Why Canva is a Necessary Tool for Pinterest (Free Templates Included!)

I’ve been obsessed with Pinterest for many years, but about a year ago I started realizing just how powerful this platform is for bringing traffic to my blog and business websites. I’ve spent countless hours combing through tons of studies, articles, blog posts, courses — you name it — and finally, after a lot of experimenting, developed a system that works best for my brands and brings me consistent website traffic on a daily basis.

free templates to create pins in Canva

While there is a lot to talk about when it comes to using Pinterest to increase your website traffic (some of which I talk more about in my free five-day workshop), one of the tools that I simply cannot live without when it comes to using Pinterest is Canva.

Canva is an online tool that I use to create all of my blog and Pinterest graphics. I have a Canva for work subscription, but you can also sign up for a free account if you don’t have one already. Not only does Canva provide canvas sizes that are already perfectly formatted for Pinterest, but they also have pre-made templates to choose from if you’re not feeling super creative, or simply don’t have the time to create your pins from scratch.

I’ve spent a lot of time playing around with different styles, colors, fonts and images to create pins that convert (meaning, pins that get actual clicks through to my website, not just impressions or saves), and have learned a lot about what works well, and what doesn’t work so well.

To help make your life a little easier, I created 10 Pinterest templates for you to use with Canva. All you have to do is click here to grab them for FREE! There’s even a quick tutorial I’ve recorded for you so you can see how to customize the colors, images and text to fit your brand.

free pinterest templates for bloggers and business owners

When creating your pins or using the templates I’ve created for you, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Always include your website URL or logo somewhere on the pin so users know the source of the image

  • Add a soft call to action as a text overlay (the words you see on the image) to entice users click through to your website. You want to include just enough information on the pin that will grab the attention of your audience, but not too much information that they’ll just save it or scroll on by.

  • Experiment with colors and typography styles that suit your brand but also appeal to your audience. Not sure which colors or typography combinations work best? Create a few different options, publish them to Pinterest, and track their analytics over the next couple of weeks to see which pins are performing better than others. Use that information to help you create your future pins! Remember to focus on the number of clicks your pins are getting, not the impressions.

  • Use stock images from Unsplash or the ones in Canva to spruce up your pins. You can do a quick search within Canva or on Unsplash to find your images.

  • Don’t forget to utilize pin descriptions! Please promise me that you’ll never leave the description box blank! This is a great area to really optimize your pins for search. You’ll want to include a couple complete sentences with keywords to target your audience (avoid stringing a bunch of keywords together in random order) and don’t forget that you can utilize up to 20 hashtags in your descriptions.

    Quick tip: If you’re not sure which keywords to include in your descriptions, enter in a couple words in the search bar on Pinterest that are relevant to your brand and see what comes up!

If you want to learn more about how to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your website, you can sign up here for my free five-day Pinterest workshop. In this training, we take a deep dive into your brand and I lay down all the basics you need to know to get started with Pinterest. Plus, I’ve included some free bonus goodies in the training to help you get the most out of the lessons! If you have any questions about your templates or the free workshop, you can join the free virtual community here and get in touch! Happy pinning!

xxElizabeth

five things to do after you publish a new blog post

things to do after you publish a blog post (4).png

Back when I had other blogs I used to publish a new post and just let it float out in internet land without doing anything to let people know it was there. I was always disappointed when I didn’t see my traffic increasing, but it wasn’t until I started this new blog that I realized I had to put a decent amount of effort into “advertising” my posts to increase traffic. To follow up my recent post on how I tripled my blog traffic in one month, I’m sharing with you the 5 things you NEED to do after you publish a new blog post:

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I  make a commission at no extra cost to you should you click through and make a purchase. Thank you so much for your support!

proofread one last time

Although I proofread my posts before I hit publish, I always read them over again as a “reader.” Something about seeing the post through a reader’s eyes allows me to catch any mistakes or formatting issues. I keep a separate tab open that I can go to and edit right away, so once I’ve made any necessary changes I save the post again. Make sure you have any relevant links, images, videos, etc. placed and ready to go. I usually proofread once or twice after publishing just to be sure!

create your pins

In my last post I talked about how Pinterest has helped me triple my blog traffic in just one month of blogging. The way I use Pinterest to increase traffic is by creating pins that link back to specific posts or other content on my blog. I typically create 3-5 different pins per post using Canva and stock photos from Unsplash, Ivory Mix or other stock photo sites. For my favorite free stock photo sites you can see the full list by taking a look at this post.

Canva makes it so easy to create Pinterest graphics. You can start completely from scratch or you can use some of their pre-made templates to help get you started. I recently updated my tutorial on how to create pins in Canva, so if you’d like to learn how to DIY your graphics, you can watch the quick tutorial I recorded below. If you want to completely outsource your Pinterest work, you can check out my Pinterest Management services here.

