Today’s contributor, Lisa of Elembee, just happened to be an essential part of my new website! I designed the site but she made it come to life — she’s my web guru. Not only that, but Lisa is also a talented designer, blogger, and business owner, so she’s going to share some special tips with us over the next few months. Speaking of images, this black & jeweled image is from kate spade new york, and you can download it from their blog here for your phone, computer or ipad. I did.
Hi everyone! I’m happy to be sharing some quick and easy tips to help your blog and business. Today I’d like to share a few things you need to know about working with images!
1. Use a consistent width
I’m sure you’ve heard this plenty of times before, but it’s worth repeating: keep your images a consistent width. You don’t need fancy software to do this — upload your photo to PicMonkey and use the resize button. Just scroll down Meg’s blog page to see the impact this can make! (Side note: Just be sure not to increase the photo size — that’s when you lose quality. It’s best not to use the photo if it’s too small!)
2. Be descriptive
“IMG_421.jpg” is not doing you any favors with search engines. Take a few minutes to describe the photo in your file name, using dashes to separate words, i.e. “need-to-know-about-images.jpg.” Google will thank you for it!
3. Use the alt tag
Did you know you can set the description that appears when your images are pinned? You can do this with the alt tag! In Blogger, look for the alt text in Image Properties. In WordPress, it’s the alternate text line. You can also add it via HTML like this: <img src=”http://your-file-name-here.jpg” alt=”This is your description for Pinterest.” />. Bonus points: add your URL, and Pinterest will automatically make it clickable in the description.
4. Give credit
In this world of repinning and reblogging from Pinterest and tumblr, it’s easy for the original source to get lost. If you can’t find the original source for an image (Pinterest and tumblr are not image sources), two tools can help you. Simply drag the image into Google Images, or download the src-img bookmarklet for easy access in your browser toolbar. You will probably have to click through a few links and try different keywords in the search bar to find the original source, but more often than not, the original source will surface (and you’ll find some really awesome stuff in the search!).
5. Make it pretty
Using your own images? Most of us are not professional photographers, and that’s totally ok. Two of my favorite tricks to enhance photos in Photoshop are Levels and Shadows/Highlights. First, go to Image > Adjustments > Levels. Click the options button, and choose between “Enhance Per Channel Contrast” or “Find Dark & Light Colors,” and check the “Snap Neutral Midtones” box. This will usually correct any color issues. Then go to Image > Adjustments > Shadows/Highlights to brighten up any dark areas.
Note from Meg: To expand on Lisa’s #4 Give Credit, you can read my post about image credits and permanent links that I wrote after ALT Summit last January. Make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the post to get the information.