From Amateur to Professional For Just a Couple of Bucks

A picture is worth a thousand words, or so it’s said. It’s worth $1.50 too. For just over a dollar an image you can take your site from well-written but sort of “blah” to fabulous. The use of awesome images play a large part in the perception of the visitor. As you’re about to publish a post, put in the extra time to find a great image or two- it will be worth it. It’s all part of managing your online brand. Visitors to your site will perceive it, and you, as being more professional. Following are my favorite places to look for images:

Sources for free images:

StockXchng – free stock images. The quality here runs from great to just mediocre, but I always look here first and often find exactly what I’m looking for. Many of the images require no attribution at all, but be sure to check the terms of use.

EveryStockPhoto – indexes images from a wide variety of sources. They also index StockXchng, but it’s unclear whether everything that is there is also on EveryStockPhoto, so I check both.

Flickr – I use a great plugin for WordPress called PhotoDropper. It searches Flickr for images available under the Creative Commons license.

Once you’ve taken a look at the sources for free images, check out the many low cost stock photography sites. My favorites are:

Sources for low cost images:

iStockPhoto – They’ve got zillions of images and the small size is only about $1.50. They have a new, improved search engine called “Best Match” which is constantly learning from customer search behavior to provide increasingly improved results. They offer free photos every week and a free vector every month. If you really want to splurge, check out their new premium image collection called “Vetta”. Here are a couple of samples – nice huh?

iStock_StardstgirlLarge

iStock_girlsandredbikekevinrussSmall

Shutterstock – This site boasts over 7 million images and operates solely by subscription. Blog-sized images end up being about $4 depending on your subscription plan. They offer a free photo and vector each week as well. Here are a couple of examples of the selection available:
shutterstock_606697
shutterstock_24206422

Crestock – These images are just a little pricier at $5 each, but they have a free photo each day. Here is an example of a daily free image:

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One last thought: remember that if you claim income from your blog on your taxes, you can completely write off the cost of images!

Published on: July 15, 2009 | Category: Blogging, Marketing & Branding | Tags: