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
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
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!”
More on 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