Making your Blog Images “Pin Worthy” {Helping You Go Viral}

It is amazing how visually driven blogs have become over the past few years. Pinterest has been such a huge part of this. 
If your blog has many beautiful images illustrating your content, chances are that you have seen a lot of traffic from Pinterest. It can be a great audience builder. But just because you have images in your posts, doesn’t mean they will get re-pinned a lot.
There is a RIGHT and a WRONG way to format your images, which determines how “pin worthy” your blog is.

By pin worthy, I am referring to how appealing your images will be to people on Pinterest who see your content in their feed, and how many of them will WANT to re-pin it.
Pinterest is all about “beautiful images” 
The problem is is that you can have a “beautiful image” without it showing up in all it’s glory on Pinterest.
I recently became aware of this when I experimented with one of my most popular posts on making Chocolate Butterflies using an open book. 
The first image was one that I had had up for several months (6+) 
It looked great when it is on my blog. But since it is a horizontal image, it doesn’t show up as nicely as a vertical image. Instead, it ends up squished, and will most likely be ignored by most browsers.  
I was wondering why I wasn’t getting more traffic from this post on Pinterest. My content was cool. My concept was creative. I knew people would love it. But from the 6 or so months I had had it up, I really only had like 500 Pins from it. Then I decided to try to re-do my original collage and make it a VERTICAL image (as follows)
Within weeks of making this change, the Pins jumped from 500 to 20,000. 
Wow. It worked!
Above is an example of how the two images compare & compete in actual size on Pinterest. Do you see the difference? The vertical image stands out so nicely compared to the horizontal image which just gets squished and lost in the collage all the other pins on the page. 
It may be a little bit more of a “mouthful” image on your blog posts, but it is so worth because hey, what use is a blog post if no one reads it?
There is nothing wrong with re-working images on already existing posts. I’ve re-done several of mine & I have noticed a large increase of traffic in all of them. My most popular posts are always the vertical ones.
Even if you aren’t going to make every picture in your posts “vertical” as a rule of thumb, try to make the first image (which should be the most “pin worthy” looking image) 1/3 as wide as it tall (in inches this would be like 7″ wide, and 12″ tall)
Avoid using square images. These are almost as unimpressive as extreme horizontal images on Pinterest. And when you do do collages, make them longer than wide.
You will find that this makes such a huge difference and most the time it will just be a cropping job!
Last, but not least, I like to try out my images before I post them by uploading them to one of my secret boards. It helps me see what they will see, thus helping me reach out to potential readers!
UPDATE: after only having made this change for 3 months, the post I used as an example jumped to 100,000 + Re-Pins!
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  1. Dawn says:

    This is great advice, Hannah, and something I've been attempting. Do you have any tips on how to make a vertical collage? I have photos, but I am technically challenged, and haven't been able to figure it out, or even where to get started.

  2. Liz Fourez says:

    Great tips, Hannah! Thanks : )

  3. Jaya says:

    great tips.. thank you for this!

  4. Nikki says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! This is such helpful advice. I'm fairly new to the blogging world and I couldn't figure out why my images were not working better on Pinterest (they are all small and horizontal!!). Can't wait to try this 🙂 nikki http://www.flairytales.com

  5. This is so great to know! I never thought about that! Thanks so much for your helpful tips! Have a wonderful week!

    ~Abby =)

  6. Awesome tips, thanks! Am I the only one who never saw this butterfly on Pinterest? I love it, so clever 🙂

  7. I found this on Pinterest too so your ideas are obviously true-brilliant! Thanks for sharing!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  8. Kathleen says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial, I had no idea! I am new to the world of blogging and I need all the help I can get. Another thing to add to my list of "things I am addicted to" with Pic monkey, so fun making the collages! Kathleen

  9. Great tips! I'm going to have to try this. My old posts tend to get lost in the shuffle, so this would be a good way to revitalize my blog archives!

  10. Great advice! thank you, I will definitely be trying it out for future blog posts! xo

  11. the content in your site is really helpful. I am definitely going to use it. trafficchallan.co.in

  12. I'm curious the traffic to your site from all those repins, because it seems to me that that collage tells the viewer all they need to know, and less of a reason to hop over…but I don't know;)

    • That's a really good point. I looked at my stats for that particular post, and the page views are about 50,000 (1/4th of the re-pins)

      I think that while it's sometimes better to "tease" your audience with an image so they will want to come visit, sometimes showing a brilliant "how to" will make them want to come over and check out what else you have.

      In my case, this post's health rocketed when I made these changes. But you most certainly don't have to make the vertical image a collage.

      <3 Hannah

  13. Doxie C says:

    Great information that I'm going to pass along to my mother who has three blogs. I have told her a few times that she needed to do something with the pictures she posts because they are small…like the first one you show with your baby…of course I was very careful telling her about it!! Maybe after reading your post she will finally get what I've been trying to tell her!!!

    I know someone else made a similar comment, but may I make a suggestion for a blog post? —How to make those collages that you just talked about..using PicMonkey.—–

    I've played around with PicMonkey but don't know how to make them like you are…like the title on top, and making it with different size pictures, how you put those white spaces between the pictures, etc. Or do you know of a site that has tutorials?

  14. Lauren says:

    Say whaaaaaat?! Best tutorial ever, thank you!!

  15. This is a great tip! Thank You so much for sharing

  16. Nora says:

    Hey Hannah,

    you have a really nice blog! Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    Best wishes from a new german follower 😉
    Nora

  17. Great tips, I am going to change a few of mine now! Thanks heaps

  18. Thank you! great tips for a new blogger!

  19. I enjoyed reading your article and you have some really good tips I can use Thanks

  20. Hi Hannah, I found your article very helpful, but I have a question that I hope you can answer. When you recommend changing out the image for a pin, do you take down the first one? If so, do you lose the 'likes' you had on that first one?
    Thanks, Lynn

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