How to Optimize Images & Content To Stand Out

If you’re struggling to get your content and images to stand out more, or want to give that extra something to make you more unique then similar websites, the answer could be something that is in your control.  I’ll steal a quote from the musical La Cage Aux Follies (The Birdcage) “Why not try to see things from a different angle”.

I’m not saying something cryptic, I’m talking about shooting your blog and website images from a different angle.  I’m writing this post from a blogger’s perspective, but it could easily apply to ecommerce stores, service providers and the creatives you give to your affiliates or feed into your social media channels.   The goal is to get you to think about how you can make your images unique so that they stand out on crowded sites like Pinterest, in a Google image search or to make people want to engage and click through to your website.

Below you’ll find three examples of how you can help to make your photos and blog images stand out from the crowd when they’re shared on social media sites.  I’ve tested each of these with small tests (not huge amounts of data or ad spends so it isn’t statistically significant) and have shown that these may be what helps some of my and other’s images do better than others.

how to make your photos stand out on your blog and social media

Different Angles

If you’re a parent shopping for party supplies for a kids birthday, you’re looking at the party from your own viewpoint, not how your kids will see it.  If you’re 5′ 8″ and your kids are 3′ tall, a table will look very different.  Let the stores sell the images of the party supplies that appeal to you while you focus on providing your readers and visitors with content that provides solutions for them and the person the post is meant to help.

First show the views from the parents perspective to attract their attention, then show from the kids viewpoint.  Now walk your visitors through the images that will appeal to them, then show them how their kids will see it.  Whether it’s decor, a tablescape or even a toy on a table, now everyone can be excited because we know how visually appealing it is. Think about a safety guide as well.

You see things from your height, but your kids won’t have the same view.  Show what warnings and things can look like or what is actually hidden if you are the height of your toddler.  This extra step could be what causes a newsletter subscriber, a loyal reader and a sale through your affiliate links.

Remember, showing what the table looks like for you is great, but if your child cannot see the tablescape and how cool it is, the party will not be as exciting as it could be for them.  By taking that extra step you could presell your content and blog as a total solutions provider and not just one that does what every other blog out there is doing.  Now you’re providing solutions for the reader and the intended user or recipient.

Contrasting Colors

Using contrasting colors can be a great way to help your images standout on crowded sites like Pinterest or in a Google image search.  You don’t have to change the actual craft, recipe or item, but you can change what’s behind it, where it’s placed and what’s around it.

During early February everything will be pink, white and red for Valentine’s Day.  This is the perfect time to plate your pink heart shaped cake on a green or brown plate or platter.  You could even surround it with green leaves or have it placed on a brown, rustic, wooden table.  If it’s Easter you’ll see a ton of pastels.  Go for a rich and bold background with your images.  If it’s Halloween and you’re doing green witches, place a pink border on the shareable image.

All of these give your images a way to pop out from the crowd.  Contrasting colors can standout instead of blend in so think about what is more commonly found within your niche for the season or search terms and then find a way to add contrasting colors to the background or border so that they can pop off the page.

The first image below is what I posted during the superbowl.  By going against green, brown and blue colors (the main colors showing up for competitors) and by featuring fun superbowl foods I was able to gain a bit more exposure.  Nothing substantial since I don’t have a huge following, but it did go up higher than many of my other photos.

superbowl food shot

This is an example where I think the cupcake looks really delicious, but it matches every other spring/summer color so it got little to no exposure.  Right now I see tons of fruits like lemons and green colors coming through my feeds on related search queries.  If I would plate it on fall colors it might have a better chance at standing out.

cupcake photo example on how to stand out on social media

Cool Backgrounds

The last thing you can do to help your images pop is to think about what’s behind or around them.  How can you visually create the experience for the potential visitor?  Think about these things when you’re shooting an image for a blog post, a review or even your own company’s website.

What’s behind the main object?

If it’s a restaurant review, shoot the food with the restaurant behind it so people can see where they’ll be enjoying the food.

pizza in a restaurant steak at a steakhouse

Does the scenery behind it create a scene the viewer will want to be a part of or engage with? 

People read your blog and reviews because they want an experience.  Let them see what it could be like when the come across your images on social media or in the search engines so you can get them to want to click through.   Everyone shoots the food or product, you can try shooting the experience.  This wine glass was a post where I talked about the wines, so I included a shot of the vineyards to really bring them the experience of the wine and where it is produced.

wine glass at a vineyard

Can I show the background without distracting from the main focal point or product?  

Try to make sure the background can go fuzzy or out of focus if it is distracting from the main object you’re featuring.  If the background enhances the experience without taking away from your focus, leave it as is.  Not everyone has a telephoto lens (I use my phone since I don’t have a camera) so find an app if your camera won’t do what you want it to.

wine glass at the bar

I love shooting images for my blogs.  One of the big things I noticed when I began using original artwork is the difference images make.  By using original images that pop off the screen, providing unique angles that my competitors haven’t thought of and by providing an experience within the shot, I have been able to get more shares and more people to want to engage with them.  I’ll continue to test this and hopefully build more numbers by following this.

If you have other tips or things you’d like to add, leave a comment below.   If you’re a photographer or a blogger who talks about photography, you may also want to consider my client SmugMug’s affiliate program.

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