Image copyright rules every blogger should know

 

Hey guys!

So, I know it’s been a bit quiet over on the blog the last few weeks, and even though I have no excuse, other than settling down into a new job and having an awesome 9 – 5, I am back with a bang.

Today, I have a guest blogger here on the blog, chatting about something you all wonder – can I use someone else’s images on the internet as my own? Today’s guest blogger is not just any guest blogger, she is an attorney and she is here to tell us all a bit more about image copyright rules every blogger should know and more.

IMAGE COPYRIGHT RULES EVERY BLOGGER SHOULD KNOW - Can I use that image

Stop stealing images off of the Internet

 You wouldn’t go into a store, take a candy bar, and then leave without paying for it, would you? That would be theft. You are also committing theft if you take images off of the Internet without paying for them or obtaining the owner’s permission. This is because the creator or owner of the image has a copyright, which is a U.S. federal law that protects original works of authorship. A copyright gives the owner four rights:

  1. Reproduce the work;
  2. Display the work in public;
  3. Prepare derivative works based on the original work; and
  4. Distribute copies of the work.

Thus, when you take images off of the Internet without the owner’s consent, you are committing copyright infringement.

So how do you obtain images for your blog or website without committing a crime? Here are some good sources:

The public domain. Public domain works are not restricted by copyright, are free, and do not require a license to use. The three main categories of public domain work are: (a) works that, by their nature, are not copyrightable, and thus enter the public domain upon creation; (b) works that have been assigned to the public domain by their creators; and (c) works that are put in the public domain because their copyright has expired. Some great resources where you can find these public domain images include the Smithsonian Institution for Public Domain Images, Project Gutenberg, and the Prelinger Archives.

Free image websites. There are plenty of websites on the Internet that offer free stock images. Always read the Terms of Use or License on these websites before you take or use an images to ensure that you are adhering to all of the rules. Some great websites to use include www.pexels.com and www.pixabay.com.

RELATED: Free Stock Photos for Bloggers

The fair use doctrine. This doctrine is a legal exception to the owner’s rights. It allows copyrighted works to be used without permission for the benefit of the public. For example, if you are writing an article on the death of a famous person, you may be able to use a picture of this person even if it belongs to someone else. Be careful though, the fair use doctrine has many complex requirements. The work must be used for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. In addition, courts can spend years dissecting why this image was used, the nature of the image and the effect of your use on the market value of the image. Sometimes, it is best to stay away from the fair use doctrine altogether and find your images in a safer place.

The fact that you give the owner of the image attribution when you use their images without permission does not absolve you from copyright infringement. It is important that you always read the Terms of Use and the License Terms and have the owner’s permission to use the image. It feels good to do the right thing and will save you loads of money and time.

And there you have it! Image copyright rules every blogger should know and understand.

Short bio: Donata Kalnenaite is an attorney licensed to practice law in Illinois and is the owner of Agency Attorneys. Agency Attorneys protects the work of software developers, graphic designers, start-ups and small businesses. We work collaboratively with our clients and ensure that they understand everything they sign.

You can contact Donata on any of the links below:

donata@agencyattorneys.com

(312) 391-4341

www.agencyattorneys.com

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2 Steps to Create Blog Post Titles That Will Get Your Blog Read + Free Cheat Sheet

As a blogger, it can sometimes be extremely hard to find the perfect blog post title. Yes, something as small as a blog post title will give a lot of bloggers a major headache. You want it to pack a punch, but you dont want it to be too cryptic. You want your readers to know exactly what they can expect from the blog post, but not give the ending away. You dont want it to be dull and boring either. Trust me, blog post titles are the stuff nightmares are made of.

 

CREATE BLOG POST TITLES THAT WILL GET YOUR BLOG READ

 

And that’s why, in today’s post, I want to chat about the value of writing blog post titles that will get your blog read, as well as chat about how the right blog post title can help you improve your blog’s SEO.

 

To start off with, I want to give you guys a look into how I pick my blog posts (the steps and method I use to create catchy blog post titles that will get your blog read).

 

First things first – I use a keyword planner to see what SEO keywords I can use in my blog post and blog post title.

Once I have an idea of what my blog post is about, I search Google keyword planner to find at least 3 keywords I can use in my blog post. I also make a note of the most popular blog post title I can use in my blog post title. Once I have a clear idea of the keywords I need to use in my blog post, I move on to the next step.

 

I check out Google.

When I am writing a blog post, I type my blog post idea into Google and I take a look at what results Google shows me. I then make a list of the top 10 blog post titles in Google and keep them next to me.

 

I then write my blog post title.

