Stock photos are a convenient and affordable way to add visual appeal to your blog posts. They can help you convey your message, attract attention, and create a professional impression. However, not all stock photos are created equal, and using them incorrectly can have the opposite effect. Here are some dos and don’ts of using stock photos for your blog posts.
Do: Choose relevant and high-quality images
The first rule of using stock photos is to make sure they match the content and purpose of your blog post. You want your images to support your message, not distract from it or confuse your readers. Choose images that illustrate your main points, show examples, or evoke emotions. Avoid images that are too generic, vague, or unrelated to your topic.
Additionally, you want to use images that are high-quality and professional-looking. Poorly edited, pixelated, or blurry images can ruin your credibility and make your blog look amateurish. Use images that are clear, sharp, and well-lit. You can also adjust the size, crop, or orientation of the images to fit your layout and design.
Don’t: Use clichéd or overused images
One of the drawbacks of using stock photos is that they can be overused by many other websites and blogs. This can make your blog look boring, unoriginal, or even dishonest. You don’t want to use the same images that everyone else is using, especially if they are clichéd or unrealistic. For example, avoid images of smiling people in suits shaking hands, people pointing at charts or graphs, or people working on laptops in exotic locations. These images are not only overdone, but they also don’t reflect the reality of most businesses or situations.
Instead, try to find unique and authentic images that stand out from the crowd. You can use filters, keywords, or categories to narrow down your search and find more specific and relevant images. You can also look for images that show diversity, personality, or emotion. These images will make your blog more engaging and relatable to your audience.
Do: Follow the license and attribution rules
Another important aspect of using stock photos is to respect the rights and rules of the creators and providers. Stock photos are not free to use without any restrictions or limitations. They are subject to different types of licenses and attribution requirements that you need to follow. For example, some stock photos are free to use for personal or commercial purposes without attribution, while others require you to pay a fee, credit the source, or obtain permission from the owner.
Before you use any stock photo, make sure you read and understand the license terms and conditions. You can usually find this information on the website where you downloaded the image or in the file itself. If you are unsure about the license or attribution rules, contact the provider or creator for clarification. Failing to follow the rules can result in legal consequences or damage to your reputation.
Don’t: Alter or modify the images without permission
Another common mistake that some bloggers make is altering or modifying the stock photos without permission from the owner or provider. This can include cropping, resizing, editing, adding text or logos, or combining multiple images into one. While some minor adjustments may be allowed under certain licenses, others may prohibit any changes or modifications to the original image.
If you want to alter or modify a stock photo, you need to check the license terms and conditions first. Some licenses may allow you to do so as long as you credit the source or obtain permission from the owner. Others may require you to purchase an extended license or pay a higher fee. If you are not sure about the rules, it is better to leave the image as it is or find another one that suits your needs.
Using stock photos for your blog posts can be a great way to enhance your content and attract more readers. However, you need to use them wisely and responsibly. By following these dos and don’ts of using stock photos for your blog posts, you can create a professional and appealing blog that stands out from the crowd.