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Photo Dropper: Easy, Free Images for Your Blog

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photodropper-logoIf 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.

photodropper-1

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.

photodropper-2

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Conclusions

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.

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Blogging

Are You Chasing the Flavor of the Month?

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My first fundamental of successful blogging focuses you on being present.

All of our power resides in the moment.

None of our power resides in the future or past because neither exists.

Time is illusion.

Only Now is real.

Look at that brilliant featured image. I snapped it from the front porch during our trip to Fiji. Sweet things happen when you are in the moment, focusing all power on the present.

This marks my 796th blog post on Blogging Tips. I feel grateful to Zac for the opportunity to serve you. Plus I feel grateful for all success that flowed to me through these guest posts.

How in the heck did I write and publish nearly 800 guest posts on one blog?

I am in the moment, mostly. I am present. Plus I never, never, ever chase the flavor of the month.

Bruce Lee and Blogging

Alonzo Pichardo and I often chatted about being patient, persistent and present during the Online Success Chats Podcast.

Being patient, persistent and present helps you tap into immense powers, including the power of being creative *and* prolific. See my 800 blog posts on Blogging Tips as evidence of such power. Toss in my 2,008 articles (between posts and pages) on Blogging From Paradise and you understand: focusing on one core task, or core purpose, in the present, leads to amazing things.

Bruce Lee spoke of fearing not the man who practiced 10,000 kicks once, but he did fear the man who practiced one kick 10,000 times. He embodied this mindset in his genius, Renaissance Man type ways.

Lee’s wisdom and physical prowess are both timeless because he understood and lived this great truth: do 1 thing so frequently, with a focused energy, being in the moment, that you do it incredibly well. He understood the truth of how I live my life: where your attention and energy goes, grows.

The Flavor of the Month

Most bloggers struggle because they practice 10,000 kicks once, chasing hot niches, running after trends, and choosing to blog today, and podcast tomorrow, because everybody runs a podcast these days. Wait a second; live video reigns supreme? Time to become a live video expert. Meanwhile, as you jump from niche to niche, and from blogging to podcasting to live videos, I just wrote and published 800 posts on Blogging Tips alone. Plus I wrote and published 1,000 more guest posts on other blogs.

While most bloggers chase hot trends, profitable niches and the latest game changing opportunity, guys like Alonzo and I thrive by doing one thing alone so we do it incredibly well.

Success is yours, but success is not an overnight or week-long endeavor.

Stop chasing hot niches. Visualize your dreams in detail. Focus on your blogging wins. Invest in coaching and courses from top bloggers. Surround yourself with positive vibes and positive people.

Write, publish and connect with top bloggers by helping top bloggers.

Success Finds Specialists

I took a nap this afternoon. A calm, peaceful breeze kisses my face right now as I write and enjoy the day.

Imagine if you could work from home every day? Visualize that fun and freedom.

Sweet, right?

Specialists are the only folks who work from home full time. People who do 1 thing persistently, practicing this skill, so they become super skilled in a single, specialized niche.

I gave all of my professional energy to being a blogger for the past 10 years. I became really skilled at blogging because I never chased the flavor of the month.

Avoid program hopping, niche hopping and all forms of flavor-chasing.

Do one thing. Do it well.

Succeed.

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What Is the Incredibly Easiest Way to Drive Blog Traffic?

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Drive traffic to other blogs.

Give what you want.

Help people get what they want and people help you get what you want.

I have found this to be the easiest way to drive traffic to my blog because friends I made through cross-promotion promote me around the clock, 24-7, 365. Easy peasy.

I checked my Twitter a few moments ago. During the past 3 hours I noticed 11 mentions, engagements and retweets collectively. 3 hours, 11 engagements, more blog traffic.

I drive a heavy amount of traffic to my blog by driving a heavy amount of traffic to fellow bloggers who drive a heavy amount of traffic to Blogging From Paradise every day, all day long.

The more you give, the more you get.

The hardest way to drive blog traffic is to try to do it solo. Imagine publishing one post and hitting social share buttons. Even if I do a fine job writing the post, gaining traction solo is tough because successful bloggers know: 1000 is better than 1. 1000 blogging buddies promoting you 24-7, 365 beats you promoting yourself or you trying to write and publish 5 to 10 or more posts daily.

I used to publish 60 posts daily between 2 blogs. Short videos and short posts created the bulk of the content. I had a difficult time succeeding because you can only do so much solo. I published 60 posts in a cyber cave. Nobody listened to me because I did not listen to anybody. But making friends by driving traffic to other blogs made blogging easier and easier for me.

My blogging buddies – who appreciate me promoting them – freely:

  • link to me on their blogs
  • retweet my posts
  • share my posts on Facebook
  • share my posts on LinkedIn
  • send my blog posts to their email list

That my friends is a lot of traffic flowing to my blog easily, freely and exponentially.

