The internet has come a long way over the years. Initially, it was all text.
Today, it serves as a visual platform. Pictures and videos dominate the time spent online.
If we land on a blog post and encounter text with few images, we re-evaluate our decision to read the article.
When articles are shared on Facebook, they emphasize images because publishers know it will increase the likelihood of someone clicking over to the associated article.
When an image is shared with a link on Twitter, people are more likely to click.
Whether on my blog, in my videos or in any other content I create, I make sure to incorporate visuals, and try to make them as vibrant as possible.
Take home message – Images are important, and if you’re a blogger, you want to use pictures to help hook your audience and convey your message.
In considering the types of visuals that will help convey your message, ask yourself the following questions:
Here are some examples of how you’d use that information:
When formatting photos in your content, be conscious of the size of the images you use in two ways:
A great resource for helping with this file size is the WP Smush.it plugin, which reduces your image file sizes automatically.
Social media can significantly help to bring exposure to your blog if you use it right. One thing for sure – having images optimized for social platforms enhances that exposure, especially on sites like Pinterest and Facebook.
You want to make sure that the images you use are appropriate for the different platforms.
When people come to your blog, you want them to engage with your content. What’s even better is if they engage AND share.
But to take full advantage of that social equity, you want to make sure that when the content is shared, it shows up on social media well.
To do that, you can use the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. That’s what I use for displaying the right images on Social Media.
A more advanced plugin for optimizing your blog for the social networks is the Facebook Open Graph, Google+ and Twitter Card Tags plugin. Long name but packs a punch.
One common error I see bloggers making is using images they find doing Google image searches. If this is you – STOP IT NOW!
Whenever you use an image on your blog, you need to make sure that you have the legal rights to use that particular image.
This can be accomplished by using Royalty-free images from stock photography sites, public domain images, or creative commons images that are free to use with certain restrictions (explained below).
I’m often asked where I get my images. Well, ask no more.
My go-to resource for royalty-free images is Dollar Photo Club. This is literally THE BEST source I’ve found.
The reason I LOVE them is because they have high-quality images that are on par with many of the well-known expensive stock photography sites. Each high-resolution image costs $1.
On other sites, you can easily pay 5 to 10 times as much.
Wikimedia Commons – this is a great place to find public domain and creative commons images. With public domain images, you are free to use them as your own with no restrictions.
With Creative Commons licenses, you are free to use images in specific ways, depending on the license. Some licenses allow you to use pictures for non-commercial purposes. Others specify that you are free to use them for any purpose as long as you credit the source.
You can find out more about Creative Commons licenses here.
The reason I’ve used Wikimedia Commons extensively is not just because it’s free -which is AWESOMESAUCE- but you can actually find some amazing photos and illustrations there, especially science related images.
Many of the illustrations are in “.SVG” format, which allows you to actually go in and edit components of the illustration. That was EXTREMELY useful for my biology blog.
If you have a decent quality camera (like a nice DSLR), don’t underestimate the power of taking your own pictures.
If you’re blogging about something like recipes, fitness, DIY or anything else along those lines, using your own pictures can really add a personal touch to your content.
Not only that, but it’s FREE (once you invest in decent equipment).
Here are some examples of blogs who do a great job with this:
Whether you’re a new blogger wanting to get started or an experienced blogger trying to take the look of your content to the next level, pictures can help you do this.
Whether you take your own pictures, use royalty-free, public domain or creative commons images, the sky is the limit. So go forth and beautify.
What image sources do you use? Feel free to share them in the comments below.
Some people just love being able to read along with interviews, or they might just prefer to skip the audio completely and just read through the transcript. Hey, if that’s what floats your boat, it is all good. Here’s the transcript just for you
Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.