People love images – on social media, they are some of the most shared forms of content. Not to mention that some of the most successful social networks are exclusively image-based. So if you want your content to get shared, you have to use beautiful images that will attract readers, keep them interested and, most of all, that will make them want to share your content.
However, it can be very hard to continuously find great images for each of your blog posts, for two very different reasons: it can get very expensive and/or very boring. Regular stock images are a thing of the past (or at least they should be!) when it comes to social media – if you want your blog/website to stand out and for people to share the images you use, then you have to think out of the box, get creative and use images that people will actually notice.
I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite places for getting cheap and free stunning images as well as some “tricks” that will help you find the best and cheapest solutions.
Creative Commons license & other free images
One trick is to look for images that are licensed under Creative Commons – this means that you can use the images, so long as you mention and link to the author and you are not making any profits off of them. Here are some of the best places where you can find Creative Commons images:
Flickr is probably the number one source of Creative Commons licensed images – and the best part? There are so many absolutely stunning images!
I’ve lost many hours on this website – it is full of amazing free images that can be used for both personal and commercial use, with no need to attribute them to their authors.
The guys behind PhotoPin aim to help bloggers to find beautiful images that they can use on their blogs and articles. Although it is not associated with Flickr, it used Flickr’s API to search for Creative Commons images that bloggers can use hassle-free.
Google Images can also be used to find free images that can be used even commercially. Simply type in your search like you normally would, go to the advanced search menu and then choose the type of license that you are interested in from the “usage rights” menu:
The Open Clip Art Library has small, cartoon-like images that are all free to use. They are not as beautiful or compelling as regular pictures, but they are great at conveying a message here and there. And unless it is stated otherwise, all cliparts are available for free.
Creativity103 focuses on more abstract, creative images. However there are lots of images that can be used on blogs, and they are all free to use so long as you link them back to the website.
At Pixel Perfect Digital you will be able to find an array of free stock photography with Creative Commons Licensing.
Memes are not just funny and/or cute, but they can also convey messages and they are now an essential part of the Internet. They can help you get your message across better and keep it light-hearted at the same time. There are lots of different websites with amazing memes to browse, and when you’re feeling inspired you can create your own meme in a matter of minutes. Before you create your own meme however, make sure you really understand it – you wouldn’t want your readers to make fun of how out of touch you are with these Internet sensations!Here are some of the best websites where you can find memes (and don’t forget to link them back to the website if you use them!):
Reddit is probably the meme paradise, where you will most probably be able to find something about anything!
9gag, Reddit’s public enemy number one, has its own impressive array of memes – many of them are taken from Reddit users, but they have their fair share of ‘original’ memes.
This incredibly popular website focuses a lot of attention on animal memes, especially so-called “lolcats” – and if there’s anything most Internet users love, it’s definitely a cute cat.
Here are some of the best services and apps for creating memes:
9. Meme Generator – iOS app
10. Meme Generator Free – Android app
Another option is to look at royalty-free images, that once purchased, you can re-use as many times as you want. Here are some great sources of royalty-free websites and other websites with free and cheap images:
iStockphoto holds an impressive selection of quite beautiful stock photos – not just your regular, boring business men and women.
At Picdrome, you will be able to find variety of royalty-free stock photos and illustrations.
FreeDigitalPhotos have lots of free stock photos to choose from that you can use however you like, and you only have to pay if you want a bigger image.
OpenPhoto have a decent selection of free, cheap and royalty-free images.
Unprofound offer images for free and you don’t even have to register to download them.
Stockvault may not have as many images as some of their competitors, but there are some really great finds, and best of all – they are free!
Free Media Goo’s library is, well, tiny – you can literally browse it all in a few minutes. However they are still worth mentioning, as they have some lovely images that are completely free to use.
Where do you get images for your blog? Please leave your comments belowJ
Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and likewise as one of the top social media power influencers, she is one of the most dynamic personalities in the social media market, she actively leverages ethical online marketing for her clients and for Socialable.
After launching her first business within three years of becoming a mother, her financial success was recognised by being a finalist at the Best MumPreneur of the Year Awards, presented at 10 Downing Street. Following a resultant offer and wishing to spend more time with her daughter, she sold her first business to focus on social media, developing a multi-site blog and online marketing portfolio that generates in excess of 600,000 + page views per month.
A business owner, social media consultant, internet mentor and genuine digital guru, Lilach is consulted by journalists and regularly quoted in newspapers, business publications and marketing magazines (including Forbes, The Telegraph, Wired, Prima Magazine, The Sunday Times, Social Media Today and BBC Radio 5 Live). What’s more, her books have achieved No 1 on Amazon for Sales and Marketing and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
When Lilach isn’t working she enjoys spending time with her family and is an avid fan of Zumba.
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