With the sudden Pinterest boom, bloggers can’t help but notice the traffic it is generating for their blogs. Without even being very active on Pinterest, last month it was my 4th top referring site, just behind Google, StumbleUpon and Facebook. So of course with this kind of traffic potential, we bloggers want to know how to make our posts more attractive for pinning.
As I wrote in my Pinterest for Bloggers post a few weeks ago, Pinterest is highly visual so the key to making your posts pin-worthy is to have stand-out graphics that people will want to pin and re-pin.
That’s all fine and good for food bloggers and fashion bloggers and other topics that lend themselves to pretty pictures, but what about other types of posts?
What if I write a post about, say, food safety vs nourishment? That’s not exactly pinnable.
Or is it?
It is when I make a graphic to go with it!
Yes, I specifically made this graphic so that I’d have something pinnable in that post.
And you know what? I actually had a commenter that mentioned that she found my post on Pinterest.
You can do the same thing with photos. That’s what I did with my Pinterest for Bloggers image that I created to go along with that post.
I created an image with a screen shot of my pinterest page and the Pinterest logo. I added a text box with the words “for bloggers” and then I gave it a pretty background and a border.
Sometimes I do this with recipes or fashion posts too. Even though they are already full of pinnable images, I like to create one that has the title on it so that when people see the image on Pinterest, they know what the post is about and are tempted to click through and find my blog. For example, I created this collage on Polyvore, then I saved the image to my computer and opened it in Photoshop and added the text and a border to it.
(Stay tuned! On Friday you get to read the post that goes along with that image!!)
I also like to add my website to the image in case it gets improperly pinned, so people can still find my post! (For how to pin properly, see my Pinterest for Bloggers post, referenced above.)
So, the question is:
HOW DO I MAKE THESE IMAGES?
The basic concept is the same as my How To Design A Blog Button post, but here’s the low-down.
How to Make an Image for Pinterest
You didn’t think I’d write a post about making an image for Pinterest without, you know, an image for Pinterest, did you!?
STEP ONE: Create a blank canvas.
Use whatever graphics program you like. I’m partial to Photoshop Elements. It’s only about $75, and you can get a student discount if you know or have a student.
I like to make my images about 500 x 300 pixels, but you can make it whatever size you like.
STEP TWO: Decide what you want to go in your image.
If you’re using a photograph that you already have, and you just want to add a title and copyright to it, you’re more than halfway there.
If you are creating a graphic from scratch (such as my Pay the Farmer Now image), then you have a bit more work to do. You need to decide what you want it to say and what images, if any, you want to add to it.
I know that I want the Pinterest logo in my image, and I know that I want the rest of the title to my post, so I’ll start there.
STEP THREE: Gather your images and place how you want them.
I downloaded the logo from the Pinterest website. And I created a text box and copied and pasted from the title of this post.
I knew I needed something else though.
I’d like to have some photo or picture to add to it but I’m not sure what that would be. I was stumped until I tried a bit of crowd sourcing. I asked a group of friends for ideas and Julie suggested pinning a paper onto a bulletin board with the message on a note. I took the easy way out and went to iStockphoto and found this graphic.
I have iStock points that I keep on hand for projects such as these, so I bought it. I am not suggesting that you buy graphics for every post that you write (I certainly don’t) but sometimes it’s worth it. I could have spent hours trying to jerry-rig something similar, but I found exactly what I wanted so I decided it was worth the 5 iStock points.
I copied the images into the document I’d already started and moved my text and logo into the area of the note. I had to resize the cork to fit my parameters and reposition the note.
STEP FOUR: Make it pretty.
Clearly I had a bit more work to do to get this Pinterest-worthy. I tilted my title to make them fit better onto the note. Then it was time to dress up my font.
A word about fonts . . .
DON’T OVER DO IT. It needs to be legible. That’s the point, right? People tend to get slap-happy with the fonts, but please, just choose one or two at the MOST.
With my Pay the Farmer image, I intentionally kept it simple. I chose a pretty font that isn’t too ordinary but is still easy to read. (Avoid Comic Sans and Papyrus, PLEASE. Just trust me on this one.) And I just used two colors. I added a dashed border for some interest but otherwise, it is very plain. If you go to my source page, you can see that it’s been pinned many times.
So anyway, choose a font, and choose a color for it. Resize it to work within the parameters of the image.
You can also put a pretty border around the image if you desire and add a background color if you don’t have one already.
I used the corkboard as the background, and I added a dark brown solid line, almost like a frame to the corkboard. I also wanted to be sure that everyone knows where to find my post, should my image get pinned incorrectly, so I added my blog title and URL in the bottom right-hand corner. I might have made it part of the title, if I’d had more room.
And that’s that!!
The point is, you want to make it easy on your readers to pin your post, and you want to make sure that people can find it when your nifty graphic catches their eye.
If you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section.