Knowing how to use images to optimize your blog post can greatly improve your conversion rate.
They can be used to communicate emotions, trigger thought and engage your audience with the experience you are communicating.
Do you use images in your blog posts?
If you don’t, then you’d better start.
Did I hear you ask why?
Because apart from your headline, nothing on a page will get as much attention as the image and the caption you choose to use.
However, finding free images on Flickr you can use for your blog can become a huge distraction in the writing process, and most persons may just give up and publish a bland post instead of risking infringing someone’s copyright.
If you cannot afford to pay a premium for images from image websites like PhotoBucket, then it is wise to consider getting free images on Flickr.
Why Use Free Images on Flickr?
When talking pictures, most persons automatically think about Google, or recently, Bing (which has a great photo searching feature by the way). While those options are viable, there are some potential pitfalls you should be aware of.
When using Google to search for pictures, you want to be aware that the results you see on Google are pulled out from independent websites, and not submitted by Google. Some of those pictures are copyrighted by the source websites.
Have you noticed the ‘Similar Images’ link on Google image search result page?
It is there because most images are reused over and over again on the internet.
This makes it very difficult to find the true copyright owner of an image.
Instead of pulling an image from a website and giving that site credit (they may have pulled it out from a source they failed to credit), it is better to get your free images on Flickr.
Free images on Flickr are mostly taken by amateur photographers on subjects that appeal to them. They personally put up these images and set whether their photos can be used by other or not.
Images that are marked as Copyrighted cannot be used without getting the permission of the copyright owner.
Non-copyrighted images on Flickr will have the mark Creative Commons. If an image does not have the Creative Commons Mark, then it CANNOT be reused by you.
This may sound all complex, but believe me: it is important you understand all the legal issues associated with Flickr usage.
There are six types of creative Commons licences in use on Flickr, and the licence used on an image can influence what constitutes acceptable usage of that image.
To start your search for targeted images on Flickr, go over to the Creative Commons Page.
I will now attempt to guide you on the different licenses available and when the can be used.
The Flickr images used in this post all come under this license. This license allows you to modify, crop them, type text on them, use them for both commercial and non-commercial purposes without infringing on the copyright.
They only require that you place a link back to the profile of the photographer.
Now, is that cool or what?
Link to Attribution Licensed photos.
Under this license you are free to use the image in any context provided you link back to the profile of the photographer.
There is a restriction, though: You are not allowed to modify the image in any way. Use it as it is or let it go.
Link to Attribution-NoDerivs Licenced Photos.
This licence gives you the right to use photos as they are without any modification and for non-commercial purposes only.
So you cannot use this for a blog that displays ads, inside a product, or as an image for your banner ad. That list is not exhaustive. If you are making money in the context you intend to use the image, then this license prohibits such usage.
This one allows you to both display and modify the image as long as you do that in a non-commercial context. Not sure if you will start monetizing your platform in the future? Then stick to the Attribution Licensed photos.
This license permits non-commercial usage along with credits. You must add a link to both the license page of the image and to the profile of the photographer.
Link to Attribution Licenced photos
How to refine your search for free images on Flickr
As an example, search for the keyword ‘computer’.
This will search through all pictures submitted with that license and look through the tags and picture titles for a match. Most likely, the results you will get at first will not be particularly interesting.
Now, click on the ‘most interesting’ link situated just above the thumbnails.
The results you get now are the most popular for the keyword phrase used.
That is how to find hugely targeted free images on Flickr for your blog posts.
A bonus tip:To quickly search through a lot of images, click on thumbnails. This will return smaller versions of the images, allowing you to quickly browse through a lot more images in seconds.