Welcome to lesson #7 of the profitable blogging course.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Never is this truer than when building a blog. Images help to grab the attention, make your site look more professional and keep readers on your site for longer.
Sadly, despite all the benefits of adding images to your blog, there are also a number of potential problems.
The biggest of these is that you need to be very, very careful when using other people’s images, in order to ensure that you don’t break any of the copyright laws. Doing so can potentially land you in some rather hot water.
In today’s lesson, therefore, we’re going to look at how I find and use images on my blogs.
Royalty Free vs Creative Commons
I terms of the images we can use legally as bloggers there are two broad categories.
The first of these are known as “Creative Commons”. This generally means that you may use the images in their original form, so long as you credit and link back to the owner of the image. Possibly the best-known place for Creative Commons images is the image-sharing site Flickr.
The other category of images are known as “royalty free” images, where you don’t need to link back to the originator.
Both forms have their pros and cons.
For example Flickr has a massive collection of photos, so you can almost always find something suitable. That said, some bloggers don’t like the fact that they have to add links from their blog posts to Flickr; they feel it looks a bit “cheap”.
Then you have royalty-free images which don’t require links, but where the range can be rather smaller. In addition, many royalty-free sites charge a small sum (such as a dollar or two) for every image that you use. Perhaps this isn’t an issue for more established bloggers who are already making money, but for someone starting out this is far from ideal.
Fortunately, there are a number of solutions to these issues, which will allow you to fill your site with all manner of top-quality photos as quickly and easily as possible.
Compfight is a free WordPress plugin which we installed together in an earlier lesson. This plugin lets you quickly search Flickr for appropriate images, add them to your blog and then automatically include the legally-required link.
This means no messing about finding images, and no worried over whether you remembered to add the link.
Pixabay is a source of royalty-free images that don’t need to be paid for. This is fantastic as it means no links are necessary; you can use these images in any way you like.
The only potential downside, if there is one, is that Pixabay is very popular. As a result you need to search through the options quite carefully to avoid using images that appear on all sorts of other blogs in your niche. Assuming this isn’t the end of the world then Pixabay is a great place to look for blog images.
My third choice – and my current favorite – is Pexels (yes, I spelled that right!). The site is just like Pixabay, offering royalty-free photos with no links required. However what’s particularly nice about this site is that the quality of the images tends to be much higher than you’ll find elsewhere.
The end result is a more attractive blog.
Your task today is therefore to play about with Compfight, and to take a look at the two photo sites discussed above, so that you’re comfortable with finding images for your blog posts.
In part #8 of the course we’ll start pulling all this together. You’ll have a list of topics to write about, and places to source suitable images. You’re ready to get writing, therefore.
In the next chapter we’ll start to discuss promoting your blog posts, particularly with regards to getting visitors from the search engines.
As you’ll see, it’s a lot easier than you might think right now…