How to create a Pinterest graphic – and free template!

As a blogger, Pinterest is a vital source of traffic. The majority of my traffic comes from Pinterest, with one image in particular that has been pinned more than 4,000 times.

I love Pinterest … like REALLY love Pinterest! I have more than 4,000 followers and something like 70 boards, covering a wide variety of my interests. It’s fair to say I spend quite a bit of time surfing on Pinterest. It’s easy to differentiate between an eye-catching graphic and one that doesn’t even make me look twice. If it catches my eye, I’m likely to click it or re-pin it. If it’s so busy or difficult to read, I’m likely to skip over it.

Having beautiful Pinterest graphics will allow you to maximize your blog traffic. Not only does it allow you to post on Pinterest, which brings traffic to your site, but it allows your readers to post your graphic on Pinterest for future reference. It is a win-win situation.

So, how do you create those traffic-generating graphics? I’ll show you how and give you a free template!

Qualities

All Pinterest graphics should have certain qualities to make them stand out. Here’s what’s important when creating a Pinterest graphic:

  • Vertical image
  • Beautiful picture
  • Easy to read text

Graphics the are pinned over and over usually have:

  • Bright colors
  • Bold words
  • Solid description
  • Source credit

Templates

I think templates are super important. They define your brand and make it much easier to identify your work. Some people make a different graphic for every blog post, but that’s super time-consuming. Templates make quick work of making graphics people want to re-pin!

You can see above, I’m using a template to create a cohesive look. Click here to download the graphic template. You will need Photoshop to use it. You can get a monthly Creative Cloud Photography plan subscription to Photoshop and Lightroom for $9.99/mo. if you don’t already have it. It’s well-worth the investment and what I use.

The template can be customized to match your branding with fonts and color choices. I made my template 735×1000 pixels. The width (735 pixels) is the standard size for Pinterest graphics. I just chose 1000 pixels for the length because I like a graphic that size, but if you were building a template from scratch, you chould choose any length you wanted.

How to use

First, open the template in Photoshop. This is what you will see. We will be making changes working in the layers palate to the right of the image.

There, you will find five layers. The first is the background layer, which is plain white. The second layer in the placeholder image used in this graphic. The third layer is the rectangle box of color, here it is gray. The fourth layer is the text “This is a sample Pinterest template.” The final layer is the text “Your blog here.” We will be editing all of these layers.

Here is a close-up of the layers palate. First, go to the layer “Delete …” and delete the placeholder image by highlighting the layer and clicking the trash can icon on the lower right. Or, you can right-click the layer and select “delete layer.”

This is what you will have. Next, we’re going to choose an image and place it into the graphic template. Determine what image you’d like to use. Go to File>Place>(select file).

Move and position the graphic so that it fills the template. Once you have the image situated how you want it, hit enter. Now it’s on its own separate layer (look at the layers palate on the right).

Now, we’re going to edit the text. Click the “This is a sample…” in the layers palate. Click the text tool and edit the text to your liking. Here I chose “Top 10 tips to stay sane with children.” (Yes, it’s been one of those days…)

Next, we’re going to do the same thing with the layer “Your blog here” and change it to your blog address. Highlight the layer in the layers palate, chose the text tool, highlight the text and type your blog address there.

In the template, the text is gray. I changed it to white here by clicking on the color box in the Character palate (open on the right in the pic above). You can do this with any of the text to best match your branding.

Now, the graphic looks fine to me the way it is, but let’s say you want to change the color of the gray box to something else that better matches the picture, gives more contrast with the image, or to stay cohesive with your branding. To do that, go to the Layers palate and select the Rectangle layer.

Double click on the square in the layer and the color picker box will pop up. Here, I chose a green color that goes well with the green in the flower stems. It’s as simple as that.

You can move the rectangle box and text wherever you like it on the image. Using the pointer tool from the left, select the layers you want to move (hold “shift” while clicking on layers to select more than one layer). Then use your arrow keys to move the layers up or down until they are where you like them.

Here you can see I selected both layers (the text and the colored box) and moved them up.

Let’s say you want to make the colored box longer and move your blog address into the box. To do that, you’re going to select the Rectangle layer. Select Edit>Free Transform Path (Command-T on a Mac) and resize accordingly. When you have the box the size you’d like, hit Enter. Then select the blog address text layer and move it up into the box.

And there you go – moving the layers around is easy. Now I’m going to move them down into a more visually appealing location.

Once you have all the layers where you want them, you’re going to save your finished graphic. Flatten the layers by going to Layer>Flatten Image. Once you flatten the image and save it, the layers are no longer editable.

Now you’re going to save your graphic. Go to File>Save As>. Type the name of your new graphic. In this dialog box, under “Format” select JPEG. (WordPress and Blogger do not support PSD files.)

And there you have it – your new Pinterest-worthy graphic! (Now I just need to write a blog post about staying sane with children, right?) The template can be used again and again to create graphics.

Tip: Just remember to always “Save-As” with your files, otherwise you will overwrite the template!

Drop me a comment and let me know if this template and tutorial were easy to use and understand. If you do use it, I’d love to see it – leave me a link and I’ll be happy to re-pin your image for you!

Having beautiful Pinterest graphics will allow you to maximize your blog traffic. Not only does it allow you to post on Pinterest, which brings traffic to your site, but it allows your readers to post your graphic on Pinterest for future reference. It is a win-win situation. So, how do you create those traffic-generating graphics? I'll show you how and give you a free template!

 



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16 Comments

  • Sarah Althouse

    I can’t believe I never thought to make a template. That would make my graphic making time so much easier!

  • Erin Dodds

    thank you – this is so helpful! trying to up my pinterest game, so i definitely will be following this tutorial!
    http://www.alwayserin.com

  • Laura Gibson

    This is AWESOME! I am pinning this one too

  • Meg

    I finally developed my own template at the beginning of the year and it’s saved me a ton of time. That and creating a brand style sheet to keep colors consistent has been so helpful! Great tutorial.

  • lauren

    Great template! I usually make all of my pins the same way too, it just makes the whole process easier.

  • Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms

    This is super helpful! I’ve been meaning to work on templates to cut my image creation time in half.

  • Lisa

    This is great advice. Thank you SO much for the great template.

  • Margaret Heaton

    Thank you for the great info. I am definitely pinning this!

  • Alix Maza

    Gorgeous Pinterest graphics! Love the template also.

    Alix | http://www.apintsizedlifeblog.com

  • Dearlyndsey

    These are beautiful graphics. Thank you for sharing. I am still learning how to make the perfect pintrest graphic.

  • Charissa | thenotsobusymom

    I was intimidated to enter the pinterest world. This is very helpful, thanks!

  • Amanda

    I know nothing about Photoshop or editing pictures or using Pinterest effectively to help my blog traffic, so thank you for posting this! It was such a help to me.

  • Patrice

    Great idea to have a template for ease and consistency of your look/brand!

  • Jalisa Harris

    I needed this thank you. This is one thing I am lacking. #fail.

  • Lindsey

    These are awesome tips! I really need to take the plunge and invest in Photoshop!

  • rachel

    I absolutely love these! Thank you for sharing!!

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