It’s a pretty well known fact that having a good image with your blog post leads to more people reading the post, more comments, more shares and even means it’s more likely people will actually click on the link in the first place (especially if it’s on a site like Facebook or Twitter which will take an image automatically from the post when a link is shared).
The first part of the problem is finding a good image that you can legally use in the post. If you don’t have a good foundation then no matter what you do with it won’t be good. Maybe you pay for the images or use some great free stock photos or perhaps you’ll even use your own images. Just make sure they’re good.
Why Edit Images?
Although having an image that reinforces the message of your post will bring many benefits to your posts, editing your photos can bring some extra advantages
Create photo badges
Photo badges are incredibly useful. The encourage people to come to your blog if they see the image on another site, they can provide a preview of the post they are about to read and they separate then image they see on your site from other sites if they’ve seen it before.
Separate your images from others
By customising the look and feel of your images you ensure that even if people have seen the same image elsewhere, it still has a different look and feel from other sites which will help set the image apart and make people associate it with you.
Builds your brand
Your brand is everything you communicate with your site, maybe you have a more retro feel, or maybe you go for a more modern style. Whatever the feel, tone and voice you want to give off it shouldn’t just be applied to your writing style or your blog design but everything you do. Try to make your images match the tone you write with and reinforce your brand.
But how can you use and edit images to build your brand?
Apply a common color theme
once you’ve got your brands colors and voice then try using them in your images. Think about the font colors, the main colors in the images and even adding a filter to the image to focus on different colors in the pictures. This is also great if you want to make your photo look more retro or turn up the contrast levels if you want to appear more modern.
Add a logo
Adding your logo is another little reminder that this is part of what you are doing, encourages people to check out the person who created the image and also spreads your name around.
Use the same fonts as your site
This isn’t a hard and fast rule and you certainly don’t need to do it all the time (if you’re making a quote you may well want to use some different fonts) but generally you should try and use the same fonts you have on your site when editing your images.
But to edit your photos you’ll need the right tools. I’m sure you’ve heard people mention photoshop but the price tag should put off all but the most serious of designers. Luckily there are some great free alternatives that can help you easily edit your photos
Free alternatives to Photoshop
Gimp is a free downloadable program for editing images. It’s really powerful (and so pretty confusing to use to it’s full potential) However it will let you add text, change the color balance, add two pictures together, change image size etc etc etc. As I say it is very powerful and free on Mac, Windows or Linux
Pixlr is a cloud based image editor, this means it does everything online and off your computer when you want to edit images, you just need to install the app on chrome. It has many of the same functions as GIMP but it has a simpler interface (In my opinion) as such it it very easy to add some basic text to your images, download them and then upload them to your blog post. (they also have less powerful mobile apps)
Snapseed was recently purchased by Google and has been turned into a free app for both android and iOS to edit images. It offers you options to edit the colour, contrast, and tone of your photos as well as common. You call also apply some standard filters to photos if messing around with different levels is more complicated than you want. This can be a great way to set a brand theme for your images. Unfortunately you can add text to your images using snapseed so these aren’t great for making photo badges.
If you want to add edited images to your blog then I suggest you check out one of these programs today. Just remember to reference things properly so that the images are legal and be careful not to over edit images and ruin a good one. Soon we’ll look at some handy tips to make awesome photo badges.
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