Something that will often make or break a blog is the photos. A photo can say a thousand words and so if you don’t include any or use grainy phone photos it can often put people off- sad but true. If you want to grab people’s attention and make them fall in love with your blog then you need to put a little effort into your photos.
Photos are a fabulous way of showing people your world and readers will invest their time reading your blog if they feel they know you. Of course it is up to you what you share, as long as your photos are attractive people will enjoy them. They are also a great way of breaking up text as well as adding a visual element to a story or tutorial, it is always nice to see examples or get a glimpse into someone’s day.
Here are a few tips to get you going, you do not need a fancy camera (although that will help of course) but with a little planning and editing you too can make your photos the best they can be for your blog.
How To Create Perfect Blog Photos
- Make them big (as large as your template allows). Tiny weeny photos can often look lost on a page, bigger is most definitely better!
- Reduce the file size. Large images will take ages to load, but you can reduce the size so it loads quicker. In PicMonkey just go to the resize option and make them 600px wide as a guide.
- If they are dark you can lighten them, again Picmonkey has plenty of tools for this!
- This is not appropriate for all posts, but if the post is a useful post, one which someone might want to bookmark or pin, then make the image pinnable. Good pinnable images are vertical, attractive and have the title text on them. This will encourage someone to pin it, others will see it and repin- this can all mean a boost in traffic!
Things to remember:
- If you have taken the image from the internet then make sure you ask permission to use it, then credit the right person. The exception to this rule would be review work- if you are promoting a product then you are fine using photos from a brand’s website.
- Don’t put an image first. Lots of people, (myself included for a long time), put the image as the first thing in their posts. The first thing in a post is what search engines will trawl and so this needs to include your keywords. An image first won’t help as much in terms of SEO. So start your post with a short paragraph (including keywords) then the image (with title on it if appropriate).
- Make sure you name your pictures correctly. Use your SEO keyword in the Alt text, this helps the search engines determine the content of the image. Don’t forget the title is also what your readers will see if they hover over your image, so even just for aesthetics it is better to have your images named correctly, rather then lots of numbers or a random name.
- You don’t need a posh camera, some of the best photos can be snapped on your smart phone.
So what if you don’t have great photos?
Sometimes you need to find an image elsewhere and that is absolutely fine! There are plenty of places to find free images, those which are labelled for reuse, that are ok to use on your blog without need to credit anyone.
Here are a few places to get you going:
- Unsplash – Sign up with your email and get ten beautiful images each week straight to your inbox for nothing. You are also able to search their website if you have something specific in mind.
- Flickr – Use the advanced search section to search for images that have commercial usage rights.
- Google images – Use the search tools tab to select ‘labelled for reuse’.
- Death to the Stock Photo – Sign up with your email & receive a starter download of 10 images and a new set of images emailed to you each month.
- morgueFile – Has a large section of free images with often no accreditation required.
- Life of Pix – Gorgeous images, not a huge resource or searchable, but worth a look.
- Albumarium – Really fabulous images, searchable site too.
- picjumbo – An extensive selection of free images, handy searchable site.
- Gratisography – A mixture of beautiful and some quirky images. All free, but not searchable, so a little more time consuming to find something.
So there we have it, a few tips for making your photos suitable for your blog and a few resources for finding free photos should you need them. Hopefully you can see the benefit of using great photos on your blog!
Do you have any photo tips?