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

How I Increased My Pinterest Views from 0 to 120,000

Pinterest is the hidden gem of online marketing. I spend a lot of time talking about it here and over on Instagram because I fully believe you can use it to your advantage to grow your blog or online business. People are really starting to catch on and are understanding just how powerful this tool can be.

When I started my first business I had such a difficult time coming up with an effective marketing strategy that would convert to more website traffic, new email list subscribers and consistent sales. When I started blogging again I had the same issue. I started reading about Pinterest, combing through research studies, courses, ebooks, blog posts — you name it — and also did some experimenting on my own. Before we get into how I grew my Pinterest views from 0 to 120,000+ let’s touch on some important things you need to know:

First of all — what is Pinterest anyway?

Contrary to popular belief, Pinterest isn’t just for finding DIY’s, creating vision boards or saving recipes that you may or may not attempt to recreate. It’s a place to collect information, shop, and get new ideas -- and for us bloggers and business owners, it’s a space to grow our website traffic and increase brand awareness. It also is NOT a social media platform or social networking site. While you can follow other users and comment on their pins, it’s not meant to be social the way that Instagram and Facebook are.

How can you use Pinterest to grow your brand?

One of the first things you should do to use Pinterest to grow your brand and increase your website traffic is sign up for or convert your personal profile to a business account. In The Pinterest Project course I’m launching soon, I tell you why this is so important and show you exactly how to do it. You can sign up to get on the wait list for the course here. In the meantime, just know you should have a business account before you do anything else.

Once you have your business account set up, you’ll want to make sure your business name and profile description are optimized. Optimizing areas of your Pinterest profile just means you’re using relevant, searchable keywords that will (ideally) attract your target audience to your profile, boards, and pins. In the course, I go into detail on how to optimize your content, what works well, and what doesn’t work so well.

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The next thing you should be do is create boards that are related to you niche. If you’re a health and wellness blogger, do you really think it makes sense to include boards filled with pins of your dream wedding? You know the right answer to this question.

From there, you’ll want to start creating pinnable images in something like Canva, so you can upload them to Pinterest, link back to your website, and create an optimized description that will attract your target. Again, I’ll show you exactly how to do this in the course! It’s so much fun to create these images, and doesn’t take a lot of extra time. Ideally, you’ll create 3-5 different images per blog post, freebie, or product/service. Eventually you’ll want to pay close attention to your pins that are performing well, and refresh any pins that aren’t bringing traffic to your website. I’ll get into the specifics of this in another post.

How I Grew My Pinterest from 0 to 120,000+ Views

Aside from converting to a business account, here’s what I did to grow my Pinterest views in a very short amount of time:

  1. I got clear on my target audience and my brand’s mission — my target audience primarily consists of other female creatives who want to learn more about creating or growing an online brand. My target audience also wants to know about some general lifestyle topics like time management, living at home in your twenties, and quick makeup routines for busy women. Get to know your audience. Figure out what they’re searching for. Ask yourself what problems they might have and determine how you can help solve those problems. This not only helps dictate your blog content (or the direction of your business), but also helps determine how you will structure your Pinterest profile.

  2. I optimized my business name and profile description — you should be including searchable keywords anywhere that you can, especially in your business name and profile description. A business name that simply states the name of your blog isn’t going to be as effective as saying something like:

    Elizabeth | DIY Your Blog or Online Business

    As far as your profile description is concerned, you want to give your audience a better idea of what your brand is about, while still including those keywords. For example, rather than writing that I’m an “East coast almost thirty-something girl” I would say:

    Former teacher turned Pinterest strategist, blogger and entrepreneur, helping other women grow their online brands.

    See the difference there? Optimize, optimize, optimize.

  3. I created boards related to my niche and optimized their descriptions with searchable keywords — I eliminated any and all boards that didn’t fall within my niche. If I was having serious issues separating myself from certain boards, I simply made them ‘secret’ or archived them so that I could still have access to what I pinned, but they would be hidden from my audience. I then started creating boards that directly related to my niche.

