Pinterest Pin Design: 15 Essential Pinterest Tips for Beginners

Although Pinterest often gets bundled in with the likes of Instagram and Facebook as a social network, it’s better described as a visual search engine. This misconception is because it does kinda cross over both; you gain followers, can comment and send messages etc, although this almost feels like a secondary function.

Because Pinterest’s main function is a search engine, it’s a great way to send traffic to your online business because your Pins (that’s the name of the images on Pinterest) can link straight back to your website or online shop.

 

You can drive hundreds of viewers to your site a lot quicker than waiting for your articles to rank on Search Engines if you have a Pinterest Pin design strategy in place from day one.

 

If you’re just getting started, then these Pinterest tips and tricks are perfect for you to begin implementing straight away. If you’re worried about how to create beautiful Pinterest graphics, no worries, I’m going to give you the low down on that too!

 

So read on to find out about 15 essential Pinterest tips for beginners and how they can help your buisiness sky-rocket.

What you can expect in this article...

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15 Essential Pinterest Pin Design Tips & Tricks for Beginners

It can be daunting to know where to begin when you start to create Pinterest graphics however, these 15 Pinterest pin design tips will really set you up for future sucess, especially if you’re just starting out.

To make it easier for you to figure out how to design Pins for Pinterest, I’ve created a FREE Pre-Launch Pinterest checklist that summarises eveything I talk about in this article. I reccomend you download it, print it out and then put it somewhere where you’re gonig to see. Keep this as your go-to guide while you’re learning to Pinterest.

Once you’ve got your pre-launch checklist, let’s get cracking with everthing you should be doing with your Pinterest pin design to start to drive traffic to your business.

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So what makes a good Pinterest Pin Design?

1) Plan what you want to Pin

Everything you do has an element of Planning, even a simple task such as making a cup of tea (I’m British, so I obvs I was going to use that analogy), this is essentially a series of actions and checks, have I got hot water? check. Have I got a teabag? check….and so on.

It’s exactly same with a Pin, you need to ask yourself a series of questions;

  • What do I want to tell people about?
  • What are my keywords?
  • Which image represents this?
  • How am I going to make someone click my Pin? and so on.

 

All of this is the planning stage, without knowing the answers, or at least having an idea, you aren’t going to get very far with designing you Pin.

2) Learn some graphic design fundamentals

If you’re new to graphic design, the whole concept creating Pinterest graphics can feel quite daunting. And yes, although some people do seem to have a natural flair for design, a lot of it can be learnt. By following just a few basic rules, such as ‘rule of thirds’, ‘leading lines’, hierarchy and justifications you can transform your designs ten-fold with very little effort at all.

If you’re new to graphic design, this series of free online graphic design tutorials by Canva are a great place to start.

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3) Use the correct image ratio and format

Pinterest uses vertical images, typically in the ratio of 2:3. although you might see longer Pins in a ratio of 2:3.5 or 2:4 especially for things like Infographics, however, these could run the risk of getting cut off from people’s feeds.

Pinterest Pin size is so important, think of it as your bit of real-estate on Pinterest, creating square images isn’t going to use all that piece of metaphorical land that Pinterest is giving you, you’re losing out on potential customers.

The infographic shows the common sizes used for Pinterest. When you’re designing your Pins, make sure you’re using an optimised size to give your Pins the best possible chance of being clicked. 

4) Make sure your images are well-composed and fuzz-free

One of the secrets on how to create beautiful Pinterest pins, is to use stunning photos. By now you should have already learnt that Pinterest is a visual search engine, therefore having stunning visuals (aka you imagery) is essential.

It’s always better to use your own photos IF you have them this helps with keeping your Pin designs unique, I talk about this a bit later. If you are using your own photographs make sure they are well-composed, have a decent subject and most importantly, in focus! No one is going to click your Pin if it looks unprofessional.

If you are looking to up your photography game, this course covers everything you need to know about taking great photos and getting you out of shooting in automatic mode.

Alternatively, you can use Stock images. These are photos that someone else has taken. There are several free sites such as Unsplash and Pixabay but quite a lot of the images on the free version are never that good – plus you’ll see the same images appear so many times as everyone uses them.

