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The 3 Step Guide to Creating Pinterest-friendly Graphics for Your Blog

It´s well established that Pinterest can be a strong driver of traffic. We´ve been having a lot of success at our Digital Photography School account and have seen other blogs, like Hair Romance, experiencing similar success.

In my experience, most bloggers focus on curating boards to build their expertise and drive traffic back to their blogs. They regularly include their blog posts among the images they pin. This is great for attracting new visitors.

There is, however, an easier way.

You can save time and test whether your content will be shared on Pinterest by creating specific graphics for your blog posts. This simple method allows you to know if your blog and images resonate with users.

The most basic form is a title and a graphic. In this post, I´ll walk you through my three-step process for creating images that are Pinterest-bait. Also, I´ll be doing a follow-up post highlighting bloggers using Pinterest successfully, so let me know if you have any suggestions for that in the comments.

Step 1. Choose the size of your graphic

Sizing is an important issue. You want the graphic to be clear when it’s viewed as a small image. Additionally, you want the graphic to match the design of your blog. From a visual perspective, I prefer it when the graphic is the same width as the blog post. A great example is the image at the end of this post on Expert Photography.

The best shape is either a square or tall image. Dan Zarella´s research shows that taller images get repinned more often. I agree with this, but mostly because you can fit more text in a longer graphic. The size of the graphic will depend on a lot of variables such as your blog design and how much attention you want to give to branding or calls to action.

I recommend that you look at relevant images and take note of the sizes that appeal to you. Visit the original blog posts and see whether the graphics fit with the theme. Here are some example images on the original blog posts:

Tip: List posts and series do really well on Pinterest.

Step 2. Choose the design elements and fonts

The best graphics are ones that have a similar template. I can look at pins from Elizabeth Halford and instantly know when one is from her blog.

You want this kind of recognition and consistency. It means that people are more likely to trust you and repin the image without reading the associated article.

I love it when the image matches contains similar elements from the blog design. Examples include:

  • colours
  • font
  • logo
  • background

The goal is for you, or a designer, to create a template that you can use for all of your graphics. You want to be able to make minor tweaks and get a new, pinnable image in just a couple of minutes.

Additionally, you need to consider the following:

  • Do you want to use photos in your pin? This often increases the likelihood of the image getting repinned.
  • Will you incude a call to action asking for people to repin the image? This will take up extra room and can clash with your branding.
  • How long are your post titles? Will you have to change them for the Pinterest graphic?

This is the hardest part of creating Pinterest-friendly graphics.

Step 3. Add images and title

This is the easiest step, and the one that you will be repeating every time you write a new blog post. You simply have to add the title and, if necessary, an additional image in Photoshop.

If all of this sounds too complex, I recommend reading How To Create Pinterest Friendly Images. It contains a simply tutorial to create basic images.

Extra ideas

Create graphics for your Resources page

A Resources page is an easy way for many bloggers to highlight their curation skills and potentially increase their affiliate income. You can attract new readers to this page by creating a graphic specifically targeted towards Pinterest browsers.

To really excel at this, the page needs to have a title that is more catchy than Recommended or Resources. Look at what Bree, from Blog Stylist, has done. She created a graphic for her page titled A-Z of blogging resources. This title is much more likely to be shared.

Posts that have numbers in them—especially list posts—do extremely well. However, that approach may not work if you are regularly updating you Resources page.

Add pinnable graphics to older posts

This is an idea that isn´t used by many bloggers. People will create graphics for their newer posts but will rarely revisit their archives. There is a lot of potential for Pinterest traffic here. Tutorials are extremely popular.

Check out this example from BlogcastFM. It´s really simple—just a couple of nice fonts over a photo. It takes a good eye to get the elements working together like this but it is something that anybody could achieve with a bit of practice.

Do you have any pillar content sitting in your achives? Revisit it and check to see if it has already been pinned. Also check to see if people have pinned similar articles from other blogs. This will let you know whether the topic will resonate with Pinterest users.

I´d focus on creating graphics for the posts that have the most demand. This will give users the tools they need to share the post, and image, further.

Use quotes

People love pinning motivational quotes and images. This is also one of the easiest ways to find material for graphics.

Go through your previous posts—especially the more popular, thought-provoking posts. Look for feedback on the sentences and phrases that people resonated with. Some people have even identified these and highlighted them so that people can tweet them easily.

Colin Wright, from Exile, has created a page featuring images of his most popular quotes. He added an extra income stream by making these images available on T-shirts.

Create infographics based on blog posts

An infographic is a graphic, eye-catching visual representation of information, data or knowledge. Consider investing in having an infographic designed to provide information useful to your core audience—it makes for a highly “repinnable” image.—Donna Moritz via Amy Porterfield

Occasionally, you will have a post that would be perfect for an infographic. This if often a list post. It can take a bit of work to create the infographic, and for many bloggers, it may be beyond their budget or technical expertise. It does, however, give the post a chance to go incredibly viral.

Check out the post that I referred to in that quote.  The 10 Commandments of Using Pinterest for Business went viral on many networks because it was a comprehensive, well-written post. It went absolutely crazy on Pinterest: it felt like that graphic was haunting me for weeks! That´s how powerful it can be.

