The Summer Blog Challenge prompt for today is to share blogging tips! I love helping other bloggers/small businesses, so this should be fun!
My favorite tip and biggest pet peeve – photos, photos, photos! Not only are photos what capture the attention of readers, but they also make a statement about your blog. First, make sure your biggest, most colorful photo is above the fold. Mine is generally the first thing in a post, just like the photo above. Second, make sure your photos are well-lit, colorful, and creative. In the photo above, the ones on the left are less-than-stellar photos and I wouldn’t use on my blog unless I absolutely needed to. Every once in awhile, I’ll share a ‘bad’ photo simply because it has one of the kids doing something cute and I didn’t have my camera on hand. Most of the time, though, I take the time to take photos like those on the right.
How does one take photos on the right? I’ll post photography tips sometime in the near future but, for now, we’ll stick with the very basics. 1) No flash! Get outside into the light. Make sure you’re in the shade if it’s peak sunlight hours, but early morning or dusk are really the golden hours. The above photos on the right were taken around 7pmEST. If you’re in the shade, try to avoid harsh shadows – this is easier if you’re using golden-hour light as well. 2) No clutter in the background! See how, in the photo of the flower, all you see is the flower? Background objects are distracting, and take the focus off of the subject. Move things around, and use a table with fabric on it if you need to (that’s what I do!). 3) Make sure the photo is in focus. You don’t have to have a fancy camera to take good photos – I managed an Etsy for years with great photos an a basic Canon PowerShot point-and-shoot. Make use of the macro function (it’s the little flower icon) and you can get detailed photos of even the tiniest objects! 4) Use an editing program to remove yellow light, and increase/decrease saturation. I’m all for increasing saturation, but I like bright colors. The saturation on the right photo of me is increased by 3, and it made a huge difference from the original picture. For those without Photoshop (like me), PicMonkey is free and you can also download Paint.NET for free. Paint.NET is my favorite free program because it’s interface is similar to the older Photoshop. PicMonkey is online, but Paint.NET can be used offline…which is great for when you’re without internet but want to work on your blog!
And, lastly, for those of you who think great photos can’t be taken with a point-and-shoot camera, I made this just for you. These were all taken with point-and-shoot cameras – it’s just a matter of playing with your settings, and practice, practice, practice! ♥