A picture is worth a thousand words. This is true for real estate blogs as well. For instance, when reading about local homes or neighborhood, readers would greatly benefit by seeing pictures as well.
But where do you find pictures for your real estate blog? And how do you upload them through your blogging program? That’s what this lesson will teach you.
Objective: Learn how to find pictures for a real estate blog, and how to upload them through the blogging program interface.
Part 1 – How to Find Pictures for Your Real Estate Blog
When it comes to using pictures on a real estate blog, you basically have four choices for source material.
- You can take your own pictures with a digital camera and upload them to the blog.
- You can use the work of other photographers, if their licensing allows it.
- You can use public domain photos that don’t require any kind of citation.
- You can purchase pictures from a stock photo service like iStock or Shutterstock.
I recommend using the first three options above, with an emphasis on option #1. In my opinion, stock photos don’t add much value to real estate blog posts. On the other hand, photos of the actual subject matter (whether it be a home, a neighborhood, etc.) will add value to your blog content.
Many agents use Flickr to find photos for their real estate blogs. As you probably already know, Flickr is a photo-sharing social media website. It allows amateur and professional photographers to share their photos with other people online.
When people upload photos and pictures to Flickr, they are allowed to choose a Creative Commons license that allows other people to use their work, with certain restrictions. For example, the photographer might allow people to use the work for non-commercial purposes only (like on a personal blog or website). Some photographers skip the non-commercial licensing, which means real estate agents could use the images on their blogs as long as attribute the work appropriately.
Additionally, you might be able to find pictures to use on your real estate blog through public domain sources. When a picture is released into the public domain, anyone can use it for any legal purpose. This means real estate agents can upload public domain pictures onto their blogs without even citing the photographer who produced the work (though it’s a courtesy to cite the source). You might find some useful images with a public domain search, but it doesn’t compete with Flickr in terms of volume.
The first two options listed above (taking your own pictures, and using the work of others) will suffice for most real estate blogging scenarios.
Part 2 – How to Upload Photos With a Blogging Program
Most blogging programs make it very easy to upload pictures to a real estate blog. This is one of the benefits of using them in the first place.
There is usually an “image” or “media” icon located on the toolbar within the post-editing window. All you have to do is click this button, browse your computer to find the real estate photo you want to upload, and then insert it into the blog post.
Blogging programs also allow you to float the image left or right, and also to resize it as needed. Familiarize yourself with these useful tools.
Uploading pictures to a real estate blog is simple for our MetroDepth bloggers, because we use the WordPress content-management system. WordPress makes it very easy to add pictures to a blog post. This program is incredibly user-friendly, even for first-time users. That’s why so many bloggers choose it. If you are thinking about starting a real estate blog, and you’re shopping around for a blogging program, I highly recommend using (or at least considering) WordPress.
Best Practices for Using Pictures in a Real Estate Blog
So now you know how to find and upload pictures and photos to a real estate blogging program. Let’s move on to discuss some of the best practices for using photography within a blog post.
1. Use purposeful pictures as much as possible.
Earlier, I gave the example of a neighborhood photograph accompanying a blog post about neighborhoods within your market area. This is a good example of a purposeful photo. It gives the reader more information about the subject matter that is being covered.
The same goes for pictures of a house, or pictures of a new restaurant that opened in town. Such photos have a purpose and will make a nice addition to your real estate blog content.
On the other hand, a cliché photo of people shaking hands does not add much value to a blog post. It has no purpose whatsoever, other than serving as mere window dressing.
2. Don’t let your pictures interfere with your blog readability.
Pictures should be used to enhance the written content within your post, not to obscure it.
The exception to this, of course, would be a photo-based blog post. For example, if you write a post entitled “Pictures of the New Sunnydale Neighborhood Being Built,” the photos themselves are the stars of the article. So it would be perfectly acceptable to minimize the written content and focus instead on the photographs.
In other cases, you have to find a reasonable balance between written and graphical content. Let common sense guide you. Look at your real estate blog post when you’re done with the draft, and review it for readability. Is it easy to read? If not, make some adjustments to the formatting and layout.
3. Size your images appropriately.
Blogging programs allow you to scale images so that they fit neatly within your blog posts. They also allow you to link to the full-size image from within the post. This way, the reader can see a smaller version that does not obscure the written content, and they can click the image to enlarge it.
Bottom line: If you are going to add photos to your real estate blog, you need to understand all of the image-management features your blogging program provides.
4. Use “alt” tags with your blog images to improve search engine visibility.
An “alt” tag tells search engines and web browsers what an image is all about. By using descriptive keywords within these tags, your real estate blog images will have a better chance of showing up in search engines.
Remember, search engines display image results as well as website results. So people can find your real estate blog through the images you use, as long as you label them appropriately.
The image on the right, courtesy of WordPress.org, shows where you would add the “Alt Text” when uploading photos to a WordPress-powered blog.
Here is a good lesson on using alt tags for website images, courtesy of Penn State.
Our Bloggers Benefit from Unlimited Tech Support!
If you are a MetroDepth blogger, help is only an email away. We offer unlimited technical support to our bloggers, and this includes the use of images within a blog post. If you need help finding images, adding pictures to your real estate blog, or managing photos with the content-management tools, please email the support staff. We provide one-on-one support by phone as well as email.
We also provide training and consulting services for real estate agents nationwide (even if you are not an official MetroDepth blogger). We can teach you how to blog more effectively, by using the best practices we have honed over 13+ years of blogging professionally.