I Really Wish That Bloggers Linked Images Consistently {Discussion}

Discussion

I’m not sure if you know what I mean from the title of the post, so first let me explain what I’m talking about. Basically, I really wish that bloggers would be consistent in how they add links to images in their posts, both as a group (all bloggers doing the same thing) or at least within their own blogs (making sure that all the images on their blog link relatively the same way). Because neither is happening right now.

To be fair, some bloggers do it right. It’s just not the majority of them.

Right Way

There’s probably not a 100% “right” way to do this, but I have a system that I stick to and I honestly think that it’s the best way to deal with image links.

First of all, every image on my blog is clickable. Well, okay, not every single one. There’s a few that don’t, like the above “Discussion” header (although, if we want to be nitpicky, I probably should link that up to a page that lists all of my discussion posts). But even the book cover images under “Currently Reading” in my sidebar go to Goodreads if you click on them (which I’m willing to bet nobody ever has, because you probably didn’t even think they went anywhere!).

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If I’m adding memes or GIFs to a post, clicking on those will bring you to its source. That’s the reason why I never include “source: …” when I’m adding those kinds of things to posts, because I think a link is equivalent. (Although if you disagree with me on that one, feel free to comment! I’m curious.)

Sometimes I’ll do collages of book cover images or other random things, and for those, the picture won’t link anywhere because it’s impossible to make an image link to multiple places. But usually, in that case, I’ll include the links to the image sources somewhere else in the post (like with my Exciting New Releases posts). So, yes, there are a few instances in which my “image -> source” rule doesn’t apply, but I try to use my best judgment and only abstain in very specific situations when I don’t think it’s detrimental to my readers.

Other Blogs

I really like my system, but not all blogs do it my way. In fact, most of them don’t. Most of them don’t have any sort of system! And this can make navigating blogs pretty difficult. I mean, how many times have I clicked on an image in a post, thinking that it’s going to bring me someplace, but it  either brings me to somewhere I don’t want to go or it doesn’t link to anything at all.

My biggest pet peeve is book covers. Bloggers will display them, and then the book cover image will do one of four things (which is way too many things in my opinion — another part of the problem): (1) link to nothing, (2) link to Goodreads, (3) link to Amazon/another seller website, (4) link to that blogger’s review of it.

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I don’t like this. Personally, I think that the only acceptable thing to do with a book cover image is to link it to Goodreads. That’s what I do and that’s what I usually expect other people to do, too.

And, honestly, if you link a book cover image to your review, it annoys me. You’re basically stealing that pageview from me when it’s clearly not the page I was trying to visit. If you want to advertise your review, do what some bloggers do and say “check out my review!” with a link under the picture, or something to that effect. That way you’re only sending people there who actually want to read the review.

Or at the very least include a Goodreads link in your review so that I can immediately get where I want to go from that page. It’s happened to me multiple times where a book cover image links to a review that doesn’t even have a Goodreads link…forcing me to look up the book myself and be sent to a page I didn’t want to go to.

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It also bothers me if a blog’s images are only sporadically linked to the “right” places. Like if, in a Top Ten Tuesday post, half of the book cover images go to Goodreads and half of them go to a review (maybe because that person only wrote reviews for a few of the books they listed). If you’re going to link images to someplace, be consistent about it. Don’t do half and half — it’s really frustrating for your readers. Instead, that would be the perfect instance to make use of the advertising link idea, and then go ahead and direct your book covers to a proper website. 

Blogging Affects Others

I think that there should be some sort of universal accepted way to link images that all (or at least most) bloggers use. But practically every blogger does something different!

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The problem with these inconsistencies is that it causes other blogs to suffer even if they’re doing it “right.” When bloggers aren’t generally consistent, readers don’t expect consistency. So a lot of the effort I put towards linking images on my blog (I know that it’s not a huge task, but eventually those couple minutes here and there add up!) goes to waste, because people don’t even realize that they can click on certain stuff, due to the unavailability of it on other blogs.

And that makes me feel the need to broadcast to my readers that certain images are clickable. Which is basically what started this whole post! Back in June, I created a feature called Must Haves, in which I (among other things) showcase new-to-me blogs. Originally I would go about that like this:

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But I quickly realized that I’d much prefer to just show a photo of a blog that links directly to that person’s site, without including the descriptive linking text below the image. I was already linking the pictures to the blogs anyway (to give credit, and just in case anyone wanted to click the picture), but I thought that it would look a lot better (and be easier) to only have the clickable images instead of both the image and the link.

But it’s not really that easy. Maybe I’m overthinking all this, but the above picture is actually a great example of the complicated nature of linking images. That blog photo with linking text is a screenshot that I took from my post Must Haves (#4). So…should I link the image to that post (which is the image source) or to A Bottomless Book Bag (since that’s what the image is of)? Since I linked the original image to Jordin’s blog, I’d say that it’s totally fine for me to link this screenshot to my Must Haves post.

