Choose your images
Finding images online is easy, but there are some things you should know to stay on the right side of the law. Image licensing and usage rights can be complex. Just because you find you find an image online doesn’t mean you should use it. If you’re sourcing images, your safest bet is to use an image library.
Free image libraries
While you may opt for a paid library option like Shutterstock or iStock, there are also libraries which offer images free of charge. Some libraries require image attribution, or a written credit that links back to the site. However, permissions can change over time, so it’s important to check the license page before using any images from a site.
It’s also important to note the difference between an editorial and a commercial blog. Even if you don’t use your blog to sell or promote products, it could still be considered commercial. When in doubt, only use images approved for commercial use or consult a lawyer for more help.
Here’s a list of libraries which all offer free image options for commercial use. For each, attribution is not required, but it is encouraged and appreciated. Be sure to read the license pages thoroughly for guidelines that vary between sites.
Using your own images
If you want to create graphs or other visuals yourself, there are some great tools online to help. Canva is easy to use and offers both free and paid options. Plus, their video tutorials can help you learn everything from how to publish your design to how to create a line graph.
If you’re using photos you’ve taken yourself or other visuals that you have created, you don’t need to provide attribution.
Using screenshot images
Screenshots are a great way to walk your readers step-by-step through a process. There are a few ways you can do this. You can either use keyboard shortcuts, which are available on both Mac and Windows operating systems, or you can use external tools.
One available tool is Awesome Screenshot, a free Chrome plugin which allows you to quickly and easily take screenshots, add annotations, and blur sensitive information. You can also use it create screencasts (record a video of your screen).