Build a Better Blog Challenge – Day 6
Do Your Blog Posts Need Images?
Hi everyone and welcome to Day 6. As we have done so much work on our blog posts, let's finish them off by looking at images on blog posts. Your blog content is great. Do you actually need images or should your words speak for themselves?
Your blog is often the first thing new readers, new prospects, and new clients see of you and your online business and first impressions do count. That means you need a well-designed blog with a great layout, great content, and pictures that draw you in and enhance your content. In other words, yes, your posts need images.
It doesn’t stop there. You want to keep encouraging your readers to come back and read more of your posts. Before that can happen, you need to catch their attention and draw them back in. It takes a while to build a loyal following of readers who will devour anything you write. Images will help draw them in again and again. In other words, your posts really need images.
We live in a very social and internet based world. One way to broaden your reach and grow the traffic to your blog is social media. Guess what captures attention on sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. That’s right, it’s images. The images make people click through to read your blog post.
We will look at improving your engagement on social media sites, another day. Today, we will just concentrate on the images themselves. So, where can you get images?
You have three options when it comes to getting images for your blog post. You can use your own pictures, you can buy photos to use, or you can use free sites for generic images.
I am not going to talk about talking your own pictures because, basically, I am rubbish at it! However, with great cameras on smartphones it is so easy to take your own pictures. But you do need some ability. Although it is possible to edit them to make them look better. But I do think you need some aptitude and you need to enjoy taking your own photos.
You could buy photos but this can end up expensive. Your best option for purchasing images is a stock photography site like Istockphoto.com, Depositphoto.com and Pixabay.com to name a few. I actually do have a subscription to a site as a like a certain style of photo but this is no way essential. There are free photo sites that have great photos.
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The last option is to use free photos. There are so many sites around that you will be spoiled for choice. Just keep in mind that some photos become very popular so you will see them all over the place. I will put at list at the bottom of the free sites that I use.
For now, find your image and move on to the next step.
How you format and size your pictures will depend on a few different things.
The first is where and how you are displaying them in your blog post.
Next, keep the different social media sites where you’re active in mind. Different sites convert better with different images sizes. Do a little research and come up with an image for each of your most important social media sites. The sizes change so much that I am not going to list the different sizes here as it will soon be out of date. This is quite an informative site.
You should think about your branding and also choose a colour scheme. Whilst not many of us are designers, simple things like using the same colours and fonts will tie your images together.
Images and SEO
Let’s not forget about SEO. The file name and the alt tag are both used to determine what the page (or post) the image is found on is about. Use this to your advantage by including your keywords.
You can do almost anything with the free version of Canva and this is what I used for a long time. However, one benefit of the paid version is you can easily resize your images.
I love Canva but the reason I use both Canva and PicMonkey is you can edit photos with PicMonkey, which you can't do with Canva.
There is nothing wrong with the lovely image above, I am just using it for demonstration! You could move parts around and create more white space in the middle for text for example. I only did this quickly as an example so it is a bit messy, but you get the gist.
If an image is not exactly how you want it, change it! Don't forget, you don't have to use all the image either.
Start to make better use of images on your blog!
Try and spend some time promoting your blog posts. Pick a few methods and see what works for you, in your niche.
- Decide how you are going to obtain your images either take them yourself, pay or use free sites.
- Make a list or bookmark your favourite image sites.
- Decide on your favourite image editor.
- Create templates for your different image styles for social media and your blog.
- Get creative!
Here are some of my favourite image sites. Please be careful to check the licenses for the sites and the images, before you use them. Things do change so always check first.
Some of the sites you will need to give attribution, so again please check first.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links are affiliate links. This means I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking through my link. I have experienced these companies, and recommend them because I find them useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you buy something through my links. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or they will help you achieve your goals.