Adding images to your blog is a necessity for almost everything but microblogging, which is anything with less than 160 words. Just as with marketing brochures or newsletters, images enhance your blog in many ways – they make it more visually appealing, help connect concepts, and even enhance your search engine optimization. All this added value is worth something.
However, it is important that you stay legal whenever you are using images on your blog because you do not want to deal with the hassle – or expense – of any copyright infringements.
Avoid Copyright Issues
The single-handed best way to avoid any copyright issues with the images you use on your blog is to take the pictures yourself. Not only does taking your own pictures for your blog help you to avoid any hassle, it is also a way for you to connect on a more personal level with the people who read your blog. Of course, this is not always feasible. You may not have access to a high-quality camera or you may simply prefer to use images that are already available on the Internet.
If you do want to use someone else’s images, then you should always obtain permission before using them on your blog. The best way to get permission for the images you want is to go to the image owner and send them an email asking if you may use the image on your blog. If you prefer not to wait for permission, there are other options available.
Using Stock Photos
There are a number of different websites available online that offer stock photos for free or for a small fee. You can subscribe to these different websites that offer stock photos, purchase credits at a discounted rate, and then use those credits to buy different images that will go along with the content on your blog. This is a safe way to use images on your blog without having to worry about violating copyright laws. Just make sure you indicate whether or not your blog is a personal site or used for commercial purposes. A good test for determining this purpose is whether or not you sell something – including advertising – on your blog. If you do, then you’re a commercial site, which is the vast majority of cases.
A few places you can find quality stock images for free include:
- DeviantArt.com - may need permission first
- Behance.net - may need permission first
The best policy for you to adopt with publishing images on your site is: “If in doubt, ask first.” This way, you will save yourself the headache (and budget-ache) of learning the painful and costly way.