Every time a blogging buddy promotes you to their tribe you gain exposure to one more large, targeted audience. Imagine when you gain exposure in front of 10, 50, 100 and 1,000 or more audiences daily? This is serious traffic! Plus it is easy traffic because your prime duties of reading posts and tapping social share buttons, or, linking to fellow bloggers on your blog, are quite easy.

How to Drive Traffic to other Blogs

I spent a fair chunk of today driving traffic to other blogs.

I promoted some of my blog posts linking to my blogging buddies. I also retweeted and Facebook shared posts from other bloggers.

Each share lays the foundation for new blogging friendships and fortifies old blogging friendships. Every time I promote Donna Merrill or Alonzo Pichardo, we bond more deeply. Easy way to keep friendships strong and to grow your blog traffic exponentially.

You Will Run out of Time Solo But You Never Run out of Friends

Eventually, I ran out of time each day trying to do it all by myself. No human is super human. No human can be in a billion places at once, by their own steam.

But you never run out of friends if you are generous. During a reasonable lifetime, no blogger will befriend all 7 billion humans. You will however keep meeting friends every day if you drive traffic to other blogs every day.

As more folks befriend you, more folks promote you. What an easy way to increase traffic to your blog. Your ever expanding friend network does much of the legwork for you and also drives traffic to your blog:

  • when you sleep
  • when you travel
  • when you spend time offline with family and friends

Sounds sweet, right?

Give freely.

Drive traffic to your blog easily.

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Blogging

What Are 2 Powerful Qualities of Top Bloggers?

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John Chow and Bigfoot.

No correlation exists save this post. Although John is super tall. I met him in person during Affiliate Summit East.

Both JC and Bigfoot taught me 2 incredibly powerful qualities of top bloggers.

John taught me how to think abundantly.

Bigfoot taught me to be open-minded and to think for myself.

Think Abundantly

A while back I recall reading a post on John’s blog.

He explained how being an Amazon Associate creates a steady passive income stream.

For an example, he showed how linking to a product your audience finds useful – in the proper context – leads to blogging profits. At the time, I admired his strategy but could not get why you’d link to an affiliate product for a measly $2 commission. But of course, John thinks like, feels like and is a multi millionaire so he thinks of acquiring increasing wealth versus thinking of how little he makes on certain commissions.

$2 adds to the John Chow millions. Plus, even if JC began blogging yesterday, at zero, he thought like a millionaire well before becoming a millionaire, so he would have made his first $2 on his way to millions.

These days, I think, feel and act abundantly. I celebrate every penny I make online because where your attention and energy goes, grows. Top bloggers think abundantly. If you think, feel and act abundantly, at year’s end, the $2 commission per sale yields $500,to $1000, to $5000 per a single income stream because the more you celebrate money and feel rich, the more money you make.

Top bloggers think: money. Open 5, 10, 15 or more income streams. Seize every opportunity to prosper. $2, there, and 100 sales later, you made $200. Top bloggers think abundance – versus lack – and make money.

Be Open Minded and Think for Yourself

As you know, I love studying the creature Bigfoot.

Most humans are closed-minded and follow the herd, being lazy thinkers, and simply agreed with the herd; naturally, these folks believe Bigfoot is a myth.

A handful of YouTube videos of Bigfoot scientifically breakdown:

  • the size of these creatures: 7-10 foot tall, up to 5 feet wide, and 500-900 pounds
  • the physiology of these creatures; compliant gate, 90% knee flexion, absence of neck, hulking trap muscles, heavy brow ridge
  • the sounds these creatures make; clearly not within our current animal kingdom

If you are open-minded and think for yourself, you clearly see a huge, primate-type creature with some human-like qualities appears in these videos. Truth reveals itself to clear, deeper thinks.

But if you are closed-minded and agree with the herd, you become blind to the truth and see a guy in a suit, or hoax, in these handful of legit Sasquatch videos.

Like the small group of humans who know Sasquatch exist, top bloggers are both open-minded and do their own thinking. Successful bloggers open up to new strategies and new income streams. Plus these top folks never agree with the herd just because most people think a certain way; these pros think critically, for themselves.

I think incredibly deeply about blogging, and mindset, and see parallels no blogger on earth sees, save me. Why? I am open-minded and do my own thinking, for myself, never being swayed by the general public and its poisonous, limiting skepticism.

You almost have to be insane *not* to believe in Bigfoot after scientific video breakdowns and tens of thousands of credible eye-witnesses prove these encounters are with large primates, not humans in suits. Even a 300 pound, pro bodybuilder would look like a 5 year old trying to fit in his dad’s suit if he tried to wear a suit with dimensions for a 9 foot tall, 800 pound being.

In the same breath, you really need to be out there, if you are so closed-minded and agreeing with the poor masses, that you are blind to the truth of abundance around you, as a blogger.

Think abundance.

Open your mind.

Think for yourself.

Succeed.

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