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The Complete Guide on Finding and Using Images on Your Blog
Images have always been an important element of our blogs. Other than the f act that they can drive traf f ic f rom Pinterest or Google image search, images make a blog post unique, memorable and are also a great emotional trigger f or your readers. T here are basically 2 kinds of images you can and should use on your blog: 1. Your own images Screenshots Inf ographics – charts, diagrams Personal photos 2. Other people’s images Free stock photos Paid images In this post I’m going to share with you a couple of tips on how you can use images in your blog posts and a couple of places where you can f ind free images.
Why you should use images in your post s?
If haven’t given too much thought on using images in your blog posts, or pages here are a couple of reasons why images are important and why you must use them on your blog.
Images drive t raf f ic t o your blog
People coming to your blog can pin your images on Pinterest which in turn can drive a lot of ref erral traf f ic back to your blog post. Niches like cooking, f ashion, real-estate get most of their ref erral traf f ic f rom the images their readers pin on their Pinterest boards. Another way images can drive traf f ic is through Google image search. Just like normal search only on image search all the search results are images. You can easily optimize your images f or image search by putting your keyword as the f ilename and including it in the alt tag. Social media sites like Facebook or Google+ generate snippets f or the links you share on them, which include an image f rom your post along with an excerpt of the post. A lot of times that image is what determines people to click on your link and visit your post.
Images are visual anchors
Let me ask you this: What’s easier f or you to remember, a certain image you’ve seen or a block of text you’ve read? T here is nothing that appeals more to our visual memory then an interesting image. Other than the f act that images have to power to make your post distinguishable among the thousands of blog posts out there, they also make them more memorable. Best part is that images act like an anchor in your readers mind.
Images enhance t he message you want t o deliver t o your readers
If you want to emphasize a paragraph in your blog post, a great way to do this, is by putting a relevant image next to it. T his works great if you want to deliver your intended message with a bigger, more emotional impact.
How t o add images t o your blog post s?
Adding images to blog posts or pages in WordPress is very easy, even if you’re a beginner. T he f irst thing you need to do, is to upload the image you want to embed. In your WordPress editor page simply click on the Add Media tab right above the text f ormatting tools.
Af ter that select upload f iles, here you have the option to drag the image f rom your computer into your browser window or you can browse your computer and select which image you want to upload. For SEO purposes, bef ore you upload your image make sure it has a descriptive f ilename, such as a keyword that’s relevant to your blog post. Af ter uploading the image you can add a title, caption, alt tag which should never be lef t blank, always insert your keyword here. You can also choose the alignment of the image and the URL it points to if people click on it. I choose to leave the URL f ield to none or if I want to link to something most of the times I’ll place an af f iliate link there. And that’s all there is to it.
Easy, right? Now, if you’re using your own images or photos, all you have to do is upload them and you’re done. But if you want to use other people’s images and photos there are some things you should know bef ore hand. First of f , Google image search should only be used as an inspiration source f or creating your own images. What you need to know, is that everything online has usage rights and this includes images too. You can either purchase images or you can use them f or f ree under certain terms and conditions.
Image usage right s explained
T he most important thing is to always link to the image source whenever you’re using other peoples images. You can add this link right under the image, in the caption box or at the end of your post. A text link with the anchor text “Image Credit” or “Image” will do just f ine. You will notice a link “image” right at the end of the posts in which I’ve used images that were not my own. One other thing is how and where you use these images. For example, some images you are allowed to modif y, or use in a product you’re creating, like an ebook. Here is a simple explanation of image usage rights according to the Creative Commons licenses.
At t ribut ion Only
T he Attribution-Only license allows you to copy, distribute, tweak, build upon it, use it even commercially as long as you give credit f or the image. As I mentioned earlier in the post you can give credit to an image you use by providing a link to the original image either below the image in the caption box or at the end of your post.
At t ribut ion-NoDerivs
With this type of license you are f ree to copy and distribute the image even commercially as long as you do not alter the image in any way and of course provide a link to the image source. By altering, I mean you can’t add any text, crop the image, add any ef f ects, but you can still resize the image according to your needs.
At t ribut ion-ShareAlike
T he Attribution-ShareAlike license allows you to f reely alter the image, crop it, add text, Photoshop-it in any way you want. But what you must know is that af ter you’ve created your new image based on the original one, anyone can use your image under the same license, only they will be giving credit to you. T his type of license is also used by Wikipedia, which means you can grab any piece of content and use it f reely as long as you give credit and license it under the same terms.
NonCommercial means you are not allowed to use a piece of work f or commercial purposes. To give you a better idea of what Commercial and NonCommercial use means, here are a couple of examples f or both.
At t ribut ion-NonCommercial
T his license has the same terms as the Attribution-Only license, except you are not allowed to use the image f or commercial purposes.
At t ribut ion-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
Same as Attribution-ShareAlike, but you can only use images under this license non-commercially.
At t ribut ion-NonCommercial-NoDerivs
T his is the most restrictive type of license. Images licensed under these terms cannot be altered(you can resize them) and cannot be used f or commercial purposes.
Where t o f ind f ree images you can use in your blog post s? 1. Flickr Creat ive Commons
Flickr is probably the most popular source f or f ree images you can use in your posts. However you need to be aware of the f act that not all images can be used f reely. If you want to f ind images you can use on your blog all you have to do is go to the advanced search page on Flickr and make sure you tick the “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content” box right at the bottom of the page.
After downloading an image make sure you rename it so that it includes a keyword your targeting in your blog post.
2. The Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons is the media repository of Wikipedia.org. T he best part about Wikimedia is the f act that almost all the images are licensed under the Attribution-ShareAlike license. T his means you can edit the images in anyway you want and even use them commercially as long as you give credit to the original image.
3. Royalt y f ree st ock phot os
Free stock photos are licensed under terms similar to the Creative Commons, although you are not necessarily required to link to the image source there are exceptions where a photographer requires people who download his images to notif y and credit him f or the downloaded images. Just to be saf e I recommend you always link back to the image source. T here are a lot of f ree stock photo websites you can choose f rom. T he ones I’ve used the most are stock.xchng, stockvault and Freerange. If you want more f ree stock photo websites here is a list of 25 sites f or downloading stock images.
Over t o You
Well, my f ingers are starting to hurt a bit so I’m going to wrap it up. Feel f ree to share any strategies on how you’re using images on your own blogs. If you have any advice on using images in blog posts I’d love to hear it. Also if you found this post useful please do me a favor and share it on your social networks, it won’t take you more then a couple of seconds. Thanks. image credit
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