Why, When & How to Watermark Blog Photos

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Why, When & How to Watermark Blog Photos

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Why When & How to Watermark Blog Photos

Why When How to Watermark Blog PhotosWelcome to the Blogging Crash Course! Helping you grow your blog into the powerhouse you know it can be!

When I first started blogging, I didn't watermark anything! Now, after three years of blogging, I understand the benefits of a watermarked photo, from increased functionality to helping to protect your identity while online. 


This week, we're going to cover four main areas: why to watermark your blog photos; when to watermark your blog photos; how you should watermark your blog photos and we'll look at some tools for watermarking your blog photos. 
All right, let's go!




Why you should watermark
It's a sad fact, but the truth is, people steal things from the Internet and try to pass them off as being their own. They just do. Watermarking your photos will protect your hard work and, when done correctly, will make it difficult for your work to be stolen and passed off as another person's!

Watermarking is also a positive way of getting your blog exposure. Think of it as friendly subliminal messaging. Over time, people will begin to associate your blog's name with quality posts and recognize your logo or watermark as a brand in its own right. 


One of the best examples of good blog branding I know is in Kelly's blog, Mostly Homemade Mom, previously known as Semi Homemade Mom. Even though Kelly changed her blog's name, her photos, recipes and posts remain almost instantly recognizable due to her blog's clear branding identity. Long before I visited Kelly's blog, I'd seen pin after pin with her familiar logo and built up a confidence in the material that bore her blog's name. 

Just look at these two examples:
A well-watermarked thumbnail from Mostly Homemade MomMostly Homemade Mom's pictures and graphics illustrate the importance of having clear brand idenitty

Similar to how you trust the brands you grew up with over unknown brands at the supermarket: brand identity is important and for the blogger, it starts with watermarking.

Moving on, watermarking explains unseen and important details quickly and allows readers to take everything in without having to read loads of text. For instance, based on this photo, what ingredients would you list as being included in this dish? 

Turkey and Stuffin' Braid with Cranberry and Pistachios from Anyonita Nibbles

 Now, look at the same watermarked version and check your answers.

Watermarked Turkey and Stuffin Braid with Cranberry and Pistachio from Anyonita Nibbles

Did you guess that this braid contained turkey, stuffing and cranberry? Did you notice that that was pistachio sprinkled on top? If you've never seen this recipe before, probably not.  In situations like this, the important bits lie in the details that, due to the nature of the subject matter, are unseen. Instead of leaving your readers to wonder what the heck that thing is made of, tell them! 

A lot of people who are against watermarking argue that a good photograph doesn't need any text adding to it and that text detracts from the subject. For me, that's debatable. I agree, you wouldn't want to ruin a great editorial type shot (think action news-style photo) with text, but food photography for the web is different. As a blogger, you include photos in your posts to entice and to inspire readers to click and have a read. Nothing does that quicker than helping them out with the important bits. 

I'm not suggesting that you watermark each photo in your blog post with a title. That would probably get overwhelming and start to detract from the content of your photos. Look at these photos that appeared in the same post as the previous one: 

Watermarking blog photos is important for protecting your hardwork and gaining blog exposureWhere should you put the watermark on your blog photos

It was not necessary to watermark these with the title for a few of reasons: 
  1. The unrecognizable interior of the braid isn't on display as it is in the titled photograph
  2. These photos tell a different story from the titled photograph
  3. There's a lack of dead space to apply a watermarked title
When you should watermark
To put it simply, any photo you upload to the internet should be watermarked. Whether it's on your blog, or a blog that you're guest posting on. A watermarked photo will act as a big sign pointing potential readers in the direction of your blog every time it is viewed. Remember how I was saying I trusted the photos I saw with Kelly's watermark even before I became a regular visitor to her site? This is what watermarking has the potential to do.

Photos should definitely be watermarked when they'll be uploaded to Pinterest. Take a quick look at the first set of turkey braid photos, would you pin the untitled one if you didn't know what it was? How likely are you to pin the titled one over the first one? People who look at your pins or your blog are likely to feel the same way. Pinterest isn't about savoring information straight away; it's about quickly gathering things that might be of interest later. To make the most of this, you need to quickly give as much information as you can so that your pins don't get passed over as not being useful!

Watermarked photos are ideal on Twitter
where each post is subject to a character limit. You could use your 140-character tweet to introduce your photo and use the watermarking on the photo itself to fill in the blanks and complete the story. An example of a tweet that might have accompanied my titled turkey braid photo would be something like: When's the last time you braided your food? or Don't bin those leftovers; braid them! You get my drift.

