Using Images to Enhance Your Blog Posts

The following post is from James of Brooks Web Services:

source: flickr.com

Images are am important part of blogging. Many people do not use them when blogging, but they should. Here’s why:

  • It’s appealing visually. – Images can help add to a post, attract attention to the copy, and encourage them to stay and read the entire post.
  • Headings – Images can serve to break up blocks of text and direct readers visually to the points being made.
  • SEO – Properly alt tagged images and a good file names will optimize them for search engines to help drive traffic.
  • Information – Images can be used to illustrate a point or give more definition to data.

So, where is the best place to get images for blog posts? Keep in mind, you want to utilize images that are licensed under Creative Commons.
One is a simple “reuse” license that allows an image to be used at any time. The other is what one might call an “attribution.” You’re free to use the image on your blog as long as you link back to the source.

With that being said, where do you get images? There are three solutions that work very well, largely because they are free.

1. Google – Google is of course, the search king and searching for images using Google is very easy. However, what they have not made easy for some reason is filtering through images that fall under the creative commons license. They wrote about the filter on their blog but haven’t added to the interface. So if you go to this Google blog post, you can find the option there.

2. Flickr – Flickr is perhaps the best play to find images to use for your blog posts. The library is vast and many people have chosen to license their work under Creative Commons. It takes a bit of work to narrow it down to the best stuff. So here are the steps you want to take:

A. Go to Flickr.
B. Add something to the search field (mountains, flowers, etc) and click search.
C. When the results come up, click on Advanced Search.
D. Scroll down and put a check mark where it says, “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content”.
E. Scroll back up and click on the “tags only” radio button. Searching on the tags will yield more targeted results than searching the text. Click search.
F. When you get the results, click on the “Interesting” filter. That will give you a host of really great images to choose from, putting them ahead of the rest.

3. Creative Commons – Some people are more comfortable working directly within Google or Flickr, but if you want the easiest way to find Creative Commons images, use the Creative Commons search page which allows for searching directly within Google and Flickr as well Fotopedia and Pixabay.

So, there you have it. An easy way to find images that will enhance your blog posts.

Do you have any tips for finding images to use in your blog posts? Let us know in the comments below.

James Brooks is a professional blogger, web designer and social media consultant based on the South West coast of England. As well as being a co-founder of GPlusTuts, a blog about Google+, James also enjoys blogging about technology, food and tea!
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