Category Archives: Pictures

12 Steps to Create Your Own Infographic

My Web Writerseaselly_visual

It seems like there are infographics to cover every topic. There are even infographics about infographics. What if you have information that you want to tell others, but there is no premade infographic that has all your information? It’s time to make your own. Stumped on how to do that?  Follow these 12 steps to create your own.

Infographic Prep Work

1.      Plan it Out. Know what information you want to give to your readers. Keep your message short, simple, relevant, and original.

2.      Be Specific. Give your readers more than superficial details. Go in depth. Be sure you have correct information. Correct and specific details build your credibility.

3.      Balance Information with Graphics. Infographics shouldn’t be too wordy, but they do need words to get your point across.

4.      Grab Attention with a Headline. Your headline brings in readers. Make it snappy!

5.      Keep Attention with Sub-Headlines. Sub-headlines draw your readers’ eyes through your infographic. Give your audience reasons to keep reading.

 6.      Match Your Tone to the Information. You do not want to detract from your message by making light of a serious topic. Humorous information loses appeal if it is presented in a serious tone.

You’re half way there!  Once you have the information portion of your infographic lined up, it’s time to focus on the graphics.

Designing Your Infographic

1.    Find a Template. There are many websites that offer free templates that you can use, but most of them require you to register with them.  The three largest sites are infogr.am, piktochart, and visual.ly.  There are also templates that work with Microsoft PowerPoint from this blog post. No matter where you get it from use a design that catches the eye.

2.    Choose Your Colors. Use color wisely. Too many colors look chaotic, but too few look boring.

3.    Choose Your Fonts. This is not the time to use every font you can. Focus on readability and restrict yourself to only a few font choices.

4.    Create Your Graphs. Just like with the sources for templates, there are many websites that create graphs for you. Microsoft Excel is also another source for graphs if your information is already in a spreadsheet.

5.    Create Space. As you are putting all the pieces together remind yourself, infographics that share too much information look messy. Allow some open space around your graphics for a more readable finished product.

6.   Put it Out There. After you create infographics, they won’t go viral overnight. You’ll have to work to get them noticed. Share them on Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus, and LinkedIn.

It may take a few tries to create the perfect graphic. If you have a relevant message and are using good information people will want to share it. ~Megan

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Filed under Content, Facebook, Google Plus, Infographics & Memes, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pictures, Pinterest, Social Media, Tumblr

What is Bing’s Subjectship and How does it Compare to Google’s Authorship?

UPDATE 2015: Google’s Authorship was scrapped by the end of 2013. We believe My Web Writers was a voice that contributed to this end. In an article, Forbes details the finale. Read My 2013 SMX Conversation with Matt Cutts about Google Authorship. About that time, Bing’s subjectship faded into an abyss, as well.

By Natalie

Authorship screen shot

Webmasters are always looking for the next great SEO boost. Google Authorship was launched this past year, so it was only natural that Bing would fire back with its own version, Bing Subjectship. Understanding the two and how they compare can help content writers and other authors and readers decide which they prefer from the world’s two favorite search engines.

Google Authorship

Although just a youngster, Google Authorship is proving itself as a successful tool to drive traffic to websites, especially blogs.  Look at the Google search to the right for “Google Authorship.” The photos you see are the authors of the articles.

Since Google added Authorship to its articles, the click-through rates are much higher than they were before.

Bing’s Subjectship

Bing decided to compete with Google via Bing Subjectship. Instead of seeing a picture of who wrote a specific article or blog post, you’ll see a picture of the subject matter.  If I wrote a popular blog post on a famous singer, my picture would show up next to the search result in Google, but Bing would show a picture of the famous singer and the picture might not be one I even used in my post.  Subjectship appears to be in an experimental stage.

This video further highlights some of the differences between Authorship and Subjectship:

After we contacted Bing for more information about Subjectship, we received the following reply.

It’s me again Docs from Bing Technical Support. We apologize for the delay of our response. We would like to provide you an update from our product group about your inquiry on Bing Subjectship. Allow me to discuss this with you.

Bing Support provides assistance for customers needing help with Bing and the features within Bing. We are unable to provide any additional information regarding Bing Subjectship nor any future plans and releases pertaining to Bing.

Thank you for your inquiry and interest in Bing.
Best Regards,

Docs
Bing Technical Support

So which do you find more appealing- a photo of who wrote the article or blog post, or a photo of who the post is about?

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Filed under Algorithms, Analytics, Blog Writing Tips, Content Marketing, Holiday Blog, Pictures, Search Engine Marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Website Linking

How to Make Your Blog a Brand

by My Web Writers

Your blog is made up of much more than the words which appear on each post. It’s made up of colors, logos, themes and the interaction you have with your readers. Once you’ve committed to launching your blog, don’t stop short of building continuing to build it into a brand. A brand has the power to communicate across posts and resonate within seconds with your readers. It is a critical differentiation between what turns a good blog into a great blog. Here are four essential starting points for turning your blog into a full blown brand – and it begins with some of the most basic details:

Choose a Signature Image & Color Scheme

One of the most essential ways to help brand your blog with your audience is to establish a signature image and color scheme. A signature image could be a logo, but it doesn’t have to be. It could also be a photo of something that represents the theme of your blog, maybe a pen and paper for example or it could be the initials of the blog’s name. If you’re choosing to brand the blog by your own name, consider using a head shot of yourself as the signature image to which readers can relate. As for the colors, this alone can define a blog. Think about your writing style, the topics you’ll be covering and the audience you’ll most likely be reaching. All of these factors will impact whether you choose a color scheme that is bright, upbeat and cheery or a color scheme that is dark, more professional and serious. Overall, your signature image and color scheme should become an extension of your brand and provide an accurate preview as to what readers can expect to find if they choose to read on.