Over to you

Are you thinking about using any of these techniques? Do you know of any bloggers who are doing this to builds their visibility on Pinterest? Let me know in the comments.

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Comments

  1. Court Tuttle says:

    Great work Jade. I just hired a graphic designer to help me to add graphics to posts. So far he’s completed exactly one for me and guess what? I’ve already seen traffic from Pinterest. I didn’t have to pin it – someone else did. I’m stoked. I can really see how this is going to make a big difference.

    • Jade Craven says:

      Fantastic :-)

      I pin a lot for Darrens other blog, Digital Photography school, and my analytics show that the posts with custom graphics often get over 5 times the repins. Hope you do a case study later on for Blog builders :)

    • Rank Watch says:

      You are right Jade. Infact i had seen my blogs with infographic content to get thrice the amount of traffic than non-infographic. But using graphics does require a bit of what-to and how-to as explained in the post above. I would also like to add that giving an alt-attribute to your image can do wonders for your ranking.

  2. Larry says:

    Great article up with some helpful tips, but where’s the pinnable graphic for this post? I was going to pin it, but no good graphic to pin….

    • Jade Craven says:

      Good point – and it *is* somewhat contradictory. Honestly, I just didn´t have the time to create one. I´ve been wrapping up paid work for Christmas and putting in a lot of time working on ideas for how I´m going to use Pinterest next year :)

      Would you pin other Problogger posts if there was pinnable graphics? I´m writing the list of bloggers to watch in 2013 and will see what I can whip up :)

  3. Tom says:

    I started using Pinterest a little over a month ago and it attracts a new area for my blogs. I’ve used quotes for a few of my pins and they’ve done well.

  4. Hi Jade

    Thanks for a really great article and for the referral to my article. I must agree I get a lot of traffic from pinterest too, not as much as from facebook, but pinterest is my second best referral site. It´s not always I have time to create a picture especially for pinterest, but when I do, it always get great results.

    Just a little side note; the link to my article is broken, due to me changing all my links, so here it the link to the example you mention in your post; http://christinagreve.com/4-ways-boost-photography-business/

    Thanks again and have a wonderful day :-)

  5. Jade

    I think using quotes to pin is a nice change to the ‘tweet this quote’ button in many posts (or they both could be complementary.)

    For many business blogs I think an image with a quote is more appropriate then just an image.

    Ainslie

  6. Asif Billah says:

    Great article. There is alot of information useful for everyone. I like the watermark tip. I didn`t know that something like that was available. That is useful for Pinterest. Everybody is repinning everything so this will promote your site alot more. Very valuable information!

  7. Ehsan Ullah says:

    Using quotes is really a great idea. I’ve been using Pinterest from quite sometime and used most of the strategies you mentioned in this post, but the images in which I included quotes got more repins from people.

  8. Alex says:

    Hi Jade,

    Thank you so much for featuring my blog post here, what an honor!

    Pinterest is such an amazing tool and I was really intrigued by Elizabeth Halford’s pins to her posts that you pointed out, I am going to try something similar and see what kind of difference it makes to my Pinterest traffic.

    Pinterest is actually my number one referral site – which surprised me initially, but now I’m learning to embrace it and leverage it as much as I can! Thank you for a great post, and for featuring me! Love it, and picked up some additional tips :)

    Big hugs
    xoxo

  9. Thanks for the article, Jade! The statistics about taller images getting repinned more is interesting – I’ll try it. To add to the topic: if you have a large Pinterest following, you can experiment with different images. You can manually upload any image to Pinterest and then link it to your blog post by clicking “edit pin.” This way you’ll have two (or more) different pins leading to the same source at the same time. So now you can measure which one gets more repins. I also use this method for older posts that don’t have a Pinterest-perfect image.

  10. Larry says:

    @Jade – Thanks and yes I would pin them. I’ve been a pretty avid pinner over the past couple of months for social media and blogging topics.

  11. As a craft blogger, I find that people pin my pictures to remind them of the tutorials. But I have been experimenting with adding a “How to” title to my images which seems to help.

  12. Steve says:

    Ofcourse, Increasing Pinterest followers would probably boost your website traffic and moreover lift your search engine ranking to high position. Pinterest will help you alot in your biz strategies.

  13. You had got this right, can anyone recommend me some pinterest marketing guide, or even mentor me

  14. Wayne Miller says:

    Darren, I didn’t have Pinterest account when we started our website or later when we started our Affiliblog. We launched a forum a few days ago and the graphics are pinning well. We’ll be changing things to make them Pinterest friendly since I got all of your blog posts. We will be taking your advice. I hope you’ll give us a look. I’d like to do a guest blog for you sometime, maybe be we could do a swap. Anyway, think about it.
    I am a motivated and skilled marketing executive with extensive management, sales and customer service experience. I do customer service and sales training, advertising and business consulting. Contact me at Affilipede where people who want to make money on the Internet come to learn how! http://www.affilipede.com/ Home of Affiliblog and Affiliforums.