How to Create Optimized Pinterest Graphics


You’ve heard it a million times. Well, here it is again: If you run a creative online business, Pinterest needs to be a part of your digital marketing plan.

Gone are the days when Pinterest was just the place to save cute outfits, healthy recipes, and home decor. If you’ve spent any amount of time in the entrepreneurial online space lately, you’ll know that Pinterest is not a social media platform – it’s a search engine – and if you use it correctly, it will become your #1 source for traffic to your website.

With only a handful of blog posts available on my website, Pinterest is responsible for more than 60% of my website traffic and the majority of the 20-30 opt-ins I recieve on a daily basis, thanks to a combination of Tailwind* and my optimized Pinterest graphics.

In this blog post, I’m outlining how you can DIY your own optimized graphics and give your website traffic a bump, too.



Size your graphics correctly.

The thing about Pinterest is that it squeezes all of it’s content into vertical columns that are the same width. Have you ever noticed that horizontal images rarely appear on your Pinterest feed? That’s because if you pin a horizontal image, you’re basically shooting yourself in the foot – your graphic will get squeezed, just like all graphics do, but it will appear extra squeezed (and barely noticeable) given it’s size. Here’s an example:

Notice that the vertical image takes up more real estate on the page, even though both images have been sized to be the same width? That's because your image has plenty of allowance to extend vertically on the page, but absolutely no allowance to extend horizontally. In case I haven't quite made my point yet, vertical images are the way to go.

The standard size for any Pinterest graphic is a ratio of 2x3. While many Pinterest experts will recommend exact dimensions (the ones I hear most often are 735x1102, although recently, I’ve also heard 1000x15000), the key is to make your image tall, and at the very least, 50% taller than it is wide. With that being, said, Pinterest will automatically scale your graphic to fit the width of it’s columns, so there’s no need to freak out over a few pixels here.

Note: You can make your Pinterest graphics even taller, but don’t get too greedy, because at a certain point it will automatically get chopped off at the bottom – you didn't think Pinterest was going to let you take up an entire column, did you!? Many of my graphics are 735x1350px, and they fit into the feed just fine.

Want to skip all of the sizing and optimizing nonsense and just get to pinning? Grab a set of customizable Pinterest templates from my shop in Photoshop or Canva format:


Make em pretty

This tip should be obvious, but I personally have seen some pretty cringe-worthy graphics pop up in my Pinterest feed, and I strongly believe (from experience) that pretty things will always perform better. For myself personally, presentation plays a part in whether to not I’ll re-pin an image. Why? Because when a Pinterest graphic doesn’t look too great, I get the impression that the content it’s promoting won’t be too great either. 

Generally speaking, when something looks beautiful, professional, and attractive, people are more likely to click on it, buy it, share it, etc. So, spend some time creating Pinterest templates for your brand that really reflect the value of your content. I promise it won't be a waste. You can use Canva, Photoshop, or any other design tool or app to create your graphics.

Related: Canva vs. Photoshop: A Designer’s Opinion


Simplify and scale

When your graphic is floating among hundreds of others on Pinterest, you’re going to need to take every step to attract peoples’ attention by being catchy, and that sure as heck isn’t going to happen if people can’t even read the headline. Although the text may seem perfectly legible to you when you create your graphic, it might not be when it’s shrunk down and squished into the vertical columns on Pinterest.

You'll also want to be aware of contrast when you're choosing what colour text you'll use on a background or overlay. When you use white text, for example, make sure that the background is dark enough for the white to really stand out. If it's not, try increasing the weight of the text – the weight is the thickness of the line in each letter, and it will also help your copy become more legible.

The goal is to help the reader absorb your message much easier, giving you the chance to pique their interest even as they are scrolling at a rapid pace.


Always repurpose

The purpose of using a Pinterest template is to establish consistency. The more consistent you are with the graphics you use for your brand and business, the more recognizable and trustworthy you will become for your audience.

Using templates will also save you time when it comes to promoting your content. You can even use a template to promote the same blog post over and over – just switch up your headline, rephrase your call to action, and you're good to go!

If you find yourself spending hours shifting things around, resizing text, and feeling unsure, that's a sign that you should pause and consider that you may be nitpicking a little too much.

Want to skip building your branded templates and get started ASAP? Grab a set of customizable templates in Photoshop and Canva format from my shop:


Include a call to action

Unless your headline already gives readers a reason to click on your pin and navigate to your website (for example: “5 Free Instagram Templates!” is already pretty enticing), you may wish to include a slightly smaller, but still very legible, call to action.

Including a thumbnail of your content upgrade or mentioning the freebie that’s associated with your blog post is a great way to encourage clicks to your website, because it gets people really curious about your offering.

The goal is to achieve the perfect combination of ease of absorption (with catchier text) and the promise of value (with the mention of a free offering). That way, people become interested in your headline, enticed by your call to action, and before they know it they've re-pinned or opened a new tab to your website. Success!

Regardless of whether you have a content upgrade to promote, you should always also include your domain name or URL so people will recognize the name of your business the next time they see something from you, whether it be on Pinterest or elsewhere. My recommendation is to put it in a bar on the bottom of your Pinterest graphic. This is common practise, and it helps your domain name really stand out so you can become memorable.

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