 Develop Specific Themes

 When building a readership for your blog, you should narrow your topics enough to maintain the interest of your core audience. Ideally a blog should have 1-3 core topics with no more than five.  An example might include a blog which themes are Business & Success, Entrepreneurship and Social Media. All three of these topics easily intertwine but are also broad enough to allow for wide range of writing for years to come. What should be avoided is blog posts that jump around from reviews of television shows to talking about household chores and tips for job searching. These are too broad and unrelated to pull in a loyal audience that will be interested in what you write week after week. This also greatly hinders your ability to build a well-defined brand.

 Name Your Blog – And Use It

 Once you define your themes, what you should name your blog will become much clearer. A name should be short and creative above all else. If it is too long or unmemorable, it will be difficult to brand your blog with your audience by its name. You simply won’t use it – it won’t stick. Why is a name so important? Just as after so long our names begin to define a part of our personality and how others refer to us, the same is true for your blog. And just as knowing a name has the ability to turn a stranger into a familiar friend, as your readers connect with your blog and remember it by its name it too will become a familiar friend. Spend some time (but not too much) in this area and really give thought to your blog’s name. Choose something that’s meaningful to you and allows you to take ownership of it and then be sure to always refer to your blog by its chosen name!

 Create Blog-Specific Social Media Accounts

Your personal social media accounts are a great starting point for marketing your blog, but after a while your blog will be ready for its own social media accounts and ability to recruit its own network. Facebook and Twitter are great for blogs because you can promote every single post to people who might not yet be subscribers and reach a massive audience. This also allows you a platform for which you can start a discussion, ask for input or seek guest bloggers. The importance in separating your personal social media from your blog’s social media is that this allows your blog’s social media accounts to be solely dedicated to promoting its content and nothing else. You can and should still continue to promote your blog on your personal pages, but ultimately drive this traffic to your blog’s Facebook or Twitter accounts. A final benefit to doing this is that it allows you to design your blog-specific pages with the signature image, color scheme and name and provides additional ways to be found in search engines.

These core steps provide a great start toward branding your blog. With an easily identifiable brand, you will be better equipped to draw in new visitors and build a loyal reader base. The bottom-line of any effective branding is to remain clear and consistent so that your readers can form a relationship. With this relationship, you and your blog will become like a good friend they look forward to hearing from week after week.

~Stephanie

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Filed under Blog Writing Tips, Business Strategy, Marketing, Pictures, Reputation Management, Social Media

Free Photography Websites for Writers

By My Web Writers

It’s tough to tell which images you can use as a writer and which you can’t. Copyright laws make it difficult for many web writers to find images to place with their content, without paying for them.

These sites offer free images:

Freepixels

Freepixels has thousands of images available for download for free. The license agreement is fairly lengthy, but fully explains what expected for the use of each photograph. There tends to be a lot of advertising on this site, especially for other photography sites that charge for the use of their photos.

Stock.xchng

This site has thousands of images available for use in practically way possible. The photos are royalty free, and can be downloaded for use on blogs, websites, flyers, catalogs, and more. This site is also linked to istockphoto.com, so there are a few advertisements and even search results that come from that site, which you must pay for. Still, Stock.xchng has a lot of great photos for free.

Everystockphoto.com

Combining many free photo websites, this site searches multiple places for photos. Each photo may have a different license agreement with it. Some have required attribution, and others have different stipulations. Make sure you follow the agreement for each free photo you use.

 MorgueFile.com

MorgueFile does a nice job of spelling out its user agreement in simple language, without searching through a huge license agreement. What’s different about this site is the ability to filter results by size, date, category, rating, color and even geotag.

Shutterstock.com

Besides being able to search for images on shutterstock.com, it is also divided into categories like animals, graphics, industrial, objects, seasonal and textures.

ImageAfter.com

Image*after definitely has a different look that the sites mentioned above. A lot of the photos tend to be taken by amateurs and have a non-professional look, but with some digging you can find some good-quality photographs to pair with your writing.

Some other sites to consider:

freephotosweb.com

openphoto.net

Photo Rack

Freerangestock.com

Make sure that whatever site you’re on, you read the license agreement and follow its instructions. Some photos require attribution, some require none at all. There are many people out there who don’t take pictures for money, but instead want to see their work shared around the world. Browse these sites and see what you can find that will work for you, and do it for free!

~Natalie

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Filed under Blog Writing Tips, Favorite Websites, Pictures