Once you’ve created your pins you can upload them straight to Pinterest, or you can use a scheduling tool like Tailwind. Tailwind is incredibly helpful for ensuring your scheduled pins are posted at optimal times, but it’s also great for increasing traffic to both your Pinterest account and your blog. You can join Tailwind Tribes relevant to your niche and add your new pins to those groups in hopes that your pin will be seen and re-pinned by the other members of your tribe. I’ll be doing a full post on Pinterest and Tailwind soon, but in the mean time you can start using Tailwind today by signing up here.

promote on social media

I am a huge believer in “less is more” when it comes to social media platforms. I like to stick to Pinterest and Instagram for the most part. If you try to focus on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube all at the same time — especially as a new blogger — you’re going to get super overwhelmed super fast. Pick one or two and start there. All the links for my blog are included in my Instagram bio, and I usually hop on stories to let my followers know when I have a new post up. If I post a new photo that day too, I might mention it in the caption as well. Regardless of your preferred platform, make sure you’re telling your followers about your new post, and make it easy for them to view it when it goes live.

check your facebook groups

Joining Facebook groups for bloggers was another huge reason I saw such a large spike in traffic last month. You can join general blogging groups, niche groups, or groups for new bloggers. Most of these groups post consistent threads that will allow you to link a specific blog post a couple times a week (or sometimes daily), so be sure to keep an eye on your groups for these opportunities. Two of my favorite groups are Boss Girl Bloggers and Grow Your Blog. I’ve seen a lot of growth since I joined the two groups, but I’ve also made so many great connections with other bloggers, and have learned a lot about blogging in general!

email your subscribers

I’ve been working quite a bit on growing my email list lately, so I don’t have a TON of information to share with you just yet, but your new blog posts can absolutely be used as content in e-mails to your subscribers. If you send weekly or monthly e-mails, you can let your subscribers know about your latest updates, and even share short excerpts of new content with links to their original posts. This is a great way to keep driving traffic back to your blog and keep your subscribers in the loop.

While this all certainly DOES take a bit of time, it is doable and 100% worth it. Once you get used to setting up your post-publishing routine, it becomes much quicker and easier to put the finishing touches on your newly published content. If you need help getting started with creating pins, finding groups, or any of the above don’t hesitate to ask! Let me know if you have any additional tasks you take care of after publishing a post!

xxElizabeth

how to make your Pinterest stand out

image_6483441.JPG

Long gone are the days that Pinterest was only used for viewing pretty photos and finding inspiration. While this incredible platform is certainly still used in those ways, Pinterest has become an undeniably helpful tool for bloggers and business owners to grow their brands and drive traffic to their websites.

Growing your brand and your Pinterest can be so gratifying and fun but it’s not easy! It takes a lot of time, hard work and patience; just like anything else involved with starting a new blog or a business. But my hope is to lay out a sort of formula for you that I am currently following for my Pinterest accounts in order to inspire you to try the same for yours. If you want to give your Pinterest a makeover but don’t have the time to learn how, you can see the Pinterest services I offer here.

Before we dive in, I’m sure it goes without saying that you should have an account with Pinterest, and better yet you should have a business account with them. This will allow you to track your analytics, create rich pins, and connect your account to your website. We’ll get into all these specifics in a separate post very soon. Once you have the basics of your account set up, give these tips a try to get your Pinterest off to a great start:

create boards that are relevant to your content area (aka niche)

If you’ve been here for awhile you know how I feel about the word niche, (I prefer to call this your “content area” instead). I think it’s really important to keep your “theme” in mind when creating your Pinterest boards for your brand. If you are a health and fitness blogger, I would absolutely expect to see several boards designated to different subtopics in this area. Same goes for fashion bloggers — I would expect to see boards geared towards fashion trends, outfit inspiration, and a reflection of your personal style. If you’re a natural skincare brand I would hope to see your products, tips for taking care of your skin naturally, and maybe even some clean foods to eat to help your skin. Is this starting to make sense?

While I feel you can certainly sprinkle in some more personal boards throughout, you’re going to want to make it very clear to your visitors and followers what your brand is about. Think about the last time you visited a Pinterest profile — were you able to tell what their blog or business was? Keep that in mind as you create your boards.

Obviously you’ll want to keep adding to your boards to really build them up — I’ve seen so many recommendations regarding the suggested number of pins per board; the number I’ve seen most frequently is about 50 pins. This is something I’m currently working on — some of my boards have well over 50 pins, while others have less than 30 (yikes) — so I will update you when this is completed to see if this helps with growth!

write titles and descriptions for your boards

I never used to pay attention to any of the text surrounding the images on Pinterest, let alone the board descriptions. However, as I started read more about Pinterest and use it more frequently, I realized just how important it was to create/update the titles and descriptions of your Pins and your boards. Your words are essentially the keywords people could potentially search for on the platform, which means if you’re using the right keywords, it’s more likely your content will show up on someone’s feed. Your wording should be clear, concise, and terms that are easily searchable. It’s best to avoid puns, odd spellings or phrases in your titles and descriptions, as these may not be found as easily as clear descriptors.

create and upload your own pins using a graphic design tool like Canva

I’ve you haven’t noticed by now, I am absolutely obsessed with Canva. I’ve been using it for nearly two years to create graphics for my business, and now my latest blog. I’ve put together a couple simple tutorials you can view to help you create your own pins in Canva, and how to upload them onto Pinterest. This will come in handy when you want to create your board covers as well.

