4 Best Practices for Including Images in Your Blog Posts

You’re a writer, not a photographer.

So why do you need to add photos to your blog posts when your words should be enough to entice your audience, engage visitors, and persuade people that your content is great?

The truth is, it’s not enough.

Especially when writing a blog post for the web.

What you need to understand is that your audience is lazy.

They want information as fast as they can get it.

They don’t want to struggle to read and digest your content. They want to be able to understand it quickly and easily to ascertain whether it’s going to be of any value to them.

Just because images are important doesn’t mean your words aren’t too.

That’s why you don’t have a blog post full of only images.

Images are a supporting tool that can take your content from bland to exciting.

So it’s strange, then, that some content writers don’t understand the best practices for including images in their blog posts.

If that’s you, then keep reading.

Let’s dive in.


1. Break up the text

In the same way people use paragraphs to separate points and make it easier for the reader to digest, people use images to separate points and make the text easier to understand.

Especially for longer pieces. Remember I said readers were lazy?

When they are presented with a wall of text, the first thing they’ll do is try and find another source.

Even if your wall of text isn’t as long as other people’s content, if it looks too difficult to read, they’re not going to bother.

Even though the actual content is the same, which of the two images below would you rather read?

Screen Shot 2017 09 15 at 15.59.38

Screen Shot 2017 09 15 at 16.01.27

The one with the cats is infinitely easier to read and comprehend.

2. Use clear images

Look at these two images from TechSmith. Which one is more pleasing to the eye?

Screen Shot 2017 09 15 at 15.53.09

The image on the left-hand side is clear. It’s obvious what you’re looking at. The image on the right is poor quality and blurry.

Imagine reading a blog post where all the images were like the ones on the right. You’d click off right away.

If the writer can’t be bothered to get high-quality images, they may be producing poor quality content, too.

So, while images, in general, are super important, it’s crucial that you use high-quality ones as well.

Including poor images is just as bad as using no images at all.

3. Utilize legal images

You can’t just take any image from the Internet and put it on your blog post. In fact, some companies charge you a fee to use their images.

When you take images from the Internet, find out whether you are legally allowed to use them on your blog.

In many cases, if you use a free image, you still have to say who created it or where you got it from.

And it makes sense.

You wouldn’t want someone to copy and paste your words and not attribute them back to you.

There are different definitions of legal images.

  • Royalty free: Royalty free images aren’t free as the name suggests. With a royalty-free image, you can usually use it as you choose, but you are not allowed to edit or resell it.
  • Rights Managed: Normally with these images, you purchase a single-user license for the particular image in question. You have to decide, before you use it, just how you plan to use it. For example, if you use one of these images in your blog post, you can’t then use the same image in a video. You would need to purchase an additional license.
  • Public domain: Public domain images have no restrictions. You don’t need to ask for any permission before using these images. Although it’s the general consensus you provide attribution, it’s by no means mandatory.
  • Creative Commons: Images have been granted access by the creator. But in most cases, you will need to provide attribution to the creator.

If you’re looking to buy images then you can use a site like Shutterstock.

If you’re looking for good quality free images that you can use without having to attribute anything to the owner of the image, then check out Unsplash or Pixabay.


4. Incorporate screenshots

The images you use on your blog are a visual aid for the point you’re trying to get across.

Sometimes, to make your work even stronger, it’s useful to incorporate screenshots.

A Chrome browser extension like Awesome Screenshot is great for capturing an entire web page.

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