As a freelancer, blogger, or small business owner, Pinterest can be an invaluable resource for getting traffic to your website. Having a solid pinning strategy is key to making the most of this platform. But a good strategy is only as good as the pins you make! That’s why today, we’re going to look at how to create pins using Canva.
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What is Canva? And Why Use It?
Canva is a web-based graphic-designing tool. It’s free to use and it’s my go-to tool for making all my Pinterest pins.
It does have an upgraded version that you can pay for, but I find I don’t need it and get along just fine with the free version.
There are other similar tools you can use to make pins, but Canva is my favorite because it’s user-friendly and has a ton of cool fonts, templates, and other features that make pin-designing a breeze.
If you’ve never used Canva before, it is pretty easy to figure out, but if any of it confuses you, just stick around until the end of this post for the video showing how to create pins.
Canva 1.0 vs. 2.0
Canva very recently released the second version of their editor and you can opt to use either version. They’re very similar but version 2.0 has some new great features including being able to search for your fonts and easily aligning your images.
What is the ideal Pinterest image size?
If you are a Pinterest user, you have probably noticed a trend for longer, vertical pins. The reason for this is that most people are viewing Pinterest on their phones and it makes them easier to view this way. Do not go with small or horizontal pins.
Canva’s templates for pins show dimensions of 735 x 1102 pixels, and you can use that if you want. I make most of my pins 600 x 900 px.
You can experiment with longer pins too, but I would keep them under 1200 pixels long as it seems Pinterest is now cutting off pins that are too long. I usually use longer pins for infographics.
Where to source pictures for pins
What picture you use can make a pretty big impact on the success of your pin, particularly where the images come from.
You really have three options here, but some are less ideal than others:
Least ideal option: “Free” image sites
You can use free Canva pictures or pictures from free photo sites like Pixabay and Unsplash. This is the least ideal option because:
- You may have a hard time finding the image you want and will have to settle on something less relevant.
- Everyone else and their pet dog is also using these photos, which means your pin won’t stand out as unique content.
- I have heard stories about some of these “free” photo sites containing photos that actually aren’t legally free. It’s scary to think, but I’ve even heard of lawsuits happening because of photos that ended up on these sites that weren’t supposed to!
Better option: Buying stock photos
Buying stock photos ensures you are finding relevant images and using them legally. I have scouted a ton of stock photo sites and went with Depositphotos because:
- The monthly subscription/price per picture is very reasonable compared to other sites
- Unused purchases roll over/accumulate each month so you don’t lose them
- You can easily redownload photos and licenses from your dashboard where all your purchases are listed
My favorite feature of Depositphotos is their “Undiscovered” tab. These contain photos that haven’t already been downloaded thousands of times before, which makes my pins more unique.
Best option: Using your own photos
Using your own photos is by far the best option because you don’t have to pay anyone for them and you’ll know they are 100% unique and yours alone to use. Of course, taking your own photos can be easier said than done, depending on the subject matter, how much time you have to dedicate to photography, and how good you are with a camera.
I rarely use my own photos because at this stage in my life it’s just faster/easier to use stock photos.
Best images to use
In terms of what kind of images you use, it depends on the subject matter. Pinterest will try to categorize your pins not just on the words you use, but on the images you use too, so keep that in mind when choosing.
I’ve heard different things about the kind of images that work best, but I think everyone needs to experiment a little and see what works the best.
For example, I recently heard that you shouldn’t use people’s faces in your pins, but I’ve been doing this all along and have still had great results.
Branding your pins
Even if you’re new to this, I would try incorporating some branding into your pins from the offset. There are a couple good reasons for branding your pins:
- You want people to be able to identify your pins just by looking at the style
- It discourages “pin theft” where other people use your pins to lead Pinners to their content.
Fonts & Text
Your pins should have a snappy headline on them to entice people to click on them. Pro tip: The words on your pin don’t have to match the title of the article/blog post/website page you’re linking them to.
As long as it is relevant, of course.
In terms of fonts, this is a rabbit hole you can quickly fall down and get lost in for hours. My recommendation to you is to spend some time figuring two or three “font pairings” that you think work well together. I wouldn’t include more than 2 different fonts in the same pin.
Usually, I look for some contrast between font styles. A plainer font mixed with a more “fancy font.” I have heard that you shouldn’t use script fonts for readability issues. I take this message with a grain of salt and still use script fonts in my pins.
But just make sure they’re still readable.
Depending on how established your biz is, you may already know what your brand’s colors are. You don’t have to stick to these colors for your pins but I use my brand colors in 80-90% of my pins.
I would stay away from using too many colors, most of my pins contain two colors max, rarely three. (Not including the colours already in your image.)
One of the easiest branding methods is to simply include your website address on your pin. I do this on every single pin I make. Usually, I add in a smaller font at the bottom of the pin, or at least underneath the words on the pin.
How to create pins from a template, and from scratch
Pinterest has dozens of free templates that you can use and customize into your own creation. I do sometimes use these as a starting point for my standard-sized pins.
But more often than not, I create my pins from scratch, especially if I’m creating longer pins. You can easily do this by clicking on the “custom dimensions” function in the top right corner.
I do have a basic self-made “template” that I use to help brand my pins. (See the video for a more detailed explanation of this.)
Experiment a little and let your style evolve
One of the things I love about Pinterest marketing is that it serves as an outlet for being visually creative. Like any art you make, it might take some practice before you’re consistently producing pins you’re happy with.
My own style is still evolving all the time and I continue to experiment with different layouts, colors, and fonts. If you look at some of my older pins (cringe) you will definitely see a difference in style.
Knowing how to create pins is just one piece of the puzzle
Knowing how to create pins is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of moving parts to a successful Pinning strategy.
Like how to properly set up your Pinterest account and boards.
Or how to get your pins in front of a lot of people.
And how often and where you should post your pins.
If you are having trouble getting Pinterest to work for you, check out Carly’s Pinteresting Strategies course. The price of this course is a steal compared to all the knowledge and effective strategies you get out of it! My volume has spiked dramatically in the months since I took this quick course. (See my previous post for more details on this!)
I hope this post on how to create pins was helpful! You can post any questions you have in the comments below.