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Our content-rich online world relies heavily on images to quickly communicate ideas and engage readers. Social channels, blogs, and sites all emphasize visual content—even the most casual posts include curated visuals or cleverly executed graphics.

To attract followers, boost shares, and increase selling opportunities it’s important to invest time in pairing great photos and graphics with every post. Here are some tips time to make your content more compelling and profitable.

Consider context and placement

As you choose images for your site or post, you need to know the purpose you want the image to serve. Make sure images are relevant and relate to your topic.
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Will the featured image appear at the top of your post and in social streams? If so, consider adding your headline into the image so that readers know the topic of your post. Featured images should always be high quality to help build credibility for your brand.
Do you want to highlight an idea, explain a concept, or just break up paragraphs of text? Consider graphics, illustrations, diagrams, and infographics to add engaging visual content to your articles.

Finding great images

With the high resolution and editing capabilities of mobile phone cameras today, you can create great images with just a little practice. Try to use natural lighting, keep your shots simple with one primary point of focus, and use your available editing tools (crop, contrast, and hue) to make final adjustments. It's cost-effective, and you sidestep any issues of copyright by using your own original material.

If you plan to obtain your imagery from others, you'll need to consider cost, credit, and usage rights. Look online for plentiful, low-cost stock image resources where you can quickly filter and find the right photo or illustration to complement your copy. These sites will list the requirements for purchasing rights or crediting the source so you can ensure you're staying on the right side of your associates operating agreement.

Getting Amazon product images

Product imagery can be accessed through Associates Central at no cost. Search or browse for products in the Quick Links or Browse for Product sections of the Associates Central homepage, enter keywords or product numbers into the search box on the Product Links page, and use the search functions or Get Banner buttons on the Promotions pages to access link-building options that enable you to generate HTML-based images.

Grab image codes right from product pages by clicking "Image" in the SiteStripe toolbar or go all-in and implement the Product Advertising API. The API is an advanced option offering programmatic access and image URLs to qualified associates. See if you are eligible to access PA API here.

Optimize and attribute your images

Optimizing your graphics for search engines and visitor experience improves the chances your content will be seen.

1) A smaller file size—achieved through good compression, not low resolution—ensures visitors won't be turned off by slow load times.

2) Naming your files is important, too: a random combination of letters and numbers (e.g., DSC2984.jpg) means nothing to a search engine, but descriptive names (e.g., new-years-sunrise-Tokyo) will ensure Google indexes your photos appropriately. Descriptive "alt text"—the text that displays in place of a photo that can't be seen or is heard by a visitor using a screen reader—also factors into strong SEO.

3) Attribution for the source of the imagery. Be sure to check the requirements for each of your chosen images, but note: it’s always a good idea to include attribution, required or not. It’s a respectful gesture to your fellow creators and it's also a means of mitigating usage rights concerns.

For affiliate-related images obtained through the Associates program, using the provided links serves as attribution on your own site. For social media, you must additionally disclose you’re using an affiliate link.

4) The optimal dimensions and composition of photos varies across platforms. While you won't need to customize every image for every post—many systems will auto-format images—it’s good to keep platform and mobile viewing in mind. For instance, a beautiful, oversized infographic in your blog post may lose its effectiveness on a phone, so choose carefully to make sure your content is effective.

Add imagery to boost views and earnings

While it takes time to create visuals for your content, the rewards are well worth the effort. Build traffic and increase revenue by adding relevant photos and graphics every time you post.
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