Ashley from It’s Fitting is one of my favorites. She combines big city sensibilities with small town ideals as she raises her two kiddos and some chickens in Northern California. She blogs about motherhood and family in a funny and honest way and shares some delicious recipes and helpful tips. And she takes great photos of her life along the way. Really, check out her blog to see.
So Natalie talked to you a little bit yesterday about how to take better pictures for your blog, even if you’re not a fabulous professional photographer like she is. I personally am an in-between photographer, I take some great pictures, but most of the time I simply don’t have the time to set up the shot I want, take the picture I need, and get it edited and into my blog post in a timely fashion. If I had to do a photoshoot every time I wanted to write a blog post about something other than my kids or my chickens (who I take pictures of all the time), there would never be anything on the blog.
Good eye-catching pictures are incredibly important when thinking about selling your blog and what it says to your readers. A blog post with no pictures is NOT going to compel someone at one glance to stop and read… (of course unless you’re like Pioneer Woman and you have a gazillion followers anyway who salivate over your every move. ) A picture reaches out and grabs you and says READ ME, I’M INTERESTING.
But what do you do if you don’t take great pictures? Or what if you take reasonably good pictures but just don’t have the time to do anything to them?
Get an easy online editor to make your so-so pictures better
Make some quick tweaks, watermark that bad boy for branding and get it ready for Pinterest. (Because let’s be honest, Pinterest is where all the traffic comes from these days. Am I right?)
I use Picmonkey for fast tweaks and text additions, like titles. It’s free, incredibly easy to use and pretty darn adorable. You can upgrade to get more fonts and graphics but so far I’ve been happy with the basic, free version. Another option is Pixlr, which is going to be one of the closest free editors to Photoshop. If you’re comfortable working in layers, it’s an awesome free option.
But what if taking your own pictures just really isn’t an option?
Then look no further than the Creative Commons.
Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that pools together media that you can legally and freely use on your blog. It’s pretty much the BOMB. The best way to look for Creative Commons media is in Flikr. (I usually just go to Flikr and search “Creative Commons” and it pops right up or you can just bookmark the link I’ve provided… because I’m awesome like that.)
It gives you a gazillion photos you can use and different options with regards to how you can use it. Some people will let you do anything to it, change it, etc and some people won’t. So you have the option to select the photo that you want, with the type of copyright that you need. Read through the explanations, which they have put in layman’s terms, and search for a photo to your heart’s content. Just make sure that you follow the rules and give credit where it’s due.
The last option if you really don’t want to deal with the Creative Commons, and you just want to grab an awesome photo, put some text on it and make it yours?
There are a number of websites out there, like iStockPhoto, where you purchase a relatively inexpensive subscription or credits and use them to buy royalty free photos. I personally do this when I need quick pictures only because I don’t like to wade through the Creative Commons and the individual copyright information. I have two small kids and I’m barely getting anything written as it is!
At the end of the day it’s really easy to make eye catching and beautiful images for your blog. Draw your readers in with an awesome Pin-worthy graphic, then wow them with your stellar writing.
You’ll make fans of them in NO time.
I can’t wait to see you put Ashley’s advice to good use on your own site. Feel free to share a link in the comments when you do! There’s lots of positive info here. But before you run off to register on PicMonkey and search the Creative Commons, check out It’s Fitting. Ashley isn’t afraid to be totally honest and always makes me laugh while she does it. Check out her post on the Horrors Post Pregnancy. And I reread her Hard Boiled Egg How-to every time I boil eggs. Every time.