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10 Great Sources Of Free Images

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Visual content has always been an important element of the web, but with the rise of social media and social sharing, its significance has grown manifold. Images, of course, are the biggest part of this puzzle.

You probably already know that images for your blog (or website) should be taken from sources that explicitly allow for their reuse — this usually either means a Creative Commons license, images that are in public domain, or those that are purchased via websites that sell stock photos and art.

But where can you find good quality free images that have been cleared for use on your blog? Here is a list of 10 great sources for free images:

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Free Images

Previously known as Stock.xchng, this one offers a wide range of images and photos that can be used for free after you register. More than 400,000 images are available, extensively categorized, and you can search for keywords or browse through the site to find the ones you need.
www.freeimages.com

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IM Free

This website offers stylishly curated collection of free resources, including images that are available for commercial use. You can search for keywords, or browse through tags to download images that can be freely copied, modified, and distributed.
www.imcreator.com/free

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Stockvault

Photographers, designers and students meet at this place to share photographs, images and graphics with each other. You can download files for free and most of them can be used for personal or noncommercial design work, making them an excellent option for blogs.
www.stockvault.net

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Openphoto

Billed as an alternative photo sharing platform, this website was founded in 1998 by Michael Jastremski, and has grown into a very large source of photos since then. Photos are available under dozens of categories, ranging from animals and food, to holidays and conceptual shots.
www.openphoto.net

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Free Range Stock

Another handy source for free high quality (and high resolution) stock photos. Registration is required, but it grants you access to a large gallery of searchable photos. All images are reviewed before they are posted, and the website also offers free textures that can come in handy in a graphic design project.
www.freerangestock.com

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Rgbstock

Another website created by photographers and graphic artists to freely share their images and creations. Registration is required to download photos, but there is a decently extensive collection available for you, once you do.
www.rgbstock.com

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Unrestricted Stock

Going far beyond just photos, this unique site offers everything from icons, buttons, illustrations, vectors, fonts, even videos. All work available here is well, unrestricted, in the sense that it can be used for commercial purposes.
www.unrestrictedstock.com

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New Old Stock

True to its name, New Old Stock is a great place to find vintage photos from public archives that are free of copyright restrictions. The inventory might be limited, but this is a great bet for classic black and white images from the eons gone by.
nos.twnsnd.co

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Pickupimage

This large collection of free stock photos primarily focuses on nature and outdoor scenes. The pool may not be too broad for this one, but if you are looking for these type of images, there are plenty on offer that can be copied, modified and distributed without any issues.
www.pickupimage.com

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Good Free Photos

Thousands of unique and free public domain stock photos are available for download in this gallery, ranging from food, plants, and animals to weapons, sky and cloud. A pretty substantial amount of content, from what is, essentially, a single photographer.
www.goodfreephotos.com

Melanie Russell is a seasoned online business reporter and has been writing about the web for as long as she can remember.

9 Comments
  • CaraMa

    All good options! Thanks for 10 great options, Melanie! I would also add Flickr as a good option, however, you often need to get permission or rights from the owner of the photo.

    • Chetty

      I’ve used Flickr also. I love it, but these 10 are completely free and usable. A lot less trouble for me. Thanks for sharing all 10!

  • Dennis

    For someone who blogs like I do, having these resources are incredibly vital for spicing up the posts for free. I wasn’t familiar with a lot of these sites, so thank you so much for listing and explaining them here! Much appreciated.

  • AceofSpades

    Love all of these… I especially believe stockvault is the cream of the crop. Fantastic blog post Melanie.

  • Nemo

    Thanks for the links. I’ve looked through all 10 and I think from the top down they get progressively weaker. I could be wrong, but I think the first few you listed are the best options here with the widest range.

  • Biz12

    Freeimages has the best domain name and the widest array of quality pictures, at least for what I’m looking for. Any one of the 10 could be useful, but that’s just how I felt about the best of the best.

  • baltensperger

    Hi, thanks for this list. I search photos for my blog on the following site. May be you can at this site olso to your list. http://creativecommons.photos

  • http://inspirationfeed.com Igor Ovsyannykov

    Great article!

    I recently started http://fancycrave.com/ as a side project a few months ago. The site consists of completely free stock photos all taken and edited by me. It’s basically a collection of images from my travels around South East Asia and South America (soon). My aim for these photos is to help designers and creative alike. People can use these images for whatever purpose they please.

    I do not make any income from the website. I keep things very simple. I list the photo, its tags, the author, and the download link.

    I hope you and others will find it valuable. If you see it fit, I’d be very grateful if you could add it to this list. Cheers!

  • MarshallKohl

    I’d like to add one more nice service – templatemonster.com . If you want to save your money and time , check it out – more than 40 thousands HQ pics, well arranged and categorized for the appropriate price.

