|Dave Pelland has extensive experience covering the business use of technology, networking and communications tools by companies of all sizes. Dave's editorial and corporate experience includes more than 10 years editing an electronic technology and communications industry newsletter for a global professional services firm.|
Adding Images to Small Business Blogs
Adding images to blog posts improves engagement and response, and a number of services help business owners find the most appropriate images to accompany their posts.
That being said, the idea of taking or finding quality images can be daunting for a lot of company owners. Unless you're in a creative business, finding, taking or choosing the best images might appear somewhat challenging.
Fortunately, getting (or taking) effective images for your company's blog or website isn't too difficult. With a little searching, you can find an image that highlights your business, illustrates your point, and increases the engagement your content will generate.
Why are images so important for blogs and websites? For starters, they're a powerful way to grab interest and bring in people doing a search, or someone who's interested in learning more about your company.
Readers are increasingly less willing to read a lot, and if your blog is too-text-heavy or visually unappealing, you're likely to turn off site visitors before you have a chance to get your message across.
With increasingly powerful cameras in mobile devices, it's easier today to produce nearly professional-quality images yourself. If time or budget constraints don't support investing in a pro to take pictures of your office, team, or products, you can probably get "good enough" shots with little effort.
If you're not happy with the quality of the images your camera produces, consider an inexpensive photo-editing app that allows you to make simple corrections, such as brightening an image or increasing contrast. A few simple adjustments can turn run-of-the-mill images into something impressive.
Finding Free Images
If you'd rather not take pictures yourself, there are a variety of other photo options you can choose from. Creative Commons or public domain images are available to use freely, although you have to pay attention to a few restrictions.
Creative Commons is a nonprofit group that makes images and other types of content available for free sharing. There are six types of Creative Commons licenses that impose rules on whether you can use images commercially, or whether you can alter them.
The safest route is to search for images that come with an "Attribution" license, which means your only requirement is giving credit to the photographer who took the image.
Public domain images were typically taken more than 30 years ago, or have been released publicly by the copyright owner.
To find Creative Commons or public domain images, sites such as Google Image Search or Flickr have features in their advanced search options that let you specify that you're looking for images you can reuse.
If you don't mind investing a little money in professional quality photography, stock photo sites provide access to millions of images that can be used to illustrate a wide range of concepts.
With a stock photo site, you simply enter the keywords you hope to illustrate into a search box, and a variety of appropriate image previews will appear. If you see an image that meets your needs, you download it from the stock image site and upload it to your company's blog or website.
Most stock image sites offer affordable subscription plans that allow you to download a specified number of images.
Any of these choices can help you improve the appearance and effectiveness of your company's blog or website with quality photography.
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