Archive for the ‘stock images’ category

Why to Use Images in Your Posts and Where to Find Them for No Charge

May 21st, 2009

You’ve spent two hours writing your post.  You’ve spell checked three times.  Your title is perfect, targeted, smooth, and catchy. Your tags couldn’t be more fine tuned.

So it’s time to publish and get your message out to the world, right?

Not quite.

There’s something missing isn’t there?  So what is it?

Color!

Yay!  A colorful image!

Yay! A colorful image!

What’s missing is the perfect image that really puts the icing on your piece of writing.  The proverbial cherry on the top that will finish telling the story or create the feeling that really puts the shine on your work.  Now, admittedly, I rarely use images on my posts here at the online business inspiration blog, but I decided recently that I want to start doing so.

Here are a few websites where you can find great stock images for no charge.

1) stock.xchg – Stock Exchange is one of the easiest places to search for, choose, and download stock images on the web. I have used this site almost exclusively because it is so low-hassle and user-friendly. As long as you respect the photographers and comply to their usage constraints, you will have a great experience using this site. The quality of the photos varies, but you can find great images.

2) PhotoXpress – You can find some great, high quality images at PhotoXpress. There is also a paid option, which will supply you with top-notch professional grade photos. The same goes for Stock Exchange. But you don’t need to pay to find the perfect image for your post.

3) iStockphoto – This website is one of the most popular stock image sites out there. If you are a power content producer, you might want to consider a paid option. It is actually very reasonable, starting at $1 per image. There are thousands of royalty free images to choose from, however, so keep your credit card in your wallet.

Adding an image to your posts is good for a few reasons.

1) It will keep eyes on your site for that extra second that it may take someone to say, you know what, this guy or gal has some good information to offer here. Keep people on your site for a few extra moments and they may become a daily reader. But an amazing image will not save poor content. It will only complement good content.

2) If your article gets saved to social bookmarking sites like digg or mixx, often the image you use in your post will be highlighted on the site next to the title of your article. This may be all it takes to get an extra click-through.

3) A well-chosen, well-cropped image adds an extra level of quality to your site. It will make your work look more professional because it will be more professional.

Well, there’s my short primer on using images in your post and where to find them. I guess the only thing I need to do now is take my own advice.

Thanks for reading.

Chris