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Dressing Up a Blog with Images and Pictures

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Images are one way to dress up your blog and set it apart from millions of others that feature only text. They say that “a picture is worth a thousand words”, advertisers have proved that proverb a long time ago and have taken it to another level.

With pictures and images mixed into your posts, you can create greater interest in your viewers to actually read your posts. Images and pictures definitely improve a post and can also help you take your blog to the next level.

I have been experimenting with using images on my blogs for the last 2 months and it is increasingly getting much easier for me to provide pictures or images for the majority of my posts.

Over that time I have found a number of good sources for free ‘clipart’ and pictures on the web. Also, I have run across a number of issues and pitfalls that every blogger using images and pictures should fully understand.

Here are a few important issues and procedures that everyone using images needs to be aware of:

1. Copyrights: The images and pictures on regular news sites (like Reuters, AP, CBS, NBC, USAToday, etc.) are copyrighted and one needs permission to use. Generally it is not worth the time and effort or subscription fees for the regular personal blogger to pursue.

2. Credit: One should always check out the ‘conditions for use’ of any picture or image from a source. Sometimes a credit is all that is necessary, sometimes a link is wanted. Always check the link out–it may go somewhere that you and your regular readers would rather not go. Sometimes an image is unconditionally free for the taking and other times a small fee or site membership is required. I personally use only unconditionally free stuff.

3. Download to your site: It really is tantamount to stealing if you merely ‘copy and paste’ and end up using the source’s URL to support an image on your site. I have found the ‘Windows Live Writer’ particularly helpful in converting images to my URL–most of the time I have been able to ‘copy and paste’ into the editor and it successfully stores and posts to my blog.

4. Check and Confirm: After publishing a post with an image, it is a good idea to hover over any newly posted images to see if it really is hosted on your site and to check for any unwanted or unsolicited links that may have been hidden in the image code.

5. Hosted blog sites: Blogs that are on free hosted sites like Blogger and WordPress.com have only a limited amount of storage space available for each blog. Pictures and images can quickly use up a lot of the available storage. Many bloggers use other sites like Flickr to store their images and pictures online.

Here are some tips on finding images and pictures for your blog posts:

1. You can always purchase ‘clipart’ programs with 1,000’s of available images on nearly any topic. I have actually found this too time consuming to use usually.

2. Use Google or Yahoo to find images or pictures. For example, I recently was looking for a good photo of Pope Benedict. In that case I googled: “free photo of pope benedict” and eventually found a good one on an official church site that I was unconditionally free to use.

3. Wikipedia: I have found that Wikipedia is a good source for free photos, particularly of famous people. Anything there has entered the ‘free’ public domain.

4. Christian images: Since my blogs are Christian and I write substantially on religious subjects, I have need for sources of Christian and religious images and symbols. Here are some sites that I repeatedly turn too:  Christians Unite/Clipart,  Christian Symbols , Religious Symbols , Christart , CrossDaily.

5. Picture Sources: If you have a digital camera you can always make your own pictures or turn to other sources: iStock Photo ,  PD Photo , stockXchng , Flickr.

Finally, here are links to a couple of good articles on this subject:  Where to find Images for Your BlogA complete guide: how to make your post attractive using images *Top

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