Interesting Images

This entry is part 11 of the series Build a Better Blog

I’m still busy with the #atozchallenge. We’re looking at the theme, Build a Better Blog. Today’s letter is I, and we’re looking at I is for INTERESTING IMAGES

A picture is worth 1,000 words,

said Fred R. Barnard, an advertising manager in the early 1900’s.

Now, over 1,000 years later, this is probably even more relevant. Especially in the world of blogs and websites, As stated in previous posts, the general practice in reading blogs is for the reader to skim over the words, scanning for points of interest. So how important it is to use a picture or image that will give him 1,000 words at a glance! Here are some points to help you.

  • The image must catch the eye of the readers

and invite them to read the content. In the World of Google, there may be dozens of articles on the same topic as your blog post. But if you have a more catchy image, readers will be attracted to your post.

  • Images help to strengthen the message

of your blog post. This is especially true if you use an infographic, a screenshot, graph or another diagram.

  • Images will increase your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

More will be said about this when we get to the letter S, but it is of great value to the serious blogger.

  • Schedule an attractive promotion with an image and a live link

to appear on your author page (a.k.a. Fan page) on FaceBook the same day as your post. You can also now do this on Twitter, although it leaves you with very few words. So that image needs to “say it all”.

  • The best image is one you create yourself.

Do you have a camera? If not, you almost certainly have a cell phone with which you can take photos. Get into the habit of having a means to take pictures with you at all times. Don’t confine yourself to views. Take snaps of road signs, animals, flowers, trees, surfers, airplanes, cars, signposts, children . . .

One warning: when you take recognisable photos of people, you do need their permission before you can use them. If your photo is of strangers, play safe and get it in writing. Or use your graphic programme to blur their faces.

  • Learn to make infographics and graphs.

In addition to these, learn to make Youtube clips, screenshots, powerpoint clips etc. Get yourself a decent graphics programme and learn to use it. Some chapters back, I recommended GIMP. This free graphics programme allows you to do just about anything you wish with your photos. If you don’t know how to do something, Google™ is full of tutorials of how to use GIMP as well as other programmes.

Some years ago, I bought a full set of little 3D characters. Using GIMP and these characters, I followed lessons on Google. As a result, I have created many images for use on my blog. See bottom left for the graphic that is the logo for this series.

  • Beware of the legal minefield

of using images you haven’t created yourself. Author Roni Loren has written an excellent post on this, based on personal experience, Blogger Beware! You Can Get Sued For Using Photos You Don’t Own on Your Blog. I do urge you to follow this link and read her post. I’m not going to repeat her warnings. Read them for yourself.

Beware of the legal minefield of posting images that don't belong to you! #atozchallenge Click To Tweet
  • Always  presume the image has copyright protection

Unless you created the image yourself, look for the usage rights on all pictures you find on the web. You should also copyright your own images unless you don’t mind others using them.

  • Get organised!

I can’t stress this highly enough. When I became aware of this issue, I found I had thousands of photos and images which I had to plough through every time I wanted a specific image. I saved them in well-marked folders and this helped me to find them quickly. But in an effort to become totally legal (as described in Roni’s article) I am in the process of working through all my earlier photos to make sure they are all correctly attributed or replaced with legal images. I still have to learn to store the copyright details in a retrievable fashion, so I don’t need to search for the image on Google™.

  • There are a number of sites

where you can get free photos. But always be careful to cover all your bases. It’s not worth taking a chance as you’ll have seen if you’ve read Roni’s article. And if you haven’t, go and read it now!

Here are some sites worth looking into.
infographic

LINKS FROM INFOGRAPHIC:

1 & 7  Google Images   2 Google Search    3 Morgue File    4   Free Digital Photos.net    5 Free Images.com    6 Every Stock Photo.com

star_3Once again: Please make sure you read Roni Loren’s Blogger Beware! You Can Get Sued For Using Photos You Don’t Own on Your Blog.  Trust me. This is no small matter. The other day I read of an author who had to pay up $8,000 for one image she’d grabbed from the web!

