Using Perfect Photos – Blogging Basics
Over the last few weeks I have discussed the challenges in learning blogging basics, the value of commenting and using research. If you concluded that blogging is something you would like to pursue you will need to start learning about the aesthetics of a blog. When someone visits your site you only have a few seconds to entice them to stay and read your article (and potentially gain a follower).
Blogging basics is trying to find perfect photos!
I can tell you from personal experience I look at two things when I visit a new blog. The first thing I look at is the blog header, or title. A header is something that generally spans the width of the page and it is at the top of your site. The blog header usually consists of the title of your blog and might include a logo. The header is normally the same on all page of your site. The next thing that will grab my attention is photos. If I like the header and photos I will continue reading the post.
When I am planning a post I generally have some photo/photos in mind that I feel will convey the message that I am trying to share. Recent eye tracking studies tell us that people will scan the title and tags of a post first and photos second. I believe one mistake a blogger can make is not ever using a photo in a post. Photos or visual images are a way to connect with your reader and enhance the message of your post.
I enjoy taking photos and trying to piece together an article to make it visually appealing. A question new bloggers often have is, “What if I never have the time to take photos or I don’t have a good camera?” Luckily, there are solutions to that problem, stock photos. A stock photo is an image, offered by the photographer of a photo, for others to use. The photographer still retains the licensing of the photo and others may use their work as long as meet the licensing conditions of the photo.
1. Flickr – Flickr has the biggest database of photos available (over 200 million) The large number of images available has made Flickr one of the most popular places for stock photos. If you are using a WordPress blog there is even a plug-in that can look for photos for you.
2. Microsoft Office Free Images – Microsoft offer 1000′s of searchable images that are downloadable. The collection not only includes photos but clip art and animations.
3. Everystockphoto – Another great resource for images is everstockphoto. You will have to sign up for a free membership and then you will gain access to their search engine. They have over 18 million photos available. If you find a photo make sure you read and follow the license.
If learning about licenses isn’t something you are willing to do your only option is to take your own photos. If you have taken the photo you don’t have to worry about sourcing them or if it’s a legal copy. It is important to emphasize that bloggers correctly follow a license on any picture they might download. As a blogger, you wouldn’t like it if other people were taking your hard work and claiming it as their own so you need to give photographers the same respect. Blogging basics means you learn about the various license that images might have. A good resources for explaining license is Stock Photo License Explained.
The Perfect Photo
1. Complimentary – When finding an image for a post you should look towards photos that convey a story or emotion. You want the image to match what you are trying to say in your post. We live in a colorful world and human eyes look for colors. A color photos generally work better than black and white photos.
2. Creativity – Don’t limit your thinking that a photo is a picture of a person. Open your imagination when choosing an image for a post. There is no set-rule stating what an image should look like. Infographics, screenshots or close-up photos of things, e.g., flower, cup or sign, can convey powerful messages.
3. Crop – Cropping photos is a way to close in on areas that you consider important and want others to notice. When a person is looking at a photo they don’t want to see lots of space around what you want to become the focal point. Cropping will give you the control on the composition (you can crop out elements that don’t matter).
Learning about blogging is a process. As a blogger, you will continue to learn new ideas and ways to make a blog better everyday. It is important that you be aware of license and copyrights for another person’s work. If you do make a mistake, when using an image, you want to correct it immediately. Blogging means being ready to make mistakes. It doesn’t matter if you are a veteran blogger or if this is the first article you have ever read about blogging, making errors is as common as breathing. One of the main differences between a good blogger and a bad blogger is that a good blogger accepts the mistake, fixes the error, apologizes if necessary, and moves on to more content.
Photos can enhance a post greatly. Do you take your own photos or do you use stock photography? Do you enhance the images to make them more visually appealing? There are lots of source for free photos do you have a favorite that you use? Tell me in the comments!
Next week I will continue talking about images in blogging basics. If you like this post make sure to share it or give it a plus 1 in google! Don’t forget to check out more of this series “Blogging Basics.”
, personal experience
, stock photos