Yes, your words are beautiful, thoughtful, and mesmerizing, but people still like pretty pictures. Pictures add interest to your blog post and pull in readers from search results. Pictures help with SEO by letting search engines know you are a real person. It works because robots do not like pretty things or something like that.
So how do you get images (legally)?
- Take a picture of something beautiful or interesting or random, like these circus peanuts. Once you start seeing all the opportunities to snap a pic, just store them until the right post comes along.
- Draw a picture and snap a photo of it. This one is easy to do while coloring with the kids. Robert Lee Brewer sometimes just writes something on a piece of paper; if not always artistic, it is always relevant.
- Take a shot of your kids, but blur them out. Your kids are super cute, but you may not want to share them with the world. So use the trick of having them hold an object to obscure their face.
- Make a picture in Powerpoint or Word using basic shapes, colors, and text. Paste the image into Paint to easily save as a .jpg. Little skill needed as shown in this post.
- Use an app like Drawing Free or Charadium or KidsDoodle that lets you email the picture to yourself or save to your photo stream. I did this in my teenlit drama.
- Know people who can take pictures for you. You need to have friends on farms, in the islands, and in the city who can snap a cow or a mango or whatever you need.
- Check out illustrator's sites which may have art fitting your post. If you are very sweet, they may just let you post it with a link back to their site like I did in writing rut. Just leave yourself extra time to get the response.
- Mine your old picture albums. Remember your childhood pet Sebastian the lizard? He is just right for your post on character development.
- Flickr is a place people upload their pictures and specify the licensing. Not all of Flick is free use, so make sure you check the restrictions for your image. Usually you need to credit the creator. (Thank you LOLren for Yellow Chicken)
- Google provides the option to search by "usage rights." Select the "free to use and share" option to keep your search legal.
Note, if you search "free images", many sites will appear. In the fine print, the pictures may be royalty free but you need to pay a small amount to use the picture or you need to buy a membership. I am a cheap accountant type, so when I say free, I mean zero cents.
Do you have other great sources? Please share them in the comments.