Jacki Kellum

Juxtapositions: Read My Mind

Tag: The Importance of Images for Bloggers

The Importance of Visual Images and Illustrations in Books, Marketing, Social Media, and Other Communication

A couple of years ago, I began researching the importance of visual images in communication. A report in 2015 said:

“…marketers who are leveraging visual content are seeing significant increases in their blog traffic, social media engagement, visitor-to-lead conversion rates and inbound customer acquisition results.”

“Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets.”

“70% of marketers plan to increase their use of original visual assets in 2015”

“Over the last 12 months almost every major social network, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram have increased the prominence and importance of visual content. Keeping pace with this trend, several research studies conducted over the course of 2014 point to the rather amazing effectiveness of visual content for social media.” http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/visual-content-marketing-strategy

Conclusions of a 2017 report indicate that opinions about the importance of visual images in marketing has continued to find favor Here

General Visual Content Statistics

2) 74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing, ahead of blogs (68%) and videos (60%).  (Source)

3) When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.  (Source)

The Uncle Sam poster [above] is probably one of the best marketing efforts of all time, and the visual images and colors on that poster are what caused its success. The image of Uncle Sam is what catches your eye and draws the viewer in. I have an experiment for you. How impressed are you with the following comment:

I Want You

I dare to say that the previous sentence is not very impressive to most people.

Let’s try it again. Let’s try it in bold:

I Want You

That is still fairly unimpressive. Let’s try the words as a quote:

I Want You

Well, at least I see the words now. The words are separated from the rest of the text. Let’s try bolding the words and then putting them in a quote

I Want You 

Now, let’s see how much better the impact becomes with the addition of color and the increasing of the font size:

poster-i-want-you

With every added action on the words, we make them more noticeable, but nothing that we do to the words alone will make the same impact as the poster does once the image of Uncle Sam is added.

Dr. Lynell Burmark said the following about the importance of images:

“Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak.” Dr. Lynell Burmark, Ph.D. Associate at the Thornburg Center for Professional Development and writer of several books and papers on visual literacy, said, “…unless our words, concepts, ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out the other ear.”

Whoever controls the media—the images—controls the culture. – Alan Ginsberg

Considering that Alan  Ginsberg was a poet and an author and not a photographer or visual artist, this admission from him speaks volumes. 

The Uncle Sam poster was released in 1916, and its purpose was to motivate Americans to support the war effort. That poster is still powerful today–100 years later–and its importance does not lie in the words that it provides. The power lies within the image.

I have completed graduate work in several areas. Because I was essentially paid to get my MA in English, I earned that master’s degree first. As I sat before the graduate committee to earn my second master’s degree in visual art, a professor said to me, “You already have one master’s degree, why do you want another?”

My quick and simple reply was [and still is]: “Because A Picture’s Worth 1,000 Words.”

Image result for songs of innocence publication date

I penned my first master’s thesis about William Blake who both wrote and illustrated his writing almost 250 years ago, and I am committed to my belief that images energize and draw interest to the written word. William Blake was not a marketer. He was a writer, and yet he realized the value of visual images in communicating through his writing.

Most of the people who read this post will be bloggers, and I heartily recommend the use of visual images in blogging, but I am also convinced of the importance of visual images in novels and other books. In my opinion, pictures are the best way to bring your words to life. Because of the hurried pace of life in the 21st Century, many people will never approach your writing at all–unless your writing is enhanced by images.

©Jacki Kellum July 22, 2017

Dormant

Maybe You’ll Still Be Successful – Even Without Marketing & SEO – But Don’t Count On That!

Being Successful with Any Kind of Online Business Requires More Than Magical Thinking!

Maybe you’ll still be successful online–even without marketing & SEO–but don’t count on that! 

  1. You Need a Real Marketing Plan. 
  2. You Need to Increase Your SEO.
  3. You Need to Be Found Online.

Let’s talk about some practical approaches to building an online presence.

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Many would say that creating a website would be one of the first steps toward building an online presence, but my blog sites have been  better tools for me.  I venture to say that this would be true for most writers or for people who are verbal. I am also a painter, and I have tried simple online galleries, but I have another need to talk about ideas and my feelings and my projects. The more important thing, as far as marketing goes, is that other people seem to want to listen.

For a couple of years, I had several free WordPress blogs, but I feel that I have outgrown the free blog option, but for a long time, my free WordPress blogs worked great for me

godaddyNow, GoDaddy is hosting some full WordPress.org sites for me, and they have a .com address. In my opinion, this approach offers me the best of two worlds–I have both websites and blogs. This site is one of the sites that GoDaddy is hosting.

Regardless of how you do this, however, an online home–a place where people can find you–is essential to marketing online–even if you are only marketing yourself.

