How to Make an Image for Pinterest

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.

Booyah!

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

How to Make an Image for Pinterest Tutorial

Pin It

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.

How to Make an Image for Pinterest Tutorial

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.

Comments

  1. says

    Great minds think alike! I have been having fun this week creating Polyvore sets for Pinterest. I did find out this week that you do not have to move your image to Photoshop to add text, Polyvore has an easy text function with super cute fonts! I have been toying with the question of watermarking my sets or not– do you think that a pinner is less likely to repin a set if it has a website/watermark in the image? The instant gratification is addictive– a little black dress set that I created and pinned was repinned 73 times within the hour! And I was reading a blog yesterday that had included one of my sets. Bananas!

  2. says

    Thank you for making this for me. ;) My only (really newbie) question is how do you open your image in Elements. I could not figure out how to add it to an existing canvas so I had to right click to open the image with Elements. Is there a better way?

  3. says

    This is very smart. Pinterest has quickly become my favorite social networking site, and I’ve been wondering how I can use it to drive more traffic to my blog. Thanks for sharing!

  4. says

    Thank you! I know this wasn’t just for me, but it might as well have been. You are responding to (apparently the few of) us who said we wanted more blogging info and tutorials in your survey.

    Pinterest is one place I love to visit, but am definitely NOT utilizing well for my blog.

    Thanks!

  5. says

    Thank you so much for the helpful tips! Maybe some day soon you will have the opportunity to pin one of my images created from your instructions ;).

  6. Debbie Peterson says

    This post was very helpful. However, I have an image that I designed in Photoshop. It is actually Calligraphy that I scanned in and added a design as well. I reduced it to 400 X 400 pixels (it is square) and I’ve saved it as a Jpeg, tiff, and png and It will not upload. What am I doing wrong? I would so appreciate your input. This is driving me crazy. Thank you Jo-Lynn.

  7. says

    I can’t find anywhere info on what format images need to be in for Pinterest to recognize them. I try to pin my website and it says there are no pinnable images on my homepage. I’d particularly like my logo to be pinnable. Does it need to be a certain size or image format?? Help me, please … I’ll pin your posts on my boards. ;o)

  8. says

    So it doesn’t have to be a square? I wasn’t sure if it was okay to make rectangles–sometimes I just use photos and add text over them.

  9. Lilly says

    But how do we upload it into a pin? as I access pinterest on my phone, I would really like to turn screenshots into pins.

    Thank you, though, this article was very helpful and informing.

  10. says

    hi, Thanks for the information. 2 questions. To where do you upload the image and then where do you put the url into the pin it button code? I can not figure it out. Thank you.

  11. says

  12. Gina Smith says

    Hi! What a wonderful articl. The problem that I am having is that I cannot upload the images after I create them. From my home page I click on my board > Add a Pin > From Computer > Choose a File > browse to the file > it spins and spins and asked me if I want to open the file or save it. It I click open it just opens the file but it never uploads it as a pin. Any ideas on what I am doing wrong?

    Thanks!

    • says

      It depends on what platform you’re on. In WordPress, I click on the photo and put the URL in the “link url” box. Or when you upload a photo, you have the option to put in a link.

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