New to the Series? Start with Part One
Blogosphere: A series
Part Thirty-Five: Getting in the Picture
Adding graphics to your Blog is considered to be a must for the generation of traffic and a professional look and feel.
Doing so will do much to improve your Blog, but you may find that the searching for, the downloading of, and the editing and managing of graphics, especially photographs, to be time-consuming in the extreme.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Where can I get good photographs and graphics? Can I get them free (or cheaply)?
- What are the legal issues to be considered?
- Can I use my own photos or graphics?
- How much time should I allow for adding graphics to my Blog posts?
- Are there negative (no pun intended) effects to my Blog from using photographs and graphics?
- What tools should I use to manage my photos and graphics?
Quick answers for these questions:
- There are several free sources for photos. But be aware you cannot just download a photo and use it without paying attention to copyright, free use, linking issues, and so forth
- While you can claim ‘Free Use” of photos in your Blog itself, you cannot do so for a header graphic for your Blog. Stealing a logo never works.
- Using your own photographs or graphics–assuming you have a wide variety to work with and are familiar with photo editing software–is a good idea, one which removes most problems.
- If you intend to add a photo to each of your Blog posts, you may find that you spend more time finding, securing, editing and placing your photos than you spend in the writing of the post. Make peace with that.
- Some of the photos and graphics you find will be byte-intensive. Large photographs, while beautiful to look at, take up a huge amount of space on your Blog Host’s disk drives, and cause a noticeable and often annoying slowness in loading the pages of your blog.
- An excellent FREE graphic and photo editing tool is The Gimp. Some people prefer Photoshop, but it is expensive and complex.
If you are using Firefox, there is an excellent photograph add-on called CoolIris. This is a free download that can save you many hours. Google Images is also very useful, and it works on all Web Browsers.
ALWAYS add photo or image credit to any graphics you post—even those you own. Adding a caption like, “Image: www.sitename.com” will usually suffice.
Continued in Part Thirty-Six