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But, I also want to take into consideration: if somebody is clicking on that photo, what are they looking for? This is a question you constantly need to ask yourself when linking sites to images. I’m going to assume, since the photo is almost entirely of Jordin’s blog, that readers looking to click will be intrigued by her cute design, not the fact that it’s a screenshot from one of my blog posts. And since I’ve already referenced my Must Haves feature multiple times in this discussion, I’ve clearly given myself more than enough press. Why not spread the love, even if I don’t have to? So I linked it to her!

To get back to the point… Since I wanted to format my images without the additional text, I just up and decided to do it! But then I worried that people (especially new readers) wouldn’t realize that I wasn’t just sharing a picture of somebody’s blog vs. a clickable image. Would people assume that the image was clickable without my needing to include a disclaimer (which I have been doing: “Click on an image to go to its respective blog!“)? I don’t think that I would, just because of how inconsistent other bloggers can be.

Wrapping Up

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Phew! That was a long discussion post. I’m sorry about that! I just really needed to rant about this and I honestly hope to inspire some great conversation with you guys.

I’m not trying to insinuate that my readers are stupid and won’t figure out that a picture links to something if they really are interested in whatever it is…I’m more talking about new readers or casual visitors who are skimming through posts. What if they’re missing out on stuff because they don’t realize how my images work?

I also think that other bloggers could be totally inadvertently pissing off their readers by not properly linking up their photos! If I was doing something like that, I would definitely want to know.

 

So I know that this is kind of a weird topic…but what about you? How do you link images on YOUR blog?

Have you ever clicked on an image on my blog?

Does it ever annoy you when image links don’t go where you want them to?

Do you think that all book cover images should link to Goodreads?

Do you think that there should be one (mostly) uniform way that people should link images on their book blogs?

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40 responses to “I Really Wish That Bloggers Linked Images Consistently {Discussion}

  1. For non-book cover images I use one photo website and per their requirements I include an image credit/link, for every image of theirs that I use. I’ve seen a blogger sued (and lose) for copyright infringement, so it’s super important that if you’re using an online image resource-credit is given. Actually, unless you have express permission to use an image (like from a site that gives permission), I think you’re still committing copyright infringement, even if you give credit/link. That’s why I only use one photo site, because I know their rules.

    For book covers (which are in a different category than the above), I do get them off of Goodreads but I don’t include a link embedded in the image. This is because I always include a link to the book’s goodreads page first thing- I make the book title the link. To also do this for the image would be repetitive.

    For my own images (far and few between), I don’t include any kind of back links because the pictures are attached to my home computer 🙂

    And then for other blogs that I mention on my blog-I rarely include images but if I do, I always embed the link into the image. For example-in a couple of weeks I have some guest posts up. For the post I’m putting up on my own blog to direct people, I’ve included the other blog’s button images with links embedded.

    Interesting topic today!

    • I think that there probably are really specific and weird rules when it comes to images and sources and links and all that…like what you’re supposed to do legally. But I think that it’s SO rare for bloggers to get in trouble for that kind of thing (and usually it’s just a warning, so they can immediately remove the image without further action being taken) that I’m not really worried about it. But I think it’s understandable that other people might be, which is why it’s great that you found a safe and legal way to do it for your blog 🙂 It’s just probably not an option that I’d choose for myself.

      I think that, as long as you’re linking to Goodreads SOMEWHERE in your review, that’s totally fine (I do both, but trust me, I know that it’s repetitive and dumb…I just have a weird thing with it, haha. Like, my images NEED to go somewhere or else I feel weird. But that’s clearly just a personal quirk! 😉 ). It’s more annoying when somebody just randomly posts the image of a book cover, like for a Top Ten Tuesday post or something, and there’s no textual link whatsoever that it becomes a problem. What if I’m really interested in what you’re saying about the book? I want to be able to click on that image and go somewhere! Or at least give me a link in the text. But there are SO many bloggers who don’t do either.

      I don’t link my own images either…they just go to the image file location. There’s nothing to link them to!

      Thanks for the long comment! 🙂

  2. Ha ha, I just have to laugh about there being a “blogging rule” that ways what everyone has to do with their image links! I can’t imagine someone telling me what I have to do on my blog! However, I totally agree with you. I do find it frustrating when I click on an image and it doesn’t do anything. I once read a blog post where they were talking about other bloggers they loved, and there were no links at all! Weird. As far as all book images linking to Goodreads, I think it’s up to the individual blogger what they’d like to link to.

    • Haha, no, I know it’s silly. I didn’t mean an actual RULE…just more of a general, unspoken code of conduct that everybody should go along with 😛 Sort of like how it’s generally accepted that it’s rude to leave one- or two-word comments on somebody’s blog. Or that you shouldn’t post hate speech. I mean, obviously you can do whatever you want as a person with free speech on the internet, but there are also “suggested” ways to conduct yourself that most people choose to follow.

