Let’s face it for the most part we are a visual society, just look at how we are linked with our many many devices. The Internet of things (IoT) is the wave of the future. By 2020, 25 billion devices will be connected to the internet.
What does this mean for us as business owners? It means things are changing again for us. Just as the Industrial age changed our lives then, the Information age has already markedly changed the way we live, socialize & do business and will continue to do so, long into the future.
Setting the Mood
As more and more content is created and added to the internet, we must look for ways to continually stand out from the competition. Images are one of the best visual tools available. Each setting a mood that enhances the whole reading experience. Finding images is relatively easy now days, with the plethora of websites that cater to this.
Writing exceptional content
Using outstanding images
4 reasons to use images in your blogs
- Contrast of words & images – the visual contrast of images and words or the combination creates powerful mnemonic triggers
- Multiple blog images can break up content
- Great images with high resolution that marry with the content, adding flavor, humor and setting the ultimate mood of the blog
- Using images has the added benefit of being a tool for SEO friendly content (advanced technique)
Even though, there are a large number of websites that offer images. Looking for and finding outstanding images can be cumbersome and time consuming. I know you hate to hear that. Even still, it is worth the effort. When everything goes together just right, the end results is one exceptional blog that combines great content with outstanding images.
[blockquote cite=”Blog tip by Gina” type=”left, center, right”]When I am looking for a specific image, I download any image that I find interesting. Whether it’s a image I’m currently looking for or not, this allows me to build a portfolio of images.[/blockquote]
Building a portfolio of images
It is in your best interest to build a portfolio of images. As I mentioned above when you are searching for images, save anything and everything you like. Don’t forget to save the image credit.
When using your own images, make sure they are high resolution. The largest percentage of smartphones these days are capable of producing great images. Aim for images around 100kb, with dimension approx 600 x 600 px. These are good rules of thumb. Keeping to these specs also saves space on the website. All those images take up space and can make a website load slower.
Creating your own image ideas – find basic images to capture.
- Road signs – stop sign, curve ahead sign, etc
- Animals – dogs, cats, gerbils, etc
- Food – coffee, pastries, etc
- Vehicles – cars, golf cart, etc
- Numbers – find numbers in the real world
- Patterns – find unique and visually appeal patterns in the real world
- Household items – broom, step stool, etc
- Business items – paperwork, folders, etc
- People – at play, at work, etc
- Lifestyle images – fun day at the park, hanging out on the deck, etc
- Sports – events, people, etc
- Nostalgia – items, posters, etc
Take a lot of pictures, than take a lot more. Blow them up. Zoom into one little area. Get Creative!
Plethora of free images
Still haven’t found that right picture or you lack the time to search? Here’s some of my favorite places to online to find images.
IM FREE – A curated collection of free web design resources, all for commercial use.
New Old Stock – Recapturing History. Vintage Photos from the public archives. Free of known copyright restriction.
Photo Pin – Search millions of Creative Commons photos and add them to your blog posts easily. http://photopin.com/ Once you enter to search your keywords, the first few results are sponsored and do cost, be sure to scroll down to the images without the sponsor banners. This site has become my go to website for finding images.
Tip: be sure to scroll all the way down and click on ‘Load more results’.
Pixabay – Free high quality images that you can use anywhere. I’ve recently started using this website to find slightly more professional looking shots.
Canva – Making design simple. Create designs for the web or print. — Creating interesting images have come a long way. Canva helped me to create my Brand color scheme. I use it to create images for the many blogs I write.
Fotojet – Make photo collages for free – over 460 templates. Fotojet is relatively new to me, but is showing outstanding potential. Having a source of beautiful templates can be a time saver. I look forward to getting more familiar with and using this website.
Inexpensive Paid Images Website
There are many website out there where you can pay for the images. And on occasion I have purchased some. These are those websites I recommend.
Sherri Henley Intelligence, Digital Diary of Quotes and Photos: Downloadable and Royalty Free – Tips on creating your own digital diary using mobile apps, includes instructions.
Canva – Yes, this is a free resource, that has some pay for items. Images run $1 a project, which I find very reasonable.
If you use someone else’s images, include image credits for them. I typically link to their author page on the website.
Lastly, I want to leave you with one bonus item. Occasionally I run across, excellent sources for free images. LightStock is a pay for website that gives away a free image and vector each week. If you would like to know about the other bonus websites that give away free professional quality images and a long list of other image resources, visit CustomGrowthGroup and request your Bonus Image list.
Pinterest Boards – creating these boards are an advanced technique.
‘Setting the Mood’ Collage was created in Fotojet: photo credit: Ariele Calendar via photopin (license); and Dark Hooded Figure via pixabay
‘Blog Images… Lackadaisical Society’ Graphic was created in Canva: photo credit: DSC_0170 via photopin (license)
To learn advanced techniques or have it handled for you contact the team at iShare Agency, ask for Gina Davis of Custom Growth Group.
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- Blog Images – Going Visual for a Lackadaisical Society - September 21, 2015
- Guest Blogging 101 - July 20, 2015
- Interview with Sherri Henley – A Metamorphosis In A Digital World - February 9, 2015