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How to Create Successful Pinterest Images and Use Them for Promotion
Pin Your Way to Popularity...
As of March 2017; my hubs have had over 2.5 million views - that's a lot of reads :) Of this, nearly 50% of my visitors came from Pinterest. Pinterest is your friend IF and only if you learn to use it properly. This hub shows you how!
Pinterest is a great social media site that relies on visual bookmarks, called “pins”. Many of us spend a great deal of time there (it's addicting) and I have found that beautiful images can quickly go viral, especially when they are linked to amazing content.
Done properly, this can bring high-quality traffic to your content. Many of my hubs do very well on Pinterest, but it isn't as easy as just slapping up some pretty pictures and walking away.
If you would like to learn the ins and outs of being successful with Pinterest – getting people to actually visit your pages and not just pin your images, read on.
First off never spam on Pinterest. This is very important. You not only hurt yourself but all of us who are working to make an honest living. At one point in time, it was a big enough problem that Pinterest temporarily blocked all pins from the entire HubPages site. Don't do it. You don't help yourself, or anyone else for that matter, with blatant self-promotion.
If you don't want to spam however, and want to learn how to get real traffic from pinning, read on.
Hubs that Pinners Love
First of all, I'll demonstrate how awesome a pin can be. My most pinned hub did ok for a long time, it had a few visits everyday, but was not initially one of my better performers. One day, I decided to revamp some hubs and in the process I decided to create some Pinterest love for my hubs as well.
I added a well-done graphic to this hub that explained on the graphic what the hub is about. Within 2 months, the hub increased its traffic by thousands of visitors. These are people who visit the hub – not just “like” the image. Not bad for a couple of months!
When you have a hub that "takes off" on Pinterest, the momentum usually continues. Not every thing you pin is going to be successful, but when they are, it can really increase your readership. This is especially true if you are providing excellent content, solutions to problems and are not just throwing "sales pitches" at people in your hubs, articles, blogs whatever..
Take a look at how Pinterest traffic snowballs over time.
My most popular hub of all time has 304,000+ views. As you can see in the photo 170,000+ of those views have come from Pinterest. This hub is pinned all the time and I see it making the rounds frequently. It's 3 years old.
I keep it updated with current information. It provides extreme value to the reader and therefore they continue to share it over and over. I have other hubs that have also done well.
Elements of Pinterest Friendly Graphics
Inspired now? Here's how to get started...
First, you need a great photo that shows what your article, hub or website is about. Ideally, you want to use your own photographs, but there are several locations where you can find stock photos to use for free. I recommend finding photos and then altering them, create them into something new and useful. I often use several stock photos and manipulate them into one photo.
If you don't have that kind of time or patience, it is still very simple to create graphics that grab the eye. One way I promote my Universal Laws blog is to use a free stock nature photo or some of my own nature photos, and place a lovely quotation on top that ties in with the theme of my blog post. I do the same with Hubs of course and even bubbles.
The biggest things a Pinterest Friendly graphic needs is
Contrast (but not retina burning contrast)
Good placement of elements - clusters of three items or any image that draws the eye diagonally or vertically for example.
Words. graphics with a description right on the image tend to do well on Pinterest - not always necessary, for example don't cover that triple choc cake photo with text! :)
Great accompanying description. When you pin an image; make sure you alter the text description to include a call to action: For example "Learn how to make this award winning peach pie and your friends and family will beg you for the recipe" - you get the idea.
This is a made for Pinterest graphic. I used several photos and combined them into this clean photo. I then added text directly on the image that links to my hub of the same name. My photos tie into the article itself, the rosemary and lavender in this pic, are also mentioned in my hub.
My pin description reads “The ten most beneficial essential oils you should have, they can do everything..” or something to that effect. Keep it short, sweet and enticing without the "sales pitch" - Pinners don't like a long drawn out pitch. They also don't like "a pinner says..." bleh, just keep it short, sweet and to the point.
I then add a couple of quick hashtags underneath my description after I pin. #DIY #natural-health #essential-oils Again, less is more, you don't want pins/posts to look spammy.