      Oh my gosh, that’s so annoying!! Particularly with bloggers, because sometimes you can’t always Google somebody and find their blog. Like, for example, I know that, for my blog, if you google “Tempest Books,” you get a bunch of stuff about the Shakespeare play…my blog is a couple entries down at least. (Ugh, speaking of which, I should probably change my name eventually so that that doesn’t happen, but I’m not too worried about it right now.) So it would be SO much easier (not to mention nicer!) for a blogger to link up the images themselves so that it’s super easy to pop right over to the other blogs. I’ve definitely come across people not doing that before, and it’s super aggravating and weird.

      I agree with you about the Goodreads thing. That’s MY personal favorite site for image links to go to…but if somebody wants to link all of their images to Amazon or TBD for their referral program or something, that’s fine! I just wish that there was some consistency. Or maybe that they’d include both options. But consistency is my main goal…I just personally would rather that every book cover image go to Goodreads because that’s what I prefer, but I know that not everybody would agree with that.

  3. Wow! Thanks for linking me up to your Must Haves post… i just noticed. So epic fail on my part! But as far as linking up pictures go, I may have been guilty esp. in TTT posts for mixing links to my review vs. a goodreads link, though it’s usually when I link the title as opposed to the cover image. But when I’m checking out other people’s blogs I usually hover over the images with my mouse before I actually click so I can see where the link will take me or if there isn’t a link at all. That way I don’t go to any websites that I don’t want to go to.

    • I think that it’s fine to include a link to your review, as long as either the book cover or the textual link goes to Goodreads (although it might be confusing which one did which if you didn’t make it clear).

      I don’t think the hover thing works on my computer…I don’t really know what you mean, haha. Do you have the thing where, if you hover over an image, it shows you a mini-preview of where the link goes? That seems actually really useful, haha! But I notice that if I hover over the picture of The Goldfinch in my sidebar, it just says the name of the image, not anything about where it goes (Goodreads). Now I’m jealous! 😛

      • On most browsers, if you hover over a link, the URL it directs you to will appear in a tiny bar on the bottom left hand of your screen.

      • OH MY GOD! Haha this has changed my life 😀 I honestly never realized that it did that before…thank you!! 🙂 This will definitely help ease some of my frustration!

  4. Hmm – I’m basically the total opposite of you. None of the images in my blog link to anything (intentionally so). I dislike when an image links to … the same image!

    Only the images in the “popular post” section on my sidebar link to the post.

    That’s it. Funny, I never click on images in a blog … and I wouldn’t expect book covers to link to Goodreads, because heck – why not Amazon, where people actually buy a book 🙂 That’s why I have text links that say “Goodreads” and “Amazon”

    • I think that it’s up to the individual blogger where they want their book cover images to link to (Goodreads, Amazon, TBD, etc…), I’m just personally of the opinion that Goodreads is the best site to link to, because that’s what I prefer. But I think that, as long as you have consistency (like all of your book cover images going to one place, wherever that might be), I’d be fine with it!

      Personally, I just don’t buy books that way — clicking on a link to Amazon and then purchasing it. I usually wait until books go on sale, or I’ve preordered a book, or I’m going to buy it at a used bookstore or something…and I think that the majority of people feel similarly. I think that it’s very rare for somebody to, say, read a book review, click on the Amazon link, and then buy the book right then and there. For me, it makes more sense to link it to Goodreads — so that I can add it to my TBR list and then purchase it later, when I’m ready. But if somebody wants to link to Amazon, go ahead! Just link ALL your covers to Amazon so that it’s not confusing.

      I think that it depends on the situation when it comes to linking up images on your blog. The most important thing to me is ease of use for your readers. So, if you don’t link your book covers to anything, but you do include Goodreads and Amazon textual links when you’re talking about/reviewing them, that’s easy for your readers! They can click whichever link they want to and easily jump to another site. But I’ve seen it TONS of times where a blogger reviews a book, and not only do they NOT have any Goodreads/Amazon/TBD links, the book cover goes nowhere as well. That’s just annoying! But if you prefer textual links vs. image linking, then that’s fine! As long as it’s easy for the reader, I’m all for it 🙂

  5. I don’t generally use images to send readers places, partially because I agree with you that it isn’t obvious on most blogs where clicking an image will bring you. So, if I want to send readers somewhere, I use text.

    In reviews, I have a text link to Goodreads. Clicking the book cover image will lead you to the image page file. I do this because I use thumbnail size covers in my posts, but I want to give readers a way to see the image larger, if they want a closer look. But I don’t really expect anyway to know this.

    When I do link an image to somewhere “unexpected,” I try to use the title to add a description that will appear when the reader hovers over the image. Like, “Visit this author’s blog!” on an author photo.

    Also, though, I rarely click images on other people’s blogs, unless I’m certain where they go and know I want to go there. Bringing us back to the uncertainty problem.

