Using images in blog posts

cards with the word "option" in different colours

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Of course you don’t need to have images to go with your posts.  It’s your blog and you should do whatever you want to do with it.  I like to use images with my posts to add some visual interest, so in this post I’ll go through my process for incorporating images into my blog.

I usually select an image before I even start writing the article.  Typically I just have one image per post, although I don’t really have any reason for that other than it’s easy.  I didn’t used to set featured images for each post, but now I use the same image both in the body of the post and as a featured image.  As far as I know there’s no great overarching “right way” when it comes to this; mostly it depends on how you’ve got your blog display settings configured.  What I did discover is that if you don’t have a feature image set and your post contains multiple images, when it posts to social media it will use the last image that appears in the post, not the first.  If you set a feature image that’s what will show in the social media post.

My go to is Pixabay, which I like because it has graphic designs as well as photos.  Gerd Altmann (username geralt), who created the image above, is remarkably prolific on Pixabay.  Unsplash is great for photos, and Pexels is good too.  Wikimedia Commons has all the graphics used on Wikipedia pages.  Graphics from all of these sites can be used freely.  Attribution to the artist is the polite thing to do, but not required.

Doing an image search on Google will turn up every image Google finds anywhere on the web, but most of the images are copyrighted and you’re not supposed to reuse them.  I recently learned from someone (and I’d link to them except I can’t remember who it was) that if you click on “Tools” below the image search bar, a little menu bar will pop up.  Click on “usage rights” and then “labeled for reuse”.  This will narrow down the image results that you see.  I’m not sure if that’s 100% reliable, but at least you’re trying to do the right thing.  As an individual blogger the chances of anyone tracking you down for copyright infringement are probably pretty slim, but it’s good practice to avoid it.

When you download the image, you can save it under whatever the original file name was, or you can create your own file name.  For SEO purposes, the image file name should be somewhat descriptive of what the image is.   For this post, I saved the image as “options” rather than as 20190130r5u322.  You’ll also want to enter an “alt text”.  This is in part so search engines know what your image is about, which helps your SEO, but it also allows your visually impaired readers to “see” what the image is.

Using  a descriptive file name also makes it easier to search through your WordPress media to reuse something.  It was only a couple of months ago that I realized you could actually search images in your WordPress editor by filename.  I had been thinking for a long time how silly it was that they didn’t have that feature, so I’m not sure why I took me so long to notice it.

If you’re copying and pasting images into your WordPress editor, they’re not treated the same way as saved images you upload into WordPress, and you’re not able to enter alt text.

If you want to get creative and make your own graphics, Canva is a great tool.  I use Canva to make a graphic for each blog post to use on Pinterest.

How do you use images on your blog?

 

Have you checked out my book Psych Meds Made Simple?  It’s available on Amazon as an ebook or paperback.

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36 thoughts on “Using images in blog posts

  1. Melanie B Cee says:

    I used to do it like you do, I’d find an appropriate photo or graphic to go with my post. One per post. These days I don’t use images all the time, but only now and then. And there’s usually more than one in a post. I like the idea of using them with the weekly Share Your World challenge, but have gotten some negative feedback about doing that. It’s hard to copy and paste if there’s a picture in the way (for those who are text/graphic manipulation challenged of course). I like a picture or graphic. It adds a little spice.

  2. Keto For Beginners says:

    I have lots of challenges when it comes to images, not being very computer savvy, I’m sure I make it harder than it has to be, just because I don’t know the shortcuts. Usually, I use Unsplash and Pixabay, then I write my post, save it, find it again on my Ipad and THEN I insert my photos, then publish. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get to my pictures from my blog on my computer, so I have to do it my way. It’s worked so far, but people can’t click to enlarge any of my photos, I don’t know why. I need a computer guru looking over my shoulder for about a week, lol.

  3. Paula Light says:

    I use them every post because it makes the posts look more interesting in the readers. Long ago, when more people just visited via blogrolls, I didn’t bother that much.