Example #2 Simplicity Let the Text Talk
Sometimes less is more! You don't need a lot of extras, particularly if the Title of your blog post, hub, article etc. is already very catchy. In that case, sometimes punchy text on a background works great!
This sample has been pinned and shared quite a lot and it doesn't get anymore simple. It is merely an awesome font with punchy colors on a nice solid background with just a bit of a gradient. The text contrasts highly with the background and some minimal text effects really make the message pop. No way to photograph a hiccup - so just text worked well here :).
I am sometimes shocked by the pins that will get a lot of attention. Fortunately, if you don't have outstanding Photoshop skills, you can still make great graphics that are eyecatching enough to get pinned.
I love Photoshop, but I only have so many hours in a day. I often do a quick text based graphic with high contrast to accompany simple, every day blog posts as well. If you tweet your blog posts, add your photo to the tweet for extra social media engagement.
Free Tools to Create Pinterest Friendly Images
So, you don't have Photoshop or a lot of money and time to spare learning complicated software ... No problem! There are several free and almost free tools out there that can have you creating beautiful Pinterest images in no time.
- Canva: This is a great tool - seriously great. Point and click your way to amazing custom graphics. Sometimes you have to pay a $1.00 for the stock photo, but there are many full free ones available or you can use your own photos. Canva lets you play with text placement and color, font style and backgrounds. Create everything from social media graphics to posters.
- PicMonkey: This is a free online photo editor that can help you enhance your photos and create nice shareable images.
Tips for Going Viral on Pinterest
- First; you have to be a regular pinner. (not hard, it's very addicting)
- Create boards that are well-named and easy to find. “spooktacular sparklies” is not a great name for a Halloween board for example, have Halloween in the board title. Good boards are the key to getting great followers, so make sure they can find you! Popular boards with well-placed keywords also tend to rank very highly in Google searches!
- When you create Pinterest graphics or posts; use punchy words that grab you - my example from above "annoying hiccups" is more apt to catch attention than just generic "how to get rid of hiccups". People love tips, numbers, lists and words that evoke emotion.
- Tag your pins if you must, but don't get crazy with it. A couple of hashtags at the bottom of a pin are sufficient, and not even necessary due to recent changes at the site. If you must use them though, #never #hash #every #word #like #this #or #people #will #want #to #strangle #you.
- Most importantly; do not use Pinterest to only pin your own stuff. This is also a form of spamming. Pin a lot of things. As a general rule 1 in every 10 pins of mine is to my own content. Always give credit when pinning things too, “lovely purse handcrafted by Lisa Smith” not “ooh pretty” If Lisa sees you've pinned her amazing purse, she may be inclined to follow you, or at least return the favor by repinning one of your pins.
- People will come to respect you and will follow your boards when they see that you make an effort to pin and comment well. I pin all sorts of things, keep my descriptions short and sweet – no drawn out explanations, a quick blurb tops. If you sound like a used car salesman “read today!” you will never have a viral pin.
- Pick a couple of Pinterest niches that match your writing niches. If you don't know what a niche is or you don't write to one or two of them regularly, you should. I have several boards, my most popular are my craft fair related boards. I have both hubs and a niche website/blog in this genre.
- Check your pins! Don't just repin things that look pretty. Check to ensure anything you pin goes to the actual blog post or a reputable website. Nothing is more annoying than clicking on something you want to read and having that pin redirect somewhere else. Enough of those kinds of Pins on your boards and you WILL lose followers.
- *Promoted Pins* You can bid and have your pins promoted. This could be useful at least initially as you can get a lot of steam for low bids. As the program expands, however, I anticipate it will become too expensive to glean much benefit from unless you have a hefty budget and a site that makes a lot of money. *update 2016* This was quickly priced out of my range, but I still get great Pinterest traffic without paid promotion and you can too.
Have you been successful on Pinterest
Examples of Pinterest Friendly Images
Below are some examples of images from my hubs that are pinned a lot. Hopefully you'll get some ideas for what is possible. A good pin might even be worth investing in since they can drive SO much traffic. Consider using a site like Fiverr and have a designer create a top-notch pin for any of your hubs or blog posts that are showing potential.
© 2013 Christin Sander