When you're first starting out, the amount of things you don't know about blogging far surpasses the number of things you do know. That's okay, we're happy to help. However, there are some hard and fast rules, and the one we're talking about today is super important. As in, if you don't follow it, you can be sued. It's an easy mistake to make, but once you're aware of it, it's an easy mistake to avoid. So let's talk about it.
The One Thing You Should NEVER Do When Blogging
Never, ever, ever, not even if you're tempted (especially if you're tempted) take an image from a Google image search and put it in your post.
It sounds so innocent, right? What harm could come from using Google to source images?
More than you bargained for, I assure you.
Here are a few posts about what happens when you post a picture that either you didn't take or you didn't have permission to repost:
The fact is, Google images are intended to be informative. Think of it as more of an answer to, “What does chicken pox look like?” than the solution to “I need a new logo.”
Let's say you write an essay or a poem about an amazing sunset. Your words paint a picture so well that everyone can see exactly what you want them to see. Now let's say you find that poem on 30 different blog posts without anyone even giving you credit. They're taking your work and trying to pass it off as their own! How rude!
And yet, if you snag a picture of a sunset off a Google image search, you've done just that. You've turned someone's lovely piece of art into a commodity, and even if you said, “found this from a blog” and linked to the blog, you could still be in trouble.
How to Ensure You're Never Sued for Copyright Infringement
The best answer? Only use pictures you've taken yourself on your blog. The second-best answer (and the one that's much more likely, considering you're probably not going to take pictures of social media or whatnot) is to find royalty free stock images to use in your posts.
There are several sites filled with free royalty-free images. In fact, I made you a list of them.
But if you want to find good-not-great stock images that you can search through, I recommend GraphicStock for this. At $99 for a year of unlimited downloads, it's great. Or, don't pay at all.