Although I used the free images at first, I did find I was wasting so much time trying to find anything useful. So I took the plunge and decided to invest in a paid-for plan after getting frustrated with the free image sites. Two of the better value ones are Deposit Photos, especially if they have a sale on, but my personal fave (and by far the cheapest) is through Canva Pro, with a library of over 60 million stock images.

Do you only use your camera in Automatic mode?

I was desperate to learn how to use my camera properly to get the images but being a technophobe just didn’t know where to start. So I took the plunge and enrolled on a course. It’s transformed the way I use my camera and I’ve had phenomenal results. I felt link kicking myself that it took me so long to take the plunge.  

5) Don't use Selfies


Although it’s absolutely okay to include people in your Pin designs a big no-no is to use selfies, they just scream unprofessional and arent going to bring you clickthroughs.

Faces looking straight at the camera are ok as long as they are well composed and relevant, for example, a makeup tutorial where the person is the main focus.

It’s also fine to show people doing stuff, like walking along a beach, or working on a laptop or cooking a delicious meal. Things that your viewers could imagine themselves doing. So using people in your images is ok, just keep the duck-face selfies for Instagram.

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6) Keep to a cohesive theme - aka your Branding

Branding! now doesn’t that sound like a scary word to a newbie Pinner. Although there is a lot more to defining your brand, as a beginners guide to Pinterest desgin focus first on creating Pins, that at a quick glance, someone will know it’s YOUR Pin and YOUR business.

You can achieve a cohesive theme quite easily by sticking to your own formula. It could be as simple as using the same layout or fonts, or a colour theme running through all your images.

Essentially, the goal is to make your Pins look like they all belong together, so if you were to lay all your designs out on one page, they should all complement each other somehow.

If you want to find out more about the basics of Branding for your business, check out these free tutorials.

7) Use light, bright and warm colours

If you’re wondering what the best colours for Pinterest pins are, then quickly scan through your Pinterest feed. Which ones are you naturally drawn to? You’ll probably find they are the lighter, brighter and warmer looking images.

But how do you get warmer, lighter and brighter images?

There are several ways to do this, two of the quickest and easiest ways are in Canva Pro (this is the simplest) and then Lightroom.

Canva Pro gives you a range of options to add or remove contrast, change the brightness and tweak the tone and loads more. You can find out how to do this here.

Lightroom is a little more complex basically because it has more options. But it’s still very easy to use once you get used to it. You can sign up for a free trial here.

The great thing with Lightroom and why I prefer it to Canva Pro for editing images is that you can create a cohesive look (you know I talked about branding in the last point – well this!) across multiple images by using a thing called ‘presets’.

A preset is a series of settings which have been set up so that you can use the same setting for all your photos at the click of a button. It’s an amazing way to save time as the bulk of settings have been done for you (perhaps a filter or contast etc), leaving you to just go in an do some fine tuning on your images.

Why not try out some of these Presets on your own images?

8) Create catchy and clickable titles and headlines

Take a look at both of these images – then ask yourself, which one stands out the most? Which one makes you more interested? And which one makes you want to find out more?

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The same topic presented in two very different ways

When you design your own Pins for business, it’s important to make them eye-catching. People will be skimming past hundreds of Pins and you want yours to literally scream ‘stop scrolling and click me’

How are you going to do that? Here are some ideas to think about;

      • What language are you using, and by that I don’t mean French or Spanish but, is it a language that sells?
      • Think of words you see frequently in sales pitches; Amazing, The Best, Oustanding etc. How could you integrate these words into your designs?
      • Then think about which words you want to draw the most attention to. How are you going to do that? A different colour? underlining? different font? the font size?

9) Make sure your keywords stand out

So we’ve talked about the images, that they want to be bright and warm. And you’ve also thought about the language you need to be using, but putting them both together can be a whole new challenge.

Your imagery and text might look amazing on their own, but for some reason, they don’t quite work together. This could be because something important in the image is covered over by the writing, or that your writing just gets lost in a busy background making it hard to read.

Some creative ways to get around this is to put your writing in a box, adding a background blur to your images or knocking back the opacity of your image.

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Now try this with your designs. A good test to see if your composition works is by standing away from your screen (if you’re using your phone, hold it at least arm’s length). Does your writing stand out? If not then tweak it. Remember most Pinners will be scrolling past designs, so you Pin needs to be seen in an instant.

