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Part 3: Increase SEO With Photo Image Caption In Your Posts

August 10, 2018 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby, Writing tagged as , , , , , ,


This is the third installment on using website images to increase and maximize the SEO potential for website pages and posts. In the first part I discussed ALT text, which is text added to the image file background before being placed in a post. The second installment covered specifics on Image File Names and how naming the file BEFORE it’s uploaded to a website will get better results in SEO ranking. In this post, I will discuss Image Caption, why Image Captions are important and how to use them best.

Image Caption are the words shown underneath photos on a website page or post. 


Showing what Image Caption looks like with my one-room old schoolhouse page on Denise M. Colby's Website

Sample of an image with the caption underneath describing the photo.

It is a known fact that readers will scan and read the image caption more than the article itself. Thus, image caption helps to highlight what the article is about and draw readers in. When writing captions, it’s important to not just state what the picture is, but to tell readers something they don’t know from just looking at the photo. Captions can be a few short words or several sentences long.  The decision is personal preference, but whatever is decided, keep consistent for an overall look and feel.

How to write Image Captions to maximize SEO? 

1. Choose a great image. 

An image surrounded by text that is related will rank better in a search, so choosing an image pertinent to the post is crucial.

2. Identify what is going on in the picture besides the obvious.

Save the obvious description for the ALT Text.  See this post for details on writing strong ALT text.

3. Write descriptions without flowery or unnecessary words. 

There’s a small space to communicate the idea so choose words wisely.

4. Provide context to connect the image to the article. 

Make sure to share something the reader wouldn’t know just by looking at the photo.

5. Be informative. 

If a reader isn’t going to read the entire article, what information should they walk away with? If they find the captions helpful, they may read more or reference the information later.

How does this apply to us as writers? 

We want to find readers for our books, right?  Ask—how would someone search (type in words in the search bar) to find a book that has a topic like mine?

Example #1

My working manuscript titled A Man Was Not The Plan is set in 1869. My heroine moves west to become a schoolteacher in a small town. One of the main settings is a one-room schoolhouse. Schoolhouses are a niche, so I might choose to write a post about schoolhouses. So for that post I would choose an image with a schoolhouse and add an image caption such as: 

Sacramento One-Room Schoolhouse offers tours and information from the past Inspired me to write Denise M. Colby

This One-room Schoolhouse in Sacramento, CA was used for inspiration in my latest novel A Man Was Not The Plan.

Example #2

If my book is released or I have the cover done, somewhere in the post I would include a picture of my book cover which I hope to include a schoolhouse—even if it’s in the background. The title itself doesn’t say anything about schoolhouses and I don’t need to mention where to purchase because I can provide a link with the image, so I would want the caption to be more descriptive. 

Sample book cover with one-room schoolhouse teacher desk on it by Denise M. Colby

This one-room schoolhouse seems to wreak havoc on Olivia’s plans in A Man Was Not the Plan by Denise M. Colby

What are other ideas to use for image captions related to our books? 

Animals, clothing, any setting—whether a specific building, ranch or room (a picture of the kitchen table where many discussions in the book take place for example), a map or even a quote from your book. If you did a quote, one idea for an Image Caption would be to state a behind the scenes thought to support that quote, such as:

1869 Diary entry by Olivia Carmichael in A Man Was Not The Plan by Denise M. Colby

Olivia Carmichael had no idea how much she would eat her words.


Book Quote by Luke Taylor in A Man Was Not The Plan by Denise M. Colby

Luke’s heart had other ideas.


Note: You can bold, italicize the words, and alter the phrasing after they are placed in the post. The number of lines for the caption can vary by increasing or decreasing the size of the photo. The one thing I haven’t figure out yet was how to center the text under the photo.  Of course once I hit preview it did center the text. So make sure to look at your preview-it will look different than where you input your post.

As you can see, there are several ways to be creative with the words used in the caption. I hope that this post gets those creative juices flowing. You don’t have to always use captions for every photo, but a few strategic ones here and there can help readers find exactly what they are looking for.



