If you are a blogger you probably know how important it is to use images in your posts. Without them, you risk lowering audience engagement – walls of text look boring and too complicated to read. Absorbing information with no visual breaks is also a tough one for long read articles. To promote your blog and make it visually appealing and successful in general, you need to use photos, vector graphics, and illustrations in your texts.
There are plenty of ways to find proper images for your blog. Since you cannot take just any random picture from Google and post it because of copyright laws, you better search through stock photography websites like Depositphotos to get images you can use legally and respect copyright laws. There, you can choose from different subscription plans and find what works for you.
It’s a very common mistake to think that stock sites provide dull and obviously staged photos. Actually most of them have plenty of interesting, artistic, and engaging images in their collections. You can count on affordable stock photos to have a great go-to source for finding images for your blog. This is especially useful if you blog on a daily basis. So what are the basic rules to keep in mind when choosing the best images for your blog?
1. Be relevant and creative
In order to attract more readers to your blog post, you need to pay close attention to each and every image selection. Images should be relevant to your written content first and foremost. You cannot use any photo you like – the connection between your text and the images should be intuitively clear. That’s especially true for your featured or main image and the headline since they are what social media users and receivers of email newsletters see first.
Well-selected images make for a good first impression
Images become key because people make a decision on whether to continue reading your post based on the initial impression. Most of the internet users tend to notice a picture first and then read the text — or not. It often depends on how attention-grabbing and compelling the image is. This rule applies to both the social media feed where users might stumble on your article, or on the homepage of your blog. Sometimes a single great image could be responsible for the many clicks an article gets. And if it’s dull and ordinary, you risk your views and shares.
Use images as text breaks
Visual content itself dominates the web. That’s why memes and GIFs are way more popular than regular texts. Almost no one likes reading very long texts on the internet, even if they are interesting, well written, and useful. It’s hard to concentrate on the information without proper text breaks and structure. Of course, headings are great for almost any blog post, but images play an important role in its structure as well. Illustrate your thoughts with photos to make texts easier to comprehend. Remember to add several pictures to your post in order to separate thoughts and points, especially if you write long reads. That will make your text more appealing.
Pick trendy, relevant shots
Be creative in your choice: the images should be relevant yet not boring. Strive for the greatest visual solutions possible for your blog — it’s your personal brand, and you should mind that images play a crucial part on how your audience perceives it. Try to avoid generic and boring pictures. You can find inspiration for your posts on blogs dedicated to visual culture. For example, you can learn about the latest design trends and use this knowledge in your own projects.
Polish up on basic knowledge to select better images
If you are a professional blogger, studying some basic design and photography rules will further help you learn about popular aesthetics to become better with curating your own visual content. Knowing basic composition rules is also a good way to brighten up the visual part of your blog.
2. Pay attention to quality
Be careful with the quality of the images you use – it is more important than it may seem. This means you should use photos with sharp focus, low noise, good exposure, and high resolution. All images should be of high-quality – don’t give pixelated pictures a second thought unless your artistic intention is to create some lo-fi vibes. If you choose images with poor quality, your readers might think that your text itself is bad based on their impression of pictures. To avoid this, you should always pay attention to resolution and relevance.
Issues with high-res images
You should keep in mind though that images with very high resolution are not the best option either. They can slow down the loading time of your post, especially for mobile users. Many people tend to drop web pages that take too much time to load. Remember that very high-quality images render slowly.
Don’t forget to compress photos
A good solution is to read up on the best practices on image compression in editing programs, or other plugins you can easily install to sort the issue. There are some free online tools for resizing your images – for example, you can use a popular website TinyPNG to reduce the image size without quality loss.
3. Don’t forget about usage rights
If you just use any picture you find on the internet, be ready to spend tons of money on your copyright infringement. Doesn’t happen all the time but has happened enough times to let internet users know it’s not okay. There are several types of licenses for images on the web, and using unauthorized ones often lead to lawsuits.
Types of image licenses
You can find some free images under Creative Commons, Royalty-free, and Public Domain licenses. For example, an online repository Wikimedia Commons provides free images, files and audio for educational and informative content. You still need to give credit for pictures you use, and that’s not always convenient in a blog post since the additional text may distract readers. Licenses are tricky – never use a picture if you think it’s free but you do not know for sure what license type you’ll be getting.
Stock photography to the rescue
The best decision for professional bloggers with intentions to monetize and advertise their texts is to purchase images via stock sites. That way you won’t break any copyright law – it’s cheaper to buy pictures straightaway than go to court because of usage rights infringement. Stock collections include mesmerizing, attractive and artistic images for varying occasions, and they often let users download several images for free when they sign up on the website, so that is also a great option for bloggers.