9 Tips For Adding Images To Your Blog Content
reposted from Jayson DeMers
By now, most business owners get it. Including an image in a blog post is a good idea. It can, in fact, lead to 94% more views and that's definitely a good thing!
But what happens when you use the wrong image? We're seeing a whole slew of attorneys trying to get money on behalf of their photography clients for copyright infringement (not all of it enforceable or even entirely legal, in my opinion), and you've got to be careful now more than ever to ensure you're using a photograph that's free to use on your blog.
Don't jeopardize your company blog, or risk being fined for misuse of photos. Know the rules, then follow them, and you'll be fine. Here are eight tips for finding and using awesome images without any legal risks.
1. Understand Creative Commons
If you're looking for free images that are legal to use, start with Creative Commons
. These are images that the creators have given permission for people to use at no charge. ?
A word of warning: make sure to read the license for a particular photo, as it will specify whether you can modify it (not always) or use for commercial purposes. Sometimes it's fine to use an image for your blog, but not okay to use in your marketing materials. I've seen people get their hands slapped for using images that were labeled as Creative Commons, but maybe who didn't read the fine print.
There are sites that offer Creative Commons photos, like Creative Commons Search
(a nice aggregate that can search through several sites at once) and Flickr. Just be sure on the latter that you select "Creative Commons" as the license type so you don't inadvertently choose a photo you shouldn't use.
Getty Images, the grandfather of online imagery, is also getting in on the free photos gamewith a caveat. You have to use the site's
embed code on your blog to use the image for free. Still, there's great quality there, so it's worth a look.
2. Give Proper Attribution
Every Creative Commons license
requires you to attribute the image to its owner, so include something like this at the end of each blog post:
Photo credit: Andreagrossmann
on Wikimedia Commons
Play by the rules, as you'll stay out of trouble this way. It's also just good karma to give credit where it's due.
3. Subscribe to a Service
While it doesn't fit every small business budget, subscribing to a royaltyfree photo service is the safest way to ensure you're using photos that are approved for what you want to use them for.
Sites like PhotoSpin
typically offer a couple of options:
Pay per photo (the highest cost per photo, but good if you don't need tons) Monthly subscription (a set number of downloads per day or month) Yearly subscription (the most economical for heavy use) Subscriptions range from $500 to $2500. While that's a huge price gap, the more expensive sites may offer more variety of photo subjects as well as videos and music downloads.
4. Create Your Own
If you're looking for something a little more customized, check out Canva
. This visual graphic design tool is simple enough for even the least creative person to use. Choose a background image (some are free, and some are $1), customize the text, and get a unique graphic for your blog (or social media site).
If you subscribe to a photo site, you can upload the photos (you've already paid for them, so why pay again for another on Canva?) and modify your design.
5. Use a Plugin
You can even save a step and search for images to use from right inside WordPress with these plugins:
Flickr Pic a Picture
: Pulls directly from Flickr Creative Commons.
: Search by image type and orientation. Compfight
: Adds attribution into the blog post for you!
6. Review All Your Images
If this is the first you're hearing that there are rules about what images you can and can't use for blog posts, it might be worth it to go back through all your old posts (yes, I realize how long that can take, but it's better than being sued, yes?) and making sure all your photos are Creative Commons and attributed properly. Better yet, hire an assistant to do it for you.
7. Don't Accept Photos with Guest Posts
If you publish posts from other writers on your blog, you may sometimes get posts that include images with them. Because you can't be sure that these are legal to use, it's safer to just ditch these photos and find your own. This is easy enough if you use a subscription service.
8. Go for Quality
Trust me: the better quality the image, the more views your post will get. So if you search for, let's say, "computer mouse" and have to choose between these two images, which do you think people will be more attracted to:
The first image simply looks more professional. I know I'd rather read the accompanying text with the former. The second just looks amateur. If you can't find a quality photo, try searching for a different keyword.
9. Get Creative
I enjoy trying to find a photo that illustrates a post. Sometimes it's the obvious, like an article about Thanksgiving dinner using an image of a turkey. But sometimes it's fun to find unique takes. Like if you're talking about finding customers online, using a magnifying glass.
People like seeing humans in images, so try to find photos that include people doing something. Action shots work really well too. Just stay away from the mundane.
Hopefully I haven't scared you off from including images in your blog posts. They are, in fact, essential for boosting your blog traffic and getting people better engaged. Once you get your system for finding the right photos, attributing them, and then posting them to your articles, it will get easier to automate.