Tag Archive: photography

  1. Where Can I Find Free Images for My Blog Post?

    free images

    From grannies with well-worn family photo albums to the teenage girls taking selfies on their new iPhones, since its invention, photography has been important to people. For myself and fellow content creators who use photography to help tell their stories, imagery is equally important for very different reasons. Images and photography can add a burst of color, a needed reprieve from blocks of copy or a helpful illustration that acts as a visual aid. However, it can be a challenge to find the image that’s just right for a blog post.

    Unless you are a photographer, have a photographer on staff or are allowed access to a photo library, chances are, your first stop for blog photography is a little website called “Google.” I’m here to tell you from personal experience–the search for free photos can be a treacherous one.

    Wait, so I can’t just use any photo I find online for my blog post?

    No, absolutely not. Photos, like most any content published online, are protected by copyright law unless explicitly presented as free-use or public domain content.

    How do I find free images?

    Google makes it pretty simple for you to find photos marked as “free to use” within their search filters. Simply go to Google’s Image search, input whatever you’re looking for, then click the “Tools” button, which will produce a drop-down that includes “Usage Rights.” Within that dropdown, simply select “Labeled for Reuse” and you can use every photo you see before you…right? Wrong.

    Image found on search for “ice cream” in Google Images and “Labeled for Reuse”

     

    free images

    Original image file on Flickr

     

    free images

    Attribution notice of image

     

    free images

    Attribution necessities

     

    free images

    Following attribution notices

    So I can’t use the photos I find on Google, even after filtering for free photos that are “Labeled for Reuse?”

    No. In most cases, you are forced to cite photos regardless of their labeled use. Also, photos may be simply mislabeled and demand that all who use them link back to the photographer’s website or online portfolio, or even include the licensing agreement in your work. These can be as simple as including a “Photo by: John Smith” caption to your photo but you have to know for sure before making any assumptions and potentially being served with a firmly worded takedown notice.

    How can I avoid the headache of having to worry about the confusion that comes with having to attribute and cite photos?

    Unless you are able to take your own high-quality photos, create your own imagery or buy imagery from a stock site (iStock, Shutterstock, etc.), consider using a fully free photo site, like Pixabay and Unsplash. These sites provide free images with no attribution or citing necessary. As Findsome & Winmore’s copywriter and resident blog guy, these two sites, in particular, are a goldmine of free images that help me sleep soundly at night.

     

    Picture Perfect

    Though the internet is chock full of photos just waiting to be downloaded, resources like Flickr, Wikimedia Commons and even Google Images can be virtual landmines of less-than-clear attribution and required citing. Keep in mind, I am not a lawyer. I admittedly don’t know the intricacies of copyright law, and because of that, I suggest you either follow all citing and attribution rules on images labeled for reuse or simply find free images from Pixabay or Unsplash. Happy (and safe) searching.

  2. Content Marketing: What It Is and Why It Is Important to Web Design

    Content marketing is not a new idea.  Providing straight-forward, educational information on a product or service is as old of a tactic as the seminar or white paper.  Simply defined, content marketing is the creation and distribution of content (a blog post, an article, illustration, photograph, etc.) that informs and influences but does not advertise or sell.  There are many other definitions of content marketing available from different sources, but the common threads are information, education, and product alignment.

    Content marketing has become particularly important in recent months because of Google’s ever-evolving methodology for generating search results.  Google has publicly indicated that it will reward fresh, original content with high search rankings.  And since we are all turning to Google to find pretty much anything (and certainly the things we intend to buy), a marketer must create relevant content in order to gain exposure to these searches.  It’s simple logic:  if you want to market successfully, you must write.  Publish or perish.

    For the marketer that accepts the website as the centerpiece of a digital marketing strategy, content–not design–must lead.  One can’t exist without the other, certainly, but content should no longer take a back seat to design.

    In so many web projects, unfortunately, content is an after-thought.  Marketers get particularly excited about design and features and leave content for another day.  All too often, content is the last “task” that people want to tackle because it as seen as time-consuming, laborious, and menial.  The marketer that wants to gain search exposure (and, ahem, customers) should put content first and leave design for another day.  Ideally, the two should work hand-in-hand, but erring on the side of content is a safer bet.

    Practically speaking, content planning within the course of web design should involve more than just “copy.”  Content is not just the text on your About Us page.  In the context of a content marketing strategy, “content” is much bigger than marketing copy.   It incorporates things like:

    • titles of your navigation items
    • your sub-navigation strategy
    • blog categories and tags
    • social media strategy
    • diagrams and illustrations
    • ALT tags
    • corporate videos and descriptions
    • testimonials
    • links
    • your content calendar for future updates
    • meta-data

    Embracing content marketing as a form of promotion is critical in today’s world of customer acquisition.  Making content creation and distribution a priority in your organization puts you in a better position to gain more traction from Google and more customers from the traffic this brings.