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Writing Tips

Stress Free Images for Blog Posts

Does the idea of finding images for your blog posts give you a headache? If so, keep reading.
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Serious blogging is a lot of hard work. There’s SEO, keyword research, data research, discovering effective ways of driving traffic to your site, writing, scheduling, editing, you name it. But there’s another vital element that may or may not be in your personal wheelhouse: image creation.

Why Images Are Important

The majority of people are sighted and highly visual. Images tell a story, set a mood, and reinforce your brand. They help create an emotional context that connects to your readers. And it helps them remember you, too. Most people only remember 10% of what they hear, but images bring the recall rate up to 65%. Plus, posts with images are more likely to be liked and shared across a wide range of social media platforms.

Social Media

Free and Easy Resources for Creating Images

The good news is that there are a lot of great free tools out there for bloggers. Here are the ones I use every day.

Canva

I’ve been using Canva since way back in my teaching days. Registration is free and can be done by linking your Facebook or Google Plus accounts or simply by using your email. Once you’ve registered, you have access to a host of free templates, images, illustrations, fonts, and other elements. There’s a Pro subscription plan available for those looking for even more access, and there are design elements and images available for a $1USD fee.

Gratisography

Gratisography

No registration required, just download and go. These weird and wacky images are 100% copyright free with no attribution requirement. You can read the full terms of use here.

Unsplash

 

Unsplash

Gorgeous photographs with zero copyright and attribution restrictions. You don’t have to register to download photos, but you can if you’d like to follow certain photographers. You can search pics by keyword or theme. Full info on their use policy here.

Stocksnap.io

StockSnap.io

Great images for travel, lifestyle, and food bloggers. You don’t have to register to download photographs. And all their pics are listed under the creative commons license listed here.

SplitShire

SplitShire

Nearly 900 photos as of this posting. You can search by keyword or category. No registration required. Pictures can be used as is or modified. More on their terms of use here.

Pixabay

Pixabay

This site has photographs, illustrations, digital artwork, AND vector images. Hands down, I use this site the most. Most images are free of copyright restrictions but that may vary per image so be sure to read a pic’s terms of use before downloading. You don’t have to register with Pixabay, but non-registered visitors have to complete a captcha code each time they download an image. Registration is free.

Why Getting a Photograph is Only Half the Battle

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So, you’ve found the perfect photo for your blog post. It’s copyright free so you don’t have to worry about getting sideswiped by legal issues. And that’s a great start! But have you noticed that other professional bloggers incorporate text into their featured images? There’s a really good reason for that.

See, incorporating text into an image allows you to include a call to action, or something you’re inviting people to do. And once you have an image like that, you can share it on just about any social media site and— you guessed it— bring traffic back to your blog.

Then, there’s Pinterest. Everyone in serious blogging circles has heard about Pinterest and how it can do wonders for increasing traffic. I was skeptical at first, too, but after doing some research I decided to try it out. And I’ve definitely seen an uptick in my traffic. However, in order to get going and growing via Pinterest, you have to give people something to pin. A standard stock photo won’t quite do the trick. There is a process for optimizing your Pinterest profile and pinning strategy to drive up traffic (and lots of amazing blogs out there have free tutorials on how to do this). But you’ve also got to have images that are optimized for pinning.

What To Do If You Don’t “Get” Visual Design And Words Like Vector Stress You Out

Take a deep breath. Use the free resources above. Do what you can. Ask others for their advice and opinions. Test drive different images with your blogging friends.

And, if all else fails, you can take advantage of my custom image-creation services.

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