All blog posts should contain images. Let me say that again: all blog posts should have images. Blogs are not like scientific journals or books. They are a very specific platform that requires very specific type of writing. That format needs enhancement, to add context while improving the overall look and readability of the post itself.
But how do you most effectively use images in a blog post? There is no one way, and your own creativity is key to making something that is both attractive and fitting your needs. But there are a few tips you can use to make sure you are applying images more effectively.
Think Outside The Box
You will always be able to find stock images that are related to the basic topic of a post. But these can be boring, and many different sites might use the same ones. Unless a photo perfectly illustrates a post’s subject matter, it is better to get a little more creative with what you are trying to get across. Remember that it is your site, your content, and so you can present an image your own way. Get crazy with it, and leave a real impression on the reader. Here’s a good way to create original photography based on stock images.
Try More Than One
You will always want a basic header image; that is just the golden rule of blogging. But you can keep the readers attentions and help to break up the text better by using more than one. Too many can be a problem sometimes, but two or three images per standard text post can be a lot better than one. Utilize captions to give these images further context and so tie the whole of your content together.
Make Your Post Picture Centric
Alternatively to using a few pics in a text based blog post, why not use pictures as your primary content and then sprinkle in some text. Presenting a post this way is not only nice for more visual users, but it can actually be a way to repackage your content. Try slideshows, comics or even infographics. These have the added benefit of being great for social media marketing.
Take Your Own Photos
Stock images don’t always cut it. For a more personal touch – and the ability to get across a very specific message – trying taking your own. All images should be the highest quality possible, and so a decent digital camera is necessary. But this is a worthy investment that will pay off a lot for a relatively small fee. I really like the Nikon Coolpix series, as each model costs around $300 and are very beginner friendly. They average around 12 – 16 megapixels, with a 5x – 10x optical zoom. For a little more, Olympus and Canon also have great models for under $400.
Don’t Bother With Standard Sizes
Don’t worry, if you want to use standard sizes you can, granted that your blog layout allows it. But you don’t have to feel that you are confined to a single size for your posts. They can be as large or as small as you want them to be, as long as they don’t affect the readability of the text, or the ability to view the picture. Different pics through the post can also have different sizes if you choose, depending on their purpose. Trial and error is your best friend here, though try to keep the general size of most images uniform to where they are placed through the site. For example, the header should be the same size on all posts, as should the secondary image, the third image, ect.
Always Properly Attribute
If you’re using stock images or anything under creative commons, make sure you properly attribute their source. Not only is it only fair to the photographer/artist who made the original image, but if protects you from risky copyright claims that can costs hundreds or even thousands in fees. Some images offered under Creative Commons (check out Flickr for inspiration) license will allow you to make changes to images, so if you want to crop, combine or in any way alter those pictures, check to make sure the attribution allows it. Ditto on checking if it can be used for commercial purposes.
Do you have any tips for using images in blog posts? Let us know in the comments!