Writing a good blog post is all about providing good content that your readers will like and connect with them so that their blog visit is very enjoyable. One way to further enhance the experience is to connect with their senses and emotions by adding pictures and images to your words.
Picture This – Good Formatting Grabs Attention
Some blog posts appear to be simply a large slab of text and, personally, it makes me weary to read the entire article many times. However, adding an image or picture to an article draws the reader’s eye into the post and makes it more visually appealing. Putting an image or picture at the beginning of the article creates a good first impression. It draws the reader in and adds an additional way to engage the reader. If you are like me, I have a tendency to scan an article and one containing images or pictures breaks up the text and also highlights important points. Adding an image is particularly helpful when reading RSS feeds. These are sent to the subscribers as a huge block of text. People are more apt to read something that contains images that make a point or that are eye catching and pertain to the material being presented. Using great images creates a visual impression on the reader. The use of charts and diagrams can help illustrate a point very effectively in the article. It adds depth and makes the information more interesting. Personal pictures can add a more personal touch. Examples can be illustrated through an image.
Give Google the Right Image
For those bloggers interested in Search Engine Optimization they should not neglect this when images or pictures are added. Google reads text, not pictures. So, if you place an image within the article Google sees that area as completely blank. What is necessary is to add some text to the image so that Google will actually use it for searches for those images. You can actually attract traffic from Google Image Search in this way.
Tips for inserting a picture or image to your blog post
1. Try to minimize the image size so that it will load faster on someone’s browser. A good size is at least 320 pixels, but not over 1280. This is not part of SEO, but will improve the experience of the visitor if they do not have to wait for large pictures to upload.
2. Keywords in your blog should also relate to your image. If your image is named with those keywords this will give higher priority to the search engines. These to do need to be long names.
3. Use the alt text tag for your image. This will allow the search engines to know what the image contains. Your keywords should be used here. In WordPress when you add an image and upload it a box appears where you can name the image and provide “alt text”.
4. Pay attention to the text before and after the image. It should include the keyword or keywords that are in the image itself. This typically means about 12 words before and after the picture.
Picture perfect
There are numerous sources on the internet for both images and pictures. One very popular place for finding free photos is Flickr. However, it is very important that any image or photo that you use is not copyrighted. A good rule of thumb is when in doubt, don’t use it. A simple search on the internet for your image often will give you the results you are looking for. Google Images contains a source of many images. The search engines love original content so does not be afraid to upload your own photos.
Take the time to enhance your blog posts to make the reading experience more enjoyable for your visitors. The payoff is that they will spend more time on your blog and the search engines will give you more traffic, too.
What are some other good sources of free pictures and images that you have found worthwhile?

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