In the first round of Tuesday’s Tips we brought you 5 Tips to a Better Blog. I talked about the basics, The Look, Your Content, Your Voice, Your Community and Social Networking.
Today I’m going to talk about the photos you use. Even if your blog content doesn’t require a lot of photos, quality images are a must. There are plenty of places to get stock images if you don’t wish to use your own photos, but if you are promoting your blog through Pinterest, a good photo is key. It’s all about ‘pin-able’ images. As I said before, social networking plays a big part in driving blog traffic. Pinterest is the best source for back links so make sure your photos are excellent. Now, I am by no means a trained photographer. I’m slowly learning about it, so there is a lot I still need to know myself, but this post is about some of the basics. I don’t even have a camera, I use my cell phone. (Sony Xperia Zs1) It does have an amazing 21 mega pixel camera with all kinds of features like a DSLR camera so I love it for blog photos.
The first tip I can give you is lighting. Photos are all about lighting. You can build a simple light box for almost nothing with this tutorial here. One of the best things I could have done for my photos was take the time to build this box. Natural lighting is also a great way to make your photos look better and you can see some great examples of that here on Smandro’s Blog. The below image was shot inside my light box and cropped in Pic Monkey with text added.
Composition. You can save a lot of edit time and create a more dynamic image by taking care with your composition before the shutter clicks. Basic composition notes (I’ll touch more on these later,) make sure your image fills the frame to help you spend less time cropping. Use simple clean backgrounds, less is more. Your subject should shine, don’t distract the viewer with a busy background.
The third tip for you is editing. A few simple edits go a long way to improving a shot that was under lit or slightly off on composition. There are some great photo editing programs out there, but if you are on a budget the best source is Pic Monkey. I’m super obsessed with this site. No download required, there is a free version and a pay version. Can’t say enough times how much I love Pic Monkey! The site’s ‘Auto Adjust’ button alone is worth millions. Cropping, overlays, text insertion. Everything you need to make great photos. The image on the left is unedited, the photo on the right has been enhanced on Pic Monkey.
Next up, tip number four is about the photo size and placement with in your blog. The first photo is from one of my very first posts, and it’s a good example of what not to do. The photo itself is poorly lit, grainy, unedited and sized wrong. (It was also taken with a very old cell phone camera) The photo size should be large enough to fit inside your text space.
This next photo is from a recent post. DIY Makeup Brushes The shot was taken inside my light box, with the background blur feature on my phone. Then cropped and edited with text added in Pic Monkey.
My last tip on blog photos for the day: Always be sure to add your site name to your photos. I’ve also read one blogging tip that said that images with a description added to them get re-pinned more often, now, I’m not totally sure about that one yet, but it couldn’t hurt so I say do it!
Hope these tips help! Happy Blogging.