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How to Design Drop-Dead Gorgeous Pinterest Pins that Drive Traffic

If you want to get massive traffic from your Pinterest marketing, one of the most important things to learn is how to create pretty Pinterest pins that go viral. 

I’ve put together a guide that walks you through each of the key parts of Pinterest pin design.

Use these tips to create pins that stop your audience in their tracks and sends them straight to your website.

Why Pretty Pins Go Viral on Pinterest

As a Pinterest marketer, before your target audience ever views your profile, lands on your website, or absorbs all of the awesomeness you bring to the table, they’ll see your pin.

It’s your audience’s first impression of your brand and business, so you want to make sure you’re more than meeting the standard of a drop-dead gorgeous Pinterest pin.

But it goes beyond just the look. It’s also the message you send in writing on the pin. 

Your headline is your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a statement that leaves your audience wanting to know more.

So, What Is the Fresh Pins Rule All About for Pin Design?

The word fresh has been associated so much with Pinterest pins that you’d think they were talking about either laundry or food. 

But let’s talk about what the term fresh pins really means?

Remember in Episode 64 of Dreamer’s Den Podcast where I explained your focus should always be on what the consumer wants? Well, Pinterest understands this well. 

What Pinterest users want now is fresh content. They respond best to content that they haven’t seen before, so the algorithms prioritize and give more exposure to new pins.

According to Pinterest’s best practices, fresh pins are those that contain new images or videos. 

Pinners are allowed to re-use a link and the landing, content, or product connected to it and the pin will still be fresh as long as you haven’t used that image before.

So you can still share older content by creating and pinning newly designed pins that meet these guidelines.

If you have certain branding or fonts that you prefer to use, you can change the text overlay and image on the pin design to still be compliant with the new fresh pins rule.

Now that we have that understanding, let’s go over the basics of creating a viral Pinterest pin.

Use the Best Pinterest Pin Dimensions

Pinterest recommends vertical pins that are a 2:3 aspect ratio. The most common pin size I’ve seen is 1000 x 1500 pixels, but some other options are:

600 x 900

1200 x 1800

2000 x 3000

Some creatives also like to use the extra long pin to stand out among the crowd of shorter pin sizes above. Tailwind recommends a 1:2.1 ratio, which is 1000 x 2100 pixels. However, there is nothing showing that Pinterest currently recommends any pin size other than 2:3.

Pinterest Pin Size Examples

Easy Ways to Create your Pins 

No matter your design skills, level, or budget, there’s a platform or software for you. You can use regular design software to create beautiful pins. 

Beginners may prefer to use a Pinterest pin maker that doesn’t require advanced design skills. 

The options below are the ones that I or my peers have used and approve of:

See also: Tailwind Create Review for Pinterest Marketing Pin Design

How to Create Pinterest Pins that Get Clicks and Traffic

The Layout of a Well-Designed Pinterest Pin

Think about a book cover or magazine. Both of these have a list of features that draw attention and motivate interest. 

The reader sees beautiful images and a large, bold headline first. Then goes on to either read smaller text or the back cover to learn more and see if they should crack open the pages or buy.

Those same actions are the mission of your pin design. Let’s explore these features further.

A high-quality image or graphic

Make sure your pictures are high-quality and not blurry or pixelated. If you prefer to use stock photos, make sure they haven’t been used a million times. 

That helps with staying in compliance with the new Pinterest fresh pins rule. Many people are using free stock photos, so those are the ones that you risk overusing.

I use CanvaPro, which has millions of premium stock photos to choose from. I just search for the type of image I’m looking for and then use the filter to only include the upgraded Pro images.

Here are some other reasons Canva is my top choice for social media and Pinterest designs:

  1. Resizer (to change the size of templates and repurpose).
  2. Background eraser for a wider design variety.
  3. Convenient mobile app.
  4. Thousands of stock photos at your fingertips.
  5. Minimal tech skills needed.

It also helps if you use a pin that includes at least a splash of color that matches your branding. 

If you’re using a black or white overlay, this may not matter much. The overlay covers the pin with a contrasting color that helps the text stand out even more. 

In this case, it depends on how you’re using the overlay. For example, if the overlay is fully covering the pin or if it only covers the center or halfway. 

