Blogging impressions: easy summer tasks for your blog

Summer has finally hit the shores of the Netherlands and elsewhere too I dare say. Like I announced earlier I’ve changed my posting routine to once a week at least for now.

Summer tasks for your blog

Great summer image by Christine Majul. Click to view on Flickr.

To make sure I don’t end up neglecting my blog over the summer, I’ve thought of a couple of easy tasks that’ll make any blog better than it already is. Are you ready?

‘Summer up’ your old blog posts

Check for old posts that you wrote in a hurry. Think of topics that might have turned into a great post but didn’t quite make it because you were tired or stressed out. Open the curtains and let the sun shine into those old winterdepressed writings. See if which of your old ideas, posts and drafts alike, deserve some high summer TLC from you and start editing, rewriting, and (re-)publishing.

If you post one new blog post once a week, update another post every week or so.

Replace sub-par images with quality images

This is definitely an issue for some of my posts and I think it is the nicest way to update old posts. There must’ve been times when you just didn’t have time or energy to look for the best possible images. Change images you added which you don’t like anymore – images that don’t fit in with the rest of your blog. I can’t think of a nicer way to improve your blog than looking for really cool pictures that’ll make your (old) posts look 10 times better. Look for great images to grace your future posts while you’re at it.

This also means tagging the new images. Focusing on just the images on your blog for a change means you can ‘SEO’ your images as much as you like by adding keywords from your text to the alternative text box (Alt tag stuff), description, and title. This is what turns an image into visual content, apart from its contribution to your written content.

Check your stats for blogging inspiration

What topics and posts have been really popular? Do your popular posts stand out in particular ways, like quality of images, truly inspired writing, or seasonal flavor?

Have people found you through search – if so, what were they looking for?

Blog improvement tasks in summer

The important thing is to remember it’s summer. Don’t beat yourself up if you find you could have done a better job for some posts. Summer is a great time for good intentions. Start by taking a relaxed view of your blog posts – then take them out for a brisk run in the summer breeze.

Blogging impressions: using images on your blog

It’s been a while since I wrote a ‘Blogging Impressions’ post. Here goes.

You may have noticed I’m a writing blogger… Even so, I like to have an image with every post on my blog.

Blogging Images for your blog

Pros of images on your blog

  1. It’s good for SEO (search engine optimization). Provided you add key words in the ‘alt’ (alternative text) box.
  2. It adds interest.
  3. You may even add your personal twist through the description.

Cons

  1. It takes time to find the right picture(s), unless it’s part of your daily activities anyway, and in business topics, to come up with an original picture which you can still use in a sensible way to enhance your post. Is anyone fed up with pictures of keyboards with a key saying anything from “Sell” to “Engage” yet?
  2. Time. To upload. To fill all the ‘metadata’. To add a description that bridges the gap between text and image in a meaningful way.
  3. Did I mention ‘time’? I’m a bit short right now 😉

Ways to find the right images for your blog

So far I’ve tried several approaches for images (call it “visual content”) on my blog:

  • Making them myself using PowerPoint. The results vary enormously depending on the time I have left when I decide to make an image rather than looking for one.
  • Taking pictures. I’m still learning when it comes to producing my own visual content in any form: whether it’s a cartoon, or a photograph. I keep practising though, but on my last holiday I completely forgot the camera I got last Christmas. The photograph I’ve added is one I made using an iPhone (4, in case you wondered). I halved its size before adding it to my blog.
  • Looking for them on Flickr – either in the “Creative Commons” section or by adding “Creative commons” to my search terms.
  • Looking for them on Flickr, specifically in the photos added by fellow blogger HikingArtist.com – perfect for blogs dealing with business or nature.

How do you get the right images for whatever content you want to share on your blog?