February 5, 2014

How Choosing the Perfect Photo Will Get Your Blog Seen

How to choose the perfect photo for your blogToday’s guest author is Michelle Kerr. Michelle is a social media pro who owns her own ecommerce business on the side. She writes about small business solutions for a number of blogs.

With smart phones becoming increasingly common, more people are taking more photographs than ever before. In fact, according to social media expert Jeff Bullas, an astonishing 10 percent of all the photographs ever taken in the history of the world have been taken in the past year. If these pictures are worth a thousand words, to a blogger they’re worth a thousand hits — at least! A great photo attracts attention and makes a blog post more likely to be shared.

The Power of Photos

Articles that have relevant and compelling pictures get 94 percent more views than those that do not, according to an MDG Advertising inforgraphic. Images attract readers to all kinds of content, but have the strongest drawing power for news, politics and sports.

Photos Boost SEO

Photos give viewers another way to find your blog via Google searches because Google indexes images separately. To ensure that your photos come up near the top of an image search, make sure there is relevant text in your blog post near the photo, and add in relevant keywords and keyword phrases into the photo’s caption, the “Alt” field, and the image’s URL itself.

Photos Make People Want to Share

Images open the door to your blog being shared via Pinterest and Tumblr. Images also make it far more likely that your post will be shared on Facebook and other social media sites. Once posted on social media, images and text draw more attention than text alone.

Finding the Right Photo

Slapping any old picture on a blog post is not enough. To get the benefits that a photo can bring to your post, the photo must be both compelling and relevant to your written content. Choose the wrong picture, and you can confuse your audience and distract them from the message you are trying to send. The pictures you choose reflect on your brand. Don’t pick boring, generic photos unless you want people to think of you and your brand as boring and generic. Taking and using your own photos may be nice for relevancy purposes, but if you have trouble with lighting (for example, you work during the day), or don’t have the proper equipment, choosing a great stock photo is an option to consider.

Take your time while searching for the right image. You may need to get creative with the keywords you use to search stock photos, advises Brad Ralph in one of his articles from iStockPhoto.com. For example, if you want a cheerful photo of a dog, searching “dog” will give you too many results. You can narrow it down dramatically by adding the search term “happy.”

Once you have a manageable selection of photos, look for those that are visually appealing and that haven’t already been used often, to give your blog a fresh, original appearance.

Always Set the Mood

Photographs of people and animals are popular, but don’t feel you have to stop there. The best photos, no matter what the subject, add something to your text that couldn’t be expressed as effectively any other way. Pay attention not only to subject matter, but also to the mood set by the photo’s color. Is the overall effect is soothing or energizing? Is that what you were going for? There are no right or wrong answers here. It all depends on what you want to communicate on your blog.

Tell us…How do you keep your blog fresh with compelling images?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
About the Guest Author
Michelle Kerr

Michelle is a social media pro who owns her own ecommerce business on the side. She writes about small business solutions for a number of blogs.