to me, I can barely read the writing and therefore I would not click on them.
Unless you take very high-quality photos of your own, I would use stock photos for your pin images.
Stock photos are professionally taken photos that are available online. They will display a more professional tone to your pin in hopes for a higher click rate.
Here are some great sites to get stock photos for blogs in any niche:
- Pixabay (free)
- Pexels (free)
- Unsplash (free)
- Canva (free stock photos are included, but if you pay the $9 per month, you get your choice of so many more options included)
- Deposit Photos ($1 per photo if you buy a package which is the lowest around. I used this before paying for CanvaPro and it was awesome)
- Adobe Stock
4. White Space
Light and bright images do best on Pinterest because it helps to draw your eyes to those graphics.
White backgrounds with bold text do extremely well, as opposed to darker or even colored backgrounds.
Notice below how most of these pins use white a white background where there is not an image. The text goes over the white space.
Even the lighter photos appear to pop out to me in comparison with the darker newborn photo.
Although the appearance of your pin image is extremely important, the text or headline that you write on your pin is significant as well.
This text should should entice the user to click on it.
Remember, there will be plenty of competition from other images surrounding your pin that will most likely be on the same topic that is being searched.
Therefore, yours need to STAND OUT. Not just with colors and pictures, but what the text says, as well.
Here are some great examples of catchy headlines:
Notice how none of these headlines are boring. They tell you what the post is about but make you interested in learning more.
Here are examples of headlines for these posts that may have not grabbed your attention as well:
- How to get your toddler to behave
- How to entertain your toddler
- How to stop your toddler from tantruming
See why you need to add some zest to make it enticing?
Tips for Headings That Will Grab Your Readers Attention:
- Use strong, appealing adjectives (such as easy, simple, insanely great, best, amazing, etc.)
- Create a pain point (helps the reader to acknowledge an area that they’re having a problem)
- Use a number if there’s a list (5 ways to get your child to eat vegetables *not* How to get your child to eat vegetables)
- Tell them the desired result vs. what you’re teaching them (Get your baby sleeping through the night *not* How to sleep train your baby)
- Flip it to the negative (Things you should not do as a new mom *not* Tips for new moms)
- Create a sense of urgency (words like Things you NEED to know, What you need to change NOW)
- Don’t overcrowd and put too much wording on the image. Be as short, simple, and concise as you can. If you feel the need to write more of a description for your pin, make it in a small font so if the reader stops on your pin, they will see.
Again I will reiterate that you want your text to stand out and of course, be easy to read.
Using plain, bold, LARGE, sans serif (no extra tails on the letters) fonts will be most appealing to the user.
I know you may want your images to look pretty, but this is honestly not the place to do it. Using script fonts is not advised unless they are very legible and also bold.
In the image below, the pin with that script font is barely legible and takes a long time for my eye to read than the plain sans serif fonts right next to it.
It’s also useful to stagger your fonts to emphasize certain words, meaning make some bigger, some smaller, and vary them all over the page instead of just in one spot.
- Make your text BIG. I’m talking as large as you can fit it in the pin.
- Don’t make everything the same font and size. Overexaggerate important words and make unimportant words (like a, the, is) smaller
- Don’t use script fonts unless it’s a large, thick font. If you choose to use script, just do it for one word
- Use all capital letters. Don’t write your text as if it is a sentence with lower case letters like the one above on the left. Use capital letters for all text.
Look at the pin images below again. Which ones immediately jump out at you? For me, it’s the Drive Traffic post and Blog and Work From Home.
Do you know why? Not because of the image, not because they’re longer, but it’s the color of the font.
I’m telling you it makes a HUGE difference.
The two pins on the left use such light colors that they can barely be read and if I’m skimming through a bunch of pins, I am definitely not stopping to read them
Tips for using colors:
- Bright, neon colors on white background perform best: hot pink, turquoise, orange, and lime green
- Don’t be afraid to use black. Black stands out a ton on a white background so don’t think you have to use colors to be eye-catching
- Avoid pastels or muted colors
- Stick to using 2-3 colors max
In my opinion, it is not important to treat your pin images as part of your branding. Meaning the colors, fonts, and style of your pins do not have to give off the same feeling as your website or social media.
This is because you want your pins to stand out and be eye-catching.
If your typical brand colors are bold and shocking then you may just be able to use them. However, don’t be stuck on your own colors or website theme for pins.
My sites use a soft, blush pink, white, and silver. I would never use these colors on my pins because they don’t jump out enough.
Once again, if you look at those pins above, the light pink barely gets seen in front of the white background.
Therefore my pins all use bright colors and are never the same. Don’t think your pins need to all look alike because no one is really concentrating on that.
- Always put your blog name or url somewhere on the pin. This way no one can steal your image and people will also know where they are clicking before they do.
- Your pins don’t all have to look the same. It’s not important for your Pinterest to look cohesive and pretty because the user is only going to see your individual pins through a search.
Sometimes adding a little touch of small graphics and clip art can help give your image some pizzaz.
Elements are arrows, lines, circles, borders, etc that you can add to your image. See how this blogger uses arrows, a dotted line, and thick border just on the bottom to accentuate her pin.
Try adding solid circles or rectangles behind some text or numbers, adding arrows to point at a certain word, or using lines and dividers to break up text.
You can get away with sticking these elements anywhere around your text usually to add a little extra read me factor.
10. Call to Action
Also on the above pins, the blogger is using a call-to-action. A call to action is just something that screams out CLICK ME and gives the user more incentive.
It can literally just say click me, click here, or pin me or you can use a tactic for enticing them to see what’s in your post.
For example, Click to learn my amazing tips, get your kids listening to you after you read this post, or download your free printable here.
. . . . .
Here’s a huge trick that I still use now: Go to your Pinterest feed and quickly scroll through the page. Stop at every image that catches your eye as you scroll down really fast.
Screenshot that image and COPY it. Ok, I don’t mean literally use that pin, but see exactly what it was that stood out to you. I GUARANTEE that the image will have elements that I stated above.
This can be your starting point for creating your own eye-catching pin graphics.
I hope these tips help you create stunning pins to get your Pinterest account booming! Let me know in the comments!