  4. Meg says:

    Alt text is a concept I’ve never grasped, but it sounds like something that’s worth trying! I ought to try out Canva too! And I wish I could take the time to save each image I find by a name rather than whatever it’s already named! I can never find images I want on my computer! But oh geez, that would take forever to remedy now! Wow, that tip for searching using tools is brilliant!! A lot of info here!!

  5. moreharmthangoodblog says:

    I use Canva too. 🙂 I do like to use pictures if possible, but sometimes if I just need to get the words out there, if it’s a personal post I’ll just post without pictures. I enjoy creating images to go with posts though. Nice to hear how others think, in terms of pictures. 🙂

  6. Brendan Birth says:

    If I see an image that looks like it fits well with my post, then I have a photo with my blog post. But I don’t want to force it either, hence why I don’t always have an image with my blog posts.

  7. eirlysgwenllian says:

    I am very, very negligent about images, I hardly ever use them in my posts, and I can count on the fingers of one hand how often I used stuff like Pixabay. I’m blind, and, while I know many blind people who do use much more graphic on their blogs/websites, I can’t say I bother about images. I was very concerned about the visual and graphic stuff at the beginning of my current blog, as it was practically my first blog that could potentially really reach more people, and I was afraid that it’s going to be one big disaster and failure in the world that is so obsessed with visual stuff and everything has to be graphic, and that SEO depends on images so much. But then I just cooled down about it and told myself that, since already the whole world is packed with visual stimuli, my blog won’t, even just to emphasise my quirkiness and that I like doing things in a different way if possible. I guess why most people like images so much – other than sight being the dominant sense for the majority where they get most stimuli from – is that, unlike words, they don’t require so much focus. You can just flick through them, while with words, you need to sit down and read and think to make sense and understand what someone is saying, I guess it’s a more complex process than looking at an image. Just like most people prefer watching TV to reading, because it’s not necessary to think so much while watching vs reading. But I want people to think when they’re reading my posts, because it’s unfair that I have to think so much writing them and they’ll just scroll through the pics, and I don’t like thoughtlessness so why should I invite thoughtless people to my world. That certainly does mean that my stats are lower than could be, and sometimes it bothers me, but then on the other hand I wouldn’t like my blog to be too popular, as there are people whom I definitely don’t want to read my blog, and naturally, if I went viral or something it would be hard to avoid them knowing that I have a blog, and I couldn’t be as open as I currently am and wouldn’t feel safe anymore.
    Also, while I guess I’m not the most ignorant about tech stuff, you got to know something more than how to browse Google when you’re blind, I’m also very far from being a savvy, which, added to my visual impairment, makes images a challenge and is stressful. I probably stress about it more than I should and make too much of a problem of it, but oh well, I do that with almost everything in life. I’m also anxious that I will do something wrong with those images, like insert a wrong one, or that I’ll mess it up so it won’t display correctly, whatever. So when I do post something with images, I get very angsty, and my Mum has to check immediately how it looks, otherwise I’ll be overthinking that for ages. I don’t say I will never use more images, perhaps when I’ll move on someday with my blog and would like to make something bigger out of it, I will. I think it can be real fun. For now though, I mostly post pics of Misha, because Misha is really beautiful in my opinion and I want people to see that too, and Misha likes being admired more than anything else, and it’s logical since it’s Misha’s blog too. Other than that, I almost only post images when it’s really important for some reason. OMG that was an elaborate! 😀

  8. Liz says:

    You probably read the Google tip via my blog when it came to images, as I re-shared another blogger post on the topic, after I first learnt about it via her.
    It was suggested at the end of the post of hers that to double-check on the image, just to be sure it could be re-used.
    Although a good tip and something new I learnt, I have not used any images this way for my blog. I tend to use my own, if I am going to put an image in.

  9. Rising Star says:

    Loved your article great lady, it’s an article along with a subject to know about different sites where we have to choose the image, I was really in search of that for my blog posts. Thanks.

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