A blog post is not complete by itself: you must know how to add images to attract attention for it to be read. Marketing experts write continually about the importance of great content and that is absolutely true. But your post won’t get clicked without an attention-grabbing title and an eye-catching image.
The best image is one that showcases your business. Most small businesses have photos that they accumulate over time. Photos of products, their place of business, happy customers (preferably with a compliment) or staff members make great additions to a blog. A visitor immediately gets an impression of your business with this type of image. But if none of your photos fit with your blog you may have to turn to a stock photo.
There are several factors at work in using a stock photo: source, attribution, preparation, and placement. All are important to successful use.
Where to find stock photos
Stock photo sites abound on the Internet. But if you have ever searched for a photo you know that it can be a frustrating task. Just when you think you have the perfect image you find that you have to be a member of that site to download it. So you join only to find that you have to buy multiple photos in order to get the one that you want. Some sites require that you enroll in their multi-month plan. If that doesn’t work with your plan you keep looking.
Google has an image search facility that allows you to find free images. You can go to https://www.google.com/advanced_image_search and search for a term that defines your image. Google returns a collection of images that you can choose from. You should choose “free to use or share, even commercially” in the usage rights dropdown. However, you still must verify that the “image may be subject to copyright” warning does not apply. Many images that are returned in the collection are free to use.
Wikipedia is another source of photos in the public domain that can be used. Nearly all are free to use. Flickr has some free images under the Creative Commons licensing. The free images do require attribution, recognizing the source and the name of the photographer. They also have advanced searched capability at https://www.flickr.com/search/advanced/.
Giving credit to the photographer who took the picture that is "just right" for your blog is necessary and the right thing to do. http://www.imagecodr.org/ is a website that will create the necessary attribution for your Flickr photo. The photo from the top of this page came from Flickr and the attribution produced by imagecodr.org.
Canva.com is a site that combines source and preparation. Canva has many images available to choose from plus they have an easy-to-use set of preparation tools. Tools include cropping, flipping, adding text, choosing backgrounds and color control of all elements. Some of the backgrounds and elements are free of charge others cost $1.00 each. You may also upload your own images from to modify. When you are satisfied with your image you can download it as a jpg or a png. Canva is an easy to use, less functional version of Adobe Photoshop. Stencil.com is similar to Canva.
Adobe Photoshop is a set of versatile tools that is an essential part of blog preparation. The cropping tool lets you make the image the right size to fit your post. The text tool allows you to add text in a layer then place it over some part of the image. The image can be flipped. Photoshop will save the image in jpg, png or pdf format depending on the image. png format maintains high resolution with minimal storage size, and the one I used most. As you save the image you specify the size in pixels so that the image works into the overall post.
How to Add Images
The post and the image will determine where to place the image. I usually place the image at the top, left-hand side for maximum visibility. I want to get the reader's attention and grab his curiosity right away. But sometimes I feel that it is better to place the image at the top, right-hand side of the blog if I have a strong title and opening text. In this case, the image takes on a supporting role rather than the feature role.
It is possible to put the image further down the post, above the fold. You can tease the reader a bit. She may take a peek at the image but then return to the top of the page to read your content. Try to use variety in your posts and place the image in different locations.
Any questions about how to add images to your blog post?