Welcome to my guide on making and designing Pinterest Pins.
If you’re a blogger or website owner, you’ll know all about Pinterest -the single best source of free traffic on the internet.
The bridge between your content and this free traffic, is Pinterest Pins.
Pinterest Pins can be an image that someone has uploaded from your website, or an image that you’ve created with Pinterest in mind.
I’ve been designing Pinterest Pins for over 2 years, and thought I would share what I’ve learned. Before we start, check out some of my designs:
THE 5 STEPS TO MAKE PINTEREST PINS:
1. Pin Size
2. Main Image and Background
3. Text Overlay
4. Use Of Colour
5. Pin File-size
What Size Should Pinterest Pins Be?
Pinterest provides a standard that you should follow, as explained by Sarah Hoople Shere (Head of Product Marketing, Pinterest) in a recent interview with Tailwind.
Sarah explains that a 2:3 ratio is recommended: (600×900 or 735×1102). Further, “If you deviate much from that, you might see less distribution or your Pins might be cut off in certain parts of the Pinterest app.”.
If you haven’t already, you should read or watch that interview in full, for some great Pinterest insight -not yet thought… read this first!
So, using my image manipulation software, PaintShop Pro, I start by creating a new image with that suggested ratio.
You can do the same using your software.
How Do I Make The Pin Background?
There are a number of ways to create a background for your Pinterest Pins:
a. Digitally create your own background. You could use PaintShop Pro, or any software, to create a coloured background.
b. Use the stock images, patterns, or textures your software provides.
c. Take and use your own photos.
d. Use stock images from Pexels (Pexels is free!) or another similar service.
I tend to use option ‘d’ for freedom2try.
If the Pin promotes a physical item, it makes sense to use that.
The downside of using your own image is maintaining the copyright. The upside is that the Pinterest algorithm knows it’s a new image – and that’s a good thing, because Pinterest is more likely to distribute it.
For today’s Pin, I’ll head over to Pexels and find a suitable image. 1 sec…
I’m back. This is the image I found:
As you can see, it’s relevant to the topic. Somebody working hard… Not too hard, got that coffee ready to go.
You should download the largest size available. You can always make an image smaller in the editing stage, but you can’t make it bigger.
Next, you want to manipulate it, in such a way, that Pinterest won’t recognise it as an image it has seen before.
Here are some of the things we can do for that:
i. Only use part of the image – as you can see below, that’s what I did today.
ii. Add an effect, filter or texture available in your graphics software package.
iii. Add a text overlay – We’ll be doing this anyway, but it also helps to confuse the algorithm.
This is the section of the image I’ve used. It is in my Pin template, sized at 735×1102:
How Do I Design The Text Overlay?
Once you have chosen a phrase, it’s time to apply it to the image.
I’m going with “Follow Along As I Make This Pin“.
Take your time to find the right font that works with your design so far. If I’m in a hurry I tend to go with IMPACT because it’s a clear, solid font.
Today I’ll use Eras Bold ITC, at size 72.
You want to make the font large enough to read when zoomed out. By that I mean, think about how small the Pin is when you’re scrolling through Pinterest. You want your Pin font to be legible at that size.
Because this Pin is about business, I want it to look professional. -Like one of the chic ads found in fancy magazines for proper business folk…. like you.
To achieve that, keep it simple and direct to the point. Use a large clear font to explain the value of the content.
There was a lot of pressure on this Pin, because I’ve been so bold as to suggest that you’d want to know how I created it! So, I want it to look the part.
Finally, add a logo/website address to the pin. This serves 2 purposes:
a. Branding – The idea is to build a relationship with the reader. Hopefully they enjoyed visiting your website last time, and seeing your logo could encourage them to return!
b. An attempt at copyright control – Sadly, people steal images on the internet. Some copyright markings may cause a person to move on to lower hanging fruit.
It’s important to strike the right balance. You don’t want to cover the Pin with logos because it will destroy the aesthetics.
Here it is, the completed Pin (version 1):
I added a line of text at the bottom, explaining what other information you’ll find at the website.
Note: The user won’t be able to read this line of text unless they interact with your pin. You could use a brighter colour for this text – but let’s move on to Step 4 for that…
How Should I Use Colour In My Pins?
Colour is a great way to interact with the subconscious mind. Not in a sinister way, just tapping into the sub-surface functions of the human brain – that’s all.
A sharp piece of colour on your Pin will cause the user to focus in.
As they are scrolling through a field of Pins, they’re more likely to be aware of the brighter Pin – or a conflicting area within a Pin.
So, add a sharp piece of colour.
Whatever provides a conflict with the rest of the Pin, and hopefully, all of the other Pins in their feed.
Red is ideal of course… it’s the colour of blood and associated with DANGER!
With today’s Pin, I took the opportunity to highlight a few things you may not know. I used a bright red arrow to delineate 3 points:
1. A line which most people follow when viewing a new image – Generally speaking, the eye runs from top left to mid right.
This has a number of design implications, and provides guidance to the designer, as to where to place objects.
2. The bright red arrow itself – Even if you don’t read this post, you’ll see the importance of colour.
3. The centre of the image – My final Pin creates somewhat of a spiral, headed towards the main source of light, which is at the centre of the Pin.
Here is the completed Pin, with colour (version 2):
Scroll down for Step 5, but first, please take a moment to help me by pinning. Thank you!
What File-Size Should My Pin Be?
The final Pin size is dependant on many factors, including what’s in the image! As a general guide, under 150KB would be fine for both your website and Pinterest.
You should check the image on your screen to make sure it’s not pixelated before posting.
Personally, if the goal is to upload directly to Pinterest, I save a jpg to its maximum size. This creates a file that’s around 500KB (based on the recommended ratio).
That’s fine for Pinterest, but too large for a website. On Pinterest the user can zoom-in on an image. I hope to create a Pin that can handle a little zoom, especially if it’s a product for sale.
Simply put, there are 2 types of image file. Lossy, and non-lossy. A non-lossy file type is a ‘TIFF’. A lossy file type is a ‘jpg’.
The non-lossy file will retain all of the information in an image. And, it will be larger as a result.
The lossy file will get rid of all of the information the human eye can’t see. It will compress the image to make it smaller.
Finding the balance when compressing a lossy image is important, because you can go too far and end up with a pixelated image.
I have a bad habit of creating one main Pin – which I attempt to optimise for both Pinterest and this website.
It means that my Pinterest Pins are around 200KB. If it were solely for Pinterest, it would be around 500KB, and if it were optimised for only this website, it would be around 150KB.
We know that the Pin is 735px in Width but, the width of this page is only 525px. That means that the image is larger than needed.
But by doing this, I save time later because I don’t have to upload an image manually. I can just grab it from this website.
The Pin should be below-the-fold, so that it’s not required to load first.
I like to have my Pinterest Pins on my web-page, in hope of persuading the reader to Pin it. (By the way, if you’ve read this far, you have to help me out by Pinning my pin!)
Sarah Hoople Shere, from the Tailwind interview I referred to earlier, explained that ideally the Pin on Pinterest, will also be present on the landing page on your website.
I decided to make another Pin. Which one do you prefer?
If you’re using Pinterest for traffic, it’s a good idea to create multiple Pins for each post.
Finally, I use Tailwind and upload my Pins to ‘Tribes’, so that other bloggers can share them. If you’d like to try out Tailwind, use my link to get a free month! – I would also get a free month 🙂
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You can also find me on Pinterest.