Blog round-up posts are a great way to drive more traffic to your site. You can create a round-up post in a number of ways…
You could ask a question of a number of bloggers and share their answers as an ‘expert round-up’ on your blog, collate a list of the best tools, tips or techniques for a certain niche, or create a round-up of other bloggers images on a certain topic.
In this post, we’re going to talk about how to create the latter type of image round-up post, which works really well in image-heavy niches such as craft, DIY, recipes, weddings, printables, lifestyle etc.
The benefits of image round-up posts…
Blog round-ups are a godsend if you’re struggling to create enough original content for an image-heavy niche. Plus they create more click-worthy Pinterest content for your site (people love list posts!).
On the other hand, the bloggers that you’re featuring get a nice do-follow backlink with free promotion thrown in, so they should also be happy to be included.
The drawbacks of image round-up posts…
Sharing other bloggers images can potentially be a minefield of legal issues. It can be really confusing to know what images you can and can’t share.
I’m a pretty risk-averse person, especially when it comes to blogging. I’m a stickler for rules and regulations – ESPECIALLY when it comes to things like respecting the copyright of other bloggers work.
It’s far too easy to fall into the trap of “everyone uses other people’s images – as long as I link back they won’t mind”. Well, they might mind… this blogger found that out the hard way. Yikes.
Like anything with blogging it pays to use third-party images on your blog correctly. Yes it takes a bit more effort and time, but other bloggers will appreciate it, AND you’re covering your back. Win, win!
Here’s my system for creating image round-up posts with minimum time and effort…
TIPS TO CREATE A BLOG ROUND-UP POST USING IMAGES FROM OTHER BLOGGERS
Please note I’m not a lawyer – this doesn’t constitute legal advice, I’m simply sharing the process that I’ve followed in the past. ALWAYS ensure you have the right to use images on your blog – I can’t be responsible for any issues you have in creating an image round-up post.
STEP 1 – Decide on the theme of the post and find the images you want to use
Once you know what you want to create a post about, pop onto Pinterest to find images that would suit.
For our pretend blogging image round-up post we’re going to look for free wedding printables (of which there are no shortage!)
Tip: I’d recommend finding double the number of images that you actually need for your blog (i.e. if you’re hoping to create a post with 10 examples, search for 20) as in my experience there’s about a 50% success rate in hearing back from other bloggers when it comes to permission to use their images.
Simply create a secret board and pin all the images that catch your eye – you can weed through them in the next step!
STEP 2 – Seek permission to use the images
Pinterest is great for finding inspiration, but a word of caution:
Make sure you have found the ‘true’ source of the image you want to use. Often on Pinterest, you’ll find a pin that leads to another round-up, NOT the original blogger’s page.
You should never use an image just because someone else has already used it. So click on the pin and check that the image is original to the blog in question.
For example, I spotted this cute free printable save the date card. However, once I hovered over the pin, I could see that this pin was leading to another image round-up post on Buzzfeed.
So I followed it through to the Buzzfeed post and saw that it was originally a post on The Pretty Blog.
Again, I followed this through to the original source. Lo and behold, that blog is now shut down. Sigh. You can now see why I recommend finding far more images than you think you’ll need!
Once you have found enough images and are certain that you’re dealing with the original source of the photos then it’s time to seek permission to use them in your post.
There are 2 methods for gaining permission from other bloggers:
Method 1: Look for an image usage policy on the blogger’s site.
Something which may help is to find an image usage policy on the blogger’s site.
Check the sidebar, footer, about me page, contact page, terms or FAQs. It often says something like ‘you’re free to use one image and link back’. Make sure you note the blogger’s requirements as some sites may ask you to link back to the image AND to their homepage.
Here’s an example over at Jennifer Maker’s site (in the footer):
Another word of caution (gosh, I’m all doom & gloom today!)…
I’d only happily use an image in this manner if it’s a photo that I’m confident the blogger took themselves. Therefore this works well in the craft/ DIY/ food etc. niche where the blogger creates their own images.
Otherwise, you risk using an image that the blogger herself doesn’t have permission to share. You could do a reverse Google or Tineye search just to ensure it’s not an image that’s found elsewhere (such as a premium stock photo that you don’t have the license for). If in doubt – simply seek clarification from the blogger in question (see the next step).
Once you do find an image usage policy and you’re happy that you’re using a photo that the blogger can share then screenshot the permission blurb on their website so you have it as proof later on.
