Every, single, published post needs at least one image. People are moved by images. A picture speaks a thousand words. People expect pictures. A post without an image looks less than professional. You need to find post images for every blog you publish.
Where Can You Find Post Images?
I’m not a designer or photographer, yet I post images for six blog posts every week. I came to the conclusion that images don’t have to be perfect. People are tired of seeing the same stock photos over and over, and if they’re not the exact same photo—they feel the same. People prefer real to staged images. Here are a few of the strategies I use.
Repeat headers – I share Top Ten lists, FAQ’s, Team Talk, and other posts on a regular basis. A designer created a header for each. I reuse them every time I post under those titles. For example, any list of ten, regardless of the topic, I use the Top Ten Header as the featured image. I may also add secondary images within the post.
Free photos – I currently use two free photo apps. More than likely these will eventually disappear or become paid services. Rather than link to any free photo services here, my best advice is to google free photos, take note of what’s currently available, and then play with a few of them to find one or two you like.
Use your smartphone – Smartphones take great photos, and how much more real can you get? I take a lot of photos and never thought about using them for a blog until one day I needed a photo of a butterfly. I had a close up shot of a butterfly I’d taken in my flower garden. I sent it to one of my marketing teammates, who ran it through a few edits—and it worked! I thanked him for the edits to which he replied, “It didn’t take much. You could’ve done it.” He showed me what he’d done, and he was right. I could’ve done that and so can you.
There are several photo editing apps available; I like the photo editing features in Instagram, and I crop the photos in WordPress.
I’ve learned to take advantage of opportunities. When I see an interesting or unusual shot I take it regardless whether I have a post in mind. I’ve photographed an old multi-colored brick wall, an “Open” flag flapping in the wind, old signs, and more. I’ve used many of these photos, and occasionally the photo itself inspires a blog post.
Recycle images – As of this writing, I’ve published more than 1300 posts. It hit me 1300 images, each used only once was a waste of resources. I began researching past images and often found previously used images that were appropriate for new posts. I don’t always use them, but it’s another viable resource.
What About Paid Services?
We used paid services on the TKO blog from 2010 through 2015. Too often what we found was what I mentioned at the top of this page—stock photos that we’re overworked, predictable, and boring. Using other resources such as free photo apps doesn’t mean you won’t be predictable and boring—it means you won’t pay someone to be boring, and you may be surprised what you can find and create that is new, fresh, and intriguing. How do you find images for your blog?
If you’d like to learn more about image creation try these three Tech Talks.