Using images in blog posts is one of the standards that I try to adhere to when I blog. It is one of the essential elements that I have previously outlined in creating a great blog post. Using images in your blogs can be beneficial in a number of ways. Some of these benefits include capturing your customer’s attention, allows people to take mental breaks from long written posts, and improve aesthetics of a webpage.
Even though this post is written with bloggers in mind, the strategies contained herein can be applied to social media updates, or improving content on your website in general.
What makes a great image?
My recommendation for using images in blogs has always been to use your own image. If you are reading this to get ideas of how to improve your own blog, there is a good chance you own some type of device that can capture photos. Smartphone adoption has increased dramatically over the past few years which has led to a democratization of photography. Chances are you have a lot of great photos that can be repurposed and used as an interesting photo for your website.
There are a lot of people with the perception that their photographs are not suitable for professional use. I tend to disagree simply because of the fact that using your own crappy looking photo is always a thousand times better than using/purchasing a stock photo. Judge for yourself below. Which of these two photos put a smile on your face?
Every consumer and customer at one point in their lives have always wanted honesty and transparency from products and services companies offer. We are all consumers and customers of some product or service, but yet, the moment we become the entity that serve products and services to others we fall flat. Why is that?
The point I’m trying to make is no matter how big your business is, you are still serving humans. One of the easiest way to break down barriers of trust is to simply use real photos. I’m not necessarily talking about featuring employee photos (although you can if it fits); I’m just saying stop using the overused stock photograph of the smiling person with the headset on. You are not fooling anyone, the average call center don’t have smiling faces that look like these stock images. With that said, if your call center does indeed have smiling representatives like these stock images USE YOUR OWN don’t use these soulless overused photos. They are not value added!
How do you find an awesome image to use?
What happens if for some reason or another you have exhausted all options and are unable to use a photo that you have captured personally? As an arbitrary example, lets say you are in charge of your company’s Facebook page. Typical bureaucratic restrictions, internal resistance, and pages of accumulated corporate processes prevents you from using your own photo in a status update. You are forced to go find a stock image on the internet that you can modify and use legally. What do you do?
If you work at a large company you are typically confined to an approved stock image library from a third party. However, if you are in the position to suggest a way to save company money by doing away with a stock image account you can simply use Google.
Here is how you do it.
Go to Google.com and type in some keywords that describe the image you are looking for. Let’s say you want to find an image of a drooling dog that is free to use and modify for commercial purposes.
Select the “images” tab in the top search options
Click on the gear icon to select the Advanced search options from the drop down
Scroll all the way down to the bottom and you will see the usage rights filter.
Select the proper usage rights that fit your needs. For our example, we needed an image that was free to use, share or modify, even commercially
Re-run the search and choose your favorite photo. I opted to use this rather endearing photo.
Now it is your turn. Do you have some tips to share when it comes to adding images to your website or blog? Leave them below in the comments.