Blogging Q&A: Tutorials, Photography, and Copyrights

This is episode #3 of your Blogging Questions. Sorry these posts have been spaced out a bit. They take me awhile to write! *Please note that I had many repeated questions, so you may not see your exact question. But I will cover all topics that were asked.*

Q: “When you write a tutorial, can you explain the process so it appears all nice on the blog. Please also advise from taking the photo and uploading to the computer. Do you rename your photos? -Melissa
A: Don’t we all love tutorials? I know I do! But tutorials can be somewhat difficult to write AND very time consuming. It can be hard to include every single detail (thanks to everyone who emails me and lets me know I missed something in my tutorials! hehe) But the first one you write is the hardest. After that, it gets a lot easier. Here are a few tips for writing your first tutorial:

  • Take a picture of all the supplies before you start the project, that way you don’t forget to list something.
  • Write the instructions and measurements down as you make your project. 
  • Have your camera next to you the entire time to take pictures of every single step. You can always delete them later if you decide they are not necessary for the tutorial.
  • It is best to take the photos with a neutral background so others can see the details. -But this may not always be possible depending on the project.
  • Make sure your photos are in focus and not blurry! 
  • Upload your photos to your computer, just like you normally would. 
  • I recommend editing your photos in photo software to adjust the lighting and crop as needed. I use Google’s free photo editing software, Picasa. 
  • After editing your photos, you need to export them to save the edits. 
  • I don’t rename my photos. I think it takes extra time, but you can do it if you want. ADDED LATER: Charlotte clued me in on a great tip to get more google hits. If you rename your image files, it helps google know what is in the image and therefore, your images will pop up in google searches easier and give you more hits. For more info, check out the Google link Charlotte provided here.
  • Upload the photos to your blog like you normally do. I usually like to upload them in order so that I can go through and add the instructions in chronological order. That helps prevent missing a step.
  • Have someone else that has not made the project {I usually use Davis} to read your tutorial and see if it makes sense.
  • You can go one step further, and have someone recreate your project using your tutorial.

When you’re done, you should be SO proud of yourself! It’s not easy to write a tutorial. I think tutorials are a great way to help attract new followers. Continue to the next question for a few basic photography tips.

Q:  “I was just wondering how to take nice pictures of work in progress for tutorials and wip-snippets. I mean angles, frames, light, close-up etc. I have a simple point-and-shoot digital camera and bad lighting in my apartment. A tree is blocking light in the living room and a black balcony creates false light in my craft/study room.” -Sylvia
A: First, I am NOT a professional photographer!! I basically live in a forest, so I completely understand the lack of lighting! Here are a few tips that I’ve learned over time to taking photos, especially with restricted lighting.

  • Turn off that flash. Photos look better with natural lighting, if possible.
  • If you’re inside, turn off your lights, lamps, and any other electrical light source. These tend to make your pictures more yellow.
  • If you have a tripod, USE IT! Tripods are the magic trick to poor lighting. Sadly, a tripod is still on my wish-list {hint hint Davis}. So do what I do and use shelves, chairs, tables, etc to rest your camera on while taking photos. 
  • Stage your photos the best you can. 
    • Remove any background clutter in the room or area of the photo.
    • Snap a pic of your project doing what it was made to do. {look pretty, hold something, etc}
    • Pair your subject with something that will accentuate it. For example, if your subject is dark in color, put something bright red next to it to. Go through magazines for help on staging your subject.

Q: “I have a couple of tutorials that I have never posted, I guess, for fear that people might rip me off. How do you deal with that as a blogger? Do you copyright your tutorials?” -Nellie
A: That is a fear we all have: protecting our work and creations. Especially online. It is way to easy for others to copy our work and ideas. But there is no sure-fire way to prevent others from taking what isn’t theirs. So it is probably best to come to terms with the thought that someone, someday is going to rip you off online and steal your photos and/or tutorials. It has happened to me. And probably more often than I care to know! But here are some ways to deter people from ripping you off:

I have registered with a free online copyrighting company so that each and every post and picture on my blog is copyrighted. I highly recommend you do this. It’s free and you have proof that your posts are yours.

