Color images spear deadly dull blog topics. Simple sentences focus the blogger’s point. But first, the pictures.
Consider the graphics of the graphic: where does it go? what does it do? and how big is it anyway? It needs to go as high up and be as big as it needs to be to draw the reader’s fleeting attention into the article.
Blog screen layouts (themes) typically have a narrow text column width, perhaps 800 pixels wide, often less. The main point of the picture is to point the reader toward the point in the post.
Search engines can’t “see” the picture; they read it’s file name caption and alt tag (if there is one) — and that’s nearly all the benefit the picture contributes to SEO. But your blog needs SEO and a high place on the screen to put its keywords and snippet phrases. Yet the reader needs to see the picture in a high place on the screen. So, what to do?
The thumbnail or small detail pix seems to work best. Checkout Gizmodo or Wired to see how they fit both thumbnails (perhaps 135px x 135px) and craft supremely well written snippets into the headline and excerpt. The “full size” photograph appears either further down, “below the fold,” or on the continuation page, like this.
So there’s David’s picture of Socrates dying yet again. It’s not my picture, it’s in the public domain and I got its digital file royalty free from Wikipedia images. That database makes available to us several million images in the public domain, and of course there are many other sources of free images.
Well, what about using your own photographs or images. If you’re good at it, go do it. Avinash Kaushik does.
He takes accomplished photographs of flowers and uses them to illustrate his blog (Occam’s Razor), the ultimate authority on Web Analytics. You know, numbers, graphs, charts — all that nerdy stuff — starts with flowers.