Why bother adding images to blog posts for starters?
Simply put, blog images help increase website traffic.
More fun statistics to illustrate why vision trumps other senses:
- In the brain, neurons dedicated to visual processing occupy around 30% of the cortex, compared to 8% for touch and only 3% for hearing. ((Discover the magazine)
- MIT neuroscientists say we can process an image in as little as 13 milliseconds (MIT)
- Listen to information and three days later, you will remember 10%. Add a photo and you will remember 65%. ((Brain rules)
- Color visuals increase people’s readiness to read content by 80%. ((Photocopy)
- Eye studies show that readers spend more time looking at photos and other images with relevant information than reading text on the page. ((Nielsen Norman Group)
- The same Nielsen Norman Group The report says readers also ignore the fluffy images used to “brighten up” web pages … so you might as well save the effort. 😉
- People who follow instructions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people who follow instructions without illustrations. ((Research)
- Articles containing one image every 75 to 100 words obtained double the number of articles with fewer images. ((Buzzsumo)
- Facebook updates with images had 2.3 times the engagement of those without. ((Buzzsumo)
- 52% of marketers around the world name video as the type of content with the best return on investment. ((Syndacast)
- Marketers who use video are increasing their income 49% faster than non-video users. ((Traffic generation coffee)
You must read this content redirect post to learn how to REALLY use visuals to drive traffic and leads.
BOTTOM LINE: the inclusion of visuals in your content makes it more
- lead generator,
- generating income.
What exactly are “FREE” blog images?
Most people are looking for “Free” Images for Blog Posts, look for images that won’t cost $$$.
Money, however, should be the LEAST of your concerns.
An ideal FREE image is without copyright or royalties, may be copied, modified, distributed and used without asking permission or giving credits to the artist, even for commercial purposes.
Why is it so important?
The last thing your business needs is to be sued for using an image over which you had no rights.
Do you think you are too small a fish for anyone to care about? …
Ana’s sad story of using “free” images in a SlideShare presentation
Some time ago, I created a Slideshare presentation, “10 Ways To Kill To Get More Fans On Facebook James Bond Style ”, using images from James Bond movies.
It was great, pissed off and landed 100,000 views on Slideshare, BUT…
What was I thinking? … 😳🤪
And there you have it DMCA Notice from Slideshare:
We have received a DMCA complaint from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and Danjaq LLC regarding your file and the use of the 007 property, claiming that it infringed their intellectual property and rights.
Apparently, my insignificant Slideshare deck had upset some people at MGM!
Now that I know better, I understand. I really do.
However, at the time, I just didn’t think that mentioning James Bond could get me in trouble…
So you think an image is free to use as long as. . .
Let’s take a look at some of the ill-conceived and yet very common ways that people justify using other people’s photos in their blog posts.
Attribution is not enough
That’s right: assigning an attribution to the image creator does not give you the right to use his work.
Taking the image or graphic of another person and giving them a shout, a back link or any other type of attribution does not void copyright infringement.
Common sense may say that an artist wants to be exposed for his work, but we are talking about the law here and common sense is not always parallel.
Copyright law gives the copyright owner the right to decide where his work is published and maybe he doesn’t want his work on your site, in your book, included in your newsletter or distributed on your social media network. It is not for us to wonder why they would not want to be exposed.
Their image, their rules
I thought I had done everything right during the creation this SlideShare deck: Found photos under Creative Commons license and assigned the appropriate attribution.
Still, I always received a comment from one of the image owners:
Warning, Creative Commons license do not oblige me to include the attribution ON the image itself, but in the end, it is its photo, its rules.
When using photos, images, or images in your blog posts, learn about their license requirements, copyrights, and applicable royalties. AND be ready to fix things if and when problems arise – even if you think you’ve done everything right.
Even if you find an image without an explicit copyright notice, it absolutely does NOT mean that it is “public domain“And therefore free to use.
Works of any kind do NOT need a copyright notice to benefit from copyright protection, courtesy of Bern Convention Implementation Act, adopted in the United States in 1988.
The other side of the coin?
