Once upon a time, a blog was almost entirely words. It was the evolution of the private journal; though now most of the big blogs could be easily mistaken for visual masterpieces akin to magazines. It’s hard to escape the fact that blogging has become more and more image-oriented.
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There are always the holdouts, though. The ones who insist that photography is relevant; they’re writing, and it’s the words, the writing, their ideas; that’s what matters. Images shouldn’t be what makes a blog popular! Call them purists or old-fashioned, but they tend to have a set of reasons as to why they shouldn’t be concerned about the impact of poor (or non-existent) photography on their blog.
Sadly, they’re wrong. Here’s why if you take blogging seriously – either as a professional or an enthusiastic amateur – you have to care about photography.
“I’m a writer and that’s all that matters.”
Do writers’ photographs show a side of their character not revealed in their books?
Sure – but you know what really helps writers? Having readers. And what helps readers?Images.
If you have a huge block of text – especially if it’s not well paragraphed – then reading a blog post can be tough on the eyes. It’s far easier to read text that is interspersed with breaks, and images are by far the most natural form of break that there is. That’s why you will often see blog posts punctuated by simple, non-related-but-pretty photography – it’s to help the reader, not the blogger.
It’s all very well writing for the sake of the art of writing, but if not intending to be read, then you might as well head back to a private journal. A blog needs to be readable; images undoubtedly help with this.
“I don’t have the money for photography equipment.”
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While more valid on the surface – especially for hobby bloggers – this doesn’t quite cut it, either. It’s easier than ever to find a route into photography. Most of us have a smartphone with a decent enough camera, which you can use to take good photos. Just take a look at the kind of stunning photos people can take with a smartphone. As you can see, it doesn’t take a whole lot these days to create good photography, you might even like it enough to turn it into another side business with tips from photography sites like Sleeklens.com for example.
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If you do want to take things a step further, then there are ways to crunch costs. Discounts can be found on sites like DontPayFull.com which make equipment like lighting far more affordable. You can even try out some hacks for cheap photography from Pinterest.com – often with relatively little financial outlay.
“I can use stock images.”
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Of course, stock images can be incredibly useful, especially if you’re just starting out. However, the problem comes when plenty of other sites use the exact same images. Even if you pay for your images, it’s never going to be unique the way you should want it to be. It’s also worth thinking about the costs of a single image use; often, it’ll be more cost-effective to just invest in some photography equipment and snap a set of your own ‘stock photos’ than buying individual image usage rights.
Would these arguments convince you to up your blog photography game?