You may think that words are enough within a post. This might have been the case years ago but now everyone is primed to gain their information in the fastest, easiest and most entertaining way as possible. To keep your reader interested think about including diagrams or screen shots to back up your content. Or just a personal photo to make their day.
Using Images on your blog
Occasionally an image is the main dish within a post. But in general image are there to support your article. And perhaps break up a very long narrative. Or a set of photos over time may well show a personal journey or story. The Barefoot sub uses photos very effectively in this way. In fact even though she is an excellent writer, because I am a very visual person, when I think of her blog I see her images in my head. Now that is a powerful tool, one that should not be ignored.
But what are the main things that we need to remember when including images in our posts?
One ~ Copyright, giving credit
Make sure you clearly state in your post where you obtained the image. Preferable leaving a link of the photographer and the site you downloaded it from. There are some fabulous free photos for you to use on quite a few sites these days such as:
When illustrating a story (fiction) I always prefer to use images from people I know such as Purplegem. And often I use my own. In such cases I include a link back to the site and usually have a watermark on the image too. I do this on my own images via a plugin called Image Watermark. But also occasionally I will write it on via Paint when I am optimising my photo. (See point thee below for more information on this very old editing tool.)
Two ~ SEO alt tag
When you select or edit the image within your post area make sure you utilize the alt tag (alternative text box).
In this box you will basically describe the image – young woman holding a camera.
Google Blogger also supply you with an alt tag box to fill in.
And as mentioned in my SEO Post, remember to include your post’s focus keyword in some of your alt tag descriptions.
Here are three reasons why it’s important to fill in this information.
- If for some reason your image does not show up on a screen the alt tag will be seen telling the reader what the image was depicting.
- People who are visually impaired and use screen readers will have the narrative on the alt tag read out to them. Obviously this is a fantastic help when they are piecing the whole article together.
- Google use the alt tag phrase when choosing what images to display when a search has been made. If you photo appears in a google image search and someone clicks on it then they will be taken through to your site. This could mean new readers for you!
Three ~ Optimize and Resize
It is important that your images don’t take up too much space. There will be an optimum file size and dimension for your images. Remember both the file size – measured in KB or MB, AND the dimensions – the width and length of the photo, matter when optimising.
How I Optimise
I always optimise my images before I load them up to WordPress.
- If I am using the image as a header for my post I start by editing it with Microsoft Photos, something that was on my laptop when I bought it. I change the aspect ratio to 3 by 2 in cropping. (The aspect ratio of an image is the ratio of its width to its height.)
- Then, what I do with all my images, I alter the dimensions in a very old fashioned way using Paint. This is a simple graphics editor provided by Microsoft and was included in their software. I also use this tool to add writing to my images, such as in the header shot for this post. Or to add colour to illustrations.
- Your theme will generally tell you what size it likes the headers – mine asks for the headers to be 1200 by 800. So I resize my header images to these dimensions in Paint before uploading them to the post.
- If the image is to be contained within the post(not the header) I am not really fussed about the aspect ratio. I simply make sure no side is longer than 1200. Once again in Paint.
- This also seems to optimize the file size. But if in any doubt use a plugin such as Smush particularly if space is limited with your hosts.
Resizing when uploading in WordPress
Another option is resizing within WordPress. You find this facility once you have uploaded an image ready to add to your post.
When you upload an image you see a version of the above. Click Edit Image. That will take you through to this…
Here you put in your new dimensions and press scale and save.
By optimizing your images WordPress is better able to sort the right sizes for thumbnail, medium and large choices. This will help greatly with the speed of your site, particularly on mobiles.
Apps to resize
Apparently there are some phone apps that allow your to change your image width and length before you load up to WordPress such as Image Size. But I expect you can find many more at the Apple or Google play stores.
If you know of any good apps or plugins to help with resizing please include them in the comments for others.