The same act applies to any work that YOU produce, including the content of your website. So if someone has to reprint your work without your permission, you have every right to make life difficult for them. If it’s worth it, it is. 🤔😉
Still don’t think it’s so bad?
Hopefully these real cases will scare you:
- This agency has sued $ 8,000 for using a copyrighted image in a blog post that attracted less than 100 visitors. They called it their “most costly mistake since starting the business“.
- Likewise, this agency was sued $ 4,000 for, again, the use of a copyrighted image that would have originally cost $ 10.
- This company republished newspaper content under a CC license for others to use. However, they did not have a license from the original creators of the content to do so, so they were prosecuted.
- Persephone Magazine used an image with a Creative Commons license and was subsequently sued for $ 1,500 to use it. It turned out that the photo did not belong to the person who downloaded it with a CC license, which led to 73 companies that used it being prosecuted.
- GoodReads has faced one of the greatest copyright cases of all time, sued $ 150,000 for a picture of a member of a group of boys, uploaded by a fan.
So, no more of that, Please:
Additional Image Licensing Resources
If in doubt, use reverse image search
Not sure if the image in question is free of copyright chains? Try to find the original source by performing a reverse image search.
TinEye.com is the best free tool for the job – just enter the image URL and the TinEye search results will return all instances of that particular image found online.
ten 2 sites to find the best free blog images
Let me start with a quick warning: There were 10 royalty and copyright image aggregators listed below.
I no longer trust a few photo sites to do what they claim to do – provide us, website owners who are looking to legally use images for the content we create, with exactly that – images that we could , with confidence, use in our content.
Take, for example, Compfight.com, a site that aggregates Creative Commons images from Flickr.
Here’s what you might see when you search for an image on Compfight.
- It’s an announcement of DepositPhotos.com (one of the two sites I like and recommend.)
- “All rights reserved” link leads to a Yahoo! Help page (no longer in service, so no link) which guides you in setting up a Flickr account (no explanation of what “All rights reserved” means.) And by “All rights reserved”, by the way, Flickr means that you CANNOT use this image in any way, shape or form … duh! AGAIN…
- Apparently, as long as you attribute (a link) to the owner of the image ET Compfight, you can use the image as you see fit… (NOT !!!)
- A link to buy images from Shutterstock.
I CRINGE thinking about how much a content creator could have been misled by this gross misrepresentation of the Creative Commons license… which could lead you, the content creator (NOT Compfight!), To a legal battle with the creators of ‘images.
And, believe me, Compfight is far from the only image aggregation website carelessly encouraging you to do something that is a non-non-legal (and common sense!).
2. LESS IS MORE
The other day I was working on a new lesson for my Boomerang content students.
Content Boomerang is a content redirect training I offer website owners who want to see better returns from their content marketing efforts – more TRAFFIC and LEADS, to be more precise.
After all, you are working hard to create this content, to begin with… does it not make sense to milk it for all that it is worth instead of letting it flow into the bowels of your archives?…. Click here if you agree.
Here is exactly what I wrote in this lesson:
I could easily name a few dozen websites from which you could get your images.
However, it would be completely counterproductive. The last thing you need to do is go down into the rabbit hole and look for that “perfect” picture.
Here are the two websites you NEVER NEED to find the right image for any occasion.
It made me think…
Why do I tell my students exactly where I find the perfect images for my blog articles as well as countless content reorientation projects, while giving you, my reader, more than you really need to get the job done? …
So the list of “free” image aggregators is too long.
here are the only two free image sites you’ll need.
Pixabay.com offers truly FREE images – free to use AND free to acquire (which means you don’t have to pay to upload an image.)
Some “good things” from Pixabay:
1. Create a free Pixabay account
Registration is free and, once a member, you can follow the photographers you like, as well as save your favorite images.
2. Refine your search
Pixabay offers a choice of photos, vectors, illustrations and videos. You can also refine your search by a few other parameters; category and color may be the most useful.
3. Use Editor’s Choice Images to Inspire You
If you have no idea what type of image you should be looking for (it happens!), Check out the Editor choice section. This is the best place to start looking for the emotional connection you need to establish with your Reader.
DepositPhotos.com is THE site I use to find ALL of my images.
