Almost because there are some posts where I haven’t used images so to say all just wouldn’t be honest now would it? Yall know I gotta keep it all the way real.
So anyway, I’ve always enjoyed the look of a post with pictures. Even when I would get zero likes on a post and no feedback, I’ve always loved pictures. In the beginning, it was just the aesthetic of it, I really just liked the way my posts looked with them. Today, though I still like the way the post looks with pictures, I also use them with a slightly greater outlook on the post itself and with more of a strategic edge. For one, I’m trying to step my blogging game up and to do that there are a few basics that must be accomplished. It all started a couple weeks ago when I did a google search.
I didn’t understand how vital images were to search engines but apparently they’re a big deal. Here’s a story: One day, while searching Google images, I saw a picture that I just couldn’t pass up. It peaked my interest as I wondered what the post associated with the image was about. I clicked on it and guess what? The photo was linked to The PBS Blog! That’s right, it was mine and linked to one of my blog posts. As a result of this experience I started paying more attention to images and top blog sites and guess what? When you examine the top blog sites and your favorite blog sites you’ll notice that all of the top, trending blogs have one thing in common: images. They all have images to go along with the post. I’ve also been noticing how my post looks when shared across social media.
I’ve discovered that images look really nice when blog posts are shared. I’ve recently been exploring Pinterest and having an image I already used in the post makes it super easy to share content. Otherwise, I find myself searching through images on my blog offered as suggestions by the Pinterest app. I love Twitter as yall already know (I’m at @ahouseofpoetry FYI…plug), and I just hate when that blank white space is there with no pic. I feel so incomplete, so that’s another plus of using images in your post. And not to mention Facebook too which gives a nice preview but I’m sure we all knew that.
Images used in blog posts are also linked with that blog site and will show up in search engines like mine did. Recently, I’ve even taken it a step further and stopped ignoring the tagging part of the image. You know, you up load an image and there’s the title, alt, description, caption, and all that. Yea, I pretty much ignored that for a long time.
“The Title, Caption, Alt Text, and Description fields for images in WordPress are the most ignored and underutilized features that can improve your content and bring more people to your site. Images play an important role in web publishing, and WordPress makes it easy to add images to your content in several different ways. What you probably didn’t know is that taking a few extra minutes to fill in the “Attachment Details” for your images can improve their communicative value, create better user experiences for your visitors, and bring more people to your site.” – Morten Rand-Hendriksen
Only recently did I start to fill in the blanks here. Usually when I read about this stuff it just sounds like Chinese so I’ll let Morten explain:
“The alt attribute or “Alt text” is mandatory for images on the web but is often ignored because it seems unnecessary. This is unfortunate because the alt attribute is both important and powerful. The alt attribute is the text that displays when an image does not display. The general rule of thumb when applying alt text to an image is to describe in text what the image is communicating.”
Thanks Morten. For the image to this post, my alt text simply describes what’s in the picture: “Notebook, coffee cup, pencil.” < But I think this is wrong, hmm. I’ll figure it out.
“The alt text is there to describe image content and relate it to your overall content. While most visitors don’t see the alt text, search engines do and they index the images based on them. And as we move into a world of wearable devices that don’t always show images the alt text will become more important than ever before.”
(I’ve also discovered that this helps with people with special needs who can’t “see” the image).
Want to incorporate more images into your posts? Here’s what I use.
Unsplash – Images are licensed free to use. For that, unsplash pics make up the bulk of my post images.
Canva – Canva helps me add my own unique touch using my own images. Usually seen during my EC Quote Friday Posts and my Guest Blog Posts.
Google Images – I use random Google images as well. I know its not everyone’s thing but it is mine. If you’ve read my About page, you’ll see that it’s part of my blog policy. I don’t see anything wrong with using pictures anyone can see anyway just by a simple google search. Like, its right there. But to remain blameless, I don’t sell anything on this blog and thus all Google images are used in accordance with Fair Use. I am always sharing information in my posts, not trying to make a profit.
My Own Pics – I also use my own pictures which you’ll be able to tell are mine because I’m not a professional photographer. At all. Not even close.
Photoshop – I LOVE mock-ups! In fact, that’s what I used for the pic to this post. If you want to create your own professional looking images for your business or blog, Photoshop provides a great way to do this using mock-ups. You can then use these unique images on your blog. All it really takes is a $10/ mo account and there’s a lot you can do even if you don’t want to upgrade. I’m still working on a basic Photoshop tutorial. Stay tuned.
Bitstrips – I also use bitstrips to cartoon myself and use them as blog pics. I fell in love with this last year when Colleen of Silver Threading had me on her blog for the first time. She always uses silver cartoons and taught me how to use them. Since then, I’ve been obsessed with them. Now my cartoon mini me is incorporated into my blog which helps out a lot when I need a quick image and can’t really find one that’s available. It also adds a unique touch.