How to Credit Your Website Blog Images

“Hey, that’s mine!”

You heard it on the playground just before a fight broke out, but if you hear it today in regard to tusing pictures on blogs, you’ll find yourself in a whole different sort of fight: a legal one.

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In order to avoid that, you need to cite the original source for each photograph you place on your indie business blog, unless it’s your own, of course.

The next question is: What is an original source? An original source is the artist/photographer or the publication/site for which the image was created. Original sources do not include sites like Google Image Search, Tumblr, Flickr, Pinterest, or another blog. That’s the same as saying you found your outfit at the Mall of America, which still leaves people wondering which of the 300 plus shops you actually went shopping at.

Let’s say you find a beautiful piece of jewelry on an artist’s site and want to share it with your indie business blog readers. An example of citing this original source would be:

Moorea Seal rings

Image by Moorea Seal on her blog {link to}.

Now let’s say you also see a lovely piece of paper artwork by Cameron+Whitney on Moorea’s jewelry blog and want to feature it on your own. Moorea’s blog is not the original source, so you’d want to credit like this instead:

Moorea Seal art

Image by Cameron+Whitney {link to} via Moorea Seal {link to}.

This type of citing when using pictures on blogs is certainly going the extra mile, but there are two distinct advantages to this method. One, you boost your professionalism and online authority. Two, it increases the SEO on your indie business blog because you have double the links.

Speaking of links, it’s extra nice if you credit the original source both in the body of your post and at the bottom of the post when using pictures on blogs. Also, you score major points if you use a font that’s bigger than 3-point size. But please remember to ask for permission to use the images on your indie business blog if the original source asks that you do so.

Flickr and Pinterest are great sources for finding images because they make it easy to find and credit the source for the images. And if you’re like me and know you’ve seen something super somewhere, Tin Eye will make up for your blonde moment. The site offers one of the most extensive reverse-image searches available online.

Stealing a grade-schooler’s playground toy is the same as stealing someone’s imagery. The truth is that most thefts are unintentional and are simply the mistake of the blogger, who in their excitement to share something amazing forgot to give credit where credit is due. So keep in mind that you are responsible for playing fair on your blog. After all, you wouldn’t want someone using your images without linking back to your site.

If we all do our part to cite properly, the internet can be a friendly place for using pictures on blogs to share artistic inspiration. Sounds good to me!

Image credits: Top, by Moorea Seal on her blog; Bottom, by Cameron+Whitney via Moorea Seal on her blog

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