“Do I really, actually need pretty, Pinterest-y images on my blog?”
“But I’m writing about marketing! And apps! Pinterest doesn’t care about those.”
“I’m not on Pinterest so I’m just going to ignore it. That works, right?”

If I had a nickel for every time one of my clients said something along these lines … well, I’d have a lot of nickels.

I mean, I get it. We’re all up to our necks in client work, blog posts, and innumerable social media platforms. Optimizing our images for Pinterest can feel like just another bullet point on a never-ending to-do list.

As of January 2015, Pinterest had 70 million users, 80% of them women. If you’re a coach, I’m guessing that most of your clients are women.

Which means they’re on Pinterest.

Which means your posts should be, too.

The surprising thing is – you don’t even need to be on Pinterest for your posts to be popular there. All you need is blog readers who use Pinterest and want to pin your content.

Have I convinced you? Wonderful!

Here are four easy ways to make your images Pinterest friendly.

1. Use gorgeous images
Well, of course, right? Luckily for us, the internet is teeming with cheap or free photo resources. Get free access to five million stock images here, check out Flickr’s Creative Commons images here, or take a peek at the Creative Commons library on 500px.com.

If you use Creative Commons images, remember to link to the photographer and give them proper credit. A potential caveat with Creative Commons images is that photographers can change the license at any time – a photo that was Creative Commons on Monday could be fully licensed on Tuesday. And be aware that Creative Commons images might contain trademarks (that Coke bottle or the Nike running shoes) which the companies haven’t signed off on.

2. Crop your images so they’re tall and long
The layout of Pinterest favors tall, long images; they stand out on Pinterest boards and attract more ‘likes’ and re-pins. You can either start with a vertically-oriented image or crop a horizontal image into a taller, thinner version of itself.

3. Add the title of your blog post to the image
Images of recipes and outfits don’t require much explanation, but an image of a sunset could be used for a blog post about travel, grief, or letting go of expectations. Add text to your images so pinners can tell at a glance what your post is about. And if you’re not a Photoshop aficionado, don’t worry! Picmonkey and Canva are both free and incredibly user friendly. I personally swear by Aviary.

4. Add title text to the html your images
This is not nearly as intimidating or techy as it sounds. Promise! When we pin something with title text, that little white box below the image auto-fills with a description. If you don’t create title text, your reader might just see “medium-cupcake3.jpg” when they try to pin your images – which doesn’t make for a particularly compelling pin. How you add title text depends on the blogging platform you’re using, but when you upload an image to your blog post, just look for ‘title text’ or ‘image title attribute.’ When you find it, just type a short description that will appeal to pinners and you’re all set!

If you follow these tips, your posts will be getting pinned in no time at all!

Linda Laegreid Johannessen is the founder and CEO of YAY Images, a stock image agency that’s the Spotify version of affordable, licensed images. For just $9.90 a month, you have access to 5 million (!!!) images that are perfect for blog posts, newsletters, and social media. She’d love it if you took advantage of a free month of photos or followed along on Twitter.

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