We talked last month about how to get photos for your blog, but maybe you’re not yet convinced that’s even something you need. So let’s back up a bit.
You know the feeling when you arrive at a web page and see a wall of text, right? Your reaction is probably the psychological equivalent of backing away slowly before turning & running, but with much less energy expenditure — you simply click away.
Three Reasons Your Blog Posts Need Photos
We live in a visual age, so including images in your blog posts is important. Here are three reasons why.
Photos Catch Your Audience’s Attention
You can help avoid “tl;dr” syndrome by breaking up your post with an eye-catching image. Our eyes are drawn to images, and when you’re fighting for attention on the internet (which you are), a striking image can be the difference between a click in or a click away.
Photos Give You Another SEO Tool
Another benefit of including images in your blog posts is that they give search engines another opportunity to find you — if you’re incorporating SEO. And you can optimize your images in two easy steps:
- Use a meaningful file name.
- Include alt-text.
Photos Make Your Posts More Appealing to Share
If you’ve ever shared an article on facebook, you’ve probably noticed that you have the option to select an image from the page to appear with your link. And thinking about your own habits on facebook, aren’t you more likely to a) actually see the link with a photo and b) click it?
Need More Proof?
The proof is in the pudding, so to speak, and MDG Advertising has done a wonderful, statistic-pudding-filled infographic.Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words, right?
Blog Writing and Pinterest-Ready Graphics at Sarah Writes Stories
If you’re ready to take your blog to the next level but need help doing so, let’s chat! I’d love to work with you to create a blog that engages your readers and brings in the new customers you’re looking for.
Are you using photos on your blog? You should be! But you can’t just pull photos from anywhere on the web. We’ll talk more next week on what makes a good blog image, but let’s start with the basics — where to find photos.
Google Image Search is not a Photo Library
If you’re using Google Image to gather images for your blog, you’re probably infringing on someone else’s copyright. And in short, that’s stealing. Which is bad. It’s unethical at best and illegal at worst.
I’ve seen online marketing companies tell clients to use Google Image Search, so don’t feel bad if you didn’t realize this was a problem. But now that you do know, let’s take a look at the right way to find images.
When to Pay for Stock Photos
If you’re looking for photos or artwork for company materials — like a static website, brochures, etc. — paying for stock photographs is probably the best way to go. Places like istockphoto or shutterstock offer decent prices for high quality images.
When to Use Free Stock Photos
It’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to shell out a ton of money for images for your blog posts, but they’re an important part of Search Engine Optimization and — just as important — making your posts visually appealing for the humans who visit your blog. (They’re also a great starting point for getting traffic from Pinterest.)
Luckily, there are great sources for free photo art on the web, and one of the best places to start is the Creative Commons section of Flickr. Just make sure you’re grabbing photos with a license appropriate for your business and that you’re giving the artist proper attribution in the photo caption and the photo’s description.
The Right Creative Commons Licenses for Blog Photos
The best license for blog photos is the Attribution License, which allows you to use the photo and modify it as long as you attribute the original art to the artist. Simple enough. This is great for posting original photography as creating Pinterest-ready images for your blog.
The No Derivatives License means you can’t alter the image. So, while this works just fine for a blog image, you can’t tag it with your logo, web address or post title.
Which license can’t you use? The NonCommercial License. If you’re selling anything — products or services — then steer clear of photos or artwork with this type of license.
Blog Writing at Sarah Writes Stories
If you need help writing compelling, informative and entertaining blog posts that engage your readers with text and images, I can help. Let’s chat about how we can work together to create a blog that fits your company’s brand, voice and vision.