When designing a blog or blog entry, one of the immediate questions that will arise is whether it will demand a picture or image to give it â€œlifeâ€ or â€œzest.â€ If your blog is an art blog that will feature visual presentations, the answer is obviously in the affirmative. But what if your blog is a political or technology blog? If your blogâ€™s content is mostly information rather than visual art, an image can occasionally help get your message across, especially if it helps to illustrate your content.
In that case, an image, which will necessarily be small in order to fit on your page, can be hyperlinked to a larger version in order to give your readers access to more information or detail should they desire it. In this case, itâ€™s helpful to have the image open a separate browser so the original story remains in the main browser.
Images, like your entries themselves, should be consistently sized. They do not have to be exactly the same, however, because not every image will be the same shape and should not be forced into an arbitrary mold, especially at the expense of proportion. A skewed image is generally worse than none. However, it is important to avoid haphazard sizing, especially when you feature multiple images close together. Images of vastly differing sizes will scream â€˜unprofessionalâ€™ at your readers.
Successful bloggers will occasionally use humorous or â€œcuteâ€ pictures to illustrate content or to make a point. This is acceptable so long as it is used only occasionally and does not detract from the image youâ€™re trying to create for your blog. It also provides a nice break for your readers if your content has been heavy, repetitive, or intense. They deserve a break just like you do.
A look at the successful political blogs, for example, will illustrate the acceptable use of images in blogs that seek to be taken seriously. When introducing someone (e.g. a new musician or an obscure, state-level politician) to your readers, a small photograph is helpful, as it is in the newspaper, to give them a visual reference point. When discussing documents, itâ€™s helpful to present a copy of the document, either hyperlinked (.PDF files are best for this) or as a small .JPG or .GIF image. Making your own illustrative notations on the images where appropriate (so long as they are done in a professional manner) will help to make your content even more original.
However, unless your blog is a humor blog, overuse of humorous or â€˜cuteâ€™ pictures can damage your blogâ€™s reputation. Because you seek to be serious and taken seriously by your readers, itâ€™s important to design every entry in a way that supports and furthers your reputation.
Of course, if your blog is dedicated to holidays or cheerleaders, then by all means, load it up with as many pictures as will fit on the page!