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Compete with Yourself and Win by Kitty Bucholtz

February 10, 2016 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as , , ,

Everyone has a few personal tips and tricks to help them write more, and most people are willing to try something new to see if it helps. I’ve found a good number of people respond well to a healthy fun competition, but sometimes I start feeling bad if I compare myself to someone who always seems “ahead of me.”

Therefore, just in case it’s helpful to you, I wanted to let you know about a quick and easy writing competition you can have with yourself. (Compete with your friends if it doesn’t make anyone feel bad!)

Over ten years ago, I found this “Don’t Break the Chain Calendar” on the Writers Store website. In the description, it says that Jerry Seinfeld once said that he would write a big “X” on every day that he wrote new material…and so this calendar was eventually born.

It has 365 numbered squares on it so you can start any day of the year on square 1. The idea is to get the longest chain of X’s you can. I actually like to use gold stars that teachers put on school children’s homework.  😉  It’s fun to see the line of stars growing. Miss a day or three? Just go to the next appropriate square and start again. If you play the Settlers of Catan board game, it’s like getting the prize for building the longest road. Haha!

One of the nicest things about the Don’t Break the Chain Calendar is that Writers Store offers it as a free PDF download! (Check out the rest of the site – cool stuff!) You can also use a regular printed calendar, but you won’t be able to see as clearly how long your chain grows over time.

Cheap, easy, and motivational – just the kind of “write more” writer’s trick you needed, right? 🙂

Kitty Bucholtz


Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her novels, Little Miss Lovesick, A Very Merry Superhero Wedding, and Unexpected Superhero are currently available on Amazon. The free short story “Superhero in Disguise” and the new short story “Welcome to Loon Lake” are available wherever ebooks are sold. You can find out about her courses on self-publishing, marketing, and time management for writers at her website Writer Entrepreneur Guides.


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Choosing the Right Setting.

May 20, 2015 by in category Guest Posts, Spotlight tagged as , , , , , , ,

(Or does it choose you?)

At the end of May, AGAINST THE TIDE, the twelfth novel in my AGAINST series is being released. This is the last of three books about the rugged Brodie brothers of Alaska.

Being plot-oriented, I usually work through a story in my head then figure out the best place for the story to take place. Sometimes, as happened with the Alaska Trilogy, AGAINST THE WILD, AGAINST THE SKY, and AGAINST THE TIDE, the setting was an essential part of the stories before they were even conceived.

The concept for the trilogy began with a month-long trip my husband and I took to Alaska–a place that has fascinated me since childhood. Even before we set out, I knew I wanted to write an Alaskan trilogy, but had no story concepts until we set out on the five thousand mile journey north.

It was my second long trip, both of which involved traveling cross-country, staying in a tiny pickup camper. Every day and night spent out in the open filled my head with story ideas. By the time we got home, I had rough outlines for three high-action romantic suspense novels about the rugged Brodie brothers, Dylan, Nick, and Rafe, and the women who loved them.

In AGAINST THE TIDE, Rafe Brodie is the owner of a charter boat fishing company in remote Valdez. Liv Chandler, the beautiful new owner of the Pelican Café, has fled to Valdez, fearing for her life. Liv can’t trust anyone, not even Rafe, the one man who makes her feel safe.

Rafe finds Olivia an intriguing mystery. He’s determined to uncover her secrets, but the woman has a past more dangerous than Rafe can guess. When murder strikes in the tiny town, he begins to believe something terrible is coming. And even in remote Valdez, Alaska, Rafe may not be able to protect the woman he loves.

Though I was comfortable writing Alaska from the months I spent up there and was familiar with the wildlife and mountainous terrain, since I live in Montana, the trip added vistas, sounds, smells, and ideas for some of the interesting characters who appear in the novels.

Setting is always important to a story, in some books more than in others. To help me with the different locales, I use Google Maps extensively. They have street maps, street cameras, satellite views, terrain maps, and still photos, all of which help me see what an area looks like. What an amazing writers’ tool!

Going to the location, of course, is the best way to chose a setting. There are places I couldn’t write about without having been there. Alaska was one of them.

Driving all the way from Montana through Canada, over the Top of the World road, we took a side trip to Valdez. It was raining there, but the scenery was still spectacular. Valdez is the shipping terminal for the great Alaska pipeline, which gave me the plot line for AGAINST THE TIDE.