Copyright Notice
Write a simple blurp for your sidebar stating that your blog is copyrighted. Many bloggers do this, you can read theirs and draft your own version.

You can watermark all of your photos. You can do this with your photo editing software. If you’re using Picasa, there’s a box you can check when you are exporting to add a watermark to your photo.

My personal opinion is that watermarks distract from the photos. I prefer to have pretty photos, but that’s just me. Many bloggers use watermarks.

Q: “I do have a quick question when it comes to using pictures from other websites on your personal blog. I´m specifically thinking about using some images from, but I guess there might be restrictions, am I right? If so, can this be solved with a link to the original source?” -Gabrielle
A: Siting the image’s source by name and linking back is generally accepted as proper online etiquette, as far as I know. BUT it is best to read the website’s policies before doing so to make sure that that is okay with them. If in doubt, contact the site’s owner and ask permission first.

If you use a blogger’s image, I recommend letting them know that you used their image on your blog. Let the blogger know that you linked back and then provide a direct link to where you used the blogger’s image for them to check it out. I know I like to go check and make sure that others have linked back correctly, plus it’s fun to browse new blogs!

*don’t forget to enter the Modern Bird Studios giveaway that ends tonight!*
happy blogging!
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Hi! I'm Linda, the craft addict behind Craftaholics Anonymous®, a craft blog. Crafting is cheaper than therapy, right? When I'm not DIYing something, I can be found taxiing around our 4 crazy kids or working out. Or shoe shopping... because you can never have too many shoes! Happy crafting! ♥

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  1. 1

    More great tips, Linda!

    I agree with you about watermarking, but I'm also worried my photos will get snatched. I use to add my blog website to each photo in white. I move it around on the picture where it will be the least conspicuous. It's my compromise!


  2. 2
    Snapshots & Creative Thoughts

    Thanks so much! This is great for those of us who are new at blogging!!

  3. 3
    Snapshots & Creative Thoughts

    Thanks so much! This is great for those of us who are new at blogging!!

  4. 4
    Anne Pearson Photography

    Remember…unfortunately, "ideas" cannot be copyrighted…unless you pay a very large sum of money. A person can take your idea, and using their own words and photos, can re-use it on their blog as their own. I deal with this ALL the time as a photographer, and have learned to just smile and let it go. But, if you do have that "one amazing idea" that you'd rather not have others copy, I would be careful. Sad as it may be that there are those out there that will use ideas as their own, it does happen. Just a thought thought and word of caution. :)

  5. 5

    What is the name of the copyright site you used? I want to get my blog "officially" copyrighted, too. I know it doesn't ensure someone won't snake my ideas, but it'll make me feel a little more secure :)

  6. 6
    Tales From My Empty Nest

    Great tips. Thanks for sharing. Love & blessings from NC!

  7. 7

    I always thought changing the name of photos when uploading them make it easier to find in a google image search? I don't have a craft blog but twice I've changed the names of pictures for a craft I posted and a year later I'm still getting hits when people search for images of "Christmas Decorations." Here is what google has to say about it.

    Anyway, just a thought for getting better SEO for your blog.

  8. 8

    Thanks for more great tips. I love the photography on your blog so please keep sharing your secrets! Thanks again for sharing.

  9. 9

    Wow- thanks so much for this post! I loved the tutorial tips. I'll be linking to this.

  10. 10

    This is great! Very informative and helpful. Thanks!

  11. 11

    Thank you so much for these helpful Q&A's! I'm starting a craft blog and these have answered SO many questions. :) Thanks for all you do and the great crafts!

  12. 12
    Megan Merchant

    I began a new blog 3 months ago and would also love to hear the free site that copyright protects your blog.
    I'm a new reader; my friend recommended your page. You page is beautiful and has the best photo editing advice I've seen. I look forward to trying Picasa.
    Megan Merchant, MS