Using images in your blogs certainly take your posts to a whole different and higher level. Images when used correctly will deepen the story you are telling as well as engage the reader more. In fact, it is usually the first thing your readers will most often see before digesting the blocks of text you have written no matter how great your copy is. Below are things a blogger needs to know about using images in your blog even if you are more prose proficient than graphically inclined.
First thing to consider is the type of image you plan to use. You mean there is more than one type of image used in blogs? In fact, there are two distinct categories. The first group are images that are part of your blog’s overall design. This includes the background, which needs to be clean and simple to make the copy on the page readable. Some blogs require users to highlight the web page text in order to make them readable through the busy backgrounds. There are also the headers, footers, and sidebars in case you decide to make them image-based instead of text. They all need to be cohesive with your overall blog theme. A restaurant menu as your sidebar won’t exactly mesh if you are an interior design blog. Add to that a car-themed footer and you will only confuse, distract, and maybe even lose your reader. Next are images related to your content/posts. Choose wisely when using these images. Do not use them based on aesthetics but rather on how well they illustrate your post. Including charts for making your facts and figures visual or a portrait of a person you are talking about in the post is always good.
Speaking about post images, make sure you are not violating copyrights when using images you “borrowed” from another site or otherwise not your own. While it is true copyrights are different across the world, English common law-based countries follow the Fair Use or Fair Dealing rule that generally govern the use of copyright-protected images. Using such images in your blogs is a big “No.”
Be especially wary of images on commercial sites, which are always labeled as copyrighted unless otherwise stated. If you are tempted to use images from other blogs as well, assuming if the blog owner owns or uses them then they must be okay to use—you should ask for permission first. The image owner might just ask for attribution or a link back to their blog if you ask nicely.
Last but not least, many free to use blog platforms like Blogger and WordPress host images and make them easy to upload and use them in posts. However, should you need to use a different image host; there are tons out there that are blog-friendly.
You simply upload your pics and use a cut-and-paste code to refer to them on your blog. Since you want to make sure your images don’t disappear overnight, use image hosts that have been around for awhile like Flickr (Yahoo), Picassa (Google), and Photobucket.
Remember when using images in your blog, the rule is less is often more! Besides, keep in mind the page load time that could decide whether a reader sticks around or flees before the load time is done.
Nitin Aggarwal is full time blogger and an Internet marketing enthusiast. He started the company Offshore Ally which offers competent virtual assistant and call center services. Connect with him via Twitter.