One of the keys to a successful blog is great content. One aspect of great content is high quality images to accompany written content.
Social media can be a tremendous source of traffic but often the only thing a reader will see from your content on social media is the image. The old saying that “You you never get a second chance to make a good first impression” is pretty true here. If your photos don’t capture interest, a reader may never click on your blog.
Especially with the growing popularity of Pinterest and the ability to share images so easily on Facebook, quality images are a must!
Basic Tips for Good Photos:
- IMPORTANT: No matter how tempting it may be, do NOT use pictures that you do not own the rights to. Do not go to Google images and find a picture you like and use it. If you didn’t take the picture yourself or buy the rights to use it on a reputable image site, don’t use it. Don’t think it is a big deal? Read how this blogger had to pay $8K in fines for using one copyright image.
- Lighting is key! No matter how good the camera, it is hard to make images taken at night under fluorescent light look great. On the flip side, the right lighting can make a picture taken with even an iPhone camera look great. (From Katie: Two years of blog photos on WellnessMama.com were taken with an iPhone camera). This site has some good basic photography tutorials.
- When possible, use natural lighting and take pictures outside but out of direct sunlight.
- If you blog about food or recipes, this post has some good beginner tips for food photography.
- If you take pictures of plates of food or other small objects, don’t take them all from the same place and the same angle.
- To mix up the look of photos, even if they are all taken on your kitchen table, go somewhere like Hobby Lobby or Michaels and get scrapbook page backgrounds and scraps of fabric. Scrapbook pages cost around $0.50 a piece (half of that on sale) and are the perfect size for backgrounds for small item photography. These two photos both use a $0.25 scrapbook page as a background:
- Set up a small scale home photography studio in your home so you aren’t dependent on natural lighting to take pictures.
- Upgrade to a higher quality camera. For me, this paid for itself within a month with the extra social media traffic. I have a Nikon D3200 (affiliate link)
- Consider getting a portable light box with backdrops so that you can shoot at any time.
- Watermark your photo so it will be more difficult for people to use it without permission. Here is a good tutorial for Picmonkey, and here is a good tutorial for Photoshop.
- This post has some good advanced photo tips for bloggers.