With Instagram, watermarking images with their title isn't always a necessity since you have unlimited characters. It is still important, however, to watermark with your logo or blog name to help increase your brand identity.

How you should watermark
When watermarking a group of photos to appear in the same post, be sure to include the name of the dish and your blog's logo or name in at least one photo. With the title, include any pertinent details. You don't have to list every ingredient; instead, focus on the main or interesting ingredients. 

When it comes to branding your photos, it doesn't matter how you do it: whether you watermark with your entire logo or just the text of your blog's name. Whichever you do, do it consistently.

The location of your watermarks is entirely up to you. I will suggest that you avoid offsetting the blog name or logo watermark in one corner of the photo because it could be easily cropped out. Instead, try to group the logo or blog name with title for the best chance of getting your blog identified with the post and for it not getting cropped out. The exception to this is when the entire photo would be compromised by cropping the corner or section that bears the logo or blog name. Let's take a look at what I mean:

Deciding where to place your watermarked logo or band name is key

Before and after a photo has been cropped to remove the author's name

Tools for watermarking
Before you can watermark your photo, you might consider editing it. There are thousands of photo editing programs available but my personal favorite is Picasa's desktop program. Picasa is great for Blogger users because once you have made your edits, you can upload them straight to a private Google+ web album where they'll be waiting until you're ready to use them. 

Another benefit of using a desktop editor like Picasa is that you have literally thousands of fonts at your fingertips. With Picasa, you don't have to rely on standard program fonts or even the standard fonts on your computer. You can download interesting fonts from websites like Dafont and save them into the fonts Windows folder on your computer. This way, the fonts will be made available to you in any program you run on your computer.

If you'd prefer an online program, consider PicMonkey, which  combines free features with paid upgrades. For free you can create collages, edit photos, add text and designs. With the paid upgrades, you get more collages, frames, fonts and designs. After editing online with PicMonkey you still have to save the picture to your harddrive before uploading onto your blog again.

Personally, I think it's bonkers to pay for something in PicMonkey that you can do for free in Picasa, so I prefer Picasa and use it daily for editing and uploading my photos. Also, I prefer the freedom to choose my own fonts from an endless source instead of the 20 or so that PicMonkey allows unpaid users access to. You'll just have to play around with both and see which is a better fit for you.

As I mentioned earlier, there are no actual rules regarding watermarking photos except this: make sure you do it! Here is a quick roundup of some beautifully watermarked photos to inspire you. Be sure to click the links to check out these posts too; they're great! 


2. Orange Push Up Smoothies from The Best Blog Recipes
3. Italian Caprese Burger with Garlic and Basil Aioli from Dessert Now Dinner Later
4. Polka Dot Biscoff Sandwich Cookies from The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen

Next time on the Blogging Crash Course: 

How to Optimize Photos for Pinterest
See ya next week!

59 comments:

  1. Great post. I have always watermarked my pictures but now I am more aware of where I put my watermark. I also have wondered how people get different fonts. I will be downloading some from Dafont now...

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    1. Glad to hear that you found something useful from this post, Marlys! :) Thanks for stopping by & commenting!

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  2. This is an important post for bloggers to read. I use both PicMonkey and Picasa but will dig deeper into Picasa to find what else it can do. I'm going to pin it, too!

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  3. I've nominated you for an award on my blog today! Please be sure to hop on over! :-)

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  4. Great photos !
    Thanks for great post. I'm still learning how to make a good picture.

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    1. Thanks, Joanna! :) Yes, learning how to take good pictures is something I'm still learning too!

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  5. You are just too awesome. Following you on several different platforms. I like your writing style and the layout of your blog also. I've been blogging for 4 years casually but I also want to grow my blog and have found some of your advice helpful. Thanks so much. Let's be bloggy friends. Linda

    http://www.craftsalamode.com/

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    1. Well hello there, new bloggy friend! :) Thank you very much, Linda! I'm glad you've found some of my advice helpful!

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  6. Hi, Anyonita, What to do Weekends starts on a Thursday evening around 9 or 10 P.M. which gives people plenty of time to find something to do on the weekend besides chores. :)Thanks for asking. Love your blog. Linda

    New linky will be up tonight ..

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  7. Thank you so much for this post! I am new to blogging, and have just started wondering about watermarking my photos. I'm book-marking this page :)

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  8. Excellent tips! I've pinned it! Looking forward to more on this series.

