Just like everything else online, using images in your blog posts is fairly easy, but it’s also easy to make a mistake. Here are some of the most common image-related mistakes and how to avoid them:
Not using an image. It’s better to use a generic image than no image at all if you can’t find the specific photo or graphic you want. Even if the image doesn’t directly support the text of the blog post, it still provides the benefits of breaking up text and pulling people in.
Not resizing the image. While images can make your blog looked polished and professional, having images that hang over into the margins or that are cut off is sloppy blogging. Use a free software program (Irfanview.com is great) or, if you’re on a Mac, your preview tool, to resize the image to the right proportions.
Stealing someone else’s images. There are so many places that you can get non-copyrighted images, there’s no excuse for stealing someone’s copyrighted work. Many photographers and illustrators rely on their work for their livelihood; don’t get yourself in hot water (or bad karma!) by usurping their stuff.
Using too many images. Yes, it is possible to overdo it on the photos and illustrations. Make sure each graphic you use adds to the quality of the overall blog post. If you don’t need it, don’t use it.
Using images your audience cannot relate to. Just as the bikini woman is probably not a great draw when trying to reach middle-aged moms, you can easily miss the mark with graphics and photos if you don’t know who you’re writing for. This is where knowledge of your market is critical; know what they want, and give it to them.
If you’re worried about using images properly, just start slow. Begin by using your own photos so you don’t have to worry about copyright issues, and practice resizing, uploading, and tagging. You’ll soon be ready to take on bigger challenges, and your blog will thrive as a result of your efforts.