How to Use Your Photos to Generate Blog Ideas and Readers

January always seems like a great energizer to either begin a blog or to re-energize a current one. With January almost over, have you met your short-term blogging goals? Are you still inspired and keeping up with your posting schedule? Do you need a kick-start to your inspiration?

Use your images as inspiration for your blog.
One way I find inspiration is to look at my photos. Between my old digital camera and my Samsung phone, I have thousands of photos! They say a picture is worth 1000 words. I am here to tell you a thousand words (in a blog post) are worth a picture!

If you have a large file of digital images, take the time to go through them. Most images tell some kind of story, whether it is a memory of a special vacation spot, family photos from 20 years ago, or images that can be edited into “art.” Chances are, you have a great subject for your next blog post and the image to go with it!

Photography Challenges
Another source of inspiration is to take a look at the variety of photography challenges available. Several bloggers offer these as challenges to share photos that fit a particular theme. Here are some to visit:
Jennifer Nicole Wells’ Color Your World Challenge. 

WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge

Norm 2.0 Thursday Doors 

Cee’s Photo Challenges

Hughes News and Views Weekly Photo Challenge

Large, blue garage door graces this fabulous retirement villa in Baja.

Baja Doors
The photo above (featured image) is submitted for Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors. Because of this challenge, I now purposely take photos of interesting doors. In doing so, I have guaranteed future blog posts with stories behind the images.

I took this photo while we were in Mexico. Several of our friends own properties and homes on the Baja peninsula. Most of these folks have retired and spend a few months in Mexico where they indulge in leisure pursuits like windsurfing, stand-up paddling, golf, hiking…you name it. Many of them plan their time so that they never have to see another winter day!

I also incorporated this photo into the color theme “cornflower” for Jennifer Nicole Wells Color My World. See? Two photo challenges with one photo!

Images can also be the source of poetry, prose or flash fiction. PJ at Beautiful Words frequently posts short flash-fiction inspired by a photo. You may be able to submit a photo for these challenges, which will create interest in your blog.

Photo challenges can also bring in more readers and followers to your blog. Many challenges have a link or a ping back which places the photo in a community where others can click on the image and read your post.

In fact, the Weekly Photo Challenge, which begins each Friday, is my biggest traffic generator and my best day of the week for blogging.

Photo Apps, Quotes and Text
Using photo editing programs/apps like PicMonkey or Canva; or Photoshop, for serious photographers, can add dimension to your images and the ability to watermark your image with your name/website. Using text on images, in the form of a blog title or an inspirational quote, elevates your photo to other social media sharing opportunities like Pinterest and Instagram.

I have used quotes on images with great success. Not only do they inspire another blog post, but the images shared in linky parties may get featured, shared and pinned, therefore bringing in more traffic to your blog.

Here is the same photo with a quote added to it as text. This adds much more dimension and potential for a post about the subject of retirement abroad.

use a quote on an image to generate interest

And then you can take the same image, crop and edit it further and make this your featured image. When I share this post in the link-ups I take part in each week, I will be able to select the photo below to help “sell” the post in the link-up photo gallery. I also add these to my Pinterest and Instagram accounts for more sharing opportunities.

using images as inspiration for your blog

If you find you are in need of inspiration, kill two birds with one stone. Go through your files and look for an image that tells a story and off you go. Add it to an appropriate blogging, photo or fiction challenge and have fun with it!

 


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57 Comments

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  1. Great information for bloggers to be able to generate great blog posts! Thank you so much for the mention!

  2. Thank you for including CYW in this wonderful post!

    1. Thank YOU for all the work you do for these challenges 🙂

  3. What’s my perspective, you ask. Well, my perspective is that I have entirely too many photographs – many I’ve taken, some old, some in a black and white stack waiting for me to make photo books for my husband and his brother. And some, like my kids baby pictures, in a box waiting for me to find the box. I thought it was in the basement, but nooooooo. I cleaned the basement. So the box, no doubt is in the attic. Where it will stay, no doubt, for a while. Probably a long while. However, I do like Shutterfly online photo books and have managed to make several of those from trips. But not yet our trip to France some years back…. waaaaaa. They still wait. But I do have a store for blog posts, that’s for sure!!! (and have used same….) Nice to see your post, T.

    1. Thanks, Janet! I, too, have a boatload of “hard copy” photos and the idea of digitizing them, just makes me tired. I’ve seen those Shutterfly online books. Do you like them? Good luck on your search for the box!

      1. Hi Terri. Just found this side line bar and unanswered comments and oh, my goodness, how so we keep up with it all….
        Anyway, yes. I like Shutterfly a lot and have made several books. And still, these many years later, have one from Paris that isn’t finished but waits for me none the less. Online.

