Pinterest Best Practices: Creating Images for Your Blog

What makes a great, Pinterest-friendly image that’s going to attract both readers and repins? Let’s start with the basics so that you can include images that will really benefit you when they’re pinned to Pinterest. Keep these tips in mind:

Pinterest resizes your images

When an image from your site is pinned, Pinterest will take your image and resize it for their main screen, fitting it into a rectangle that’s 237 pixels wide. Make sure your image is at least that wide, otherwise it will look something like this when pinned:

Bloggers: Don't let your blog images end up look like this example of an improperly-sized image on Pinterest.

That grey space on either side of the image is not attractive. Plus by not having the image sized correctly, it displays a lot smaller than it otherwise would. That’s a missed opportunity to attract attention. Remember, on Pinterest, it’s all about the visuals.

Size and shape matter (a lot!)

Vertical images almost always attract more attention on Pinterest than horizontal ones do. They stand out more because they fill the space better and are larger. That makes them easier to click on, because there’s more space available for clicking. Horizontal images just disappear in the sea of vertical images they’re competing with.

So use vertical images in your posts to give them the best chance of being seen, clicked on, and repinned on Pinterest.

An ideal shape for your image is 1/3 taller than it is wide. For example, if your image were 600 pixels wide you would want it to be 900 pixels tall. That’s actually the size Pinterest itself recommends right now, but I sometimes use smaller vertical images instead on my blogs that work fine on Pinterest because they are properly proportioned. If you’re comfortable using larger images, definitely go that route since image size requirements in general are trending upwards.

You can also use a social sharing plugin like Social Warfare (my absolute favorite) so that you can have any size or shape image you want in the post itself, but an image that’s optimized for specifically Pinterest will appear if someone shares your post using the social sharing button.

A vertical image of most any height is better than horizontal, but be careful not to make your image too tall. Pinterest states that images that are more than 3.5 times taller than they are wide will get cut off in their feeds, so you don’t want that.

Appeal to potential repinners

Consider how the image you have in mind for your blog post will look when surrounded by many other images on Pinterest. Will it be clear to someone scrolling through what they might find if they clicked through on your pin? If not, use a more relevant image or add some text to it using an graphics editor.

If you add text to the image itself, a good rule of thumb is to pretend your pin is a billboard that drivers speeding down a freeway are glancing at. Stick to short phrases and make sure the font is legible, and consider adding a URL or small logo for branding. But don’t turn your pin into a straight-up ad, since people aren’t using Pinterest like the yellow pages. While there are a lot of buyers out there on Pinterest, actively selling to them is a turnoff.

You’ll have to experiment a little to see what works best for your content. If you’re wondering what’s working well for others, check out the popular section on Pinterest to see what’s popular in general, and the accounts of bloggers in your niche with a strong Pinterest presence to see what’s working for them.

Use images that draw the eye

Don’t just include any relevant image in your post. To make pins from your blog attractive to people on Pinterest, use appealing images in your posts that draw the eye. Those are the images people while see when they (or you) pin your posts.

Remember that you’re competing with a smorgasbord of images on Pinterest itself — a smorgasbord that people are scrolling through quickly. You want the image pinned from your post to be eye-catching enough that others will STOP their scrolling, click through to read your post, and repin the pin to share it with their own followers. The more repins you get, the more exposure you get. (And the more clicks you are likely to get.)

Wondering what I mean? Let’s look at a few examples. Which of these three images would you stop to look at and repin in a sea of other images?

An example of how not to do a pin.
A slightly better pin, but still an example of how not to do one.
An example of a good pin

If you said the largest image, you agreed with the nearly 10,000 other people who have repinned that individual pin alone to date. The smallest image is uninteresting, unrelated, and way too small to be noticed. The middle image is better but the wrong shape and so likely to be overlooked.

General tips

While there are exceptions to every rule, in general pins without faces on them do better than those with people, and pins with warm colors do better than cool. Much of Pinterest’s content is aspirational or super-helpful, so the idea is to keep your pins both interesting and beautiful — something people would want to stop and look at if they were flipping through a magazine.