Designing Graphics that will Drive Traffic to your Blog
It’s no secret that harnessing the power of Pinterest can drive traffic to your blog. What if you’re pinning like crazy and you’re still not seeing any traffic? There are a few things you should do in order to 1- Stand out on Pinterest, 2- Optimize your profile and descriptions, and 3- Create Stunning Graphics.
How many times have you logged onto Pinterest and choose the pretty pins over the bland pins? Regardless of what the title even says, you’re probably more likely to pin the one that is ‘prettier’.
You don’t have to have a Graphic Design background, and you don’t have to spend hours upon hours designing templates. I’m giving you 3 free Pinterest Templates to help you get started designing beautiful pins so you can focus on driving traffic!
First and foremost you need a design program to create the pins. Now there are several programs, but I’m going to talk about two of my favorite. One I suggest for beginner whereas the other I personally use and is for intermediate level. However, I’m confident that even if you have no design skills working through these programs will teach you how to master the software.
Canva is a free program to use, and what I started using when I began blogging. You can choose the free version, or pay for the premium option. Canva is very simple to use and has everything you need to get started. You can create Pinterest Images, Social Media Images, Workbooks and everything else in between. There’s even a spot for you to create your brand where you can keep your typography and colors in one spot!
The top left upper corner is where you’ll choose the dimensions of your graphics. Depending on the size of your graphics you can use one of their templates which are super handy or use custom dimensions. Below you can see that this is where you’ll start to design your graphics.
On the left-hand side, you can choose the layout, elements (clipart, charts, lines etc), text, background, and upload photos. Once you start working in Canva for some time it gets super easy to navigate- for those who don’t need crazy programs.
On the top left corner, you can download your graphic and save it to your computer.
Option for Premium Account
It’s up to you if you want to upgrade your account, I did for a while and loved it. You have access to tons of stock photos, clip arts, and you can organize your designs into folders.
My favorite part of using a premium account was being able to upload your entire branding. From color palettes to uploading your brand fonts. It makes it super easy to access and to see all in one spot. You also have unlimited folders on the left-hand side which allow you to easily organize your designs.
I recommend Canva for beginners and for those who don’t want to invest in editing software. It’s $12.95 per month and you can also receive 30-day trial free to test the waters.
Everyone has the one thing they love about blogging whether it be content creation, marketing, design, etc. By far my favorite is designing graphics. It’s so much fun for me, personally. Which is why I currently use Photoshop to design all my pins. If you’re a total newbie Photoshop can be completely overwhelming. Trust me, it’s easier than you think!
The only tools you will really need to use are the layers, colors, typography, and the box tool. I enjoy Photoshop because it gives me the ability to literally design from scratch. Personally, I also think the quality of using templates in Pinterest is by far the best. Designing Mockups is also a breeze in photoshop, especially if you have creative cloud.
In Creative Cloud you get access to ‘assets’ and ‘stock photos’, so you can search for different mockups to add to your Pinterest Images- like below.
I recommend Photoshop for the ultimate ability to design any graphic, and for those who want to amplify their graphic design skills. Students get discounts on the entire Adobe Creative Suite so my husband and I take advantage of this and are able to use on subscription on two laptops. We have all the Adobe programs, but I mainly use Photoshop, Lightroom, and InDesign.
You can choose the different sizes of canvas, just like canva, but it looks like this. You can customize the size to your liking, and I prefer to measure by pixels. My Pinterest Graphics are 1600×2400- this works in the format for my blog. So check your blog theme to see how wide space is and adjust the graphics accordingly.
This is a very basic tutorial on how to create a graphic in Pinterest. So please keep this in mind!
Moving on, we want to add a photo to the canvas and do a boxed overlay. Much like the Pinterest Graphic in this blog post. In order to do so, you need to open up another file – choose the stock photo you want to use. You basically drag that stock photo over onto the blank canvas.
*Sometimes stock photos don’t fit onto the canvas depending on the size, so you may need to resize the image in the toolbar before laying it over your canvas*
Here are the very basics that you will use in Photoshop: Tools (located on the side), color swatches, and text editor.
From here I usually add a white box and change the opacity to anywhere from 60-80%. This means you can see through the photo slightly, depending on how transparent you like the photo. Then I’ll add my title, site name, and adjust color bars if needed.
I make this super easy and less time consuming by creating ‘templates’ that I save to my laptop and edit for each new graphic. This saves me a ton of time having to reformat things every time.
Designing the Pins
You want your pins to stand out, but at the same time you don’t want to use the same ol’ song and dance everyone else does. So get creative! When it comes to designing a graphic you want it to resonate with your brand. Consider your current brand and how you can implement that into your Pinterest graphics.
An established brand is needed when designing graphics for Pinterest. You’ll want to use your already established color palette and typography. This creates a cohesive and consistent brand for your blog. When readers see your pins you’ll want them to think of your brand.
Sizing varies depending on the width of your blog posts. Each themes blog post width varies, for instance, a width of 1600 pixels fits perfectly into my blog. So the size I generally use is 1600px by 2400/3200. So play around with sizes to see which works best for you.
My recommendation is keeping 2 templates of the same height and adding in one template that is longer in height to use for mockups and call to action pins.
Text should be clear enough to read, but not too overwhelming. I always opt for an easy to read fonts like ‘Montesserat’ or ‘Oswald’ that allows me to use choose from light- to dark, depending on how bold I want the text to be. Mixing up light and dark fonts are pleasing to the eye. Adding script font is also a nice touch to graphics. Be sure not to overwhelm readers by adding too much text, or 3+ fonts.
If your blog post title doesn’t fit on the Pin I suggest shortening the title or using a play on your blog post title to attract readers. No, don’t click-bait readers- but simply adjust the title so that it fits and makes readers want to click on your pin.
Most Pin graphics have a pretty stock photo behind it with some sort of overlay. I love this style! Of course, you don’t have to use stock photos. Finding stock photos is a pain, and can get pricey. So instead of using photos as the background play around with colors and shapes.
Use colors from your brand and incorporate them into your images. You can do so in the text, the background colors, or any boxes you add to your images.
Tips and Pointers
Design 2-3 Pinterest templates that you can work from. They can be variations of the same design, to use in each blog post. You can choose to only show one Pin in a blog post, but when others go to ‘Pin it’, they have the option to choose from all 3. The kicker is you don’t have to have 3 pins laying in a blog post, and readers can choose which image to pin. This also tells you which Pin design readers prefer the most!
To ‘hide’ pins in your blog post you’ll need to use the code: “<div style=”display:none;”> “image url” </div>
Make sure in your ‘alt text’ to write the Pin description, so when people go to pin the image the description is already set up with keywords so that others may find your post!
Always include a call to action within your blog post OR in the Pinterest Image. At the end of each of my blog posts, I ask you to ‘save it for later’.
Free Pinterest Templates
Now on to the good stuff- I’ve designed 3 Pinterest graphics in PSD format (Photoshop) just for you! You can adjust the colors and typography. This gives you a layout and format to use so you don’t have to make one every single time.
Are you ready to start using Photoshop to create stunning traffics and boost your traffic? Sign up for Adobe Creative Cloud OR just purchase Photoshop.
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