DepositPhotos image collection is MUCH better than Pixabay, but you’ll have to pay for it.
The good news is that DepositPhotos images are inexpensive to purchase.
$ 1 (or less) per image is very reasonable. And it’s really worth it – TRUST ME. Shutterstock costs 3 times more.
Some useful information about DepositPhotos:
1. Apply filters to refine the image search
DepositPhotos offers several useful methods to find what you are looking for faster.
2. Find similar images / images with the same model
I find these two features particularly useful when I think of an “image theme”.
For example, in this presentation, I wanted to find images with the same mime models.
And here, I wanted to use images with the same model in the retro genre.
How to correctly add an image to your message
Since we’re about to add images to blog posts, let’s talk about how to do it.
Why is it important?
Search engines don’tsee“Images like humans do.
The pictures are just code strings to a search engine.
The more information you add to this code, the more a search engine is able to interpret an image.
When an image is tagged with all the right information (relevant to the subject of the publication, that is), Google can:
- rank this image in Google image search for the keywords you target in the post
- always rank your post slightly better for your target keywords
Let’s listen to it from the horse (John Mueller of Google, in this case) mouth:
Really pay attention to:
The most important thing to consider is how you want to be found in the image search.
What do you expect from users?
And how can your site be useful to them when they find you?
This is exactly what your content should be:
- Answer questions from your target audience.
- Solve their problems.
- Position yourself as the expert in your niche.
Add relevant images that make your content more interactive and more reader-friendly, both with your audience and with Google.
Back to adding images to your blog posts… 😉
When adding an image to a blog post, pay attention to:
1. Name of the image file
BEFORE uploading an image to your media library, give it a relevant file name based on keywords.
In other words, DO NOT name your image according to its purpose. Name it according to your subject.
👈It’s an image of a pin-up girl sitting on the kitchen counter looking at her computer screen on the phone.
Needless to say, it is far from what I named the image file before uploading it to this post.
Rather, it was named “free blog images ”, because that’s what it’s all about.
2. Alt text (‘Alternative’)
What is Alternative text used for?
- Visually impaired users read the picture Alternative text to better understand what it is.
- Alternative text is what is displayed instead of an image if the image file cannot be loaded.
As far as you are concerned, Alternative text is yet another way to use your publication’s keywords.
3. Image title
Make it a keyword, but NOT stuffed with keywords.
4. Image caption
A caption is the little piece of text that appears under the image of a blog post.
I have not used an image caption or seen other websites use it for a while.
Up to you.
4. Description of the image
Description of the image is what appears on the attachment page if you make your image clickable to open it on a larger image.
Rarely useful for the average reader. Another great way to add keyword-based news to your post.
Personally, I find it too tiny and exhausting to find another way to describe the same image.
If you have it in you, go for it. 👍👍
5. URL link
I almost always leave this one empty.
Readers love to click on images.
If there is a good reason to link an image to a relevant page on or off site, go for it!
If you just link an image to another version of itself (like the page dedicated to that image on your site), don’t do it.
If you don’t understand what I said above, leave the field blank.
Final words on adding images to your content
The pictures are GREAT … with a caveat – they could slow your blog considerably.
1. Resize images before uploading them
Easy to do.
If you use software like Snagit, you can easily resize the image in the Edit sign.
You must also run your image file via Image Optimizer before downloading it.
Personally, I use both.
2. Use the WP Smush.it plugin
WP Smush.it is a free WP plugin that will automatically reduce your image files, thereby improving your blog’s performance.
CAVEAT: the plugin is resource intensive and could slow down your blog – the opposite of what you are trying to do.
3. Get faster web hosting
Traffic Generation Café is with WPXHosting and my uptime is 99.9%. Plus, it’s super fast.
Takeout Marketing Free Image
Add relevant and engaging images to all of your blog posts.
DON’T spend too much time tracking them down – stay on the best free and royalty-free (or inexpensive, like DepositPhotos) image sites that have worked for you in the past.
OR just use the only two sites I recommend: Pixabay.com and DepositPhotos.com.
Happy hunting for copyright and royalty-free images!