If you know my blogging schedule well, you might be aware of the fact that this post is a week late. If you did not notice the absence of this post last week, please disregard everything but that I am perfect.
A month or two ago (time blurs), I decided to take a trip out of state. After arriving at the airport and waiting due to a flight delay, I was informed that the flight was canceled. And so I went home. Later, I decided to book a new flight in November. Somehow I chose the least convenient dates for my loved ones, which ended in me missing a couple of important events due to traveling at that time. But I decided to go anyway. Before I left, I wrote myself a note to write a Blogging Tips post upon my return. My visit was great. It was busy, but I had quite some fun. Unfortunately, due to weather conditions (again)… my return flight got canceled. The rebooked flight was plenty delayed, so I ended up arriving around 12h later than scheduled. Hence – no post last week. Now that you are all caught up let us proceed with the BT post.
If you have missed the previous installment of the Blogging Tips, or just want to refresh your memory, feel free to check out:
JANUARY – rules; an introduction.
FEBRUARY – tells you how to get the most comments.
MARCH – provides tips on how to promote your content.
APRIL – gives excellent advice to newbies and reminds us of the basics.
MAY – reveals what TO DO to gain a following and what NOT TO DO if you do not want to lose the audience you already have.
JUNE – showcases the most popular niches if you are trying to pick one for yourself, or if you are looking to re-brand.
JULY – presents some surprising trends related to WP usage. See if you can relate.
AUGUST – divulges how much time we spend on WP so you can adjust the length of your posts accordingly.
SEPTEMBER – reports the frequency with which most people post.
OCTOBER – provides crucial information on how to compose your titles. Bonus – title generators and analyzers included!
I hope you find some things there that will help make YOUR blogging world a better place.
Images – Yay or Nay?
Do you include them in your posts? Why/ why not? Do the pictures in other people’s posts (or lack thereof) influence your decision whether you will read their content or not? Why/ why not?
An overwhelming “YAY!”
- There was only one person who mentioned that images in the body of text are distracting for them.
- One person thinks that writing should speak for itself, and there is no need for visual aid.
- Another person raised a valid concern – posts with images take much longer to load if your Internet connection is not the fastest.
- Two people admitted that not all posts are suited for filler images (i.e., creative writing).
- I was also reminded that there are some people whose vision is limited (or nonexistent), and so we should not use too many images, so they do not miss out.
Additional info and research:
Right from the start, I have been using at least one image per post. It is not because I thought it would help me score some search engine optimization points (SEO), but because there was this “Featured Image” option in my post toolbar. Otherwise, I usually do not use any other images throughout my text precisely because of what a few people said (mentioned above). I feel that other than the main image, there is no need for more in my short stories. It would only detract from the plot. As for NROP posts, I consider them a bit more serious and prefer them to stand on their own. There is no need for images to support one argument or the other.
A few weeks ago, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and published a post riddled with images. Granted, it was not a usual post of mine. It was about my mental health that day. That post received more Likes than most of my other posts. It also received quite a few comments. All that definitely confirmed your opinions – images ARE important. I continue working on improving my blog and strive to make this a great outlet for me and a phenomenal resource for you. No major changes have been implemented to my image usage as of yet.
If you do not deal with images in your posts that often, chances are you do not know there is more to it than just choosing an image. Did you know that there is an Edit option for images you upload? No, it is not like photoshop. Yes, you can rotate, crop, or flip, but that is as far as the editing of the actual image goes. The other four options are associated with text. You can insert a title, caption, alt text, and a description. To me, they all sound like one and the same. How does a title differ from a caption? Apparently, there is a difference.
TITLE: This is the only required field by WP. If you do nothing, it defaults to the image name from the original file. That can often just be a string of numbers. It is recommended that you change that. The title you insert will define a permalink for that image (just like your post title does for the link to your post). (Note that you have to change the name of the image BEFORE you upload it to your Library, or else you will not be able to edit the image link.) The title is important for SEO. You might want to insert a keyword in there for better ranking of your image/ post. Moreover, this is what shows when someone hovers over your image.
CAPTION: The caption is what appears underneath your image (or in other places, depending on your theme) in your post.
ALT TEXT: This is very important for any image, although often overlooked. Alt text is what you see when an image is not displayed correctly (ex.: missing source). This should describe in words what the image is to communicate. You might think that is is mostly useless to a regular reader. It might be. But it definitely is not that to a search engine. Alt text is what they use to index the images.
DESCRIPTION: That is a nice feature for those who have a hard time seeing and rely on their devices to read the posts to them.
An example: Say you are a cook and share photos of the meals you prepare. By adding all of the above (keywords and maybe your cooking business’ name and the city you work in in the alt text), you enable people searching for cooks in your city to find your images. Once they click on that image, they will be taken to a page with the description and links to your other photos. It is meant to create exposure for you.
If you do not feel like doing all that on your own, a plugin called SEO Friendly Images will take care of the majority of the text edits for you.
If you are still hazy on the differences, check out this article that uses a single image to illustrate how each editing option is there for different things.
What makes you click on a post to read? Is it the image, the title, the blurb, or something else? I expect some of you to say: “I try to read everything from my Reader or anything by specific authors,” but aside from that, I would appreciate it if you shared what drives your choices when it comes to random posts as well.
Leave your answers in the comment section and come back in a month to see what other people said. (Or just check back here routinely. Or both. Whatever works for you.)
If there is something about blogging or the community that you are wondering about, feel free to reach out via my Contact page, and your question might be featured next month. Everyone would be answering YOUR question. Take advantage of it. If you do not feel comfortable shooting me an email, you can also leave your question at the bottom of your comment here today.
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