The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Images in Blog Posts

using images in blog posts - polaroidsA picture really is worth a thousand words. Using images in blog posts will make them more appealing, which subsequently lowers your blog’s bounce rate while improving user experience. But there are a few things you should know about using images in blog posts.

Don’t Use Images Without Permission

I know this probably sounds like common sense, but it’s still worth mentioning — you should never use an image without the owner’s permission.

Just because you see an image that you like doesn’t necessarily mean that you can use it on your blog. Copying and uploading images to your blog could open the doors to copyright infringement — something that no blogger wants to experience.

The good news is that there are plenty of sources for free to use images, one of which is Creative Commons. This portal gives you access to millions of images that are free to download. Simply enter a search term and make sure the box labeled “use for commercial purposes” is checked under the search field.

You can choose one of the image sources by clicking on it. Pixabay provides free images that don’t require attribution. Flickr and many Google images require attribution, so be sure to understand what the image licenses mean before downloading. You can also find YouTube videos and music via this portal.

And if you intend to modify the image, you should also click the box “modify, adapt, or build upon.”

Give Attribution When Required

Many Flickr and other free images are okay to use but require attribution! What does this mean? It means you must give credit to the photographer / creator.

A simple way to do this is to copy the URL of the photographer’s website or Flickr site and paste it into the bottom of your blog post. For example, in this post, we gave attribution to the photographer like this: Image attribution:

Don’t Publish Irrelevant Images

Granted, it’s probably easier to grab and use the first image you come across, but you should make sure it’s relevant to your blog post content. If you are publishing a post about dogs, for instance, you should include an image of a dog. But not just any dog — try to find an interesting, cute, or funny image or an image of a dog doing something you talk about in your post.

Maintaining relevancy between your images and post content is essential to creating an attractive, functional blog that visitors actually want to read and follow. That being said, it’s okay to use irony but make sure it’s appropriate — don’t use an image just because it’s got shock value.

Do Use Alt Text

Some bloggers underestimate the importance of adding alt text to their images, assuming it offers no real benefit. While it’s true that your images will display regardless of whether they have alt text, it’s still a good idea to include this attribute.

Alt text is used by search engines to determine what images are about. Because search engines cannot “read” images, they rely on other elements like alt text to determine this information. This helps improve your page ranking.

Some platforms like WordPress make it easy to add text to an Alt Text field. If your platform doesn’t, you can use this tip:

Here’s an example of how to include the alt text attribute in an image: <img src=”dogrunning.gif” alt=”Dog Running”>

Do Optimize Your Images Before Uploading

Before uploading images to your blog, run them through a lossless optimization tool like TinyPNG. Doing so will strip away unnecessary bits of data to reduce the file size of your images. And when your images are a smaller file size, they’ll load faster in visitors’ web browsers.

Large image file sizes are one of the most common reasons a site loads slowly, so try to get into the habit of optimizing your images beforehand. It only takes a couple of minutes, but doing so can make a world of difference in your site’s speed. Aim for images less than 300kbs or even better, less than 100kbs.

Have anything else that you would like to add about using images in blog posts? Let us know in the comments section below!

Image attribution:

Article Name
The Do's and Don'ts of Using Images in Blog Posts
Using images in blog posts enhance reader experience and encourage sharing. However, you can't just use any image, you need to make sure it's not copyright protected.

3 thoughts on “The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Images in Blog Posts

  1. Laura H. says:

    If you come across an image on the web that you know is not free, but would like to use, contact the owner of the site or the artist/photographer associated with the image. Often an artist or photographer will allow usage in exchange for a credit or promotion on your blog.

  2. Alanna Pepper says:

    Don’t use poor quality images or images that are too busy.

  3. Xavier Thomas says:

    Thanks for the additional sources to search. I’ve been using the same couple of sites for a while now and need some fresh images to search.

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