Last Updated January 8th, 2018

How To Control Which Images Are Pinned To Pinterest

How To Control Which Images Are Pinned To Pinterest

How often do you wish that you didn’t have to make every image on your site look like it was made for Pinterest? Pinterest can be a great traffic source for a blog, but sometimes you want a little control over which images from your blog are pinned there. This way you can be certain that when someone pins from your site, they pin an acceptable image there. You have a few options to control which images are pinned to Pinterest from your website.

For most of these, you will need to use the text editor in WordPress, not the visual editor.

data-pin-nopin="true"

If you have a particular image on your blog that you do not want pinned, nopin is a piece of code you want added to it. It should look like

<img src="image.png" data-pin-nopin="true" alt="image description" />

There are many reasons why you might want an image to be unpinnable. The big reason is if it isn’t yours. If you have permission to use an image from someone else’s site for a post (linked back to their post, I hope), it’s not ideal to have that image used on Pinterest to link back to your site.

You can use nopin to keep people from using header images or other images that are used across your site on Pinterest. They aren’t the best representation of your site, after all. They may be better than nothing if a page has no images, but that’s something you will have to decide for yourself. I use this on my header images here.

Sometimes there will be an image in a blog post that is perfectly acceptable in most ways for pinning, but for whatever reason, you don’t want it pinned. Maybe you used an image of your kids in a post and don’t want others pinning it, for example. Maybe you posted about organizing your home office, and only want the “after” image pinned, not the “before.”

You can even block individual pages or your entire site from being pinned on Pinterest. There are few cases where this is a good idea, but you can do it. The code goes in the header and is

<meta name="pinterest" content="nopin" />

There are WordPress plugins that will allow you to do this for individual pages, which is more likely to be useful. However, the ones I found have not been updated in two years, so I can’t say if they’re still compatible.

Pin A Different Image Than Shown

Sometimes you want to pin a different image than the one shown. There are good reasons to do this.

One reason is so that you can show one image in your blog post, one that you feel is sized to best suit the look of your blog. Maybe it’s in a horizontal orientation rather than the vertical orientation that is so strongly recommended for use on Pinterest. Those long images can get annoying on blogs sometimes.

I’ve used this trick on the title image of this post. If you try to pin it, a longer image will show up. However, any other pinnable image you try to use will show up as expected if you try to pin it.

The code is put into the HTML used to display the image. It should look like

<img src="image.png" data-pin-media="image-you-want-pinned.png" alt="image description" />

If you’re tired of having huge graphics at the top of your blog posts, this lets you cut them down to size while still taking care of Pinterest.

You may want to consider several other additions to your images as well.

data-pin-description="description you want on your pinned post"

Data-pin-description allows you to choose the description you want to show when someone pins that image. They can change it if they want, but many people will just leave it be.

data-pin-url="url of your blog post"

Data-pin-url allows you to tell Pinterest what URL to use when the image is pinned. This is useful if you find people are pinning a lot from your blog homepage, and therefore not getting your individual posts pinned. It’s also handy if you have a multi-page post and want people coming from Pinterest to start at the beginning. You must use the full URL of the post; a relative URL won’t work.

data-pin-id="ID of your original pin"

Data-pin-id is a bit harder to use. You have to pin the image yourself and then view it to get the ID number of the pin from there. From there, it ensures that future pins of that image are linked to your original pin. These count as repins of that image, and may help with social proof. The ID number is the number you see in the URL of your pin.

You can use any combination of the data-pin options on your images. All together they would look like

<img src="image.png" data-pin-media="image-you-want-pinned.png" data-pin-description="description you want on your pinned post" data-pin-url="url of your blog post" data-pin-id="ID of your original pin" alt="image description" />

Hide An Image

You can also hide an image in your post, but have it show up as an option when someone clicks the Pinterest button on the page. These won’t show up if someone clicks a specific image; they appear only with the Pinterest buttons you should have on your site.

Add the images you want to hide to your post. These are probably larger than your other images, so you will want them at the bottom of your post. Then add the following code to the image HTML:

<div style="display: none;">

After the images, add:

</div>

So that the rest of your blog displays as normal. The whole thing should look like:

<div style="display: none;"><img src="image.png" alt="image description" /></div>

Featured Image

You can also add a Featured Image to your blog posts. There are some WordPress themes that will show these, but if yours doesn’t, you can use it to add an image that will only show when someone clicks your Pinterest button. It’s effectively a hidden image, but you don’t have to muck about with your HTML.

If your theme shows the Featured Image in your blog posts, this may be more of a pain than a useful thing. This can be a bigger problem if your theme restricts the size of the image you can feature. But in most cases, it’s a good idea to use the Featured Image.

Always Use Alt Tags

While this won’t determine which image visitors pin to Pinterest from your site, alt tags on each and every image in your post will help ensure that they have accurate descriptions on Pinterest. Without alt tags, the information shown on Pinterest can be too vague to attract repins or traffic to your site.

Taking advantage of the fact that you can control which images are pinned to Pinterest allows you to make the most of what appears there from your site. Your site can look the way you want it to, rather than have every displayed image look Pinterest-perfect. Play around, and you’ll see that I have an example of everything except hiding the whole page from Pinterest on this post. The butterflies are set as the featured image, and the cats are the hidden image. My logo at the top of the blog has the nopin tag.

How To Control Which Images Are Pinned To Pinterest

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated August 23rd, 2017

7 Free Image Editing Tools To Make Great Blog And Social Media Graphics

Free image editing tools

The graphics you use on your blog and social media do a lot to bring attention to your website. A well crafted image will bring attention to your posts. Making great graphics is a challenge if you don’t know how. Fortunately, there are some very simple and free image editing tools to use to make appropriate graphics for your blog and social media.

