I’m working on including more images in my posts, partly because they look better that way, but also because it’s better for getting traffic from Pinterest. The challenge is to ensure that my images are okay for use on Pinterest.

You can’t use just any image, after all. There are copyright issues to consider when an image is pinned. Make it easy on your visitors, and be sure that these issues won’t get in their way.

Take Your Own Photos

This is the safest way to avoid copyright issues. If it’s your own photo, you can say that it’s safe to pin, so long as there aren’t copyright issues with the subject matter.

I’ve been going through my photos to make a collection of personal stock photos I can use in posts. Some of the kids, some flowers or other nature shots, that kind of thing. They’re good when it’s not so easy to just take a brand new photograph for a post. Not so good if you’re posting about a recipe or craft project where photos showing the steps are more appropriate, of course.

How to Make Your Images Pinterest Friendly

You’ll want some basic photo editing software. I use Gimp, which is free but not as good as Photoshop. Still pretty good and very useful. If you haven’t used this kind of software before it takes some getting used to, but it’s a wonderful tool. You can use it to crop photos, add text or special effects, or even create images from scratch.

Create Your Own Images

I mentioned briefly above that Gimp can be used to create images from scratch. If you’re artistically inclined, this is a wonderful option. It can be really time consuming, but you can make graphics for just about anything if you have the ability and the tools.

If you want a better tool than Gimp, you’ll probably have to pay for it. Photoshop is of course very powerful, and Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 is pretty affordable. I’ve also made graphics using an old version of Fireworks. Find the tool that’s most appropriate to your skill level.

Use Public Domain Images

This is a bit more difficult, as you have to be sure of the source you get them from and that the image really is in the public domain. There are sites that try to have freely available images, such as http://openclipart.org/, but you do need to be aware that sometimes non-public domain images may be mistakenly uploaded to the site.

There’s also a great listing of public domain images from government resources. Many photos taken as a part of a government employee’s job are in the public domain. And of course there are many other websites offering public domain images.

I keep images downloaded from these sites separate from the ones I take myself. If there’s ever a problem, it’s good to know where the image came from, even if you believed it to be in the public domain.

Make Your Images Relevant to Your Post

If you want the traffic from Pinterest to be relevant to your post, the image must relate. You can make this as simple as including the post title in your image (make it look great!), or by having the image be a major component of the post. Infographics can do very well, but they’re hard to make well.

I often forget this part myself, but also consider having your name or your domain name on your images. This way there’s information about the source of the image no matter how it travels, even if it gets separated from any links to the original post.

It’s also very helpful if the title of your image is relevant. Some people pin the image and don’t write their own description. Keep that in mind and have something relevant to go with the image when its pinned.

Add a Pin It Button

If by any chance you aren’t already including a Pin It button on your posts, start doing so. There are plugins to make this easy in WordPress. The easier you make this, the more likely it is to happen. You can even ask people in your post to share it on Pinterest and other social sites. Make sure you test things out yourself to ensure that any plugins or code are working properly.