At last, you’ve finished writing your epic blog post.
You feel pleased with your work, but right now it’s just a big page of text. So, you’d like to add an image or two to add some visual interest to the published post. Smart move!
The way you use images on your blog helps to show the type of person or brand you are, so it’s worth spending at least a few minutes thinking about how images fit into your content marketing strategy.
But where can you get a good quality image without paying for it? And what’s the cheapest, simplest way to edit the image before you use it?
Here are 4 excellent resources that bloggers can use to source, create, and edit images without spending any extra cash:
OK, you’ve almost certainly heard of Flickr before. It’s a big photo-sharing site that makes it easy to search for images under a Creative Commons licence.
You can download and use any of these images in your blog, as long as you stick to the Creative Commons licensing agreement. That means you’ll need to credit the image creator, and link back to the original image licence. In some cases, it may also mean that you can’t edit the image before using it, or that you can’t use the image on a commercial product.
Flickr is pretty easy to use, and holds a huge number of cool images on almost any theme. So once you’ve chosen an image, what can you use to edit it for free?
You don’t need to buy a copy of Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro to edit images for your blog.
Pixlr is a free online image editing service that you can access from any internet connection – and if you’re familiar with Photoshop, you already know how to use Pixlr, because a lot of the controls look very similar. There are Pixlr apps available from Google Play or the App Store, so you can use it on your smartphone, too.
This service makes it easy to do the most common image editing tasks bloggers face: cropping, resizing, or flipping images. But that’s not all it can do! Use it to remove blemishes from your photos, add text (handy if you’ll be sharing on Pinterest), or switch the colours in your image to suit your branding. It doesn’t take long, and it makes your blog look more professional.
If what you really want isn’t just an image, but more of an infographic, check out my next suggestion…
This is a self-service infographic creator for those times when you really need an informative custom graphic to get your point across. It’s simple to use: you start off with a visual theme, then add your own text, numbers, images and so on until you’ve got a unique infographic to show off on your blog post.
Easelly is a great way to try your hand at infographics even if you’re not an expert graphic designer, and once you find out how your blog’s readers respond to your new graphics, you might decide to create more!
The Awesome Screenshot browser plugin is one of the easiest ways to capture and edit your own images of what’s in your web browser. All you have to do is select the area or page to capture, and your screenshot is taken for you. Then you have a range of tools to perfect the image before you save it – you can crop, add text, and use arrows, lines or geometric shapes to draw the viewer’s attention to the right places.
There are a lot of different screen-capturing apps out there, but Awesome Screenshot is one of the simplest and fastest I’ve used. If you’d like to give it a try, it’s available as a plugin for Chrome, Firefox and Safari browsers.
So, now you can find, edit, create and capture images of all kinds. And it doesn’t have to cost you a penny!
Time to get creative:
Think of one page or post on your blog that could really use a compelling image to catch the reader’s eye and direct it to what you want them to see.
Got an idea? Great.
3… 2… 1… Make it!
Sophie Lizard is a successful freelance blogger on a mission to help bloggers increase their income by blogging for hire. Grab a free copy of her freelance blogger's cheat sheet, The Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs: 45 Blogs That Will Pay You $50 or More, and take a look at the free "How to Make A Living Blogging" Expert Interview Sessions!