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When you begin to dive into the world of blogging — one of the first things you might think about are images.
And whether you’ll be taking your own photos or gathering them from an outside source, there are quite a few things to think about before you use an image for your own blog (from copyright issues to image relevancy to image format, size optimization and more).
That’s why we’ve worked to put together this list of tips, tricks, and simple solutions — so that you can enter into the world of blogging a little more carefree, confident, and prepared (and a whole lot more excited).
If you’re sharing images to your blog, you first need to make sure that sharing that image does not violate any legal rights. Pay attention to the various licenses that are attached to images, as each photo and each photographer is different.
Also, if you’re using social media outlets, do some research beforehand to learn about the platform’s different terms. Reposting on Instagram actually violates the terms of the platform and users can sue for copyright infringement. So when in doubt, always ask!
Here are some copyright basics, though you can always do some further research to discover more details.
Copyright is a certain designation of protection that is given to creative works that are released into the world. It covers categories that include literary words, performing and visual arts, digital content, motion picture and photographs. And with the protection of copyright, no one can use your work without your permission.
- Use your own photos and images;
- Buy photos from freelancers;
- Utilize stock photos (like Shutterstock, iStock or Pexels).
Width and Height
When you’re choosing the width and height of your image for the web, think of the pixels (how many pixels tall and how many pixels wide).
If you’re resizing an image, this will change the size of the image while still maintaining its height to width ratio.
Keep in mind that the higher pixel number — the higher the quality of image, which may affect the speed of loading time on your website.
Keeping your photos as small as possible in terms of their file size (size optimization) means that your website will be lighter and faster.
For a good size optimization WordPress plugin, check out Imagify which will save you time and reduce the weight of your images without sacrificing quality. Plus, compress your images in just one click here.
For a good manual on image optimization for WordPress, visit this blog post.
When it comes to image format for blogs, there are three types of formats relevant for bloggers — PNG, JPEG and GIF.
If you’re looking to convert your images, check out options like image converters.
Creating descriptive keyword-rich file names is important because allows search engines to use it as subject matter for the image (think: autumn apple pie, first day of school and vase of sunflowers rather than image 1, image 2 and image 3).
Using the Alt Tag on Images
When you upload an image to your blog, it’s good to add an alt description to help Google know what the image is about. It looks like: img src=”dog.jpg” width=”125″ height=”60″ alt=“dog sleeping on the floor”
Image captions let your viewers know what your image is about and can work to add a bit of backstory to the visual of a photograph. Work to write something engaging, creative and easy to understand.
Before you use an image for your blog, you’ll want to check and see how useful the image is for your article and if it makes sense to use it.
In the simplest example, an image of blizzard isn’t applicable for portraying the summer season, right? But an image of a beach ball, stretches of sand, sunshine, and pool parties are. If you take time to think about the relevancy of an image beforehand, your audience will be more likely to connect with the post. And therefore, connect with you and your blog.
With so many images on the web and so many blogs, it’s crucial to make sure that your image stands out amongst the crowd. And often, given that it’s okay with the user, even stock photos can look more appealing with the help of some simple tools. You can utilize an advanced program like famous Photoshop or go for an easy-to-use program like Luminar to add a personal touch to your images. If you’re not interested in using a professional editor, experiment with free online editors like Pixlr or PicMonkey.
Before you use an image, you’ll also want to make sure that there aren’t any general image problems that stand out to your viewers. These include:
- Too much noise;
- Incorrect cropping;
- Too much contrast;
- Low resolution or poor image quality;
- Under or overexposed.
Chances are you’re a good judge of a photograph. So trust your eye and know when something stands out for a positive reason (rather than a negative one).
Use Responsive Images
This tip is essential for image optimization for SEO — as images could potentially disrupt the mobile experience (which could increase the bounce rate).
In order to make your content responsive, scaling images down devices better is the most common solution people tend to use.
Create an Image Sitemap
Create and publish an image sitemap to house all of your images in one place and generate more traffic to your site. This gives Google and other search engines more of an ability to discover the images on your site.
Of all the various ways to improve your blog focusing on your images is a great place to start. Though the information can at first seem overwhelming — we’re certain that you’ll get the hang of it and be a true photo blogging pro in no time.
Best of luck — and happy blogging!