Yes, in two simple steps I am ready to write my blog post title. But, at this stage, I still run the risk of it being boring and dull, and that is why I focus on giving my blog post titles a little more meat. So, how do I do that?

I make use of:

Numbers – yes, everyone loves numbers (it makes everything seem more trustworthy and scientific, right?). There’s something about a blog post title that makes use of numbers that just gets me way too excites.

I make my readers an offer they can’t refuse – everyone wants an offer they can’t refuse right? And that is why it is so important to include an offer in your blog post title. This can be anything from a FREEBIE, to tried and true ways you can quadruple your blog traffic. Make your readers want to click on your blog post by offering them something irresistible.

I keep my blog post titles short and sweet.

 

Another important thing to keep in mind when it comes to creating blog post titles is SEO. You blog post title should always contain your keyword, but should still read naturally. A great way to do this is to try and put your keyword as close as possible to the start of your blog post title. That way, you get your SEO keyword into your title and you can easily write a natural blog post title that won’t scare your readers off.

Here’s my 10 blog post title templates that you can chop and change as much as you want to.

# Ways to __________

_____ and _____ to growing _________

My number # tip for ___________

How I used _______ to ____________

10 Easy ways to ____________

How you can ___________ by _____________

How I grew my _____________ in ___________ by __________

5 simple things you can do to _____________

The ultimate guide to __________

How to _______ in # easy steps

# Secrets to ___________

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How I Saved My Blog with Batching

I’ve never believed in batching. Truth is, I always thought it was something lazy people do. You know, those people who want to build their empire without doing a bit of work? Boy, oh boy, was I wrong. So wrong, in fact, that I am actually swallowing my pride and eating a larger than life slice of humble pie.

 

blog batching and why it works
 

When I started my new job, I knew that I won’t have as much time to blog, so I needed to take drastic steps to figure out how I can save my blog. I didn’t want it to die, as I’ve really worked hard to get it where it is today, but I also knew that I couldn’t devote a few hours each day to my blog anymore.

 

So, what did I do to save my blog? I started batching. 

 

What is batching? 

For those of you not familiar with the term “batching”, let me explain. Batching happens when you write all of your content within one specific day (or a sitting). By doing this, you eliminate that rushed feeling of having a to finish off a blog post, “because it’s Thursday and my blog post must go up or my readers will hate me”. Yes, we’ve all been there.

So, why batching? Well, here’s a list of the reasons I batch all of my blog content.

 

Batching saves time (and keeps me stress-free)

(and time is money). Every Sunday, I schedule my blogging time in the afternoon. For 5 hours straight, I focus on writing my content for the week, scheduling my social media and just working on my blog. With batching, I can also ensure that I send out awesome, informative and mind-blowing content to my readers. Knowing that I have a post that will rock your world, ready and scheduled really just makes this entire blogging extremely stress-free.

 

I stay on schedule 

Another reason I love batching is because I stay on schedule. I have changed my posting structure and with batching, I ensure that I am always on schedule. All of my blog posts are scheduled two weeks in advance, and that way, I always have awesome content on my blog.

 

Related: Time-Saving Hacks for Bloggers with a Full Time Job

 

I feel more productive 

Nothing empowers me more like having a smashing day where I ticked off everything on my to-do list. By taking a few hours out of my Sunday, I manage to focus purely on my blog and creating super awesome content and ticking off the things on my to do list. And man, do I feel good afterward. Seeing a to-do list with everything ticked off just makes me feel like I can conquer everything. And it feels bloody great!

 

It frees up my time for other things 

I love blogging, don’t get me wrong. But I also love spending time with my friends and family. By batching my content, I free up my time for all of the other important people in my life. (Yup, I count you guys under my list of important people in my life.) I know that all of my blog work is up to date and therefore, when I spend time with my loved ones, I can enjoy it fully without having to worry (to some extent) about my blog.

 

Related: 5 Tips and Tools to Help You Blog Faster

 

Do you batch (let’s make it a thing, shall we)? Let’s chat about it in the comments below.  

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10 Blog Posts You Must Read to Rock Your Blog

It’s been a while, right? Never fear, after a short break, that seemed to do my blog more good than harm (YAY!!), I am back with a quick, new post for you.

10 BLOG POSTS ON BLOGGING TIPS AND ADVICE
 

I share so many awesome blogging tips and advice on the blog, and even though I try to make all of the content easy to find, some of the posts go missing and you guys might not get to see it.

So, to help you guys out, and to make life easier, I have decided to share my Top 10 Blog Posts about Blogging Tips and Advice with you. Some of these posts you may have read before, and some of these might be new to you, but rest assured, all of these posts contain extremely awesome blogging tips and advice.

