When it comes to dressing up a blog visually, great photos go a long toward class and style–if they are well-chosen and well placed to support your message. Photos can draw in an undecided reader and can communicate a message faster and more deeply than words. In that way they can be underscore what you are trying to say, making it more powerful and give it more emotion.
The advantages of using photos with readers have been researched by educators.
- Photos involve the reader more interactively. Therefore your message gets “heard” more deeply.
- Visual learners are drawn in by photos. They find the information in instructional photos more easily accessible. They pick up the information there first and process it, then the words on the page make more sense to them.
- Decorative photos make an article more appealing and inviting. Blocks of text don’t seem intimidating to readers when illustrated by photos.
Well-placed photos also can take an unremarkable template and “kick it up a notch,” giving it the feel of a more sophisticated design. If you have no experience, do give it a try, but read up on design basics before you begin. Add photos slowly and be careful not to have them overwhelm the text in size. Then ask a customer-reader or designer friend to give you feedback on your choices until you feel confident.
Experienced or not, you’re going to need to get some photos–not everyone is a photographer with a great library to pull from. Here are some resources on basic design, places to find free and inexpensive stock photos, and photoshop tutorials.
The first is
Photoshop Tutorials Blog, and not just the blog, but the page with the listing that shows where you might find some smashing images to spice up your blog posts. To access the listing, click this logo
You’ll find a few more if you visit Presentation Zen and get Garr’s tips on using stock photos.
If you’re up for taking your own photos, you might check out this series from Kodak on The Top 10 Tips for Taking Pictures.
Photos are an integral part of any design and add to the “curb appeal” of a any blog or online business. How might you use photos to strengthen your brand, your blog, your business?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Turning Reluctant Readers into Loyal Fans
Blog Promotion: Checking Out Curb Appeal
I’m not sure Liz. It really depends on the blog/publication whether photos should be included in posts. It has to be VERY relevant. I see it alot in business newspapers where there is a photo include for some flimsy link to the story when it really is just taking up space. Australia’s satirical demigods make fun of our business journal of record’s poor photo selection each week. Though I break this rule of reasoning because I must say the best use of photos on a blog is by Ben Barren an Aussie who posts about tech + web 2.0 but always has a picture of some fine (mostly celebs) young female talent at the top of the post. Sometimes there’s a very slight thread of plot between the tech issue and the celebrity photo but mostly there is zero relevance. It just seems to work with his writing style and the fact that I’m an under thirty celebrity obsessed man.
ME Strauss says
You have a point Anthony. I was really thinking contextually of blogs–not of business newspapers. I stand corrected.
Poor photo selection is worse that no photo selection I agree with you on that. I guess I didn’t say that strongly enough.
With regard to what you say about Ben Barren. Photo posts do tend to show that they draw more readers to posts that non-photo posts. I bet that’s why Ben does it.
I really like the header graphic of Presentation Zen. But I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what that wooden thing is in the image. 🙂
Thanks for sharing that blog… it’s a good resource.
ME Strauss says
I really like the graphic too, and I remember wondering that when I first saw it. I’ll email Garr and ask him.
Thanks for tell me you appreciate the resource. Good words like that only make me want to go out and find more for you.
ME Strauss says
Hi again, Hock.
I just sent an emai off to Garr Reynolds at Presentation Zen to ask about the graphic at the top of is blog. I don’t suppose he’ll be reading his email for a while yet. So keep looking at this space for an answer. When I have one, you will too.
To me it looks like a very long, 18th century baby rattle, but I’m betting it has something to do with design. (Big Cheshire cat grin) 🙂
ME Strauss says
Yeah, I know what you mean. Bloggers who aren’t designers, don’t usually have the cash to pay for too many photos. I’ve found some real winners at Stock exchange and at Morquefile as well. It’s great when you shoot a quick email to the photographer. They are always so appreciative to know that you’re using their photos.
Jordan McClements says
Not sure if this is the right place to post this but :-
I have a load of images in different resolutions, mostly taken in Ireland at http://www.ni-photos.jmcwd.com
Bloggers can link directly to any of them in their blog free of charge. (Although, I appreciate a link back to my web site, this is not a must)…
See http://www.ni-photos.jmcwd.com/help.html for info on linking to these images.