How many photos should you include with your blog post? While there is no definitive answer to this, I would suggest using at least one, and up to 10 images per post assuming that your blog post is less than 2,000 words long. The number of blog photos that you use really depends on what your blog is about and how many relevant images you have available. If you’re doing a roundup blog post, you may want to use a photo for each mention. If you’re writing a blog post about your experience as a first-time mom, it’s likely that three or four relevant images will be perfect. High quality photos can help your blog post gain more readability with better Google SEO (search engine optimization) rankings — not just in your standard Google search, but also in Google Image searches.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating or selecting your next set of blog post images:
Consistency is key. Select photo(s) that match the main topic in your blog post. Selecting photos for your blog post can be much easier than it seems, especially when you use photos you already have! Usually blog posts are about experiences we’ve had, places we love, and things we know. In this social media era, we take pictures of almost everything we see and do. Chances are you already have a photo to go with your latest blog post. Scroll through your iPhoto collection and pick out a few to publish.
Free photo editing apps
So you’ve picked out photos on your phone. Now what? Download a free photo-editing app to add a more professional looking touch and attract more readers to your post. Here are the top free editing apps:
Photoshop Express Photo Editor
Adobe Lightroom CC
Polarr Photo Editor
As a photographer, I personally enjoy the Photoshop Express Photo Editor and Adobe Lightroom CC. These are easy for me to use because I’m already familiar with the desktop (paid) platforms. With this being said, some of the other apps may be more user friendly for your typical phone use. All of these apps are available in the app store — so go check them out!
Free Stock Photos for Blogs
Here are some of the best free stock photo websites for your blog posts:
Pexels offers thousands of free stock photos, searchable and organized by category.
Unsplash has over one million photos in their database, from photographers all around the world. The team at Unsplash reviews every photo submission for their platform to ensure the highest quality photographs possible.
Canva is more than just stock photography. Canva provides free stock photos, photo filters, and tools to create graphics with text. The downside to Canva is that anyone can upload free stock photos, so the image quality isn't always as great. Also, a lot of bloggers use this platform, so you run the risk of duplicating what others in your network are using.
If you use any of the free stock photography platforms to add flare to your blog posts, I highly suggest listing photo credit in your image captions with a link back to the stock photo source. While photo credit is not a requirement with free stock photography, it is the respectable thing to do. It is greatly appreciated by the photo creators and free stock platforms as it helps them gain exposure. Click on any of the images above for credit and link examples.
Plan a photo shoot
Planning in advance goes a long way. If you can plan your blog post topics ahead of time, you can also plan your photos. How many blog posts do you need to write in a year? Maybe it’s just 12, maybe it’s 24, or even 52! If you can plan your blog post ideas as far in advance as possible, you can also plan a photo shoot to capture images to go along with each topic. The planned photos can be taken with your iPhone or Android phone, or you can hire a photographer.
If you choose to do your own photo shoot, you’ll want to be sure to photograph in a well-lit area. Be sure to photograph multiple angles of your subject. You may not be getting a great shot or the best light from just one angle. You’d be surprised on how much of a difference a new perspective can make in capturing a professional looking photo.
If you choose to hire a photographer, there’s nothing wrong with maximizing your session by bringing props or outfit changes to go along with each blog post you have planned. Partner with a photographer who specializes in multiple types of photography to really get the most out of your session. You can split your session time between your family photo session and lifestyle or product photos for your blog. You can also go in on a group session and split the cost with your local blogger or small business friends. Any photographer who cares about YOU will be more than willing to work with you on getting the most bang for your buck. Some photographers also offer memberships or subscription photography, so you can create fresh photos on a regular basis.
Find a photo you love, and write a blog post around it!
If you’re having a case of writer’s block, scroll through the photos you’ve taken over the last month or even over the last year. What things were you doing a month from now, but a year ago? (i.e. it’s December now, so what were you doing in January or February of last year?) Chances are you had a few fun or noteworthy experiences that are worth sharing with others who may be looking for seasonal ideas. When you start with the photos, you won’t have to worry about ‘finding’ them later on!
Pick out your favorite accounts on Instagram. Do they have any photos on their feeds that relate to your blog post topic? You can also search hashtags that are relevant to your post to find accounts with images that match your content. If you see something you like, comment on the photo itself or send a direct message to the account holder. Ask for permission to use their photo in your blog post. Be sure to list appropriate photo credit visibly in the photo caption on your post and anywhere else the image appears in promoting your post (Facebook, main blog website, Pinterest, etc.). In case you skipped over it, the two key takeaways with this idea are to ask for permission and list appropriate photo credit.
When it comes to creating and selecting the best photos for your blog — the sky is truly the limit. I’d love to know which tips worked the best for you!
About the author:
LeeAnn Neumann is the owner and photographer behind Chucktown Art, a local Charleston photography and creative services company offering photography, social media consulting, and graphic design.
"I'm a Charleston, SC photographer + mom of 2 boys living in West Ashley. You can usually find me out juggling leashes with our Dalmatians on my weekday 'breaks'. I specialize in photography sessions of all kinds, eliminating guesswork in finding a different Charleston photographer to fit each aspect of your life. Whether you're looking to capture family moments, lifestyle shots for your blog, or working with clients to sell Charleston real estate - I'm your girl!