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5 Types of Images that Work on Pinterest

Pinterest is the new, hot thing. Growing bigger by the day at an incredible rate, the popularity is in equal parts due to the innovation of the idea, and the sharing potential of visual content on the mobile web. It also helps that Pinterest has been largely targeted at the demographic of its early adopters. Namely women within the US and UK, still the most prominent members today.

But not every image that finds its way on a user’s board is going to catch a lot of attention. Having been a user from the beginning myself, I can tell you that a lot of content – even interesting photos – will be largely ignored. Others might even be considered spam and end up with a Pin Block, causing your entire account to be mistrusted by the majority of users. Not a good thing for someone wanting to expand through pinning.

The good news is that there is a very clear pattern of interest on Pinterest. People tend to go for certain types of images, widely repinning and sharing them, even linking them on other sites. As both an avid user and a marketer, I have been keeping an eye on these trends as I have seen them.

These are five image types that just seem to work on Pinterest.

1. Food

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This is perhaps the biggest category on Pinterest, and I see images of food being passed around all over the place. Even people who have dedicated their boards to other interests seem to have at least one board for meals they come across on the site. Other people (like myself) have several. I can tell you right now that my most repinned images have been food related. Especially savory meals which have been linked to the original recipes. I can get dozens of repins on a single image, and I have friends who have gotten hundreds. While it isn’t official, I would say the most likely item to go viral.

2. Travel

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Another big category is travel, where people will post photos they have taken around the world. Or, more often, images they find on the web that show a location they would like to visit. The travel photography on Pinterest is simply stunning, showing some of the most beautiful pictures you can imagine. Because of that, they are shared a lot. My second most widely repinned images are travel related, both my own and other people’s. Especially when they show nature or scenic shots. City shots are not as widely repinned, but they do get a lot of likes and comments.

3. Geek Chic

Geek Chic

I don’t mean gadgets here, though there is a section for technology on the site. I mean the photos you will see of things like cosplay, captions images of Doctor Who, Harry Potter jokes, sarcastic ecards making references to super heroes and anything similar. These are passed around quite a lot, which has more to do with the mainstream appeal of various classic reboots and the positive feelings towards certain TV, movie and book series.

These are also easy to create in a way related to your industry or site, because all you need is a bit of clever text. I have an entire Geek Board that tends to lean more towards older references like Star Wars, Babylon 5, ect. These are largely ignored. But Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Avengers, Batman, Firefly and Star Trek: The Next Generation have a ton of repinn value. So pick your fandoms wisely.

4. DIY


Pinterest has a massive DIY and upcycling community. Why? I guess because all us women want to be able to make cool things out of other things. Unfortunately, not all of our efforts are successful, and I know I have come up with some unmitigated disasters when I have made attempts. Hence why sites like this exist. But be that as it may, cool DIY photos, especially showing off the steps of a project in a long sequence, will get a lot of attention.

5. Women’s Fashion

Here are some lifestyle and fashion photos for you

Women's Fashion

Since the main demographic on Pinterest is female, women’s fashion is a really big category. But I would like to expand that to also include Beauty and Hair, which is in a separate category. Beauty sites or companies are really well placed here, because both sections are very popular and people are more likely to repinn them.

What images have you posted that have hit viral status? Do you notice any trends in what is popular among your circle? Let us know in the comments.

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