Business blogging tip 4 – finding blog post images
Finding blog post images is a tricky problem for bloggers. You can find great images on the internet but you run the risk of falling foul if you copy any image you think will work. You could end up being chased by the company that copyrighted the image in the first place!
Plus there is nothing worse than writing a great piece of content and not being able to find a suitable image to give that extra pull. Especially as social media has become so much more image led.
You could use stock images although that can get expensive and I find them rather staged, over-used and obvious.
So where are the best places for finding blog post images that stand out and make your post more engaging?
I’ve tried many places to get great images. Morguefile.com is a pretty good source of photographs although it can take time to find the right one for your post. Also Flickr.com and many other sites give you the option to use images which are royalty free. You have to check the license though as some are not available for commercial use.
I used to find reasonable images for my blog posts on Microsoft Clip art. They changed the way they present clip art now so it has been made much more difficult to browse to find something that works. The word on the street is that they’re replacing it with Bing images. If you browse Bing images they give you the option to search via the type of license. It’s safest to choose the ‘Free to share, modify and use commercially’ or ‘Free to share and use commercially’ options.
Take your own blog post shots
With a smart camera you can take perfectly good pictures. Always be looking for the right image for your type of blog. It’s easy if you are talking about tangible things like food, flowers or travel for instance. You may have to get a bit more creative for less tangible subjects.
Take your shots from up high or down low. Most people take photos from eye level. Make your image stand out by changing the angle. Stand on a chair or crouch down. It makes a huge difference to the impact of your image.
Have a look at 10 tips for taking better SmartPhone shots. You’ll pick up lots of tips and take much better images for your blog.
Sign up for Instagram
The image to your right was taken from my iPhone, tweaked a bit using Snapseed and then uploaded to Instagram. Instagram is my ‘fun’ social media channel. I use it to create blog post images and also images to share on social media.
If you play it right you get a lot of attention on Instagram. There’s also lots of amazing images which you can post to your social media channels for what I call ‘stocking fillers’ in your timeline.
There are in-app filters that come with Instagram but I find they tend to degrade the quality of the image. Use a photo app like SnapSeed or VSCOcam to edit your pictures and create stunning photos. Have a look at my Instagram feed to get a feel of what’s possible.
Use Canva for quotes and infographics
I use Canva.com a lot especially for creating image quotes, infographics and for producing banners for social media accounts which are notoriously tricky to get right due to the many different sizes you need.
It’s pretty easy to use and there are some free images for you to use although this is pretty limited. You can change text easily and create a number of images such as posters, social media posts, buttons, banners, menus etc.
I tend to take photos with my smartphone that can be used as background images as it allows you to upload your own images. You just need to change your thinking a bit to be more lateral rather than literal in order to capture the image you need.
Pablo by Buffer
This is relatively new and mostly for social media posts. However you can download the image you create and use it on your blog post. There are a few stock background images and suggestions for quotes you might use. You might prefer this interface and the ease of sharing via Buffer if you already use it. Personal preference really. You can find Pablo here – you need to sign up for Buffer first.
Finding blog post images with Unsplash
This is my new go to place for images. During a recent re-design I noticed some of my images were looking tired. They needed a refresh to tie in with the new punchy design. Luckily my blogging partner Judy had done some research and found this brilliant website for free, quality images.
The only problem is you could spend hours looking through the thousands of great images. Deciding what to use can take up your time too!
I like the fact you can search using tags and add your favourite photos to a collection. That way you’ll have more than enough images to choose from when you want to add an image to a blog post.
So forget paying for iStock photos. Pop over to Unsplash and check out there collection of high quality photographs.
So now you have a few more ideas for finding blog post images, what are you going to do differently now?
If you’ve taken some great images why not drop us a line in the comments with a link so we can see how creative you can be.