Adding an image to your content can help it stand out, evoke emotion or add to the point you’re trying to make.
In short, they can be a very powerful component to your content.
But where do you get images? You’ve got a few options…
Make Your Own
The most obvious solution is to make your own photos. Keep your digital camera handy, think outside the box a bit and snap away. Of course, taking your own photos can be time consuming, there may be editing to do and if you don’t fancy yourself a photographer, it may not be ideal. But you might be surprised at how your skills improve once you start taking more photos…and it ensures you can get the EXACT shots that you want.
And hint…screenshots are often a great source of images!
A quick and easy solution, particularly for commercial content, is to buy your images. There are a lot of stock photos sites out there and you can ask your friends for recommendations. Personally, I’ve tried a lot and always come back to iStockphoto.
iStockphoto is a bit more expensive than other sites, but they have the best selection I’ve seen. Plus, I can almost always find just the right image to illustrate the point I’m trying to make. When I go to other sites, I end up spending so much time searching and often don’t find what I want, so it’s just easier to use iStockphoto and get it done quickly.
Get Free Ones
If you don’t have the budget for photos or you like the idea of sharing content and giving credit to photographers, there are TONS of photos out there under Creative Commons License. That means you can use the images according to certain specifications and generally have to give credit to the photographer in the manner they request. Some of the specifications include whether you can edit them, use them for commercial purposes and more.
Some places to get free images:
Advanced Google Search
If you go to Google’s Advanced Image Search feature, you can search for images with specific types of licenses. Just go to the page and look for the drop-down menu that says “Usage Rights”. You’ll something that looks like this:
Choose the option you want and any other advanced search options and you’ll be able to find some images available for use. But note of caution, it is not a foolproof method and you should always read the actual license information of a photo before you use it.
Photodropper WordPress Plugin
We have used the Photodropper WordPress plugin that helps you find images while you are writing your blog post. Just enter some keywords and choose the photo you want and the license info is automatically entered. However, just like with the Google search, you should also confirm the license and make sure you are using the photo as the creator has allowed.
There are other sites you can search through to find images that include licensing information. The largest is likely Flickr and they make it very easy to find the licensing information, so that you can be sure you’re using the images correctly.
When you find an image, you can find the licensing information on the far right side of the page like this:
Just click the “Some Rights Reserved” for more details on the license. In this case, the license says were are free to share the work under the following conditions:
Free Stock Photos and Clip Art
Definitely, there are plenty of options for getting images into your content. Just remember, if you’re using someone else’s images, do your due diligence to ensure you’re using their work as allowed.
Need More Help with Using Images in Your Content?
Check out Kelly’s Image Monthly - she and her publishing partner, Angel, have great advice for finding images, creating them and incorporating them into your into your content. They’ve even thrown in some images, backgrounds and inspirational quotes too. Check it out here.