Watermarking Your Images: Shameless Self-Promotion or Smart?

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I was shocked when I heard someone say watermarking your images is a form of shameless self-promotion. Seriously!?!?

I took a moment to think about this and tried to see the other person’s point of view. Sure, I can see if the logo or site URL is the center of attention on the image then yeah, that is a bit much.

However, as with most things in life, if it’s done tastefully, I don’t see a problem with watermarking. It can have several benefits for you as a content creator and for your readers or customers, especially on Pinterest.

Watermarking Your Images: Shameless Self-Promotion or Smart?

3 reasons why watermarking is a good idea:

#1 Protect your work

Of course, the 100% guaranteed way to keep your images from being stolen or misused is to keep them offline. Since that isn’t realistic for bloggers and online business owners, we have to do what we can to protect ourselves.

Including a watermark on your images can help readers or potential customers find their way back to your site when your images are taken by others as their own.

I have come across many pins on Pinterest that don’t link to the original source of the image. I’ve often found myself being taken to sites full of AdSense ads or Tumblr blogs with no link or mention of the source of the image. It’s usually an image that with does not have a watermark that I see being used this way.

A lot of time effort and money is put into creating images that are included on blogs and websites. I don’t think it was the creators intent for someone else to profit from them.

If a watermark had been included then the reader would at least have some information about where the image originated. A quick online search can get them to the site they wanted to go to in the first place.

#2 Protect yourself from broken links

Currently, with the edit Pin feature on Pinterest,you can change the link attached to a pin. There are some legitimate ways to use this feature such as when you upload an image from your hard drive, you can link it to a relavant page on your site. Or, when you find a pin that is linked to the main page of a blog instead of the post you can edit the link to go directly to the post. (This is great pinner etiquette. ) But, I have also seen spammers use this feature to redirect pins to spam sites.

I once pinned an image of a landscape and when I clicked through it took me to a site selling weight loss pills. I’ve even heard someone recommend using this tactic as away to increase traffic to your site and to “take advantage of it before Pinterest shuts it down”.  That made my skin crawl.

These scammy things don’t happen as often to images with a watermark. If something like this happens to one of your pins, a watermark will let people know where they can find the source of the image and the information or product they were looking for.

#3 Increase brand awareness

Ok, I know how this might look at first glance, using watermarking to increase brand awareness is self serving. But as I said before if done with tastefully it is actually an accepted and proven way to grow your business. Think of the most successful businesses in the world and I bet you imagine their logos. Or, if you read their name, you know what they do.

Think of your business in the same way. Online, our images represent our businesses and in my case they represent me and the services I offer. Would you see Apple or Microsoft putting something out into the world to represent their business without their name or logo on it?

 Adding a Watermark

Here are a few ways to include a watermark in your images:

With your URL

Watermark image with URL

With the name of your blog or business

Watermark image with your business name

With your logo

Watermark image with a logo

Notice in the examples above that it isn’t the watermark or the logo that is the main focus of the image. To increase the chances of being repinned on Pinterest it should be the subject of the image that is emphasized.Click here to read about ways to create pinnable images.

Sure, watermarks are easy to remove from images but it seems that most spammers don’t like to do work. In fact, the person that I mentioned before who recommended changing pin’s links, also recommended only using images that weren’t branded or watermarked.

It would be great to hear your thoughts on watermarking, please leave a comment below. And, if your think others would find this information interesting please share it by clicking the sharing buttons below.

To see how easy it is to add a watermark to an image with PicMonkey, watch the video below.

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