It’s cliched because it’s true: a picture really is worth a thousand words. Since the ideal business blog post is around 700 or less, you’ll need something to increase your word count.
Seriously though, if you’re looking to increase the eye-catching nature of your posts, adding images is the easiest way to do it. Images can drive a point home, can make a great contrast to the content of the article, and can also help with the SEO of your site. I try to add in at least one image to each of my blog posts, as you can see.
Adding video or audio are other ways to capture your readers’ attention. But if you’re just starting out, or are looking to save some money on your blog, where can you get royalty-free images/audio/video that are free or nearly-free? Here’s a list of resources for you.
Creative Commons Images
These are images released by the creator for straight usage, or repurposed use. You can find a few CC resources here:
- Flickr Creative Commons – Search strictly for CC-use only images from Flickr users.
- Creative Commons – A site that aggregates your CC searches.
- Google Advanced search – Just select the CC option you’d like to search for in the Usage Rights option.
Free Stock Images
This is a great list of image sites that will let you use the images for free, either with or without attribution. Ideally you should give a little link-love back to the photographer, but depending on the site and photog, it may not be necessary.
- Stock.xchng – It’s a community of photographers who share their photos for use as stock images. Make sure to check out the usage rights before using each image. Some require attribution.
- MorgueFile – These are user-contributed photos that always require attribution.
- Everystockphoto – Another great community of photographers; requires attribution.
Audio & Video
- Soundtransit – This community of users shares audio under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
- PDsounds.org – Billed as the “sound encyclopedia”, pdsounds documents all of the sounds in our everyday environment.
- Vimeo – Check out all the videos tagged under the Creative Commons licence and you’re in business!
Where do you find your images, audio, and video? Have any more resources you’d like to share?