Howdy blog reader! Thanks for stoppin’ by. A little preface for this post… I’m not writing this as the authority on this subject – rather I’m going to share with you what I’m doing, what I’ve seen others do, and some tools that you may be interested in trying out.
Ultimately however, I’d love this to be a springboard for further discussion on this topic. I’d love to hear what YOU are doing, what has worked for YOU and what tools YOU have found to be of assistance. So, when you are through reading, let’s continue this discussion in the comments below!
Now let’s get this party started!
So you want people to click on your “stuff”? We all do, right? Therein lies the problem. We all want clicks, we all want shares, and we’re all pushing out content like crazy…. which leads to LOTS of noise out there. So the question becomes, what can you do to stand out?
As you may or may not be aware, this blog was only created a little more than 2 weeks ago. However, I’ve been doing social media and blogging for about 5 years via my social media biz. During that time, I’ve read a ton of social media blogs and I even have one myself. BUT it wasn’t until now, through this blog, that I feel as if I’ve jumped down the rabbit hole into an entirely different blogging world (a happy adventure I might add!) The things that I’m picking up and learning from the bloggers that I am now interacting with, I didn’t get from reading all of the marketing/business/social media blogs.
The biggest takeaway for me so far has been the use of images. Although this is not a foreign concept to me, I’ve done quite a bit of speaking about and wrote a blog post on the trend towards a more visual social media experience – the way that bloggers are using images on the new blogs I’m reading is very….well…. awesome! for lack of a better word.
Take a look at the image above (in case you missed it), notice anything? It has words! Three-weeks-ago-AK would have added the pretty picture and moved on… not anymore… now I’m using words within my images to help readers form a stronger connection with my message and to make my images a bit more meaningful. Plus, and this is a big PLUS, when people go to pin your content on Pinterest, and your images include words that provide some context with respect to where the pin leads… your pins are much more likely to be clicked and repinned. WOAH. I should probably also note, that if you have NO images in your blog posts, your posts can not be pinned. Major bummer.
You can take this same approach with adding text to the images you are going to post on your Facebook Page and even your personal Facebook. It’s important to note however that for both your Facebook Page Cover Image (not your personal timeline cover image) and any posts that you wish to pay to promote on your Facebook Page (or in ad creation), an image can not include more than 20% text. If you aren’t going to promote a post though – there is no rule against text in images.
I’ve actually also started adding text to my images on Instagram to provide an enhanced user experience and add more meaning to what I am sharing.
Other things I’ve noticed and like include the sheer size of the images that bloggers are using in posts. (Like you see here.) I find it much more desirable to browse through a blog with a few large images almost as if I’m reading a picture book.
So what tools am I using for this?
You could use something as simple as Microsoft PowerPoint and type text over your pictures and save the entire thing as an image. I use to use a combination of that and my screen capture tool, Snagit.
Lately however, I’ve become re-enamored with PicMonkey. It’s not that I once loved PicMonkey and fell out of love with it – I just wasn’t taking advantage of it like I am now. You see in addition to simply adding text to images, I love varying the font, size, and color. Of course you can do this in both PowerPoint and Snagit, but there just aren’t as many fun options there as you’ll find on PicMonkey. I should also note that PicMonkey is free, unless you want to pay $5/mth to unlock all of the features and fonts (which I do.)
One other thing I’d like you to take note of is the addition of our URL somewhere within the images. We absolutely, positively want you to share what we’re doing on Pinterest, Facebook, etc… but we’d like to get some credit for it ya know:-) And you should do it, too!
PicMonkey handles the online PC stuff for me… but what about Instagram on mobile? I know there are tons of cool things out there for the iPad, but I have the antique iPad 1 without a camera so I just don’t know what those are. I’m also sure there are awesome apps for iPhones but I’m #TeamAndroid. So this is where I need to hear from YOU to share with all of us in the comments below what you use for these purposes on those devices.
On my Android phone, I’m currently using PicSay to add text to my images but I’m not head over heels about it. I would love to find something that does text more like PicMonkey. When I have time, I’ve actually been taking a picture, uploading it to my computer, editing it with PicMonkey and then sending it back to my phone to upload to Instagram. I think we can all agree that is not an ideal situation. So if YOU know of anything better for Android – pretty please share it below!
One last tip I’d like to leave you with is the collage concept. As you can see in my Instagram photo above, it’s actually two images in one; sometimes a few smaller pictures put together work better to tell a story then one large image. For collage creation on my phone I use Diptic which is awesome when it works but it seems to screw up a lot and the only recourse I’ve found is to uninstall in and re-install it. I do happen to know a great iPad app for this which is InstaFrame. Actually, (pardon me as I think aloud) I believe there is also InstaFrame for Android… so I’m going to have to look that bad boy up!
Alright folks you’ve heard my thoughts, I’ve shared my tools…. and I hope you’ve found it helpful. Remember, this post is for learning and sharing so if you’ve got an idea or a tool you love, we’d love to hear about it, too!
Thanks much for your time!