The Complete Beginners Guide for Effective Blogging | Part 3

The Complete Beginners Guide for Effective Blogging | Part 3

Scott D. Renwick

As promised in part 2 in this blogging guide for effective blogging I will be covering the topic of images.

About 10 years ago Facebook and the internet, in general, was a totally different landscape. Images meant everything. The most popular sites and social media pages were experts in sharing the best images out there.

This was a top strategy to get people interested in your content. Share top images. Easy.

Guide for Effective Blogging

10 years ago we saw the rise of the god awful world of stock photos. Online businesses were forming to sell you the use of material that was covered by copyright laws.

The number of websites and social media pages acting illegally was growing at a tremendous rate.

While there are many reasons to label a certain activity as illegal a top activity is the use of images that were not owned by the people sharing them and publishing them online. Nor did they have or even seek permission for them in terms of their use.

Illegal Pages in 2020

Even today you may find viral social media pages that are busy sharing other people’s images illegally. It may seem like a good idea at the time, but these sites are in danger of closing overnight, if they are met with a legal challenge that they cannot handle for copyright infringement.

In the 10+ years, I have been involved with online content, I’ve been hit twice by lawyers representing clients claiming copyright infringement.

Luckily for me, I was in the right, and on both counts, it was due to others getting their facts wrong. However, I got a scare on both counts and tightened my online game considerably as a result.

Big Business

Online copyright infringement is a big business. As we become more sophisticated as web users, our need for legally sound content soars.

This brings us to the excessive and rather silly use of what is known as stock images.

Classic Stock Images

We’ve all seen them. The woman laughing as she eats a salad, a man doing yoga on the beach, a happy family eating dinner, the curious child on the laptop, a bunch of “office workers” standing together with their hands on their hips with a weird out of context smile from ear to ear.

Yes, we’ve all been subject to the horror of stock footage.

The cheesy, vapid and cringe worthy world of stock images.

Stock Images Belong

Now, I’ll be the first to say these stock images do have their place in the world of blogging. No doubt about it.

Stock images have value and are here to stay.

The problem arises when newbie bloggers get their hands on stock images. They start using them all over the place.

Misuse is Abuse

The word “clock” is mentioned in the article so a picture of a clock is added to the article. Someone mentions work from home online and all of a sudden you see some random person on the sofa with a laptop, or my absolute favorite, at a cafe on his laptop.

Oh dear god. How little must you value your readers if you think they need such images.

I mean you must really think your audience is stupid. You think they need a picture of some generic laptop because you mentioned the world laptop.

The Purpose of an Image

The purpose of an image in an article is to bring value. It should allow a better understanding of the content. It should bring the reader to a deeper understanding of the person producing the content. The information in a photo/image should have an impact and have a purpose.

Images are not just there to be decoration. They are not there to break up the monotony of your text.

No. Images have a purpose, so use them with that in mind.

Speed is King

Nothing is worse than a blog that runs slow. On the internet speed is king.

The more images you have the slower your website is likely to function, so if you are going to add an image it better be worth your while.

Use images because they bring value to your blog post.

Perhaps they explain something better, perhaps they present information in a way that basic text fails to do. It should be obvious that the article benefits from the image.

The fact is you’re not fooling anyone with generic, meaningless images. Your readers are not that stupid (well I hope they’re not).

Now of course there is one place where you will almost always need the use of an image. That is your cover photo.

Again if possible avoid stock imagery. Stock photos may look professional but they are 100% lacking in credibility. Use original images where possible.

However, a way to take stock footage and make it yours is to use a website such as www.snappa.com or Fotor.

These websites are excellent ways of personalizing images (including stock images) so that you can make them your own and bring more credibility to the table.

The featured image for this article was created using Snappa.

Here’s the Summary:

  • Don’t use images solely for decoration
  • Don’t use images to break up the monotony of your text
  • Only use images if they bring value to your article
  • If you don’t have the rights to use an image, stay the hell away from it
  • Use software such as Snappa to personalize feature images and add credibility to images.

If you missed Part 1 of the guide where we discussed perceived credibility, here it is: The Complete Beginners Guide for Effective Blogging | Part 1

In part 4 we will discuss SEO

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *