Last updated on January 10th, 2017 at 10:58 am
Blogs are the best way to create content, in my opinion. You can write whatever you can think of and chances are there’s going to be a market for your thoughts. Some people have made a living out of writing about video games, others at writing guides for SEO and the like. The thing is, not everyone enjoys reading so how do you up the ante and make your blog more visually appealing to a broad audience?
It’s simple: You add pictures.
There’s a saying that a picture says a thousand words and that’s true. The thing about people is that they are driven by emotions in everything that they do – and that includes reading. If you insert a picture to drive your point across, then chances are that you increase the impact of your blog making it more likable therefore more relevant.
Images can also be used to appeal to the technical side of people because you can use images to display more information in the form of graphs. This is a good way to display a lot more without taking up a lot of space or risk cluttering your blog. Another positive aspect of adding pictures is that it helps your readers be engaged with your content longer – which means that they’ll be staying on your blog longer and that’s a good thing.
I’ve said a lot of things just now but what do I really mean? PICTURES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR BLOG. You just have to find the right ones!
I’ve been writing for a long time now and after a long time of research and my own experiences, I’ve come up with a list of websites that offer free stock images to help spice up my content. Of course, we have an in-house graphics team that provide me with high quality images and the like, not everyone has that luxury. So here’s a list of some of the best free stock image websites on the internet!
Pixabay is one of the most comprehensive stock photo websites on the internet offering over 750,000 free stock photos, vectors and art illustrations. This website is my go-to site when I need stock images – and fast. I like Pixabay because the search function is nice and fast and you can enter a variety of keywords that will suit your needs. Once you enter your search terms, you’ll then be ushered into a beautiful medley of pictures and other artwork that will take your breath away.
2) Life of Pix
Unique to Life of Pix is that literally all of its content are free-to-use. You can copy, edit and publish all of the images from Life of Pix on your blog. Life of Pix, however, is best used with your social media posts. The reason for this is that because all of the content on Life of Pix are in high resolution, they’re free to use and dozens of photos are added weekly. The thing about social media posting is that you have to do this on a regular basis and with Life of Pix, you’ll never run into the tedious problem of running out of stock photos. Neat, right?
Pix isn’t exactly my go-to when it comes to images but when you need a high quality picture that’s unique, then this is where you go.
Snapwire Snaps is one of the best entries on this list simply because of its subscription feature. You can sign up for free updates of “7 beautiful photos every 7 days” straight your mailbox. The beauty of it is that you can open their email every 7 days, save what you want for the future then move on with your work. It’s fast, convenient and it helps you stock up on beautiful pictures that you can use anytime you want.
Of course, you can also browse their website for images and the beauty of it is that everything is arranged in categories which makes browsing easier and more convenient.
At the end of the day, it’s best to take your time by browsing through their collection because it’s by “200,000 of the world’s most talented photographers” so you’re not losing out when it comes to quality.
While this isn’t the most comprehensive entry on the list, Unsplash is popular among many of the professional bloggers and writers around the world. The reason for this is because of Unsplash’s “do whatever you want” license. You can literally do whatever you want with their images without worrying about copyright claims.
Unsplash practices the Creative Commons Zero which means that “you may copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes”
Like every entry on this list, you can start searching for whatever image that you may need anytime.
The “collections” tab is a feature that links you to dozens of related images. Clicking on collections will take you to another page displaying these related images.
Gratisography has a unique name, that’s for sure but it’s not really the most comprehensive website on the planet. Wait, hear me out. It’s a unique entry on this list because all of its content is created and uploaded by one person. Seriously. So while you won’t have access to the largest pictures database in the world, you will however have access to a stunning library of beautiful images.
Look at this image for example. I literally just went over to their website and browsed the front page for a couple of minutes and I end up finding this beautifully vibrant image. It’s a unique perspective and there are dozens more of these free images on there.
When it comes to color and quality, Gratisography is second to none.
StockSnap has hundred of photos added every week. The beauty of this website is that you can find whatever you want for whatever you need. The homepage itself is devoid of any clutter so you can get down to business. The first thing you’ll see is the search bar as well as popular searches.
It’s never overwhelming so once you think about what you need, you can get right down to searching. It’s easy, it’s convenient, it’s free and the best part is that the website has a relatively large collection so you’re definitely going to find what you need.
What sets StockSnap apart is its great search features. The search filter is amazing too!
Between you and me, there’s a “send me photos” feature on the website. If you opt for this, then you’ll receive their latest stock photos straight to your inbox every week.
PicJumbo is the picture perfect example of a great stock photo website. It’s relatively easy to use, the quality is up there with the best of them and the collection is better than average.
The website also offers a subscription feature and you’re free to subscribe; the best part about this website, however is its selection of high quality images in almost every category imaginable.
You can literally search for anything whether it’s for business, cartoons or what have you but chances are you’ll be treated to a high quality image courtesy of PicJumbo.
Are you like me who screenshots everything that I find interesting? Well look no further. Lightshot is the best screenshot tool on the internet. It’s light, it’s easy to use and it has an instant upload feature that’s great to use when you blog a lot like me.
Screenshots are good for blogs because they are a great opportunity to present your thoughts in a different format as well as helping you break up your content which makes digesting your thoughts easier.
There are a lot of ways to take screenshots, really. Some prefer the old fashioned way of copy pasting their screenshots on paint then manually uploading the image to their favorite hosting site while others like me use a specialized service like Lightshot. No one option is correct. The important thing is doing whatever you’re comfortable with at your own pace.
Lightshot is the perfect tool for someone like me because it’s easy to use, it’s convenient and it’s fast. You can find your own tool, there are dozen out there so take your time and you’ll find the perfect screenshot tool for yourself, that’s for sure. However if you’re looking for the simplest, easiest tool to use then why not give Lightshot a try? It’s a good entry level screenshot tool and it’s beginner friendly.
Of course, no two screenshot tools are exactly the same but the best way for you to get the most out of your tool is by trial and error. Learn everything that you can from your tool so you don’t miss out on any of the features.
9) TAKE YOUR OWN PHOTOS!
You’ve spent a lot of time downloading images from these websites that you’ve overlooked the fact that you can take your own pictures. If you don’t own a camera that’s fine. Chances are you own your own mobile device. After all, more people use their mobile device to browse the internet now.
The great thing about modern smartphones (or tablets) is that they have a relatively powerful camera installed on them. It doesn’t take an artist to take an image that you can use.; however you should invest time and dedication into this endeavor if ever you try taking your own photos.
For example if you run a travel blog, chances are that you’re going to have to upload your own photos eventually. So if you’re moving around the beautiful streets of Paris or wherever your travels may take you, you can simply take a picture of notable things that you want to write about.
It’s easy to take your own photos and it’s free as long as you already own your own camera ready device. Some bloggers exclusively use their own photos on their blogs and I think that’s great.
There are many smartphone photography courses on the internet so if you’re looking to really enhance your smartphone photography skills, you may want to check those out.
Today’s smartphones and tablets are all really advanced which makes taking your own high quality images easier than ever before, even without experience.
There are literally a dozen websites off the top of my head I can use for my blogs but the important thing to remember is that you’re doing this to enhance your content. It’s not the be all end all solution to your blog. First, you have to write your own high quality content which people will read, the images simply augment your thoughts and not the other way around so do keep that in mind.
Did you find what you were looking for? Do you want to add more services to the list? Do you have your own experience with these websites? Let’s talk. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.