Adding images to your blog post can create a more professional looking website and help you engage with your visitors. However, this can be difficult if you are short on time or are not able to take your own photographs. Don’t worry though, there are lots of ways you can source images for your blog posts that are hassle free, and often don’t cost anything.

Public Domain Images & Other ‘Free’ Images

There are a number of different licences for images as copyright laws apply both online and offline. The easiest (and most risk free) pictures to use are those that have a “Public Domain” licence. These means that there are no copyrights in place and you can use them however you want. Below this is probably the ‘Creative Commons” licence that will allow you to use most images as long as you provide a link or other form of acknowledgement back to the original owner of the image.

Be really careful when using images for your blog as it is not only bad form to steal images online it can also leave you liable for copyright infringement. In usually cases, if you have by accident added an image you didn’t realise was under copyright then you can usually remove the image at the request of the owner and that will be that. If you are wondering about famous products or logos, then there are always cases for using these under a “Fair Use” licence. This would apply if, say, you were writing a blog post about Coca Cola and you used their logo. This is definitely a grey area in copyright and intellectual property law, so be careful.

Taking Your Own Photos

The only way to be 100% sure that your images are fine to use is to take your own. As an artist and photographer i actually use a lot of my photos to build my blog posts around. This is great (or probably essential) for a travel based website or blog. Don’t stress if you don’t have a fancy DSLR camera because web sized images are low quality by necessity. Generally, a size of 50kb to 200kb is heaps big enough for web use. If your images are too large then you need to resize them otherwise people will get annoyed at how slow your web page loads, no matter how pretty your pictures are.

Word Clouds

Depending on the blog I write for, sometimes it is just easier to create a word cloud. By create, I mean use an online tool (of which there are many) to create them.  Word clouds take the text of your writing and formulate a cloud of words, the more a word is mentioned the bigger it is in your word cloud. This is great for illustrative purposes and shows people what the focus of your blog post is.

Infographics

Infographics are a harder prospect, even though there are many easy to use tools online. If you have a post that covers a lot of data, such as a survey, an infographic allows you to visualise this data in order to make it easier for your readers to process it. A lot of blogs will now have infographic based posts rather than writing an entire post. Be careful with this from an SEO perspective as you will still need text ion the post to make it worthwhile. The easiest way around this is to publish your infographic FIRST on the page, and then the text of the infographic at the bottom – much like you would an audio transcript at the bottom of an audio post.

Ok, that about covers everything you will need to make your blog posts a bit more visual! If you are a bit lazy like me sometimes you can always do a search for Zemanta, which will suggest pictures etc for your post as you write. It’s not for everyone and I don’t use it all the time anymore, but for sprucing up content it is amazing and second to none!

Take care all, and until next time HAPPY BLOGGING!