My recommendation to you, once you’ve created a few pins, is to create one or two more variations of those same pins to also upload to Pinterest. I’ve been playing around with this lately and it’s helping me determine which pins are more visually pleasing.

create cohesive board covers

This requires SO much work but I find it to be so much fun! Similar to creating your own custom pins, you will want to create your own board covers as well. There are endless options as to how you can design your board covers, but my favorite tool is of course Canva. I will be adding a full tutorial on how to create and upload your own board covers here shortly, but you can certainly refer to the custom pin tutorial to give you an idea!

Creating your own board covers makes your Pinterest look sleek, seamless, and organized. Take a look below at my brand’s boards in the top two photos (without custom board covers) and my blog’s board in the bottom two photos.

Can you tell the difference!? The custom board covers tie everything together so nicely, while the random board covers make it feel disorganized and messy. I don’t know about you, but I’m much more likely to stick around’s someone’s Pinterest if it’s easy to navigate!

utilize schedulers like Tailwind

I’ve been using Tailwind for a little over a month now, and I have to say it’s made things a whole lot easier. I have noticed some small impacts on growth and I’ve truly enjoyed learning to navigate all the site has to offer. If you haven’t heard of Tailwind, it’s a tool you can use to schedule pins, connect with a wider audience (through groups called Tribes), and gain all sorts of helpful insights about how you’re using your Pinterest. You can use Tailwind right from their website and install the plug in on your browser, OR you get the Tailwind app on your phone to make browsing and scheduling pins even easier. Scheduling pins may not seem like it’s necessary, but it helps me save so much time and Tailwind even schedules pins to publish at optimal times for me! I’ll keep you all updated on my progress with Tailwind as I continue to use it. If you want to check it out for yourself you can sign up here.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a commission at no extra cost to you should you click through and make a purchase. Thank you so much for your support!

stay active

You can easily plan out a week’s worth of pins to be published for you through Tailwind. However, don’t let that stop you there. You’ll want to remain active in any Tailwind Tribes you’re part of, and check in on your insights to see if there are any adjustments you should be making. I also still love to stay active on my Pinterest account outside of this tool. I love browsing through Pinterest and adding new pins whenever I have a couple minutes to spare!

Coming soon I have a super exciting announcement that will help you guys with your Pinterest, whether you’re a blogger or a business owner! I am so fascinated by this platform and the tools you can utilize to help improve and grow your brand. Do you have any tips or practices you swear by or are implementing right now to help you step up your Pinterest game?

x Elizabeth

how to create a drop shadow effect in Canva

About a week ago a subscriber on my Youtube channel asked me about creating a drop shadow effect for text elements on Canva. While the graphic design site doesn’t explicitly offer drop shadowing as an option when customizing text, it is possible. Creating this effect just requires a bit of thinking outside the box and getting a little creative with what Canva already allows you to do.

Once you have a graphic put together, manipulating the text is pretty simple. It’s somewhat tricky to explain, so the quick video below shows you exactly how you can obtain this design in just a few minutes.

If you have any suggestions for additional tutorials you’d like to see regarding Canva, please let me know! I have a few posts and videos planned, but would love to hear from you guys what you need a little extra help with!

how to resize graphics in canva

If you’re a Canva user, I have MAJOR time saving tip to share with you. When I first started using Canva to create my graphics for my blog and business, I would spend so much time redesigning something I already created just because I wanted to have it fit a particular canvas size for each social media platform I was posting on. Little did I know I was wasting SO much of my precious time. Time that I really didn’t have then because I was still working my 9-5 as a burnt out Kindergarten teacher.

In this new tutorial I show you how you can resize your creations in just a few clicks — a massive time saver and headache prevention method. After just a couple minor adjustments, you can have several graphics ready to post to ALL of your social media platforms. Like all of my Canva tutorials so far, it’s super easy, quick, and efficient. Check out the video below to see just how easy it is!

how to find pre-made templates in canva

Is it obvious I’m obsessed with Canva? I got a question from a subscriber recently about how to find pre-made layouts in Canva, so I figured I would show you exactly how you can find beautiful templates without having to do much. For those of you who simply just don’t have the time to spend designing your own graphic from scratch, this is the tutorial you really need to see. Heck, even if you do have the time but are just having a bout of creator’s block, this is for you. Sometimes I even browse through just to get some inspiration for my graphics.

Whatever reason you may need to use their layouts, they’re super helpful. I even showed you how you could customize the pre-designed layout by simply making easy adjustments to the text and altering the color of a single design feature to reflect your brand a bit more. This time-saving tutorial is below!

how to upload custom pins to pinterest

In my last post, I showed you how to create your own custom pins using my favorite graphic design program, Canva. As easy as that is to do, it’s even easier to upload that graphic to your Pinterest once it’s ready to be linked to your blog post, business website or YouTube video. Below you’ll find the short tutorial on how to upload your pin, link it to your platform, and write a description before posting it to a board of choice on your Pinterest account. As usual, feel free to reach out if you have any questions!