Also, if the pin is more transparent (50% versus 25% or 50%), then you won’t see the color scheme of the image as much as you would with a less transparent overlay. 

A compelling headline (power words, emotional words, calls to action)

Create a big, bold headline and use smaller text to give more details and compel pinners to click and save.

Use a headline analyzer to make sure you’re creating a powerful headline on your pin. That’s a huge part of stopping your audience in their tracks and getting clicks. 

SEO is not as important here, so it’s all about copy that pulls the heartstrings of your audience, gives them enough of the deets, and leaves them craving more. 

That means you need the perfect combo of common words, power words, and emotional words. And you need to make it short and sweet, in 55 characters and 10 words or less. 


Instead of writing How to Make Money from Pinterest Marketing  you could write How to Grow an Insanely Profitable Business with Pinterest Marketing.

Coschedule and MonsterInsights are two headline analyzers that I’ve used to make sure my headlines are on point to meet my traffic goals. They’re both free and easy to use.

Text that stands out from the crowd (big, bold fonts)

Make sure your text grabs attention. Use a bold font for your main or most important text, but it doesn’t need to be too fancy. An Open Sans or Black font is perfect. 

Also, stretch the text to fit across the pin as much as possible, but within the margins. If you’re using a design program, set at least a .5 inch margin. 

Canva automatically sets margins, so you will see a red line or box when you’ve reached the end of the margin.

You can also use features and elements to distinguish the most important parts of your text. 

How to Design Pinterest Pin that Get Massive Traffic

Here are some things you can do to make words or phrases stand out in your headline:

  1. Add colorful text that represents or fits well with your branding. 
  1. Use a fun, eye-catching mix of text (thin and thick, bold and regular, cursive and sans, dark and light, large and small, etc.).
  1. Try shapes, such as circles, squares, scribbles, or lines to highlight words.
  1. Add a text-shadow or stroke.
  1. Place a text overlay or transparent white or black overlay on the image  (more on this below).
  1. Make an outline around any boxes, squares, or overlays.
  1. Add a dark or bold shape in the background of white text.

Add either your logo or website address to the pin. Most pinners place this at the bottom center, but some add it to the top center or corner. 

Create Multiple Pin Designs and Use Them as Templates

The fresh pins rule doesn’t mean you can’t use a template. You just need to be creative. You can use the same overall Pinterest pin layout and make adjustments. For instance, I re-use my custom Canva templates by changing the background picture. And then, I update the text and make changes to colors and or fonts.

Do’s and Don’ts of Pins That Convert to Traffic and Sales

Don’t Write Text Directly Over Pictures That Are Too Busy

Do Use A Photo With Negative Space, Use an Overlay, or Place a Picture on Only a Portion of the Pin Design.

Don’t Make your Text Too Small

Do Take Advantage of the Space you Have

Don’t Use Bad Images

Do Use Clear, High Quality, Fresh Images

Don’t Be Afraid to Test and Try New Designs

Do Be Creative

Don’t Be a Cookie Cutter

Do Look to Others for Pin Inspiration

Don’t Type Boring Headlines

Do Appeal to the Needs, Fears, or Desires of your Audience

Don’t Make the Pins Look Too Busy

Do Limit Word-Count and Icons for a Clean Layout

It’s Your Turn to Try Pinterest Pin Design

These are the basic recommendations for a pin that gets your audience to your website and in front of your resources and offers.

The suggestions come from key players in Pinterest marketing and my own results. 

Now, use these guidelines to start creating. If you need an even quicker or easier solution, try my Pinterest Pin Design Templates.

You can use these to have an irresistible Pinterest design in seconds.

*This post contains affiliate links for which I am paid a commission if you make a purchase.

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As owner of Dream Work Creatives, LLC, Danielle has the opportunity to use her gifts of business development and creative expression. She has a passion for helping solo entrepreneurs and small businesses make their dreams work through marketing and creative strategy. Danielle’s digital marketing services have helped countless businesses build their brand awareness and online presence using social media marketing, website design and content marketing. Her blog features business and lifestyle growth tips and “Dreamer’s Den Podcast: Entrepreneurs Making the Dream Work”. During her free time, she enjoys travel, movies, books and the endless joy of her little one.