When I first started blogging back in high-school, I had no idea how important images were to what I went online to say every day. I thought that the most important (and frankly, only important) part was my writing. Now, over five years later, I realize that couldn’t be further from the truth.
For a lot of us (at least for me) this is hard, because as much as I love photography I’m the first to admit that I’m not that great at it; and I’m even worse when it comes to Photoshop. And that’s exactly why I love PicMonkey, a basic (and free!) photo-editing website that I use to put all my blog photos together. Everyone edits their photos differently, but it helps to have a few go-to actions when you’re putting a photo or graphic together for a post. These are the three things I do to the primary photos for all of my blog posts.
For the most part, people react better to larger photos, and it’s better for the overall look of your blog if all of those photos are the same width. For a long time, I just threw photos onto a post and left it at that. Over the summer though, I worked with Kenzie who provided me with a ton of super helpful blogging tips and tricks. One of her first suggestions? Figure out my post width and size my photos accordingly.
Having a photo that takes up the entirety of the space in front of a person makes it harder to miss and gives it a bigger impact, not to mention how much more streamlined and together your blog looks when all photos are the same width. Personally, I keep the width of each photo I post at 825, which is also the width of my post size. So when I go to write a new post, the first thing I do to the photo is resize it.
One of the most important parts of a blog photo is to have at least one that can be used on Pinterest. And how do you do that? Make sure your photo has some kind of description on it – whether it’s a title or something else – to let potential readers know what they’ll be getting if they click over.
Plus, starting a new post out with a graphic that has some kind of description on it lets readers know what they’re about to read about. It’s sort of like the introduction paragraph your professors were always going on about with your college research papers. The more a reader knows about what you’re about to start telling them, the more receptive they’ll be to that information.
I just told you how important it is to have some sort of text on your photo to let readers know what they’re getting into with your post, but all of that can be for nothing if they can’t read the text on your photo. Especially with blog buttons, one of my biggest pet peeves is a title I can’t read because the color of the text fades into the photo’s colors, or just gets washed out by the background.
In my opinion, the best way to avoid this is to provide a base for your text with an overlay. I put a rectangular overlay on each of my photos, edit the transparency so that readers can still see the photo below, and use black or white text over that to make it easier to read.
Looking for more tips on PicMonkey? Check out Helene’s post on the topic!