 

If you are trying to increase your SEO or your Search Engine Optimization, or if you simply want to be found on the Internet, you must become serious about marketing yourself. Millions–probably Billions–want that same thing. The people who win the race will be the people who learn how to effectively sell themselves online.

Now, this may sound confusing, but I believe that maintaining an active blog is still very important for marketing yourself. That’s right–even if you have a regular website, I still believe that blogging regularly–even a couple of times per day–is essential for being found online.

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How Blogging Helps Increase Your SEO

I began blogging 2.5 years ago. At that time, my intention was to create an online gallery for peddling my paintings, and somewhere I had read that I needed to attract attention to my site. I researched various types of blogs, and I elected to launch a WordPress blog.

At that time, I knew that many people would be interested in free tutorials for Photoshop and for Adobe Illustrator, and to draw people to my site, I initially created many tutorials for the Adobe products. From the earliest date, however, I also began to blog about something else that I felt I knew a little bit about. For my first graduate degree in English, I wrote about William Blake, and at some time past, I did feel passionate about the Romantic ideals and about how the experienced and emotionally bankrupt adult of the world had stripped life of its emotion, energy, intuitiveness, and imagination.

It had been a long time since I had written that thesis, but I began to write posts about the loss of imagination and the Waste Land that resulted from the loss of feeling. Unlike the Adobe tutorials, these posts required that I actually write, and that was something that I had not done for quite some time. I was stunned by the number of readers that I attracted through those earliest posts.

I attribute the fact that anyone read those earliest posts to Google. Somewhere, I had read that I needed to tag my posts and that by tagging, I would draw viewers. Like a child in elementary school, I did as I was told, and it worked. Strangers began to find my blog site. But I began to realize that my cart and my horse were totally confused. Although I did use the Adobe products myself and although at one time, I had studied William Blake, that was not what I was trying to sell 2.5 years ago. For a while, I simply quit blogging, but the Adobe tutorials continued to draw viewers.

In October of 2015, I decided to return to my writing, and I plunged into writing, as a form of expression. It was as though a cork had been released. If you look at the following graph, you can see that in October of 2015, I posted wrote many articles and because I had learned how to tag my posts and because Google had already found me, people read my creative writing, too.

stats-october-2015

I continued to write in November, but shortly after that, I became ill and did not write much again until May. In July, I decided to move forward with a project that I had begun before I became ill, and that project was the Mine Your Memories Writing Event.

At some time during the fall of 2015 or during early winter of 2016, I began responding to the WordPress Daily Prompt, and because of that effort, my writing improved, I attracted a relatively large number of readers, and I also attracted several followers. And again, some of my success was because of Google–and some of it was because of the WordPress Groupies. Any way that you look at it, blogging has been an invaluable asset for me in increasing my SEO–even for elevating my page rank.

Sharing Images Online Is A Way to Market Yourself

As I said before, blogging is a great tool for drawing attention to yourself.  Because your blog is a great place to share images online, your blog becomes an even greater resource for building an online presence. Today, I began blogging on a new combination blog and website that is also hosted via GoDaddy. That site will be very helpful for people who are serious about being found online. Today, I posted the following articles about how to find and use images and how those images will hep increase your Search Engine Optimization:

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How to Find & Save Google Images Here

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Dangerous Myths Regarding Google Images – How to Be Sure That Your Images Are Free to Use Here

Pixabay_Copyright-Free_Images

Pixabay Is An Outstanding Resource for Finding Free & Copyright-Free Images Here

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The Creative Commons Is the Best Kept Secret Secret for Finding Free & Copyright-Free Images, Music, Clip Art, & Videos Here

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The Uncle Sam Poster “I Want You” is Proof of the Power of Images Here

For now, this is all that I’ll say about the importance of marketing yourself online, but allow me to repeat my original position by saying that marketing yourself is essential for people who are struggling to have their books, or the art, or the writing, or their videos, or the music found online. Maybe you can succeed in the 21st-Century without increasing your SEO, but I honestly doubt that you will. The economy is not good, and more and more people are launching Internet businesses. The competition is overwhelming. Increasing your Search Engine Optimization is vital for people who hope to rise to the top.

©Jacki Kellum August 10, 2016

Maybe

 

How To Use Images to Improve Your SEO – Search Engine Optimization

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I discovered an outstanding pdf that explains SEO or Search Engine Optimization, and how to increase one’s searchability in Google. The pdf is an official Google publication. Therefore, I feel that it should be the last word on how to be better seen via Google search: http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf

The guide is a bit dense; therefore, I’ll summarize a few points that stuck out to me:

A blog post’s title is key to SEO.

