They say, “Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words”, and with blog post images, 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 your platform. I’ve been blogging for years now, and I am constantly learning about new things.
Make Your Blog Post Images Pin Worthy
Let me begin by saying I am NOT an image expert, but I have learned a lot in the past nine years. I am sharing this post to save new bloggers the time needed for revisions. You do not want to learn twenty posts in that you’ve done things wrong. Revisions take so long.
How to Make Your Images
The first step with images is to choose how you’re going to make them. I use a combination of Canva, Powerpoint, and Picmonkey to enhance my images. With each program, you have two options. You can make your photo the “background” of your slide if the size is the shape to your photo. Another option is to insert the photo as an overlay and just layer text boxes over the top.
With the image to the right, 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 file. If it’s the correct size (in pixels), upload it into your post. If not, you can resize it in MS Paint or use this site, Bulk Resize.
Online Apps for Bloggers
I mentioned Picmonkey and Canva earlier. I have used both to edit photos, to create custom sized graphics, or for the collage option. You can easily add frames, edit the photo, add overlays such as ribbons, labels, or partially transparent shapes. They also allow you to use your own fonts with their programs. I love that I can grab the resize buttons of text boxes and stretch the text to the exact spacing I want. For details on how to use these features, check out videos on Youtube. There are many great tips. Picmonkey is such a great FREE site, but if you see “royal” features you like, I personally feel it’s worth the price. With Canva’s pro license, we can use photos and clip art on our websites which is a great bonus. I also love that you can purchase Canva templates too. I have created these two template sets.
Image Placement and Dimensions
Many beginning bloggers 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. With Word Press, use advanced columns to form two columns. You can then place your image to the right or left. Make sure you set it to full width to fill the space.
Image Requirements to Remember
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 them all.
After you insert the image, you will need to take care of a few more steps. It’s very important that you always take care of the image properties. Search engines can’t read images, so you need to address the properties. For Blogger, you’ll click the gear icon and add the Alt Text and Title. In Word Press, you need an image plug in like Grow or Tasty Pins.
I touched on this in previous paragraph, but another CRITICAL issue is image size. Images should be sized at their ORIGINAL setting in your post. ALWAYS size your image BEFORE you add it to your post. WHY? You need to size your images to prevent your site from running at a very low speed. If your images are oversized, they will slow your site down. Resizing in the post does not change the image file size. It just makes it extra work for Blogger/Word Press to resize it for you therefore slowing down the site.
Tagging in Your Post
In addition to images, it’s also important to remember to add the meta data information. With Blogger, this is the search description. In Word Press, it’s called the meta description. Write a few sentences (under 150 words) to summarize your post. Be sure your key words are used.
Speaking of key words, be sure to work those key words into your headings too. Headings break up your post text and organize the content for your reader. They draw attention to key parts of your post. Headings and subheadings are also combed with search engines, so keep SEO in mind!
Key words are also important with categorizing your post. Be sure to use labels that fit your post to help readers find your post on your site AND so that search engines read it. The image below is from Blogger.
Sizing Blog Post Images 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 or use Canva for your images. You need square, portrait (for Pinterest), and landscape (for Facebook).
My final tip for beginners is to use what’s available on Youtube to help you. I am a visual learner. 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.
Need help with blog post images or website issues?
With Zoom, I am able to help bloggers with their websites now. For years, I’ve helped friends with different aspects of their sites. Last year, I began creating sites for others through my design business, Blog Designs for You. I design sites for Blogger and Word Press. If you are needing site maintenance or want help learning how to fix things yourself, you can hire me as a consultant. This service includes two hours of my time (time for me to analyze the issues and time for us to meet and walk through how to fix them). You can email me if you have questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great weekend!