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Broken Camera

5 top tips for bloggers who suck at working with images

Listen, if you’re one of those bloggers who would rather speak in public or jump off a tall building than figure out how to insert images into your blog posts, you’re not alone. But in today’s photo-centric internet of photo blogs and Pinterest and short attention spans, the fact is, this is one area where you can’t afford to stay in the dark.

Whether you’ve been blogging for years or just started recently, take heart: working with images doesn’t have to be difficult. To help take the mystery out of putting pictures into posts, here are some quick and easy tips for managing images—and managing them in a way that doesn’t make your palms sweat.

1. Consider an online photo source
When you’re writing a business blog, especially one about B2B topics like a fast online payment gateway, for example, your focus is on your content—and it should be. So rather than waste precious business hours trying to pick up an additional new skill in photography simply so you can add images to your blog posts, consider drawing from one of the excellent online sources that are already available. Places like Fotolia or the free Every Stock Photo specialise in gorgeous, attention-grabbing, royalty-free pictures that will instantly spice up your site.

2. Know how to adjust photo width
If you aren’t already familiar with the built-in photo inserting features of your blog platform, here’s a really simple trick for taking total control of your blog images: looking at your post in HTML view after adding an image, simply adjust the ‘width=”500”’ to ‘width=”640”’ or whatever size you like.

Here’s an example:
On my own personal blog, I make every photo the full width of my content column in order to highlight them more, and for me this is 640 pixels—yours might be 400 or 700 or something else. One note of caution: if your photo coding lists both height and width, remove the one you aren’t changing (in this case, height) and your site will automatically adjust the photo to maintain proportions.

3. Include ALT tags with photos
ALT tags are part of an image’s coding, designed to describe what an image is to search engines (which can only read text). With WordPress blogs, there’s an easy way to add your ALT tags to images through the title and description you add in the dashboard as you upload an image to a post. But even without the user-friendly feature, adding an alt tag is as simple as locating that part of the coding and editing it.

Here’s an example:
<img src=”http://www.somesite.com/blog/images.jpg” alt=”ALT TEXT GOES HERE” title=”image title” width=”625”>

To adjust this image’s ALT text to describe the satellite receiver decoder pictured on your site, you’d insert “satellite receiver decoder” into the space that says ALT TEXT GOES HERE.

4. Align your images with text
If you want to use images that are smaller than the full width of your content column, align them left or right so text can wrap around them. In WordPress-based blogs, this can be done simply by clicking a button. From the post dashboard, click the button for inserting an image, locate the file on your computer and click upload. The next screen offers a variety of blanks for you to fill in, from title and ALT text to alignment. Simply click none, left, center or right to align it the way you like.

5. Upload images rather than linking to them
There are two ways to add photos to your blog posts: through images you upload to your own site or through links found elsewhere on the internet. It’s important that you always go with the former and upload images to your own blog. Why does this matter so much? If you pull a photo from a link somewhere else, then if that photo ever gets taken down or changed, so will your post’s image. You won’t have control over how or when it’s altered. Better to upload to your own site to keep full control.