Last week, I wrote about graphics and blogging, today it’s all about photos and blogging. I feel like photos/images are very different from graphics. Graphics are something that you can create in a program like Canva, PicMonkey or Photoshop from scratch. Photos/images have to be taken with a camera and then if you want you can add graphics or text on top. There are a lot of things that you have to know when dealing with using photos in blogging. If you’re going to add photos to your blog there are a few main areas that you have to be aware of.
Where did the photos come from?
If you took the photo yourself, then you are completely in the clear and can do whatever you want with it because you took the photo. Since you have photos you took yourself on your site, I would put up something on your site about giving or not giving permission for others to use your photos. Some bloggers say that their photos can be used when credit to them is given.You must have permission to use other people's photos on your site. Crediting Pinterest doesn't count. Click To Tweet
Do you have permission?
I’ve already mentioned this, but it’s worth repeating: you must have permission to use the photo. Google search for an image or using Pinterest to find the perfect image and grabbing it from there is not enough. You can’t credit Pinterest for the photo either. Pinterest curates images from lots of different websites, if you don’t have permission from the owner of the photo, don’t use it. And you need to make sure that the person on the website you saw the photo on has permission to use the photo or they are the owner of the photo. Getting permission to use the photo can be difficult and complicated.
Stock Photos are a great place to start
Pick up your phone
Don’t forget we all have cameras on our phones these days and they can take some really great photos. So practice taking some photos and when you’re feeling more confident in your photo taking skills, use those photos on your site. Using your photos makes it much easier instead of using other people’s photos and having to deal with copyright infringement. Or you could just go the graphics route until you’re more confident with your photo taking skills. Even when you’re dealing with food photography, at the beginning, instead of taking a picture of every step, take a photo of the finished product and work your way up to sharing the photos of each step. Practice taking the photos from the beginning and then share when you’re getting the shots that you like.
- When uploading the photos to your site, be sure they are all the same width. It doesn’t look as professional if they are all different widths and sizes. Be sure to try to resize them before uploading the photos.
- If possible, use smaller file sizes by compressing the photos. If the files are too large, it makes your site load slower and not run as fast.
- When using photos in social media, be sure to use the appropriate size for the platform. Here’s an update-to-date guide from Sprout Social.
Optimizing Your Image for SEO
- Rename your file image from FILE00234.jpg to using-photos-in-blogging.jpeg. Hyphens are needed because bots read the name as one word, instead of reading the separate words. Hyphens help the bots to read the words separately.
- Alt attributes are really important for SEO and for Rich Pins on Pinterest. Not to get into too much detail, here’s what you need to know. When uploading your file to WordPress or Blogger, there is a section called Alt Text. The Alt Text section is what bots read about your photo since they can’t see the image themselves. This section is also what goes below your pin on Pinterest for a better description or when your image doesn’t show up on someone’s computer they see this text. So be sure to fill this out and be very descriptive.
- There is also a section called Title near the Alt Text. Do not put the same thing in both spots, that’s considered keyword stuffing and you can be penalized for that. Ever notice when you hover over an image and there is a box of text that pops up, that’s the title in use. If you choose to use this section, use it as a complement to the Alt Text.
Where do you go to find photos for your site? Do you use images or take photos yourself? I’d love to know!