Finding images for blog posts can be a major pain in the booty, especially when you’re unsure about what you can and cannot use while still being respectful and adhering to copyright laws. Using images in your blog posts and social media posts is super important. Images help readers who skim (which we all do online) find something to focus on and can help your posts stand out on your social media profiles. Here are 6 reasons to include images in your content from Jeff Bullas:
- Articles with images get 94% more total views
- Including a photo and a video in a press release increases views by over 45%
- 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results
- In an ecommerce site, 67% of consumers say the quality of a product image is “very important” in selecting and purchasing a product
- In an online store, customers think that the quality of a products image is more important than product-specific information (63%), a long description (54%) and ratings and reviews (53%)
- Engagement rate on Facebook for photos averages 0.37% where text only is 0.27% (this translates to a 37% higher level of engagement for photos over text)
Source: http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/05/28/6-powerful-reasons-why-you-should-include-images-in-your-marketing-infographic/ So we all know it’s important to use images but how do you find images that you are allowed to use? First of all, to be on the safe side assume that all images are protected. This means you can’t just search on Google Images and use an image you find without giving credit. Good news though, there are some places where you can find free images for your blog.
Creative Commons has a search tool that is really good for finding images, videos and music that has been licensed for others to use. There are different types of Creative Commons licenses but you’ll find that most photos you find require you to give credit. Giving credit is simple and this guide will show you how to do this. Make sure when you search that you choose “use for commercial purposes” if you plan to use the image, video or song on your business blog.
Photo Pin is another search engine for images licensed through Creative Commons. The thing that sets Photo Pin apart is that it gives you an HTML code to paste into your post that credits the author so you don’t have to go look them up and figure out how to structure the photo credit. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
Stock.Xchng (also known as SXC) lets you search for stock photos and illustrations. It does feature some paid images from iStockPhoto and is owned by Getty Images. SXC is known for having high quality photos even though their website it a little clunky and takes some getting used to.
If you follow me on any social network, you’ve probably seen me sharing posts from Hubspot and that’s because they put out awesome content. They just released a post with a free download of 75 stock photos that you are free to use and they even give you some ideas on how to use them!
Create Your Own Images
PicMonkey is a fab little image editor that lets you add nifty overlays to photos, create collages and lots more. It has a paid version but I find that the free version has enough functionality for me. Their blog is full of great tutorials and inspiration. I am always finding new ways to use this amazing little tool!
Quozio turns quotes into attractive images but you don’t have to just use it for quotes. I use Quozio to create images like the one above for blog posts and opt in offers that work great on social media posts as well.
I have found that pinning my blog posts by pinning these images has really helped drive traffic to my site and posting them to Facebook has generated more engagement than when I just post a link to a post with no image. I hope that this post helps you out when you get stuck and don’t have an image to go along with your blog post and social media posts!