Subtitled: The common sense guide to dealing with changes to Pinterest image sizes.
Uh oh! The recommended Pinterest image sizes changed (again!). People are running around in the blogging and Pinterest groups with their hair on fire hollering about all the work they now have to do to keep up with these changes.
Do you need to resize all of your images right this second?
N to the O. Do not spend hours resizing every pinnable image on your blog. You don’t have to put yourself through that.
And I’m going to tell you a secret. (Shhhhh. This is just between us, k?) The people telling you that you need to resize all your images *right this very second* might just be trying to sell you their Pinterest optimization services.
Think a second about why, as a blogger, you use Pinterest in the first place. The main reason you do it is to catch eyeballs and drive traffic to your site, right?
So the recommended Pinterest image sizes are all about Pinterest’s branding and aesthetics and user experience. There’s nothing in it for you every time Pinterest changes its recommended image sizes (other than a crapton of uncompensated work). Your job isn’t to make sure Pinterest users have a nice experience.
Your job is (I’m guessing) to make money.
So before you go and resize all the pinnable images on your site, take a second and look at your numbers. Which posts on your site get the most traffic from Pinterest?
Now go look at your Pinterest analytics. Which pins from your domain get the most engagement?
Those posts may be the same, but not necessarily.
Pay attention to those numbers and write them down. This is SUPER important.
If you want to wait and see and deal with posts one at a time, keep an eye on your numbers. If any of them dip in traffic driven to your site or in engagement, then go ahead and create new images for those posts.
If you want to be proactive, make new pinnable images for the ten or so posts on your site that get the most traffic from Pinterest. If you dig into your analytics, you’ll be able to easily see which posts need new images.
Before you do that, though, consider that your time may be better spent on continuing to create new content – especially if you’re a newer blogger.
Pinterest optimization is the frosting on your cake. If you don’t have amazing layers of red velvet cake, cream cheese frosting shouldn’t be where you’re spending a lot of time or money. Your cake will crumble and people will just scrape the icing off and leave the cake behind. 😉
Pinterest is not going to make your old pins shrivel up and die. They’re just prioritizing images with the proper aspect ratio in the feed. Image size is only one piece of information that is considered in the Pinterest algorithm. Also considered are things like engagement, whether you’re using rich pins, how many times users have tried your pin, and SEO. Even if your pin isn’t the proper aspect ratio, it will still show up in the feed if it has lots of other things going for it.
So what are the recommended Pinterest image sizes? They want a 2:3 aspect ratio, ideally 600 px x 900 px. You *can* do a longer pin, at 1:2.1 (600 px x 1260), but in the webinar I attended Pinterest staff repeatedly said they prefer 2:3. So if you want your best shot at pins getting seen, I’d go with that. If you want to do larger pins and need help calculating aspect ratios, this is a great calculator.
We need to talk about Pinterest optimization services for a second. Some people who are selling these services are taking advantage of your inexperience and lack of business knowledge.
Remember board covers? And all those people who charged bloggers a significant amount of money to make matching branded board covers? Board covers were a thing on Pinterest for about five seconds, and a lot of people wasted time and money on them. From a user standpoint, there was never any utility in board covers. Pinterest users look at individual pins (and sometimes poach many pins from one board), but rarely do they look at profiles and make decisions about whether to follow someone based on how cohesive their board covers are.
But people who sold Pinterest optimization services LOVED board covers. Branding experts LOVED them too. Because board covers meant they had a problem to fix and lots of overwhelmed, stressed out entry-level bloggers who needed help.
Guess what? The recommended Pinterest image sizes and graphic design elements change alllll the time. Pinterest is constantly playing with what to display in our feeds and how. I’m not making this up like a paranoid tinfoil hat person. Pinterest staff discussed this at length in a webinar.
You don’t own Pinterest or your Pinterest boards. You have zero control over when and how things change, or whether you get notice of those changes. So it makes no sense to spend money on graphic design or optimization services that could end up being worthless in a week.
I’m telling you this because I learned the hard way and don’t want you to waste time or money on things you don’t need.
Are there some bloggers or organizations that would benefit from Pinterest optimization services?
Absolutely. But, chances are pretty good that if you’re asking the question, “Do I need to resize all of my images right now?” you’re not at the level in your business where you have a significant graphic design or marketing budget.
And that’s cool. I’m right there with you, I don’t have a budget for those things either!
The bottom line is this:
- When the recommended Pinterest image sizes change, take a look at how it’s going to impact you a) in terms of traffic to your site; and b) in terms of engagement on your profile.
- Spend money on things you control.
- When someone offers you Pinterest optimization services, consider it an investment. Is what they’re offering going to drive traffic back to your blog? Is what they’re offering going to make a real difference in your engagement? If not, hard pass.
- Consider that an investment in Pinterest-specific graphic design or optimization may cause you to basically crumple up your money and toss it out the window the second Pinterest changes course.
- Don’t panic.
I’m not telling you anything I didn’t learn for free. There’s a lot of noise out there about Pinterest and the dos and don’ts of interacting with that platform as a blogger.
Much of it is incredibly bad advice being passed on to you by people who want to make money.
But there is some great (free!) advice out there. Listen to this podcast – if you’re a beginning blogger or new to creating pins to drive traffic to your blog, this is just about the only source of information you need. I’ve been on Pinterest as a user since beta and as a blogger for a few years, so I consider myself an advanced Pinterest user. This podcast is gold. Nobody’s paying me to say that, I just love Simple Pin so much because it cuts through the noise and sticks to the facts.
That said, Simple Pin does sell Pinterest services and they aren’t cheap. Only you can decide whether your business is at the level where you can afford to outsource your Pinterest activities and graphics.
I’m a HUGE supporter of DIY. Soak up as much free information as possible and then pay for information to fill in any gaps. Outsourcing is a last resort, and only then if you are engaged in so many other income generating activities that you simply don’t have time to do the thing you’re outsourcing (and even then, only if the thing you’re outsourcing is going to provide a return on your investment).
That’s kind of why I’m writing this. I’ve figured a few things out along the way with this crafty blog that people who give blogging advice don’t generally share. I’m telling you for free (no sales funnel, mailing list commitment, or anything!) because I want to help all you wonderful people who are bootstrapping it with me. 🙂
Whatever you do, please don’t stress about this change to the recommended Pinterest image sizes like I see a lot of people doing. And if this post helped you, I’d LOVE it if you pinned it or shared it with your friends!