Like any other human being I am attracted to striking images way before being tempted to read text. Pinterest is fab for this because it is driven by linking your blog post to an attractive, striking pin image. So how would I go about doing this as a beginner?
Personally, I have found Canva the easiest online graphic editor. I have also tried PicMonkey, but found it slow and jumpy. It sometimes reminded me of going back to dial-up internet days, and was a little frustrating, when I had short windows of time in which to do some of my blogging tasks. Anyway, I’ve wandered off the point.
The benefits of Canva are:
- It loads quickly and allows to modify images in minutes.
- You can import your own images to build your pins, or you can use free or paid images, supplied by Canva
- It’s free for the basic version, which I use, and it’s everything I need
- It has a crazy amount of font choices.
- You can add your specific colour codes from your website, so you can brand your pins easily.
How to Create Your First Pin Graphic in Canva
Sign up and Log In
Create yourself an account and login.
Choose a template
Throughout the tutorial, I will support your progress using actual screen shots from my account to help. At the top you can see that Canva offers plenty of choices for templates. On the right hand side, click on more and it will bring you to the next screen as shown underneath.
You should see the title ‘Social Media Posts’.
For a Pinterest graphic 735 x 1102 pixels Optimum size is around 800 x 1200 so this works perfectly for me. So choose the Pinterest graphic option.
Now you will see a blank canvas, ready for you to build you pin on. My advice would be to have a play with the menu buttons on the left and get used to what they can do.
Spend some time experimenting with different things on the menu on left
Choose a background image that has a light background
When I design my pins, I find a graphic that has a light background, so it doesn’t distract away from the text that I will put over the top at the end. Pixabay is brilliant for this – filter your search on Pixabay or wherever you source your image to vertical orientation, so the graphic will cover the background of your pin.
Upload the Image to Canva
So as you can see on the screenshot above, the upload button is bottom left. Click and select your image from your computer. Upload it into Canva by clicking on it as it appears in the upload menu.
Resize your Image
Double click on the image now you have resized it. You might need to do this a couple of times before this view comes up. Pull the edges to the edge of the graphic canvas. Click on button top left to crop.
The crop tool can be a bit temperamental, so experiment with pulling the crop edges in different ways so you cover the whole template.
Use the Transparency Tool
I use this tool to make the image fade, so the call to action and my Pin title doesn’t get lost in the background. I always try out my pins on a phone screen and if the background is not enough of a contrast, the pin is not as clear to read.
Step 2 – Fade Transparency
Choose stand-out Text
Choose a font that is clear and easy to read when it is a lot smaller (remember phone screens right). I use two different fonts on my pins, to draw the eye of the reader further.
Pin Text Content
Think about a quick punchy title that also includes SEO words. You need to give your readers a hook. How are you helping them? What can they expect to be able to achieve?
Examples of Hard-to-Read Pins
I always believe that in order to understand what a good pin looks like, we also need to look at examples of pins that aren’t so great. Here goes…
This pin has a dark background and the text is lost among the different colours. Result – low level of clicks. Imagine this scaled down on your phone screen. It isn’t attractive because the image confuses the eye, making thee text hard to read.
This pin has a different issue. It consists only of a graphic. Ideally it needs a title over the top of the image, to communicate in seconds what the blog article is about.
Now it’s your turn. What, in your opinion, is unclear about this pin? Of course it has many good points – the main green title is clear and hard-hitting. It gives a call to action by showing the reader that the toolkit is free.
Can you spot the parts that aren’t as clear?
My pins were unclear, when I started out. I can definitely say, that without the help of one cute little ebook from The She Approach , I would have stumbled around in the dark for months, trying to figure this stuff out. The link’s here – remember I don’t recommend anything I haven’t tried or love.
My First Attempt at a Pin
This is the difference in my pins! Haha – I just love how I tried to create this on Paint!
My Best Performing Pins Right Now
Most of my pins that I create now are colour coded to the exact colour of my blog.
What do you notice as the difference between the clear and unclear pins?
The bold, clear text allows you to read the title of the blog post comfortably on a phone screen. It allows you to make a split second decision as to whether you are going to click on the pin, or not, to read the blog post. The aim is to make an instant bam! on the reader, as you realistically only have a second or two to make an impression. So something to consider..How are you going to make your pins stand out also from the main screen on Pinterest?
Other Examples of Stunning Pins
Pin Me For Later!
Use the Exact Colours as Your Website Branding
When you click on the text, it will give you options to change the size, font, and colour. Here I believe branding is important, so that my audience will recognise my pins instantly. I copy the colour code for the pink on my website, from the appearance section in WordPress. So my pins are colour coded to match my website.
I also insert coloured boxes that match also. Once the box is inserted, it will lie on top of everything else, so change the colour to what you want ( I paste my colour code into the colour wheel as shown), then press arrange. Keep clicking until it is behind the text.
Rearrange the text on pin then I attach a call to action on most of my pins.
Add your Domain Address
Next I add my website to the bottom of the pin. I tend to copy the box I have already prepared and, then stretch it.
My pins need to look alike, so I include my logo, just above my website name. I also add a call to action, if it is suitable.
I tend to ignore the social media box. Your download appears on the bottom left of your screen. Save it to your computer, then you can upload to Pinterest! I recommend doing 3 different versions of the same pin. Experiment with what works and also you have three links back to your blog out there too!
See my guide also to scheduling using Tailwind and how this can drive traffic to your blog. Read also my review of the Blog Tools I am using now. Elna, from Twins Mommy has a really useful Pin planner, that I use, that I can highly recommend.
So there you are! Your very first striking pin graphic, created, fully branded and good to upload to Pinterest! Did this post make you eager to get started on a web graphic editor? Have you still got any questions about using Canva? Get in touch and let me know how I can help.