Adding photos your blog posts is a great way to encourage visitors to stick around and read more of your post.
As humans, we seek out and relate to visual media. We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words and while cliché, it’s also true. Relevant images help readers better relate to the content on the page. Add in the fact that the internet is an inherently visual medium, and you can’t deny that visual cues are important for digital marketing today.
Using Images in Social Media
Wired and many other organizations have recently begun adding images to their tweets to increase the visual interest and to encourage more people to click through to the article.
— WIRED (@WIRED) June 5, 2014
Seeing an image in your Twitter or Facebook timelines makes the post stand out more than if it were a simple text link.
Where to Find Great Images
Perhaps the biggest hurdle to including images in your content is actually finding those great visual pieces to begin with. You can take your own pictures but it takes time, skill and effort to get truly great photos.
There are hundreds of websites that offer images for free use (Buffer has a fantastic list here). The most important thing to remember is to always attribute photos you find online to the photographer and make sure you only use photos you have permission to use. This means, do not grab photos from Google Images and use them on your blog.
Here are my favorite resources for free CC0 (Public Domain, no attribution needed) images:
Unsplash is another site with fantastic images, and is a side project of Crew. While you can’t search for specific images – Unsplash is a simple cascading blog to browse through – you can subscribe to an email that sends you 10 free images every 10 days. You’ll find photos ranging from a hot air balloon to people at a pub.
Similar to Unsplash, LittleVisuals.co offers a blog interface for browsing images. You can also subscribe to an email where you’ll receive 7 free images every 7 days. Once nice feature LittleVisuals.co includes is tags on ever image, so if you’re looking for landscape shots or cameras, you can find what you’re looking for.
PicJumbo is a more organized site with categories and proper search. There are many more ads on this site and it’s slightly more confusing to download the images you want, but there is a broad selection on PicJumbo. You’ll find photos ranging from grapes on a vine to a girl drinking a milkshake.
Flickr is the first place many people think of when they are looking for photos, however, you have to be careful using images from Flickr on your blog.
Unlike some of the sites listed above, Flickr allows anyone to upload images, so there is a chance that someone could upload copyrighted images and claim them as CC0 or some other Creative Commons license.
Get Started Today
Now that you know a few resources to start with, go ahead and add a great image to your next blog post, tweet or Facebook message. Did we forget any other great free image resources?