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Wax Marketing Blog

Make your blog come alive with photos

By Beth Graddon- Hodgson

You might think that it’s only your actual blog content that is going to get people to stop by and read, but images play a big role, too. They can help make your blog posts appear more professional and attractive, but that’s really only a small portion of their benefits.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

For one thing, the images can drive traffic to your blog. People search for usable photos just about as often as they search for information online. When you post a photo and use your blogging tool to upload it with a title, relevant keywords and a caption, you’re creating another way for people to find you on search engines. This can encourage them to either read your blog content while they’re already found themselves on your site, or give you a link back if they decide to use your image on their own blog or site.

(Quick note – I thought this was a great time to try out the WordPress free photo plugin from Crestock. Works GREAT just search “free photo” in your directory or download it here. 

Of course, photo usage needs to be done carefully, or you might find yourself at the losing end of a lawsuit. Not all of the pictures you upload on your blog need to be yours, but these are the guidelines to follow before you put a picture on your post:

  1. Check for copyright – you might find the copyright listed below the image as a caption, or sometimes on another page of the website. It may say that all images on the webpage are protected by copyright and that you need to contact a specific person, business, or website developer in order to get permission to use a picture
  2. Make sure images used come from a press release – if you are writing about a business or service, you are typically safe to use their brand images, particularly a logo, especially if it has made an appearance in a press release
  3. Make use of images that are free to use – sites like Flickr allow people to classify their images as free for use. For these images on Flickr, simply search for those pictures that fall under a Creative Commons license. You still need to link to your image source, but don’t need to worry about copyright violations. A list of other free sources for images is available at Blogsessive
  4. Use stock sites – this isn’t the most desirable option, it costs money and the same images will appear over and over again online. But, if you purchase an individual image or have a subscription to a stock site, you earn the right to use the photo
  5. If you’re not sure, ask! – if you’re not sure if you’re able to use an image or not, it’s always better to be safe. Send off a quick email to a contact listed on the site where you found the photo and ask! Tell them what you’re planning to use the image for, and 99% of the time, they’ll agree.

Of course, issues are not always preventable no matter how careful you are with your image use. I ran into a unique situation for the first time in my career. While profiling a business, I used their logo; only to be contacted later because an image that appeared on the logo didn’t belong to them. In a circumstance like this, the best bet is to apologize and pull the image from the blog.

Finding images just isn’t that hard, and it’s beneficial to your traffic if you do it right. So there’s no excuse not to have photos in most (if not all) of your blogs!

Beth Graddon-Hodgson is a professional writer/blogger and the founder of WriteSourcing a professional blogging, writing and editing service. You can read her posts on blogging for business here at the Wax blog every Tuesday.

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16 Comments

  1. Criminal Justice Degree Says :
    Posted on May 11, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Stock photos are probably among the worst since everyone recognizes them instantly. The good ones are used everywhere and the poor ones are…poor. Still, having an image is much better than filling the page with text. I’ll have to check out some of your recommendations. I like the images on this blog.

  2. Zahnaufheller
    Posted on May 11, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    When I started out I was mostly focusing on the effectiveness of my site (loading time and so on).

    But only after I started formatting my posts in a cool way and using images in every post I started getting regular readers and people commenting.

    I am currently using pictures from Pixelio which are free as long as you mention the creators name. Can you recommend any other good image databases?

    Thanks for all the infos on copyright 😉

  3. CD DVD Cases
    Posted on May 12, 2010 at 3:13 am

    Images definitely do make a difference… It can make the difference of whether a reader actually reads or not. I never really thought about it before but that’s dead on.

  4. Andy @ FirstFound
    Posted on May 12, 2010 at 4:22 am

    I’ll definitely have a look at the free photo plugin, but I think it’ll take a lot to drag me away from Flickr. There are some really talented people on there, and they’re generous with that creative commons license.

  5. Shruthi
    Posted on May 12, 2010 at 6:21 am

    Now this is a really commendable post on this blog. I really admire your blog…

  6. Eastwork Studios Says :
    Posted on May 12, 2010 at 6:34 am

    I think the fear that people still have is that the share size of the images combined will have a big effect on the websites performance. They don’t know the compression nowadays is much better than some years ago.

  7. Internet Marketing
    Posted on May 13, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    A lot of bloggers tend to forget how important good photos on their website is. Of course it entices their readers and eventually drives traffic to their site. You can also check out Photobucket. They have bunch of images there and most if not, all of them are free for use.

  8. tangdavid
    Posted on May 14, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    i use more photos for all of my blog 🙂
    and it become famous and more traffic to generate

  9. JJ Rendon Says :
    Posted on May 16, 2010 at 2:06 am

    I agree with the earlier posts.. images are a big MUST but make sure not to upload slow loading images, it can affect your website’s traffic.

  10. Mike
    Posted on May 17, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    That is way it’s better to upload jpeg pics instead of bmp or png. You can resize your pics (if they are too big) in GIMP.

  11. AFN
    Posted on May 17, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Stock photo’s are better than no photo’s in my opinion. Articles with a picture catch my attention quicker than those without.

  12. Custom Software
    Posted on May 19, 2010 at 4:54 am

    The right photo, coupled with a strong headline, goes a long way in setting the mood for the reader. There is so much competition out there to capture readers’ attention quickly that these have become very important elements for any post or article.

  13. Internet Marketing
    Posted on May 19, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Flickr is a best site for more images as well. Best of all, it’s free and you can use it anywhere. I think it’s always best to upload Jpeg file.

  14. Bruce Says :
    Posted on May 19, 2010 at 8:25 am

    i use more photos for all of my blog 🙂
    and it become famous and more traffic to generate

  15. Beth Graddon-Hodgson
    Posted on June 2, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    Some of the free photo listings on the link are free stock sites..but my personal fav resource is Flickr. You need to specifically make sure you use the advanced search options to search only “creative commons licensed content” and search “for commercial use”. These are pictures from photogs who want you to post for a link!

  16. How to credit sources in your blog | Wax Blog
    Posted on June 22, 2010 at 5:32 am

    […] for your blog content. ‘In text’ links like I used to mention an external website in my post on using photos in your blog (where you can learn more about avoiding copyright issues!) are one method. This means simply […]

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