Get your Show My Face and 6WS buttons HERE!

If you aren't receiving email replies to your comments, please see this post.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Blogging: I'm Doing It Wrong (Part 1 in a Series)

As I near my 600th post (uh huh!), sometimes I feel like I'm doing it all wrong according to "them". Who are them they? They range from blogging experts to readers/commenters to the voices in my head. Over the next week or so, I'm going to ask for your input on ways I'm doing it wrong. I'd like some conversation!

Mistake #1: Pictures
Apparently, all posts should contain pictures. This is key to attracting reader interest.

Now, I don't often do this. If the image is unique/mine (like my flower last Friday) or if it helps make a point or a funny (bad grad gifts), I'll throw in a picture.

However, I don't generally throw in stock photography just because they say I should have a photo of some sort. I figure if I'm talking about being stung by a bee, a relevant image would be the swelling on my arm but there's no point in including a random photo of a bee - I assume my readers are smart enough to know what a bee looks like.

Now, I realize that maybe an image would hint at the content of the post without having to read any words, so maybe I'm short-changing myself. Maybe that picture of a bee would increase readership.  If that's the conclusion this conversation comes to, I'm willing to change my ways.

Personally, I'm more drawn in by words than by a photo of some random stock images but a photo taken by the writer can be a powerful lure as well. How important are images in persuading you to read a post? Does it matter if they're unique images or photos? In your own blogging, what's your photo philosophy?

18 comments:

C. Beth said...

This is a tough one. I enjoy one or two pics in a post. I don't generally want LOTS of photos though I sometimes do that myself! I don't think photos are necessary to make a post interesting or readable. I'm not a huge fan of having stock photos in a post, usually.

TechnoBabe said...

When I am reading someone elses blog it doesn't matter to me if there is a picture of graphic if the blog is one that I enjoy reading. Some people are so good at writing that is what draws me. Of course there are photography blogs and those are more about the pictures.

Eternal Lizdom said...

I love to take pictures so there are times that the focus of my post is pictures.

I sometimes use stock photos to make a point or insert some humor.

I don't think pics are necessary though. I'm really a mix of all options!

widcheezondat said...

Part of the enjoyment of reading are the images that comes to mind when your reading a good story. Kind of like how a movie can ruin a really good book, I prefer no pictures unless it's necessary to make a point or for fun.

Traci said...

I love seeing pictures. The blogs that include more I tend to read more of. I love to use photos on my blog, but sometimes I forget. I am trying to add more too.

The Brown Recluse said...

Yeah, I like pictures. You should show your face, even. I generally like to add pics or graphics to my entries.
Your blog is fine as it is, though. You're not "doing it wrong." lol

Toriz said...

I've got nothing against photos, and have people who sort photos for me that I can post (mostly photos of my own). But words are better for me. Even when I could still see photos I was more interested in what people had to say than what photo they were posting. It's not that I didn't want to look at the photos, it's that photos are all well and good, if they are there for a reason (like to illustrate a point). Now though, I just find photos to be annoying. Especially since hardly anyone takes the time to describe their photos, and most people leave the codes that cameras give photos as their names, so my screen reader says random things like, "link graphic sc109237." Or some other random thing like that. Now, if there is a description (or a clue to the photos contents) in the title it's given, or the text of the post, then photos aren't as annoying. Anyway, what I'm basically trying to say is that photos are all well and good, but they need to be relevant to the post, and details about them for people who can't see them would be useful.

Intense Guy said...

If the content is intelligent/witty/profound/amusing the lack of a photo really makes little difference.

That said, I think if you use a photo - you ought to avoid "stock" ones. Bleah... someone elses picture usually only have matches up to your content.

:) I always try to put (at least) one of my own pictures on my post...

Jazzbumpa said...

I participate in a couple of photo memes, so I post pictures that fit those concepts. Other than that, I'll grab a stock picture of my victim when I doing a DEEP STUPID entry.

I use a chart and/or graph (or several) when I'm talking about economic data where it's a helpful illustration.

I don't think I've ever put a pic in just because.

Anyway - it's your blog, so you get to set the rules.

Here's a great photo blog, if you're interested.

http://pixelsatexhibition.blogspot.com/

Cheers!
JzB

holly said...

Everyone else puts in pictures, so sometimes I do, too. I'm a band wagoner. But most times I just use words because I like blogs where the posts are scroll-less.

Brenda Susan said...

I love real photos, it gives me a peek into another life. Even the room in the background tells me things. Just a snoop I guess.
I usually use a pic just cause it makes it more fun for me....like putting a super short book together or something! Ha! I am easily entertained.

Jenn@ You know... that blog? said...

Guess I'm doing it wrong too, because I don't always put a picture in! It has to have relevance, or it's pointless as far as I'm concerned.

I don't like having too many pictures just to flesh out a post, and I don't really appreciate scrolling through a pile on someone else's blog either... I come for the substance, not the fluff :)

Mim said...

I think if a photo works then use it, but if not...thoughts and words are best - especially when they come from the heart.

kkrige said...

I generally only use my own photos. I figure that they add a more personal tone and only use them when they are relevant to the blog entry. Sometimes the picture even inspires the post. There are many a day where not a picture is to be found as well. As someone noted though, it's your blog and you can do what you want with it.

blognut said...

I really don't want a picture unless it's truly relevant and part of the post - otherwise I just assume it's a filler because the writer didn't have much to say. (Which is the usually the case when I use a photo).

~jill said...

i'm an avid picture taker (wannabe photographer), so most of my posts will contain pictures. i only use pictures that i take and only if they illustrate the story. a picture of your swollen arm after a bee bite would be perfect and draw me to read your post.

but it's your blog and i don't believe there is a "right" way to blog.

Caty said...

I post pictures...sometimes random and sometimes my own, but I didn't think that was the "right" way to do it. I just love finding unique photography and I love taking my own pictures too!

JoyACookin' said...

Glad to know I'm not the only one blogging with no photographs. My focus is on content, and that is time-consuming. If I posted photos, too, I'd never get anything else done in my life. I think that a lack of photos signal "Content coming up!" Also, food photography isn't easy; lots of food that tastes and looks great doesn't photograph well. The pictures you see in food magazines aren't edible; they're made just for the camera.