Humans are visual. 94% of blogs do not get read without a graphic, which is basically saying no graphic, no traffic.1
In addition to the user experience, images are a powerful contribution to being found for your blog topic if optimized. The best way to is ensure your blog is named for your keyword or subject title in the “alt tag” when uploaded to your site. Another easy and overlooked way to feature great images for your keywords is to submit them in google images under your company name. To do this, log in to your google account where your business is featured in google search, and upload a properly named, quality image.
This advice assumes your blog is on yourdomain.com which promotes credibility and SEO unlike free blogs, which are antiquated with the rise of quality hosting providers like Siteground starting at $4 p/mo and yearly domain registration at $12 p/yr.
The real expense is your creative time writing a blog. Value it and support it by ensuring you are using an image you have permission to use.
Permission can mean a google image, but at the minimum be sure to create a backlink to the source who provided that image and ideally, asking to use. Anyone who refuses credit *and* a backlink missed an opportunity. Backlinks are SEO gold, but that’s a future blog topic.
The problem isn’t that you won’t receive permission; it’s that you want to limit how many links send traffic away from your blog website! Even if visitors aren’t clicking away, search engines recognize how many links you provide that don’t link back to you.
I encourage no more than 5-10 if you really love the image, but paid images are affordable and worth the investment to promote the value your thought leadership.
This blog isn’t about the hassles of a cease and desist notice for stealing visual creativity, it’s about how to avoid to that as Internet piracy increases to be cracked down on.
You don’t need to read another blog encouraging you to create your own graphics, you would already be doing that by now if that were your bag. You just need to understand the importance of graphics on your website (pages too) for your SEO and owning permission to use them.
Even short blogs consistently posted are still better than the ones never being written. -Veronica Cannady
It’s much easier to write 3-4 paragraphs once you define what the sub-headers or supporting paragraphs will be.
Spending time investigating SEO tools is fun, but when getting started to implement actual writing – keep it simple.
You don’t need to spend time on a tutorial for a tool you already know and frequently use. Use that one.
The best free keyword research tool to outline your next blog is (ta da) Google Suggest.
Google Suggest provides the initial search it “thinks” you want before you finish typing the query, after your selection it then provides related searches with even more specificity. The data is based on the volume of searches it receives.
What this means in a nutshell: instead of being conditioned to see that data for your searches, realize how that data helps your ideal prospect find your services!
The first search query confirms your title is one that is suggested (therefore searched for frequently) and the featured Google search data is more specific which means more qualified readership (and purchasers).
This blog is an example demonstrating how Google Suggest data helps create a blog outline with sub-headers based on high volume, specific searches.
What makes Google Suggest the best keyword research tool free are the three opportunities presented in one search query. Before we visit these steps, it’s important to understand the value each presents.
So How Do I Access Free Images for Blogs?
Free graphics sites like Pixabay are very, very, very limited. They are also saturated in the market.
What does that mean?
That means the eyes will glaze over redundancy rather than click on your blog.
Free is extremely limited but vastly superior to risking a copyright infringement on google images because a “mea culpa” could still cost you if the source decides to pursue damages.
I’m not kidding. This actually happens.
Blog Images for the Entrepreneur Budget
I get it. Every success had a start-up budget.
A $1-5 investment isn’t cost prohibitive to support your content in a way that few will take the time and faith in their message to do.
If you find a great google graphic and have permission to do so, start there. Pixabay is acceptable. But by 6 months of blogging, 6 graphics is under $100 on Fiveer, iStockphoto, or Canva. More importantly, if you’re still blogging consistently, you’re the only one!
95% of bloggers abandon their efforts within 6 months to a year.2
Readership traction takes time, images with alt tags supporting SEO are and easy and overlooked way to promote traffic to your site (even search google images?) and engagement from an original visual.
Blog Images that Get Your Business Noticed
Conversion means a visitor engages with your website. That can mean a click, a share, or expanding a blog image to enlarge it.
This is success before it converts to dollars, because it means your visitor resonate with your message.
If done well, you can be asked to guest blog on a high-traffic or credible site like Forbes for free in exchange for a backlink to your website.
If this happens, do a happy dance and email me so I can feature your case study on my blog
The invitation can be a local group that will provide a backlink – the significance of getting to this stage means your blog efforts are returning on investment. And for that to happen, your blog needs to be found, shared, and have an optimized image.
Does the local news source want to feature you? Great.
If you receive only one thing from this blog – ask for a do-follow hyperlink to your website.
Confidence sells. Professionals worth their rate ask for this. Consider if you want to be seen as a newbie or a professional with a paid fee to write or to consult or speak.
Don’t make this a deal breaker, just remember to ask. This alone will differentiate you in a positive way.
Why do you blog? It’s free consulting to provide trust so your following can find your business and hire you to help them.-Veronica
How this happens is because unlike the 95% of bloggers who quit, you write based on keyword research, add images with alt tags and shared on your business google page so it appears in google image search, and if you receive a backlink you submit it on google webmaster tools.
You don’t need to know how to do all of this to start with a blog, with consistency, with an image.
Blog Image Sourcing:
It’s not free, but it is cheap, and will differentiate your content from the masses who don’t realize what the real cost of free means to their hiring rate, readability, and time.
It only takes about $30-50 to differentiate yourself.
Start with free sources like:
Canva.com ($1 images that you can edit)
Or consider the entry level investment in istockphoto.com by getty images because – it’s better than other graphics than stockphoto or 123rf.com. This is what they do.
Or even consider Fiverr to test $20 on images? Start with at least four $5 gigs to decipher whom to invest more with.
What is your time and expertise worth?
It’s worth a quality, permission-based, optimized image.
Like this blog? Click here to read more about keyword research or –
Connect with me on LinkedIn and let me know how it goes or submit a question to me.
Happy blogging (while targeting your readership)!