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  9. Great tips! This was one of the first things I was trying to figure out when I started blogging! If only I'd seen your site then, it would have saved me a lot of headache! =) Stopping by from Follow Friday and following through bloglovin'! I can't wait to learn more from your blog!

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    1. Hhaha, I know what you mean! I feel the exact same way; I wish someone had laid it out clearly about why I should have been watermarking! Oh well, I'm just trying to pay it forward!

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  10. Excellent post. Thanks for the details. I can't imagine going back and watermarking my photos from the lady 7 years, but I should start doing it with new ones now!
    --Gena

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    1. Thanks, Gena! No, I didn't go back and watermark my old posts either. :)

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  11. Thanks so much for this. It was really helpful! Found you at the Mandatory Mooch!
    May you be magnificently blessed today!
    Tina @ Mommynificent

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    1. Thanks Tina! I'm glad you found it helpful :)

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  12. Thanks! I'm just beginning to realize my need to watermark photos and started doing it a few months back. Wish I'd known this before. Thanks for all the info and helpful tips. Bless you.

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  14. This is really interesting, thankyou!

    www.oliviapixiex.blogspot.co.uk x

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  15. Thanks for all of the great tips! I am new to blogging and I know these tips will help me really soon :)
    -Allie
    http://www.therandomcrafter.com

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  16. I usually use picasa, supplementing with picmonkey when I want to add a simple tutorial to a photo (using arrow overlays not available on picasa; my post tomorrow uses that). I love seeing another blogger who prefers picasa- most I know use picmonkey or lightroom. I always forget to watermark unless it's my title photo, so this post was a good reminder.

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    1. Oh, I've not thought of using picmonkey for arrows! I just downloaded arrow fonts so I could use them in picasa. But picmonkey's great for when I want a quick collage! I've not tried lightroom. I just can't justify purchasing that type of software when I don't tend to use any of the editing features, just the text! Thanks for stopping by & supporting the picasa cause!

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  17. Anyonita - just got a chance to finally see your post now - what awesome information for new bloggers!! I totally agree about the branding, too. Such kind words about Mostly Homemade Mom - thank you! Pinned. :)

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  18. WONDERFUL tips!

    Sam
    http://cooksandcreates.blogspot.com

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  20. EXTREMELY helpful! Thanks for writing this great post!

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  21. Just read your tips, although I have been watermarking for some time now. I never thought about someone cropping out my logo though and it's an eye opener because I tend to place them in the corners of my travel photos to minimize distraction from the actual image. I don't know of any other place to position them.

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    1. Hi, thanks for stopping by! Yes, watermarking is very important. You could try watermarking in the center of the photo or offset in the middle--somewhere where cropping them out would be difficult and would cause the photo to lose its effect. if you crop in this location, you can change the transparency of the watermark so that it doesn't interfere with the photo but is still there. :) Hope this helps!

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  22. Stumbled upon your blog from two different linky parties, looking at two different links. Meant to be? I think so! LOVING your blog! And these tips are fantastic - I'll need to be more careful starting NOW!

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  24. Wow, it would never have occurred to me to watermark my photos, but now I can see why you would want to do it. A clear, practical tutorial with beautiful pictures that is sending me to check out Picasa right now!

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    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy Picasa! :) Let me know how you get on with it!

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  25. Wow, thank you so much for featuring my photo/post, Anyonita! Awesome tips. I'm going to pin this to my Blog Tips pinboard.:)

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  26. I agree, as I put my name of each photo that I upload (even to my blog), but I personally would not(!) pin a photo with a big title on it.So referring to the Turkey stuffin' braid - I'd pin the 1st photo, not the 2nd.

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    1. Oh, that's very interesting that you wouldn't pin a photo with text! I'm curious to know why you wouldn't? Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  27. Thanks for sharing this at my link party last week! These are tips that all bloggers should know!! I will be featuring them today!

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  28. Great tips, Anyonita! I have Picasa on my computer buy have never used it. Now I'm going to have to check it out! I popped over from Domestic Superhero--thanks for sharing!

    ~Abby =)

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    1. Yes, go check it out, Abby! :) No point in paying for a program when you have Picasa!

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  29. Today I was working on a blog post and was wondering about watermarking my images and thought "Hey, I bet Anyonita has something about that" and sure enough you did! Thanks for another great post!

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  30. Thanks so much for the great post it was really helpful and informative!

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  31. Wow! This is a great blog of watermarking photos. I’ve ever found such a helpful blog ago. Now I want to know the best clipping path service provider for photo editing. Can you suggest please?

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