This is part 7 of a blogging series about bad blogging advice. In part 1 I shared 11 pieces of bad blogging advice and below is a brief recap of what we have covered in this series so far. In this blog post we are going to cover another bad blogging misconception: if the image is online it is free.
Please never assume that an image is free. At the end of this post you will see a power point that walks through the steps of finding an image on Bing.com. To protect yourself, your blog and your bank account pay close attention to where images online actually came from. I personally find this process so stressful that I use an image service called Photoxpress and pay $37.50 a month for 25 images that I know are legal.
Below is a summary of the first five tips in this series.
#1 If you just write it they will read it.
#1 is flat out not true. Just because you write blog posts and release it, it does not mean that your readers will find you. There are so many reasons for this. Read the full blog post here: Bad Blogging Advice Part 1
#2 Design doesn’t matter.
There is much more to design then pretty pictures even. Design includes the font type, the spacing between the lines and how the text fits on the page. Read the full blog post here: Bad Blogging Advice Part 2
#3 Blog on a free domain and move it later.
This is a subject that I am so passionate about that I wrote a three part blog series on it. The links are listed below and so in this post I will make one statement. Invest in your company and believe in it enough to buy your own domain name and host it yourself. Read the full blog post here: Bad Blogging Advice Part 3
#4 Write amazing content
This is a controversial topic and frankly it is a vague tip.What exactly is good content? How do you define it other than to say that you know it when you read it. The problem with the statement is that it stops people, I sure know that it has stopped me plenty. Read the full blog post here: Bad Blogging Advice Part 4
#5 Blogging will save your SEO problems
I do believe that blogging can make an impact on your search engine rankings but it is not the SEO solution that you may have been hoping for. I like to think of SEO as ongoing action item list. However, before we get too far read a brief summary of the first bad blogging tips below. Read the full blog post here: Bad Blogging Advice Part 5
#6 Blogging is easy, just write some stuff
Perhaps that is true if you are journalist but for the rest of us, writing is the hardest part. If you are a natural born entertainer who loves being on stage, it is difficult to understand why the rest of us want to puke the entire time. Read the full blog post here: Bad Blogging Advice Part 6
#7 Don’t worry about it, those images are free because they are online.
First, let me scream! Arhhhhhhhh! Ok thanks. This issue is becoming even more confusing because there are more and more places to get these free images. The problem is that you must carefully read the rules related to any specific image.
For example, you can go to bing.com, choose your license option, do an image search and still not trust what you see. In the slideshare below I walk thru the steps to find out if an image is really free for use. As you will see the image is free to use with attribution but I had to do a lot of research to find that answer.
Now things have gotten even more confusing because Getty Images has changed the rules. Not too long ago Getty was suing people for illegally using their images. I know someone personally who wound up having to pay a large sum of money to them for image theft. This person had to remove all of the images from their blog posts and we are talking well over 100 posts here. My friend had to take his book off of the market due to this issue as well. It was not pretty and the sad part is that he had no idea he was doing anything illegal. It was an honest mistake but a costly one none the less.
In this article: Getty Images announces that they are now giving away 35 million images for free. On the surface this seems extremely exciting and it actually is but with all free things there is a catch. You must use their html code to insert this image and it will link back to them. For the average blogger this is probably not a problem at all but you do need to consider who, why and when you are giving link juice away on your site.
There are other places to get free images with attribution but that is another blog post all to itself. Most of the time I actually buy the images that I use on this blog. I do this for peace of mind. There is a lot to think about with blogging and in the end I just feel better knowing that I own the image.
Another factor for me is that I like to add to the images or manipulate them. One of the common rules with free images is that you can not manipulate the image. Considering that I like to add text and my logo to an image this rules out plenty of free for me.[notification type=”alert”]Where do you get your images? Do you worry about where an image actually came from?[/notification]
Did you know that someone places an image that they purchased on a site such as flickr and pronounce it as free and you use it you are still liable if caught? In the end when you put an image on your blog or website you are responsible for the legality of that image. You can not say “but that person said it was free.” This is just one more reason that I get nervous and purchase images, most of the time.