I try to choose locals that are fun for readers, enhance the suspense, and give insight into the characters.

I hope you enjoy my Alaskan he-man, Rafe Brodie, along with the mysterious Olivia Chandler in AGAINST THE TIDE.

Till then, very best wishes and happy reading, Kat

When Lane and Dylan work to solve the mystery,
they discover a legacy of injustice and murder.
With danger stalking their every move,
Dylan must risk everything to save Lane and
his daughter and uncover the truth–before it’s too late.

New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. She is married to L.J. Martin, author of western, non-fiction, and suspense novels.

Kat has written more than sixty-five novels. Sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries, including Japan, France, Germany, Argentina, Greece, China, Russia, and Spain.

Born in Bakersfield, California, Kat currently resides in Missoula, Montana, on a small ranch in the beautiful Sapphire mountains.

Her last eleven books have hit the prestigious New York Times bestseller list. Both AGAINST THE WILD and AGAINST THE SKY, her latest release, took top ten spots. AGAINST THE TIDE the 3rd book in the Brodies of Alaska series will hit shelves in a couple weeks!

Visit Kat’s website at www.katmartin.com
Or look for her on Facebook at Katmartin/author.

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Goal Setting — When you don’t make a goal

May 3, 2013 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , ,

What happens when you don’t make your goals? At the April meeting, I had two goals I had set. One was to finish and submit a contemporary novella, and the other was to log an additional 2,500 words on my Book-in-a-Year project. Only one of those happened.
For someone who can regularly sit down and do a #1K1HR – that’s Twitter-speak for 1,000 words in an hour, you would think a mere 2,500 words in 30 days would be a piece of cake. Nope. Failed. The story haunted me, literally, so what happened?
Well, I can officially place blame on two occurrences. 1) I became distracted by a Call for Submissions by editor Salome Wilde for an erotic anthology featuring Shakespeare stories. It’s Shakespearotica. With my master’s degree in English, I’m a bit of a word-geek. I’ve admitted to that in the past. When the original April 1 deadline was extended to May 15, inspiration struck. Within 24 hours, I wrote the complete story, about 5,000 words (see where I’m going with the word count potential?). So when I could have been slaving away on my YA, another story stole my attention altogether.
Good news? That story was finished, edited and submitted, and now I play the waiting game.
The second setback came in the form of life: A child with the stomach flu. Sometimes, as a parent, you really can’t prepare for lack of sleep and worry, and what it’ll do to your psyche. In my case, with my husband out of town, it killed my desire to write. (Coupled with spring break, and there went my productivity.)
Anyway, why the excuses? Well, I know I’m not the only one who may not be making goals each month, and I’m here to say: It’s all right. You don’t need to beat yourself up. As long as you know you’re doing your best. You are pushing forward, and making progress.
Now to get a little more serious. I noticed someone had crossed their name off the Book-in-a-Year sign-up sheet. I’m not outing anyone. It’s “public” knowledge. Anyone who wants to pick up the sheet and look at it, can. I didn’t even look that close to try to see who the individual was. My question, though, is why? We still have more than five months to complete the book. PLENTY of time.
I know to some the task may seem impossible. But, many people do it. I have a book deadline of August 15 for a 50,000-word manuscript, and it really hasn’t been started yet. Oh, I have the idea and a synopsis, maybe even an opening chapter, but all that accounts to less than 2,000 words. That one will definitely have to be finished before October rolls around.
Maybe it’s time to reevaluate the goals you’ve been setting. Are they reasonable? Do you mix maybe one tougher goal, and one that’s a bit easier to accomplish? Right now, we have four months down out of the year. Where do you want to be by the end of the year?
Here’s a look at my goals:
  • Submit requested contemporary
  • Revise and submit paranormal novella
  • Book 7 in The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf series
  • YA Book-in-a-Year
  • Third 1Night Stand for Decadent Publishing
  • Preppers Romance for Decadent Publishing
  • Complete second paranormal novella in new series
  • Holiday novella

Looking at that list makes me a bit tired. Some big goals there … and I’m on my way to completing them. Not finishing a goal may put me one step back, but have to keep pushing forward.
— Louisa Bacio

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