When I started blogging (back in 2009), having images in my posts really meant very little to me. After all, blogging was about writing – not sharing pictures – I had Facebook for that. Things have changed a lot since then. The number of bloggers out in the great wide web has exploded in the last few years, and with that it has become more difficult to get your content noticed. You have to do something to stand out. Enter: Pinterest.
Pinterest And Traffic
Since Pinterest launched in 2010, the number of people using images to decide what links they click and what sites they visit has become immeasurable (well, I’m sure someone is out there measuring it somehow) and it has proven necessary to include images of some sort in your posts if you want to get them noticed. Oh, and whether you blog or are just a regular reader who happens to be hanging on through this post, well I’d really appreciate it if you’d just head on up to that image up there and go ahead and pin that for me, m’kay? I digress.
It’s not always easy to find an image to use in your posts. Despite what some people may think, it is NOT ok to “borrow” images off Google. If you’re doing that, stop now. Please. You’re violating copyright laws. Don’t fret! You can create completely awesome, completely free pinnable images for your posts in just a minute.
What Does Pinnable Mean Anyway?
For an image to be considered “pinnable” it should contain a few key components. There should be a text overlay (the catchier the better), any background images should be clear, and it should be appropriately size (not too long, not too wide).
Basically, you want your reader to be able to see what your post is about without actually reading any of it. You want them to see your image floating around on Pinterest and catch their attention – enough to draw them in.
Creating That Image
You DO NOT have to have Photoshop or any other fancy software to create pinnable images. PicMonkey is fast, free and perfect for stuff like this. Honestly, I do have Photoshop and I still chose to use PicMonkey to create most of my images.
When you head over to PicMonkey, the first think you’ll notice is that you don’t even have to set up an account to use their awesome program. There are TONS of free options available for use without even creating an account. If you try it and like it, and want access to some of the cool Royale features, it’s roughly $40 a year and completely worth it.
There are 4 basic ways to get started… You can edit a picture, touch up a picture, create a collage or design your own image. For the sake of this (for lack of a better term) tutorial, we’re going to design our own.
This is where the magic happens. Don’t get overwhelmed by the options… there are quite a few. I’d suggest taking a look around and clicking through quick just to get familiar with your options.
I start by picking out my frame. There are quite a few options and you can customize their thickness and color. Easy peasy. I like to go ahead and lay out my frame before I start placing anything else, that way I don’t have to worry about cutting it too close to the edge with my text and overlays.
Next up, I lay out what I want the text to look like. First and foremost, make yourself happy with the words themselves. Once you have that, you can move things around, change font colors, styles and sizes to make your message “pop!” In the image above, I mixed 4 different fonts in 3 different sizes and 2 different colors. I usually start with everything uniform in style, color and size – then play around with changing things until I’m happy with what I see. Don’t worry… PicMonkey has an ‘undo’ button and you can easily revert to your previous choice. You want your message to be clear, so make sure the fonts you chose are readable and the colors aren’t too hard on the eyes.
The last thing I usually do is go back and add some overlays. Overlays are good for several reasons: They draw your readers’ eyes to your image and they give it some interest (plain old writing isn’t visually appealing.) You can adjust sizes, colors, placement, etc, just make sure they don’t overwhelm the image. When you’re finished, you should have an image that is clear, visually appealing and tells your readers what they can expect.
If you found this post useful, do a girl a solid and pin it for me? After all, Pinterest is the traffic king these days! (You can just hover over that image above and Pin this post from right there! That’s an awesome app and a convo for another day!)
If you’d like to see more posts like this one, drop me a line or leave me a comment and let me know. If there’s interest in it, I’ll put some more stuff together that I think those of you blogging will enjoy.