Do you look through your Pinterest feed and think I could never design pins as good as that? Or do you struggle to know what all the essential elements of great pin design are?

It can all seem totally overwhelming and I felt exactly the same at the beginning of my Pinterest journey.

So what did I do?

I read and researched. Lots. And finally, I came up with what I believe to be a winning formula for creating eye-catching, share-worthy pins.

And to save you the time it took me to work it all out, I am going to share it with you now.

So grab yourself a coffee and take a few minutes to read about my essential elements of great pin design.

Essential Element 1- Great Design

When I began blogging, the thought of doing any kind of graphic design absolutely terrified me as I’ve never been what you might call ‘arty.’ And frankly, I felt a bit intimidated by all the stunning pins out there.

And therein lay my dilemma. Pinterest is a visual search engine and pins must be attractive to encourage people to click on them.

But how do you create such pins this if like me, you aren’t a graphic designer?

Well, firstly, let me put your mind at rest. There are lots of free, easy to use graphic design websites out there.

I tried several and finally settled on Canva but you could use Pic Monkey, Snappa, or Design Bold to name a few.

All of these have both free and paid services. As my design needs have grown, I’ve upgraded to the paid version of Canva but to begin with it’s possible to manage on the free versions.

Ok so you’ve registered with your chosen graphic design site. Now what?

Size

The first thing you need to do is create a template for your pin.

Pinterest recommends that pins should be sized at a ratio of 2:3.

Each time I create a blog post, I design 2 different sized pins- 600 x 900 pixels and 600 x 1200 pixels. Doing this allows me to see from my analytics which size attracts more traffic.

Pins of at least 900 pixels in length stand out better on the smart feed than shorter square ones which are just too easy to scroll past.

Background

For my pin backgrounds, I prefer to use images which are relevant to what I do. These images need to be good quality and sharp so that they do not become pixelated when enlarged.

There are lots of options for photos. You could take your own, buy premium photos from sites such as Shutterstock  or alternatively choose from the thousands of free stock photos out there.

Some of the free stock photo sites I use are;

Rawpixel

Unsplash

Pexels

Picjumbo

Kaboompics

Pixabay

You could also use plain colour backgrounds for your pins like this example

Essential element great pin design

I think you’ll agree it’s striking in its design and guaranteed to stand out in the smart feed.

Whether you choose images or plain coloured backgrounds, I believe it’s important to be consistent in your design which leads on to my next point.

Branding

You want people to be able to recognise your brand when your pins pop up in their Pinterest feed.

The best way to ensure this happens is consistency. This means using your brand colours and fonts on every pin you design and sticking to a similar layout.

Use no more than two clear, easy to read fonts in each of your designs and make the fonts as big as your design allows for maximum impact.

Below are a couple of examples of my pin design.

Essential element great pin design
http://pinperfect.co.uk
Essential element great pin design
http://pinperfect.co.uk

As you can see, I have kept to a clean layout with consistent fonts, font colours and good stock photography. I have also included my website name at the bottom of the pin. This is important both so people know where the pin has been generated from.

As well as making my brand recognisable, the other advantage in maintaing consistency is that it helps me as a non-designer to have a framework to work to and thereby speeds up my pin design process.

Win-win.

Time to move on to the next of my essential elements of great pin design.

Essential Element 2- Optimised Content

As I mentioned here, it’s really important to include keywords in your content to give your pins a better chance of showing up in Pinterest searches.

When creating a pin, the places to include keywords are in your headline and pin description as in my pin below.

I have included a Call to Action in my description to encourage pinners to read my blog post-“Click on the link to read..”

Tip: Don’t give too much away about your blog post in your pin description. The aim is to entice them to read your post in full and then, fingers crossed, subscribe.

Essential Element 3- Rich Pins enabled

I have to be honest and say it took me a little while to get my head around rich pins.

For those of you who don’t know, rich pins provide more information about your pin.

I have given an example of one of mine below.

Rich Pin information

As you can see from the area I have highlighted, a rich pin gives details of the board I have pinned it to along with my Pinterest profile name so that anyone who looks at it can easily find and follow my profile.

To produce rich pins, you need to have them enabled on your Pinterest account. How you do this will depend on the type of rich pins you will need and the blogging/website platform you use.

Rich Pin Basics

There are four types of rich pin; Product, Article, App and Recipe.

For the purposes of this blog post, I am going to concentrate on article pins (the ones I use for my blog posts) and on how to set enable them up on the blogging platform I use which is Word Press.

Yoast

The easiest way to enable rich pins on Word Press is to use a plug-in called Yoast. There is a free version which I currently use, or a Premium version which has some additional features.

To find Yoast, log in to your Word Press dashboard and click on the Install new Plugins from the lefthand menu.

Type Yoast in the the search box and you will see this box.

Yoast SEO plug-in
Yoast

As I have this already installed on my blog, the little box in the top right-hand corner says Active but for you it should say Install Now.

Click on Install Now.

Then select SEO from the lefthand menu and choose Social.

You should then get the following screen

YOAST SEO plug-in

Click on enabled and then save changes.

Doing this means you have now added metadata to your site ( the extra important information that is independent of your pin).

Validate Rich Pins

Your next step is to validate your rich pins. Click here for the Rich Pin validator.

Enter the URL of one of your blog posts and then click validate. (It doesn’t matter which one you choose as once your validation application has been approved, it will automatically apply to all of your blog posts).

Click on Approve Now. This will now be sent to Pinterest for their approval. You should then get an email through notifying you your application has been approved.

I received my approval the same day but I have read of people having to wait up to a week. I guess it just depends on how busy Pinterest’s system is.

And it’s done. You should then be able to see the additional information on your pins as above.

And there you have it. My three essential elements of great pin design.

If you have found this post useful, I would be really grateful if you could share it around.

If you have a question or comment, please leave in the comments section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Tracey

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