Want More Traffic From Pinterest? Stop Pinning Images That Suck

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Want More Pinterest Traffic? Stop Pinning Images That Suck! Come read my 3 simple to follow rules for creating pins that get clicked and repinned. For the love of all that’s good and righteous in this world, please optimize your images for Pinterest.

I visit a lot of blog posts every day and I’m just so sad when I see a really good, interesting post with no decent images to pin.  In fact, as I go through Pinterest, I see a lot of images that just flat out suck.

It’s frustrating when I see someone say “Oh, Pinterest doesn’t work for me”  and then when I go to see their blog, they have small, ugly, boring images. It’s pretty clear why they don’t get any traffic from Pinterest!

If you aren’t getting any substantial traffic from Pinterest, I can guarantee you that you’re doing something wrong. So I’ve made a list of what you can do to change it.

1. Use Tall Vertical Images.  When you go to Pinterest, look at the layout of the page. It’s in tall columns. How do you possibly think that a short, wide image is going to look good?  It’s just going to get swallowed up on those tall columns.

2. Think Bright Colors. Yellow, red and orange stand out from all the blues and greens on Pinterest. Add some interesting color to your images if you can so that they stand out. For some reason, brown also does well.

3. Label Your Pin. Spend 5 minutes with your image in Picmonkey or Canva adding a little text to it. I don’t like clicking on a link when I’m not sure where it’s going to lead me.  Just today, I saw a pin of a child’s toy abacus. It had no text whatsoever, and I had no idea what the post would be about. Why would I repin that? Why would I even stop to click on it?  Normally I wouldn’t but for the sake of this article, I did – it was about finance.  What??

Put those three tips together, and you should have a fairly Pinterest friendly image – Compare these two:

Get more pinterest traffic by pinning better images

That second one literally took me 5 minutes to do in PicMonkey.

There are a few other tips I picked up from this really excellent post at Buffer about creating perfect pins:
– Avoid having human faces, posts with faces get fewer repins
– Keep ‘background’ to a minimum – don’t have a lot of open space.
– Have moderate light exposure and color saturation – too much or too little reduces repins.

But there’s more…

I want you to think about the purpose of a pin. If you pin an image from your blog, you’re hoping for two things: You want people to repin it, and you want people to click it and come to your blog.

So why would you share an image that doesn’t entice people to click on it?

You know that song “My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard”? Well, it brings the boys because that milkshake was something they wanted, y’all. If you want your pin to bring all the folks to your blog, that pin has to be something they want.

Imagine that you’ve pinned a picture of your child hugging Mickey Mouse. Maybe there’s no text, or maybe there’s a little text that says “The Jones Family Does Disney” or something equally generic. Now we all know your kid is the cutest kid in the world – but all the same, why would I repin pictures of other people’s kids at Disney?  It’s kind of like inviting people to my house to show them a slideshow of someone else’s vacation.

And unless that child is my nephew or grandchild, I probably don’t care that much about his trip to Disney.

I know that if you’re a lifestyle blogger, blogging about your life and your family is what you’re about. But you still have to keep in mind “What is in this for my reader?”

Are you writing that post because your kids are just so stinking cute you can’t stand it? Well, I hate to break it to you, but that’s not really click-worthy to the masses.

On the other hand…

Are you going to blog about how you survived a day at WDW with two toddlers and no meltdowns? I know a lot of moms would love that secret.  Or maybe how you did Disney on a budget – that’s another great post that lets you share your trip and your gorgeous little babies while still providing a real value to your reader.

And then when you create an image, you’ll have something truly pin-worthy – your baby hugging Mickey Mouse in a tall, brightly colored image with text that says “How We Survived A Day in the Magic Kingdom With Two Toddlers”.

So to recap:

  1. Tall Vertical Image
  2. Bright attention-grabbing colors
  3. Text that tempts your readers and lets them know there’s something here they WANT.


And that’s what’s going to bring all the boys to the yard.





PS. If you want even more traffic from Pinterest, you should absolutely be using a pin scheduler like BoardBooster – In fact, you can read here how I’ve boosted my Pinterest traffic and followers since I started using BoardBooster.



The Pretty Pintastic Party #50
The Pretty Pintastic Party #49

25 responses on Want More Traffic From Pinterest? Stop Pinning Images That Suck

    1. Thanks Jackie! I know I’ve told you, but it’s really frustrating to me when I see people not taking advantage of Pinterest like they could be.

  1. Kelly, what a fantastic post.

    I loved how you turned a picture of a kid hugging Mickey into a great post on how to survive a day at Disney Land with your toddlers! SO much better! People want to learn from reading people’s blogs. They won’t find it useful if you write only about your trip! Such great tips.

    I started changing my images to vertical instead of horizontal as a way to optimize them for Pinterest. While they don’t do well on Twitter or even FB, I’m okay with that. Some people have different images for each social media platform but, honestly I don’t have the time for that!

    I’m happy b/c before I started optimizing my images for Pinterest, they were 5th on my referral list. Now, after a month of doing Pin-worthy photos, Pinterest is 1st! It’s amazing.

    Thanks Kelly.
    Elna Cain recently posted…How to Prove Yourself on Your Blog and Earn More Readers From ItMy Profile

    1. It really is crazy how much of a difference good pins can make, especially now that Pinterest has changed to the smart feed. People don’t want to share images that aren’t likely to be popular, because it lowers the chance of their own pins being seen in the feed.

      I’m one of those people that makes 2 images (At least!) for every post – I’ve got the vertical image in my post to use on Pinterest, and then I have a horizontal image set as the “Featured Image” – that shows up on my home page and also looks good on FB and Twitter.

      Congrats on the improvements in pinning!

  2. Thank you for these tips. They are spot on and to the point. I am so guilty of not focusing on pinable images. I do better on some posts than others. I didn’t even think of the verticle piece. I’ll definitely be more concious of that. This may be a dumb question, but I’m a technical dunce. If I create two images, one in the post to pin and another that is my “featured image” for other social media, do both versions of the photo have to be in the post? I can just use the pinnable one in the post and then the featured will just be what shows up if I link to FB or Twitter, right?
    Happysuz recently posted…Barn or Born? and Other Perils of AgingMy Profile

    1. Yes – that’s exactly right. I use one image that’s tall in my post, and then have a horizontal image as my featured image. It doesn’t show on the post. but it shows on my home page and gets pulled for FB, Twitter and G+. Glad you found the post helpful!

    1. I know, I wish I could anonymously send it to a few people I know! 😀 Thanks for hosting such a great party – no post from me this week, I was without internet, but I’ll have something for you the next!

  3. Thanks for sharing some awesome and extremely evergreen advice Kelly!

    And while personally I have yet to become active on Pinterest,
    your advice makes perfect sense!

    Because unless we constantly consider the all important
    “what’s in it for me?” angle of effectively using images or
    anything else, to entice our target audience,
    we will probably continue to miss the mark altogether!

    Thanks s much for sharing some awesome tips!
    Mark recently posted…So Entrepreneur What Are You Thankful For?My Profile

    1. You know, I wrote this post before the last changes on Pinterest, but that change made everything here more true than ever. I know it’s true because my Pinterest traffic has continued to go up while so many people are complaining of less traffic. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting 🙂

  4. This was a good pep talk for me. Do you think it’s worthwhile to go back to old posts and create new pin-worthy images for them? You’re totally right, and I get no traffic from Pinterest. i’ve been Pin-lazy.

    1. I really do think it’s worth it. I’ve been doing it bit by bit. I’m actually creating 2-3 new images for each post to get as many pins out there for them as possible. You can use variations of your headline on each one, you never know when one might take off.

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