    • I think that, as long as you’re providing clear access to sites for your readers, you’re doing the right thing 🙂 If you don’t have your image linking to someplace, but you DO have textual links, then that’s totally fine. It’s easy, it’s consistent, it’s what you want to do. Especially if, like you said, there are circumstances in which readers might want to do something else with the image, like view it larger. My beef is mostly for the people who just don’t include links at all. Like, there’s not a link in the image and there’s no textual links either! That’s so frustrating to me. But it seems like you’re doing at least one of those, so that’s good 🙂

      Oh that’s a cool idea! I might have to steal that one 🙂

      Haha, yeah, exactly. Seriously, the only reason I still click on images on blogs is because I’m stubborn and lazy 😛 I just cross my fingers and hope it does the right thing lol. But, yeah, exactly…if only every blogger would read this post and 100% agree with me, there’d be no more problems! 😉 We could get rid of the uncertainty forever. But I’m under no illusions that that will ever actually happen, haha. I will forever be stuck opening another tab, going to Goodreads, and searching for the damn book myself. But maybe this post will help ONE blogger, and honestly, that would be enough to make me happy!

  6. HA! My blog would probably drive you to drink! I often “copy image” so I don’t waste my computer’s space with a bunch of nonsensical images that I will never use again. So if you click on it, nothing will happen. 🙂
    And not everybody uses Goodreads, my Dear.
    Signed,
    A blogger who doesn’t link back
    XO
    lololololol

    • Oh, I don’t waste my space with them either lol. I just drag & drop images to my Desktop, upload them to WordPress, and then delete them off my computer. Or you could even just add images to WordPress through the image URL and not even have to do the drag & drop part of it! I’ve never done the “copy image” thing, but I’m sure that there’s also probably a way to edit the HTML of that image in your blog post and add a link to it by using the <a href=" code. There's a lot of different options so that you don't have to waste any space at all! But if you’re hell-bent on driving me to drink, go right ahead! 😛

      Like I’ve mentioned in some of my responses to other commenters, I know that wanting images to link to Goodreads is my personal preference. It's totally up to the blogger which site they link their book cover images to! But consistency and ease for the reader is definitely key when it comes to links and images in general. I just think it’s really important to create an easy and consistent experience for my readers, and linking images to Goodreads (or other places…although I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the overwhelming majority of book bloggers do use Goodreads, at least somewhat haha) is a great way to help achieve that (in my opinion!). As long as you have Goodreads/Amazon/whatever links (textually, instead of through the image) in your reviews and any other posts that include cover images, I think that’s probably fine! It’s really just the ease of it all that matters the most. But I’ve come across way too many bloggers that don’t do EITHER! It’s like they want to annoy their readers, haha!

      Thanks for commenting! You made me laugh 🙂

  7. I don’t usually link book cover images to Goodreads, but I do usually have a link to GR underneath with text. I think in general, that’s what people do- I’ve seen very few blogs where book cover images lead to GR. It definitely bugs me when there isn’t a link available somewhere on the post, especially if it’s a review. I’m lazy and want to do things with one click dammit haha

    I think the only book cover images I’ve linked to something are the “most recent favourite” images in my sidebar. And I just link that to my review of it (or GR if I haven’t reviewed it)

    • Yeah I guess that’s one of my biggest points…give readers a way to access the places they want to access! Whether you do it through an image link or through a text link doesn’t matter too much IMO, as long as there’s SOME way to do it! Personally I link the cover images in my review just for the sake of giving credit. But I don’t think that’s necessary, just something I do for myself mostly.

      There’s a lot of other posts I do besides reviews, though, where I don’t necessarily want to add a Goodreads button for aesthetic reasons — like in my Historical Fiction Spotlight posts. I include a graphic with each book’s cover, title, author, and synopsis. So, since it’s a graphic and I’m not actually talking about anything with text, my only option for linking is to do it through the graphic itself. I just hope people know that they can click on those and it will take them to Goodreads! But I don’t think they do.

  8. I have to admit I usually not link my images anywhere, not sure why actually. I usually have difficulties deciding where to link them and prefer to include the link somewhere that makes it obvious where the link is going, like check this book on goodreads and then link to goodreads or mention a review and then it goes to that review. I usually don’t click on covers myself, but just go to goodreads and look them up. Although I can see your point and it would be nice if there’s a universal way for this.
    I like the idea of linking your headers to a page with all the posts with that category listing. I might think about integrating that one.

    • Thanks!

      When it comes to book covers, I think that using textual links is usually a fine alternative to linking up your images, especially because it’s more specific, so it takes away the whole “where does this image go?” question. But there are a lot of circumstances, at least for me personally, where I don’t want to use a textual link because it looks awkward or if I’m only using graphics (like for my Historical Fiction Spotlight posts). I feel like I have trouble creating aesthetically pleasing content that is also obvious as to where people should click for certain things.

  9. Guilty. So, so guilty. Well, of some of these sins, anyway. I never, EVER link a book to anywhere BUT Goodreads. I agree with you, to link anywhere else is such a cheat. If I want to link to other junk, I do it in the post itself, and you KNOW where the link is going. Here’s my thing: If I don’t link a book, then there is ALWAYS a Goodreads link in the text, so you know my link is useless. But, the problem for me is the darned collages! Because like you said, you really can’t link them. But then I feel inconsistent, and I don’t want that either. Ugh.

