Searching for blog photos takes time – as does resizing and cropping images, and managing an image library. For many, that’s enough to seriously consider throwing in the towel and going to a words-only blog. Wait! Here are some tips for saving both time and energy when adding photos to your blog.
Devote a chunk of time specifically for photo searching. You acchihealth.com know what you write about and therefore the types of photos you might want. Spend some time searching. Some stock photo sites, like Morguefile or Stock.xchng, are free. Others, like Canstockphoto, iStock photos, or Photos.com require payment, and tend to offer really good quality images. Many sites let you save images you like in a virtual light box (a leftover word from the days when you looked at film or slides on a table or box lit from underneath), so you can remember an interesting image and go back to it later without having to search for it again. If you’re on a site without this feature, then just download what you like and start a folder of images on your hard drive. Remember to respect copyright and other terms of the site you’re on.
Start your search with a list of topics or keywords found in your writing. Keep an open mind when you search and go with what strikes you. Photos should tell a story and illustrate your point or concept. Before you start searching, think about what you’re writing about. What is the most important point? What feeling or emotion do you want to evoke? Brainstorm a list of words and use them as keywords for your photo search. It will help you keep focused.
Get organized right from the start. Create folders in your photo library based on subject matter, so all the people photos can go in one folder, all the road photos in another, and so on. You can add a prefix to the file name to remind you where you got the photo, in case you need to look it up again. Remember to keep track of the photo credit information. One way to do this is to start a text file or Word document with file names and credit information. Then when you do a blog post, your photos and photo credits are there on your computer, easy to reach and ready to upload to your blog’s media library.
Develop your online media library. Upload a bunch of potentially useful photos to the media library of your blog and fill in the appropriate photo attribution info for each one, if required, in the caption field. Then you can do a post from wherever you are. Your photo library is online!
Re-size and crop before you download. Many photos from online sites are way bigger than you need for your blog article. If you have a choice, download the smallest size available. If not, you can re-size before you download with a free Firefox Add On called PicNik. In your tools menu in Firefox, click Add On, then search for and install PicNik. When you have an image on your screen that you want to edit, click the Tools menu of Firefox, then click on Send Page to Picnik. It will take a few seconds, but your image will soon appear in a new window, with easy-to-use photo editing options. Do what you need to do, then click Save and Share and Save to Computer to save the new image.
Always use an image in your own WordPress image library, rather than linking to an image on another site. The reason is that if the image on the other site ever gets removed, you get a missing link. On your own image library, you always have control.
In conclusion, it’s good to remember that with everything new, there is a learning curve. Nothing is instant, even (or especially!) on the computer. The practices described above do work. Use them when adding photos to your blog to save both time and energy.