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How important is imagery in my content?

Written by Becky Armstrong

Oct 2 2014

image creationThinking of writing a blog post? Want to make it a bit more interesting? Just chuck in a random image, that should do it, surely?

Good right? Well before you stop writing, rely on just a picture to secure reads and go grab a coffee, know that there are other options. Unfortunately for caffeine addicts, there are a few things you need to consider when adding images to blogs - firstly whether or not you actually have the right to use that image in the first place!

Image Copyright - Do I Need to Attribute Pictures?

I won’t go into the who, what and where of the different copyright licences in this post. We’d be here forever and you’re a busy person. If you want some idea of the complexity of copyright you can see the Wikipedia post on it!

If you ignore image copyrights you can receive some very serious legal and financial consequences – it’s not worth the risk.

Essentially though, if you ignore image copyrights you can receive some very serious legal and financial consequences – it’s not worth the risk. To be safe and avoid breaking copyright, you have a few options:

Should I Pay For Stock Images?

A simple option is to sign up to stock image services and pay for the use of the pictures you add to your blog post.

How Do I Attribute Images?

Alternatively you can source images that are free to use when you apply the correct attributions, usually a link to the owners website.

Each source, image gallery or photographer might have different requirements for this, so make sure you find, read and understand the conditions if you’re using someone else's images.

Can I Use Licence Free Images?

Some images are also copyright and licence free and completely useable in the public domain, even commercially. Do double check this before you include them in your post however. Good sites to use (and some of our favourites) to source images like this from include Little Visuals, Gratisography, Pixabay, and Death to the Stock Photo among many more!

Can I Use My Own Pictures?

Of course! As digital photography becomes ever popular, smartphone cameras are increasingly capable. Why source images from somewhere else if you can take them yourself? We all walk around every day with a few hundred images sitting in our back pockets - why not use a few?

The chances are you will have taken some photos of things relevant to your blog anyway, so you may already have a source in yourself.

Images Are Not Just Photos

While some people love to use real pictures, of real things, in real places, there are some who like to put their Photoshop skills to work. If you’re not comfortable with something as sophisticated as that, there are endless numbers of online digital imaging sites you can use.

For example, the header image at the top of this post was created using Canva - which offers a great interface for creating quick quality images, as well as a free stock image library. 

You’d be familiar with these sorts of images if you’ve ever… well, been on the internet. Think of all those Pinterest quotes; add a bit of text to a background and job done!

You might even want to venture into the world of animated GIFs, which you’ll be well aware of if you’ve ever come across Tumblr. (Not sure what Tumblr is or if it’s right for B2B marketing? Take a look at my post on it!)

Ever used a ‘how to’ guide on a site? You were probably guided through the process by screenshots. So why not use a screenshot to show how you do X, Y or Z in your post so that your readers can see what to expect?

Should I Be Using Video As Well As Imagery?

There’s a bit more to video than just YouTube these days. The competition has really burst on to the scene with Vine and Instagram video revolutionising the way we consume video content.

The ease with which you can embed video into websites these days and the fact that our phones are all video capable too, means that adding a video is just as easy as adding a photo image.

[Tweet "Imagery is an important, yet often overlooked essential for your blogs."]

But What Sort Of Images Should I Add To My Content?

We’ve established that adding images is easy. But adding an image that matches the content of the post isn’t always as simple. We’ve all seen hundreds of posts about the importance of office communications where there’s a stock photo from 1980 of someone dressed in a suit shaking hands with someone… dressed in a suit.

Adding an image is done to add value or entertainment to your post, make it easier to read or understand. The image needs to have some value to the blog as well, so don’t ruin your hard work by posting a picture irrelevant to the topic.

Make sure the image is relevant to the topic, and even better, use informative photos or screenshots can enhance the blog and make it easier to write.

How Can I Enhance My Content If I Don't Have Any Time?

If you want to cut down the amount of content you have to write, but want something to jazz up the page a bit – why not embed a social post?

Twitter, Facebook and Google+ posts, all allow you to embed public posts into your blogs. That’s content taken care of, images and potential social engagement thrown in for free!

So in summary…

Using images in blogs

...it’s that easy to add blog images! Oh, and Mike Allton is well worth following for Social & Blogging tips!
Featured image source: Pixabay/tpsdave


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