Welcome back to #Bloggingforbeginners series.
In last post, I had talked about 5 amazing websites to get free photos for your blog. And in this post, I will share another important topic related with use of free images for your blog.
Though it is very tempting to use free images for your blog post but before using them it is very important to educate yourself.
I am a part of various blogging communities. And I had observed many bloggers (new) often have many questions and confusion regarding use of free images in a blog post.
So, in this post I am sharing few basic guidelines for proper and safe use of free images in your blog post. Read the post to know more!
Best practices to use free images on your blog!
Never use any image or photos directly from a google search
Yes, first and basic rule. We bloggers need plenty of images every day to make our blog posts visually appealing. Google offers great quality images on every subject and niche. As a new blogger, it seems an easy path to use these images for their blog posts. And many newbies assumed that they can use these images by cited the sources.
But this is a risky move for your reputation and you may get caught up in copyright law suits.
Always remember, “All images on web are by default have a copyright license. And you cannot use them without having a legal permission from the owner (artist or photographer) of that work. Even citing the source of an image is not enough to get escape from copyright law suits.”
There are many incidences has happened in the past when bloggers got in big trouble by using other people’s photos or images without asking. Read this post to know more about it.
Conclusively, “always avoid using images or photos you found on web (by random search). It is always advisable to use only those photos that are legally safe to use for your website.”
Learn basic terminology regarding images and type of image licenses
This one is second important step to follow a correct path for using free images on your blog. Usually, there are three terms are commonly used regrading different kinds of images on internet. These are:
- Public domain
- Royalty free
- Creative common
Public domain- as the name suggested, public domain images either have no defining license or have an expired license. Usually these images are considered safe to use and can be used for commercial purpose too. As per Wikipedia, “public domain marks enable works that are no longer restricted by copyright and easily available for use for others”.
Royalty free- though they are called “Royalty free images” but contrary to their name, they are not free, but you can use them legally after paying the fixed amount to stock photography sites. As per Wikipedia, “It refers to a copyright license where the users have the right to use images without many restrictions based on one-time payment to licensor”.
Creative common– “Creative common” is a non-profit organization that allows artists and photographers to share their work. Usually “Creative common” provides different kind of licenses for each image. Such as CC-0, CC-1 and many more. as per Wikipedia, “A creative common license is one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free attribution of an otherwise copyrighted work. “
Each of this license has their own term and rules for using any image safely. For example: using Creative common-0 license images required no attribution but creative common-1 licensed images required a proper attribution (credit to artist or photographer).
Read this post to know more about the different types of creative common licenses.
Always perform a cross check of background before using the image and cite the sources when needed!
After learning the basic terminology of different type of images and image license, it is equally important to use them on practical level. Even when use free website sources (like Pixaby, Unsplash or Photopin), never make a rushed decision to use any image without knowing their license types.
Each of these websites have a FAQ page and rules for safe use of images. Read these rules and follow accordingly. Some websites like Photopin have a detail policy regarding proper attribution. You need to follow all recommended steps for legal and safe use of images from their website.
Cite the source when needed is best policy. And as an act of courtesy, you can say thanks to photographer (by giving attribution), even when it is not required.
Apart of these three basic rules, here are few more things that should be keep in mind while using images in your blog post.
- Use your own images whenever possible. You can try different options like create your own chart or infographic, drawing or sketches. Use of screenshots are another popular way to make a blog post more informative and easier to understand
- Try to include only relevant images that add value to subject of your blog post.
- Add high quality, clear and high-resolution images (avoid using blurry or unclear images)
- Pay a proper attention to size of images (avoid using too large or too small size images)
- Type of image file is also important. JPGs are most popular option but quality wise PNGs work best.
- Optimized images for SEO purpose too, by adding ALT tags and proper description.
- Additionally, you may brand your images with your logo, brand name or URLs. This thing prevents the chances of stealing images.
So, these are some best practices to use images in your blog. I hope it will be helpful for new bloggers.
What are your thoughts? Please share!
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Declaimer: this post has been written as a general advice regarding safe use of free images. it did not claimed or apt for any legal advice.
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