This is a guest post by Miranda Nahmias of MirandaNahmias.com
Today, I’m going to teach you exactly how to create awesome pins for your blog posts by following the basic rules of graphic design and making use of the free program Canva.
Canva: Your Favorite Free Design Resource
Before we dive into the tutorial, let’s talk a little bit about exactly what Canva is. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s a free online design program that allows you to create gorgeous graphics for your blog and social media accounts (or for whatever else you want!).
One awesome thing about Canva is that they have pre-made sizes that are optimized for each social media site. For example, all you have to do is click one the one that says “Pinterest,” and it opens up a blank graphic that’s already the correct size for that platform, 735px by 1102px.
Canva is a great alternative to using an expensive program like Photoshop, as long as you’re okay giving up a bit of control and some of the more complicated features.
Let’s Learn Some Graphic Design 101
Here are a few pointers to get you headed in the right direction as you’re creating pins for your blog posts.
If you’re still having trouble telling what “looks good” after you’ve followed these steps, try posting two different designs on Pinterest for the same blog post (at different times/on different boards) and see which one performs better! Use that feedback to improve your design skills the next time you create pins for your blog posts.
Hopefully, you guys all have some sort of branding that you’d like to stick to throughout your social media graphics. Basically, that should consist of your color scheme (4-6 colors) and your fonts (1-3 fonts).
Pick a style or theme that you’d like to use for all of your social media graphics, and be consistent! The goal is for people to be able to recognize your brand immediately just from your graphics’ fonts, colors, and overall feel.
You will also need to decide whether you would like to use stock photos in the pins for your blog posts. I find that when graphics make use of some sort of photography, they often perform a lot better (especially on Pinterest!) than graphics that just have a simple design with no photography.
It’s also important to take your background into consideration as you’re designing. What colors in your color scheme work best with it? Does it fit in with your brand’s style? Take advantage of your background’s design by strategically placing text in the “white space,” to create an eye-catching effect.
Make sure not to overload the pins for your blog posts with too much text! You should have enough words to get the point across (usually the title of your blog post will work), but not too much else.
When people are scrolling through social media, you will be able to better grasp their attention by using a design that is easily and quickly understood.
Don’t make your text hard to read. Pick a legible font and use “decorative” fonts sparingly.
Use bold or larger text to highlight the most important words or phrases
Make sure you are using a text color that pairs well with your background color (i.e. sometimes pastel colors on top of pastel colors, or pastel colors on top of white, can be very hard to read!)
How About an Example?
I asked around for bloggers who would be willing to “donate” a blog post graphic for me to give a gorgeous Canva makeover!
Here’s an image from Quietude Road that she has been using to share her post on Pinterest:
Notice, first of all, that it’s not the correct size! Designing your blog post pins in Canva allows you to immediately start off with the optimal size for Pinterest.
I also noticed that the font was a little hard to read, and I didn’t think that the title was as eye-catching as it could’ve been.
Plus, in general, I thought that the design could use a little “spicing up” to really draw in the attention of potential readers.
Here’s what I came up with, using Canva, to replace her image!
I tried to copy her style of font, as well as the type of background design she had chosen, but then simply made a few other strategic and stylistic decisions in order to improve upon the original concept.
Both graphics are representative of the exact same article, but it’s clear that by following some simple design rules and making use of Canva’s free tools, that the second design is going to gain a lot more views and repins for this blog post!
Now it’s time for you to go and improve YOUR pins using the same strategies!