A few weeks ago, I blogged about a survey from MarketingSherpa that showed that adding certain things to an ad increases user responsiveness. At the time, I was focused on video; specifically how bloggers can use it to better engage their reader and even increase conversions if they happen to be an affiliate blogger. But video wasn’t the only item on MarketingSherpa’s list. In fact, the top item was images.

Images are a great way to give your blog an added professional touch. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. And the best part is that getting decent picture doesn’t have to cost you anything at all.

Free Photos

A great source of free images for your blog post is Flickr. The site features millions of images, and many of them are free and of a very high quality. The free images are under a creative commons license, meaning that you just have to give credit to the photographer. A great way to do that is to add a caption to the image, and use the image itself to link back to the image’s page on Flickr.

If you’re an affiliate blogger, however, and you want to use a Flickr photo to help increase sales, you should double check the creative common license on it. Some people share content under the condition that it’s not used for commercial purposes. Granted, you could probably get away with using their images anyway, but it would be unfair to the photographer who is being nice enough to share their work with you and the world for free. Just think blogger ethics.

Besides, if affiliate blogging is your bread and butter, the affiliate program that you blog for most likely offers affiliate marketing tools that you can use to get the same level of user engagement. These will often include banners and image that are perfect for showcasing the product you’re promoting by blogging about. And even if they don’t, chances are that a quick email to your affiliate manager can get you the images you need to better engage your readers.