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Adding Flavor With Images

Adding Flavor With Images

CoffeeAdding an image with your post can really make a difference. You can see a marked improvement in readership and social media votes, and it need not take much effort or expense.

I like to use my own images, but if you are not into photography there are many solutions.

Product bloggers can often get free images from the merchant or affiliate scheme you work with, or from the manufacturer. Check out the press sections of their websites.

You can search flickr for attribution license photographs, for example we could search for “coffee”.  Just make sure if you do use attribution photographs you link to the creator so that you comply with the license requirements.

If you don’t want to provide attribution links, check out stock photography sites like Crestock who provide a  daily free photograph

Stock photography is cheap nowadays, iStockPhoto has smaller images as low as $1, but I wish Crestock in particular would offer more smaller pictures, their quality is much higher than most, and you see their images much less often (familiarity is often a complaint about stock images) but for blog post illustrations 500 pixel wide would suffice! On the plus side they even have an  affiliate scheme so by using their free photography you could make some money.

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Next time you are browsing a blog, take a look how they use images and illustrations, notice how the pages that contain photographs rather than dense blocks of grey text are much more inviting.

Do you use photographs in your posts? Where do you get them from?

View Comments (8)
  • When one of my own images don’t work (which is often) and I’m too lazy or pressed for time to make one, I usually go to Flickr or, occasionally, iStockphoto.

    I recently came across a great plugin for WordPress called Photodropper. It allows one to do a keyword search of Flickr photos right in Write Post/Write Page, and can be set to search only those photos that are Creative Commons-licensed for comemrcial use.

    Search a keyword and choose a photo and the plugin will paste the code right in (including attribution). Pretty slick.

  • Yeah, this seems to be a hugely missed opportunity for a lot of blogs. It’s really easy too seeing as most niches have ample pictures you can use relevant to each post. I’ve always had too much choice over pictures for my gaming blog.

    Another huge benefit that using images can bring is Google Images traffic. Despite my blog not really being that widely known, I rank in the top page of Google Images results for terms such as ‘super mario world’, ‘gordon freeman’, ‘battlefield 2142′, zelda ocarina of time’, ‘super mario bros 3’, and many others. Anyone familiar with games will recognise these as pretty significant terms.

    All that extra traffic just from putting images with appropriate alt tags into each post!

  • I blog about herbs and native wild flowers. In the past, I only used pictures when I had one of my own, but after one of my users asked to use ‘more pictures'(then, they were in three out of four posts), I try to include at least one, and sometimes even three in a post, even if I had to search for (Creative Commons Licensed) photographs in Flickr.
    I take care to give my pictures always an ‘alt’-tag, and (always for someone else’s pics) a title-tag, giving a description, and referring to the autor and the license that applies.

  • Images certainly do add flavor and can sometimes visually get a point across far more effectively than words.

    Like Anne said, in order to get the most out of your images, both from a reader standpoint AND from the SEO perspective, make sure that you’re using ALT and TITLE tags.

    And remember that you can use the placement of your images to help draw readers down through a longer article. So, I find it effective to vary where I insert images within my posts and it keeps my articles from looking too “cookie cutter” -ish.

  • I do prefer a post which includes an image. When I started blogging at Lives Less Ordinary, I signed up with Flickr and started taking my own photographs to accompany my writing. In doing so, I discovered a new passion for photography, and now hardly a day goes by without a new batch of photos to upload to Flickr. So, in many ways, blogging and the creation of images has gone hand-in-hand for me, and it appears to be one of the things that my readers most appreciated about my blog.

  • Amy, I agree, I think photography and blogging goes together well. In fact I think there are many bloggers who are also photographers looking over my flickr contacts :)

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