With some editing and the use of some free online tools you can easily create beautiful pinnable images for your blog posts using your smartphone photos.
I published a grand total of six posts — the least number of posts in that span of time since I started blogging consistently three years ago. It was super liberating, and while I truly adore the blogging community and writing and having people read my words, it can also be tiresome. (Don’t worry, though, you can’t get rid of me — at least not yet! I’m still planning on returning to my usual routine after Labor Day.)
Despite blogging less and readership generally going down for many bloggers in the summer, a surprising thing happened. I had the highest traffic to my blog ever this past July!
Looking through my analytics, one thing stood out. Pinterest, which I had neglected for a couple years after creating my account, was consistently my highest driver of traffic, thanks in large part to the Pinning Perfect course [affiliate link] I took at the beginning of the year. It was an investment I made in my business and I took the course very seriously (as I’m prone to do) and it has started to pay off.
One thing I learned from that course was the importance of creating pinnable images for all of your blog posts if you want to Pinterest as a tool to drive traffic to your website.
While I’ll admit I don’t do it for every single post I write, most of my posts have pinnable images, many of which use photos I took with my smartphone. It takes a bit of time, but it’s surprisingly easy to do regardless of your photography skills (though, admittedly, it helps if your photos are at least on foucs!).
1. Take photos of objects & places that can be used as stock photography
Stock photography can be super pricey. Save yourself money by having photos of things like your computer, a stack of books, clouds, the beach, trees — things that are pretty generic and can make nice background images. Don’t worry about them looking perfect — that’s where editing, overlays, filters and text can make a mediocre photo really pop.
By the way, the new Google Photos app, which you can access on your computer and download on both Android & iOS devices, has a handy search function so you can later find those stock photos!
2. Have a white rectangle optimized for Pinterest sizing
As of this post being published, the optimal size of a Pin is 735 x 1,102 pixels. Take a photo of anything, crop it to this size, and using the Canvas Color feature on PicMonkey, create a white rectangle and save it on your computer so that it is easily accessible.
3. Insert a photo as an overlay or create a collage
While you always crop down a photo to the optimal pin size, you might find times where you have the perfect photo but it doesn’t quite fit right, or you would like to use more than one image. Change the background color of your white rectangle to a color you like that coordinates with the colors of your blog or website.
Click on the butterfly icon on the left sidebar. Under the Overlays heading click on “Your Own” and add the photo you want to use as an overlay. Position the photo, and in the top navigation bar click the arrow pointing down (when you hover over it is says “Combine all image elements”).
Use the remaining bar of color to add some text to explain your pin.
The collage feature is another feature on PicMonkey that allows you to easily create beautiful collages. The only downside is to add text and do overlays over the entire collage you have to save your collage and then reopen it with the photo editor function of PicMonkey.
4. Experiment with editing
Adjusting the brightness and highlights of your photo and adding a filter can make a huge difference. Many smartphones have these functions built this right into them, and there are tons of apps you can download for even more photo-editing options. Of course, you can also do this on your computer once you have uploaded your photo.
5. Create shape overlays for text
Sometimes images aren’t that great or you want them more in the background and less of a focal point of your pin. A shape overlay can be a great way to highlight the text of your pin while still allowing you see the background image.
On PicMonkey, click on the butterfly icon and choose “Geometric Shape”. Insert the shape you want, and then adjust the fade so that you can still see the image in the background. After you do that hit the arrow at the top to combine the elements so that you can easily add and edit text over the shape.
6. Use a template from Canva, inserting your own image
If design isn’t your thing, consider using one of many free Pinterest-ready templates available on Canva. While they do have some free stock photos, many of them cost $1, which is quite cheap for stock photography. However, if you prefer to use your own photos, you can easily delete the photo from any of their templates and insert one of your own.
7. Stick to just a couple fonts
While I am not a design expert, I do know less is more. With all of the fun fonts it’s easy to go nuts, but stick to about two that you really like and create a brand for your pins by using the same fonts across them.
8. Don’t forget to watermark!
Finally, don’t forget to add your logo somewhere into the pin. You can either type in your website using the text feature, or if you have a logo you can add that as an overlay.
This post originally appeared on A Dish of Daily Life.
If you liked this post, I encourage you to also check out my Pinterest board with other blogging-related tips! Follow Linkouture’s board For the Creative Entrepreneur on Pinterest.
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