20 Ways to Use and Enhance Blog Photos
Photographs are an integral part of blogs. Only a very few blogs, such as Seth Godin and Clay Shirky, can survive on text alone. Photographs are a powerful blog component since they pull readers in, augment blog posts and provide content.
11 Places to use photographs on your blog
Photographs permeate blogs. To maximize your blog’s photo power, start by examining all of the places where images support your blog’s content. Here are eleven blog locations where photos are useful.
- Header image. This is the image at the top of your blog. As your blog’s storefront, this photograph is important because it’s how visitors recognize your blog. Incorporate your brand into this image in terms of color. For example, this blog uses my photograph.
- Article images. Incorporate a small image that compliments the theme of the article at the top of the blog post to attract readers. They act as attention magnets.
- Article content. Use photographs as the core content of your blog posts. The Satorialist does this.
- Product shots. Make your products the hero of your blog content. Use this opportunity to show your offering from different perspectives.
- How-tos. Show customers how to use your product in photographs. You can use a series of photographs or just one image. This is important information before and after purchase.
- Styling. Display the latest styles, especially with clothes and accessories. This is one reason customers seek information pre-purchase.
- Author images. Associate photographs of your writers along with brief bios at the end of each post.
- About page. Readers check your About page to find out who’s behind the blog. Include both the author and where appropriate photographs of your business establishment.
- Customers. Spotlight your customers and their stories in blog posts. This is a great way to augment content.
- Galleries. Show off your product or your customers using your product. This works well for craft related products. Many blog platforms support automatic generation of gallery pages.
- Commenters. Some commenting widgets associate photographs (aka Gravatars) with comments.
7 Blog photo sources
Once you determine what type of photographs you want to use on your blog, you need to select appropriate images. Regardless of what type of blog you have, B2C, B2B, not-for-profit, solopreneur or personal, here are seven sources of photographs.
- Snap your own images. With the ever-improving smartphone camera functionality, anyone can capture interesting photos whenever the moment presents itself.
- Flickr (and other online sources). Tap into the creativity and vision of social communities such as Flickr. These resources are useful since they’re searchable and because participants have associated relevant keywords with the pictures. Further, it’s easy to determine whether you have appropriate rights to use the photos.
- Library of Congress. Take advantage of this great resource to get images that you can use on your blog (without royalties.)
- Company archives. For businesses, consider going through past collections of images of executives, products and offices. These photographs can provide interesting historical perspective.
- Suppliers. Leverage images provided by one or more of your suppliers. The drawback to these images is that these photographs may be used by others causing duplicate content.
- Distributors. Like suppliers, distributors can offer relevant images for your product. Again these photographs may not be unique or original.
- Professional photographers and services. Another alternative is to hire a professional photographer who can take the images you want for a fee. Alternatively, you can purchase rights to existing photos.
3 Ways to maximize blog picture power
Once you’ve found the appropriate images, follow these three steps to maximize their photograph effectiveness.
- Enhance your photographs. Improve the quality of the images you’ve selected. This includes cropping the image to remove extraneous information and focus the viewer’s eye. Resize the photograph to be the appropriate size for its placement on your blog. Enhance the color and other elements of the photograph. You can use your blogging software, iPhoto or Instagram to achieve these effects.
- Optimize for search. When using photographs, it’s critical to associate an appropriate keyword phrase in the title and/or alt tag. Also, change generic filenames so that they describe the image. For example: from IMG_123.JPEG to Bobs-Birthday-on-Bermuda.JPEG.
- Link to product page where appropriate. If you’re using images of your products, it’s useful to associate product information with the photo. Also, link the image to the selling page on your website.
Photographs are a powerful way to enhance your blog in a variety of forms. To augment your own collection, leverage other sources of images. Before inserting photographs into your blog, enhance your images to make them more effective.
What other suggestions do you have for using photographs on your blog?
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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/striatic/216431657/