You’ll see a huge variety of pin types on Pinterest, some small, some large, some of professional quality, others which are poorly put together and more than a few that aren’t really pins at all. While we all use plenty of images in our posts that don’t qualify as pins (and that’s just fine), you also need to include a few images that meet Pinterest specifications.
The pins you place on your blog or site represent your business just like any other ad. For the purposes of business, that’s exactly what they are. Your goal is to get them clicked on and repinned by other pinners, laypeople and business partners alike. That’s kind of the whole point of pins, right?
It’s important to grasp the reason why we pin and know what Pinterest users prefer, which we can glean from statistics. Pinterest is a visual search engine and aesthetic can mean a lot to pinners. If you have ratty looking pins that show how little you’ve actually worked on them, many users aren’t’ going to put them up on their pristine pages. I’m a bit more flexible, but I don’t blame people who feel this way. Some people’s pinterest pages are curated and cultivated like a garden of bonsai; You don’t throw tumbleweeds into the mix.
Perfect Pins Bring People In
In order to do something right, we need to know how, first. Here are some guidelines to follow when starting out:
- All of your pins should be 400×600 pixels. There are a lot of old how-to guides stating all kinds of other sizes, but 400×600 is the standard and has been for some time. With pins, size and orientation matters a lot and some groups boards won’t even allow odd-sized pins and will delete them if you put them up.
- Your pins should contain professional, eye catching images and clear text. If a pinner can’t read it easily, they aren’t going to bother with it.
- No false advertising. We all want to grab attention and bring in as many viewers as possible, but if you make pins and link them to a page that doesn’t match the content, you’ve just pissed someone off and likely lost a potential reader.
- Make as many of your images as possible that work with the 400x600px format. Like I said, things don’t get repinned (at least by most businesses) when don’t fit this spec and the more aesthetic variety you offer, the better.
- Include a good description with your pin, capturing as many keywords as possible. It’s best if it’s written naturally, as opposed to just listing a ton of keywords on it. Hint: if you use Tailwind to schedule your pins, it’ll automatically import the “Alt text” info, so you don’t have to do it every time.
- Make sure you’re using free images or those you own to create your pin. Copyright rules still apply.
- Get to know a little about design to help you in your pin creation. Utilize current color schemes, popular fonts and industry standards as much as possible. Keep abreast of which colors are popular and while you’re at it, consider looking into the psychology of color so you know your pin is conveying the right emotion.
- Be flexible and willing to learn. You don’t have to use canva or a professional program and shell out a lot of bucks. I use Paint or Paint 3D, free products on most PCs. Whatever you choose, take the time to learn it and understand its limitations.
- Create Variety in your pins. If you use the same template for every pin, all your pins start to run together. Vary your color usage, pin style, etc. Your logo is what you should use as an identifying mark to create unity. Even the pins you use on the same page should vary in style, so that they offer a slightly different feel, highlight different themes or demonstrate a concept. Always use your logo.
- Avoid using faces. I forget where I read this since it was ages ago, but stats prove that pins featuring people are chosen less often when featuring faces.
The Anatomy of a Pin
There are many different kinds of pins. Be sure you understand the purpose of a pin before you begin designing it, choosing your image and your text first (which should always be created in a word processor and spellchecked. No one’s going to give you a break when you turn your dock into a dick and while it might get comments and shares for the comedic value, you don’t want to turn your business into a joke. Make too many mistakes and you’re making it very hard for others to take your content seriously.
I’ll be using a series of pins created for a single post called Pop Sockets: Safe, Convenient & Awareness Raising. You can view it here, so you can see how I’ve incorporated them into the post, which is also important.
Informational Pins describe a concept, provides a list, or instructs the reader in some way. They should be interesting and captivating and include information people would like to refer to later. My example pin describes the benefits of Pop Sockets, some of which might be novel to someone new to these gadgets.
- The image relates to the text
- The text is large and easy to understand
- The colors are varied and eye-catching, but still color coordinated
- The pin text is in a simple, unadorned font popular today
- The person in the picture is mostly cropped out
- My logo is placed clearly in an out of the way location
- A bit too busy, but still well balanced
- These pins are most often saved rather than clicked on
Product Pins should be used to display any products you’re reviewing or selling. You don’t have to hide the fact that you’re selling something. People pin all kinds of things they’d like to purchase and click through to buy quite a lot. Take advantage of those people more than happy to impulse shop!
- In the post this came from, I created pins of several of the eye-catching Pop Sockets that I was promoting for affiliate sales. I’m focusing on using them as a device for mobility issues. Everyone with a rare disease wants to raise awareness while using their devices. It’s important to know your base.
- No extra text is really necessary, but I included it on this one because the angle of the pic is more focused on the PopSocket than providing a clear picture of what it says.
- Be sure only to use those images you have been granted permission to use or those you make yourself and only list a price if the affiliate you’re working with is okay with it.
- No matter how awkward it is to fit that item into a 400×600 pic, try your best to increase shares and pins
- Note that not all of these pins are in my post, because I don’t want it looking crazy spammy. I pinned my product pins separately so that they point to the URL, but you don’t actually see them when you go to the page.
- These pins are clicked and saved about equally in my experience
Post Pins help you advertise what your post is about, but you want to give good teasers that attract people. I usually have an “official pin” that includes my featured image and then try to create one or two extra pins that focus on a quote or universal idea or theme in the post, like the following:
- In these pins, I use a variety of images, colors and I use 3 different fonts, all in the same family, one without embellishment, one that looks a bit like handwritten print, and a cursive font. Not everyone agrees with my fancy font usage, but the Segoe fonts I chose are quite recognizable and connected to my branding. My full Zebra Pit logos use 2 of the 3 in each.
- Choose colors that are complimentary to the item or image you’ve chosen rather than trying to stay loyal to your brand colors
- These pins are clicked and shared about equally if I’ve done my job right
Looking for more pin examples? Take a look at Pinterest. There are thousands of neat ideas floating around. Use a discerning eye. What appeals to you? What turns you off? What images give you an irresistible urge to click? Which do you want to keep and covet? Those are the kinds of strategies you want to include. But remember, what attracts you isn’t necessarily what works for others, so be flexible and remember, variety isn’t just the spice of life, it’s the backbone of a good Pinterest strategy!
Normally I wouldn’t share all of the pins I made for a post. In the interests of pin education, I’ll break my own rules. There is one final pin I created and wouldn’t normally put in my post. I’ve placed it at the bottom. These pins can be added to posts as hidden images so that they come up when a pinner is offered images to select, or you can always add them by uploading them and then entering the URL they should be tied to.