A well-chosen photo will enhance your post and improve the overall look of your blog, but going online, doing a Google image search, grabbing the first photo that catches your eye and using it is a fast way to a world of trouble.
Many of the photos found online have ownership rights attached to them and are not free. If you use one, the owner may politely ask you to remove it or threaten legal proceedings against you.
It’s best to use your own photos since there is no ownership issue, but be mindful only so many photos of sunsets at the lake will hold the interest of your readers. And products are easy to photograph, but may be of limited visual interest to your readers.
A third option is to find a site with royalty-free images. Some of these sites have thousands of free photos. Just enter your search term. I like to use photos either obviously aligned with the post or that cause readers to think about what they mean.
My favourite site is the unfortunately named Morgue File at www.morguefile.com. Just so you know, in the old days newspaper reporters kept full of old clippings in a morgue file in case they were needed for quick reference.
Word of caution, if the free photo requests attribution, do so under the photo or at the end of your blog. For example you could say, Photo credit: Bob Smith abcphoto.com.
Adding photos will break up the monotony in your blog and enhance your content. Just be certain that free really is free.
Andrew Shedden is the president of Broadfield Consulting, a marketing consulting firm that makes it easier for companies to grow their revenues. For new media resources and services visit http://www.broadfieldcommunications.com. For free industrial marketing resources visit http://broadfieldconsulting.com.