10) Think about your fonts

As a rule of thumb, stick to a maximum of three fonts. Ideally, try to stick with two and then make sure the font is large and easy to read. You can test this out in the same way I mentioned in the prebvious point.

I love a bit of script or cursive font but although they look beautiful, a lot of them are difficult to read and it’s easy to confuse letters. This illustration by Jim Benton demonstrates it perfectly.

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Image by Jim Benton

Because you know the words you’ve written, it can be difficult to check how readable your writing is by yourself. A good test is to get feedback from someone who will give you honest feedback. Show them your design for a split second (to mimic what someone scrolling through Pinterest would do) and ask them if they could read it. If they can’t then think about changing the font somehow to make it clearer. 

Check out this really useful tutorial here.

11) Try to make your Pins look unique

One of my pet peeves is the number of Pins that just look the same – how many times have you seen those dusty-pink or peach coloured Pins on a whiteish background begging you to click (you know the ones I mean).

Personally, that’s an instant turn off, I’ve seen that design a zillion times and it just makes me think if the Pin is unimaginative, then the content will be too.

Try to think outside the box. A good way to do this is by doing an analysis. This is an industry-standard practice to suss out your competition. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just come up with something that’s unique to you.

Use this simple step-by-step guide to help analyse your competitor’s Pin designs, so you can create something unique.

12) Don't overcram - keep it simple

One pitfall on Pins is that they can sometimes look overcrowded. One of the fundamentals of Pinterest graphic design is that white space is your friend.

Not every part of your Pin has to have something on it. Remember that people are going to be skimming past your Pins and won’t be reading word-for-word what’s on it.

Alternatively, if you’re specifically designing an Infographic Pin, then you will have to find a way to show a lot of information in the most minimalistic way.

If you want to know more about designing infographics, then check out this useful guide here.

13) Use pre-made templates

If you’re stuck for ideas, not naturally a creative type or reel at the thought of staring at a blank canvas, then a great place to start is by using templates like the ones on Canva. There are hundreds of designs on there to get you started, what’s more, you can use lots of these templates for free.

One pitfall of this is that the more you scroll through Pinterest, you’ll see the same layouts coming up again and again so just make sure you change up the colour and font.

14) What's your CTA (Call to Action)

So someones clicked on to your Pin, but what’s going to make them want to click through to your website? This is where your Call To Action or your CTA comes into play. 

This is essentially you telling your reader what you want them to do. 

Two good ways of doing this are by:

      • Raising intrigue – For example, your title might be ‘Six ingenious ways to organise your bathroom‘, your CTA could be ‘Number 3 is mind-blowingly simple‘. This taps into the FOMO (fear of missing out) factor and leaves your reader eager to know.

 

      • Tapping into a pain point – For example, your title could be ‘Keep fit tips for busy professionals‘ with a CTA ‘Accelerate your fitness in just 15 minutes‘. Their pain point or problem is that their fitness is deteriorating because they are too busy, so tap into a solution for them. 

15) Before hitting publish check your justifications, layout and typos

This is another one of my pet peeves is poor Pinterest design layout. Nothing screams unprofessional than a sloppy looking Pin design. You’ve invested so much effort into your Pint design already, so don’t skimp of doing one last check before hitting publish.

If could be that you have the most stunning image twinned with the perfect title and caption, but if you’ve overlooked a silly typo or not lined up the text properly (justification) all that effort is wasted.

Also, check your layout is balanced. Humans are naturally drawn to symmetry and leading lines (a classic example is a road disappearing into the distance, where your eyes are naturally drawn in). If you’ve ever been to an art museum, you’ll find common themes with regards to the layout in all of the pieces.

It can be overwhelming to think of all these things especially if you’re new to design.

Final thoughts & your FREE Pinterest Pre-Launch Check List

I really hope that this article has given you some decent insight into getting started with Pinterest.

It’s certainly worthwhile getting to grips with Pinterest design as it can be a great way to drive traffic to your business.

Don’t forget to download your FREE Pinterest Pre-launch Checklist that summarises everything I’ve just mentioned.

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If you found this article useful, or know someone who will, then please like and share.

Have any questions on using Pinterest as a beginner? then please comment below and I’ll get back to you with some pointers.

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