Although Google has become bigger than life, it is important to remember that it is not a person and that you will get the best search results if you title your writing or your art in ways that machines understand. I am guilty of enjoying using arty titles, and when my titles are too obscure, I add a colon and an explanatory phrase.  About a year ago, I titled a short poem Butterfly Breeze, and later, I entered it in a blog post with nothing more than that same and opaque title. Later, I realized that the title ” Butterfly Breeze” is a bit vague for Google to get its “head” around. Here is the poem:

Butterfly Breeze
by Jacki Kellum

Soft and silver, the delicate, gossamer-like lace swept into my room
Whispering a butterfly breeze.

Whiff of a lily followed along,
Crickets and whippoorwills sang me song,

And moon dust cradled my head.
©Jacki Kellum October 7, 2015

When I limited my reference to this poem as nothing more than “Butterfly Breeze,” I might have attracted searchers who were looking at the migration of the Monarch butterfly [if I was lucky], or I might have attracted some environmentalists who were searching for information about how pollution affects butterflies and other insects.  But with that slippery title, I probably caught no butterflies at all. Over the course of a couple of years’ efforts to create a brand of my name, however, my blog post might have worked better with search engines if I had added something more after the poem’s title. I might have added the following words: “Jacki Kellum Poetry” or “Jacki Kellum Memoir” or “Jacki Kellum Memoir Poem.” Butterfly Breeze is all of the previous, and my attempt to be found by search engines would be best served if I had found a way to add all of the data as part of the title of my blog’s post. 

The way that you tag your images is also of importance.

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When we talk about tagging things in our posts, we are not talking about hanging a pretty and decorative label on it. Tags for online data are work-horses.

tags This shows the tags that I have most used today on this site. Since I have only begun blogging here today, the number of tags that I have used is still very small. Within a few months, I will have used thousands of tags to describe my blog posts to Google and to other Search Engines.

Important Note: You can also Tag the Images that You Insert Into Your Posts.

tag_image_tags Before I Tagged the above Image

tag_image_tags3After I tagged the above image.

Immediately before you click to insert an image into your post, you have an opportunity to add some metadata. In the previous image, you see how someone else had tagged the image of the tag as nothing more than music and some numbers. Notice here that I titled the tag the way that it relates to why I am using this image in my posts [Hint: I am not writing about music in this post]

I don’t add a caption. The caption shows up on the post.

I added an alternate tag. This allows me another chance to catch the search engines.

Notice that I separate the words in the title and the alt text with underlines.

 

 

 

 

 

I  admit it: I am an impulsive will-o-the-wisp. and I do not like to take the extra 15 seconds that it would require for me to fill in metadata for my images. Allow me to show you how simple that task actually is on a WordPress blog site:

Just before you click to insert your image, you see the following boxes:

How to Increase Google Statistics
How to Increase Google SEO with Image Tags

Arrow 1. Title your tag with small letters and an underscore between each word i.e. increase_seo_google

Arrow 2. Write a description with important keywords: How to increase your Google SEO Search Engine Optimization Statistics. In order to find the very best keywords, do a Google keyword search.

Arrow 3. Provide an alternate title tag with small letters and an underscore between each word: how-to-increase-your-search-engine-optimization

Arrow 4. Write a description of the image. Again, use keywords.

This is just 2 simple ways that will definitely increase your SEO.

Remember: If it is worth saying – it is worth being read. Increasing your SEO is the way that people find you and read you

©Jacki Kellum August 9, 2016

 

 

 

 

The Creative Commons is the Best-Kept Secret for Finding Copyright-Free Photographs, Clip Art, Music, & Videos,

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In the previous post, I told you about Pixabay, which is the best place that I have ever seen for finding top quality photographs. You can access Pixabay at www.pixabay.com.

creative-commons-pixabay

The Creative Commons is a registry of links to several places where Copyright-Free images, clip art, music, videos, etc., can be accessed. You can find the Creative Commons at www.http://search.creativecommons.org/

I use the Creative Commons all day every day, and I have the site Bookmarked on my computer. I always begin my image search via Pixabay, and to do that, I click on the Pixabay tab, and then, I enter my search term.

creative-commons-google-images

Notice, however, that on the Creative Commons, there is also a direct link to Google Images, and that is the second place that I search good images.

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In addition, there is a direct link to Open Clip Art,.
Joker by JAKoriginal

The Creative Commons is an essential resource for me, and remember: It is filled with treasures that are Free and Copyright-Free.

©Jacki Kellum August 9, 2016

Pixabay Is An Outstanding Resource for Finding Professional Quality Free-Copyright Photographs

pixabay-868437_1920

In the two previous posts, I have told you how to find Copyright-Free Google images that are of good quality. Now, I want to tell you about an even better resource for finding Copyright-Free Images that are of GREAT quality, and that site is Pixabay at www.pixabay.com

As I also said before, the images for my blog posts are almost as important as my writing. In my opinion, a blog post is not complete until it has been illustrated well. I wholeheartedly endorse the fact that A Picture Is Worth 1,000 words, and I maintain that great images have the ability to communicate things that words simply cannot.