    Every time I talk about Pinterest, I talk about optimization — and that’s because it’s such a crucial factor in setting up proper Pinning practices. Business name? Optimize it. Profile description? Optimize it. Board Description? You guessed it, optimize it. Add complete sentences that include those searchable keywords so users can find your boards, find your pins, and find your website.

 

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    4. I started re-pinning content that related to my niche before I had enough of my own content to pin — There’s some speculation surrounding re-pinning. Should you do it? What happens if you don’t do it? Can you really just solely pin your own content? I’ll answer all these questions in the course, but just know that if you’re new to Pinterest or are a new blogger or business owner that doesn’t have a ton of your own content just yet, you’re going to need to start building up your profile a bit by re-pinning content that falls within your niche. This will help bring users to your profile, and in turn, increase your monthly views and engagement rate.

    5. I created pinnable, branded images in Canva to go with my blog posts — I have a very special place in my heart for Canva. They’ve made it pretty much effortless to create viral-worthy images to upload to Pinterest. They even have dimensions that are already sized appropriately for Pinterest users, and if you’re lacking in the creativity department (or just feeling lazy or a bit lost), they have tons of beautiful templates to help you get started. You’ll want to make sure you’re using appealing colors, easy-to-read fonts, and providing your logo or website somewhere on your pin. You can sign up and get started with Canva for free here.

    6. I optimized descriptions of pins and linked them back to my blog posts — Just as I mentioned before, you’ll want to optimize the description of your pins as well. Use searchable keywords that describe what your pin links to, and leave a soft call to action that will entice users to click on your pin to find out more information. Using a few hashtags at the end of your description is helpful too, but only on new pins. There’s no sense in going back to add hashtags to older pins that have already been floating around for a while.

    Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you sign up or purchase through my link at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!

    7. I scheduled content on Tailwind — if you’re familiar with my blog, you know how much I love Tailwind. Seriously, the word love doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about this Pinterest-approved scheduling tool. For me, it’s helped keep me sane because it ensures that I’m scheduling images to go live at the most optimal times. I can literally schedule out weeks worth of content, and don’t have to spend time aimlessly and manually pinning on Pinterest. The thing about Pinterest is they favor consistency over pinning a ton of content all at once at random times. Plus, Tailwind provides you with incredibly helpful insights to better structure your Pinterest strategy. You can test out Tailwind for free up to your first 100 scheduled pins here.

    8. I utilized Tailwind tribes — another perk to using Tailwind is joining tribes. You can join tribes relevant to your niche and find other images to re-share onto your own Pinterest boards. It really is a team effort in these communities — you share an image, and share at least one other image from another user. I noticed my views skyrocket after joining a handful of tribes, and really attribute this practice to a lot of the growth I experienced.

    9. I started sharing more of my own content, and less of others’ — once I had plenty of my own content to pin, I stopped re-pinning a lot of other users’ content. You don’t want your Pinterest audience to leave your profile and go to someone else’s website, right? You want them going to your page! Although this is somewhat unavoidable in the beginning, as you build up content on your website and create fresh pinnable images, you won’t have to rely on other users’ content so much. I’ll talk more about this in great detail in the course, so if you’re a little confused, don’t worry! And please — if you’re seeing somewhere that there is a specific “ratio” to follow when pinning your own content vs. re-pinning other users’ content — don’t listen to it. Tailwind conducted an interview with Sarah Hoople Shere (who is Head of Product Marketing at Pinterest) that debunked this ratio myth!

    10. I kept tabs on which pins were performing well, then refreshed others that weren’t doing as well — Pinterest and Tailwind give you access to important analytics that allow you to better understand your audience and how they’re interacting with your pins. I always recommend studying these analytics to see what is working really well. If you have a pin that is underperforming, see what you can do to change it (by creating a fresh pin in Canva), and upload a new batch of fresh pins linking to that same post, product, service, or freebie.

