In a recent post, I talked about how to take original photos for your blog graphics. Although I love great stock photography, I find that there are three main concerns with it:
- The same images come up time and time again;
- Buying stock photos regularly becomes rather expensive; and
- You miss an opportunity to use original material.
I thought it would be a good idea to chat about how straightforward it can be to come up with your own original visual content. If you haven't read that post yet, I would recommend starting there, then pop back here to continue reading.
Now I'd like to show you how to take your original photos and make them into to pinnable graphics that you can upload to Pinterest. Pinterest is more than just a place to collect great ideas - it's a powerful visual search engine that you can put to work for your blog.
Step 1: Login in (or sign up) for Canva
Go to www.canva.com and sign up or log in on the top right-hand side of your screen.
Step 2: Create a Design
In the top left corner of the Canva screen, select the 'Create a Design' Button.
Step 3: Select 'Pinterest Graphic'
Once you've clicked 'create a design', a whole bunch of options will pop up. Under 'Social Media' you'll see a design template called 'Pinterest Graphic.' Select that.
Pinterest graphics are usually vertical or portrait oriented with a size of about 735 x 1102 px. This orientation works well for Pinterest because of the way the platform is designed. When you use a long graphic, as opposed to a wide graphic, your pin ends up being more visible. Have a look at the example I've added below. This is just a screen shot from my own Pinterest feed. The thing to note is how horizontal posts get way less room than vertical posts. Make sense?
Step 4: Choose a Layout
Canva's purpose is to encourage everyone to learn the principles of good design, so they always include layout templates for each design which you are welcome to use. Many of them are free, and some you pay for. Here's how to choose a layout.
Once you've selected 'Pinterest Graphic' a panel with a grey background will appear on the left hand side of your screen with options like 'Search, Layouts, Elements, Text' etc. Scroll through the layouts until you find something you like and select it. This is going to be the basis for our Pinterest design.
Step 5: Upload Your Original Image
Because the purpose of this tutorial is to show you how to make Pinterest graphics out of your own original photography, we are not going to use the existing image supplied by Pinterest. We're going to upload our own. In the left hand panel, navigate to 'Uploads'.
A window will pop up allowing you to select an image from your computer, folder, or desktop.
Step 6: Remove the Existing Image
Click on the existing image and delete it. You will be left with a blank looking design like this.
Step 7: Drag Your Own Image Into the Design
From the 'Uploads' section on the left hand side of the screen, click on your image or drag it into the Pinterest Graphic grid. If you click on the image it will merely sit on top of your grid, but if you drag it across, it will automatically fill the grid.
Step 8: Edit the Text
Now edit the text to make it your own. Double click on each text box and make your edits. You can also edit a variety of text elements by selecting the boxes on the navigation bar above your image. Your options for editing are:
Step 9: Use Filters to Make Text Stand Out
Sometimes you'll find that your text disappears a bit into the photo because the colours are too similar, or your photography is a little busy. There's a really handy way to correct this and that is by using a colour filter over your image, and underneath your text. I'll show you how to do it.
Navigate to 'Elements' in menu on the left hand side of your screen. Select 'Shapes'. Select the first square. Now your image should look something like this.
If your text is light, choose a dark colour for your shape, like dark grey. If your text is dark, choose a light colour for your shape, like white, or cream. I've chose this dark-ish grey because the text I've selected is white.
Now increase the size of your square until it becomes a rectangle and matches the shape of your underlying graphic.
Step 10: Arrange Text in Foreground
Once you've resized your square, navigate to the 'Arrange' tab in the top right hand corner of your screen. Select 'Back' several times until your text is all in the foreground.
Step 11: Adjust the Transparency
Now navigate to the 'Transparency' tab on the top bar and adjust it until you're happy with the result. I've set mind to about 35 so that I can still clearly see the image beneath but I'm also able to read the text pretty easily.
Step 11: Download Your Design
The last thing is to download your design. Go to the yellowish horizontal bar across the top of your screen, select your file type (.jpeg or .png are best for uploading to web). And that's it!
You're welcome to use the graphics and templates I've been working with on this blog post. If you click to the button below it will take you through to a shared Canva workspace where you can access everything we've been chatting about here.