Pinterest Tip of the Week: How to Add Text to Your Images

How to Add Text to Your ImagesPinterest is all about having awesome images. If your blog is in a super visual niche, like food or travel, pictures really are worth 1,000 words. A mouth-watering cupcake or a breathtaking landscape will get tons of repins without and added text.

But what if you don’t work in a visual niche? What if you’re writing about social media or marketing or another topic that doesn’t lend itself well to breath-taking pinable pictures?

One option you have is to add text to your images, as we do from time to time here on The PinterTest Kitchen. Recently on the NMX/BlogWorld blog, I posted an excerpt from my Pinterest ebook about how to use text to instantly create pinable pictures. Today, I wanted to go a little more in-depth about how to actually go about adding text to an image.

Step One: Choosing an Image

First, you need a base image to use. This can be stock photography or one of your own photographs. If you do choose to use someone else’s work, make sure you have the rights to use it. Sites like SXC.hu, Wikipedia, and Flickr all have Creative Commons options so you can find images that you’re free to use on your blog. Make sure that you also have the permission to edit this work, since you’ll be adding text, not using it as-is. If an image has the “no derivatives” license, you can’t use it for these purposes.

When choosing an image, make sure you find one that lends itself to the addition of text. For example, here’s an image I recently used with on or our posts here on The PinterTest Kitchen:

Shabby Chic Coffee Filter Wreath

See how the wreath, the make focus of the image, is off-center a bit, leaving lots of background space for the words? If it was a tighter picture of the wreath, the text would cover it, which makes for a sloppy presentation. It looks okay for the words to overlap onto the wreath a little, as you see in this picture, but if they would completely cover the wreath, the picture wouldn’t be as good.

Step Two: Determining with Editing Program to Use

Next, you need to determine how you’re going to go about adding the words. If you have Photoshop on your computer, you can use this program. If you don’t or aren’t good at using Photoshop, don’t worry; there are several online options that allow you to add text to an image.

My favorite option is PicFont.com. With this website, you can choose from dozens of fonts, colors. I used PicFont for the above coffeefilter wreath image.

Another option is Pinwords.com. This site has some interesting options, but I typically find that it’s better for adding quotes on top of images, rather than creating the type of “title’ image we want for our purposes. Still, it’s an option to explore.

Lastly, PicMonkey.com might be what you want. PicMonkey has more functions for editing the actual image and even creating collages, so it’s a great option.

Step Three/Four: Adding the Right Words

When I create images in this way, as a title image for my post, I like to use the headline of the post. However, sometimes the headline just isn’t a good option. If the headline is too long or cumbersome, it won’t look right on the image. Instead, you want to play around with the text, perhaps shortening it so it fits better. The words you use should also accurately describe the post, so others will click through the pin to read it.

I’m calling this step three/four and the next step four/three because you really need to do these two things at the same time!

Step Four/Three: Choosing a Font

As you’re playing around with the text you want to use, you’ll also need to choose a font. Some fonts are wider than others, so in order to make things fit will, you might have to change the font.

Keep in mind that the font should fit the tone of the image and post. For example, here’s an image I used with a frosting fudge recipe:

As you can see, the text is playful and fun, almost Willy-Wonka-esque with the top hats. It’s perfect for a post about fudge. However, that font would not work well for a more serious post or even for a non-candy post.

Keep in mind that you can certainly choose more than one font for the text you’re adding to the image. For example, on this post, the words “Pinterest Tip of the Week” are in one font while the words “How to Add Text to Your Images” are in a second font. You can also use different fonts to highlight certain words in a headline that you want to catch people’s attention.

Step Five: Putting It All Together

Last, it’s time to put it all together. You’ll need to choose a font color, type out your words, and arrange them on the picture neatly. If you’re not a graphic designer, here are a few tips:

  • Make each line a different length by arranging the words, rather than having a square block of text on the picture.
  • Try aligning the words to the left or right rather than centering them.
  • Go bigger than you think – you want people to notice and read the text. It’s okay to cover the image a little.

Sometimes, arranging the text can be frustrating! Don’t worry; it happens to the best of us. If you just can’t figure it out, try looking for a different image or changing the font. Don’t get too attached to specific elements.

I hope that helps you with creating images for your blog that are pinable. Remember, anything is better than no image at all, since people can only pin your content if there’s something to pin!

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Allison is one of the co-founders here at The PinterTest Kitchen. She also works as a content marketing consultant and freelance writer - find out more at AllisonBoyer.com.

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