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If you need to up your Pinterest game, creating beautiful Pins that people want to click on is key! If you are a new blogger, you may not realize just how important Pinterest is to driving traffic to your blog’s website. I knew it was important, but I had no idea it was SO important! There is lots of competition, too, so your pins need to stand out from the others. One way to do that is to be sure they are visually pleasing AND have great titles. (Be sure to grab our viral post cheat sheet down below!) You know how great Pinterest pins can suck you in for hours of pinning- that’s what you want to provide people! Make them want to Pin all day long.
If you take a look at Pinterest, you will quickly see that there are some Pins you are drawn to, while others you barely notice. Or worse yet for the Pinner, you don’t notice them at all! You DO NOT want to be that Pinner. You want to be the Pinner that people see, click on, save to a board and (hopefully!!!) click through to visit your blog!
I’m going to use one of my earliest Pins that is pretty “bad” in hindsight:
For one thing, it is too long- even though it is the 2:3 ratio Pinterest prefers, it is too long and Pinterest cuts half of it off. For another thing, it’s boring. The photos are awesome- they look delicious and they are bright and colorful, so Pinners will be drawn to them. But the big white space in the middle is plain and the font is boring.
You can see in the screenshot below that this pin had 49 impressions (red circle) and was pinned 81 times (blue circle at the bottom).
81 times is not terrible- I have plenty of old Pins that were re-pinned way fewer times than that! But it’s not great. 81 Pins doesn’t even convert to 81 visits to my site, since a lot of people “Pin for later” and never circle back. I know I’m guilty of that, so of course others are, too.
Overall, this Pin and its performance is mediocre at best.
I spent a lot of time (probably 60 hours over the course of 2 weeks) updating all of my Pins with new images and SEO improvements. I am now in the process of rolling all of them out again. They are all scheduled with Tailwind to re-post to my boards, and then once they have sat on my boards for a few days I submit them to the Tribes I belong to. Slowly but surely my efforts are paying off in the form of more clicks, more saves, and more click-throughs to my site.
Here is the new Pin I made to replace the lackluster Pin above:
Why is this Pin better?
- It is smaller, but still follows Pinterest’s 2:3 ratio rule and since it is not quite as long Pinterest does not cut it off in their feed.
- It has one eye-catching image that readers will be drawn to, rather than two images that make our readers’ eyes jump around.
- The font is BOLD and eye-catching.
- The color of the font coordinates (or complements) the colors in the photo.
- Readers like numbers, so the “10” is big & bold and the first thing people notice, along with the enticing colors of the photo AND the font.
- The white space on either side of “cozy” is filled in a bit with some more color, which helps extend the word “cozy” to be as wide as the words below. I wanted to emphasize “cozy” because people like to be cozy and they respond well to the word “cozy.”
See how much better this revamped Pin has performed?
Pinterest analytics shows the improved Pin has had over 52,000 impressions and has been saved over 400 times.
MUCH better! And it continues to grow daily, which is what we want.
Here are a couple more examples of old Pins that have been revamped and improved:
How to Use Canva for Pins
So, how do you revamp your old Pins? With Canva! I used PicMonkey for years – I used to work for another blogger and had to create Pins to go with my posts and round-ups. Because of this I naturally gravitated towards PicMoney when I started this blog. And don’t get me wrong, PicMonkey is great. It has a lot of ability and it is easy to use. But, I use Chrome and half the time I am on satellite internet, which is glitchy and slow. PicMonkey was not working well in Chrome on our crummy internet.
The other reason I started looking for alternatives is that PicMoney is no longer free and now costs about $70 – $120 a year, billed annually. Since “I quit my job for this” I need to keep costs low- at least until this is producing a steady, reliable income. If I could find a free option that worked great, I could redirect my PicMonkey money into upgrading my Tailwind account, which is exactly what I did.
I love Canva because it is easy to use and it is free. You can upgrade if you’d like, but I am finding the free option is perfect for me. I don’t feel like I’m missing any features or that my Pins are lacking and could use a little extra. Will I upgrade eventually? Maybe, but as of now, I don’t see the need.
Canva has thousands of free images you can use in addition to your own photos, which are super easy to upload. If you need more photo options, stock photos are a great choice:
Free Stock Photo Sources
Sometimes the photos you’ve taken are great for a blog post, but not perfect enough for a Pin. And sometimes your blog post is about something you aren’t going to have photos for. Recipes, DIY, crafts, etc. are one thing and you’ll probably take a bunch of photos for your blog post and one of them will probably work for a Pin. But what about a post on how to get a better night’s sleep or how to lose weight so it stays off? Unless you have an amazing bedroom or an inspirational body of your own, you may need a stock photo for posts that you don’t really have anything to photograph for.
These are my favorite sources for free stock photos. The first three offer free photos to email subscribers and they also have photo subscription plans. I fully intend to purchase subscription plans when, like I said above, this blog is making a regular, steady income. For now, I need to keep my costs down. The last two are loaded with thousands of photos in every category. I love to scroll wayyyyyy down or look on pages after the first page to find photos that other bloggers haven’t used a lot.
Ivory Mix – sign up for free photos
Styled Stock Society – sign up for free photos
Pixistock – sign up for free photos
Unsplash – thousands of free photos
Pixabay – thousands of free photos
Canva has templates for all of your blogging needs from social media to logos and business cards.
