If you want to spice up your blog posts with a few images, you may find yourself in a bit of a bind. If you don’t take a large number of images yourself, you may not have a good stash of images to pull from.
Fortunately though, there are plenty of photographers and artists on the Web who are happy to allow you to use their images on your site for free, under certain restrictions, and they clearly tag their work with Creative Commons Licenses.
However, finding CC-licensed images can be a bit of a pain and inserting them into your blog posts an even bigger one. Not only is following a CC license trickier than first meets the eye, but sizing and formatting an image for your blog typically requires extra steps, even when done from Flickr.
Fortunately, Photo Dropper, a WordPress plugin, has a very simple solution to the problem. It automates every step of the process, from searching for and locating the image that you need to sizing, formatting and attributing it in your blog.
For those that like to include images in their blog, Photo Dropper is a one-stop shop and a plugin that is too powerful to ignore.
How it Works
Installing Photo Dropper is the same as any other WordPress plugin, you download it the zip file from their site, extract it and upload it to your plugin directory.
Once you’ve activated Photo Dropper, you then need to configure it to work for your site. However, the settings of the current version of the plugin are very simple.
First, you select if you want to use the “classic” interface, something we’ll discuss in a moment. Then you select how many images you want displayed per page, the default of 25 is pretty good but some may want more. Then, if you’re using it on a blog with advertising or is for a business, you need to be sure to check the box to only show images available for commercial use. After that, you select if you want photos sorted by “most interesting”, which is something that simply has to be experimented with, and you set up the formatting with HTML that goes before and after each embedded photos, such as including DIV tags or TABLE tags.
Once that’s done, the plugin should be ready to go. When you go to create a new post, you will either see a Photo Dropper logo in your media bar above your writing are or, if you selected the “classic” interface, as a box below your writing pane.
To use Photo Dropper, you just put your cursor where you want the image to appear in your post and click the button. You are then prompted to enter a keyword similar to Google Image Search. Simply put in something that is relevant to the types of images you are looking for and Photodropper will search Flickr for correctly-licensed images. It will then return a set of results based upon your search with the option beneath each thumbnail to either view it large or embed it as a small, medium or large image.
When you have found the image you want, simply click the “S”, “M” or “L” and it will insert the needed HTML into your post. Photo Dropper will automatically embed the image from Flickr, meaning there is no need to upload it to your server first. It will also link the image back to the source and provide a correct CC-compliant attribution as a caption to the image.
The end result of Photo Dropper is that, within a matter of seconds, you can import, format and attribute an image in your blog post and rest assured that your use is legal and compliant with both the Flickr terms of service and the requirements of the image’s Creative Commons License.
Tips and Tricks
Though Photo Dropper is powerful out of the box, there are a few tips and tricks you can take advantage of to get the most out of the plugin.
- Left and Right Justification: The only weakness of the plugin is the formatting. The way it displays the image and the caption can cause problems in many templates, especially if the image is meant to be justified left or right. This can be easily overcome with the “code wrapping” feature that allows you to insert HTML before and after the image. Using either a DIV or a table around the image will help ensure that it aligns correctly.
- Most Interesting: The ability to search by most interesting is a powerful one, but how useful the feature is is, at best, debatable. I found with my keywords that it was best to leave the option unchecked though others feel strongly the other way. It is important to play with this feature and see which setting gives you the best results.
- Good Keywords: It is important to remember that a Photo Dropper search does not work like a Google one. Adding more keywords will not help refine it. Use one or two good keywords and scroll through the results to find what you are after. Adding more keywords usually just causes no images to appear at all.
In short, getting the most out of Photo Dropper is pretty easy to do, especially when you take a few moments to set it up correctly and experiment with its use.
Images are an important part of a blog entry. They not only help the entry stand out in the mess of content that is most people’s RSS reader, but they provide a visual punch to the site itself. Furthermore, to the photographer or artist that is sharing their work, having it included on other sites can be a great means to promote their work and expose new audiences to it.
Bloggers need images and artists need an audience, it can be a win-win relationship. However, it is the complexities, both legal and technical, that prevent it from being executed.
However, Photo Dropper has helped overcome all of these obstacles and produced a plugin that makes it both easy and legal to add images into your blog, even if you had not seen the image before writing your post.
