Why You Need Big Metal Chickens and Squirrels in Your Posts!
BIG METAL CHICKENS? TREE RATS? In my blog??! NO WAY!
First off, we're NOT crazy. And we're not literally advocating putting Big Metal Chickens and Squirrels in your post, UNLESS that is the theme of your blog post for the day.
But what we are advocating is EYE CANDY. And no, we're not talking about centerfolds and Chippendale dancers (although that WOULD work, but your post might not get read AT ALL). Rather, we're covering photos and graphics to liven up your posts. But BLiz, shouldn't my post be judged on CONTENT? Well, yes, but.... frankly "most" humans need more than just good content to grab and keep their attention. At two paragraphs I'm probably already losing some folks if I don't have a little added something-something to break up the post.
This is especially true if you're using the default black Arial font size 10. It really tends to run together, and face it, many of us don't have the eyesight we had decades ago. Given choices of elsewhere to read, your content better be REALLY compelling to justify the eye strain.
In a perfect world, you've got a photo you've taken yourself to illustrate your posts. But that's not always possible. If we're doing a localism post, we'll look for something that at least identifies with the place or event. Perhaps the event or business has photos available on their website available for use (some have a media section, others we email/call for permission to use). If a market report, put some home photos in the post.
If those sources don't work, www.morguefile.com and commons.wikimedia.org have also proven to be good sources of allowable photo use (check the licenses prior to use!). Don't just take something from Google Images without confirming COPYRIGHT and allowable use (unless you like getting attorney letters and requests for large checks from your account!).
And sometimes you may come up empty on the search and do you really want to spend 30 minutes looking for a photo? ....e.g. Big Metal Chickens didn't return any free use results. But squirrels? People are nuts about 'em!
And once you add your photos or graphics, make sure you add some white space around them! It's easy to do, just go to the second tab on the insert photo (first tab is your descriptions) and load some spacing numbers in the Vertical and Horizontal boxes (we use 5 and 8). If you want a border, put a number in there too, the larger the number, the thicker the border. Don't want black for your border? On the same tab there's a Style section of what looks like code, find the word black and replace it with the color you want (blue, green, whatever works for you, see the picture frames for examples).
And depending on the length and subject matter of your post, one graphic may not be enough. Do some trail and error with positioning to get your size and placement to something you can be happy with, and that will keep your readers engaged.
We hope you find the tips helpful!
Keep on Blogging,
Liz and Bill aka BLiz