Use these tools after writing your blog post or when you have something you want to say on social media and an image is appropriate. It’s hard to craft an image to match your message when you don’t have a message prepared.

To start with, use my post on finding free images to use on your website to locate the images you would like to use in your posts. Some tools make it easy to find images through their interface, but not all of those are free. I find it easier to import an image I’ve found elsewhere than to use the search function on these sites.

parrot

Online Free Image Editing Tools

Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark does a great job with images, but you can also make videos with it. I haven’t tried that feature personally, but it strikes me as very useful if you’d like to get into video.

When you decide to create an image with Adobe Spark, it first offers you a range of templates. You can pick one or start from scratch. I usually start from scratch.

Type in what you want your image to say. You can edit this later. Pick your graphic size. You may not be able to pick the exact size you want – these aren’t always clear, but you can resize them later, in Gimp if necessary. I usually shrink them, as Spark makes huge images for most things.

Even though you’re starting from scratch, it will present you with an image with your text on top. You can change this however you want, replacing the photo with one of your own, changing the layout of the text and so forth. You can add another section of text, use multiple images to form a collage, and more.

One of the tools I like on Spark is the Style Suggestions tool. Spin the dial and your text will change over and over and over. Stop when you see one you like. Even then, you can change the colors if you like the style, but the colors aren’t quite what you like. You can back up on the dial if you pass one you liked.

Spark has a bit of a learning curve, but overall I like the results I get from it best so far. As free image editing tools go, it’s quite good. The Share button is also where you download your image, which isn’t immediately obvious, but not too difficult.

One disadvantage to Spark is that it may add branding of its own to your images. If you share your images on social media, this is removed. This doesn’t happen much on the website, but may be more common on the app. The ability to remove the Spark branding.

Another disadvantage is the lack of an undo button. This can be spectacularly annoying.

On the plus side, you can create one image, and then resize it for different social media uses. I love this, because it becomes easier to be consistent across the different social media sites.

Website
iOS App
Android – coming soon

Canva

Canva can be used to make a wide variety of graphics, and the basics are free. There are parts you can pay for, but you can make some beautiful blog and social media graphics completely free.

I don’t like to search for images on Canva because a lot of them are not free. I prefer to upload a photo I’ve taken or something I’ve found on a site that offers Creative Commons Zero (CC0) images. Once they’re uploaded, there’s a lot you can do with them.

Canva offers templates for various popular uses, such as images for Instagram. Their template page has templates sized for Facebook headers, YouTube channel art, Twitter posts and more. Having a template when you’re making social media graphics is useful, especially if it’s something you don’t make often, such as a header.

I find Canva quite intuitive to use. It has a decent selection of fonts – not huge, but not bad. You can change the colors around easily.

As online free image editing tools go, Canva is my second favorite. I use it when Spark isn’t working out for what I have in mind.

Website
iOS App
Android – not available

strawberry

PicMonkey

PicMonkey has a decent suite of tools you can use on images in the free version, but they push the premium version hard. You can edit your image, including crop, rotate, sharpen, touch up and more. You can make a collage with multiple photos. They even offer printing services (for a fee, of course).

Adding text is easy, as is adding other features to your images. Once you’re done, download it for whatever use you have in mind.

If you want to try the premium version of PicMonkey, they offer a free trial. I haven’t used PicMonkey as much as Spark or Canva, but I know a lot of people love it.

Website
iOS App
Android

Piktochart

Piktochart’s focus is on infographics. If you have an idea for an infographic, it makes a lot of sense to use a tool that is ready for that. I haven’t tried it personally, but when I read up on it, people like it fairly well. It has some great tools, such as a chart builder that can take your data and make it into a chart on your infographic.

Website
iOS App
Android – not available

Visme

Visme is more robust in many ways if you want to make infographics. You can use it to make animated or interactive infographics, something you can’t do with Piktochart. It’s a little harder to learn, from what I read about it, but it’s more powerful once you know what you’re doing.

Visme has a basic plan which is free and allows you to store up to three projects. So long as you aren’t storing a lot in there, I don’t think that will be a problem, since you should usually download your work once it’s done.

Website
No apps

camera

Free Image Editing Software For Your Computer

Gimp

Gimp has an awful name, but it does a great job editing your photos. I often use it for final touches on projects I’ve worked on with an online tool. It has been my main tool for making graphics for many years.

Gimp has a lot of addons that make it extremely flexible. Many people compare Gimp to Photoshop. It’s not quite as powerful as Photoshop, but free is much easier to handle for most people than paying for Photoshop. You can do most of the same things.

Gimp is open source, so various developers had created plugins and more for it. You can find some interesting Gimp addons at the DeviantArt site. Pay attention to the terms of use for these. It can also use Photoshop plugins.

One of the big things I love about using Gimp is that I can keep some images ready to use. I have images ready to use to put my domain name on each image, so that where it comes from is apparent. You can use this for branding, creating a version of your logo that goes onto any image you create. Then it’s a quick copy and paste to add it to new images. Make it bigger than you need. It’s easier to size an image down than up.

Paint.NET

Paint.NET is much simpler to use when compared to Gimp, but can still do a good job. It was originally intended to replace Microsoft’s Paint, but it does a lot more. It has the ability to use layers and filters, for example.

If you want something on your computer that’s easy to use, this is probably the one.

If you’ve found it intimidating to make your own graphics for your blog and social media, I hope one of these will prove to be helpful. They won’t do the work for you, but the right one will make it easier. Are there other tools you like?

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated January 7th, 2013

How Do You Make Sure Your Images Are Pinterest Friendly?

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.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.