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Blog Images: The Ultimate Guide to Use Images in Your Blog

Blog Images. Two words that cause considerable headaches for many bloggers. It’s millions of tasks like — where to get images that look good, come in high quality and are safe to use in your blog? How to use them to actually improve your site? Where to place them? How many is wise to include? What is the ideal size? Well, the team at PixelRockstar has used many years of personal experience to collect blog images best practices, and brings the…

PixelRockstar’s Ultimate Guide to Blog Images in WordPress

Any WordPress blogger out there already knows that most experts recommend to add images to blog posts in order to make them more appealing to readers, to increase credibility and authority, and overall engagement with your content. And you really need this: WordPress is the home for 76.5 billion blogs so far! To stand out in this massively packed space, you need all the visual help you can get. Images to the rescue!

There are a lot of aspects to consider when it comes to using images in your blog. And we address them all. Dive in!

1. Where to Find Images for Blog Posts

Getting images to use in your blog is a process. Finding a reliable source that has the kind of imagery you like is only the first step. Then you need to find the right image for your every post, plus making sure the photo is legally safe to use in your site. Once all that is done, you proceed to download the images from the source, and importing them into your WP library to add them to your entries. Some ways to do this:

Stock Photo Agencies  One of the most reliable options. The most serious online stock photo agencies have libraries with millions of images to choose from, commonly in HD or superior quality. Usually these sites sell their photos under a form of Royalty Free license, which is very flexible and cover multiple uses in commercial and editorial projects, including blogging. These images are paid, but the companies offer very competitive prices for small budgets, ranging from $1 to $15 per download, and even less than $1 each when buying in bulk. Therefore to buy images for website can be very time consuming.

The downside is that this system is a bit clumsy when it comes to blogging, that adds many time consuming steps to your workflow: visit a website, run searches, sort results, pick an image, prepay credits, download it to your computer, and finally import it into WP.

Free Images Websites – If you don’t have margin in your budget for photos, or if you simply think it’d be good to save that expense, you probably are already thinking about “getting free images for WordPress”. That’s actually a common beginners approach.

While it’s true there are certain trust-worthy sources for free images online, it is also very true that said “free images for blogs” are a risk when you use them in your website. It’s a much safer practice to go for legally verified, cheap paid images. But if you must use free photo resources, make sure you are doing it right. You can learn more about this in our article about The Risk in Using Free Photos in WordPress.

PixelRockstar – There is another alternative to get better blog images if you are a blogger using WordPress. At PixelRockstar we developed a service that aims at providing great photos to use in blogs and websites on WP, in a streamlined and simple way. Our WordPress plugin integrates a collection of over 4 million high-quality stock photos right into your WP layout, and you can search and apply photos from the library into your posts in a few simple clicks. The service is paid and comes in three different tiers according to number of downloads. It’s also worth mention all PixelRockstar images are under our custom Digital License specifically designed for publishing purposes, which covers the use of photos in any WordPress site you own, plus in any visual materials to support it (such as social media posts for example).

2. How to Create Blog Images that Engage your Audience

Of course, you don’t want to just use images in your blog, you want to create blog images that are awesome and that serve to your purpose of engaging your readers and boosting up the ranking and traffic of your site. But how to create better blog images? Here are a few tips:

  • Content related: Make sure you choose relevant images with a concept that relates to your copy and enhances it. Users hate filler images that appear to be there for no reason, and adding images just for the sake of adding them can actually hurt your blog posts.
  • Photos: Choosing photography for your blog images is a smart choice, for most viewers love them. Aim at having a predominance of people photos, which are the ones readers can relate to the most. As for style, go with the most trendy aesthetics of our days: authentic, non-posed photography with real people in real situations.
  • Graphics: Infographics are certainly a great addition to your blog posts. Presenting relevant info in a visual and didactic way helps to better communicate your ideas and to keep readers interested.
  • High Quality: This is one not to be overlooked. Studies conclude the quality of the imagery you use in your blog speaks about your level of professionalism. People tend to give a higher credibility status to content that is accompanied by high-quality photos. So aim for the highest resolution you can afford (at PixelRockstar we have affordable HD imagery waiting for you!)

3. How Many Images Per Blog Post

Everybody has their own preferences, but if we are going to talk about cold facts based on data analysis, too much of a good thing can certainly be a bad thing. Using too many photos in your blog posts is as bad as using none.

So what is the ideal number? It varies depending on the type of articles you write. If you stick to the “short and sweet” concept, then featured image and maybe one image in the body of the post could be sufficient. If you are one for longer, deeper pieces, one image every 350 words is a good ratio.

Heads up: the placing of images is also relevant. Experts suggest that using a mid-sized image aligned right or left with your first paragraph is great for reader engagement: it catch their eyes, and the visual illusion of the text lines being shorter due to alignment makes them more keen on reading them. Moreover, images are great to emphasize links and call-to-actions, so using them to introduce an external link or to remark an actionable button or phrase is also a good blogging strategy.

4. What Size Should Blog Images Be

When it comes to blog images, image size is not only about the visual appearance, but about the load speed and how it affects the reader experience. Nobody wants small photos which details cannot be appreciated properly, but everybody hates to wait precious seconds for a photo to load. How to solve it? Here are some hints:

  • Match width to blog content area: set images to be as wide as your blog post field goes, and no further. If you select a bigger width than the field allows, you will simply lose details in the image, or make it look terribly unaligned with your text blocks.
  • Keep an eye on file size: the height and width of your image will also determine how big the file is, of course. And larger files will slow down your load speed. While you should never neglect image resolution, this is another good reason to not to use images wider than your blog content area.

5. How to Make Sure Readers Enjoy your Images

Optimize, Optimize, Optimize! — Despite how well you do choosing and using images in your blog, if they take too long to load, nobody will see them. What’s worse, nobody will stay in your website long enough to see them, or to read the content you worked hard to write. Which is exactly the opposite to what you want from blog images. How to solve this? By optimizing load speed and making sure your image files are not hurting it. Here’s how:

  • Compress images: Compressing technology is a great aid in making your image files smaller, and therefore lighter and faster loading. There’s a wide array of options to use for this. We particularly love Imagify, a service that automatically compresses all images added to your WordPress library. It’s affordable, automatic and very efficient. We love using Imagify here on PixelRockstar as well.
  • Use a CDN: The big internet markets are located all around the globe, and CDN services are a very useful way to ensure you reach out to users worldwide with the best loading speed possible. There are very good services for this, like CDN77 which offers website speed acceleration among other solutions for a low cost, and includes a 14 days free trial. We actually use CDN77 here on PixelRockstar and on all our other websites.

Improve your Blog Images to Reach your Blogging Goals

Armed with our guide for blog images, you will be able to make better and more accurate use of images for blogs or websites.

We hope you find our Ultimate Guide to Blog Images in WordPress useful, and that it helps you take your blog images to the next level.

Rock on, Rockstar!