    As for other blogs, if there is no Goodreads link elsewhere, then the book picture needs to link to Goodreads. Nothing turns me off faster than NO link to any site in which I can find info on the book. I really don’t want to go on some wild goose chase for whatever book it is!

    Great topic!! I love this post, and I do think about it, especially when I am being bad at it 😉

    • YAY! Thanks for agreeing with me on this one 😀

      I think you’re doing everything right! I mean, as long as there’s links somewhere in the post, you’re pretty much good. It’s the no links anywhere thing that makes me SO MAD! Like, why would you do that?? It’s really annoying for your readers to have to go through that work themselves. They shouldn’t have to do work in order to interact with your post!

      Yeah I’m still having a lot of problems with random stuff like collages, posts that only have graphics, etc. But I don’t think that anybody else can figure it out either, haha, so at least we’re all on the same page 😛

      It feels good to have somebody appreciate this post! 🙂 Most everybody else, I think, is more like “eh, whatever” about this. Apparently I take it a lot more seriously, haha. But I don’t think that worrying about creating an easy viewing experience for your blogger is ever overrated!

  10. What a great rant! I love it. 😀 So, I have some thoughts…

    First, I agree with you. I do prefer that any book cover image is linked to Goodreads. Sometimes when I mention a book in a post, if I’ve reviewed it I will link to my review (which will ALWAYS have a link to Goodreads on it). But yeah, all cover images link to Goodreads.

    So I might be one of those annoying people you find inconsistent, but let’s see. If I ever put an instagram photo in a post, I link it to that photo’s page on instagram. If it’s a gif, I never link it unless it’s to the source. If it’s any other image, I usually link it to the full-size image which will open in a lightbox right atop the post.

    Now I get to rant a little about linking images in blog posts. It drives me CRAZY when header images in posts (like the ones in this post: “wrapping it up” and so on) link to themselves. If it’s a header at the very top (like “Top Ten Tuesday” or something), I always expect it to either link to the post or to link to the category. If it’s intermittent throughout the post, unless it is referencing something specific, I don’t think it should be linked at all. It really annoys me when I accidentally click on one of them and it just opens up the image and then I have to go back to the post and try to find my place again. Why? I mean, why link those if they basically go nowhere?

    • Haha thank you!! I was really curious as to whether you had thoughts on this 🙂 And I guess you do!

      I don’t think that linking to your review is THAT bad (as long as you have a Goodreads link in your review!! It drives me UP A WALL when people don’t put stuff like that in their reviews. I mean, seriously?? WTF.), but I think I prefer it when bloggers do something like Such and Such Book (link to Goodreads) by Author (check out my review! [link to review]). But I get it why people would rather do it the other way, because it’s less work (plus, you might get more pageviews).

      No, what you’re explaining seems like totally the right way. If you’re taking an image from somewhere (a gif, meme, Instagram photo, etc.), it should go to the source, which it seems is what you’re doing (although I’ll admit that sometimes, in rare circumstances with certain meme-type images, I will purposefully not bother to link to the source, which I know is bad of me, but *shrug* I’m not TOO worried about it). A random photo that comes from your computer should probably either have no link or just link to the image source page where you can view it bigger.

      Oh, hmm! That’s an interesting thought. I kind of forgot that those middle-of-the-post header images would link to themselves, which is definitely unnecessary, as you pointed out. I don’t think I’ve ever accidentally clicked on one of those on somebody else’s blog, but now that I know some people do, I’ll make an effort to unlink them. Thanks for telling me! That was actually really helpful advice 🙂 It’s not that I’m purposefully going out of my way to link those to themselves, it’s just the fact that I’m leaving them alone and WordPress’ default is to link them to the image source page.

      I think that Top Ten Tuesday (etc.) headers should definitely be either linked: (1) nowhere, as long as (if it’s not your header) you’re crediting it/the meme within the post (with a link), (2) to other Top Ten Tuesday posts on your blog (again, as long as you’re linking up to and crediting Broke and Bookish), or (3) to the Top Ten Tuesday feature page on The Broke and Bookish (which is what I do).

      But I personally don’t usually go out of my way to link up my feature headers unless it’s not my header…they just normally, again, default to linking to themselves. But I’m starting to think that I should link stuff like my “DISCUSSION” header to my discussion posts page, etc.

      But this just revolves back around to the whole issue of: literally nobody is ever going to click on the header because they would never assume that it actually goes to a place that MAKES SENSE, because about 2 freaking percent of bloggers bother to worry about linking images in any sensical way at all. The only people it’s going to help are people like you and me who see those kinds of things and actually think about them 😛 Did you notice how pretty much everybody else who commented on this post was basically like, “What? Who? Image linking? That’s a thing?” I mean, it’s totally up to the blogger on how they want to run their blog and if they’re bothered by these sorts of questions that keep people like us up at night, haha, but it honestly blows my mind that more people aren’t concerned. To me, links are so important to my blogging/reading experience that I can’t imagine NOT bothering to put in the effort to make my images clickable and give readers an easy & seamless route to follow with links that they’ll want to click on.

