Blogging

How to Create Eye Catching Images for Your Blog Post

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We live in a very visual world. More so now than ever. Which means, if you’re a blogger and you want to get people’s attention, your images have to be stellar. That’s why today I’m talking about how to create great images for your blog.

How to Create Great Images for Your Blog Post @ AVirtuousWoman.org

I can’t say I nail every single image on my blog every single time, but I’ve definitely gotten better over the last few years! So today I’m going to share with you some of my tricks to creating images that grab readers attention on my blog, Facebook and Pinterest.

The truth is, you may have amazing content, but if you don’t have amazing images, you will not garner the attention of more than a few people. A few years ago, when I first joined Pinterest, I had nice images on my blog, I usually chose pretty landscape pictures with a horizontal layout rather than a vertical layout.

One day, on a whim, I decided to update a photo on an old blog post that I’d written 4 years before on my other blog. I changed the image from a horizontal photo to a vertical photo. That same day I pinned the image to Pinterest. That post has now been pinned over 165,000 times!

Literally overnight my blog traffic took off and doubled from around 27,000 views a month to over 60,000 views a month and since then it has steadily increased. I changed the way I did images on my blog and it’s one of the best changes I’ve ever made.

Obviously, images play a huge part in online traffic. For many bloggers, especially those serving women’s niches, Pinterest is the #1 way to drive traffic to your blog. For the recommended image size for all social media, you can check out this cheat sheet.

How to Create Great Images for Your Blog Post @ AVirtuousWoman.org

Choosing Images

Not only is the size and shape your images important, but just as important or even more is the overall style and feeling of your images. Creating great images for your blog isn’t hard. You just need to be aware of a few things.

Things to think about when choosing your images:

  • current trends in design
  • your blog style/ brand
  • the emotions you want your readers to feel
  • the image colors and how they blend with your blog style
  • how you can edit the photo to meet your needs
  • does the images tell the story without words

I pay a lot of attention to marketing from brands that I think are doing a great job getting their message across. I also pay a lot of attention to the images I see in magazine, on billboards, on book covers, and online. If an image grabs my attention I study the layout of the image, the fonts used, the color combinations, the props, etc. I file all of that information away in my mind to help guide me in my own image design.

Finding Photos and Images

I pay for most of my photos. I just want to say that upfront. If I don’t personally take the photos, then I have probably paid for the rights to use the photo.

IMPORTANT: Never do a Google image search and pick out pretty photos you like to use on your blog. If you don’t have permission to use the photo, you can get in a lot of trouble and even lose your blog for using copyrighted photos!

I currently have a subscription to Adobe Stock Photos. I have also used Big Stock Photos in the past as well as Dollar Photo Club {no longer a thing}. The last few days I’ve been considering images on Stocksy. You can also use the free and paid images on Canva.com

Always read the terms of agreement and licensing to be sure that the photos you are using are licensed to be used in the way you are using them – and whether attribution is required.

Free Image Sources:

Editing Images

There are several great free options for editing your photos. My favorites are:

PickMonkey and Canva both have free versions. I pay for the annual membership to PicMonkey so I can use the premium features. It’s about $35.00 a year which is not that much! However, you can totally make some awesome images with PicMonkey using the free version. Upgrade when you can financially afford it! I also pay for some premium features on Canva.com, but they have a ton of features available for free! The good news is, if you don’t need a lot of premium features on Canva.com, premium images and designs are only $1.00 and you can pay for one at a time.

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win

Paint.net is also a great {little more complicated} program that you can download to your computer. It’s basically a free alternative to Photoshop! I’d say the learning curve for this program is a great deal higher than for using PicMonkey.com or Canva.com.

Think Design

When you are editing your photos or images, think about the overall design. I often take a horizontal photo and crop it to make a vertical photo. This way, I can use the same photo for both my Pinterest images, Facebook images, Instagram images, etc.

Sometimes I crop a photo because I want a certain look or to feature a particular design element. For instance, this Pinterest image:

Images for Pinterest and Facebook1

I am currently in the process of updating images on my older posts. This can be a tedious process, but I have recently been working with a designer on my branding and design – something I have never really thought about before.

Branding is important! I’ll talk more about what that means in a future post, but in a nutshell when it comes to images, you want readers to recognize your brand easily when they see your images on social media.

Some things to consider:

  • Pick 2 – 3 fonts to use on your blog and in your images and stick to only those fonts.
  • Avoid fonts that will quickly go out of style or that are currently being over used.
  • Choose images with a similar “feel.” On PicMonkey you can use filters to help with this.
  • Stick to the same layout and design for your images.
  • Always mark your images with your logo or web address, i.e. SHORTONTIMEANDMONEY.COM.

Add a keyword rich description to your images in your WordPress Media editor. You can do this as soon as you upload the image. See below:

How to Create Eye Catching Images for Your Blog Posts @ AVirtuousWoman.org

You also want to create a good title that’s easy to read on your images, You want readers to easily understand what they will be getting if they click over from a social media site to read your blog post. Be sure your titles and descriptions are not misleading or “click bait.”

How to Create Great Images for Your Blog Post @ AVirtuousWoman.org

Taking Your Own Photos

I’ve been working on improving my photography. I still have a lot to learn. In the past I’ve take photos with my point and shoot camera, and more recently with my iPhone 6.

A few years ago, I bought my first DSLR camera. It changed my whole world. I love that camera and I tell everyone, hands down it’s one of the best things I’ve ever spent money on.

You can take great pictures with smart phones these days and with a little practice you can take even better photos. If you want to kick your photos up to professional levels, you’ll need a DSLR camera.

I purchased the Canon Rebel T6i and I’m so glad I didn’t get an older model or a cheaper camera! From my photos to my videos, this camera makes everything look amazing!

When you’re planning your blog posts, think about what kind of imagery you need. Sometimes I can’t find a stock photo that suits my needs and I need to “set up” a photo shoot of the required elements. Sometimes I don’t want to use stock photography and need to take my own. For instance, when I create a recipe post I need photos of the finished product and/ or of the recipe process.

All of these things take practice to perfect. Creating images and taking photos are all skills you can learn with a little bit of diligence. Just don’t give up! Always be learning and improving and you’ll see your blog blossom into something really beautiful!

[callout]Do you have any tips or tricks for creating great images for your blog?[/callout]

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