They say, “Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words”, and with blog posts, that is so true. Today, I’d like to share a little information on how to make the most of your blog post images. When you are just starting as a blogger, it is a little scary trying to figure out lingo and how to use the different features of blogger. I’ve been blogging for a few years now, and I am constantly learning about new things. Recently, with the help of fellow bloggers, I learned a few important tips related to images, and since it was all via Facebook, I thought I’d write up a tutorial post to demonstrate for others.
Making it Pinworthy
I use a combination of Powerpoint and Picmonkey to enhance my images. With Powerpoint, you have two options. You can use the design tab and make your photo the “background” if your slide size is a similar shape to your photo, or you can insert the photo as an overlay and just layer text boxes over the top. With the image above, I made the photo my background, but I had to format the background offset so the image wasn’t distorted. Once you’re happy with your slide, you “save as” a jpeg or png file and upload it into your post. Many beginners insert their photos “centered”. Do not feel nervous about moving them to the right or left of text. All you do is click and drag it where you want. If Blogger doesn’t cooperate, then you can always delete and retry with your cursor in a different location. You can also resize them. I use a variety of sizes and have actually gotten brave enough to resize photos to a custom size in the html side of blogger, but I don’t recommend that unless you’re familiar with html.
Image Editing Features in Blogger
Once you’ve prepared your image, the important work begins. Remember, your images are pinned, so think from the pinner’s point of view. A year from now, what will the pinner need to know? They will need to know where the photo came from, so be sure to watermark EVERY image in your post. If you went to my archive, you’d see that watermarks are missing on photos I used. Guess what I’m working on this summer?? Do what I say…not what I did!! Before you put that photo into your post, make sure you have done this step.
After you insert the image, you will need to take care of a few more steps. So that I don’t forget, I always take care of labels and my search description first. You see these post settings on the right side of blogger. If Search Description is missing, you need to check your blogger settings (Search Preferences) and turn on the Meta Tag.
Next, work on the settings for your image. Set the image size (Large or XL for images that you really want to feature or Small/Medium for products or less important images). Then, you will click on the properties tab. This step is very important. Once you click that, you will see two lines, title text and alt text. Put what you’d want pinned in the alt text line as well as the title text line. Now, this works IF you use the Pinterest pin it button. If you have a cute pin it button installed, what will show up with the pin is the blog post title only.
[THIS POST] on CHALK AND APPLES will walk you through how to fix the pin it button on your blog. Again, remember the goal is to make your content work for the reader, and the description helps those who pin from your blog as well as pinners who happen to see the pin on Pinterest later.
When you add your description to the alt text, try to be consistent with using the same phrases in your title, search description, and alt text. When pinners search by topic, these phrases will help your pin show up in the search results. Notice in the image to the right. I wanted National Poem in Your Pocket Day to be in my alt text, search description, and title since that’s likely a search phrase.
Image Size for Social Media
Sharing your post to social media is the final (and probably the most important) step, but there are important considerations for this too. [THIS POST] includes all of the dimensions you need to know for social media. I recommend you create a file in Powerpoint with the slide dimensions preset for each social media site you plan to use. Of course, Instagram is easy. Any square image will do. You’d likely want to share to Facebook too, so make sure you have a landscape image (or create one) that you will use there. It does not have to be part of your blog post. For this post, I made this image for Facebook, but again, I don’t always include that image in my post, but rather just get the post URL, write up a post description, and insert the image I’ve made.
My final tip for beginners is to use what’s available on Youtube to help you. I am a visual learner, and if I am ever unsure how to do something with technology, I search Youtube first. There are so many great tutorials out there that you can almost always find what you need by Googling or Youtube. As you begin your blogging adventure, remember it’s a journey. You won’t know it all with the first post and you learn best by just digging in and trying. Blogging, for personal or professional goals, is a great way to share information. For teachers, it provides us with a great way to reflect on our practice. No matter your reason for blogging, I hope you find it a great experience.
Have a great weekend!