      Thanks SO much for commenting! It felt good to rant even more about it 😛 Glad you understand!!

      • Okay, maybe I’m just weird then for clicking on post headers and expecting them to go to the permalink for the post? I’ve seen SO many WordPress bloggers who just leave the default option of linking it to itself, and so maybe I’m the only one who notices it because I’m the only one who bothers to try clicking on them, lol.

        I love that we can have conversations like this, especially since it seems so rare that other bloggers care about these things as much as we do! High five for being awesome! ❤

  11. I definitely agree with you about the book images. It drives me CRAZY when a blogger posts a review and there is absolutely no link to Goodreads. I mean, I can easily look it up myself, but it takes longer and I’m lazy! As for the how, I don’t care too much. I personally like a linked “Add to Goodreads” (or like mine – I have the little logo that I link with), because if your computer doesn’t tell you where the link goes when you hover (is that just a Mac thing? I don’t know if Windows computers do that too), you might click on the image and find it doesn’t actually go to Goodreads. Thankfully I do have the little thing at the bottom when I hover over a linked picture that tells me where it goes, so I don’t end up in Kelley’s situation where I click on a link and then have to go back and find my place all over again (which again, I have a Mac, so it usually finds my place for me lol). I also agree with her about images being linked to themselves…I personally hate that! Like she said with the accidentally clicking…but at the same time, if it’s just a pretty text I like it to seem like it’s part of the post rather than a picture that was inserted. I don’t know if that makes sense. I guess what I’m saying is: If there’s no point to have a link (it goes to a review, or a blog, or SOMEWHERE useful), I don’t link it. The only time I’ll link a regular picture is if I think someone somewhere may want to see it blown up to get a better look at it.

    And this brings me to the point where I have to disagree with you. I don’t think there needs to be any distinct “rule” simply because every blogger’s blog is their own and no one else’s. I’m sure there’s multiple things that I do that may or may not piss a few of my readers off from time to time (whether I’m aware or not!), but when it boils down to it, it is MY blog. On one hand, I would like to know about it, but on the other hand, unless it was a very large amount of people saying the same thing, it wouldn’t really matter much. I wouldn’t change my blog for just a one or two (or even a handful) of people. Not that I don’t care about what my readers think, but I can do whatever I want with my space. To each his own!

    I personally have done pages where I had a whole bunch of images in a grid, and I wrote at the top “images linked to my review.” I like to link those images to my review so that people can see my opinion of the book since I’m talking about it. I always link to Goodreads in every single review, so if they wanted to view it on there they could just click through the review and click on over to Goodreads. I typically state somewhere if it does go to my review instead of Goodreads, though. I do think the obvious thing to do with book cover images in a review is to link to GR (if there’s no link otherwise), but like you said not everyone does! It bugs me, but again, it’s that person’s blog. Who are we to say how they should run it?

    • Haha yeah I mean I was definitely joking when I said that there should be some sort of set rules for bloggers to follow. I don’t actually think there should be one 😛 I was just fantasizing about how awesome it would be if everybody’s blog ran exactly the way I wanted it to. But obviously we all have different opinions about the best way to do things, so that would never work!

      I have a Mac, too, so yeah, it does do the little link preview at the bottom of the screen…although I didn’t even realize that was a thing until somebody else commented about it! I’m definitely going to make use of that feature now that I know about it. I’m not sure how it works on Windows, though :/

      It’s really good to know that you also don’t like it when those kinds of images get linked to themselves! I’d never even thought about it before Kelly mentioned it, but I’m definitely going to start un-linking those in the future 🙂 I personally like knowing when somebody thinks that I’m doing something wrong/there’s a better way to do something, so thanks!

      I also think that “changing your blog for people” really depends on what it is. Like, for example, you and Kelly are the only people I’ve ever heard complain about that specific thing before, but since it now makes total sense to me that I should change it, because you two pointed it out, I’m completely fine with altering my “way” of blogging, even just because of two people randomly mentioning something. But obviously there are also times when one person might give criticism or a suggestion that I really don’t agree with, so I wouldn’t want to change anything in that circumstance. But I feel like there certainly are times where I realize that I want to change something based on only a small handful of opinions. I think it’s because sometimes people just point out things that you never even realized you had an opinion on until you thought about it. Now that you guys have brought this to my attention, I’ve realized that I totally agree with you! So, of course I’m going to change it. And that’s kind of what I was trying to do with this whole post…bring something to bloggers’ attentions that they might not have even realized is annoying or “wrong” in their readers’ opinions. I hope that I at least convinced one person that they should start linking books up to Goodreads (through the cover and/or text), or that they should make an effort to link up to a photo’s source (depending on what it is). I would never want to force somebody to do something that they didn’t agree with, but maybe some people realized that doing stuff like this is how they want to run their blog 🙂

