Images beautify your blog, just like they beautify your living room.
Having a blog without images makes your blog look dull and unattractive. People are more likely to read a blog with images than one without them.
Hey folks, please welcome Raspal Seni for today’s contribution to the Photography for Your Blog series.
Also please note that a few links below may be affiliate links. All that means is that at no cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link.
In this post, we’ll take a look at fifteen image mistakes bloggers make and how you can avoid them.
1. Using No Images at All
Images are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text. Having images in your posts makes them look rich and attractive. Even Twitter (and Buffer) recently proved that by using images you increase the chances of your tweets being retweeted and favorited.
So, how many images should you use in a blog post?
You should have a minimum of 1 to 2 images in each post, but you may have many more if the article supports it. At the very least, there should be one image that relates to the post’s content and is something people would want to Pin to their Pinterest boards.
2. Using Too Many Images
Not having any images is no good, but having too many images can be a mistake as well. An exception would be visual and design blogs which will always use more images than other topics.
Keep in mind that images increase page load time, so make sure that every one you use supports your article’s points in some way.
3. Not Using the Alt-Text Attribute
What’s Alt-Text? In plain English, it is that text which shows up in the web browser, when you can’t see an image. Using Alt-Text is important for three reasons:
- Visually impaired visitors or visitors with images turned off in their browser for some reason, can still read (or hear) the context of the image.
- Search engines can’t see images, but they can read text.
- This is the description that automatically appears when someone Pins your image to Pinterest.
Be as descriptive as you can, and make sure to use one or more of the keywords you have in the title of your post. Think about how you want the description to appear on Pinterest to entice people to click back to your post.
How to Add Alt-Text to Your Images?
Edit the image you want to add alt-text to, by hovering your mouse over it and clicking edit. In the image editing window, you can add a title and Alt-Text. Simple.
Edit the image you want to add alt-text to, by selecting or clicking on it. When you select it, a menu appears below the image. Click on Properties and you can add an image title and the Alt-Text.
4. Not Properly Aligning Images with Text
If you have a small-sized image in your post which is centered, the screen space is wasted and your visitors will need to scroll a little more to read the text. Both of these problems can be avoided if you wrap text with the images.
If you just insert images into your posts and leave them where they are, you should consider aligning them left or right. Do this only if they are smaller than the post width, in which case you can center them.
5. Not Using Featured Images
In WordPress blogs, Featured Images are image thumbnails which show up next to the post excerpts. A visitor to your blog is more likely to click on a blog post if the list of excerpts includes images, because the images draw the eye in before they even read the text excerpt.
Choose an image that best represents your post’s content. This featured image option depends on the WordPress theme you use for your blog/website. Although WordPress natively supports featured images, your theme should have this option enabled.
6. Using Large File Size Images
Do you know, the size of images in your post affects the loading time of your blog? The smaller the image file size, the faster the page loads. At the same time, the larger the image file size, the slower the page loads.
Resize your images, lower their resolution or convert them to a different format to make them smaller in size. Images can be reduced in size by using a simple free tool like Kraken or you can use a plugin like WP-Smush-it to automatically reduce image size during upload.
Learn how to optimize your blog image performance: The Biggest Mistake You’re Probably Making with Your Blog Images + a Cheat Sheet.
7. Just Changing the Height and Width Attribute to Resize an Image
Some people upload a high resolution image then edit its height and width in WordPress. You should know that doing this doesn’t decrease the file’s size. Such images will display just fine, but they will increase your overall page load time.
You should resize your images before uploading them to decrease their file size as much as possible, without losing too much quality. This can be done in any image editing program like Photoshop,* Pixlr or PicMonkey.*
8. Enlarging Low Resolution Images
Each digital image is made up of pixels, known as the image resolution. The height and width of the image is directly proportional to this resolution.
If an image with a higher resolution is resized to a lower resolution, that’s fine. But if a low resolution image is resized to a higher one, the quality degrades.
If the image size you want isn’t available for a particular image, search for another image. Don’t stretch a low resolution image to a higher one.
9. Using Poor Quality Photographs
The best blogs are visual and have beautiful images to support their posts and attract readers’ eyes. It’s almost always best to use no image at all than to use a poor quality image with bad lighting like this one.
Emma Davies gives some wonderful advice here on how to take better blog photos if you wish to use your own photographs in your blog posts.
10. Linking to Images on Other Websites
Some people link to images on other websites instead of uploading them to their own posts. This is a bad idea because if the other website goes down, or they remove the image, your blog visitors won’t see those images on your site. That’s why it’s always better to host images yourself.
11. Using Copyrighted Images
Many people use images they search using Google, but if you use images from other websites, just think – didn’t you steal them from someone else’s website? You can be sued for stealing images even if you later remove such copied images.
Now go back to your blog and check your blog posts one by one. See where you obtained those images from. If you’re unsure about an image’s source, remove it. Use an image from the list of free Public Domain sites, the list of free Creative Commons sites or the 23 Sites for Free + Affordable Feminine Styled Stock Photography Marianne has compiled. Remember, delay is danger so don’t postpone this!
12. Not Attributing Images
When using free images with a Creative Commons license, it’s important to remember that they must be attributed to avoid copyright infringement.
Include a clickable link back to the page on the image’s source. For example, if you use a Flickr Creative Commons image, include a link in the caption to the photographer’s original image. You should also have the actual image link directly to its source.
13. Not Watermarking Images
If you use your own images on your blog posts, you might consider watermarking them to avoid having them stolen by other blogs. You can use any image editing program to do this or find a WordPress plugin which can watermark images automatically.
14. Spending Too Much Time Searching for the Perfect Image
Free image sites are wonderful because they are free, but sometimes you end up spending far too much time searching for that perfect image. I have been guilty of this myself.
15. Using Stock Images that are Too Popular
This isn’t really a mistake but if you use the same images many other blogs use, your blog posts won’t have a unique look. When people start to see the same image used over and over, it gets boring. If you really want to use one of these images, try using it in a different way:
- By cropping it
- As part of a collage
- With text over it
- With a filter or texture overlaid on top, etc.
Here are some good ways to select and edit some shockingly good photos to represent your articles.
Do you know or have experience of another image mistake related to blogging I may have missed above? Let me know in the comments below.
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