photos

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  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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Back in August I wrote an article about adding images to your books or blog posts. Tip #4 was:

Know from where you are getting your images
In the past week, I’ve met with two clients who are not only excellent writers, but also gifted photographers. These lucky folk have the ability to take near-professional photographs to use in their books to offset their information.

I’ve been able to use many of my own photos in my books. But sometimes, you won’t be able to create the perfect setup for the image you need. In that case, you’ll need to purchase your image.

When you purchase it, make sure you are using a reputable stock-photography vendor. And don’t ever use an image from Google Images. Just because you credit your source does not mean that you have permission to use the image!

I realized later (much later! As in THIS week) that I never gave resources for where you could go to get stock photography.

My top (paid) stock photography sites are:

DollarPhoto

This is a newer website but it is my favorite and the one I use the most. ALL their images are $1 each. All day, every day. I’ve signed up for the annual subscription — it’s WELL worth the money. At time of writing it’s just $99.

Beyond the FANTASTIC price-per-image, they also have a great selection of really high quality images. And they have plenty of selection for illustrations and photos. I haven’t found any images that are amateur-ish either. And since this is a newer site, I haven’t seen their stuff all over the web.

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