This week I want to talk about blog images. One of my blogging dislikes (just me personally, no offence meant to anyone) is no images in posts or small images. As you can imagine this is quite a large topic, but I wanted to pull all the relevant information together in one place so you don’t have to go searching; it will be a long one! Maybe you should go and grab a cuppa, then we can get started.
Blog Post Image Tips
- Make all images big, as large as your template allows.
- Images are a fabulous and effective way of sharing your world with your readers and may help to build a community around your blog.
- Images help break up your text and can make long posts easier to read/more appealing. They can also be used to illustrate your point.
- What you share is your choice. I share pictures of my daughter (but always fully clothed or shoulders up). Some people don’t want to, but may still involve their children in picture, you just might not see their faces. Even if you don’t want personal pictures, you can still utilise images in a beneficial way for your blog.
- Reduce the file size, large images will take ages to load, but you can reduce the size so it loads quicker. In PicMonkey just go to the reduce size option, reducing to about 30% of the original size should do the trick. If you use Lightroom, you can set up a size and export all images in that specific size, all of mine are set to 1000px wide.
- If your images are dark you can lighten them using the curves tool in PicMonkey – see my PicMonkey tips here.
- If you haven’t taken the image make sure you can use the image and if you can, then credit the right person (see below for more on Attribution).
- This is not appropriate for all posts, but if the post is a useful post; one which someone might want to bookmark or pin, then make the image pinnable. Good pinnable images are vertical, attractive and most have the title of the post on them. This will encourage someone to pin it and others to see it and repin, equalling more traffic. You can create a small vertical image and pop it at the end of your post, or you can use a larger image (which is vertical) as the first image in your post and pinterest will shrink it to 238px wide, but it will remain vertical.
- Don’t put an image first in you post. Lots of people, (myself included for a long time), put the image as the first thing in their posts. The search engine bots will crawl the first part of your post, so this needs to be text which includes your keywords. An image first won’t help as much in terms of SEO. Start your post with a short paragraph (including keywords) then the image (with title on it if appropriate).
- Make sure you name your pictures correctly. Use your SEO keyword in the title! Use descriptive text in the Alt text, this helps the search engines determine the content of the image. The Google bots will rely on the text info attached to your image to give a value to your image/post, they won’t be able to see if your keywords are neatly typed on the reader facing side of the image. Don’t forget the title of the image is what your readers will see if they hover over your image, so even just for aesthetics it is better to have your images named correctly, rather then lots of numbers or a random name.
- You don’t need a posh camera, some of my favourite pictures were snapped on my iPhone. However, if you are serious about photography it could be a great investment. I recently wrote a post about how to take the best images you can.
Copyright laws protect intellectual property. Before you use an image that was taken by someone else, you need to have permission and that permission comes in the form of a licence.
There are various different licenses;
- Commercial use – If an image has this licence you are free to use it in a part of your blog that you earn from, a typical example would be as the image in a sponsored post.
- Personal use – You are free to use the image, as long as you are only creative something for personal use, a picture on an invitation given to family or friends, for example.
- Attribution required – This means you can use the image must you must reference (and usually link to) the person who took the photo/created the image.
- Creative Commons – This is one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work.
Always make sure you read the licence and you adhere to the terms of the agreement, otherwise there can be some pretty hefty fines from breaches of copyright.
Blog post image superstars
There are so many beautiful blogs that use stunning images. Here are some of my favourites;
- Amy Treasure- Amy’s pictures are divine; whether she is photographing her gorgeous children or an amazing cake she has just baked, you can be assured the images she produces will be wonderful.
- Mummy Daddy Me – Katie takes mainly family pictures, focusing on her two beautiful girls. The photos are large, vibrant and always stunning.
- Tigerlilly Quinn – If there was ever ‘cool’ written all over a blog, it would be on Fritha’s. A mixture of family, fashion and lifestyle with super cool images makes this blog awesome.
- Pinch of Yum – An amazing US Food blog, which uses fabulous images. It is easy to see why it is a huge success.
- Fable & Folk – Annie’s blog is earthy and beautiful. Her images have a gritty, but magical air to them. She uses Squarespace, as her blogging platform, which allows her to make images the main focus of her blog.
Blog post images sources
If you are working with a brand and for some reason are unable to use your own pictures, then request high resolution images from the PR/brand.
Regarding stock images, you must make sure they have the appropriate licence. For those of us who make money from our blogs, labelled for reuse or commercial use allowed is what we need to bee looking for. If you haven’t monetised your blog, then a note that they can be reused and what accreditation you need to give to the image owner.
So where can you find images? There are so many awesome image resources, some are free and some you will have to pay for. Personally, I am not interested in paying for images when there are so many fabulous free images out there.
I have put together the ultimate list of 65 FREE stock images websites. To get your copy pop your email in below and I’ll send you the document link.