A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

You have heard it a million times: A picture is worth a thousand words. In blogging, this old adage remains true.

Your blogging goal should be to inform your readers without being overly promotional, so that they come to trust you and return to your blog again and again. A photograph or graphic will help you to both inform and engage. Other benefits include:

  • Highlight your products/services and your people. Show your readers who you are and what you do.
  • Support headlines that evoke an image – try using metaphors. For example, a headline that references the beginning of something within your business might be complemented well with a sunrise image.
  • Entice visitors to spend time with the post. Few blog visitors will read your blog post word for word. By adding images to your post you make it easier for the reader to scan and hopefully tune into more of the details.

Of course, it’d be great if you had a staff photographer or graphic designer who had time to produce all your blog post images, but that’s not exactly realistic. So, online image resources are the second best thing.

Synerge-marketing recommends the following free stock photo and images websites: Flickr Creative Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and Photo Xpress.

The Fine Print of Using Free Photos and Graphics

While many photos and images from the sites we recommend are free, you may need to attribute the source. Every site has different requirements for attribution, so we recommend you always read the fine print. However, here’s a brief shortcut.

Flickr’s Creative Commons – Flickr.com is a social website that allows you to post your own pictures for the world to see. If you want to allow others to use those pictures for their own purposes, then Flickr encourages you to apply one of six Creative Commons copyright licenses to the photo.

You do not need to have a Flickr account to use a licensed photo for your own blog. You can simply search for the photo you need within the “Commons” section of Flickr and then use the photos appropriately.

Here’s how:

  1. Visit www.flickr.com/creativecommons.
  2. Click on “See More” under the first section titled “Attribution.”  We recommend you only choose a photo with an “Attribution” license, because it’s acceptable for commercial purposes and you are allowed to “copy, distribute, display, and perform the copyrighted work – and derivative works based upon it – but only if you give credit.”
  3. Use the search feature at the top of the page to find the type of picture you want.
  4. Once you see a picture you like, click on the image to open that image’s page.
  5. Select “Share This” at the top of the page and select “Grab the HTML.”
  6. Copy the HTML code and paste it into the HTML view of your blog post.

Any picture that you take from Flickr’s Creative Commons section must be attributed to. Whenever we use a Creative Commons image, we put our attribution at the bottom of the post (see below) and make sure to say “Creative Commons Photo Attribution” followed by the name of the photo and photographer’s user name, which is hyperlinked to the page on Flickr.

WikiMedia Commons – Once you find a photo/image on Wiki Commons that you’d like to use (either by searching or drilling down into the categories), simply scroll down below the image to see the license information and attribution requirements.

Any images licensed under “Public Domain” can be used without any attribution, so you might try searching using the image keyword followed by the words public domain, i.e., “sunrise public domain.” You can also explore this page on WikiCommons that details all of the different licenses.

Photo Xpress – This site offers both free and premium (paid) images. If you find a free image you like, simply create an account (requires some background info from you), which allows you to download 10 free images a day. No attribution necessary.

For more tips on blogging and growing your business online, check back with us every month. Better yet, subscribe to our RSS feed and stay up to date on our posts.

Creative Commons Photo Attribution: sunrise; Hartford, Connecticut by Global Jet

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