blogs / book reviews

A Useful Book for Bloggers

Here’s a great nonfiction book for all my blogging friends by Terry Schrandt over at Second Wind Leisure Perspectives:

Better Blogging with Photography–great hints on using photos (and images) legally in your blogs

5/5

As a teacher author, I spend lots of time worrying about the legal and practical use of photos in my blogs (I have three of them). I’ve heard horror stories from efriends who ended up paying $thousands for photos they thought were free. Getting permissions and using public domain images is the smart way to handle blog images but not as easy as it sounds. I have my own photographs but they usually look amateurish.

That’s why I picked up Terry Schrandt’s Better Blogging With Photography: How to Maximize Your Blog Using Your Own Images (Second Wind Leisure Publishing 2016). I use tons of pictures in blog posts, social media, and books I write. Making sure they’re all legal is a challenge. I know just enough about copyright law to worry that despite my best efforts, I’m breaking the law. Terry points out the simple solution: Make your own pictures.

The book starts by asking one simple question:

“Are you a new blogger struggling to get more readers? Are you a seasoned blogger continually seeking inspiration for quality blog posts? Do you feel there is something missing from your blog or website?”

She explains that any online writing goes better with pictures. Your blog must include the image that will attract an audience, make them look twice, and then announce it appealingly on social media platforms.

Here’s how Terry unpacks this (the chapter titles):

  • Why use images on your blog or website
  • How to curate and use your own images
  • Editing your images
  • How to use your images to generate blog ideas and readers
  • Cresting readership with your images
  • Photo-friendly social networking
  • Resources

A few of her suggestions I liked are (with quotes when taken directly from the book):

  • “I started taking photos of everything, just in case I needed it for a blog post.”
  • “…if you write a blog post with no images, you may as well not even bother to publish the post.”
  • “According to Katie Paul: ‘When I blog, I usually spend more time finding and formatting a photo than I do writing the post. I pay careful attention to my pictures because I know that 63% of social media is made up of images and engagement with images is…'”
  • “Why use your own images? Can you say ‘copyright infringement’?”
  • “Even posting the following so-called disclaimer on your blog is basically useless. ‘This blog claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted.'”
  • “Creative Commons sites do not guarantee that they have the right to give you permission to use the image at all. You are using the images at your own risk.”
  • A nice use of images is as background for quotations.
  • Good online image editors (both freemium) are PicMonkey and Canva.

I teach a lot of classes that touch on the legal and professional use of images online. The safest solution is to create your own. With a few adaptations, this book could be a text for those classes. As Terry says:

“…a thousand words (in a blog post) are worth a picture!”

View all my reviews


More on blogging

27+ Tips I Wish I’d Known About Blogging

If You Aren’t Blogging, Should You?

14 Writing Tips from Blogging


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Against All Odds, Winter 2020. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

68 thoughts on “A Useful Book for Bloggers

  1. Very sound advice! And apart from a few exceptions that’s exactly what I’ve done from the start – using my own photos. 😊 I even think that by doing it my photo taking skills have even improved since from when I started blogging. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m a new blogger and frankly I have no clue on what I’m doing yet but I know in time it will all come to me. Also thank you for sharing this book, I will definitely look into it. In the meantime let me see how to add pictures on my blog…🤔

    Liked by 2 people

  3. As one who uses a lot of photos in blogs and in presentations, this sounds like it might be an interesting book. I do take a lot of my own photos and try to use other “free” sites such as Pixabay or VisualHunt and credit the owner… but I wonder now if that’s enough. At the same time, I have seen some of my photos available for sale on the internet, but I never upload the full image size so what they’re selling isn’t the best product. Thanks for the review.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Using online images is complicated. Public domain pictures when gathered in a collected by someone can then be sold and you can’t use them. I think the collection is then protected rather than the pictures. It’s quite confusing.

      Like

  4. This is really useful!! Thank you so much. I just think of start blogging and found your post is really helping me know where to start without risking from illegal photo use.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Creative Commons allows artists to tell users about their license. It might be public domain but they might require attribution, or a linkback, or not allow changes, or a bunch of other options. Still, it’s a useful license to attach to creative work.

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  5. I worry about that too, so I always do my very best to make sure the images I use I’m legally allowed (with the required references). I didn’t know about creative commons, though. I thought those images were supposed to be as their licence agreement states!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so paranoid, I signed up for a photo service. I pay them monthly and get a certain number of images. Creative Commons–it is according to license. Few are absolutely free. Most require attribution. All are fair.

      Like

    • I have so many, it’s a ridiculous problem. I’ve found the best solution is to throw them all into one folder and use Ctrl+F to search for the right image. Of course, you have to have named them well, not DO866589.

      Like

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