Good news — we’re not talking about the American Express Card. In fact, this tip will likely cost you zero dollars to implement because you already own what you need. The key is remembering to use it — and how.
Local Blogging the Easy Way — Go About Your Day
It doesn’t have to be a big deal one. You just need a way to take digital pictures. I usually use my Canon S100, but I’ve been known to use the one on my phone just as often. Bottom line: I use what I have on hand that still has battery life. In December, when I road around Lafayette as part of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce Santa entourage, I had forgotten to re-charge my battery on the Cannon. By the end of the first stop, I was pulling out my i-phone and the Flip Camera, too. A little frustrating but I had no one to blame but myself.
How to Use Pictures to Create Online Content
I use some of the pictures I take in the blog posts themselves. Others I just post on Facebook to start conversations. I Tweet some photos and add others to other online platforms. Sometimes, I do all of that with a single photo. It depends on what message I’m trying to send and who I think will be interested.
More often, I use digital photos as memory joggers to inspire future posts or help me fill story details of ones I’m currently writing. That’s why you see me taking photos of people but also places and things, too. (I’ve also been known to take pictures of magazine pages while waiting at the doctor’s office!)
Sunday at Lafayette’s La Fiesta Square with… Bikes
Today I’m working on a blog post for the Lafayette Chamber’s Try Lafayette First site. I got the idea this weekend on the way to meet Wendy Tamis at Clocks, Etc… at La Fiesta Square. As I pulled into the parking lot, I saw the Tieni Duro Junior Cycling group gathering for a morning ride. I stepped out of my minivan, introduced myself and asked a few questions. Then I snapped a picture and got a promise from one of the adult leaders, Lance Larsen, that he’d email me more info about the group later, which he did later Sunday afternoon. (When that post is published, I’ll link it here.)
By the time I left Clocks a few hours later, there was another group of bicyclists gathered. These bicyclists had a bit more more gray hair on their heads and a few more miles on their bikes. Having biked from Berkeley, they were now taking a break at Papillon’s.
So I said hello, found out more and snapped another picture.
I knew then that I had a larger story emerging. Maybe even more than one story. Just in case, I pulled out my camera a third time and took a picture of Sharp Bicycle, also located at La Fiesta Square, as well as some of the bicycles that hung from various cars around the parking lot. Suddenly, La Fiesta began to be more clearly what it really is — a central zone within Lafayette where we gather with our friends.
Tips for Using Photos in Your Blog
(1) Maximize Search Engine Optimization from Your Photos.
Google and other search engines can’t see pictures so don’t just post a picture as your blog post without at least adding an ALT TEXT and a great Blog Post Title. It’s best, though, if you add a keyword rich caption or other blog post content to accompany your post.
(2) Smaller File Sizes Upload Quicker.
Regardless of the size of your original image, it’s best to upload a lower resolution version if you want it to easily and quickly upload for your readers.
(3) Combine Images into a Single Photo.
Photos are great, but don’t add too many in one post for that same upload reason. One easy workaround is to create a photo collage of sorts with several pictures you want to include and then upload as one photo. This has the added benefit of reducing some of the formatting nightmares trying to include too many photos can bring. For example, the larger photo on this page is just that — one image.