A guest post by James Adams, editor and contributor to the CreativeCloud blog.
|An image – worth thousand words!|
We are living in a world that rewards instant gratification; people do not want to take the time to read a book, if the movie is available. In other words, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” It should not be difficult to see why illustrations are important when keeping readers interested in your blog posts. Pictures can help readers to follow your writing more easily, breaking up the text so that it doesn’t look like one long, tedious piece of work.
Here are some tips on how to choose the best images for your blog posts:
(#2.) Copyrights – always remember that not all images are available for your use. There are copyrights for images that are on the internet as well as copyrights for images that are in print. If you want to avoid any problems that you might encounter with copyrighted materials, use your own images. Go looking for images that give relevance to your post and take the pictures yourself. If that doesn’t seem like a viable option for you, there are public image sites that you can locate off of any search engine. Most search engines will provide you with an image option; type in the object or term that you are looking for and browse through the hundreds of images that are available to use without objection. If you find an image on another blog or site that you would like to use, remember to be courteous. It is polite to send a short email or contact the owner of the site asking for permission to use the image.
(#3.) Editing – it is important to do minor (and sometimes major) editing on your images before just sticking them up on your blog. It is more than aggravating to have to wait an eternity for a page to load because the file is too large. In fact, in this “instant gratification” world, no one waits for a page to load for very long without just moving along. If you have a file to add that is of larger size, put a thumbnail up on the page. If users want to wait to view the full photo, they have that option. If not, it doesn’t create problems when loading. When finalising photos or images for your blog post, keep clarity in mind. A clean and crisp image gets the point across a lot better than an unclear one. Photoshop is a great tool to use before putting pictures up on your blog; you can add or subtract from an image as needed, and sometimes it is needed.
(#4.) Avoid – there are some things that you should try and avoid when choosing images for your blog post. For instance, animations are great and can potentially add just the right ingredient to your post, but it is important to think about internet connections. Some people don’t have the fastest connections, and you don’t want to alienate parts of your audience. It is also a good idea to stay away from background images; they can slow the process of loading your page down to snail pace. Account for those readers who may want to print your post without the background attached.
(#5.) Include – there are images that are better to use than others and should be highly considered. You want to make sure that you are using unique illustrations. If people have seen the image a thousand times, it loses its weight. People associate certain objects with a product or service and you want your readers to associate illustrations with your work. Include pictures that capture the essence of what you are trying to relay to your readers, it doesn’t have to be completely literal. Capitalise on reader satisfaction by using photos that mean something to them; use pictures of people, kids, animals. Everyone likes to laugh, so adding a humorous image is a tool that will keep readers returning to your page. This is your chance to shine, to set yourself apart from similar blogs or from those that are selling the same product or service. Images can very easily turn into a mascot for a particular product, site or service. Mascots can be very beneficial to a business and finding a good one starts with searching through images that are relevant to your end goals.