Being a blogger, you want your content to stand out and the best way to do that is by creating great content with imagery to match. Sometimes your writing alone, isn’t enough to entice your audience, especially on social media. It’s those eye catching blog post images that tend to lure the reader in. That being said it can be a bit of a minefield when it comes to images for your blog posts. With all the rules and regulations to follow, you can’t just use any photo that you come across.
When I first started out blogging, I found myself using Google image search for images that were “labelled for reuse” which probably wasn’t the best option at the time. The result being that the overall aesthetic of those posts wasn’t great. Over the years, I’ve discovered that even if you don’t have the time to prepare, take and edit your own blog post images, there are a number of resources that you can use to make your posts captivating.
Where to find Blog Post Images?
Take your own photos
One of the simplest answers to creating unique content that you have complete control over, and no headache of copyright stipulations, is to create your own photos. As I mentioned above though, people don’t always have the time to produce them or the equipment to take the quality that you are looking for.
Stock photo sites like Design Bundles and Adobe Stock, provide paid subscription based services or even the choice purchase royalty free images on an individual basis. They are an excellent option, especially for those popular styled stock photography, blog post images. Using royalty free images give you rights to use the image without having heaps of restrictions placed on them. It can however, get a little pricey when you need to purchase multiple images. Having said that, most of these stock photo sites often provide bundles, special offers and even free items.
There are sites like Pixabay and Unsplash that offer great quality images and royalty free stock to use in your blog posts without any restrictions. These images are available for free and anyone can use them which is a great option if you are on a budget. Unlike creating your own content, you don’t own the image and the only real downside is that if left unedited, 100’s of people could be using the exact same one.
Mock Ups & Scene Creators
Another great alternative, if you’d like to create and personalise your own images for your content but not have the effort of taking your own photos is to use a mock up or scene creator. This is one of the options that I favour the most and tend to use them in quite a few of my blog posts. By using scene creators, I don’t have all the hassle of taking photos and setting up lighting to create those perfect flat lays, but I can still personalise my images and make them my own. You can find scene creators to fit most subjects and I’ve found that I can use them over an over again and create a different image each time.
You don’t necessarily have to have the skills of a graphic designer to use them either. Most scene creator bundles just require you to drag and drop your chosen items in Photoshop or you can even use the PNG files on sites like Canva to create your personalised images.
Editing and Customising Images
You can really optimise your images for blog posts by adding text overlays, these can contain things like blog titles, information, quotes etc. Adding text overlays makes the image more personal and gives off a professional flair. Images with a text overlay are a great way to get your readers attention when uploaded to social media sites such as Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. They have a positive effect on driving traffic to your site and can do wonders for your site metrics.
There are some fab, high-quality tools available for free that can help you create beautiful text image overlays for your blog in just a few minutes. You don’t have to be the most creative person in the world to create your own eye catching content when you can use sites like Canva.
You can utilise their vast library of templates and layouts to suit a variety of platforms i.e Instagram Posts and Pinterest Pins to the perfect sized images. Canva also allows you to customise all aspects of your image including adding stickers, changing colours etc. One of my favourite features of Canva is that you can keep track of the colour pallet that you have been using. Whilst Canva does have some paid for features, the majority of the templates are free to use, everything is marked accordingly.
Don’t forget about SEO
Just as with your writing content, SEO is just as important for your images too. Make sure that your images are relevant to you content and fully optimised for SEO. You can take a few steps to make sure that you tick all the boxes.
Image File Names
Remember to rename your images so that search engines crawlers are alerted as to the subject matter of the image. Keeping your filenames as “IMG_357400” isn’t going to do you or your blog post any favours. Give your image a descriptive name that is relevant to your blog post content to help search engines understand your image and better improve its SEO value.
Alt text is a text alternative to images and is used to describe the contents of an image file. This is useful for when browsers cannot properly display an image. By adding relevant Alt tags to your blog post images, it helps your blog achieve better rankings in the search engines by associating keywords with images.
It’s always worth remembering that a slow loading website is rather frustrating, so keep in mind that image sizes can play a huge role in how quickly a page loads. Reduce that file size as much as you can without losing the quality of your image for a more pleasant experience for your readers.
If you have any other great ideas for creating blog post images, I’d love to hear what they are.