[header_box_1 title=”the yeah write 2012 summer writer’s series, part 3″]

Week Three: blog design for beginning and advancing bloggers

This week’s prompts are at the very end of this post. Today’s contributing editor is Flood G who tweets as @floodg and displays her collection of photos here on yeah write and on Flickr. If you have any questions or need any clarification on today’s topic or prompts, please feel free to begin a discussion in comments.

If you’re here just to hang out, click here for the yeah write #66 hangout grid.

[/header_box_1]

Like a book’s cover, we can’t judge your content by a picture.

As you consider the interior design of your online space, let’s take a look at the basics of using images you’ve shot or collected.

Pictures attract, then motivate us to read on. More importantly, an image engages visual memory and anchors your post to the mind. The link between your well-written story and the visuals you choose is what creates staying power with the reader. That’s going to be true no matter where you write.

If you plan on being more verbose than the yeah write 500-1000 word standard, images give the eye a break. No one is excited about a desert of text before knowing it’s good. Your images are an oasis to readers, as well as a place-marker when they’re interrupted.

As with other signatures, like template and font, consistent use of photos reminds people they are in your space. It’s important to take each posts’ length into consideration when you think about photo placement. No matter how short your post, there’s always one image that suits your subject. I’m a fan of text wrapping around a shot, print-magazine style. You might prefer a banner image at the head of each entry.  However you decide to place your images, do it the same way each time as a way to brand your blog.

Decide how often you will give your reader a break. Make it your custom to never add images more than, say, every five-seven paragraphs. It’s easy to abuse other media for content when you run out of words. Too many photos, youtube videos and infographics make your post look like a weak Pinterest board.

Quick Tips

[bullet_list]

  • Screencaps should be a little bigger for easy reading
  • When using jpegs, they should be large enough to be legible. Readers should only embiggen because they like the image so much they want it to fill their screen. They should not embiggen because the picture is so small, they have no idea what it is
  • Allow room for any required credits or captions
  • Don’t use anything so large it needs extended time to load the page. Nothing gets people to hit the back button faster than a long load. Generally, medium-sized, landscape orientation is the best choice

[/bullet_list]

 

 

Earlier this week, I suggested some ideas about taking shots that couple with the subject of your writing, directly or indirectly.  Don’t feel married to that advice. It’s okay to use images that seemingly have nothing to do with your post. [Editor’s note: you talkin’ to me? ~EM] People make their own connections, just as lyric-lovers do for their favourite songs. The point, always, is to draw the reader to your writing.  

Just as you carefully consider the necessity of each word you write, be sure that you are using images to your advantage. Offer your best stuff to your readers and they will always reward you for it.

Tomorrow: the jury prize winner announced!

[header_box_1 title=”yeah write #66 writing prompts”]

all your story are belong to you

[check_list]

  • Read the summer FAQ page for other details: the grid is being moderated and if you’re missing an element outlined in the summer FAQ, your post will not be published on the grid
  • Let the prompt lead you, but do not include the prompt in any way in your post, not at the beginning as an intro, not at the end as a footnote. If you reference the prompt in your post, your post will not be published on the grid
  • Remember: no more than 500 words. If your post exceeds 500 words, yup, you guessed it—no publish for you
  • If the prompt takes you from thunderstorms to watching TV at your grandma’s house to how much you love Pat Sajak to the oldest person you’ve ever kissed, we want that story the furthest away in your imagination from the original prompt. Let your imagination loose
  • Keep your writing style! Do you tell stories with humor? Prose? Verse? Photos? Illustrations? Keep doing that. We’ll read Shakespearean drama on our own time
  • Cut away at everything unnecessary to your story
  • You’ll have until today at noon EDT [-4GMT] to submit this week’s post
  • Don’t forget to badge your post
  • Have fun!

[/check_list] 

[divider_header_h3] This week’s prompts [courtesy of Tom Slatin] [/divider_header_h3]

[arrow_list]

  • What music album would be used for a movie about your life?
  • Was your first kiss everything you wished or hoped it would be?
  • What is the most amount of money you have had at one time?

[/arrow_list]

[/header_box_1]

Yeah write #66 summer writer’s series grid is open…