Web Content

How to test a copywriter

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How to test a copywriter

How to test a copywriter.

There are two areas that are really difficult when I think about building an online business from scratch or creating a website.

Deciding on a good logo and finding a good copywriter.

What is a copywriter?

Well when you get technical, a copywriter is a professional specializing in creating a compelling description of the value of your product or service in order to drive a lead or customer conversion.

Basically someone you hire to make your skills or product POP with words.

In module 6 of the Online Business Roadmap course, I describe in detail all the benefits of a good copywriter and how to safely and responsibly hire one.

I will tell you though, while a good copywriter is worth their weight in GOLD plutonium, it’s not easy to find one.

This is primarily because all a mediocre or amateur writer needs to do in order to pretend they have some skills is send you someone else’s copy or content.

It’s hard to know whether the person presenting a sample to actually wrote it.

Here are my suggestions for testing any copywriter you want to hire.

Obviously ask for a sample

Not rocket science – get them to send you something they have written.

Ask for references

Ask for people they have worked for before and CALL them. Most customers never make the follow up call. Make sure you do.

Next, ask for a custom sample

Give them less than 24 hours to write something YOU ask for (pay a small fee if you have to – less than $100). This doesn’t have to be a full article – maybe even a few paragraphs – just so you can get a feel for the writing style.

Finally, give them the edit test

This one is simple – ask a copywriter or someone you respect to find an article that is badly written. Take (internal) notes about all the reasons why it is badly  written. Once you have that, send the article (without the notes obviously) to the new copywriter.

Ask them to tell them what is wrong with the article in less than one hour (be willing to pay a small fee for this too).

If they come back with good edits and suggestions and everything else works out – you have a good faith confirmation to go on. If they start to give you excuses and are not willing to be tested, tell them to go jump in a lake.

Over the past 15 years, I have tested over 100 copywriters this way and less than 10 have passed. All of the candidates who passed did great work for me so I’m pretty sure this process works.

What do you think? What has been your experience with hiring copywriters?

Use the comments below and let me know.

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Marketing

Infographic: Why People Hate Your Content

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Content is king. We all have heard this phrase before. But not everyone stops to think why content is king. And why it has to be treated like one. The web is, now, the most important resource of information for people.

With nearly 3 billion already using the Internet in one way or another, and millions joining in daily, the audience is huge. But it’s important to deliver information to these people that is effective.

Effective and impactful.

The digital revolution is demanding, if nothing else. Online businesses need to deliver unique, relevant and fresh content — something that immediately engages the reader. But most importantly, your content needs to be sharp, clear and compelling.

With the intense competition, you have to be one step ahead, not simply keep up.

But people have different needs, and to deliver, you absolutely have find out what your customers and audience want. No one content strategy works for all, or every type of online business. It has to be custom designed for each niche and specific audiences.

Want to see how varied the landscape is?

This infographic from Stratton Craig sheds a little light on what good and bad content looks like. It makes for a rather interesting read, with some surprising statistics.

The survey was conducted on 712 people, aged 18 to 65 (and beyond), and they were asked to define what they enjoy online, what they don’t enjoy, what type of content they like and what they dislike on the web. Online shopping, as you can see, is not high on this list.

Equally surprising are the bit about blogs, with a shocking 0% of the 18-to-24 year old respondents enjoying reading them. Video, on the other hand, is key for younger demographics.

It’s a pretty illuminating read, surprising even in some sense, but should provide a few pointers for you to chart out your content or content marketing strategy.

Click the infographic below to view the full high-resolution version.

Infographic: Why People Hate Your Content

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Marketing

Infographic: The Power Of Visual Content

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Infographics are effective. Highly effective. People much prefer to look at pretty pictures or amazing videos, than read plain text. And the reason for that is simple.

The brain has to do less work to digest information when it’s presented visually.

This makes infographics and visual content a lot compelling — this type of content drives more traffic and brings more results than plain text material. Brands and businesses are benefiting from using infographics in their marketing.

The infographic below illustrates the power of visual content:

“It is no secret that consumers respond better to visual marketing, and this is one reason that infographics have become such a popular and effective form of online marketing. They allow you to present information in a way that your audience will actually absorb your message, instead of just skimming through blocks of text and only retaining a very small percentage of the information.”

Some interesting highlights here.

But the most pushing one is the fact that the brain process visual information 60,000 times faster than text. Going to have to do a little digging on this one to locate the source. Seems too good to be true!

Other than that, there are several appealing pointers here, including how an infographic is 30 times more likely to be read than a text article. Sounds about fair, particularly for people on mobile devices. Not everyone wants to read lengthy text on smartphones or tablets.

The sales and infographic marketing statistics are also fascinating, including the popularity of infographics on Google. Quite a few important takeaways overall.

Click the infographic below to view the full high-resolution version.

Power of Visual Content

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