Hey fellow blogging friends. Welcome back to the #BlogTipTuesday series!
Today I want to share something that deserves a LOT of attention. Why our photographs matter, followed by a really shocking case study!
After reading books upon books about blogging, joining FIZZLE & Craftsy (which you can read about here) I have really started to go back and dissect the photos I have put on my blog.
In the begging they were not so great. A lot has to do with the fact that the studio for our craft store is in a garage with no windows and the lighting is beyond horrible, and even in my house I have no good windows.
Seriously, if I need direct light, I have to go into my bathroom and sit under the skylight. How on Earth is there not one good window in my house!?
Now one thing you will hear over and over is to not compare your blog to other blogs..and we are also told to not reinvent the wheel and check out other blogs and see what is working and not working for them…hmm I think that may be a contradiction!
The point of me making that statement is that we are human, we are going to compare our blogs to at least one other blog and we are going to see something we are lacking. It’s just in our nature. Try not to judge yourself too harshly, though. I look at some of my photos and want to cringe!
SOO I started to learn more about my camera. I started reading books about photography and taking photography classes on Craftsy, I realized I needed to do a few things.
1. To use a Light Kit when I am taking photos of food. I don’t know about you, but it’s usually not too sunny when I cook dinner and taking a photo with your ceiling light and your flash is a complete NO NO! I am totally guilty of both of these things!
2. Go back to old posts and replace shitty photos with better ones.
On March 3rd I wanted to test out a theory..OMG it has crazy results and I highly recommend you do this with an old post to see what happens and then let me know!
How much does a good photo/pinnable image really matter?
On November 8th 2014 I showed the world how to make some seriously tasty Homemade Pepper Rings, Grandma’s recipe and all, using this photo.
YIKES that is scary! In what world did I think the color on this photo was OK to share with everyone!?
Anyway…on 3/3 when I checked this post it was only shared a total of 61 times!! That is on ALL social media accounts! That is 4 months..and only 61 shares! How did I even grow my blog with those kinds of stats!
So on 3/3 I decided to do a little study and edit this image and change the text. This was the new image…
Same image..without the crazy editing I did on the first one (seriously I have no idea what I did to butcher that first image). Still not a great photo (hence the flash from my camera and bad lighting)..but for now it had to work since I did not want to delete the post and the pepper rings were devoured, so I could not recreate a photo until I make a new batch.
Want to take a guess as to what happened?
On 3/14 (two weeks after I changed the photo) this post was shared a total of 273 times!!!! That means in 2 short weeks it was shared 212 times!! Holy MOLY people..that is crazy right! It was shared almost 5 times more in 2 weeks than it was in 4 months.
Now I also want to go on record saying that for the purpose of this case study I had to reshare the image so that someone would find it to pin it or post it on other social media accounts.
I pinned it onto 2 group recipe boards, the same ones I pinned the original image too. I also added it into CoSchedule (you can read about CoSchedule HERE) so that it would be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ Page, and Tumblr (which I never use and have I think 4 followers on). I only scheduled the post to be shared at the same time I did the photo edits. That means I shared this post a total of 3 times. Once on social media accounts and twice on Pinterest.
Conclusion: Photography REALLY matters! Your pinnable images REALLY matter! The text on the photos is just as important. I really think if I left the text the same way as I did in the first image it would have affected this study. It probably would have been shared still..just not as much because the text was lost in the photo and the new text helps make the still not great photo pop even more.
1. Invest in a good camera! I got the Cannon T5i for Christmas. I paid $499 for mine on black Friday and it only came with the two lenses and the camera..I wish I would have purchased this kit because I have ended up buying everything listed in the picture separately and spent way more money..bummer!
Anyway, you have so much more lighting options when it comes to a DSLR over a point and click. Don’t get me wrong using your phone or a point and click like my Nikon Cool Pix can work..but if you want amazing photos like you see repinned a gazillion times..get a DSLR!
2. When you are creating a shareable image for a post check out other posts similar and see how they are doing the text on the photos. This really helps you get new fresh ideas and allows you to see what is working and what is not. If you are doing a post for a drink..search drinks on Pinterest and see which ones pop up..which ones have been shared the most and which ones have not. You can get really specific with this.
Say you search “Shamrock Shakes” you will see a LOT of the same recipe pop up…but you will also see the difference in the photos and text. Which ones catch your eye? Which ones leave you asking “why did they even bother”? Then draw your own conclusion and use your research to decide what direction to go with your own images.
3. If you think you are not so great at photography, or need to learn how to use your DSLR. I highly recommend taking a class on Craftsy, reading some books..whatever you can do to better yourself. In this day and age, there is no reason to be under-educated on ANYTHING, especially when there is a plethora of image at your fingertips!
4. Go through your posts and make a list of ones that you need some attention. Maybe they need new photos all together, maybe they just need some basic editing to make them brighter, maybe they just need a text update.
Make it a point to update the photos one at a time until you are happy with the results. Take your time with this. If you rush you are liable to just end up with another photo that you will have to update in the future.
5. Make sure you are using images that are pinnable and the correct sizes. You can find the sizes of photos for specific social media sites by going to Canva and hovering over the image sizes to see what pops up. I use this site a lot for creating the sizes of images on my blog.
6. Make sure that your images have a PIN IT button on them!!!!!
This simple step will increase a number of times your images are pinned from your blog all by itself. I am sorry to say but people are lazy! No one wants to search for the “share buttons” at the bottoms of posts or in some of the crazy spots I have seen..unless they love the post so much that they HAVE to share it. Here is a great plugin JQuery PinIt Button for Images. It is what I use and I created the little image you see over my photos with PicMonkey.
That’s all for today Folks! Stop by next Tuesday for more blogging goodies!
What are your thoughts..what sites do you use to make your photos pop..Leave it in the comments so others can learn from you too!
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