So, here you go 🙂 My top 10 blog posts on blogging tips and advice:

SEO Tips and Advice for Bloggers

Investments Worth Making for Your Blog

How to Write the Perfect URL for Blog Posts

Anatomy of the Perfect Blog Post

The Biggest List of Blog Resources

How to Create a Media Kit for Your Blog (with FREE template)

9 Time Saving Hacks for Bloggers with a Full Time Job

How to Create a Pinterest Action Plan for Your Blog

5 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Blog (Guest Post)

5 Tips and Tools to Help You Blog Faster (Guest Post)

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The ONE Thing Bloggers Forget When It Comes to SEO

 

I chat about SEO a lot on the blog, and today is no different. SEO is something that lies really, really close to my heart and I know many bloggers out there start to sweat when SEO is mentioned in their vicinity.

 

Working with and chatting to bloggers about SEO on a daily basis made me realise something – many bloggers out there are extremely freaked-out when it comes to SEO. At first glance, SEO can seem very challenging and very confusing. But the truth is that once you understand the basics of SEO, you will soon come to the understanding that SEO is one of the BEST things you can ever do for your blog and your online business. Many bloggers simply ignore the benefit of SEO because they are scared about the technicalities and all that jazz.

 

THE ONE THING BLOGGERS FORGETS WHEN IT COMES TO SEO FOR BLOGGERS
 

On the other side of the SEO battle, I’ve also come to realise that most bloggers are too concerned with SEO and not at all concerned about writing great content for their readers.

 

Here’s the deal though – before you start to bite your nails about SEO, you will need a solid foundation for your blog. And this means that you will have to write awesome content that your readers will love! And if your readers love your content, and go crazy with that share button, search engines will start to love you too. But first, you will need to write super awesome content for your READERS!

 

If there is one thing that completely freaks me out is that when I land on blogs and I can see that they have written their content for search engines and not for their readers. Seriously, stop! Search engines don’t read your content, your readers read your content!

 

So, in order to rock your blog’s SEO, you will need to always keep your readers front and center when you are writing content!

 

“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.” — Wendy Piersall

 

Writing, in general, is a skill.

 

To capture the attention of your reader and to keep them on your blog, you need to write in a style that is appealing to your reader.

 

In order to do this, you need to layout your blog posts in such a way that the reader finds it easy to read and easy to understand. Yes, focus on your reader, before you focus on SEO (I can’t stress this enough, friends).

 

Writing awesome content for your blog (that search engines will love) is as easy as going back to English class:

 

FOCUS ON LAYOUT

The basic rules of writing applies to writing blog posts too. This means that you should include headings, sub-headings and paragraphs in your blog posts. Write a captivating introduction and a jaw-dropping conclusion to get your readers to comment and to click on that “share” buttons. (Yup, you thought you’d never use the skills you learnt in English writing class, right? Wrong!)

 

If your blog post is easy to read and appealing to the eyes, then your readers will be more likely to share the post with their friends and family, which in turn will increase your ranking!

 

WRITE CONTENT YOUR READERS WILL LOVE 

And therefore, the first step to writing SEO-friendly blog posts is to write content that your readers will love and share. Before you start optimising your blog post for SEO, your piece of writing should be damn good to begin with!

 

If you are serious about your blog, you will take the time to make sure that the content you are putting out into the world will change the lives of your readers! This means that instead of just writing down everything that comes to mind and just going about the writing process all willy nilly, your content should kick some serious butt!

 

WRITE CONTENT THAT GETS THE SHARES

Anyone can churn out 5 blog posts a day that gets shared once or twice, but it takes some special skills to churn out one good blog post per day that gets shared a hundred times. It doesn’t matter how much you optimise your blog post, if the content you are putting out there are pure garbage, you will not see your blog post rank! Also keep in mind that the longer the content (no babbling about random stuff to make up for word-count – keep it jam-packed with information), the more likely it is to rank in search engine results. Keep your blog posts over 300 words for maximum results.

 

Search engines love a good blog post, that is filled with great content, great information, SEO keywords AND that is easy to read!

 

Challenge: Take some time to think about your next blog post. Draft out a killer outline and think about your heading, introduction, body and conclusion for your blog post. Forget about SEO for a moment and focus on creating a blog post that will blow your readers away. Practice writing great content for your readers, before you freak out about SEO, and see how this will help you improve your blog.

 

P.S. In the Blogger’s Guide to Search Engine Optimisation, I discuss valuable on-site SEO tips and advice that will enable you to take your blog to the next level. If you are serious about growing your blog through SEO, then check out this guide.

SEO Tips and Advice for Bloggers

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