Build a Better Blog ImagesWhat is your biggest problem or challenge to using images in your blog posts? Please share in the comment section below. 

  “If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning… Face it, friend. He is crazy about you!”  ― Max Lucado

FURTHER POSTS TO READ:

  • Fact or Fiction
  • Go for Google
  • Harnessing Hashtags

34 comments on “Interesting Images

  1. Great information here, Shirley, and good warning. Though I’ve rarely used others’ pictures, Roni’s article scares the daylights out of me. I second Donna’s recommendation of Pixabay.com. The top row contains copyrighted pictures from other sites, but from the second row down are lots of quality pictures that are free for commercial use with no attribution required. I love using my own pictures, too.

    • Hey. Thanks for the visit, Tracy. Yes, images can be a real minefield. In the long run I think it’s easier to take your own wherever possible.

  2. Great advice! Especially the one about using post images in Tweets. People tend to notice tweets more that have an image attached (I think the current figure is around 11% more interaction)
    Debbie

  3. Hi,
    This post was really helpful. Was just wondering, what if I have an image or design (which I have clicked/ created) on my blog that is challenged by someone else as their copyright. How do I prove its my original thing?

    • I think that’s why it’s dangerous to collect images from sites like Pinterest, where people can and do post other people’s images. If you use the recognised sites, ideally you should save where you got the picture and when, plus the suggested credit. I admit I’m bad at this, so often have to drag the picture onto Google Images to find the original.

  4. Great and timely post for me. Normally, I only post my own photos. I am working on my K post and have no photos that fit the topic. I found a few online that might work but I won´t use them now that I read this. Instead I´ll go out today and take photos that will work. Thank you!

    Emily | My Life In Ecuador | Iguanas at our bedroom window

    • Great that you take your own photos. Do you put your name on them? I never have, and I recently thought I should when I spotted a photo I took of my baby grandson with a cat had won a competition! Hmm.

  5. Indeed very informative post! I get very lenient on this. I must take this post into consideration… I randomly picture take some pics from social media and I know that is going to land me in trouble. will do more research on it and figure out better options.
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂
    Best Wishes!

    • Thank you for your comment, Karnika. Do look into this further. See the post by Roni Loren that I’ve emphasized. It just takes ONE image to get caught and you’re in big trouble! Blessings!

  6. Yes, you do have to be careful. And there’s also the kind of web site that offers “copyright free” images but charges you for using them! I’ve explained this to my students. It doesn’t matter as long as they aren’t going to publish their work, but some of them have done such very good book trailers, for example, I’m sorry they can’t use them on YouTube. For free music I’ve discovered a site called Jamendo – not sure about now, but a few years ago they offered some wonderful tunes donated by the artists and basically said, “If you like it, buy the artist a cup of coffee.” Of course, we named them when using their music.

    • I’ve seen sites that invite you to buy the author / artist a cup of coffee. 🙂 It’s not an option for me as living in S.Africa I have to pay such high charges that coffee becomes quite ridiculous!

  7. I use copyright free pictures for my blog but it was probably a year into blogging before I started doing that. I had to go back through hundreds of posts and re-do the images using ones that weren’t taken from elsewhere. I see blogs using memes and pictures and quotes from all over the place and I wonder how they can take the risk – I didn’t want to be be sued just because I was too lazy to do my own image.
    Leanne | cresting the hill

    • Yes, I also had to, Leanne. I also found when I did start using legal images, I’d forget to save the information – so couldn’t have defended myself if I’d wanted to!

  8. Another great post Shirley. I’m looking forward to S! Images are the hardest part of blogging to me. Thanks for the tips. I need to master an infograph now.

    • Thank you Sue. Yes, I often spend way longer looking for, then editing, the images to do the job, than I spend writing the article. That’s why it’s good to have the sites handy. I actually have several of the URLs I’ve referred to on my toolbar for easy reference.

  9. This is a great article, I was just telling a lot of this to my partner this morning who thought he could use images from Google. Thanks for all of the information

    • Glad you found it helpful, Natasha. It can be scary watching the way some people just grab images from Google and post them. They may well get away with it, but if they don’t, they’re in big trouble!

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