Okay, so you’ve written an amazing blog. It’s ground-breaking. It’s revolutionary. You cannot wait to get your content out there into the public domain for actual people to benefit from, but before you press ‘publish’, have you got an image there that helps to break up that award-winning text?
For the majority of readers, a huge chunk of text can be off-putting to read. Headings and pull-quotes work well to break it up a little, but without a doubt – a strong image can make a blog appear much more welcoming and interesting.
You can find loads of great images on websites such as Shutterstock, but often you’ll be prompted with sign-up windows to access photos without washers/stamps/logos across, which becomes annoying very quickly. One website I found which has loads of free images that you don’t have to sign up for is pixabay.com. Simply type a key word into the search box and copy an image you like.
Avoid taking images straight from a Google Images search, the chances are that someone owns the rights to that image. Avoid the sign up hassle. Avoid a lawsuit. It’s simply easier to use a website like Pixabay.
What really takes a blog to the next level is using a photo that you’ve taken yourself. Now all those people that are sat there thinking “But Tom, I’m no photographer”, fear not – it’s really easy to produce high-quality images on your smartphone. Here’s how:
- Turn on gridlines
This divides your screen into 9 separate compartments, which makes it surprisingly easy to get the focal point of your image in the middle. Use the rule of thirds: background in the top third, middle ground in the middle third and the foreground in the bottom third.
- Don’t try and get too much in
Some of the best images focus on only one thing. Decide what the point of the image is going to be, and make it the focal aspect.
- Find symmetry
Making your images symmetrical makes them more visually pleasing and less imposing. Try and find angles from which an image is symmetrical.
- Interesting perspectives
Try taking photos from different perspectives. Although it won’t work for every image, nor is it possible for every setting, you’ll find that you can capture some amazing shots from directly above, below and from other interesting perspectives.
- Edit your photos
Once you’ve taken a great shot, try editing it to make it more visually pleasing. Again, this doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, some great (and free) photo-editing apps have made it easy for amateur photographers to turn their average camera-roll shots into stunning art. We personally love VSCO Cam and InstaCollage. Although rarely acknowledged for its editing abilities, Instagram has some great filters and effects that you can use, and you don’t even have to publish it if you don’t want to. Simply edit your photo, screenshot it and crop it in camera-roll.
Next time you’re walking your dog, out for food or in a trendy bookshop, get your phone out and start taking photos. You’ll never know when they will make the perfect accompaniment for a blog post.
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