Sharp, clear image of Spanish style house.
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Selecting Photos For WordPress Based Articles

If you are trying to create a good authority blog and want to ensure that you are getting the best possible results, you will need to incorporate great visuals into your posts. However, taking and editing all of your own photos is extremely time consuming, and buying licenses can leave you with lower profits than you initially wanted. Thankfully, there are a number of different options available online for selecting photos for WordPress based articles that will help you get around this problem, boosting your income over time.

What To Look For


You will want to make sure that all pictures are high quality, preferably in .PNG format. Avoiding .JPG and BMP formats is a must, as neither of these formats display well.

Make sure that the colors are bright and interesting, not washed out or too saturated. Everything should be in focus, or the main item should be, with everything else softened. Nothing should look grainy, be filled with strange shadows, or be too dark. If you have to do corrective work to make it seem decent, you should simply look for a different photo.

Sharp, clear image of Spanish style house.
Sharp, clear image of Spanish style house.

Objects should look sharp and clear, especially if you are working with large photos. Make sure that the image looks good both when expanded and when smaller. This will ensure that your readers are impressed with the images, and that they get a feeling of quality from your blog posts.


The bigger the better when selecting photos for WordPress. Your WordPress account will re-size them, making them fit well with other images, but the size will give you more to work with. This is especially important when you are working with landscapes are architecture photos.

Lack of watermarks

Nothing makes you look more like an amateur or more like you are trying to sell your readers on a product than watermarks. Unless you are talking about a very specific product, you should avoid watermarks at all costs. Watermarks, text, borders, and other additions take away from the photo and make your posts look cheap. Photos are there to effectively double your content, don’t take away from their ability to do so.

Interesting Matter

When you look at a photo, it should catch your eye. When looking through hundreds of images, it should be the one that jumps out at you. Each post will have less than five images, so finding photos that stand out is extremely important.

Image of man reaching to help woman out of water
Man reaching to help woman out of water

Make sure it is a photo you want to look at, not one that just seems to fit. If you don’t want to look at the image, then your readers don’t want to either. Just like written content, you should personally find the photos you use engaging.

What To Avoid


While there are a number of Creative Commons images on Wikipedia, they are not images that you want to use on your blog. These images are the first ones to appear when someone Googles a subject, meaning your readers are likely to have already seen them. In addition, it can be almost impossible to get traffic from photo searches if you are using one of these images.


While you can use stock images with people in them, you should steer clear of celebrities. Many celebrities don’t license their own photos, and their companies may offer blanket take-down notices. You may use a photo and then find out that the photographer has now sold the rights, making it impossible for you to continue using the photo. Overall, it is simpler to just avoid using photos of celebrities.

Artsy images

Unless you are running an art blog, you shouldn’t be looking for photos that scream out “art.” These images serve to alienate a large number of readers, and can make your site look less professional. Photos with excess filters, high contrast, and strange composition are generally to be avoided.

Clashing colours

The colors of your website are important, and so are the photos that you choose. Try to avoid photos with colors that clash against your website background and other elements. If it is hard on the eyes, choose a different photo.


Ratio Of Words To Images

In general, you shouldn’t have more than 300 words in an article without an image. Between two to three paragraphs should be all that you write before putting in an image. This makes your content look longer, but also breaks up your content in a way that is pleasing to your client.

Normally you should put an image at the top of your article, centering it and keep it under 500 pixels high. This is the normal setting for large images in WordPress. You can of course edit your defaults, making sure that the image looks good on your site.  The image that you place at the beginning should be relevant to all points of your article, or should introduce the subject to readers.

Hands holding pink rose bud.
Hands holding pink rose bud.

Then you would write 200-300 words on your subject, before placing another image that is relevant to the subject at hand. Coincidentally, this is the number of words you should have under a subheading in order to optimize your content. Your images should go before the next subheading, and may relate to the content in either paragraph. However, you will want to make sure that you are consistent with your formatting, ensuring viewers know what to expect from your website.

Finally, you should not place any images at the end of your article. An image at the end of the last paragraph will make readers feel that your article is unfinished. You should instead have an image that summarizes the entirety of the article before your wrap-up paragraph. This will ensure that readers feel connected to the content.

SEO Optimizing Your Photos

While the rest of your website might be optimized for SEO, it is also important to ensure that your photos are optimized as well. This is a relatively simple process, taking only a few minutes to complete. However, you will find that your posts get more attention if you go through with these steps.

Filling in attributes

Fill in all of the possible attributes, even the caption when possible. Try to fit the keyword into the description if possible, as bots will take this into account when indexing. This can be a way to get keywords onto a page without making them overly visible in the copy, helping you reach 0.05% or 0.06% saturation with ease.

Naming conventions

Try and name the photos in a way that is descriptive and references the keyword. One common method is item name, article

Image of old keys on keyboard.
Old keys on keyboard.

keyword, short description, all fit together with dashes. If you were blogging about a key on an article about locksmiths where the key was over 100 years old, the name of the file might look like this; keys-locksmiths-100-year-old-key.

This brings up the keyword when images are searched for, and will bring in traffic from those searches as well.

Unique photos

Try to avoid picking an image that everyone is using, you will get less traffic using this kind of image. Instead, go through a few different pages, looking for a photo that others have yet to use. This will make your page more relevant, and will also make the reader more likely to stay on your page.

selecting photos for WordPress
Selecting Photos For WordPress

Final Thoughts

Overall, selecting photos for WordPress based articles is easy, but it does require you to think and put in effort. However, taking the time to do it right will result in higher levels of customer engagement, and longer amounts of time spent on your pages. Photos are a must have when it comes to blogging, so choose the right ones to get the best results.

Always remember to check through your images before referencing an old blog, making sure that all links are active as well. In this way, you can create truly evergreen content that only requires minimal tweaking and can be used to reference itself.

Terry Chadban

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