- Facebook – Cover / App / Post / Event Cover
- Business cards
- Photo collages
- Book cover (for your next eBook!)
There are so many I’m not going to list them all. You can see all of the options here. In addition to their pre-set dimensions, you can choose your own dimensions, too.
Let’s Focus on Canva for Pinterest
Since we’re talking about optimizing Pins, let’s stick to Canva for Pinterest.
One Important Thing: When you create a new Pin and add it to your blog post, DO NOT DELETE THE OLD PIN. Either hide it or move it to the bottom of the post. That Pin is still out there and even if it’s not performing well, it is performing a little. Deleting it can mess up your account on Pinterest’s algorithm. (Also, don’t mess with the URL for your post. You’re only adding fresh, new Pins to your post.)
To get started, go to Canva.com and click on “Pinterest Graphic”. Canva has set this template at 735 x 1102 pixels, which is based on Pinterest’s 2:3 ratio and is a perfect size for Pins.
Once the Pinterest Graphic screen opens, you will see that the template area is set to 735 x 1102 and there are layout options on the left side of the screen.
Scroll down through the layout options until you find one that you like. Don’t pay attention to the photos, you’re going to use your own photo. Pay attention to the Pin style and the fonts. You can change the colors, too.
In the screenshot below, you can see that I chose the “Wedding Cake” layout option. My Pin is not going to be about wedding cakes, or food at all, but I like the style of this Pin layout: large photo area, simple title layout, colored title background with two thin lines at the top and bottom. To change the pink color, click on the pink rectangle and a
Changing the color is easy:
You can also change the size of the title area by clicking on the are (the pink rectangle in this case) and increasing the size by dragging the corners or border dots.
To change the photo, simply click on the photo, then click the garbage can in the top right corner, then click “Delete Element.”
Some of the Pinterest layout options are not free. They have a “$” sign on them when you hover on them. You can still use them, though! The price is to use the photo, not the layout or the title/text area. See the “Canva” logo and the criss-cross watermark on the photo below? If you want to use that photo it will cost $1.00. If you want to use your own photo, just click on the Canva photo and delete it, same as above.
Changing the photo is easy. Click on “Uploads” and then the green “Upload your own photos” bar.
Upload as you normally do, either by dragging and dropping from your desktop or going into your downloads and selecting the file.
Next, drag and drop the image from the Uploads are into the Image area. The photo will fill the image area. To resize the image, double-click on the image and increase the size.
Now that your photo is uploaded, you can change the color of the title area and type in your title. Depending on the layout template you choose, the text may be “grouped” in the title area. I find it easier to work with the text when it is “ungrouped.” To ungroup the text, click on the text and click “ungroup” on the right side of the toolbar. You’ll have to play with it to see what you prefer and what is easier/faster for you.
If you aren’t happy with the pre-set font, simply click on the text box and change the font to whatever you like using the dropdown font choices in the toolbar. To change the font color, click on the color wheel on the toolbar and choose a new color. For more color options, click the “+” symbol.
As you can see, adding two additional text fields has made the title area looked really cramped. This is where you will have to play with the text field size, possibly different fonts and the text color.
You can see that by removing the additional text field, changing the font color and increasing some of the text size, the Pin looks much better.
I always make 2-3 (and sometimes 4) Pins for each post. Once you’ve played around with Canva for a bit you should be able to make Pins quickly – in less than 10 minutes – and easily for all of your posts! And, it’s all FREE, which is the best part!
Creating multiple Pins increases your chances of appealing to more people. You can check your analytics to see which Pin is performing better and focus on promoting and sharing that one Pin, rather than both of them. This is helpful if you are paying for a scheduling tool, like Tailwind, because there is no point in wasting Tribe submissions of Pins that are not attracting viewers. If none of your Pins for a particular post are performing, create new Pins and be sure your title is catchy! “How to Create Viral Pins Quickly, Easily & for FREE Using Canva” is a lot catchier than “How to Create Viral Pins” or How to Create Pins with Canva.” My third Pin “3 Quick & Easy Steps to Create Viral Pins for Free Using Canva” is to appeal to readers who like numbers. (Since this tutorial is so long you’re probably thinking “that’s WAY more than 3 steps” but it’s not! Pick your layout, upload a photo and play with the title area.
Do you need some catchy title starters now that you’re making Pins like a pro using Canva layouts? Then you’re in luck! I’ve put together a cheat sheet of 30 (30!!!!) Catchy Titles for Viral Pins and a list of 20 action-producing words to help you create viral Pins for all of your blog posts! You can download it by clicking the box below.
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Think you’re ready to start crafting viral Pins for Pinterest? I’m sure you are. Have fun playing with Canva- it’s so easy you’re going to love it and save so.much.time!
Be sure to take a look at our other posts to help you save time, and generate traffic, blogging!
All Blog Posts in our “New to Blogging” Journey are here.
35 Facebook Groups for Bloggers to Help Skyrocket Your Traffic
For even more blogging tips and tricks, be sure to take a look at our Better Blogging board on Pinterest. There are hundreds of amazingly informational Pins from other great bloggers to help you on your blogging adventure!