|This image from Microsoft Office Images|
If you want people to read your blog posts, you must use images and use them strategically. They break up the monotony of text, attract attention, and add color and meaning to your words.
|This image from Graphic Fairy|
- Make them relevant to your content
- Size them so you can put text to the right or left (like all examples in this post)
- Use full size when doing tutorials or when it's important to show details
- Don't use images illegally
|This image from Stockvault.|
Legal Use of Images:
For the first year I was blogging, I thought I could use anything that wasn’t watermarked or didn’t specifically forbid downloading. Then I took an online course that explained that my ability to download an image didn’t mean I could use it legally. It took me many hours to remove images from my old posts, but I knew the Lord would want me to do things right. A Christian blog stealing images just wouldn’t do!
|This image from unprofound requires no attribution.|
Since that time, I’ve depended mostly on * Microsoft Office Images. If you own Microsoft Office, I encourage you to read their guidelines. See this Q&A which directs you to user guidelines.
Here’s a few other image sources I’ve found:
|This is my personal photo.|
* The Graphic Fairy offers free images of vintage artwork. They ask for attribution (blog name with link) when their images are used in blogs or websites.
*Use your own photos…take shots of you Bible, specific verses, friends and family in posed positions to match the themes of your articles or devotions.
|Mona Lisa is from Olga's Gallery.|
* Unprofound—aptly named, doesn't have the greatest collection, but all images are free and no attribution is required.
* Free Digital Photos sells images, but you can download certain sizes of most of their content if you give them full attribution with photographer's info and a link to their site within the post. Follow directions for download on their site and it will explain the correct way to do this.
|Bible Picture Gallery by William Hole|
For Christian Artwork, I've found several legal sites.
* Bible Picture Gallery offers some free images, but you can join for $3 a month or $23 for a lifetime. I opted for the lifetime membership for obvious reasons. They require attribution.
*Bible Revival offers a number of images for free use with attribution. It's hard to find specific images because there's no search tool, but you still might want to take a few hours to look through their lists and download images into a file folder for future use.
* Christians Unite appreciates attribution, but doesn't require it.
|Image Source LaVista Church of Christ|
*John Bell's Christian Art Gallery is an excellent source for non-profit use. Each of his works has a Scripture in it, and you are required to use it as is...you can't cut it or alter it. And I always put a link back to his site.
When doing a book review, it is legal to copy the image of the book cover for that use.
Artwork by John Bell copyright 1998-2007, used with permission
Finding legal and appropriate images takes extra time and effort, but it greatly enhances your blog posts, attracting and keeping reader interest.
P.S. Since writing this post, I learned that image use on the left side of the page breaks the reader's concentration. Read about this in my Font post.