There is little reason to not try it and a great deal to gain from it.
4 Ways to Become More Detached from Blogging Outcomes
See that throwback featured image of me in Phuket, Thailand?
I became a globe trotting pro blogger in part through the power of detachment.
Blogging outcomes weigh you down and slow your blogging growth, if you are not careful.
Many bloggers mean well but are so obsessed with every view, Like, comment, share and dollar that they either struggle horribly or hold back stunning blogging success. How could I write over 100 eBooks if I obsessed with sales from my first eBook? How could I write 600 posts on Blogging Tips alone if I obsessed over metrics?
Eye-popping success finds largely detached, generous bloggers.
Follow these tips to become more detached from blogging outcomes.
1: Help More Ask Less
If you want blog comments, comment on other blogs.
Want blog traffic? Promote other bloggers.
Help bloggers to detach from your needs and to see greater success. Ask less and less for shares, comments and views, to detach from outcomes. Success finds generous bloggers.
2: Mention 2-5 Successful Bloggers Via All Posts
I recall focusing heavily on blogging profits early during my career. I linked to an ad or affiliate product once per post and linked to nothing else, obsessing over sales, attaching to outcomes. I gradually promoted other bloggers over years. Now I promote 2 to 5 bloggers virtually every post. I think more of helping them and less of helping me.
3: Manage Your Energy
Attachment is fear. Managing your energy helps you:
- face fear
- feel fear
- release fear
- dissolve attachments
I do 80 minutes of deep yin yoga daily. Plus I jog or walk for 45-60 minutes daily. Meditating helps too.
Managing your energy rocks because so many bloggers cling deeply to fear-attachments, to stats and money and to clients and blogging buddies, and need a daily ritual to unearth and release these attachments. I strongly suggest deep yin yoga because it helps you become comfortable. Big time quality developed by all generous, pretty darn detached, bloggers.
4: BE with Your Fear
I vividly recall sitting and BEING with my fear each time I checked my blogging inbox. I felt a general not enough energy pervade my being. Panic then ran through my body. Anger. Pain. Grief, at time lost. All fears reflected heavy attachments to:
- list subscribers
I totally believed I should have been further along at these points during my blogging career. Turns out, I was at the perfect place and time to feel deep fears, to dissolve attachments and to proceed from a generous, genuine, pretty detached, patient and persistent space.
Fighting fear only makes attachments grow. Not checking email for weeks because you feel terrified to check email makes the fear and attachment grow. But checking email hourly because you feel terrified that you:
- will miss out on clients
- are not making enough money, and need to check and see if you are making any aka enough money, yet
reflects your attachment to you. Ya know; “How am I doing-itis.” Check stats, check email, all the time, because you fear to see how you are doing.
Feel fear behind any strategy driven by fear. Let the fear go. Dissolve the attachment.
I check email here and there, never being attached to it. Email is not the source of my blogging success.
Treat blogging outcomes like mile markers on a highway, when you whiz by at 80 MPH. Note the stat for a few seconds and either move in a different direction or charge forward, based on how you feel about the stat, and what the feeling suggests to you.
Quick Tips to Easily Find People and Other Bloggers Online
Unlike Las Vegas — where ‘what happens there, stays there’ — once something is on the internet, it’s pretty much there forever. This is something bloggers, content creators and businesses know all too well. Whether it’s a WordPress article, social media updates, of photos making their way into the Google index, it’s likely going to be online forever.
It’s not just about posting and uploading content on the internet that you need to worry. It’s also all of the massive and easily accessible information that can be found online as well. With more data leaks taking place than ever before, and pretty much having privacy being a thing in the past, it’s easy to find information on anything and anyone with just a few clicks of a button.
For example, have you ever met someone at a blogging conference or event, but forgot to grab their business card? A lot of times we want to meet such people again but have no clue how to find them or their contact details. Through social media and using online tools like a people search, finding exactly what you need is now easier than ever before. Thankfully, we have this amazing platform called the internet – where we are able to find people around us ourselves.
There are plenty of other ways to find information or direct contacts for people online. In addition to using a People Search, social media is also a great method for finding whatever you are looking for. This is especially true if you can find someone on LinkedIn.
