Use Photos to Enhance the Visual Appeal and Shares of Your Posts

Photos help improve blog postsBlogging Basics for Aspiring Authors: Lesson 10

You can improve your blogged book quite easily by adding some sort of graphic to each and every post you write and publish. It’s not that difficult to do this, and it not only enhances the look of your posts, it also improves the visual appeal of your blog. Not only that, it allows your posts to be shared on additional social networks, like Pinterest.

Adding photos is quite easy to do, especially in WordPress. You simply click on “add media” and upload a photo. Once you’ve done this you can add some SEO by describing the post with a title, alternate text and even a caption that includes keywords or keyword phrases that relate to your blog post topic. You can read more about this in this post.

Finding a photo can, however, be quite time consuming. It can also be quite expensive if you end up purchasing all your photos from sites like Istockphoto.com, one of the most popular sites. (I also like Dreamstime.com, which has a paid and a free option.) You cannot just go to Google and copy and paste photos into your posts without attribution. You must find art that has a creative commons license, and you must also include the required attribution on your site, such as “© by _____” or “Photo courtesy of ____.” Often you also need to include a hyperlink to the site where you found the graphic as well as the actual name of the photographer or artist.

Today it’s even more important to include photos on your blog so your fans and followers can “pin” them to Pinterest, one of the fastest growing social networks. Also, Pinterest users purchase more items that they see on the social network than the users of other sites. So you want your blogged book promoted on Pinterest; you want your readers to pin the photos from your posts there. And for that you need photos. (You can also pin your own photos there and watch them get shared—repinned—by your followers.)

I included a list of sites that offer free photos in the blog post mentioned above, but it’s worth offering again. This time I’ve put an asterisk next to the ones I use most. Here you go:

  1. www.microsoftclipart.com*
  2. www.flickr.com/creativecommons
  3. www.freedigitalphotos.net*
  4. www.morguefile.com*
  5. www.dreamstime.com*
  6. www.commons.wikimedia.org
  7. www.stockfreeimages.com
  8. www.unprofound.com
  9. www.freemediagoo.com
  10. www.stockvault.net

These photos will likely not be used in your finished book. If you go directly from blog to book using some sort of automated program, be sure you have purchased and paid for the rights to use the photos or art on your blog in a book. There is usually a fee for this type of use.

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  1. […] Bloggers need not risk infringement. Hundreds of sites offer free public domain images or low-cost stock images. Nina Amir lists some great sources on her post Use Photos to Enhance the Visual Appeal and Shares of Your Posts. […]

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