I help a lot of small mom-and-pop businesses get their feet wet with WordPress, and teaching them how to create posts and pages is high priority. Most of these small biz owners catch on pretty quickly, despite their lack of experience, but there’s one “gotcha” that they almost all face. Many of these newbie bloggers completely avoid using images in their posts because the idea of finding and editing images is just a little too intimidating. Have you ever found yourself saying any of these?
- Pixels? DPI? What??!!!
- Layers? I just want to move the text I put on top of the picture. What’s a layer got to do with that?
- Someone said I could get sued for using the wrong images. Is that true?
- Never mind, forget the pictures. I’ll just do without them.
Overcome The Fear Of Image Manipulation
There are plenty of ways you can find, edit, and use images in your blog posts, but knowing all the ways is just as intimidating as knowing none of them. Today, I’m going to show you quick ways to kick the crap out of your fear of using images in blog posts. Let’s break it down into stages… FINDING / EDITING / PRESENTING
Finding The Right Images Without Getting Into Trouble
Someone said I could get sued for using the wrong images. Is that true?
Yes, actually that is true. Whatever you do, DON’T search for an image on Google, and then use one you like. More than likely, you’ll be using a copyrighted image, and that’s a big NO-NO. I won’t go into all the details about copyright here. Just stick with the advice I’m about to give and you’ll be fine. (But do check out the resources at the end of this post, anyway!)
If you want to use images that don’t cost any money, and won’t get you into copyright trouble, go to Morgue Files. If you would rather use images that are of higher quality than Morgue Files offers, and don’t mind spending up to $1 for the perfect image, go to Fotolia*. While there are thousands of other places you could obtain images from, you’ll end up spending more time than necessary in the process. If you need a good, safe image to use on your blog, you’ll find it at one of these two places.
Editing The Image
I tried to use Photoshop but I got confused. Pixels, DPI, huh? I just want to resize and crop the picture, and put some text on it. Help!
Image editors – even the simplest ones – never seem to be simple enough. They all come with too many options, when all most small biz bloggers want is JUST the kitchen sink. PicMonkey* is an online image editor everyone can understand. I can’t promise there’s no learning curve at all, but it’s the simplest learning curve you could hope to find. PicMonkey can be used for free, although the premium version is plenty affordable and worth the price. You can choose the monthly plan, at $4.99 a month, or the annual plan, at $33 a year. The Royale (premium version) gets you ads-free editing and a boat-load of extra awesome effects, fonts, overlays, and textures to use.
Make It Pop!
Of course, if your blog post can get away with using an image that really POPS, then by all means, don’t be afraid to get creative. Since I’m discussing creativity right now, I could get away with using this image that I downloaded from Fotolia.
Yep, that pops! But not every business, nor every blog post, can make use of such creative imagery. Sometimes, you are forced to use plain old boring images, like a photo of an industrial machine. Boring, right? Even boring images can pop! Don’t believe me? Check out the blog post I did on Thinglink. I’ve used Thinglink on the image of an industrial machine below to make the image suddenly become INTERACTIVE.
Go ahead, hover your mouse over the picture below, and then hover over the icons that appear. See? Boring becomes POP!
That’s it! Forget about lawsuits. Forget about scramble-your-brain image editors. Forget about boring! You can FIND, EDIT, and PRESENT images even if you’re just a newbie to all of this. If you’ve been intimidated by images, give this a try. Let me know how it goes.
* I really wanted to use a bogus statistic in the title of this post, but I chickened out at the last minute. So, just to keep myself from losing sleep over the fact that I’m a big fat chicken, I’ll put the bogus title way down here, where no one will notice it. … FACT: 94% Of All Small Business Bloggers Feel Intimidated When Confronted By This …
Resources and Further Reading: