Those very generous people at Getty Images have just done us bloggers a massive favour.
Now, we all know that adding images to a blog post increases engagement. What’s that? You didn’t? There’s always one. OK, let’s backtrack to step one for any latecomers – adding images to a blog post increases engagement.
As a species, we’re pre-conditioned to respond to visual stimuli which help us add context to our environment. If those visual stimuli include kittens, our responsiveness increases dramatically. There’s almost certainly some research which bears that out but, to be honest, I was too busy going “awwwww” at pictures of kittens to hunt it down.
You Got Me Bang To Rights Guv’nor
Using an image at the start of a blog post helps it to stand out from the crowd and attracts the eye of potential readers. Whether it’s in a WordPress ‘Reader’ pane, on a Facebook page or embedded in a tweet, an image will exponentially increase your post’s visibility over a straight text headline every time. Hence (ah, dear old “hence”) we spend many an hour trawling Google Images for eye-catching, relevant, snappy images with which to bedeck our posts. This is all great fun and 100% illegal.
Yep. Illegal. All those images you found? They’re under copyright and you have no rights to use them whatsoever. They’re someone else’s intellectual property, you’re technically a criminal and will probably be banged up without parole for several lifetimes as soon as the Old Bill catch up with you. This is where Getty have stepped in to prevent prisons becoming overcrowded with bloggers desperate for their daily phone call to dictate the latest post in their “Blogger Behind Bars” series to their trusty sidekick on the outside.
Getty have decided that, as people are going to use their images anyway, they may as well embrace the trend and make around 35 million of their images free for non-commercial use. You can now embed images directly to your blog without having to pay any kind of fee – the image itself will link back to the source image on Getty, which contains all relevant copyright information. This makes the new setup a winner for everyone involved: you get a free image, they get more traffic, and Knuckles Brigstock doesn’t have to share a cell.
Photographers, understandably, are divided as to whether this move is a Good Thing or a Bad Thing. That’s not a debate I’m about to get into here, as photographers can get rather snappy (Snappy – geddit??)
Here’s How You Spruce Up Your Blog
For bloggers on the hunt for quality – and legal – imagery, however, it is most definitely a Good Thing. OK, so you do have to put up with a whopping great Getty Images logo underneath your photo, but that’s a fairly small price to pay, I would maintain. And there are ways around that, although I shall refrain from elucidating on them in public… Public Elucidation is probably still a crime in parts of Europe.
So how, you may be wondering, does one take advantage of such largesse? Well, the good news is, it’s so easy even writers can do it!
1) Pay a visit to your local Getty website;
2) Search for the type of image you’re after – 93% of the time, this will be kitten-based;
3) Hover over the thumbnail of your chosen image and you will see this symbol </> if it’s embeddable;
4) Click the symbol to bring up the Embed Code window:
5) From here, simply copy the code and paste it into the area of your blog where you want the image.
You may have to fiddle around a little to get the alignment and sizing spot-on, but it’s nothing too challenging.
So we say a big thank you to the folks who made this possible and saved our sorry souls from a lengthy spell in the slammer. I don’t know about you, but gruel laced with spit has never been my preferred choice of breakfast.