Finally, don’t forget to grab the contact details of the blogger too so you can let them know they’ve been featured once the post goes live.
Method 2: If there is no image usage policy on their blog then you need to seek permission directly from the blogger.
Where possible I would use email to contact the blogger as you can save the email trail to prove you have permission at a later date.
If you need to get permission for multiple images it can be super time-consuming to email a ton of bloggers… here are my tips to make it as efficient as possible:
1. Create a canned email
You can create a template email that you just need to tweak for each blogger. This saves having to type the same thing out over and over. I talk you through how to do this in Gmail in my post on time management tips for side hustle bloggers.
Related reading: how to send and receive blog emails via your personal Gmail account.
2. Let the blogger know the deadline you’re working towards
Bloggers are busy. We juggle a million things and sometimes it’s very easy to put answering an email on the backburner.
So, when you’re requesting permission to use an image it’s a good idea to tell the blogger when you’re planning to publish the post. If you haven’t heard back by that date then move on.
I personally wouldn’t chase them (you’ve hopefully followed my advice and reached out to more bloggers than you need anyway!)
3. Ensure you’re clear on how you will use the image
Anyone who uses Pinterest as a marketing tool will be aware that there’s been a lot of noise recently on people ‘stealing’ pins.
Whilst somebody pinning an image from a round-up on your site may not be ‘stealing’ the pin as such, in my view, it isn’t really fair on the original blogger to have her image directed to your site from Pinterest as it may detract from any original pins that she has.
On that basis, going forward, I plan to make all third-party images in a round-up non-pinnable from my site (see below for instructions). Instead, I’ll create a multi-image collage pin, which I’ll use to promote the post – like these examples on Pinterest:
BONUS: STEAL MY COPY!
If you want a template to get you going, feel free to swipe the copy I’ve used in emails seeking permission to use images in round-up posts for my wedding stationery blog. (I’ve added the bit about making the image non-pinnable as that’s what I intend to do for any future round-ups that I feature.)
I blog over at All The Pretty Paper where I share wedding stationery inspiration, with a DIY twist.
I’m currently compiling a round-up of my favourite easy but impactful wedding DIY tutorials for my blog and I’d love to include a photo of the gorgeous [XXX] that you featured – [INSERT URL OF BLOG POST IN QUESTION].
This would, of course, be with full credit and a link back to the tutorial on your site.
I’ll be making your image non-pinnable from my site so that it won’t appear on Pinterest with a source url that conflicts with your original blog post. I will, however, be creating a multi-image collage that includes your image in order to promote the post on Pinterest and other social media.
My deadline for publication is 12th April so please do let me know if you’d like to be featured before that date.
4. Keep track of the bloggers you’ve emailed… and their responses
I usually have a list in my planner of whom I’ve emailed. Once I hear back from them, I can tick them off the list and add their image to the working draft of the post.
5. File the emails giving you permission to use the images
It’s always a good idea to keep the emails you receive back from bloggers allowing you to use their images. Just in case there are any disputes in the future.
STEP 3 – Draft the post
To speed things up you can create the post outline and then fill in the images as bloggers respond.
Tip: When writing the post, see if you can use an image of your own in the round-up. This works well to keep visitors on your site for longer when they click over to check out the other post. It also creates links between your content for SEO purposes.
Don’t forget to attribute the images to their original sources in the post. The easiest way to do this is to simply add an image credit directly under each image…
However, I like to add another attribution in the body of my round-up post as I write a little about each image that I’m sharing.
If you decide to make the images unpinnable, now is the time to do this. Simply add the following tag to the image source code when you’re in the text editor on WordPress:
<img src=”https://xyz.jpg” nopin=”nopin” alt=”XYZ” width=”800″ height=”410″ />
Instead you can use Picmonkey or Canva to create a collage image of all the photos in the round-up post to share on Pinterest (keep it to max 1260px long or else it will be cut off in the smart feed (Pinterest guidance as at April 2018)).
STEP 4 – Publish and let the other bloggers know
Ok, so you’ve published your round-up post – go you!
You’re not done yet, however. Now it’s time to reach out to the featured bloggers to let them know the post is live. This allows them to share the post with their own followers, helping to get more eyes on your blog.
To make things super-easy for the bloggers to share you could consider including click-to-share links in your email to them. That way they can Pin, tweet or share the post on Facebook in one click straight from your email.
An image round-up post is a great way to generate more shareable content for your site, BUT you do need to make sure you’re not getting into hot water with the images you’re using. When in doubt, ask permission!