Today’s guest is Terri Schrandt, blogger and author of her first book, Better Blogging with Photography. You can find Terri’s blog at SecondWindLeisure.com
Terri is a girl who loves the outdoors and likes to partake in many leisure sports and shares her lifestyle on her blog. She uses beautiful photos for her blog, which she takes from her own adventures and decided to write a book about the different ways to use photos for blogs, where to obtain them if you’re not using your own, and what to beware of when it comes to copyright issues when using photos from the internet.
Terri is a non-fiction writer and retired recreation and parks practitioner living in Northern California. As a university lecturer teaching leisure education in the recreation and parks major, Terri takes leisure very seriously because it involves one-third of our lives…really!
Obtaining a Master’s Degree at age 50, Terri wrote her thesis on the Four Generations in the Workplace, sparking her love of writing at midlife. In addition to writing and blogging, she offers consultation services and conducts and presents workshops for a variety of organizations.
Second Wind Leisure Perspectives is her blog about living a leisure lifestyle.
Terri has two successful adult daughters, one an aerospace engineer and the other a recreation therapist working at a state hospital. Her husband since 2013 was someone she knew in high school and found on Facebook in 2009. He introduced her to the crazy sport of windsurfing (at age 49) and is currently building a new deck for their recently remodeled house.
Her active lifestyle involves windsurfing, stand-up paddling, camping, reading, writing, walking the dogs, traveling, and…
Get this book Here on Amazon!
There is truth to the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. As a blogger, are you weary of constantly hunting for images to illustrate the subject of your blog posts?
Perhaps you are a new blogger struggling to get more readers. Or a seasoned blogger continually seeking inspiration for quality blog posts.
This guidebook is designed to help you utilize your own images on your blog or website.
While free image sites abound, there are limitations to using so-called “free” images. Gone are the days when bloggers can innocently copy and paste an image from the web and paste it into their blog post.
What will you get out of this guide?
In each chapter I give easy but important tips for maximizing the use of images on your blog’s website and within each blog post.
Seven informative chapters walk you through–
-the importance of using images;
-the real dangers of using others’ copyrighted images;
-easy ways to edit your images using free programs and apps;
-building unending inspiration and content around your own images;
-attracting readers with images used in quotations, blog link-ups, and other tools;
-how social media sites link your images, and why you need them;
-a list of image resources available.
After reading this short guidebook, you will want to grab your smart phone or inexpensive digital camera and start taking photos!
Thanks Terri. You’ve already offered a wealth of information here, now let’s go a little deeper getting to know more about you and your process of creating this book.
Can you tell us how you came up with the idea to write a book on how to blog with photos?
When I began consistently blogging over two years ago, I noticed that most blogs had an interesting photo to illustrate their post. After I participated in the WordPress Blogging University Photography 101 and learned some easy tricks, I immediately started adding my own photos to all my posts. I have a digital camera and Samsung phone and have over 5000 photos!
I wrote a few posts on how to use images to help get more readers, and these posts were well-read and shared. I got interested in the idea of writing a non-fiction eBook, and writing about “How to maximize your blog using images” seemed the easiest way to dip my toe into the world of self-publishing. This book started out as a short free PDF to give away to new subscribers, but morphed into the eBook you now see.
Do you plan to write more books about blogging?
I am still thinking of a couple of more blogging help books. However, there are a LOT of them out there! My next eBook, for which I have a decent outline started is “The Better Blogger’s Lifestyle” which will become the prequel to my current eBook. In this book I describe all the types of blogs out there and what it takes to write and maintain one. More ideas for the series will include short topics like “Getting Results with Social Media,” “Advanced Photography for Bloggers” and “Turning Your Posts into eBooks.” These topics may be my summer projects!
Are there any other genres you may be interested in writing about in the future?
I am glad you asked this! Another professor with whom I work suggested I write a non-fiction book on the subject of leisure education. I had never thought about writing any type of book, but that seed was firmly planted.
This book, tentatively titled “How Midlife Women Are Reclaiming Their Leisure Time” is based on my background as a leisure practitioner and educator, and includes case studies of real midlife women who struggle with finding time for their favorite leisure pastimes. It’s based on the premise that anyone can find 3 hours a week for leisure within a 168-hour week. This book will take some time to research and write which may feel like I’m writing a thesis all over again. But don’t worry, the book will be readable and enjoyable for anyone of any age who wishes to learn how to carve out more leisure time for themselves.
