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May
09

Images: Generate Ideas and Attract Attention

By Char

2008 CMT Music Awards - Red Carpet
Image details: 2008 CMT Music Awards – Red Carpet served by picapp.com

Guest Post by David Peralty

Something often overlooked by bloggers are images for their content, but with recent reports that most readers skim content equal to around one quarter of what is actually written, an image can sometimes be your only opportunity to hook a reader into really reading all that you have to say.

Just like with all other content, the images you can get for your posts can come from legal or illegal sources. Most people don’t pay attention to this fact, but with companies seeing decreasing revenue, protecting intellectual property is on the rise, so taking images you found from a Google Image search isn’t the best idea.

There are many free and legal sources for images, but you have to be willing to look around.

Currently, I work for PicApp, a company that provides access to high quality images from companies like Corbis and Getty. PicApp allows you to easily embed images in your posts.

Some others worth mentioning that I have used before include Flickr’s Creative Commons images that users have uploaded and given open access to, as well as stock.xchng.

The only issues with these sites are that they don’t always have the highest quality images, nor the latest editorial images.

Some other reasons you might want to make adding an image to your posts a regular endeavor is to break up the content, which can allow it to flow better, or helping convey thoughts, ideas, opinions, or even the overall mood of the text around it.

It allows you to differentiate from your competitors as many bloggers aren’t spending the time and energy finding images worth posting, and this opens up an opportunity for each and every one of you to make the most out of your content and how it is displayed.

One last thing I wanted to note that is special about PicApp, and incredibly useful for me as a blogger is the ability to subscribe to my searches via RSS. If you are a celebrity blogger talking about Miley Cyrus, it can be hard to keep up with everything that is happening with regards to her and her brand, but by subscribing to an RSS feed of your image search, PicApp will let you know when there are new photographs that you can use, and I have already been told that it has helped inspire posts, and I can see it helping some bloggers beat their competition in releasing an article.ek-div.gif
About our Guest Blogger:  David Peralty has been a full time blogger for the last three years, and now works as Community Manager for PicApp while also building his own blogs like eXtra for Every Publisher.

5 Comments

1

You are so right… my posts with pics get much more traffic, even if they arent as good.

2

Thanks for sharing sites for free images. It can get pricey paying for images when you post 3-4 articles a week.

3

Ruth – You hit the nail on the head. Some stock photography can cost from $5 all the way up to $100 per image. Some of the images we have from Getty go for around $50 per image. And when you factor in such prices, I’d like to think that PicApp really makes sense. :)

Thanks to both of you for your comments.

4

Thanks for this post and the resources you’ve shared here. We’ve jut started our own blog and we’re dealing with a rather high bounce rate at the moment on the new pages. We observed though, that more of our visitors are staying beyond the make-or-break 5 seconds on the pages where we also posted some images. The Flickr Creative Commons search page is just fantastic. Thank you.

5

Thanks for mentioning those free resources. I’ve largely been using Google images to source the images I use on one of the blogs I write, and I’m obviously aware that this could lead to all manner of copyright issues if found out.
You’re so right about images though. If placed strategically they can help to guide the readers eyes down the page, and also beak up what might be a large and unsightly block of text.

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