      Thanks so much for your long comment! 🙂

  12. Oh dear. I’m one of the kinds of bloggers you aren’t particularly happy with, when it comes to image linking… :-/
    I’m afraid I’ve never thought about this in detail, but after reading your post, I will definitely start considering a more systematic way of linking my blog images!
    I very rarely link to Goodreads because I didn’t have a Goodreads until about a month ago, but now that I think about it, I do agree with you that linking book covers to Goodreads is fantastic. If someone becomes interested in a book because of your post, it’s most convenient for the image link to take them to Goodreads so they can add that book to their TBR.
    However, if the image of the book cover is in a post other than a review of that particular book, I’d probably still link the image to Goodreads, but then add a caption or other link somewhere to my reveiw of the book, if I’ve written one.
    For other images, it’s not as straighforward in my head. I’d have to think about it more closely.

    This was quite an awesome post – I’m always interested in posts that bring up unique topics for discussion!

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  14. Wow! I’ve never had any really strong opinions about linking images, so I don’t typically link them anywhere. I DO try to link consistently within a post – but usually I would link back to my review, not necessarily to GR – and I typically do it with text anyway, not with the images. My reviews have links to Goodreads (and usually Amazon), so I don’t bother linking the image. I just leave the default (which I guess is linking back to itself? I’ll have to look at that now). Now I wonder if there are other people who are so passionate about this – maybe I should pay more attention.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  15. I actually kind of disagree with some of this. First of all, I don’t think all bloggers have to conform to the same methods. But also context comes into play. In some cases it might make more sense for a book cover to link to Goodreads, in other cases it might make more sense for it to link to the author’s website, or to another blog post, etc. It all depends on context.

    And that leads me to my next point:

    You said you stopped adding text links below images because you didn’t want to format them that way, and instead you make the picture link. I actually find this more difficult. Because as a reader, I don’t assume right off the bat that images link somewhere. In fact, my default reaction is that the images DON’T link. Or my second assumption is that they link to a larger version of the image (if you included a small one). So if you don’t include a text link saying “Goodreads”, I’ll assume you’re not linking to it at all and get annoyed. Or I just won’t know where it’s linking to and I have to take extra effort to find out (hover over and see the target URL).

    I don’t think we should assume our readers are going to assume that we link to Goodreads. So it’s better to clarify where links go (by including a caption underneath that either says “Click image to go to Goodreads” or just has a textual link saying “Goodreads”.

    One thing that does piss me off, however, is when people upload an image that requires reading of some kind (so not necessarily a book cover), they show it on their blog really small (like on WordPress they use the “thumbnail” or “medium” setting) but then don’t link to a larger version of it anywhere.

    • Thanks for commenting! I was really curious about your opinion.

      Okay, apparently people didn’t realize that I was mostly kidding when I said that there should be some kind of universal “rule.” Obviously that would never work, and I know that. I just can’t help but imagine a world where every blog performs exactly the way I wish it would and how awesome that would be…but I don’t actually think that should HAPPEN! 😛

      This is my biggest problem…to me, I feel like it looks stupid and is redundant to have a picture (for example, in one of my Must Haves posts) that (a) links to a recipe, (b) is a picture of the recipe, (c) has the name of the recipe on the picture itself, and then (b) I’m supposed to say “Chocolate Chip Cookies” underneath with a textual link, too? I get why it’s almost sort of necessary — because people don’t realize or assume that the images in my posts will link somewhere — but I hate that, and that’s what one of my main points is: if bloggers were more consistent about links in general, I wouldn’t have to worry about it!

      Pictures should always be linked to their sources anyway (or, in some circumstances, maybe having a few links in the text, if you want to associate multiple links with one image — like a book cover, and then having textual links for Goodreads, Amazon, your review, the author, etc.) — but, especially when it’s clearly somebody else’s photo and not the blogger’s, it should definitely be linked to the original source (or at least have a textual link to the source…but if there isn’t a textual link, I would assume the picture goes to the source since that’s the only other option). So I feel like I shouldn’t have to include that extra textual link when it’s going to mess up the flow of my post and look kind of weird. It bothers me that people don’t automatically assume that things are done the “right” way, because (a) yes, there are a couple different ways of doing it, and mine not always be “right,” but more often (b) bloggers are just very rarely consistent about links, even within their own blogs. For now, I’m just going to stick with the “(Click images to go to the recipe/blog/etc.)” thing, but it still annoys me that I have to put anything at all :/ If somebody else had the same kind of post up on their site, I would definitely assume the photos linked to their source, because why would they just be showcasing a PHOTO of a recipe…that makes no sense. They clearly would want their readers to be able to view the recipe and not just look at something. But there have been multiple occasions where I’ve seen a blogger not link up in that kind of situation, so I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry.

