In my continued series on Step by Step Blogging, I introduce Images.
Images are essential in blogging. They break up the text monotony. Give depth to your post. Give you another chance to use keywords for SEO. I could go on but we know images can be a nice add on to your post.
There are 2 ways to acquire images for your blog:
1. Create you own. I do at times. (The photo to your left I took in San Simeon 2 years ago.)
2. Get images from the internet. This gets a little tricky.
Before I go over where to get them on the internet, I would like to review the ethics and legalities of internet images. Just briefly, because this stuff is boring but will save you heartache if done correctly. You never want to be accused of stealing anyone’s work.
For blogging purposes, images on the Internet are always off limits unless the creator gives permission for usage. You can, one, find that the artist left a License Attribute for you to read on their site or, two, if that is not the case, you can ask for permission to use the image. Simply email them and see.
So what is a license? Images and many times other works such as stories, graphics, poems and even blogs have Copyright Licenses attached to them. The best way to protect you work is to copyright it. This is where Creative Commons comes in. I won’t go into to much detail, because you can visit Creative Commons yourself and get the info. But I follow the most open license possible when I am finding and using images for my blog. All of these must be present:
- I want to use the image on my blog. Some people will state images can only be private use, like in scrapbooks.
- I need to use it commercially. Some say “commercial” means to use the image in products you will be selling such as an ebook or posters or even a theme, and yes, that is true. I take it one step further and say I am placing the image on a commercial site, meaning I have the potential to make money off of what I portray here.
- I always give credit back to the artist/site. They are helping me by letting me use their image, the least I could do is give credit back.
The best and easiest license all these features fall under is the Attribute License. It is the most open of all the licenses.
In conclusion, when you find that perfect image be sure the artist has outright stated that you can take the image and place it on your blog. If you sell stuff on your blog, I would check for commercial rights.
Let’s get on to the good stuff, where do I find images?
This was so much of a challenge for me! I need free images, for the most part. I have started to pay for a few but mainly out of desperation when I can’t find anything for free. Also, the free sites have so much advertising it can be very hard to shuffle through what you need. Not to mention, images load slowly, so your time is wasted waiting.
I use the following sites to find images, they are free and have open licensing close to the Attribute License. Please read their FAQ’s and legal information before your take their work.
Photos8 I love his work! His site is extremely easy to navigate and the photos are great quality.
Stock.xchng They have been around for a while and are known to have great content. I have found many bloggers use this site.
Every Stock Photo This site will look over the Internet for you to find free photos. Do an advance search to narrow down the licenses you want to search under.
Flickr Creative Commons This is another great place to look.
DreamsTime I have found free and paid images here. I really like DreamsTime. Searching for photos is easy. And when I do purchase images they are usually $2 or so for smaller web size images, that is all you need for a blog anyway. Be sure to read their licensing policies, they differ a little than Creative Commons.
- Images will slow down your post loading time. Add maybe only 1 or 2 images per post. Don’t forget, you are also loading all the sidebar, header images and other content.
- Be sure to name your image and fill in the alternative info for better SEO. The crawlers will read your images properties when they visit.
- Make sure the image makes sense to your post. You wouldn’t write a post about dogs and have a picture of a cat. If you think the image will be confusing then place a caption for people to read.
Traffic Generation Cafe: Blog Post Images Did a little deeper into image SEO
iBlogZone: Image editors
Where do you find great images? Do you pay for them or are they free? Do you create your own photos or graphics?
The Whole Series:
- #1 New Bloggers Start Here 4 simple starting out guidelines.
- #2 Getting Social Starting BIG yet SLOW is the key for beginners.
- #3 Content is King But Appearance Rules Does your blog look awesome?
- #4 Submitting Your Blog to Search Engines Don’t wait for the search engines to find you, let them know you exist.
- #5 WP Plugins for New Blogs Plugins We Can’t Blog Without
- #6 Email List Building Harness the Love. Start your newsletter/email list as soon as possible.
- #7 Image Essentials for New Bloggers Places to Find Free and Inexpensive But Quality Images for your Blog
- #8 Tedious Yet Necessary Blog Chores We Love Blogging But Hate the Necessary Chores (They still need to be done.)
- #9 Reaching Your Blog Goals BLOG GOALS–>PLAN–>SCHEDULE–>ACTION
- #10 The End of the Series…But the Beginning of a Journey Tips and references to start your blogging journey
Latest posts by Allie (see all)
- Protecting Your WAHM Blog and Business Follow Up - May 23, 2013
- Getting Closer to Your Readers and Customers with an Email List - May 21, 2013
- Getting More Fans by Linking Your Facebook Page to Your Profile - May 16, 2013