It is true that in the world of Internet marketing that we should appeal to and speak to peoples emotions. If we do not give them an emotional trigger for why they should buy something, the simple truth is, they wont buy.
It is just as true however that we should also appeal to their senses. Obviously in the digital world in some ways this is restricted. We cannot smell or taste things for example nor touch what we see. Sight and sound however are both things we not only can use but should be using in our marketing strategies. The one that takes precedence over the other is sight over sound.
We have all seen the craze for memes, and how pictures are shared everywhere we look. There are good pictures and there are bad. If you are using bad images or not using images at all to connect with your audience, you are going to always be running behind the pack. Pinterest is the hit it is is, because people love to share photos. On Facebook what you will see shared is prmarily photos. Google+ is the same. Even if people make a status or post and the point is contained in the text, most people will attach an image to it, beause if people see a longer than your quick 2 line status, they will filter it out if there is no image attached to it. .An image will grab their attention so that,the same status that with text alone would have been over-looked by most, if you add a delicous looking photograph to it, you will find everyone will read it. Human beings are visual people. Pictures are often the hook that draws people in.
Creating your own images is not for everyone. They may not have the skills,or perhaps the confidence or even creativity, the time or perhaps the software . Stock photo sites can be expensive for sure. So what to do? How can we bridge this gap if we do not have the financial resources to be a member of one of the large StockPhoto sites,nor the talents or resources to create our own?
Thankfully there is help out there! There are free (or inexpensive) stockphoto sites you can use. Stacey Corrin gave a great selection on her blog.
#1 SplitShire (link) – Free
The brainchild of Daniel Nanescu, SplitShire hosts a collection of excellent quality stock photos that are completely free to download and use.
Forget about any restrictions. These stunning images have none of them and can be used for both personal and commercial use, without having to credit Daniel for the work (although it would be awesome if you did).
I regularly use the images from SplitShire for my own posts, purely because the quality is so good. There’s no faulting them at all and there’s plenty of variety that will suit any project.
#2 Foodies Feed (link) – Free & Premium
Food photography enthusiast Jacob started up Foodies Feed as a way to share the many images he’d taken, that were hiding away on his hard drive. Jacob’s high quality images are free to download and use for personal, editorial, commercial and any other use you can think of. Plus there’s no attribution required.
I used one of the Foodies Feed images for my recent post on creating invoices in Canva. They’re perfect for adding a little wow factor to your posts and will go down a real treat with food bloggers.
#3 Startup Stock Photos (link) – Free
If the Startup world is more your kind of thing, then Startup Stock Photos will have something you’re bound to love. Sharing images that are entirely free to use (again without attribution), this sites images are ideal for illustrating articles that have a laid-back business feel.
#4 Dollar Photo Club (affiliate link) – Premium
I’ve included the Dollar Photo Club in this round-up, because their images are so cheap they’re practically free anyway.
Providing high-class, high-resolution images to its select group of members, this website takes the idea of your average stock photos up a peg or two.
Their prices are designed to be clear, simple and with no hidden extras. While the exclusivity of the Dollar Photo Club will ensure the images you do purchase, aren’t already widely distributed.
#5 Picography (link) – Free
I came across Picography after doing a bit of writing work for a client linked to the creators of the aptly named resource. Back then Picography was still in its infancy, however since then it’s grown dramatically to an established resource that I visit often.
Picography’s images are simply stunning. Depicting every-day life at a different angle, they’re the ideal accompaniment to many a blog post. All images are free to download and use as you wish, allowing you to reap the benefits of their unprecedented quality for yourself.
#6 Free Reefe Mobile Photos (link) – Free
Another site I use regularly, Reefe Mobile Photos throws something extra into the mix. The stock photos on this site are all taken using mobiles, making their quality even more impressive.
Images from these guys are royalty free without restrictions. There’s also heaps of them to sift through so if you need something in particular, be prepared to spend a while drooling over the shiny pictures.
#7 Superfamous (link) – Free
Folkert Gorter is the interaction designer behind the website Superfamous. Here Folkert shares images he’s personally created and made available under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. This means that you’re free to use the images from Superfamous, however you’ll need to clearly give all credit Folkert Gorter as the source.
I haven’t tried using these images yet, as I haven’t had the right type of content to them justice. However since you’re able to freely use them for personal and commercial purposes, I’m sure I’ll find something soon!
#8 Picjumbo (link) – Free & Premium
I love Picjumbo for the sheer variety of their images. Providing free photos for personal and commercial projects, the guys behind this website offer a great service that I keep going back to.
Most of the stocks photos on Picjumbo are taken with multiple shots. Free users of the site get access to one high quality image from each shot, however should you wish to get a few extra from the same photo shoot, they offer a premium service which allows access to these.
#9 New Old Stock (link) – Free
Ever wondered what happens to all of those historical images that have been taken over the years, once they’ve been released into the public domain? Well, a large proportion of them end up on sites similar to New Old Stock.
Providers of vintage images from the public archives, New Old Stock is a treasure trove of imagery you can get lost in. With all things vintage being a current massive trend these days, this website will have something for everyone. Images are free to download and use for your own purposes as far as I’m aware, so dig in and find something a little different.
#10 Pixabay (link) – Free
Pixabay has undergone a bit of a facelift recently. With its new, sleeker design comes better, quality images that are free completely free to use. Nearly all of the images on Pixabay require no attribution and can be used for a multitude of projects.
One feature I particularly like about Pixabay, is their Editors Choice section, which features some of the best images users have submitted. Since the users of Pixabay aren’t paid for uploading their photos, there’s a nice little donate button for each image which allows you to buy them a coffee if you like.
#11 Unsplash (link) – Free
Everyone seems to be raving about Unsplash right now and with good reason. Their images are downright sexy! And when I say sexy I mean in a shiny, that image is gorgeous kind of way.
Awesome quality, free to use, no attribution required – what more could you possible ask for? Go check them out if you haven’t already and let the images speak for themselves.
#12 Gratisography (link) – Free
Last up is Gratisography from Bells Designs. I regularly bow down to the talent of these guys because their photos are utterly brilliant.
Far from being any old image, Gratisography is a collection of photos that have character and charm. Brimming with cheeriness at times, they’re uplifting and inspiring in many ways and are perfect for creating striking visual content.
So there we have it, 12 websites all of which offer some excellent stock photos to brighten up your blog.
The very fact that resource sites such as those above are cropping up all over the place, goes to show that you don’t need to be awesome at everything when it comes to blogging. You’re only human at the end of the day, so carry on knocking out wonderful content for your readers and take visual inspiration from these guys.
Source for the above 12 resources is Stacey Corrin
If you have any additional Free resources not included above, then please share in the comments. If you found this blog post helpful then please share it with your friends on your social networks and let me know in the comments,and if you want more helpful stuff like this, opt-in using the form below.
To end this post I’ll leave you with a motivational infographic.
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