Clear Solutions to Quickly Improve Your Images on Medium

Writing | Relationships | Images

Image Credits, Linkbacks, Choosing Images, Making Images Accessible

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

Personal growth and success is up to every one of us.

I’ve been  providing solutions to problems and ways to connect with fellow writers and readers.

Here’s a link to the series.

View at Medium.com


Here are Four Ways to Quickly Improve Your Images.

From the basics to the complicated, here is a summary of tips I’ve discovered to improve your images and use them to connect with a wider audience of readers.

How do I put the image credit right below the image?

If you click on the image, a line appears below it and you can cut and paste the image credits there. Neat, right?

Be sure to credit your photographer and indicate that you have permission to publish it. Pexels, Pixabay, and Unsplash are all copyright and license-free.


How Do I Change My Featured Image?

If you have included several different images in your post, you can choose which one you want to be featured in the preview picture and the thumbnail for your story.

When you initially publish, you see this preview screen.

screenshot by author

At this moment you can click on “Change preview image” and you will be given an opportunity to select from other images in the article.

Alternatively, you can use the edit story function to change the featured image. You can edit by choosing the three dots ellipsis to the right of the Publish button. On the drop-down menu, there is an option to change the featured image.

Success! You’ve changed your featured image!


How to link the image to the photographer on Pixabay?

As a lifelong learner, I gather new ideas by observing how other writers engage with their readers. Here’s one thing I’ve learned.

Sometimes we can make a connection with other artists.

The free images on Pixabay always make my posts more appealing to readers and I appreciate them so much. I’m always careful to caption and credit the artist.

I confess I’ve had a bit of trouble linking the image back to them in the past. I eventually figured it out.

Here’s how I link an image to the photographer on Pixabay.

So tricky. There are lots of steps to credit the photographer when you’re downloading an image to use. Adding that link-back is something that I didn’t know how to do until recently.

First, I search for the right image on Pixabay.

When I decide to download an image file, I save it in a special folder I’ve created to hold all the images I’ve chosen in the past.

I don’t just save the default image name, I quickly add the photographer’s name as well and then save. If I ever need to use that image again, I have their name so I can properly credit them.

I go back to my post and as I upload the file, I copy the filename, complete with the artists’ name.

I paste that copied info in the line below the image.

Now for the link back.

Go back to the Pixabay image, which you’ve kept open in another tab.

Click on the “Copy” button to copy the link back. See below. (Ignore the red arrow.)

In Medium, click the photo so it has that little green band all around it.

Press Ctrl K, and you will see a little box open up.

Paste the link you copied into the little box. That’s a great way to say thanks to the image author.


How do I find a unique image?

Stand out From the Crowd!

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words. I believe that’s true.

Image recognition makes up a large part of our brain. Humans are very visual creatures and can recognize objects in an image in 100 milliseconds.

A well-chosen image attracts the eye and encourages someone to read your post. Once they’re a reader they might become a fan, so choose your images carefully.

There’s one thing that really bugs me:

It makes me cringe when I see another writer using an image that I’ve used before. I want my images to be unique. It happens all the time.

If you scroll through Medium posts, inevitably you will see some duplicates.

One big mistake I’ve noticed (and made) is to choose an image too quickly. I open a free image source — Unsplash is a great example — and select the first image that seems to suit my topic.

Unsplash is a great tool. It’s quick and easy and the images come with a caption and a source, and you know you have permission to use it.

There’s one problem. There are over 30,000 other writers on Medium who are using it too.

There’s a pretty good chance someone else will choose the same image.

Here are my tips for finding unique images to use on posts.

  • Don’t always use Unsplash. It’s the easy way out so most writers use it.
  • If you use it, don’t select the first photo that comes up. Look through several pages before you choose.
  • Use a variety of search terms — instead of love, search for passion, heat, or romance. You may find something perfect for your unique story.
  • I use Pixabay and there are or other free image options, but be careful there too. Use several search terms and find an image that isn’t the first one to come up.
  • Don’t choose from the selection of ‘most popular images’.
  • Here are some examples of images that I’m embarrassed to say I’ve used in stories, only to recognize them later in another writer’s story.

Do any of these images look familiar to you?

hands by Gerd Altmann on Pixabay

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Your writing is unique, so your image should be too


How Do I Use Images To Reach a Wider Audience?

Increase Your Audience using Accessibility Tools.

This is a tip that not many people use. It involves accessibility for visually challenged readers.

Alt text is one of the basics of accessibility on the internet.

You can put a description of your image in the document so that the visually impaired reader is able to imagine what it looks like.

Think about it. You are tapping into a group of readers that are underserved by most writers. It’s a kind and generous thing to do as well.

Here’s how:

Select and upload your image. Here’s one I chose from Unsplash.

A colorful small bird with a small beak and a dark beady eye has his head turned toward the left side of the screen

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the image. A bar comes up at the top of the image — select Alt Text.

This is the screen that opens.

When the Alternative Text screen appears, type a description of the image and press Save.

Voila!

Now your image is available to readers that are visually impaired.


I hope this summary of tips to improve your images and use them to connect with a wider audience of readers has been helpful. If so, let me know in the comments.


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