Allow me to share some of my favorite  Pixabay images:

walkers-486583

ballet-542170 tea-381235_1920

schultute-1499046_1920

header-draw-nature-flowers

Allow me to reiterate that the Pixabay images are of professional quality–like Stock Images, and they are free for you to use.  Before you can download any of the higher quality images, you must create an account with a password, but I can assure you that you will not receive ANY unsolicited emails or advertisements from Pixabay. I cannot endorse this site enough,

©Jacki Kellum August 9, 2016

Dangerous Myths about Google Images and Breaking the Copyright Laws – How to be Sure That Your Images Are Free to Use

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Playing Dumb about Copyright Laws is Waiting for a Bomb to Explode.

Begin to Protect Yourself from Copyright Fallout! Know Which Images that You Can Use and Which You Cannot Use

Huge Myth Regarding Google Images: Not All of Google’s Images Are Copyright-Free – In the previous article, I told you how to search for Google Images and how to save the  images to your computer. A word of warning, however:

If you want to find images that are Copyright-Free, You Must Apply some Filters to Your Search.

Let’s perform the same search in Google images that we performed in the previous post.

To find a Google Image: go to http://www.google.com

Click at the top right on the word Images

google-image-1

When the Google Image screen opens, you will enter your search word or phrase in the search window

google-image-2a1

Type your search word or phrase in the box [as shown below].

google images -3a

Then click on the blue box that is holding a magnifying glass. You can also hit the Enter or the Return Key, and a cluster of possible selections will appear. 

After your window has filled with search results, which in this instance will produce images of soaring birds, you must begin to apply your filter. Beneath the Search Window and at the right end, you will see the words “Search tools.” Click on that

google-images-copyright-free

When you click on the words “Search tools,” another row options opens beneath the first row.

 google-images-copyright-free3

Click on the words “Usage rights,” and a drop-down menu will appear.If you have applied no filters on your search, the words “Not filtered by license” will be checked. DO NOT use those images. They are NOT copyright-free. Check one of the other options, and with each check, different images will fill your window with results, according to whether you will use the image commercially or non-commercially.

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In the next article, I’ll share a few more secrets about finding other copyright-ree images with you.

©Jacki Kellum August 9, 2016

 

 

 

How to Find and Save Google Images

google_logo_by_jkotlan

I am a visual artist as well as a writer and when I post ANYTHING on any of my blogs, I take the time to find images that highlight and reinforce the text. In working toward my first master’s degree, I wrote a thesis about William Blake who wrote and illustrated Songs of Innocence and Experience, and since that time, I have been committed to the challenge of using both images and words as modes of communication. In the beginning, I used images because I simply believed that the pictures were aesthetically essential. Since that time, however, I have discovered that  the use of images is another way to increase SEO or Search Engine Optimization.  In this post, I’ll show you how to use photographs to help people find you on the Internet. In the next post, I’ll tell you how a good image helps increase SEO.

Most people have probably heard of Google Images, but allow me to review a few things about Google’s massive index of images. The first and very important thing to understand is that not every Google Image is Copyright-Free. Some of the images can be used freely, but some cannot. In this article, I’ll discuss the differences between the Copyright Free Images and those that cannot be used without permission.

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First, let’s talk about Where and How to Find Google Images

To find a Google Image: go to http://www.google.com

Click at the top right on the word Images

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When the Google Image screen opens, you will enter your search word or phrase in the search window

google-image-2a1

Type your search word or phrase in the box [as shown below].

google images -3a

Then click on the blue box that is holding a magnifying glass. You can also hit the Enter or the Return Key, and a cluster of possible selections will appear. 

google-images-4

Initially, the images will appear as thumbnails.  Once you find what you like,

DOUBLE CLICK on that image, and it will open by itself. 

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The selected image will appear larger on the left of a screen like the above. RIGHT CLICK on the larger image.

You will have several options, select “Save image As”:

When you right-click the image and select “Save Image As,”

You Will Save Your Image in a Pictures Folder on Your PC. If you were saving a Word document, you would save as a Document, but you save images as Pictures. On the following screen, click on Pictures.

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You will be taken into your Pictures Folder, On the Left side, you can elect to save in your PC Libraries. Again, save your image as Pictures and NOT as Documents

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I have many, many pictures saved to my computer. [ My computer was designed to be able to store a lot of images.] I have created several sub-folders with my Pictures.

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It is not necessary to create a Sub-Folder, but I have a Sub-Folder for the images for my website Computer Clever

You can Save anywhere inside the Pictures Library. When you are where you want the image saved, click on the word “Save,” which is at the bottom of the page.

©Jacki Kellum August 9, 2016
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