Learning how to create a pinnable photo is the first step in using Pinterest as a tool for generating traffic to your blog. I find it consistently ranks as my #2 source of traffic after Google searches. Making sure your images are optimized for Pinterest lets you take advantage of all that this fabulous platform has to offer.
1) Use great photos.
I know, that seems like it should go without saying, right? But all it takes is a quick look and you will have to agree that maybe some of us need a reminder in that department. Recipes and DIY craft posts usually have great photos within them that can be used as pins, but what about that heartfelt post about the horrible day you just had? There are tons of sites that will allow you to use photos by professional photographers for just a small fee. One of my personal favorites is DepositPhotos.com. I snagged a deal on AppSumo (kind of like a Groupon site) for 100 photo credits for $50 and no monthly fee. I just grab a photo from there when I don’t have one of my own to use.
A quick Google search on “royalty free photos” will bring up other sites that also offer stock photos. Keep your pictures lighter, rather than dark. I know the newest picture trend is all dark and moody, but Pinterest users still prefer light and cheery. And no blurry pictures. Ever.
2) Think vertical, not horizontal.
Pinterest puts a limit on how wide your pins can be, but not on how long. If you pin a horizontal image, Pinterest will shrink it down to match their horizontal limit and some detail may be lost. A vertical image will show up in greater detail AND be very eye catching as it will take up more physical space on the page.
3) Use text to create interest.
While Pinterest is very much about pictures, text helps draw a potential reader in by hinting at what they will learn if they click through. Think of the text on a pin as a headline that should make the viewer want to read more.
A few rules about text though:
Make sure that every letter is visible. No black font if part of your picture is black and will obscure any of the text. Consider using an overlay to create contrast if needed.
Less is more. Use as few words as you can get away with. Text helps, but you still want your picture to be the focus (unless you are pinning a text graphic like above.)
Use clear, readable fonts. Yes, there are lots of fun themed fonts, but if it can’t be read at a glance, pass on it.
Don’t have a program like Photoshop that allows you to add text to your pictures? Not a problem! There are lots of free photo editing programs online. My favorites are PicMonkey.com and Canva.com.
4) Make it easy to share your pin-worthy images from your blog.
You’ve spent time and energy making your pictures pop so others will want to pin them. Don’t make it hard or they might just pass, no matter how snazzy your shots are. Make sure that all of your images have a “pin it” button on them. Pinterest makes it really easy to add both the “pin it” and “follow” buttons on your blog. Full instructions can be found here: http://help.pinterest.com/en/articles/website-widgets-and-pin-it-buttons
If you are on WordPress, there are also several plug-ins that will do the job for you.
Hopefully you now feel comfortable making pin-worthy images for your own site!