A picture says a thousand words and let's face it, we only look at the pictures half the time anyway! So when it takes so much time to curate beautiful photos for your blog or business, you want to make sure you're getting the most from them. Whether it's engaging your audience, or improving SEO, this post helps make sure your photos are working for you! This is a guide for creative businesses looking to get the most out of the pictures using their blogs. 

1. Names.  Google searches for image names, as well as written content, so you want to ensure your image names are optimised with keywords for Google Search. By adding keywords to your photos names, you're also boosting the website SEO of your website, eventually resulting in more organic traffic. yay! 

There are two great ways to optimise your image names for Google search; first is updating the file name before you upload it your blog, and secondly adjusting the ALT text for each image once the image is up on your blog. 

2. Quality. Readers engage with beautiful high-quality photos, so avoid anything grainy, dark and unfocused. Ugly photos are sure to cause readers to click away quickly. If you don't have the skills yourself, consider reaching out to other local bloggers for help, hiring a photographer, or you can even use free stock photos.

3. Editing. Related to quality, all photos can benefit from a quick edit. I like to brighten my images a touch before I upload them. Lightroom is my favorite tool to edit my photos, quickly and easily, but if you don't have access to LR, there are also some simple and free options too; such as PicMonkey.

4. Text.  Adding text to a title photo is a great way to hook in your reader. Overlaying text onto your photos is super simple to do, again PicMonkey is a great tool for editing photos if you don't have access to Photoshop. This is a personal style thing, some people HATE adding text, some people love it, so do what works for you. 

5. Size. Beautiful photos should be confident, so go big or go home. I like to ensure my images fill the screen on each blog post, making them impossible to ignore! Check your blog settings to see what your blog width is and use this to your advantage. I also find that portrait images work better than landscape, they're also easier for people to pin to Pinterest! 

6. Themes. Like Instagram having a theme running throughout your posts is a great way to pull in readers. Showing your unique style consistently throughout your blog helps create a brand identity your readers can recognize and trust.  If you look through my blog posts, you'll see, I hope, that my images tend to be bright, with muted tones. I really love a blog that looks consistent in its imagery. 

7. Marketing. Photos are one of the best tools for marketing your blog content. So optimizing the images to use of on Instagram and other social platforms can really benefit your marketing game! Did you know what Tweets with images receive up to 80% more engagement than those that don't? 

8. Recycle. Got a great image? Use it again! I love to recycle old photos in my posts, it's such a great trick when you're stuck for content! Also, try cropping your existing photos to create new ones. Change the focus of an old image and your options are endless! 

Got any other tips? Share them in the comments below! 

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