How do you get people to read your blog?
Add pictures! Sounds funny right? You want people to read your blog and yet you should add images? Well it’s true. More people will click on a blog extract if it has a catchy image. But we don’t recommend you take this to an extreme. Frequently posting blog articles with provocative but unrelated images might get you interest at first but will quickly earn you a bad reputation. It’s better to use images that are related to your post.
Where do you get images?
Buy stock photo images
There are many stock image websites including Getty Images and Istockphoto.com (which incidentally is owned by Getty Images). However, while you may be inclined to buy images for your website, purchasing images for every blog post seems expensive.
Google stock photo images
A lot of people simply use Google images and copy images from the internet. This isn’t exactly kosher. In fact, it can be copyright infringement. Some photos can be copyright free but who’s to know the truth? In fact, some websites deliberately post easy to download copyrighted images in order to trap people with nuisance lawsuits in the future.
Copyright law does allow “Fair Use” but the details are not always clear. A good explanation is written up on this MIT article on Using Images: Copyright and Fair Use.
Some people believe attribution (giving credit to the original site) is a safeguard. However, attribution protects you against plagiarism but not copyright infringement. What is important is the Fair Use and following the four tests outlined in the article above.
If all this seems like a headache then follow this next suggestion.
Free Image Repositories
A not so well known fact is that there are many free image repositories. These expressly contain images that are royalty free. Images are either donated by individuals or in public domain for various reasons. A listing of the free image repos follows.
- http://morguefile.com – This free image repository has a large collection of royalty free images. Quality is decent although not stellar. You do have to search to find something to use. But they provide high resolution images and have a good search feature so it’s worth a look.
- http://publicdomainarchive.com/ – Another nice public domain archive was created by a web developer, photographer and graphic artist Matt. There are some very interesting photos on this site and they also provide high resolution downloads. Additionally, there’s a page dedicated to listing other public domain archives and it’s quite extensive.
- http://photopin.com/ – This website has a large selection of photos but also sponsored pics from Shutterstock. This can be mildly annoying as you find the perfect photo but then find it’s not free. And while they have a large selection of photos, many may not meet your search. For example, I searched for “makeup artist” and there were 300k results. However, most did not meet my needs.
- https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page – Wikipedia is well known for it’s free online encyclopedia but they also have a creative commons site where you can download free images.
- https://stocksnap.io/ – This site has a nice format. Certain topics may have limited photos but it’s worth a look.
- https://unsplash.com/ – Unsplash has some very nice photos. In addition, they have a nifty Chrome extension that will show you a new image from their site whenever you open a new tab. Wish they had it for Firefox!
- http://libreshot.com/ – This is another site that will offer you paid images by Shutterstock. Searching for something like “makeup artist” didn’t reveal any appropriate photos but did show many from Shutterstock. I’d say avoid but they also had some interesting photos. Given that it’s a free site, enduring a few ads is worth it.
One major problem with all these sites is there are no illustrations. Images seem to be dependent on photo uploads. If you know a site with good illustrations drop us a note!
With all these free image repositories there’s no excuse not to have a great image for your blog post! Search and you will discover!
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