      2. HI T erri, I love this post and will print out to remember it. I have to say, I have boxes of old photos too. After just having a birthday and only 9 more months to til I retire, I bought a small printer to scan the photos. It works really well and was only $50. I don’t usually promote things, but in case you want to try it. We were surprised at how fast it actually scanned.
        Avision AV36 Color Duplex USB Power CIS 600dpi Portable Compact Mobile Sheetfed Scanner 8.5″ x 14″ – 000-0669-00G
        Thanks for all the tips. ~Julia

      3. Thank you, glad it helped. I might have to check out your scanner. My tax guy had a portable style. I have a Canon all in one and I don’t like it.

      4. I love Shutterfly and have made several books. I looked at all the other brands of books but like the versitility and final product from Shutterfly. I don’t think you’d be disappointed although with hard copy photos you’ll have to scan and digitalize first.

      5. PS: scanning and saving hard copies isn’t hard but it does take time

  4. Terri, thanks so much for mentioning my weekly photo challenge in this post. That is so very kind of you to give it a mention.

    Like you, I’m always on the lookout for some good photography opportunities. I also get a lot of inspiration for my short stories from looking at both my own and other peoples’ photography. They do say that every picture tells a story and I believe them.

    1. Happy to include you! Glad to know this process works for people. Being visual, I need that extra inspiration…probably why I don’t write fiction 🙂

      1. Well….not really….last year in Writing 101, a little. NF is my genre 🙂

      2. Maybe I should send you a photo prompt? Then again, go with what you enjoy doing most of all.

  5. Hmmm … loads of photos …. and loads of intentions to post. And somehow the two don’t seem to come together 🙂 . Guess I should do just take pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard and START !!! ..
    Great post, Generously sharing your tips to prod us on 🙂

    1. Thank you! They have worked for me, Rose! You can do it too 🙂

      1. Ok .. will give it a go this weekend 🙂

  6. Good blogging tips, sharing some blog-love (thanks for that!), and a lovely door all in one post – awesome!

    1. Thanks for hosting the challenge, Norm and keeping us motivated!

  7. Great tips for inspiration Terri. Thank you 🙂

  8. This is a great post and it has some wonderful tips. Thanks for the pingback.

    1. Of course, Cee, and thank you for all the challenges you offer to keep us motivated!

  9. Wonderful images and doors and thanks for those tips.

  10. Occasionally, to free up space, I have to purge some unused images from my computer. It’s so hard to do!

  11. Thank you for your informative post, I’m just finding these challenges, joining and loving them. You have added a few more to my list!

    1. Oh good, and glad to help, Vicky, thank you very much!

  12. Just adding another challenge that’s recently surfaced after a blogging101 course which I was part of, a fellow blogger has set this one up. http://cafeludwig.com/monday-window/

    1. Thank you, and for following and reblogging! Much appreciated!

  13. Reblogged this on Annette's place and commented:
    I haven’t done a photo challenge yet but I am going to! This gives you tips to inspire you using even your own photo’s.

  14. Two photo challenges with one photo sounds highly efficient. 🙂

  15. Terri these are great ideas and tips! I also will use a photo to jump start a post- gets the mind going! 🙂

    1. You have great photos and posts, you are already a pro!

  16. One word: Brilliant!!! jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

  17. Stumbled :), I’m always taking random photos for future reference in a blog post. I love looking at photography blogs and am really fond of the Thursday Doors posts!

    1. Thx for stumbling. You always have great photos on your blog, no doubt a great source of inspiration for you!

  18. I have the opposite problem- I don’t take enough photos! When I do, I almost always end up using them. Otherwise I use stock photos. One of my goals is to learn how to use a decent camera (which means I have to actually buy one, which intimidates me.) In the meantime it is my phone. I do find inspiration in pictures and I love everyone else’s photos with quotes.

    1. I mostly use my phone. It works fine for phitos, with a little editing. Cameras are quite expensive esp if you want real lenses!

  19. Great ideas! I love utilizing photos but usually take photos after the blog idea has struck me. You have given me a new prespective and I am going to approach things the other way around. Get inspiration from photos already taken. I like pic monkey and have had a ball using it for edits. It is so user friendly.

    1. Thanks, glad I could be of service 😉

  20. Yess! I find that photos are my number one writing tool. I only started blogging a year ago, but I didn’t really hit my stride till I became actively aware that I had a habit of building posts around photos. I love interweaving my pics in the stories. Also, it’s an excuse to take photos! I love your tips about featured image.

    1. Thank you, it makes blogging life a little easier, I think! I appreciate your comment!

  21. Terri you enjoy your photography and we enjoy your photography. That is a good point that they help us be more creative writers as well.

    Kathleen
    Blogger’s Pit Stop

  22. Wow. Great multi-use of a photo! Very impressive – and a very good idea!

  23. I love photography and love learning how to use mine more creatively in the work I do. What a wonderful, useful post, Terri. Many thanks.

  24. You are so right, Terri. Every picture does tell a story — and a potential blog post.

  25. I love using photo’s in my posts and really need to progress to learning how to take better quality pictures – it’s on my ‘to do’ list and my vision board! x

    1. It was surprisingly easy once I got an editing program. Good luck!!

      1. Yes I need to master the photo editing too!

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