1. It gives something for social media to display. And people are more likely to click through to your article when there’s an image.
  2. Images catch attention and draw in the eye. A captivating image will help readers engage with the content.
  3. It’s a subtle reminder that you took the time to find the perfect image. This may be when you took the photo yourself or searched through stock images to purchase it.
  4. Text-only articles can be intimidating to some readers. Images help to break it up.
  5. If you only have time to skim the article, an image will give you an idea of the topic and help you decide if you want to read it in more depth.

Here’s what to stay away from:

  1. Don’t put in an image JUST for the sake of an image. If the image doesn’t fit the article, don’t use it. No image is better than a bad image.
  2. Make sure the image is easily recognizable as a thumb-nail. In social media, sometimes the image is shrunk to the size of a stamp so you need to make sure that it’s still clear.
  3. Don’t make your images too big! Because most of us have super high-speed internet we’ve become super impatient when an image takes “too long” to load. If I have to scroll to see the entire image, I’m outta there! And if you’re reader is enjoying your blog from a smartphone… and image that’s too big can be a pain to deal with.
  4. Make sure you have rights to the image. This means NOT using an image from Google Images. Spend the time and money to purchase your own stock photography or take your own photo. “Borrowing” images (even with citing the source) is really terrible business practice and opens you up for a lawsuit.

I’ll be really honest, I always try to include images but sometimes it just doesn’t work. Either the topic doesn’t lend itself to an image or I can’t find the perfect photo to convey the feeling I want to express.

Question: Do you use images in your blog posts? What are your go-to rules for choosing an image?

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Kimberly Eldredge

Kimberly is an author, illustrator, and entrepreneur. She helps coaches, speakers, and authors take the content they already have and FINALLY get their book written and published.
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8 Responses to Nine Rules for Blog Post Images

  • This is good advice and very relevant.
    Nayna Kanabar (@citrusspiceuk) recently posted…Jelly Bean Mini Cheesecakes for National Jelly Bean day 22nd AprilMy Profile

  • Images are great, but you don’t need to spend money to use stock images. There are free sites available. I love Pixabay, although the selection is minimal for some topics. Freedigitalphotos is the other one I regularly use, and is free as long as you follow the site’s rules for citing sources. Where possible, I find images I’m allowed to modify (always check the licensing agreement for this) and then add some text to it to make it perfect for social media sharing.
    Alexandria Ingham recently posted…What Types of Writing Do Freelance Bloggers Do?My Profile

    • Yes, there are sources for free stock photos. The issue is to USE stock (free or paid) and not steal images from somewhere else!

  • Very informative post Kimberly.You’ve just made me more conscious of the verbs and adverbs that I’ve been using.Thanks for sharing!
    Vinodini Iyer recently posted…Masculine in PinkMy Profile

  • I forgot to add that when I was at a recent SEO course the advise given was that when you upload pictures of your own give then names relevant to the picture not just a number as the search engine will be able to relate to a descriptive name better than a random image no. I found this useful so thought to share here I hope its ok.
    Nayna Kanabar (@citrusspiceuk) recently posted…Jelly Bean Mini Cheesecakes for National Jelly Bean day 22nd AprilMy Profile

    • Great tip! I am more looking at the use of images from the reader’s perspective rather than a search engine.

  • I have a question about using Google images. I thought it was not giving credit that is unethical. But I always name the source and link back to the post that the picture was in. And I wouldn’t mind if someone did that with an image of mine. Do you still think that’s a problem?
    Jeanine @ Mystic Comfort recently posted…Faerietale Happiness Challenge: Happiness RitualsMy Profile

    • You should NEVER use an image that you find from Google Images. Even if you cite the source you have no way of knowing that the source had permission to the image in the first place. Professional photographers have a zero-tolerance policy for someone stealing their image. And that’s what it amounts to! Copyright infringement is a big deal.

      And especially because when YOU use an image, somebody down the road might assume that the image is YOURS. Then they cite YOUR website you’re just compounding the problem. There are great resources for stock photography (free and paid) that will make sure you’re staying out of trouble.