I had intended to write that book last summer, but the Better Blogging with Photography eBook needed to get written first. It was a great experience to go through the writing, editing, cover designing and publishing process, so no regrets!
I also am toying with the idea of writing a book on fitness and eventually a how-to book on the basics of stand-up paddling.
What types of articles do you like to post on your blog?
My blog originally focused on professional development but once I retired I did not want to discuss the work world anymore! I blog a lot about leisure experiences, and leisure education, using photography as a basis for inspiration. My favorite events include the WordPress weekly photo challenge and I rarely miss an opportunity to share a photo of that week’s theme! Amazing to see the creative photos others share! I also enjoy participating in Norm 2.0 Thursday Doors, and Part-time Monster’s Weekend Coffee Share.
Can you share with us what avenues you’ve taken to promote your first book?
As Indies we’re always interested in learning what works best for some authors when it comes to promoting. After reading umpteen Kindle books on the subject as well as an endless number of blogs, I came up with the basic fact, that just reaching out to fellow bloggers and writers (such as you, Debby), and simply asking them to read and perhaps leave a review, was a good way to start.
When I was self-hosting my blog, I became stressed out trying to “lure” in more readers with subscriber incentives. I came up with some great ideas, but then…I asked myself why the he!! am I working so hard. I try to use social media to my advantage and simply continue my connections with my online friends.
I joined GoodReads and made quite a few connections there.
Am I going to get rich as a self-published author? I doubt it. But the thrill of writing and seeing my name as an author is unmatched!
Tell us a little about your new book, and what can readers and bloggers expect to learn from it.
Anyone who publishes on their own website, whether it is a simple blog, or a full-blown business website, should factor in how important images are in conveying information. After all, most of us are visual people and react to the images we see. A picture really is worth a thousand words, so the right image is critical to the message, whether it captures the reader’s imagination in a blog post, or is selling a product. Too many people just grab an image off Google and plop it into their website which may unknowingly and innocently lead to a lawsuit. Images on the web are intellectual property, and knowing how to watermark your images is just one important and easy skill to learn and use.
Please share an excerpt from your book with us.
From Chapter Two “How to Curate and Use Your Own Images”
Putting Your Smart Phone or Digital Camera to Work
In this section I will describe the simple process for taking your own pictures using your smart phone and/or your digital camera.
Did you know digital cameras can be purchased for less than $100 now? That is cheaper than many of our mobile phones! Amazon.com and Target have basic “point and shoot” digital cameras that price for $80.
Before I started blogging, I had a digital camera. With my active, outdoor lifestyle, over the years, I have taken thousands of photos. My digital camera is currently lost, so I have relied on my Samsung Galaxy phone. Between these devices I have over 5000 digital images. Recently, I started the slow process of deleting the junk and have created files and folders for certain images.
But, you say, “Terri, I am just starting out and I have only a few photos.” Or, “all I have are old, hard copy pictures.”
Let me address those concerns.
Perhaps you take terrible pictures or don’t own a good digital camera? Most of us have a smart phone with a camera. Use it. Since it likely goes everywhere you go, if you are inspired by something, shoot it…with the camera, that is! Digital photos from your phone are simple to upload a number of ways.
Shoeboxes of Pictures
I am old enough to have collected my fair share of old photos in my life. Literally shoe-boxes of them. Many have been transferred to photo boxes with lids that keep them neat and tidy, still in their envelopes. Since you need a digital copy, here are some ways to save these photos as digital images.
With a printer/scanner/copier, simply scan each photo (or sets of photos) and save on a flash drive. Some scanners are linked with computers so that the files load automatically onto a file on your desktop or laptop. Either way, you now have a digital copy of the photo. Now you can edit as needed.
Borrow from Friends
Do you have friends, colleagues or family who are photographers, or take lots of photos? Ask to use their photos. Simply e-mail them asking their permission to use their photos in your blog or website. I have never been turned down yet.
Borrow from the Pros
I have several friends who are professional photographers. One close friend allowed me to download as many of her photos as I wished and gave me written permission, as well as encouragement to do so.
The key to this is getting the permission in writing. Again, a simple e-mail message asking to use the photo works fine. Keep a file of the e-mails you get stating that you have permission to use their images. By doing this, you actually have documented their permission to do so.
Thanks for guest posting here today Terri. As you know, I’ve read your book. I love that it’s not a big book to have to sift through lots of pages. The information is concise, relevant, and clearly set out for readers.
Visit Terri’s author page at Amazon