      I almost always include multiple links in my posts…like for book reviews, the cover goes to Goodreads and I have a Goodreads button. In that circumstance, I would never assume that somebody would think that the cover automatically goes to Goodreads, so I like to include another option, too. And, usually, if I’m doing a post with a bunch of book cover images, I’m talking about them anyway, so I’ll link up the title of the book in the text to Goodreads, too. I think that as long as you have one or the other (or both), you’re totally set. It’s when people have a bunch of cover images and don’t have textual links…in that case, I would assume that the covers link to Goodreads (or somewhere!)…but occasionally (and it happens pretty often! At least 1-2x a week, for me) I’ll come across a post where they don’t. So, there’s a bunch of images and a bunch of text, but literally nothing is linked! That’s annoying. And that’s mostly what this post was trying to point out…whether or not you link your covers to Goodreads or you want to use textual links instead, you should have links in general. Otherwise it creates a really frustrating reading experience for your followers that requires them to go way out of their way to interact with your posts properly.

  16. Errr…. I’m not quite sure if any of the images on my blog actually link anywhere when you click on them. Since I use Blogger, I think when you click on them they just open in that new tab for Blogger or whatever… not quite sure how it works. I’m sure if I wanted to have it link somewhere else I could do it but honestly it’s never even occurred to me until today! For book covers, I usually have a link below that leads to the Goodreads page so that’s kinda the same thing, I suppose? And then for other images I try to have a little link below like via… just so people know where I got it from. But again, I TRY. It doesn’t always happen which isn’t very good but I’m going to make a point of doing so!

    • Yeah! I think as long as you have links to Goodreads or wherever in general, you’re good 🙂 I think that you should probably be linking to the source in the case of memes/GIFs/photos that aren’t yours, but some bloggers rarely use stuff like that, so I get why they would never even think of it! You’re right, it’s mostly just important that you’re trying! You understand that readers might want to go someplace — like Goodreads — and offer a way to get there! That’s definitely the main point of this post and it sounds like you’re doing a good job with that 🙂

  17. I totally agree with you that bloggers should have a standard; if not across the board at least on their own blogs. It’s frustrating if one one book cover sends you to GR, another Amazon, then the third to B&N. While I do prefer it if book covers send me to GR, I think what matters most is consistency.

    For my blog, I make sure that the images of post excerpts (on the home page, in the archives, etc) lead to the individual post. Readers can click on the post title or the “read more” link but I figured the images are so big and easy to click, it’s better to link them up too.

    On individual blog posts, I link individual book covers to GR. If they’re in a collage, then I link them to GR via the captions because I don’t how to link specific spots in an image or if it can even be done. Haha. But even in book reviews where the cover images lead to GR, I add the GR link again under the book info because I know some people don’t think to click on images.

    I don’t set click-through links for other images. I rather include the credits in the captions because I feel the photographers/illustrators deserve to have their names out there. I use images that are free for use because the image authors licence their photos/illustrations under Creative Commons. For their generosity, I feel a click-through link isn’t enough. I would expect the same courtesy from others if I decided to offer up my photos for free though for now I rather my own images remain copyrighted.

    The thing that bugs me the most is what Kelley pointed out too—images linking to their URL source. I get so pissed off when I click on book covers, thinking I’ll end up on GR or Amazon, only to end up on the image URL itself. It annoys me because I would’ve saved myself the trouble and opening a separate tab for GR myself.

    Either way, I’m so glad you raised this issue because I totally think it is an issue that bloggers should be aware of.

    • One more thing I forgot to mention: blog headers! I’m always baffled when they’re not linked to the homepage. Like, the blog name is so huge, I expect it to lead me right back to the beginning. It’s so much faster than looking for “Home” in the menu bar. In other words, blog headers/banners should lead right back to the homepage.

      • Oh my god, right?? That annoys me to no end. And I don’t even understand how it happens. Like, in WordPress.com, when you upload a header image, it automatically links to the homepage. How do you even get it NOT to do that?? LOL

      • In WordPress it’s theme-dependent. Some coders don’t include that link for reason that defy me. So it’s up to the blogger to alter the code. Still, that extra research on how to do it or contacting the coder for help isn’t too much to ask, in my opinion.

    • Thank you for commenting! It sounds like we pretty much agree on this issue 🙂

      I basically do the exact same thing as you when it comes to collages. I REALLY wish there was a way to link multiple spots in a collage, haha.

      I guess, for me, it depends what kind of image I’m using. If I were going to be showcasing some art, or something that another blogger created, I would most definitely link up the image and say something about them in the text. But just a random photo I got off the internet? That just gets linked the source, because who cares enough to read about it?

      Oh that really bothers me, too…not just when random stuff like headers that get accidentally clicked on lead to themselves, but BOOK COVER IMAGES. Why would you link a book cover image to itself? That helps NOBODY lol. It just makes it even more annoying than just the simple fact alone that you have no link to Goodreads 😛

      Thank you!! I think so, too 🙂

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  20. Thank you so much for this post. This will sound completely idiotic but as much as I caption my source, it never occurred to me to actually link the image back to the source. It’s so simple and elegant and I feel completely daft for not having done it thus far. aaannndd now I have to go back and edit all my old posts 🙂

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