The right image can set off your blog post perfectly, but if the right image can say a thousand words, the wrong image can cost a thousand pounds. Or maybe even a lot more. When it comes to copyright law, many estate agents are in the dark about the risk they take if they use images they have sourced online.
The fact that estate agent bloggers understand the importance of using images on their website and blog is a positive outcome. Images are useful for your blog because:
• Images retain guests on your site for longer, which sends a positive signal to search engines
• Images should be correctly labelled and have alt tags, which again reinforces the message you send to search engines
• Excellent quality images help to break up flows of text, making your page more interesting for your guest
• Images are often much more appealing and striking than written content, helping you to engage your audience
All these reasons combine to make images a necessity if you post blog content.
Is your perfect image safe to use?
Now, it may be that you have seen the perfect image online or you have carried out an image search on Google and came across images that suit your needs perfectly. When an image reinforces the message of your content, people form a positive impression of you and it is far more likely that your message will be understood by your website visitors.
You may not think that much trouble can come from saving an image online and then using it on your own site, but you may be surprised.
When it comes to an image, a photographer doesn’t have to apply for a copyright on their picture, they receive it automatically. This copyright remains in place for 70 years after the photographer has passed away. Therefore, if you find an image of your local area, and it is from the past 50 years; there is a strong chance that there will be a valid copyright licence on it.
Unlicensed images can be very expensive
When it comes to cost, the starting point is usually the cost of the licence per image. It is not unusual for this to run into hundreds of pounds. It may be the licence holder will argue that you’ve made a profit through using their licenced product, and they may claim for a share of your profits. There may also be legal fees to contend with.
Before you know it, the sum of money you must pay for using an unlicensed image becomes a large figure. In America, there have been cases where a single unlicensed image ended up costing $8,000; which equates to over £6,000 under late October 2018 exchange rates. Is that a sum of money you can contemplate paying out for the use of one image on a blog post?
At Agent Media, we know the penalties that can be imposed on blog holders for using copyrighted images are high. In an era when money is tight, no estate agency can afford to pay the large sums involved with these claims or lose the time spent worrying about and dealing with the complaint.
Therefore, when we provide you with blog content, we promise to use copyright free images that can be sourced back to a royalty-free site. We will always encourage you to take your own images for your site because this will reinforce your originality, but we appreciate that many firms are pushed for time.
However, in the era of smartphones providing every user with a quality camera in their pocket, we recommend you take snaps of your local area, of your place of work and of any home you are placing onto the market. When you promote property, use the best standard quality of image you can find but when you are looking to improve your blog, smartphone cameras are more than good enough.
And as we have mentioned, if you take the image, you own the copyright, so unless you give other people permission to use it, you are the only person or firm that can use your photograph.
That is something to think about. If there is something on your site that cannot be found anywhere else, you provide people with a reason to visit your site.
If we provide you with a blog service, we can also upload these images on your behalf. This is all part and parcel of the Agent Media service. If you don’t want to use your own images, you may miss out on some of the top benefits, but you can still safely add images to your blog.
There are many royalty free sites where you can obtain images that won’t get you into trouble and which won’t cost you any money. At Agent Media, we care about our clients and we only use images from trusted sites. If you want the peace of mind and confidence that comes from knowing your blog is being properly cared for while being enhanced with the best images, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
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Agent Media UK