If you’ve taken a look at other blogs – which I assume you have – you have probably noticed that many of them make use of pictures and photos within the posts. While this makes sense to me, I don’t want to assume that everyone else has the same idea, so let me ask you, why is it important to add pictures to your blog? I could go on and on about the reasons for adding pictures to blog posts, but let me just stick with the most important ones.
1. It adds to the whole visual experience. I am talking about color, texture, and the like. Many people are visual; that is, they have a better reading experience when they see illustrations and graphics. Using relevant pictures in your posts will make these people happier, and that is what you want.
2. Pictures help break up long chunks of text. Whether you like it or not, not everyone likes seeing long blocks of text without a break every now and then. This is where pictures come in. If you have 10 paragraphs of interesting text, use two or so pictures to provide breaks. As interesting as the topic may be, the pictures will make it even better!
3. Pictures add recall value. Again, a lot of people are visual, and they remember images better than text. If you want to make a greater impact on your readers, then adding eye catching pictures is the way to go.
4. Pictures say a thousand words. Cliché, I know, but true nonetheless. There are just some things that cannot be described by words in a single post. With a picture, you can achieve things that may not be easily done by merely using pure text.
So now that I have convinced you of the importance of pictures, what next? Let’s take a look at how you can find images for your blog. One thing to remember: make sure that you are not “stealing” photos off of someone. While everything can be had online, you have to be careful of copyright issues.
The good news is that there are many resources online which can help you find photos without worrying about ethical issues. Try iStockphoto, which provides excellent pictures for blogs. You would have to pay for their service, though. You can also take a look at PicApp, which allows you to link to photos for FREE. Other free sites include Stock.Xchng and Freepixels.
Another thing that I like to do is go to Flickr and search for relevant photos. The thing is, you have to click on the option that says Creative Commons License. This will give you results of images that you can use for your blog, as long as you give the proper credit to the owner.
The bottom line here is to find pictures that are related to the content of the post and that are “available” for use. Follow these two simple guidelines and you will have much better posts (visually) without the headache of copyright issues.