Q. I’ve heard I should use pictures in my blog posts, but where can I get picture to use?
A. It’s true, people are drawn to visuals, and having an image to accompany your post can help increase the number of visitors who decide to read it. There are a few ways you can add images to increase visual appeal. Here are a few popular suggestions to consider:
Use Your Own
Certainly the cheapest, this may or may not be viable for you. You will want to ensure your images are good quality. While you don’t need to be a professional photographer, you’ll want to ensure any personal photos you use are lit well and not blurry or grainy (unless that’s the look you are going for). Pro: you have total control over what is and isn’t included in your image. Con: you may not have easy access to your ideal subject matter.
Purchase Stock Images
There are a variety of websites that offer photos, illustrations and any other type of graphic you can imagine, for a cost. This is a good route to go if you are going to get a lot of use out of a particular image, like in a marketing campaign, for example. Prices vary, depending on the size of file, and how generic – or not – the image is. A photo of Donald Trump will cost you considerably more than “senior businessman smiling“. If you are using these photos for blog posts, even at just $4 per photo, the cost will add up eventually. Make sure you are aware of any licence requirements.
Take Advantage of Creative Commons Licensing
This is my favourite option. It’s the best of both worlds. Free, like using your own, but a wide variety available. You may find yourself returning to a favourite source again and again. Or, you can try doing a creative commons search. There is, however, a catch: you must be aware of the licensing requirements that pertain to the image you decide to use. In most, if not all, cases, you need to include an attribution. Depending on where you get your image from, placement guidelines of the attribution could be vague or general (in your source code or anywhere on your site) or they may be very specific and rigid (on the same page as the image, or even immediately adjacent to the image). Usually the attribution should indicate who created the image and have a link to the site where you found it, like I have done for my image above.
Whichever way you choose to go, make sure your images are appropriate for the content you provide.
This post is part of a regular feature series called Tuesday Tips. Every Tuesday, I will answer some of the questions I receive from clients and readers about WordPress, social media and all other things internet-related. If you have a question you would like me to answer, submit it here.