Ever spent more time searching for images for your blog than writing the actual posts? Yes, me too…it’s so frustrating isn’t it?
The trouble with image searches…
Maybe you’ve searched on Google (there are plenty of images all over the web, so surely this is the best place to look) and you figure you must be able to find something that works.
Great! Your results come back with a photo that feels perfect for your topic and fits with your site branding…then you follow the link back to a stock photo site, only to find the cost of purchasing it is completely prohibitive. Or maybe the image link leads to a photo sharing site like flickr, and the photographer has prevented it from being used by anyone else – their prerogative, of course.
You sigh with annoyance as you find yourself back at square one, and start to wonder if you really NEED an image for your post at all – is it worth the hassle?
You definitely can’t just swipe an image off Google and use it as your own!
I’ve had to clear up confusion on more than one occasion with clients, who were unaware of what photos they could or couldn’t use, when they were sharing image ideas in our Strategy Call as part of their Bespoke Website Package.
1. Purchase royalty free images from stock photo sites. You will pay a fee (and it varies widely from $1 to over $100) to use the image on your business website or blog). Best site for more unusual, quirky images is Stocksy.
2. Search sites like Flickr for images that have Creative Commons use. This won’t cost you any money, but you will have to credit the photographer. (As a business, also check that it is a “commercial use allowed” image).
3. Subscribe to sites where photographers freely share their images for use. Please remember to credit the artist, even though you don’t have to – it’s only polite, right?! Signing up for email notifications of when new photos are added is free – and you get the added bonus of lovely images popping into your inbox every week or so. (The two sites I love are Death to the Stock Photo and Unsplash).
The (not so) secret hiding places for finding my own images
In the past I’ve purchased quite a number of images from iStockPhoto (I didn’t know about Stocksy in those days). They have a wide selection, although they tend towards the more “corporate business” images they have some quirky ones (at a price!)
I’ve used PhotoDropper, a nifty WordPress plugin that lets you search directly in flickr. It became a bit glitchy after a while though, and didn’t manage to automatically add an accreditation in the right place, or sometimes at all. The other downside was that it often came back with some rather random results – depending on how the photographer had tagged their images!
For the last year I’ve been in love with Death To The Stock Photo – I can’t even remember how I found it in the first place, through another blog perhaps?
I LOVE their images, and they include people (unlike many other similar sites) so work well (I think) for a heart-centred business site.
Photos on Unsplash are gorgeous and very high quality, although many of their images (like the one used for this post) are landscapes, which don’t always fit with the subjects I write about.
Over to you
Where do you find your website and blog images – or do you create your own? Please share links to your own posts where you found really great images, we’d love to see them!
If you want to find out more about the best way to use images for your website (including tips on sizing, and how you can optimize them to help your posts be found on Google) sign up to join the front of the queue and find out when registration opens for “I Wish I Loved My Website”.
My new online group programme enables heart-centred solopreneurs to build their own website – with lots of support from me. It’s like getting a DIY version of the Bespoke Website Package!
Photo Credit: Unsplash (Ales Krivec)