Let’s jump to the chase. Your blog needs more images in it if there are little to none at this point. Pictures which relate to the content on the page help your posts get more traffic, more shares on social media and are all around just better to look at.
The human psychology behind images is undeniable, we see something and have a gut reaction it most of the time. The science behind this says that the brain processes visuals something like 60,000x faster than text. On top of that, it takes in about 90% of all information visually.
What this obviously means is that if you want to get your point across in the quickest way possible you need to get those pictures up. All the science mumbo jumbo aside, there are some very practical reasons to throw those pics up on your site.
Pictures boost click through rates
Chances are much higher that a potential customer will contact your business if your images show up in the search results, so keep that in mind.
Pictures increase conversion rates
Anytime products are up for sale you can count on high quality images having a giant impact on conversions. It falls in the ballpark of 60% which is more than the rates for longer description texts which is in the 50% range and reviews which fall under slightly higher in the 50’s.
Pictures boost social engagement
Posts with images tend to get way more engagement across all social media platforms. Chances are that even you yourself will notice your own bias towards posts with images vs those without. A lot of times a post with no images and only text don’t even get looked at.
All the statistics aside the truth of the matter is just that images make a blog post more fun to look at in general. They also act as a sort of segmentation, breaking the content up on the page so it becomes easier to digest for the readers.
How to find free images
Image sales is big business online, it’s so big in fact that the leader in the game (ShutterStock) has a market cap of $2.4 billion. If that wasn’t impressive enough then you can also account for the fact that it’s closest competitor (Getty Images) was sold to Carlyle Group for $3.3 billion.
The down-side to these premium sites is the cost, they tend to be pretty expensive and that’s an issue for most bloggers and even a bunch of marketers find it hard to justify the price tags. A single month’s subscription to ShutterStock will run around $300 and just a single image from Getty could wind up costing you as much as you pay for a single month’s rent!
These options are clearly something that most bloggers can’t afford, which is why it’s fantastic there are alternative options available. Before we dive into the common places you can find these resources we’re going to dive into a fast little lesson on image copyrights to better equip you to understand just what’s what.
A break-down of image licenses
Anytime you create something; a poem, music, a photograph, a painting, doesn’t matter what, you automatically become the owner of its copyright. What that copyright gives you domain over is everything that happens with it. You get to decide who can lease it or buy it’s right, you can even transfer the rights over to another party if you wish to.
There are a lot of legal details that go into copyrights and this little blurb isn’t even close to covering it all but I think it’s just enough to give you the right idea. The point we need to focus on for this purpose is that each image has a license attached to it based on how the image was released to the public. We’re going to cover the free versions now.
Creative Commons & Public Domain Images
There are a number of different variations of “free images” and they basically fall under variations of the same idea.
A copyright extended to a creative work isn’t “ever-lasting” it has limitations on how long it’s active. In most contries a copyright is fixed at 75 to 100 years. After the clock runs out, the copyright expires and that property becomes open to the public to use, even for commercial purposes. You can use this stuff as-is or modify it as you see fit.
This type of license actually consist of multiple sub-licenses which all revolve around “open source” but with a few restrictions. The list of CC licenses listed below are not exhaustive, there are others, but they’re the only ones which concern us for this purpose.
CC Attribution (CCBY): You’re free to use, modify and even redistribute the image freely as long as you give proper attribution to it’s creator. These images are basically free.
CC Attribution-NoDerivs (CCBY-ND): This one will grant you redistribution rights with proper attribution. You however are not allowed to modify the image in any way.
CC Attribution-ShareAlike (CCBY-SA): Similar to the CC Attribute License, except you have to redistribute every modified image under the same license which practically gives you the option to use these types of images and put out your own mods to the world in the same way… or don’t use them at all.
CC0: These types of images are pretty much the same as being under public domain. You can use them, modify them and even redistribute them as you see fit.
Where to find these images
You can find good quality images here though their selection is pretty limiated.
You’ll find a lot of “ShareAlike license” images here of animals and travel photography.
This is probably the world’s largest collection of free images in a single place.
This one is a marketplace which sells photos but there is a public domain area with a large selection.
You’ll find a lot of really great quality images here but they tend to get used by a lot of blogs.
This is a searchable index of public domain images and a lot of them don’t need attribution.
This is a good source if you’re looking for that amateur touch.
This one carries a hand-curated selection of quality stock photos sent to your inbox each month.
Anytime you use images from sources like those listed above you’re going to find there are clear terms of service laid out for all who wish to snag these pictures for themselves. All you really need to do is follow the instructions laid out by the site and you’ll be good to go.
Images are simply one component to any blog and they are by no means the most important element, they simply tend to boost figures once everything is in place. There are a number of related articles on this particular blog which cover various topics on using blogs for affiliate marketing. If that interest you then you might want to check some of them out.
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