For today’s 30 Day Blog Challenge prompt, we are going to talk about blog post images. It’s a topic that is ALWAYS discussed, but yet sometimes I don’t know if people really READ or process tips to improve their photography.
Before we share these tips, let’s review our past topics:
It is important to have a good first impression with readers and brands. A well-designed layout or theme, amazing content, and stellar photography is going to make you stand apart from the crowd. Not only is it encouraged to have good photography on your blog, it is expected. As bloggers, we sometimes might feel overwhelmed to have the best writing, professional photography, and hundreds of thousands of page views. This post is not meant to overwhelm you or give you “one extra thing” on your to do list. In fact, I hope this simplifies your process. This post is meant to give you guidance and offer resources to improve your blog.
How to Get Blog Images
You have three choices when it comes to getting images for your site. You can take your own photos, you can purchase stock photos (or use a free site), or you can hire a photographer. While original photography can be crucial to securing a paid partnership with a brand, it is not a requirement to only use original images on your website. However, it is VERY important that you never, ever steal a photograph from another website or Google Images. Be sure that you are only downloading images for use that allow this.
If You Take Your Own Photos
Not everyone wants to use a DSLR camera on their blog posts, and that’s okay. You can use your smartphone for photos if you are making sure that you are using natural light! Take photos during the day using indirect sunlight. A few edits with an app like PicTapGo can brighten up your image in a hurry.
If you are using a DSLR, turn off the flash. Use indirect light and invest in a few Lightroom or Photoshop actions that will help you quickly batch edit images. I like my 50mm lens, but I rarely use my Nikon DSLR. I went mirrorless.
If you want a lightweight camera that provides high quality images, invest in a mirrorless camera like a Sony A6000. It has wifi capabilities so I can share photos on social media on the go.
If You Want to Use Stock Photography
Be sure to use reputable websites and check usage rights. Creatively crop your images to make them more unique (if allowed in the photo terms).
Stock Photo Sites
- Pixabay, free
- Morguefile, free
- Pexels, free
- PicJumbo, free
- Creative Market, paid
- Etsy, paid
- 123RF, paid
- Stocksy, paid
Tip: Download the largest size file that you can. If the photo is horizontal or landscape and you need a vertical image for Pinterest or as the “hero” image in your post, you can simply use a photo editing tool (like PicMonkey or Canva) to crop it into a vertical image. I do this on almost all of the stock photos that I use since I find a GREAT one that is horizontal/landscape.
How to Format Your Images
How you format and size your pictures will depend on a few different things. If you add text to an image, a PNG file is best since it will save at a higher resolution (but will make it a bigger file). My hero images are usually PNGs while the rest are JPGs. I resize my images to be 800 pixels in width to fit my blog post width, and it makes them a smaller file size. Try to not compress your images too much or they will appear blurry or pixelated on your blog.
Images and SEO
Don’t forget about SEO. The file name and the alt tag are both used to determine what your blog post the image is found on is about. Use this to your advantage by including your keywords.
Are you taking the time to use the right images?
Create or re-share two posts: 1 with original photography and 1 with a properly used stock photo. Share your posts in the link up below if you publish them to your site..
- Facebook it: Stop by the Facebook group and share your post or just answer the question in our forum.
Add Your Blog
Share your new blog post with our daily challenge topic! Make sure to title it “Day 9:” with your best photos.
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