Are you suffering from viral pin envy? I know I sure did when I first started blogging (yep, this isn’t my first blog). I would see all of these bloggers boasting about their pins going viral, and I would think, “I want that!”
And let me tell you, when you have a pin go viral, it feels freakin’ awesome!
Here’s what it looks like in Pinterest Analytics:
So, how can you make viral Pinterest pins?
1. Make ’em tall
Vertical images work really well on Pinterest. This is because they’re a lot easier to see, especially when you’re scrolling through Pinterest on your phone.
Here’s an example:
I’ve added two yellow arrows in the middle and near the right of the image. One points to a small square pin, and the other points to a much larger, vertical pin. It’s going to be a lot easier for someone to see the large vertical pin when scrolling through a feed.
And, a lot of Tailwind Tribes and group boards only allow vertical pins.
So what size should your pin be?
Pinterest recommends images that have an aspect ratio of 2:3, and they recommend a size of 600 x 900.
In the past, a lot of bloggers (myself included) have used larger sizes, such as 735 x 1102 or even larger. However, there was a point where Pinterest was cutting off these larger images. So, I’d recommend going with a size like 600 x 900 or 600 x 1260, or checking on your larger images to see if they’ve been cut off.
2. Use pictures
If you’re blogging about food, fitness, or DIY, then you should definitely use images in your pins. Be sure to pick clear, colorful images that pop. They should also be high resolution.
It can be a bit harder to find images if you’re blogging about subjects like freelancing, copywriting, or digital marketing. In that case, you can either try to find images that relate, or you can try using solid backgrounds.
3. Add a Headline – Or Not
A headline is simply the text that you add to an image. You want to write a headline that will get people interested in your pin, and in the blog post (or opt-in, or product, etc) that the pin image leads back to.
The headline should tie directly into the topic of your blog post, or opt-in, or product. For example, if your text on your pin is “9 Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes”, then your blog post should be about 9 dinner recipes that are quick and easy to make.
The text can be the title of your blog post, or it can be a smaller variation.
One thing to note – and this is a bit controversial – you don’t have to add a headline in some cases. I’ve seen pins go viral that had zero text on them (this has happened for me and for a client), so this isn’t an absolute requirement. BUT, if you want to try this, I do recommend making one Pinterest graphic with a headline, and one Pinterest graphic without the headline, and then comparing how the two pins perform.
4. The Headline is Easy to Read
If you do put a headline on your Pinterest graphic, then please (with sugar on top!) make the text easy to read.
As someone who’s done a lot of pinning – for myself and for my clients – an easy-to-read pin is a must. Seriously, I’m not going to waste my time on a pin that I can’t read. I’m just going to scroll on to the next one.
And, this is incredibly important for mobile pinners. These images can be really small! Here are two examples to show your what I’m talking about (FYI – these aren’t real posts or pins, these are just examples):
Do you see how much easier it is to read the one on the right? I mean seriously, I can’t even read the top line of the one on the left. And yes, I made the one on the left deliberately bad because I wanted to really show my point (but I have seen pins like this).
5. Put your website name on the image
Seriously, as a pinner, I’m begging you to put your website on your Pinterest graphic. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve clicked on a pin, and it led to a website that was definitely NOT the blog post or web page I wanted.
In some of those cases, I was able to go back to the pin, get the real website from the pin image, and then find the blog post that way. It takes more effort, but in cases where I really wanted the information the headline was teasing, then it was totally worth it. And, it is disappointing when I really want to read a blog post, and I can’t find the original website.
Your website name can be in a small font. It just needs to be something you can read when you do a closeup of the pin.
So, please, always always list your website on your Pinterest graphic. Pinners like me will thank you!
This is hard to define, because what catches your eye might be different than what catches mine. That’s why it’s important to try different pin designs.
Remember, what you may find ugly, someone else may find eye-catching. I’ve heard from a number of bloggers that some of the pins they thought would do poorly, actually turned out to do really well for them.
7. Be seen
Pin your Pinterest graphic to your boards, and your group boards, and your Tailwind Tribes, and be sure to do this over time.
Don’t pin your graphic to all of them in the same day! Doing that can be spammy.
And really, you want to give everyone a chance to see your wonderful new pin. So pin it at different times, on different days, to different places (your boards, tribes, etc).
Tailwind’s really helpful with this! You can use it to schedule your pin to spread across your account.
8. Always be testing!
Make different Pinterest graphics for the same blog post. Try different images, different headlines, different designs, different descriptions, and different keywords.
This will help you discover what your audience likes and responds to. Remember how I mentioned that sometimes bloggers find out that a pin they thought would bomb, actually goes viral? They found this out through testing.
Time for You to Take Action
Remember when you started reading this, and you were full of viral pin envy? Or maybe, you just thought having a viral pin wouldn’t happen to you?
Now you have the tools to make it happen.
Just follow the tips, above. And, you can even download a free checklist with these tips. Just use it whenever you’re ready to create a new pin!
Would you like some help creating your Pinterest pins, or would you love to turn over your pinning to someone else?