    Have you started using Pinterest for your brand yet? Do you want a little help? Send me an email at elizabeth@howshedoesit.co with the subject line ‘Pinterest Help’ and we can set up a consultation! If you’d rather wait for the course, you can pre-enroll here!

    xxElizabeth

    5 Mistakes You're Making with Pinterest

    Pinterest is my number one source of traffic across all of my websites. Once I started taking consistent and strategic action to grow my brands through Pinterest, my website traffic more than tripled in just one month of getting serious with my business account.

    When I speak with clients or readers on social media, they always ask me the same thing: How!?

    They usually follow up this question with asking me one or all of the following: Why do I need to use a business account? Can’t I just pin from my personal profile? Is this going to take a lot of extra time? How long will it be until I start seeing the growth I’m after?

    Luckily, I have quite a few blog posts already written addressing some of these questions — and I have a top secret project currently in the works that will help you learn more about maximizing Pinterest to grow your brand — but before you dive into those other resources, it’s important to double check your current usage on Pinterest to make sure you’re not making these 5 common mistakes:

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    You don’t have a business account

    This is the first thing I do for my clients when they hire me as their Pinterest Assistant. Creating a new business account, or converting your personal account, grants you access to a whole new world on Pinterest (and it’s free). Setting up or converting to a business account will not only allow you to create viral-worthy pins that link your audience back to your website, but it will allow you to monitor your Pinterest analytics. You’ll be able to see how your pins are performing and which ones are being saved and how many people are clicking on them to go to their original source (your website). These analytics will give you exclusive access to the behaviors of your current and target audience. Having access to this information may not seem like a huge deal, but if you want to learn how to truly grow your brand on Pinterest it’s important to pay attention to what the data tells you.

    A lot of people will ask me if they can just pin images directly from their blog or website to their personal Pinterest, rather than setting up a business account. Of course that’s certainly one way to go about it, but resisting a business account isn’t going to do you much good, plus it literally takes just a few minutes to set up. If you want to learn more about why and how to set up your business account you can take a look at this post here where I get into the details, or you can have me set up your account for you.

    You’re pinning images that aren’t relevant to your niche

    If you’re a health and wellness blogger, does it make sense for your audience to see your “Dream Wedding” board when they visit your profile? I think the answer is obvious there, yet I see so many clients making this mistake! You have a target audience that you want to attract — whether you want them to read your blog, buy your products, or utilize your services — so you need to create boards and pin images that will bring forth your target audience. If I’m browsing Pinterest and stumble upon a health and wellness profile, I expect to see boards filled with content related to their brand.

    If you are going to be converting your personal profile to a business account, you can easily turn some of your off-brand boards into “secret” boards so you don’t lose all the content you’ve pinned over the years. I have plenty of secret boards on my business accounts that I still pin to often, but I don’t want my audience seeing them because they don’t pertain to my niche and will attract the wrong audience. Save the dream wedding and hair color inspo boards for your personal profile or secret boards, and keep your business account specific to your niche.

    You’re treating it like social media

    Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by the ridiculous algorithms on social media ::raises hand::

    I think Instagram and Facebook are secretly run by Regina George (if you don’t get the Mean Girls reference you can ignore that first sentence), because it feels like they’re always working against us. I lost faith in Instagram when they got rid of the chronological feed and made it harder for people to be seen unless you spent countless hours posting, engaging and paying for ads. Don’t get me wrong, social media is still a useful tool, but I’ve seen so much more growth and conversions by utilizing Pinterest, and it all started happening within that first month I got serious with my business account.