To start off, simply grab a notepad and write down the name of the person you want to search. Once you do that, branch out names of people you think are associated to them or at least the name of the person who introduced them to you if you were meeting them for the first time. Next, try and connect businesses, offices, college, university or any piece of information you think is or can be relevant to them. By now, you must have a web looking piece of information already giving you a clue.
How Do People Search Engines Work?
Making the best use of the amazing platform that we discussed – the internet, we need to find online people search engines which will process all the information we know and share possible match results for people we are looking for. To help you understand what a people search engine is and how do people search engines work, just imagine a library or a music record store. People search engines have a huge pool of database with information that is allowed to be displayed publicly. Such information contains phone numbers, education, employment history and sometimes criminal history as well. However, the information uploaded with any people search engine must be approved or must be in accordance with Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Once you have the maximum information with you uploaded in a people search engine, it will run a match and show most relevant list of result for people associated with that information. You may further screen the results by looking at each option individually to figure if that’s the same person you are searching for.
Meanwhile, there are other sources to track someone apart from people search engines. Finding people through social media platforms has also been observed to take a troll. Many youngsters put up millions of searches every day through social media platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. to find people they just met or to know more about them.
In all, finding someone in today’s world is no longer a rocket science. With multiple online people search engines and various social media platforms, tracking someone down has become as easy as finding a book in a library or a record in a music store.
How to View the Relationship Between Your Blog and Social Media
Alonzo Pichardo says it best.
“Buy your own domain and hosting and make that your own main hub. Social media is a branch of the marketing tree. That’s all.”
He shared my video on Instagram. Video registered 3,926 views. Here it is:
I filmed the video because I spent 20 minutes clicking profile links of folks who Liked my updates. I found a few self-hosted WordPress blogs, read and commented on these blogs. Relationships established. But most Instagram users:
- had no blog to speak of
- linked to YouTube
- linked to Facebook
For the heck of it, I spent a good 3 minutes looking for one user’s blog. I found an obituary (he was young and alive but shared a common name) and a collection of spammy “look up his information sites.” He claimed to be a blogger via his Instagram bio but he is no more a blogger than I am a werewolf.
Think about Alonzo’s advice; the blog is your main hub, or root, or base of your tree, and social media acts like branches. Offshoots, nothing more.
Instagram owns Instagram. Instagram:
- can kick that kid off of Instagram for 1 of a billion reasons, in a heartbeat
- WILL change their algorithm, soon enough, forcing the kid to change his strategy, uprooting his online world
- forces the kid to make his brand, Instagram’s brand
Not investing is a domain and hosting is about the biggest mistake you can make online because not owning your site hands your power, your decision making, your branding potential and your monetizing potential to someone else.
Social media is a branch. Spend most of your time daily working on your blog and networking with other bloggers who own their self-hosted, WordPress blogs. Unless they change their values or quit blogging, this is the most sound, intelligent approach to blogging.
Use social media for a little bit daily to:
- tag bloggers you mention on your blog
- help bloggers in groups related to your niche
- share your blog posts
- share other blogger’s blog posts
You are a blogger. Not an Instagrammer. You are a blogger. Not a Facebook-er. Spend most of your day on blogs. Not social media.
Marios Tofarides runs an authority blog on eBooks. Not in a billion years could he make his social media profiles look anything like his branded, self-hosted blog. Paula at Contented Traveler runs a first class travel blog. She could never re-create her blog’s branding, style and voice on social media. Sarah Arrow built a well known brand and thriving business by making her blog stand out, through creating, through connecting and through smart blog branding. Impossible to do this, through social media alone.
Pay Up to Play Up
I can mention your blog on Blogging From Paradise, a DA 47 blog read by many influencers.
I can mention your blog on Blogging Tips, a DA 48 blog read by many blogging influencers.
But I never link to free platform blogs because no influencer or experienced reader trusts information on free platforms. If you cannot invest $3 a month, you carry too much of a fear-lack-poverty conscious energy, that seasoned readers and top bloggers know to avoid.
I never link to a social media profile because….social media is not a blog!
Pay up to play up.
Invest in a domain and hosting. Move up in blogging circles. See social media as branches, using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as secondary or even tertiary means for helping people. Spend most of your time on your self-hosted, WordPress blog and networking on other self-hosted, WordPress blogs.
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