    A lot of people have what I call social media syndrome when they start working on their Pinterest account — they think that followers are the end all and be all, and have this belief engrained in their minds that if their follower count isn’t going up on Pinterest they aren’t growing. Well my friends, lucky for us, that couldn’t be further from the truth! What matters most on Pinterest is that people are seeing your pins, saving them to their own boards, and clicking on them to land on your website. Those are the numbers that matter. Your audience doesn’t have to be following you to see your content — they just have to see it in a search or on their feed. Sure, it’s nice to see your follower count increase but it’s not a critical measurement of success. Pinterest is not a social media platform: it’s a visual search engine.

    This leads me to the next mistake:

    You’re not optimizing your board and pin descriptions

    Think of Pinterest like Google, but with pictures. When you go to Google you enter certain terms into the search bar and Google pulls up a ridiculous amount of resources that are relevant to your search. Pinterest does the same exact thing but with pretty images. How and why do those images show up in your search? It’s all in the descriptions.

    This is another huge reason why you don’t want to just use your personal account to pin images from your website. Those images may very well be pinned without any type of relevant or searchable descriptions, which means your audience could be missing out on finding your content. Every time you upload your own image to Pinterest, you have the opportunity to craft a description that will hopefully show up in your target audience’s search results. This requires a little strategy on your part, so let’s take a look at some examples.

    Here’s a somewhat-recent pin I created that has specific, searchable terms (keywords) in the description. I’ve included a few hashtags (no need to go crazy like on IG), but notice some of the words I’m using:

    Even looking back at that description there are some things I would change to make it even more searchable, but you get the idea. You want to imagine what your ideal reader, customer, or client would search for when coming to Pinterest (or Google), and try to include some of those keywords in the descriptions of your pins and your boards. This is how your content can end up on the screens of your target audience.

    Please, please, please promise me though, you won’t just jam a bunch of keywords into your descriptions. Write out a couple sentences, put some effort into it, then end with just a couple hashtags if you feel so inclined, but don’t just type out random terms or hashtags and throw them in the box.

    If you’re stuck on what to say in your description and aren’t sure how to really optimize your pins or boards, think about who your target audience is and what they might be searching for to arrive at your profile. Think about your brand, your content, your products, or services. Once you get used to writing descriptions, you’ll get the hang of it.

    You’re not utilizing Tailwind

    This last mistake is a BIG one. I’ve talked about Tailwind before and how much I love it for running my Pinterest and Instagram on autopilot. It’s also a huge reason why I was able to triple my website traffic in just one month of consistent and strategic use in conjunction with Pinterest.

    If you haven’t seen the post I mentioned above, Tailwind is a Pinterest-approved scheduling tool that allows you to create and schedule pins that will automatically pin to Pinterest at the most optimal times. You can literally schedule out weeks worth of content and save SO much time since you won’t be stuck pinning aimlessly at odd hours. You can even join Tailwind tribes (general or niche-specific groups within the tool), to share your content in order to help get re-shares, drive traffic, and add additional content from other users to your boards. I use Tailwind for all of my clients and it just makes everyone’s lives so much easier.

    Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you sign up or purchase through my link at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!

    You can learn more about Tailwind by checking out this post, or if you’re ready to dive in and see what it’s all about you can sign up for your account and get started using it today.

    Final thoughts

    If you find that you’re making any (or all) of these mistakes with your Pinterest, don’t stress! They are relatively simple fixes that make a massive difference. If you’re still struggling after making some adjustments, you can check out my Pinterest services here and I’ll be more than happy to help you out! Stay tuned for my special project announcement that will provide you with even MORE Pinterest help!

    xxElizabeth

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      Pinterest Basics: Why You Should Set Up a Business Account + How to Do It

      When I get asked by clients, friends or followers how to increase their blog traffic my number one recommendation is PINTEREST. Not your personal Pinterest account but a Pinterest BUSINESS account. Setting up a business account will not only allow you to create viral-worthy pins that link your audience back to your website, but it will allow you to monitor your Pinterest analytics. You’ll be able to see how your pins are performing and which ones are being saved and how many people are clicking on them to go to their original source.

      Read More

      how to make your Pinterest stand out

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      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